Photo by: Aaron Jones
There are a few local companies that really stand out to me in Michigan, they started as smaller local efforts and have taken off and made a name for themselves. Companies like Glass Action, Brightly Twisted, and ASTA are inspiring to say the least. All three of these companies were started in someone's home, the owners created a product that was cool, unique, and well made, so people wanted to buy it. We have already had the chance to talk to Glass Action and Brightly Twisted, so I decided it was time to learn more about ASTA, a crochet business owned and operated by Veronica Knight.
Veronica started knitting about 7 years ago and literally created her own scarf like item called the scarflette. She makes all her scarflette’s by hand and accessorizes them with some of the most unique buttons we have ever seen.
|Photo by: Aaron Jones|
She's a staple at DIY and the Detroit Urban Craft Fair, and one of the coolest ladies in town. Checkout what she has to stay about her company, her scarflettes, and the Detroit music scene.
HID-When did you start crocheting and how did you learn?
Veronica Knight- "I decided back in 2007 that I wanted to find a hobby, any hobby. I was feeling restless and felt like I needed something to do other than just go to work. A friend of mine let me borrow a "How to Crochet" book, so I figured I'd start there and if I didn't like it, I would try something else. I fell in love with it right away. I think the first thing I made was a synthesizer cozie. ha"
HID- What is the difference between crocheting and knitting? Is there a difference?
Veronica Knight- "Yes, there sure is. It gets mixed up all the time. Both are made with your hands and yarn, but Crocheting is a method that uses a hook and knitting uses two sticks that bind the stitches together. I liked crocheting so much because there is instant gratification in what you are working on. It builds up so fast. I have no idea how to knit, so I can't get too deep on how I feel about it, but there are a lot of people that do it that I respect."
HID- When did you come up with the idea for your scarflettes?
Veronica Knight- "Well, I always had a love/hate relationship with scarves. I am 5 feet tall, so most scarves were too long for me and always got caught in the door or dunked in the toilet or something, so now that I had this new skill I wanted to make a cowl for myself, but I wanted it to button, so I wouldn't have to deal with how to wrap it. I had a pea coat at the time and it was open at the chest and the cowls I made didn't cover all the way, so I decided to make it bigger to cover the chest, and then I thought, you know, it makes sense to go a little bigger to cover my head to, (I DO live in Michigan, ya know). So basically I made it for myself, then my friends liked them, so I made the scarflettes for them, then their friends wanted them, so I thought, why not try to sell them and the rest is history."
HID- Have you ever made the same scarf twice?
Veronica Knight- "Not for a long time. I really liked the idea of someone who got one always knowing it was one of a kind. But then I made so many that I had to start re-using buttons I had already used. It was too hard to keep track."
HID- Tell us a little about your experience at this years DUCF. This wasn’t your first year at the show, what brought you back?
Veronica Knight- "Oh man! It was amazing this year. There were over 5,000 people at the event on Saturday alone and I had 35 scarflettes made. They were all gone by 4pm. The event went to 7:00! I worked the rest of the day, night and the next morning to get 10 more done for Sunday and those 10 were all gone by 3pm. It was a whirlwind. I have been a vendor at DUCF for the last 7 years and every one of those years I have sold out of all of my stock, but never that fast! I really love this event and all the ladies at Handmade Detroit really know what they're doing. "
HID- Where can someone purchase your merchandise if they can’t make it out to one of the craft shows?
Veronica Knight- "You can purchase one on my new online store www.astacrochet.com."
HID- How long does it take you to make a scarflette?
Veronica Knight- "I think 6 hours. I do it kind of assembly line style, so I haven't timed it start to finish in a while. But when I did, it was 6-7 hours."
HID- Why did you name your company ASTA?
Veronica Knight- "Well, I am kinda crazy about old movies. One of my favorites is a movie called "The Thin Man". There was a dog in that movie named Asta. I thought it was a nice ode to my love a classic things without being too obvious. There is no way I could name my business Veronica's Crocheted Creations or some shit like that and feel good about it. haha"
HID- Do you make other items?
Veronica Knight- "I have, but not to sell, just for fun. I have crocheted a viking costume and a cyclops costume. I think I want to crochet medusa next. I love the idea of hard characters softly crocheted."
HID- What craft fairs do you regularly attend in the Metro Detroit area?
Veronica Knight- "DIY Street Fair in Ferndale and DUCF are my main go-tos. I have always wanted to do DIYpsi, but since it's always the week after DUCF I never have enough stock to do it...maybe next year!"
HID- I happen to know that you are a huge supporter of local music. What are you top three local bands that you think others should check out?
Veronica Knight- "Well, what kind of wife would I be if I didn't say my husband's band, Child Bite. haha But seriously, I am pretty sure I would love them even if I wasn't married to them. I think there is a lot of great music coming from Michigan recently. I am working right now on booking Berserker Fest and am discovering so many other great bands, it's really hard to narrow it down to just 3. One that comes to mind is a band I happened upon from Mount Pleasant called Cloud Rat. It's a 3 piece grindcore band with a chick singer. It's nice to see a band with the same grit and intensity as a lot of other grindcore bands with all dudes. Another favorite would be Old Gods. They're good friends if mine, but again, I would go see them play if they weren't."
|Photo by: Aaron Jones|
Check out this video explaining the many ways to wear a scarflette from ASTA's Facebook page and head over to the website to get yourself one of these now!