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Featured Shopper: Knitfitt Does Iron & Ink

Sep 1, 2010

by Cate Fitt

Cate_bio.jpgCate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in Fiber in 1978, later receiving an Artist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. Today Cate only makes things for her own pleasure, and teaches knitting at the The Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach. She credits her mother with encouraging her creative ventures. Says Cate, “she had a wonderful eye, unlimited curiosity and was the first person I knew who had a personal computer (in 1980!)”

Being asked to be a Featured Shopper for Etsy was a surprise and the fulfillment of a secret wish. This is my idea of a really good time. My Favorite Shops are my curatorial database, selected for personal pleasure. After a lifetime of collecting, I am at the shedding stage, so I use the Favorites feature as a way of collecting without adding to what I own.

I knew immediately that I wanted to choose work made from iron, an ancient, humble and strong material that becomes beautiful in the hands of skilled artisans. And, to balance such a durable material, I chose ink in the form of original prints on paper. I always look for work that reflects an individual eye, skillful creation, consistency of vision, quality of materials and good photography.


Blind Spot Jewellery was one of my earliest finds on Etsy and the first piece I purchased from him was an iron and bronze Victorian Mourning Ring that I wear daily. His Double Axe Ring is an elegant evocation of ancient tools and symbols that predate written language.


Beardie Bloke transforms industrial detritus, combining it with precious metals and stones by means of the most ancient and the most contemporary techniques and tools. The three Decline of British Industry cufflinks would make the perfect fasteners for a very simple handknit cashmere sweater.



Oxide Studio could turn me back into a cook just for the pleasure of handling his knife. The many layered damascus steel blade evokes geologic formations and wave patterns at the shore.



Old School Tools reflect the deep connection of their maker to the long traditions of toolmaking. In creating such tools as this adze, he honors their practicality and their users.


Studio HR creates simple, slightly quirky vessels by actually casting iron — like this dish. Cast iron is the perfect medium for someone who lives near a 56-foot statue of Vulcan, God of the Forge, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is new to Etsy and I am very much looking forward to seeing more of her work.


I have a weakness for words, letters, numbers, equations and diagrams, although I tend to avoid commands and exhortations. This carved and printed alphabet by She Rides the Lion would be perfect on one of my walls.

Crow Medley‘s Crow and Sunflowers will soon be included with the other bookplates I’ve purchased from numerous sellers on Etsy. I write my name in pencil so the next owner can use the bookplate, too.

Bridget Farmer Prints are always marked in my Favorites. This Brunswick Bird is typical of her exquisite drawing ability and etching technique.

It is difficult to respect animals and capture their essence without verging on cuteness. I have found several printmakers to include in my Favorites who manage to do this.

I am particularly fond of my sister’s (a.k.a. Annie Fitt) Mandala because my Whippet, Moose, is the puppy in the upper right corner.


When I purchase cards from Anthea Art, I always get duplicates or I would never send any out. Her dogs are so honestly themselves.



And Nydam Press has captured perfectly the posture and beauty of greyhound family members with her Italian Greyhound block print. My next dog will be an Italian greyhound rescued from a puppy mill where they are horribly exploited and abused.

Are you an Etsy curator extraordinaire? Tell us about your vision in the comments below.

Cast Iron and Ink Printing on Etsy | Guest Curator Posts

Double Axe ring - iron
Double Axe ring - iron
handmade damascus knife
handmade damascus knife
Sculptor's Adze
Sculptor's Adze
Cast Iron Dish
Cast Iron Dish
TWO DOGS SLEEPING ON THE BEACH, original linoblock print
TWO DOGS SLEEPING ON THE BEACH, original linoblock print
Cephalopod- cast iron sculpture
Cephalopod- cast iron sculpture
$1,200.00 USD


  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 6 years ago

    Great Work and Great Photography! Thanks for sharing this great shop!!!

  • mudpuppy

    mudpuppy said 6 years ago

    Love all these finds too!

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 6 years ago

    Great story and nice work!

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 6 years ago

    Love these beautiful finds!!!

