Here at Interweave, we really love sheep, yaks, goats, angora rabbits, alpacas, muskox, lamas and all critters that provide the wonderful fiber that we can knit (spin, weave, or crochet). When trying to come up with an accurate yet interesting title for this blog, I can't help but think of the life of a shepherd tending his/her sheep. What's that?!? The Yarn group (including Knits, Knitscene, Crochet and all special issues) editorial manager is our profile today. Her job is to basically herd sheep! Although sometimes she may think she's herding cats.
Meet our fabulous Allison Mackin!
Her professional side:
1. Tell us about your work history here at Interweave.
I started working at Interweave as an intern for PieceWork magazine (still one of my favorites!) about five years ago. Since then, I've been fortunate to work in various editorial capacities with many of Interweave's magazines, including Spin-Off, Handwoven, Stringing, Beadwork, and now Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, and Knitscene.
2. What are your current job responsibilities?
As the managing editor, I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work. My main responsibility is to keep the magazines running on schedule and within budget. That means working closely with our editorial staff and many other departments within the company.
3. What is a favorite task and why?
Another part of my job is reading all of the pages of the magazines before they go to the printer to make sure that everything is correct and consistent. Strange but true: I absolutely love this part of my job. Sure, I have to check that page numbers are right and that text is formatted correctly, but I also get to see all of the gorgeous projects and read the interesting articles.
4. What do you find most challenging?
Seeing all of the beautiful projects is actually sort of a challenge. I'm only a beginning knitter, but already have a huge pile of magazines with turned-down corners for projects that I want to make. I have no idea how I'll ever make them all! And I still need to learn to crochet, which will open up a whole other world of temptation.
5. Who do you share an office with?
I share an office with Ms. Amy Palmer, assistant editor of Knitscene and Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts and Knits Accessories. She is a general wellspring of knitting knowledge.
6. Why is Interweave a good place to have a career?
The creativity. I love working with our great, creative contributors and editorial staff. Their beautiful ideas make working here feel really worthwhile. And imagine going to the lunch room and sitting down to eat-only to realize that you're sitting next to knitting guru, Ann Budd! It's very fun.
Her personal side:
In my last blog post I promised that you would share a little about your life changing event.
I just got married a few months ago! We've had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family. We really enjoyed our small family ceremony, which we had in the West of Ireland. We chose Ireland because my father grew up there and his side of the family lives there now. It was really special to be able to celebrate with them. We had the ceremony at an historic country house that I visited when I was young and had always loved.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in beautiful Wisconsin and lived out in the country with lots of pets.
What is your college experience? Did you waffle or know all along what you wanted to do?
I have degrees in English, Spanish, and poetry. Earning my Master of Fine Arts in poetry is what brought me out here to Colorado (and is how I met my husband!). I was on the path to becoming a poetry professor, but had fallen in love with publishing (mostly literary journals) along the way. Those publishing experiences translated well to working on Interweave's magazines.
Tell us about your recreational interests.
As you might have guessed, I'm a "words" gal-I love reading and writing. Historical fiction is my favorite, though my favorite writer is Alice Munro, who writes mostly contemporary fiction. I also love to travel. Some of my favorite places that I've been include Chile, Cuba, Trinidad, Hong Kong, and, of course, Ireland. Australia is next on my list of places to visit because a dear friend lives there.
A few miscellaneous tidbits about me:
I'm an aspiring violinist, a vegetarian, a huge Bob Dylan fan, and a big-time animal lover: I have a cat and a dog so far. (See photo at the right) Someday, I would love to have a little hobby farm. I adore history and antiques, and am particularly fascinated by the Edwardian period. It seems like it was such an interesting time of change and transition. I collect antique photographs, jewelry, and furniture.
Is there a knitting technique that you are exploring?
I've always loved crafts. Right now I'm knitting my first sweater, which you can read about here. I have to say, learning to knit this sweater and for the first time creating a garment that I'll be able to wear really borders on magical. With the time it takes me to knit a single row, I've found that it's also definitely an act of self-love!
As far as techniques go, the Vera Cardigan by Alexis Winslow uses colorwork, which I had never done before. I was very intimidated by it at first, but it's actually a lot of fun to see the colorwork pattern take shape. And it definitely lets you know when you've made a mistake!
Allison's office roommate Amy is a profoundly skilled knitter and has helped not only Allison with her first sweater project but she has also patiently and generously helped me with personal project knitting questions. It might be a surprise to you that not every single person here at Interweave are "experienced" knitters. Don't worry: we leave the pattern design, writing, editing, technical editing and advise to the experts!