Chadds Ford Historical Society

Revisiting History

Chadds Ford Days Spotlight: By Hand

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Check out our interview with Susan Tripp, who will be joining us this September 12th-13th for our 50th Annual Chadds Ford Days.  She is one of our talented crafters whose work you can see for yourself this fall.  

Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, etc.?

I grew up in the Adirondack Region of upstate New York, and most of my family still lives in that area.  I came to Philadelphia as a VISTA Volunteer in the early 1970s and never left and have raised my own family here.  In my non-crafting life, I do accounting work for a non-profit.

How did you end up in Chadds Ford Days, and how many years have you attended?

I have been doing craft shows for about twelve years and have spent a lot of that time looking for shows where I can do well and enjoy myself at the same time.  About seven years ago, a crafter at another show recommended Chadds Ford and I tried it that same year.  I have been at Chadds Ford every year since then since it meets my two main criteria – it is a productive show for crafters and it is an enjoyable show.  The people who run the show are efficient and they and the visitors are pleasant, fun to talk to and easy going at the same time.

What is your craft and how did you get started in it?

While I have done a lot of different types of crafts over the years, the one that I enjoy the most and the one that I show is my knitting.  I learned to knit from my mother more than 50 years ago and have always liked the ability my knitting has to produce a sense of calm and a sense of accomplishment at the same time.

Do you use any local goods in your craft?

I generally don’t use local goods in my craft since the supply of local yarn is limited and tends to be expensive if your ultimate goal is to sell your product to another.  Some of the local yarn that I have seen is absolutely beautiful and if I was knitting for personal use, I would definitely buy and use it for me and my family.  I buy from a number of vendors that sell yarn made from natural fibers, made around the world, from Asia to South America.

What is it you want people to remember about your craft/how do you seek to inspire people?

I guess that I would want people to walk away from my booth feeling a sense of nostalgia, mixed with a feel for today.  Lots of people talk to me about their grandmothers and about the memories they have of her sitting and knitting or teaching them to knit.  I like the sense of connection with other generations that knitting brings to people and hope that seeing what I do, brings back those feelings and revitalizes those connections.

How do you seek to impact the community with your business? 

I hope that my business inspires people to learn to knit or to re-learn the craft.  I often communicate with people by e mail after shows about patterns, where to buy yarn and patterns and what they can do to start their own small business.

What in particular can we look forward to seeing at your booth this Chadds Ford Days?

This year, I have a number of new patterns in some very beautiful years from around the world.  In particular, I have a lot of items made from a Japanese yarn whose colorways are the most beautiful the yarn world has to offer.  Pieces made from silk blends, alpaca, merino wool and other natural fibers in vibrant colors should offer a lot of choice.

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