  • kissadesign

    kissadesign said 6 years ago

    Wonderful picks (and pics)! Love the doggie art!

  • poplovedesigns

    poplovedesigns said 6 years ago

    Wonderful collection, great taste! I particularly love that greyhound print! <3 Andrea

  • PetalPetal

    PetalPetal said 6 years ago

    Love your picks, particularly the Brunswick Bird Dry Point Etching!

  • lunocio

    lunocio said 6 years ago

    I love them all!

  • KamiMono

    KamiMono said 6 years ago

    Beautiful selection! I like how Cate says she's at her "shedding stage." There are so many beautiful objects out there on Etsy, but I feel overwhelmed by all the stuff I already have, so I also use my favorites as a tool to "collect" things without physically owning them. Well, I also use it to collect potential gifts for others, that way someone else can have them for me!

  • julietgo Admin

    julietgo said 6 years ago

    Hey guys, I just wanted to note that we're always looking for great curators. So if you identify with Cate as a "virtual collector," let us know about your vision (and maybe link to your Favorite Shops) here in the comments.

  • BellaMarie

    BellaMarie said 6 years ago

    Wow, what great artists! Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  • Yvonne4eyes

    Yvonne4eyes said 6 years ago

    Total awesomeness!

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the shopping tour! I am especially drawn to the block prints. I could get lost for such a long time browsing Etsy's shops!

  • monkeyandsquirrel

    monkeyandsquirrel said 6 years ago

    love your little collection! i too am obsessed with gathering all of my favorite goodies in one place in the hopes of someday purchasing everything!!!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work and amazing story ! Merci !

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 6 years ago

    SUCH amazing finds! Thank you for sharing! And julietgo.. I would LOVE to share with you even more awesomeness I've discovered on Etsy. I'll be back with links!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Lovely collection! I also search etsy daily for treasures that make me smile or remember a time past. I would love to create or see a collection of toys, new and vintage, for the young and old.

  • MaaPstudio

    MaaPstudio said 6 years ago

    Oh yes!!I am definetly " virtual collector" and I love puting all my "virtual friends " to my Favorites!

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 6 years ago

    Love the unique collection!

  • gormanstudios

    gormanstudios said 6 years ago

    I love the black&whiteness of the selection!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 6 years ago


  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the nice comments. I found lots of great work by looking at the Favorites of my Favorites. I just wish I could organize everything into categories.

  • grayworksdesign

    grayworksdesign said 6 years ago

    Beautiful tools. Excited to see those. Will find my partner (impossible to shop for) an xmas gift there...

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

    i absolutely love blockprints. all of the artists featured in this article are amazing!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 6 years ago

    wonderful picks...i love all the unique items we can find here!!

  • sheridesthelion

    sheridesthelion said 6 years ago

    An honor to be featured, thank you!

  • KikiLaRu

    KikiLaRu said 6 years ago

    I can really relate to what Cate said about using the favorites feature as a way of collecting without buying. I am the same way with treasuries.

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 6 years ago

    Awesome work!

  • SwangoArt

    SwangoArt said 6 years ago

    This is lovely....a quietly beautiful collection of items and a very clearly written article describing the pull of each piece of art. I liked getting to know Cate a bit (and Moose & Peach) and I've already begun visiting each of the shops. Adding to my favorites list like crazy! Very nicely done!

  • ChezMargot

    ChezMargot said 6 years ago

    Very good taste and marvellous items..

  • PrimaryRedux

    PrimaryRedux said 6 years ago

    Great post! a joy to read and yummy to see.

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 6 years ago

    This is my favorite ring to wear-it's a spinner ring in paisley print...the finish is amazing and the pattern to die for! Prints so many on etsy such as- I have so many favorites!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    Beautifully curated collection! I like that less common materials and media are featured. Cast iron has long been a personal favorite but mostly in antique objects. Seeing it used as a contemporary art medium is refreshing. Thank you!

  • SatinandBirch

    SatinandBirch said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your talent with us. I am very impressed by your credentials. best to you.

