Pam joined the Birdhouse team just a year ago, but what a year it’s been! If Holly is our knitting ninja, then Pam is our color whiz. The woman has an eye for color combinations, yarn textures and can make you look at color in a whole new way – Pam is our color guru! Pam is also the shop office manager and when she’s not helping customers she’s communicating with designers and dyers all over the world.
Pam, that’s no Tucson accent. Where are you from originally?
I was born in Philadephia, but I’ve lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Las Vegas, Nevada; Houston and San Antonio, Texas and Collierville, Tennessee.
Whoa! So what brought you to Tucson?
My husband got a job in Sierra Vista at a community health center five years ago, and we’ve been here ever since.
The heat probably wasn’t new to you given you lived in Texas previously?
No, but I love the Texas humidity.
When did you start knitting or crocheting?
I started knitting in 1986, but I was a knitter with training wheels. I never really felt comfortable or confident as a knitter until coming here.
Really? But didn’t you work in yarn shops before?
Yes, in Memphis and Houston. I’m not sure why. I just feel like I fit better.
How does that experience affect how you interact with people in the store?
Here I’ve realized that I have a skill with color and putting projects together. I see the garment, evaluate the customer’s style, skin tone, eye color and how they accessorize and that helps me put the project together. Also I know how it feels to walk into a knit shop and be intimated by the master knitters and not know actually what I need and I don’t want anyone to feel that way when they come into Birdhouse. Making the customer feel like family is so important to me.
You didn’t always work in the fiber world, what happened before yarn came into your life?
I use to manage dental practices. There are some similarities between a dental practice and a yarn shop. In a dental practice your goal is always to make the person feel secure and safe. That’s what I aim to do everyday at Birdhouse, make people feel secure – knitting with a net.
What’s the first thing you can remember knitting?
I made a yellow duck sweater for my son before he was born, but I’m afraid I don’t have any photos of the final object.
What’s on your needles right now?
If you were on a desert island, wait no…let’s say it’s zombie apocalypse – what yarn, needles and pattern do you grab?
Easy! A Chiagoo needle set and a box of Dream in Color’s Smooshy with Cashmere. I love the Boneyard shawl by Stephen West or Antler sweater by Tin Can Knits and socks…perfect for when the temperatures dip during the apocalypse.
Other than fiber arts how do you spend your time?
I spend the time away from wonderfully full days at Birdhouse following my son who plays Lacrosse at the University of Arizona. We even have our very own Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere yarns in their honor – Arizona Red, Bear Down Blue, and Lax Cats! I also manage a hair salon, Kurt & Quanna.
Do you ‘knitflix’? What do you like to knit and listen or watch to?
I am a mini series freak! I watch any series, but I particularly love anything about the British monarchy.
What about podcasts or blogs?
Finally, what’s your Birdhouse yarn name? We all have to have one.
Fabulous fluffy finch.
That seems really fitting. I think we should have yarn colorways with these names. Start thinking colors Pam!