December 11: Throwback Thursday

Recently I unearthed a huge box filled with magazine articles and clippings going¬†back over twenty years.¬†We’ve done so many fun things over the years, including lots of stuff¬†that I’ve forgotten. Here’s some of the interesting articles and photos I discovered:
Movers & Shakers
When we hit the knitting scene in the early 1990’s with our crazy picture designs and revolutionary intarsia knitting techniques, we made quite a splash! I found these photos from an old brochure from the National Needlework Association, with highlights from that¬†summer’s wholesale market. The SWAK gals were featured in two of only seven photos that made the article, alongside the likes of Kaffe Fassett. We were on fire!


That’s me!


Here’s mom!



Over the years we’ve designed and published hundreds of patterns, wrote a book, and produced a DVD…all by ourselves! Yarn shops throughout the United States and Canada stocked our intarsia patterns back when those were all the rage, and we’ve mailed¬†patterns to knitters across the globe!

Wee Beginnings

Initially a mail-order pattern design house, we branched out and first opened to the public in a tiny house. We started with very little, but grew very quickly. By the time we were ready to move to¬†our current location, we¬†had that little house poked so full of yarn it is a wonder it didn’t explode!

 house2 house1house3

In the Press 

I unearthed more magazine and newspaper articles than I could count. Back in the 90’s the general public thought all knitters were 80+ years old, so I garnered national press by going against the norm. I also found an envelope full of pictures¬†from when my display methods¬†were studied by the marketing department at Oklahoma State University.

mag2  mag3mag1



The most hilarious thing I found was a booklet where I was profiled for a publication on vocations. I vaguely remember a writer shadowing me for days, detailing my every move. Here’s the article¬†for those who’d like a funny read. And yes, the boyfriend mentioned in the article is now my husband Keith. He’s been around a long time too!

My Gal


Before Mason, I had Penelope. She showed up hungry at the little house one day, and moved herself right in. She used to come to work with me every day until she became too sneezy. We lost her a few years ago, and she is very missed.

Still Kickin’

SWAK circa 2006

SWAK circa 2006

We’ve been at¬†this for 21 years. Over the years we’ve accrued enough stories to fill a series of novels, or make for one heck-of-a reality series. Hang around much and I’ll entertain you with many of these tales. I have what seems to be an endless supply of hilarious stories, and throwback photos!


  • karyndm

    11.12.2014 at 05:02 Reply

    Loved the pictures and article but I have a few questions…only 2 hours for dinner and your boyfriend???? And I have yet to have any purchases “sealed” with a chocolate kiss!?!?

    • keely

      11.12.2014 at 08:25 Reply

      The boyfriend is now my husband Keith, and I can promise you I spent more than 2 hours with him that evening for “dinner”.
      We used to have a bowl of kisses on the counter for years, but it got so I had to refill it every day after the UPS man came. He cleaned out the entire bowl each time he came. Between that, and finding the wrappers stuck in baskets and shelves all over the store (despite a colorful red trash can near the bowl of kisses)…well that was the end of the kisses. Maybe it’s time to try it again!

  • karyndm

    11.12.2014 at 05:03 Reply

    One other comment, Laura looks great too!

  • donnajmiller

    11.12.2014 at 06:13 Reply

    what fun to look at these!

  • Andrea W

    11.12.2014 at 09:26 Reply

    I love learning more about the history behind my favorite stores! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • KMunger

    11.12.2014 at 13:24 Reply

    Love your fringed skirt! Fun photos…thanks for sharing!

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