Meeting the Makers: Elena Rosenberg

elena rosenberg, tickle pink knits, meeting the makers

I am thrilled to introduce Oh My! readers to the beautiful, one of a kind,  knit accessories and clothing of Elena Rosenberg. Elena’s pieces show a true passion for handmade, each stitch lovingly created by the hands of a talented maker fully in love with her work. The quality and intricacy of her pieces is awesome and inspiring so pour yourself a cup of tea and get cozy while we get to know the heart and hands behind the needles of Tickled Pink Knits. Knitters can get excited too since Elena offers patterns for some of her most popular designs in her pattern shop!

Hi Elena, thank you for visiting us and giving me a reason to show off your gorgeous work. Please introduce yourself and your business.

My name is Elena Rosenberg. I live and create just outside of New York City, in Westchester County.  My one-woman business is dedicated to wearable fiber art.  I design and hand-knit fashion accessories and clothing — lovely and luxurious treats to wrap around your neck, shoulders, hands, head, and body. I would describe my designs as romantic, elegant, and playful, with a modern sensibility.  I love exploring and experimenting with texture, shape, drape, and color, and hand-knitting is the perfect medium for this pursuit.  Although much of my work is made for women (of all ages!), I also enjoy creating unisex designs.

elena rosenberg, tickle pink knits, meeting the makers

Tell us about your work and your process-I know your beautiful pieces are entirely handmade by you, what goes into the creation of each one?

Yes, I make all of my pieces, large and small, literally one stitch-at-a-time.  I work without knitting looms or machines.  Although I am a pretty fast knitter, hand-knitting is definitely a very time-consuming process.  Hence, my work is either one-of-a-kind or limited production. I like the idea of producing pieces in small quantities, forming each stitch and row individually by hand.  Even the smallest projects, such as my fingerless gloves, feature hundreds of stitches, while larger designs, such as shawls and wraps, contain many thousands of stitches. I choose high-quality luxury fibers for my designs, and work almost exclusively with natural materials, including merino wool, baby alpaca, organic cotton, bamboo, cashmere, and silk.  My current focus is on accessories; I believe that an exceptional scarf, wrap, or hat can transform your outfit as well as transform your mood. My work also includes an exciting line of abstract fiber jewelry, done in crochet.

elena rosenberg, tickle pink knits, meeting the makers
How have you grown your business and your work from the first piece to where you are today? 

I learned to knit as a child and briefly tried my hand at designing as a teenager.  It’s hard to believe it now but I actually did not knit at all for about ten years (while in college, graduate school, etc). I picked up knitting again approximately five years ago, and since then hardly a day has gone by without knitting needles and yarn.  I opened a shop (Tickled Pink Knits) on Etsy in 2007 and pretty quickly found a welcoming audience for my designs.  Etsy has been a wonderful venue for me — I was a Featured Seller there in 2008, I have had an opportunity to work on commissions for customers from all over the world, and to interact with lovely clients as well as with other artists and craftsmen.  Also thanks to Etsy, I participated in the One of a Kind Show in NYC in 2009 (as part of the Etsy Pavilion for Emerging Artists).

My business has been growing slowly and steadily since then.  Earlier this year, my designs debuted at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, MD as part of the AltCraft section, and at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair in Wilmington, DE.  Up until very recently, my knit fiber art venture had been part-time while I worked full-time in university administration.  This past August I decided it was time to dedicate myself to this knitting adventure full-time.  I still plan to maintain an active online shop but I am also eagerly pursuing the fine craft show circuit because my experiences at the OOAK and ACC shows were absolutely exhilarating!  This autumn promises to be incredibly busy and exciting — I will be showing and selling my work at the following juried fairs and festivals.  If you are in the Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, or NYC areas, I hope you will stop by these shows and tell your friends too!

October 8-10, 2011, Paradise City Festival of Fine & Functional Art, Northampton, MA

November 12-13, 2011, Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair, Lancaster, PA

November 18-20, 2011, American Craft Show NYC

 

February, 24-26, 2012 American Craft Council Show, Baltimore, MD

We love learning about where artists work and what inspires them, can you tell us about your workspace and tools?

My studio is currently in my home. In addition to a trusty collection of bamboo needles of various sizes and a treasure chest of vintage and new buttons, I probably own enough yarn to open a small yarn shop.  I love looking through the yarns I’ve collected; often, just holding a skein in my hands is enough inspiration for a new project.  Inspiration is just as likely to come from nature, artworks, the runways, or a fleeting shadow of an unusual shape.  Since small- and medium-sized knitting projects are fairly easily to transport, I tend to bring them with me almost everywhere I go. I recently spent some time on Cape Cod and had a very productive time knitting up a storm in colors of the ocean and its shores.  Most often, I can be found in a comfortable armchair in my home studio knitting while listening to podcasts, NPR, or watching films (I love foreign cinema, and have mastered the skill of knitting and reading subtitles simultaneously).  Rather than sketch my designs, I usually begin designing with knitting needles and yarn in hand, trying our a stitch or a combination of stitches, watching the garment take shape, experimenting as I knit along.  I am currently working on a few quite unconventional pieces that I hope to add to my knitwear line later this autumn.

elena rosenberg, tickle pink knits, meeting the makers

What do you have planned for yourself and your business in the future?

In the very near future, I am looking forward to getting ready for the upcoming art/craft shows and having successful runs at each of the events.  Both the preparation and the show experience can be quite grueling and exhausting but immensely exciting too.  Many of the artists and craftmakers who regularly exhibit at large juried shows work in teams or with assistants, and since I am currently running a one-woman operation, preparing sufficient inventory is definitely going to be a challenge for me.  I hope to be able to manage my time wisely, continue focusing on quality over quantity, and dazzle visitors to my booth at this year’s shows with exquisitely crafted, lovely original designs.  I also plan to make my online shop a destination this holiday season for shoppers looking to treat themselves or their loved ones to luxurious and out-of-the-ordinary hand-knit goodness.  At some point in the future, I plan to publish more knitting patterns for some of my designs and focus on creating more one-of-a-kind pieces.

elena rosenberg, tickled pink knits, meeting the makers

{Victoriana Scarflette pattern above & others available here}

This month is our Back to Business theme-do you have any thoughts or suggestions to share with artists who are just starting out?

For artists and craftspeople just starting out, my advice would be always to innovate rather than imitate; choose quality materials; seek out like-minded individuals in your medium or other creative media either through local guilds, social media, or places like Etsy teams; and, importantly, not to undervalue/underprice your work.

Where can we find your work or connect with you? 

You can find me via my main website — http://www.ElenaRosenberg.com, via email at elena@elenarosenberg.com, and at the following sites:

Etsy Shop for Ready-Made and Made-to-Order Knit Fashion and Accessories – Tickled Pink Knits 
Etsy Shop for Knitting Patterns – AtelierTPK 

You can also connect with Elena by visiting her:

Facebook |  Twitter  | RavelryBlogFlickr | Pinterest

  • http://ladybirdhandcraft.weebly.com/ maryam

    wonderful work by designer Elena… her apparel truely befits the description “I would describe my designs as romantic, elegant, and playful, with a modern sensibility”.. loved it!!!!

  • http://ahousefullofmoxie.com Moxie Lisa

    So beautiful! I have added her to my favorite shops. 🙂