  • YellowBugBoutique

    YellowBugBoutique said 6 years ago

    Kate- what interesting finds you bring to us. I love the idea of a virtual collector- takes less room and very cost efficient. I hope one day you do enjoy the love of an IG- we share our home with one- Sophie- and she is a joy- but you already have 2 whippets so you know the specialness of the greyhound family!

  • cassandrastephanie

    cassandrastephanie said 6 years ago

    Love the block prints. I took a printmaking class in school and had so much fun!

  • thecottagemarket

    thecottagemarket said 6 years ago

    so wonderful...the brunswick bird...bestill my heart it is amazing and the linoleum block print of the italian grey hound gives me flashbacks of art school and not to mention they are precious little furbabies. you have curated a perfect art experience here for us and i so do appreciate it. thank you very much

  • WoodPigeon

    WoodPigeon said 6 years ago

    Very bold choices!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 6 years ago

    REally cool finds & a great category on ETSY...thank u 4 sharing these treasures....

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    Love the dog prints!

  • stewartw

    stewartw said 6 years ago

    You really have the BEST taste!

  • mindimade

    mindimade said 6 years ago

    wow. a good eye indeed! and what an intriguing look into one very eclectic shopper's mind. a beautifully inspiring and an oddly cohesive collection. excellent work here, crafters and shoppers alike! cheers!

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques said 6 years ago

    Love you collection. Love looking at all kinds of Etsy shops. Fun way to keep busy!!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 6 years ago

    there's a bit of a neolithic quality that runs through the objects selected. i love the rough hewn quality that shows the marks of the craftspeople. excellent.

  • filofashion

    filofashion said 6 years ago

    Very Beautiful !!!

  • StringsnTings

    StringsnTings said 6 years ago

    Very unique, love the use of line!

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr said 6 years ago

    Great story and lovely items!

  • dirtdancestonewerks

    dirtdancestonewerks said 6 years ago

    "an individual eye, skillful creation, consistency of vision, quality of materials and good photography"... thank you for refocusing me towards the path I strive to travel.

  • FeatheredGems

    FeatheredGems said 6 years ago

    Wonderful collection! I LOVE that cast iron dish!!!

  • LeafandInk

    LeafandInk said 6 years ago

    Oh Cate! We are kindred spirits you & I. My middle name should be shedder! But alas I am a collector in studio and in internet! We are extremely fond of artist families that come together to create and live off the sale of their works. That is what we do here at LeafandInk in Portland, Oregon. One such family we are very partial to is the Beerhorst family in Grand Rapids Michigan. They all work together to make the world a better place.

  • beachglassshop

    beachglassshop said 6 years ago

    nice findings! love the tools....

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Great unique picks and great talent!!

  • FavreBijoux

    FavreBijoux said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this. There are so many rich discoveries to be made here. My favorites are my virtual collection:

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 6 years ago

    Fabulous collection. I've gone a bit overboard in my virtual collection, as well as my growing collection of hand carved miniatures. From a recent blog post, which does not include all of my minatures...many of which were discovered on Etsy.

  • floodplainstudio

    floodplainstudio said 6 years ago

    Love the greyhound! Thanks for sharing!

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 6 years ago

    I really, really loved these items...especially those cufflinks. And the etchings. Such real talent!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    Cate, what a fabulous selection. Looove the damascus knife!

  • hottinroofneworleans

    hottinroofneworleans said 6 years ago

    An extraordinarily discerning eye. Wow.

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 6 years ago

    Yes, I am fond of Studio Beerhorst and they were in the running for this collection.

  • bungaloe

    bungaloe said 6 years ago

    beautiful items!

  • YellowViolet

    YellowViolet said 6 years ago

    Cate you have great taste. Thanks for the amazing finds.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 6 years ago

    knitfitt said: Yes, I am fond of Studio Beerhorst and they were in the running for this collection. ------- Leafandink, I love the Beerhorsts!!!! What an amazing, friendly family :)

  • Emmamaha

    Emmamaha said 6 years ago

    Amazing finds! Truly remarkable. I know it takes a lot of patience to look through shops and find that unique item to inspire not just you but hopefully many have a great talent for the finer things:) Amazing and wonderful finds..bravo.

