CH resident turns love of knitting into a career
Hunter Hammersen first tried knitting when she was in college. She wanted to knit a scarf, and she didn’t enjoy it. A few years later, she tried knitting a scarf again, and she still didn’t like it. Then, in 2007, she knitted a pair of socks, and she really loved it. Since then, Hammersen has become “totally obsessed” with knitting, and has written seven books about the subject.
“It's a total rookie mistake to make a scarf for your first project,” Hammersen said. “A scarf is really long and can be terribly boring to create. I know plenty of experienced knitters who don't like knitting scarves, and expecting a beginner to get through one is wildly over-optimistic. Socks are more entertaining than scarves because you change what you're doing as you move along. Just as you're starting to lose interest, you start doing something new. They're much better for folks with short attention spans!”
Hammersen, who is 36 years old and lives on Silsby Road in Cleveland Heights, spent much of her childhood in Europe. Her father was in the U.S. Army and was based in Germany. The family moved around a lot, and Hammersen went to 12 different schools before attending high school.
She moved to Cleveland to study civil engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), wound up switching majors, and graduated with a degree in history. She then attended Cleveland State University, where she earned a master’s degree in history. She went back to CWRU to get a doctorate in history, but decided she wanted to focus on knitting instead.
Her first book, Silk Road Socks, was published by Cooperative Press in 2011. Since then, she has self-published six books: Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet (2012), Rabble Rousers: What to Knit When You Are Up to No Good (2012), Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume 2 (2013), Ne’er-Do-Well Knits: Make a Little Trouble (2013), Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume 3 (2014) and Curls (2014).
She is currently working on two more books. One will be published this fall, and a sequel to Curls will be out next year. The books contain instructions on how to knit a variety of clothing items, including socks, scarves, wraps and hats.
Hammersen develops all of the patterns, then usually has someone else create the finished product. Her books are available at yarn stores in the area and can also be ordered directly from Hammersen on her website, www.pantsvillepress.com.
The books are available as paperbacks or e-versions, for those who prefer digital books. Paperback prices range from $21.95 to $26.95, while the e-books range from $19.95 to $21.95.
Hammersen is very happy that she was able to turn knitting into a career. “It lets me work from home and do things on my own schedule,” she said. “I’m really having a good time with this. And it’s great how you can turn a hobby into a business these days.”
Hammersen met her husband, Brian T. Glenn, in a calculus class during her freshman year at Case. They don’t have any children, but they have three cats. She loves living in Cleveland Heights. She and her husband lived on Hampshire Road after college, and bought the house on Silsby Road in 2005.
“Cleveland Heights feels real comfortable,” Hammersen said. “There’s a lot going on here, and there are so many good restaurants. It really feels like home to me, and it’s really nice after traveling so much during my childhood.” She also loves the Cleveland Heights-University Heights libraries, and spends a lot of time at the Lee Road branch.
In addition to knitting, Hammersen said she also loves board games, and likes traveling.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.