Hi. I’m Liz and I’m so glad you’re here.
I design Knitting Patterns + Upcycled Project Bags to help you create the slow, simple, handmade life of your dreams, no matter where you live.
In a million years, I wouldn’t have guessed my life would look like this. (You know, living off grid in the Northwoods and knitting for a living!)
My husband Mike and I didn’t grow up in the country, but as we trudged through life with 9-5 jobs, commuting and kids, we knew we wanted more than the standard American life. We craved a more meaningful existence, working with our hands, connected to the land and each other. We were determined to not stay robots in the rat race. But we had zero idea what that would look like.
I learned to knit one summer under the shade of an apple tree. While my husband tended the garden and my three unschooled boys counted the stars, I taught myself to knit and purl. I became obsessed. I knit things for my boys that I couldn’t find in the stores… Socks, hats, mittens, sweaters, and pants to keep them warm in our cold Wisconsin winters. I knit things to make our home feel warm and cozy and full of love; coasters for mugs of cocoa, blankets to wrap up with, pillows to snuggle, garlands to celebrate the seasons. I taught myself to design my own patterns and dye my own yarn. When other mom’s began asking me to make hand knits for their children, I opened an Etsy shop.
What started as a simple and fulfilling way for me to be creative and make a little extra money on the side, ended up being the gateway to an intentional new lifestyle. Over time, I stopped doing custom knitting and published the knitting patterns instead. We added other handmade goods like hand dyed yarn, homemade wool soap, and so much more. The business had become successful enough to replace my husband’s income and he was able to quit his job to be home full time.
However, this unorthodox way of living didn’t just stop at knitting… You see, once we realized we could think outside of the box and didn’t have to float along with what modern culture told us we should be doing, we were hooked. What started as a passion for knitting translated to Mike and I creating a handmade life, connected to the land and each other. We paid off our debt, sold everything and paid cash on a 10 acre piece of land in the north woods of Wisconsin. One stitch, one board at a time, we built an off-grid tiny house + homestead with our own two (well, 10) hands.
And so, here we are, twelve years later: ultimately finding ourselves in the thick of creating a life we only could have dreamed of before.
For myself and so many others, the modern handmade movement is a way to slow down and create a more connected, peaceful, meaningful lifestyle. It’s about the satisfaction of work worth doing, staying connected to makers of our past, the gratification of making something out of virtually nothing with your own two hands, the pleasure of giving, and the joy that comes from watching your children feel loved and warm.
It’s my mission help modern folks leave the rat race and create a richer, slower, more meaningful handmade life through this crazy-beautiful thing we call knitting. If you’ve stumbled across the Resilient Knitter looking for advice on learning to knit, or growing your knitting skills, or finding inspiration and encouragement through a generous community of knitters, you’re in the right place. I’ve devoted the last ten years to creating hundreds of posts and resources for knitters just like you. My style is personal and down to earth—which means you can expect lots of real life stories about knitting, but plenty of hands-on information too—because stories only go so far and eventually you need to know how to do the stuff!
Know this: in your quest to learn more about knitting and working with your hands, you might just find yourself on the wildest adventure of your life as you learn to dream bigger and break out of the ruts. The mindset of handmade living has a beautiful way of creeping into every other area of your life… That’s exactly what happened to us, and I hope it happens for you as well.
Happy knitting, my friends!
- Name a craft and I’ve tried it. I dabble from time to time in sewing and such, but knitting is where my creative roots belong.
- Foraging for plants (yarn dyes, medicine and food) is my second favorite thing besides knitting.
- I geek out over ghost stories. Shirley Jackson is my favorite.
- I come from a long line of makers; woodworkers, painters, quilters, fiber artists.
- If you tell me I have to do something, I’ll probably do the opposite. I’ve kind of been a rule breaker my whole life.
- I’m terrible at growing veggies, but it doesn’t keep me from trying!
- During the summer months, our family runs a remote campground in the woods. It’s next to a lake, so there’s knitting on the dock, knitting around the campfire, knitting on the beach… it’s bliss!
- I never met a yarn I didn’t like. (Except acrylic. And cotton. Oh, and fun fur.)