  • jennibram

    jennibram said 6 years ago

    Cate, an inspired and inspiring collection of very fine works - heartfelt thanks and admiration. I too keep favorites as a 'virtual collection' (but like you, desperately wish i could organise/curate within my favorites). Often when i come in to spend time in etsy, i just go to my favorites and spend an hour or two there. I do also feel moved to buy work, both to make it real and rewarding for the maker - and to experience the real piece (for which there is no substitute), not just images. I struggle with the sheer quantity of 'stuff' being made and thrown away all over the planet, but recognize that - like it or not - 'stuff' is important for humans, for may reasons. Thanks again, Cate, and thanks also to all the respondents who have shared things they love.

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 6 years ago

    GREAT THANKS for sharing

  • jennibram

    jennibram said 6 years ago

    ....and i love your focus in this selection on objects made to last (and to wear time with grace and strength) and objects by their nature ephemeral - principles that give this collection great clarity and calm. It rings true and clear, like a large fine bell in still, crisp air....

  • storyline

    storyline said 6 years ago

    beautiful choices, controled and casual at the same time. many new shops for me to browse!

  • debdeanart

    debdeanart said 6 years ago

    I love the boldness of these pieces....thank you!

  • ZenAndCoffee

    ZenAndCoffee said 6 years ago

    This is brilliant and a breath of fresh air! I have so many favorite etsy shops that its so hard to narrow it down to a few. I love seeing other peoples tastes and favorites, and Cate, yours are superb! Thank you for sharing these! ~Wren Arm Warmers & Fingerless Gloves for all seasons & styles!

  • needleyou

    needleyou said 6 years ago

    Ahhhh ... printmaking - my first love. <3

  • candacejean

    candacejean said 6 years ago

    Alright julietgo; I'm back to share my virtual collections.. (I do enjoy having splendid things to look at inside my favorites:) Here are some lovelies: "Handcrafted with autumn gold" "The tiniest of things" "Let there be light" And some others.. Sooo SO much great stuff on Etsy!

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed said 6 years ago

    really really stunning collection. Love the Brunswick Bird especially! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sparklink02

    Sparklink02 said 6 years ago

    Great article! Inspired me a lot :)

  • RaiseYourFist

    RaiseYourFist said 6 years ago

    Good Job on the article - I love your choices, they feel very connected yet unique.

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 6 years ago

    ooh lovely selections and your descriptions are marvelous! I would LOVE to curate a collection of portraits or figurative work here on Etsy. The amazing talent that is on this site inspires me every day! Helen Gotlieb, Haunted Hollow,,,, just to name a few...

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist said 6 years ago

    beautifully curated ~ can tell that you enjoyed this fun task :)

  • BeaumontStudio

    BeaumontStudio said 6 years ago

    Wow These are really beautiful, extremely high quality shops! I just love this! Another outstanding source of primitive inspired jewelery is

  • AuraDrorJewelry

    AuraDrorJewelry said 6 years ago

    love the common thread here, sharp,carved out, and strong, but at the same time heart felt, delicate, and intricate.

  • evertonterrace

    evertonterrace said 6 years ago

    What an eye, such an obvious master. Everything is so beautifully crafted. I like reading your descriptions of why you liked each piece. This is probably my favorite featured shopper series so far. The photography of the items is inspiring.

  • Serrelynda

    Serrelynda said 6 years ago

    Definitely you have the gift of really good taste. I want to handle that knife too!

  • Ilanaavin

    Ilanaavin said 6 years ago

    Something very primitive and basic that holds this collection together - very surprising for a knitter !!

  • drawcity

    drawcity said 6 years ago

    Love the original prints!

  • artfields

    artfields said 6 years ago

    I love the works in iron, but most of all, I love those prints!

  • ElizabethOHara

    ElizabethOHara said 6 years ago

    The dark look of this article is so classic and almost old school I'd say! I am partial to the wood blocks, too.

  • QWorks

    QWorks said 6 years ago


  • jolinne

    jolinne said 6 years ago

    What a lovely post! Great collection of items!

  • LouisestArt

    LouisestArt said 6 years ago

    So beautifull. Love the mandala dogs and the two sleeping ones.

