Get to know Jen Andersen from Hanks in the Hood!

There are certain people that you meet in your fiber travels that simply beam with a passion for what they do, and no one embodies this like Jen Anderson, the face behind Hanks in the Hood. It is a quality that is infectious in person and hard to express in words. And since Jen is a local to us here in Portland (she is based out of Gresham, Oregon), I was so excited when I was able to spend a day at her shop (Andersen Fiber Works) and her fiber processing studio for a little video interview! All of us here at the office love Jen and of course, her rovings and batts from Hanks in the Hood. And personally, I am thrilled to be able to share Jen’s story in addition to her enthusiasm, drive, and passion for what she does everyday.

I hope this little video lets you get to know Jen a little bit better, I am sure you’ll love her as much as we all do!

Jen Andersen, Hanks in the Hood

Isn’t she wonderful? I love how passionate she is about everything from spinning, to knitting, the fiber arts community, and her family. I love her story and she is truly an inspiration to what one is able to achieve through hard work, determination, and following your dream.

And since my visit with Jen, I have actually started spinning myself! It was one of my crafting goals for 2012 and ever since the beginning of the year it is something I’ve been putting off. But after spending the day with Jen, I couldn’t help but get started! Since then, I have been addicted to spinning and I cannot stop! I have gotten a chance to work with a few batts from Hanks in the Hood, and I always smile as the fiber slips through my fingers and onto the bobbins. I think of Jen, her amazing sense of style and creativity – and I am so happy that there are wonderful people like Jen that fill our fiber world with such wonderful color.

While I was visiting Jen, she was also kind enough to show me around her fiber processing studio where she makes all of the rovings and batts for Knit Picks. The drum carder in Jen’s studio was huge! I can only imagine the time, energy, and skill that goes into learning to work this massive machine in order to create delicate puffs of color and fiber.

Check out the video below to see Jen in action as she gives a drum carding demo!

Jen giving a demo of her drum carder

Isn’t it amazing to watch? It is almost mesmerizing watching the layers of fiber be transformed into neat little center-pull stacks of roving.

And again – thank you to Jen for letting me spend the day at your shop and for kick-starting my spinning obsession! And don’t forget, Hanks in the Hood also makes silk hankies – even more colorful fiber fun for your stash.

Right now, the Fairhaven center-pull spinning batt is calling to me. What is your favorite Hanks in the Hood colorway?