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Our heartiest congratulations to Safiyyah on the publication of her book, Knit 2 Socks in 1: Discover the Easy Magic of Turning One Long Sock into a Pair! that explores a second-sock-syndrome-busting method for knitting everyone’s favorite accessories. Today she takes us into her home for a look at the things that inspire and support her as a knitter and designer.

—Ann and Kay

Last year I replaced my work desk with a futon, and it literally changed my life. It reclines at the perfect angle for knitting and it’s way more comfy than my office chair! Usually during the week it is in a “couch” position where it becomes the prime location for filming the True Crime and Knit podcast, sponsored posts, or just anything really. And if I’ve had a particularly hard work day or mom day, or (shudder) both, it transforms into a comfy bed to hide in so that I can knit, design, or sketch in peace.  

In high school, building my fashion portfolio to apply to the Fashion Institute of Technology, I needed an affordable knitted swatch to represent the fabric I wanted to use in a sweater dress design. So I went to Walmart and picked out this gorgeous deep forest green yarn along with some knitting needles. I went online for a tutorial (this was before YouTube, so all I found were a few grainy videos that looked like they were shot on a potato) and I sat up all night learning how to cast on.

When the portfolio was done and sent off, I had yarn left over, so I knitted it into an infinity scarf while watching a corny horror film. I didn’t have a pattern or a plan or anything really, I just felt deep in my being that I needed to knit. At this time in life, I was under a lot of stress. We were in the middle of recession, I was being viciously bullied at school, and my home life was a wreck, but even now I still remember how freeing it felt to release all of that baggage into my knitting. Now that scarf is on display in my “yarn office” keeping my cardboard taxidermy antelope warm.

Though knitting is my dream job, sometimes I need a mental break. So in comes my harp. I bought my harp in the middle of the pandemic. It came as a DIY kit—just a heap of wood and cardboard that I spent a month painting and putting together. I’m still a beginner, but playing the harp helps my soul when I am tired or frustrated or uninspired. 

I love to indulge in hot drinks, but because I have a toddler I have to use an ugly travel mug to prevent said drinks from being dumped on everyone and everything. So, as soon as I lay that child down for a nap, all of the breakable mugs come out! Many of these mugs have been part of my collection for years and survived many moves, and as a result have chips and cracks. But that just gives them character. And I keep these drinks super hot on my candle warmer that I use as a heated coaster. Best impulse buy ever! 

I can hear you all now saying, “Safiyyah, it’s just a stylus!” But no, it is more than that! This overpriced stylus has changed the way that I do business. I use it to sketch out my designs, to draw out my ideas during online courses, to highlight key points in the cases that I research for the True Crime and Knit podcast, and for pretty much anything beyond that. I just used it as I’m typing this article to notarize a form for my son’s school. Being an artist, I prefer to use my hands over typing and my surface pen is a great compromise between tangible and digital art.

I literally cannot live without a good set of DPNs—and not only for socks—they are also my go to for knitting itty bitty baby sleeves on my son’s clothes.

I have ADHD, so for me to be productive, every day, I need to meticulously plan out my tasks. I love my dotted notebook because it allows me to not just organize my ideas, but to also neatly sketch them out. Whether these are ideas for my classes, patterns, or outlining a podcast script, my dotted notebook can handle it all. And once I have my ideas laid out, I can organize when to execute them using my planner. Usually, if you see me with my notebook, my planner won’t be too far and vice versa.

About The Author

Safiyyah is an author, knitwear designer, teacher, blogger and podcaster who works out of her home in scenic Indiana, USA. When she is not knitting, Safiyyah either spends her free time hiking with her photographer husband, her toddler son Beau, and chocolate lab, Arya, or enjoying the rural Indiana landscape with her two cats and angora rabbit.

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  • How wonderful! The big chair is a futon. I love it. It’s so hard to find a ‘chair’ without arms to knit in and a futon is perfect. I’m thinking of recovering the cushion on my IKEA poang chair which has been in disgrace since the puppy decided to eat the arms. I can see a lot of sanding now that I have futon envy

    • Really enjoyed your article and can relate since I have ADD , organized living has been a challenge even with copious notes every where. Your article brought a smile when I saw those cute kitty paws in the picture ! Thanks or sharing.

  • Thank-you for this lovely early morning read! I enjoyed reading some of the little things in life that bring you peace … ❤️

  • Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Thank you for the peek into your day.

  • I enjoyed hearing about your things, Safiyyah, but how come we learned the names of everyone except your cats and bunny? I think especially that cat whose legs are in pictures should have a name! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    • Ah yess! The kitty legs belong to Nymeria, her cat sister is Khaleesi, the dog is Arya & bunny is Sansa. They are named after Game of Thrones characters 🙂

    • Great article. I love seeing little things that other people love. And I can’t wait to get your book. Please contribute again. And again.

  • It feels like a calming balm to read about your happy place and creative niche. I listen to podcasts and audio books while knitting so I’m happy to have a new one to dive into!

  • You had me at cardboard antelope! The harp! The futon! Love it all. I need to find this podcast. I have the book and I am looking forward to making the socks in it and changing my life forever. I have a Marie Wallin sock kit – Fair Isle pattern s- and I may try adapt that to use a pattern in the book.

    • So wonderful to get to know more about you. Love love love your sock book!! I have done two pairs of the everyday sock. Pairs done!!! Swatching for Frilly socks. Can’t thank you enough for this wonderful idea and book full of beauties!! Now to find your Podcast. Hope spring brings lots of fun for you and your little one.