  • InnerWild

    InnerWild said 6 years ago

    Cate, you sound like an utterly beautiful person - and your dogs names tickle me so, gorgeous. Idyllic. Lovely to 'meet' you.

  • inkadinkadoodle

    inkadinkadoodle said 6 years ago

    Great article and finds - thanks!

  • ravenhaired

    ravenhaired said 6 years ago

    Great finds...such a pleasure to look through.

  • jorgensenstudio

    jorgensenstudio said 6 years ago

    So glad that blindspot is getting some love, he is amazingly talented!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 6 years ago

    Love the grey hound block print. Great work!!

  • Kankou

    Kankou said 6 years ago

    Amazing work!

  • sakizome

    sakizome said 6 years ago

    awesome items that I had not come across before. Wow!

  • jennifermorrisbeads

    jennifermorrisbeads said 6 years ago

    cate has such a great eye..her collection captures that deep noble essence of handmade. i'm such a virtual collector too..such a dreamer! although my clay work is flowery and uber my real life (at home and virtual/fantasy) i tend towards simple and clean graceful lines..i love construction and seeing things that are pared down to the basic design elements:

  • thefireandthedark

    thefireandthedark said 6 years ago

    You taste in metal is the same as mine!I wish Beardie Bloke would have more items because I love his stuff and had him in my favourites before.I love his use of found metal.

  • Rubybuttonstore

    Rubybuttonstore said 6 years ago

    Iam very new to etsy but its really inspiring to read things like this thanks

  • allisonstrine

    allisonstrine said 6 years ago


  • MysticLily

    MysticLily said 6 years ago

    Beauty in their simplicity! Very fine work! Thanks for the exposure to these great artists!

  • lauraprill

    lauraprill said 6 years ago

    Wonderful to see your selections, love that so many of them are fine art prints. All of this collection is extraordinarily beautiful to the eye and heart.

  • StudioBlooms

    StudioBlooms said 6 years ago

    Great finds, makes me want to go shopping!

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 6 years ago

    Cate, love blindspotjewelry to :) Fantastic choces!!

  • blindspotjewellery

    blindspotjewellery said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much!!!! I am totally honoured to be featured, congratulations for the article! :)

  • FloweryDeer

    FloweryDeer said 6 years ago


  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 6 years ago

    Enjoyed your story and your picks! Especially intrigued by the Cephalopod- cast iron sculpture - fascinating!

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 6 years ago

    I'm always amazed at the creations on Etsy and I always find a shop that I've never seen before. My collection is huge of my favorites, but there are certain areas that I'm drawn to.

  • RamshackleStudio

    RamshackleStudio said 6 years ago

    What a great collection of items.... Blindspotjewelry is awesome, we love watching what he comes up with!

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 6 years ago

    Cool graphic finds. Black and white never loses its appeal.

  • NaturalAmber

    NaturalAmber said 6 years ago

    This was a pretty neat article, different then most of them. I really enjoyed reading it

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 6 years ago

    Wow very cool items, thaks for sharing!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 6 years ago

    Beautiful ironwork!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Thank you for these. I've also found some new favorites

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 6 years ago

    great choices. really like the Cephalopod sculpture.

  • AndisAccessories

    AndisAccessories said 6 years ago

    I love the authentic nature of this collection. I love prints!

  • LuBluDesigns

    LuBluDesigns said 6 years ago


  • rockblock

    rockblock said 6 years ago

    Your Photography of your product is amazing too! :)

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 6 years ago

    Cate - I too have a secret wish to be a shopper and you're right, the favorites option on Etsy satisfies my need to collect all kinds of different things. The only thing I haven't given up on is my penchant for collecting pens and pencils of all kinds.

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 6 years ago

    Thank you all for your comments. Thanks to you, I have added more to my Favorites.

  • StudioHR

    StudioHR said 6 years ago

    Cate...very nice article. I enjoyed learning more about you and your interests. Thank you for including me.

  • PassionForVintage

    PassionForVintage said 6 years ago

    Amazing...I love the blockprints.

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