Vermont and Knitting

You knew my Vermont posts would eventually come around to knitting, didn’t you? I live in Vermont because of knitting. Not because I love to knit, but because my job is designing knitted projects and writing about knitting. I live in Vermont because my income doesn’t support living in Colorado or California, the last two places I lived before moving here, and because my husband and I don’t want to work for “the man.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love Vermont and I have wanted to live here since I was a little girl. But I don’t know if I ever would have ended up here if I hadn’t gotten laid off from my work-at-home tech job that paid the bills in Colorado. I loved my house, which was finally remodeled exactly the way I wanted it with oak floors, built-in bookcases, beautiful mosaic tile work over the butcher block cutting board, and a hand-made Mexican sink in the master bath. It took Dom over ten years to do all of the work himself. And that was just inside the house! In the yard we had a vegetable garden, a berry patch, grapes, a kitchen herb garden, and a dye garden. Not to mention the flowers!

Oh, how I loved my house and yard in Colorado! And even though the weather was too hot and the altitude was too high, I probably would have stayed there forever if the money had lasted. But I got laid off and a few months later, Dom quit his dairy-farm job with carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and a long list of other aches and pains. It was a body breaking job. It was a soul sucking job, too.

Colorado House Pano

So there we were with a beautiful house and no income except for unemployment insurance and my knitting jobs. And enough equity in our house to buy a big, old, fixer-upper farmhouse in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, also sometimes known as “old Vermont,” where you may go to your favorite store and find out it’s closed today because the open flag is not up or there’s a sign on the door saying that the kids had a soccer game. We live in the poor corner of Vermont, and we love it.

Vermont House Pano

We will probably never get this huge house and 2-acre lot fixed up the way we had our smaller house and 1/4-acre lot fixed up in Colorado. The floors will never be completely level and our yard will never be perfectly manicured. We won’t have a Mini Cooper or Mustang convertible in the driveway. But knitting pays the bills and frees us from the alarm clock.

And we are happy.

  1. So much to be said for having more by doing with less! I’m working on building my online empire so I can continue to live in and enjoy my cottage in Virginia Beach. It’s not the fanciest place but it’s cozy, and I love it. I definitely prefer to have less and support myself by being creative than have everything and be miserable. You have certainly inspired me to just keep working at it. Thank you! Glad to find your online home.

  2. Donna, you are in the right place! After brief sojourns in Canada, NJ, & Massachusetts, we have lived in Vermont since the ’60s, and are on our third old fixer-upper house (and hopefully the last, seeing as we are both retired from all kinds of jobs – electronic engineering, town officer, house maintenance; knitting shop managing, pattern designing, horse-breeding farm). Three monthly spinning groups keep me sane these days. Wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

  3. Donna with you’re beautiful creative mind and the love of your man you will make this place your new corner of a magnificent world,,, look at that awesome view!!!! I am alone and have found the love of my life, ME! I lost my little cabin home but found a new safe and beautiful to me place that may not be a show case but I can bloom here with all my things around me , a stash of yarn, an ongoing collection of needles, my ipad and craftsy classes, my family is nearby as well as a special group of people I can call friend as well as an ever growing amazing group of knitters I have met either in person or through online classes or groups…. Life is what we make it, we are so lucky to wake up healthy in an environment we have created for ourselves out of choice or not, but we can and will get back to where we are fulfilled and can say “I am happy and contented here”.

    • Thank you so much! Yes, we love it here and we are making it our own. Those photos are from when we first moved in and already the house looks more like “us.” The main thing I love is that I have a lot of room for a studio and classroom, so the business has spread out and has a home, too.

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