  • More Safiyyah! What an inspirational glimpse into her knitting life. PS And thanks to MDK I already bought her new book. It works! Hmmm I wonder how hard it is to build a harp…

  • You made me feel like zi sat down with a cup of coffee for a chat. Will definitely find your pod cast. Thanks!

  • I have only ever completed 2 pairs of socks. That second sock is always too boring to complete. I tried doing 2 at a time but the 2 balls of yarn kept tangling. Now that I have this book to do 2 socks in 1, maybe all that sock yarn in my stash can become real socks! Loved this glimpse in to the designer world. Hooray for the cat assistant!

    • Lisa, when I took a class in making 2 at a time toe up socks, my wonderful teacher, Pam Grushkin, recommended putting each ball of yarn in its own plastic bag. I used one gallon sized bag for each ball that I had in the kitchen and never had to deal with tangled yarn. I pass this on to you incase it resonates.

  • I really enjoyed reading your self sketch Safiyyah, and love the spelling of your name. A double “y” ? Well I never…. ! Everything you said was personal and revealing about you as an artist, a mom and a knitter. I had never heard of you before so am very pleased to know about you now. I hope Kay and Ann pass my comment on to you.

    • Candle/coffee warmer idea may have just put my microwave out of business. Love!

  • Hi Saffiyah! You are a wonder. Building a harp! I will have to check out your book, too. My IKEA Poang is my futon so I can really relate! I can’t help recalling some admonitions about knitting ergonomically, however, from Carson Demers about knitting with your head bent forward. He or someone similar talked about how heavy a head is and how much pull on the spine and/or shoulders it might be to have it bent forward for extended periods of time. Do you do that? My favorite position was lying almost on my back with my leg swung over the right arm on a particular heavy armchair perfectly suited to my height, which allowed me to knit with my head back. It was extremely comfortable but that ancient artifact is no longer with us so I am too often knitting with my head forward. Hope you have better luck. Have fun with your toddler. They grow so fast (and stop needing naps)..there goes your knitting time!

  • This was terrific!!! Thank you so much!!! I just loved learning a little about your life and how you work. I really look forward to hearing more from you. I’m also going to listen to your podcast. Thank you!!!

  • I too use a candle warmer to keep my coffee hot! I have 3 of them in strategic places around my house. Must find your podcast! Why have I never heard about it?!

  • Here’s a link to her podcast on Youtube

    Also MDK why no included links this time? Book, podcast, web page?

  • Most enjoyable read. So calming and love your creativity. I find it affirming and encouraging

  • Here is the link to the podcast:
    I just loved this post. I’ve never enjoyed knitting socks because I lost interest after making the first one—there might be hope for me yet. I need this book.

  • The book is a mind blower! Love it!!

  • My cat and I enjoyed having morning coffee with you and your cat! I look forward to experiencing your podcast soon.

  • Saffiyah, I love the look into your life! Whenever I need a recharge, I also turn to knitting & crochet, playing the harp — watch out, because my first DIY harp has been joined by 3 others! — and tea or coffee in one of my treasured mugs that have traveled the world. Thank you for sharing your designs with us!

  • Safiyyah, I love your book! And thank you for representing for ADHD, especially in women. I do the same kind of thing with my planner, or nothing at all gets done.

  • LOVED this peek into someone’s daily life and habits. it was so heart warming and cozy feeling, as if the public pretense most of us show to the world has been set aside and one can say “ok, this is the real me and what my real life is like.” Thank you for that gift today. I enjoyed reading every word. Good luck, Saviyyah, on your book.

    • Yes! I had the same feeling, but you said it better.

  • Thanks for that glimpse into your life and surroundings! And thank you for your inventive sock-making idea and book! I was able to whip out a pair in the Beautiful Barnyard Knits Carnivale I bought from MDK as a Christmas gift to myself in no time!

  • wonderful

  • Umm…i need to know more about the candle/drink warmer, please!

  • I want to know what the left mug says. I get a lot of pushback on my knitting and stash size and need more knitting props with attitude. I can’t keep threatening people with the business end of my needles.

  • What a wonderful inspiration this article is.

  • Thank you for sharing some of your working routines and loved objects. I was able to picture your setting and you working through parts of your day. I really enjoyed this.

  • Thank you for a peek into your life! Enjoyed it!

  • Thank you for this delightful, inspiring column. And for letting us into your process.

  • Thank you for the emotional lift you gave me today. Also I am envious of your two cats! I adore cats, but don’t have any in my life at this time.

  • I love everything about this. Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself

  • Safiyyah, I so enjoyed reading your post! It felt as if we were sharing some time together with knitting and hot drinks in hand. When you wrote “I just felt deep in my being that I needed to knit”, I could immediately relate. We knitters may hold our yarn differently, have our favorite needles, use different methods to cast-on or bind off, but we all knit in the same language, no?
    Another reason to be grateful for this post today is that I was reminded about your book. I read a while back on your IG that it was coming soon. I put the information aside for a rainy day, but life has a way of getting us sidetracked. Well, today is the day. As it happens, it’s going to rain, I’m knitting a (single) sock on magic loop (fav needles), and now just ordered your book. I can hardly wait to see it!

  • OMG. How creative you are

  • Thank you so much for the article, Safiyyah. You are such an inspiration. I bought the sock book, and love the pattern, it is so much easier. I will listen to the podcast. And look forward to more stories.

  • Love this behind-the-scenes look into your world!

  • Such a warm and intimate essay. I feel better having read it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Hello from a fellow Hoosier!

    This is great, I have a kiddo with ADHD and this is right up his alley…also, I really need to get better organized with my dot journal and planner. Thanks for this!

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