After being spotted by Angela on BBC Radio Scotland, Edinburgh’s own Knitting Ninja, Jessica James, chats to The People’s Friend Online.
If you have a passion for knitting, crafting or crochet, you will enjoy meeting Jess, a lady so passionate about knitting, she’s made it her mission to be surrounded by yarn! From Ginger Twist Studios in Edinburgh, you can find any type of yarn you desire, including Jess’s very own hand-dyed yarn.
Hello, Jess! Where are you from and how did you come to live in Edinburgh?
I’m from Oregon, on the West Coast of the States. I lived in New York first where I was a musical performer and then I was done with New York and wanted to move on to somewhere else. I was at that stage where I was ready to settle down and came to Edinburgh. I just loved it, so I came to school here and stayed and now I’m married and I have my shop.
What’s your favourite place in Edinburgh and Scotland?
My favorite place is of course, my shop, I just love it here! I’ve just been to Skye this past summer, which was amazing, so beautiful, and i’d like to spend more time in Oban, as I have friends there. I’d also really love to go to Orkney and Shetland, but they’re not as close as you first think. I definitely want to go to more places.
When did you start knitting?
When I was about 12 my Nanna taught me. I saw a scarf in a catalogue, that I couldn’t afford, so I decided I wanted to make it myself. So I had nana teach me. I’m also left handed so we had a lot of trouble at first, sussing out how to best o help me learn. We sorted it out, by sitting across from each other and learning that way. She’s very proud of me but hasn’t been able to visit the shop, yet!
What is your favourite thing to Knit?
I love to make cardigans, jumpers, that is my absolute favourite thing. I think I have a good wide variety of thing, I always have a pair of socks on the go. Hats are really quick to make too. On “Kirsty Allsop’s Handmade Christmas”, we had to do something in an hour and a half, and I made a hat, pom-pom too! In 90 minutes, but it was very stressful!
Do you sell what you make?
I don’t sell garments, I make the things that I like, in my size, and I wear them. Taking into account the materials, and the time it takes to make something, it would just be too expensive. I’m happy to just sell the yarn!
What does the future hold for you?
There’s always something happening, a new project or collaboration, so I’d say more of the same. I’m working on a new website now too, I’ve been online for a while but I feel it needs more, and I need to get more from it. I’ll have new photography on the new website, and it’ll be great. I hope The People’s Friend readers feel like they know me better now, and if they’re looking for new yarn, which I hand dye, then do come and see me. I also run workshops for beginners, so check those out as well.