Jimmy Bean's Newest Creative Yarn Director: Lena Skvagerson

  


We have some big news that we just couldn’t wait to share with everyone! We're welcoming a new addition to the Team Beans, the amazing Lena Skvagerson! Lena is a knit and crochet designer, a video content creator, and now the Creative Director here at Jimmy Beans Wool. 

With our family of brands, including Jimmy Beans, Madelinetosh, and della Q, growing bigger and bigger every day, we knew we needed someone with extensive experience and a keen eye for the market to help take our brands to the next level. And that's where Lena comes in. 

We couldn't be more excited to have her on board and we know she's going to do amazing things for our company, We recently had a chance to speak with Lena to talk about all things yarn-related (because let's face it, that's our favorite topic!) and we got a glimpse into her journey leading up to her arrival at Jimmy Beans Wool. 

How long have you been knitting and crocheting and how did you learn?




I've been knitting and crocheting pretty much my whole life! I started stitching in kindergarten back in Sweden, many decades ago. :) My teachers taught me, as my mom and grandmother weren't crafty at all. In Sweden all kids from elementary school have craft classes 2 hours per week, and that’s where I really picked up the skills and started making Barbie outfits and then more. In the 1980’s there was a huge mohair sweater trend, and I began making full size garments. My best friend and I made a sweater collection in high school, took pictures, and took orders from people in our school. 





Can you tell us about your journey to get to Jimmy Beans Wool?

I worked for Garnstudio and Drops design for many many years. When I moved to the US in 2007, I worked remotely overseeing their translators, tech editing, and developing their very first 300+ online tutorial videos. In 2014 I was offered a job with Annie’s, working as their in-house lead designer as well as co-producer, host, and expert on their TV-show, Knit and Crochet Now. For the last couple of years I have also been designing several of their Kit Clubs afghans and making instructional videos for those as well.    

When did you know you wanted to be part of JBW?

I have been thinking for quite a while that if I ever was to work for another company, then I really would like to work for Jimmy Beans Wool. Ever since I came to the US I have known about JBW, and I have followed the company’s journey and growth and heard many positive things about the company culture, product mix, and more over the years. I come from a background working with high quality yarns, and I have also worked close to yarn retail as well as online yarn sales in previous years before Annie’s. For the last 9 years I have been working mainly with design, and as much as I absolutely love it, I have also missed many other aspects of my background. Once I learned that Jimmy Beans was planning to add in-house designs, tutorial content, and their own line of yarn, I felt that we would be a perfect match haha!  

How did you meet Laura Zander?

I have known about Laura and been impressed with what she has accomplished with JBW over the years but we never had the chance to meet. Earlier this year, I made a visit to Reno and when I met Laura it was so interesting. I felt like I was there meeting with a friend that I had known for years! We have so much in common and share many of the same views. I had such a great time with her!

What are you hoping to accomplish as Creative Yarn Director at JBW?


I look forward to building an in house design department, with our very own unique knit and crochet patterns that will show what Jimmy Beans stands for. I really want to establish our identity and show our company culture and the values that are important to us. I’m also excited to build a video library, and create tutorials for the patterns we create. I want to help and support our customers grow their skills and dare to take on new challenges. I also look forward to being part of the launch and growth of our own yarn brand, which I’m extremely excited about!




Why do you love the fiber industry/community?

 I love everything to do with craft and community! I also love to be a part of the community, being able to actively teach and share my skills to help people is a pure joy. I feel our industry and community is so creative and it is filled with nice, kind, friendly and sweet people.


What are some ways you like to unwind after a long day? ( pun intended!)

Would you believe me if I said knit or crochet haha I’m a bit nuts that way! I work with yarn and patterns all day, and in the evening I like to sit down and peacefully try out new textures, patterns, or continue a project I’m working on. It's the best but I can never seem to get enough! I feel like a child on Christmas day any time I start a new project… even after all these years! But ok, if you want to know what else I might do… I love to hangout at the beach, and we have plenty where I live! I also like to hike the hills with my girl friends, go out for dinner, hang with my kids and grandkids, do yard work, and more!

What is your favorite project you’ve designed?

I’ve done some very intricate and immensely popular afghan designs for Annie’s Kit Clubs, some including close to 100 different textures. Each one is like one of my babies, as I have poured my heart into these designs. I plan and hope I will soon get to make some amazing afghans for JBW too!


What’s your creative process?

I browse the internet and pin things I see that catch my eyes. I mainly follow fashion and home decor pages. When designing, I think about what a majority of people would like, what’s fun to make, and I also always try to make things that look more complicated than what they actually are. It has worked well so far :) I mix my days writing patterns, swatching and stitching, answering emails etc. If a new design is complicated or small and quick, then I usually stitch it myself, if things are large and easy I usually have help from some local ladies. 


What do you find most fulfilling about your work?

When I get positive feedback from customers and colleagues. When I see pictures of things people have made following my designs. When people tell me I have been part of their crafting journey, and sometimes even the one who taught them to knit or crochet. That makes me feel that all my hard work and devotion is totally worth it.



If you'd like to check out some of Lena's amazing work you can find her on Ravelry or her website, LenaSkvagerson.com!

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