Video: The Man Who Knits

A fiber artist is born on a business trip to Ireland

Part of the Vitality Arts Special Report

EJ Jones calls himself the man who knits. The former wine and beer wholesaler from Columbus, Ohio, was on a business trip to Ireland 15 years ago when he discovered Aran sweaters.

Like many visitors to the Emerald Isle, he bought himself one of these intricately patterned knits. Then, unlike most of them, he set out to make one.

Knitting became his passion. Now Jones is retired, and he spends several hours a day knitting — making high-quality sweaters and top-notch toques out of recycled fibers.

“It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” he says.

To keep material costs down, Jones also spends lots of time scouring second-hand shops for cashmere sweaters he deconstructs for yarn.

See how he shops, unravels and creates his designs in this video, which originally aired on Broad and High, an arts and culture television show produced by PBS affiliate WOSU.

By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke

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