Stockist Highlight: Brooklyn General Store and Custom BG Backpacks

Stockist Highlight: Brooklyn General Store and Custom BG Backpacks
I had a chance to chat with Catherine Clark from Brooklyn General about her beautiful shop, her double-life as a midwife and all things yarny!
Brooklyn General Store has been a long-time stockist of Ritual Dyes yarns and they just received their first batch of custom backpacks! I love the way these colorblock beauties turned out. You can purchase one directly from Brooklyn General Store here. 
RD: I know that you have another world in which you are a midwife. How many babies do you think you've delivered over the years? Do you love it just as much as being a LYS owner? 
BG: Yes, I have been a Midwife for 25 years...and yes, I love it.  I love being a witness in a moment so powerful and life changing for people. But more importantly, I love the process of seeing women through their childbearing years and beyond.  Helping them through joys, losses, changing bodies, changing relationships.   I have probably delivered about 3 thousand babies over the years.  It has been an incredible journey and juggling act with 3 kids, a shop and a Midwifery practice (plus a dog, dozens of bunnies, and several guinea pigs and hamsters) About 2 years ago, for several reasons, I decided to scale back my Midwifery practice and throw myself into the shop full time.  I still have clients but primarily for gyn, family planning and general nutritional and functional health.  In moving from primarily Midwifery to primarily Shop work, I have realized that you can take the clinical practice out of the Midwife but you can never take the spiritual Midwife out of the Midwife. I am a Midwife in everything that I do to support women either through talking them through a rough project or helping them pull themselves out of a bad relationship.  I realized, my work is no different in the shop than in the office. I may be helping you make something perfect for you or someone you love instead of helping you grow a baby, but it's all the same to me. 
RD: I loved visiting your shop! It is one of my very favorites and you have curated a beautiful selection of products that I think reflect your personal taste- or at least it seems very Catherine!  What do you think is a commonality that represents BG ? 

BGS: Oh gosh...I would say three things...1.  My favorite Colors...rich, earthy, calming and all the blues. While I do also love the bright speckly hand dyed yarn, I love the grounding and balance that natural yarns offer in all their earthy and natural tones. 2. My obsession with critters that play in the shop amongst all the yarn and fabric.  My goal when you walk into my shop is to feel like you have stumbled on a magical yarny garden where wooly and woodland surprises welcome you throughout your stay. 3. I love old broken things...I love the contrast of rustic and vintage furniture with the unbelievable color palette of all the wools and fabrics.

I guess you could say my aesthetic is retrowoodlandfarmist?

RD: How long have you had Brooklyn General and how did you get started in the fiber industry?

BGS: I opened Brooklyn General in 2002. I started knitting when I was 5 and never stopped.  I started designing when I was in my 20's.  At that time, there was no internet and I never submitted anything anywhere and it never even occurred to me to sell a pattern.  I created one of a kind garments for a business I called Arachne Knitwear. My logo was a little drawing I did of a spider with a girls face...super cheesy! I made up a little label and I sold my sweaters in local shops in Greenwich Village.  So, I guess you could say I joined the fiber industry back then. 

RD: What is your favorite thing in the shop right now?

BGS: All the non-superwash yarns...

Ritual Dyes Maven, Elder and Undine, Sawkill Farm worsted and dk, Hudson Valley Fibers Moodna, Farmers Daughter Soka'pii and Pishkun, Magpie Fibers Nest, Twisted Willow Cobblestone, all the Spincycle yarns and my own Skydance Fibers. I am also loving some branded hats I had machine knit out of local Hudson Valley kettle dyed Wool and of course our new amazing Ritual Dyes custom knitter's backpacks. (Should we come up with a name for it?)  How about Patch?  

RD: Sweet or salty?

BGS: Neither sour and spicy!  But, if I must eat sweet there must be salt and if I must have salt, there must be sweet. 

RD: If you could be knitting anything right now , what would it be and why? 

BGS: If I could be knitting anything? like if I didn't have any responsibilities at all? I would be knitting (stitching and quilting) some grand sculptural installation out of all my leftovers and all the leftovers I have collected from people in my life who have passed.  A mixed fiber piece I have been planning for years.  A work that would teach girls about the incredible power of their bodies, minds and souls.

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Fabric in the shop!

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Comments

gaminette

@Susan Anthony It’s her own pattern! https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/squirrel-oak-mittens

Susan Anthony

I’m wild about the mittens Ms. Clark is wearing! What pattern and yarn are they?