The charming Christina Fagan is the designer behind cool girl knitwear label [Expletive] That I Knit, and is part of that granny offshoot millennial movement. The 25-year-old Weston native uses her Instagram (we can’t print the name, but it’s the same as her label) to post her epic knit and purl creations made from “Knitting Dojo” in Beacon Hill.
Q. You mentioned you quit your job to pursue your business. What led to that decision?
A. As a wise man once said, YOLO. I’m not even sure if that man was wise, but I am going with it. I am 25, I have a brand that cracks me up every day, and a team that keeps me going. It was a combination of countless conversations with mentors and advisers, the support of my family, and my crazy passion for knitting that lead me to the decision to quit. I had a meeting with a very successful female entrepreneur the week I quit my job that gave me the final push into the deep end.
Q. What was the point you decided that you could make this work full time?
A. A few housekeeping things had to be accomplished first, like foregoing another pair of Rag & Bone jeans to save money for yarn and rent, plus writing up an actual business plan that gets me out of the red within a year.
Doing this full time is frightening, but the team of knitters has turned out to be so much more than that — like, one is a professional photographer, another one bakes me amazing cupcakes, one has become a wine drinking partner, and they are all new friends and cheerleaders of mine. I legit couldn’t do it without them.
Q. What’s your earliest memory of knitting?
A. Growing up, I spent all of my summers up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Full disclosure, not a whole lotta socializing up there. So, as a 10-year-old I would spend many mornings hanging out with the owner of Baadeck Yarns. I definitely knit a few bad hats in the beginning, but I first recall knitting a boxy Rowan sweater with purplish pink yarn and a massive turtleneck. Needless to say, wasn’t something I was sporting around Weston Middle School.
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Q. How has knit culture changed in the past few years?
A. I think that with the DIY revolution, knitting is also making a comeback. Women are feeling more empowered than ever to create something rather than buy it. Especially with YouTube and Pinterest, because you can learn how to do almost anything on the Internet.
There are so many stories of successful crafting entrepreneurs on Etsy and designers on Instagram that have changed the look and feel of knitting. It’s made it easier than ever to have access to an engaged audience that shares a common interest. My entire team was formed after an Instagram post on a Friday night.
Q. What qualifies as a “really cool” knit? Like, is there a bar to be a “hip” knitwear designer?
A. Upon entering a knitting store, I always promise myself: Thou shalt not knit something you would not actually buy and wear — besides that first really bad sweater. It is scarily easy to get caught up with some non-hip ideas in a yarn store and walk out with a magenta cable knit mock turtleneck sweater project. There are designers out there today like Eugenia Kim, Wool and the Gang, and Lindsay Degen who I totally crush on because they are making knitting hip. Right now, I’d say bright colors, crazy pattern work, and fur pompoms are my directives.
The first rule of Knit Club is: you do talk at Knit Club. The second rule of Knit Club is: you do talk at Knit Club. #southendknittingclub . #shitthatiknit #handknit #knitclub #knitting #knitaholic #fightclub #knitlove #knit #knittersofinstagram #southend #boston #olivesandgrace #shopsmall #shoplocal #maker #localmakers #startup #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #knitter #knitting_inspiration #stitchnbitch #earthday #myshinola #tattoo #knuckletattoo #knucks #ink #craft
Q. When did it become cool to be square?
A. Letting your freak flag fly certainly isn’t for everyone, but I have always embraced my quirkiness. I personally think it is pretty cool to start with a ball of yarn, a glass of wine, and seven consecutive episodes of “Downton Abbey,” and end up with a massive pompom hat that everyone wants.
Interview was condensed and edited. Rachel Raczka can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Instagram @rachelraczka.