Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a handful of months or are waiting for those first few sales introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!
My name is Brandi Harper, and my store is purlBknit. My garments feature animal and plant-based fibers in the form of yarn, roving, and fabric. Most items are 100% natural. I am based in Brooklyn, New York.
A self-taught knitter since age 14, for me learning to knit meant getting what I needed. I was raised in inner city projects, top bunks with three to each room. My mother was crafty and knew how to work a budget. “$10?! For a ball of yarn?” my mother said. “That could put food on someone’s table for a week.”
“But Mommy, it’s natural.”
“Brandi, you need to get yourself a job.”
A year later, I began working at a yarn shop. I’d leave school and the messy little ducks of New Paltz to teach beginner classes during the holiday.
After going to southern Africa as a Peace Corps recruit, I came back to the US with the drive to build something handmade from the ground up. Etsy is a space conducive to growth and the best thing happening for handmade, so I took a leap and launched purlBknit.
Designing means math, abbreviated notes, and lessons learned. I pay attention to the parts unseen and patiently tend to subtle details. The possibilities are exciting — opera length mittens may become thigh-high tights, pieces of a cable-knit sweater can be transformed into a balaclava. I especially love seamless garments made entirely in one piece.
A hand washing and steaming process is tailored for each garment based on fiber content. These steps ensure clean, professionally finished items. I use hypoallergenic woolen solvents, white paper towels, and cedar wood. My washing bowls are made with renewable resources like bamboo and rice fiber. I prefer to wash garments individually, soaking three pieces at a time. I make personalized hang tags providing the location of yarn production and a bit of mending fiber wrapped in acid-free cellophane.
I like to imagine my buyer saying, “Sorry honey, but this is one of a kind.” She challenges me to create the extraordinary.
Photos courtesy of purlBknit. Second and last photo by Antonio Limuaco.