Textiles tell a story through each intricate stitch- a story of beauty, history, and dedication to the art. Our personal love for textiles goes deep so we've created a new monthly feature diving down into the stories and admiration for the art and the people who create it.
Our first feature is with Jennifer Daggy creator of Good Grief. Cozy up and settle in as you read the tale of Good Grief.
Tell us what inspired you to get involved with textiles?
Last year, during the pandemic, we flew to France for my boyfriend’s father’s memorial. Jacques had passed away from Covid earlier in the spring. I took one ball of yarn and spent 2 weeks knitting (and unknitting) until I finished a VERY small, one color, one stitch scarf. Four days after we returned home from France, my mom, who has always been the epitome of health, called to tell me that she had stage 4 lung cancer. The doctors were giving her 5 months at best to live. I started flying from Dallas to Cincinnati every 2 weeks for a week to be with her, go to her oncologist appointments/treatments, and get her affairs in order. I started knitting scarves. I knit everywhere, on the plane, in the car, in the dr office during her treatments, etc. I would play with stitches, colors, and patterns to give my mind an escape from reality. Color is my biggest playground. When I look at the scarves I can tell how much I needed an escape by the number of color changes in a scarf. Color on its own is beautiful, but for me, the magic happens when you combine colors in unexpected ways…it just brings out a whole new feeling, and at that time frame, I needed lots of new feelings. So long story longer, I ended up with a LOT of scarves! One of my best friends suggested the name Good Grief, which is perfect for what this project is. Through all of the shock and heartache, knitting those scarves did and still does good for my soul. I also love the name because I think sometimes we can all get caught up in the hard times, and we forget to find the good. I’m a full believer in finding the good in everything….even if it ends up packaged as a hand-knit scarf.
Do you have a favorite memory of you younger working with or watching someone else work with textiles?
My Grandma Daggy was the textile guru in our family. She always had a “project”…or three that she was working on when we would go over to her house. I can remember a dark brown basket that she kept by her chair which held all kinds of yarns. It wasn’t until recently as I was rolling a ball of yarn did I remember that she used to have me roll her yarn. She would frame it us as, “Jenny, I have a fun project. Why don’t you roll all this yarn into balls for me?” I love that it took 30+ years, and learning to knit to realize that was her way of NOT having to roll the yarn! She was an amazingly strong, determined woman, and I think she would be tickled to see what I’m doing with knitting!
Tell us about the type of textiles you work with and what you make?
I work with alpaca and wool blended yarn. Recently, I’ve also started using a yarn that is made from recycled plastic. So far, scarves are what I knit! Throws end up being too bulky and cumbersome when on a plane. My long term goal is to create knitting circles of women in underdeveloped countries. I would love to help create communities of support, income, and independence.
If there was one word to describe your creations what would it be?
Good. They helped me to create and find good during a really hard time. I hope they are a reminder for others to see the good in everything, and I hope they make people feel good. Good is just….good.
Give us one fun fact you've come to learn through experience when it comes to working with and using textiles:
Knitting has taught me that I can do anything. If you had asked me a little over a year ago if I could or would ever knit, I probably would have laughed at you. Mostly because I would never have taken the time to learn. I was just “too busy.” I recognize now that excuses like that were just my way of hiding from anything new. Life forced me to slow down, which stopped my usual excuses of this is too hard, why do I want to do this, what am I going to get from this. Without any of those excuses, I had to learn. I had to be patient with myself for making mistakes, I learned to be proud of myself as I got the hang of it, and when I ended up with more scarves than any one person should ever own, it taught me the confidence to put them out there on the market.