In 2012 I started a creative business under the name of Little Dandelion with a minimum of handmade product on hand and these four beautiful images of them styled by Glen Proebstel and photographed by Sharyn Cairns. Under this name, I went on to develop K1S1 Extreme Knitting yarn, created high quality large scale knits and throw, taught extreme knitting in many parts of the world and unlocked a latent artistic ability, with many large scale art installations now gracing the walls of private residences and commercial spaces across the globe.
So much has changed since I launched Little Dandelion. I have changed. It has been an incredible journey of self discovery. We never stop learning of course and life can be a very rough ride. I have often thought of giving up. Making a living from a handmade creative enterprise is not the easiest path to take and my skills as a business woman haven't always been sharp. There have been many disappointments and heartaches with which to grapple. But I didn't give up. I'm too stubborn and determined to give up. I am starting over under my own name and with a new story to write. So welcome to my brand new website - jacquifink.com
For those of you who are new here I have set out below my first Blog Post dated 17 April 2012 on my old site Little Dandelion. This is my Origin Story. It's very personal and raw. I still cry when I read it. Grief is a tough master and I remain gripped by it three years since my beautiful mother's passing on 30 April 2018, such was the depth of my love for her. I continue to honour my mum Marion through my work as without her, it would never have come to be. Love you Mum xoxox
"In late October 2009, my Mother was in the end stages of a terminal lung disease. As I flew north to say my goodbyes, my Husband took my middle child for a long walk, taking in the beautiful artworks of Sculptures by The Sea. My Little Fella found a little dandelion and, as we always do in my family, picked it up and made a wish. He looked up at his Dad and asked, "Will my wish come true?". My Hubby answered, "if it is a heartfelt wish, it will come true.". "Oh good," said my Little Fella happily, "because I've just wished for Nan to get new lungs". "Oh bugger", quietly thought my Hubby.
Many hours later at Prince Charles Hospital and in the precious care of some awe-inspiring physicians (special mention on my part to the dreamy Dr Dan Chambers), surgeons, ICU nurses and the Transplant Team, my Mother received a double lung transplant. Thanks to a generous and loving donor and their dear family, my Little Fella's wish came true and my Mother was given a second chance at life.
In the days and weeks that followed, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to be given more time with my Mother. It was my Mother who taught me to knit. Mum can whip up anything with a pattern and a set of knitting needles. I'm more of a free form knitter. I don't like the pressure of a pattern. I'm not big on feeling constrained by the need for things to be a certain way. Even though I have been knitting since childhood, I had never committed the process of casting on and off to memory. That was always Mum's job. Silly I know, but I just took it for granted that she'd always be around to cast on and off at my leisure.
That fateful weekend in October changed all that for me. I had been searching for something to turn my mind and hands to for sometime before then. After a law degree, some seriously hard work in my Hubby's business over many years, three children and 8 house moves, I desperately wanted something to do for myself and I wanted it to be creative. I needed to nourish my soul and to find a "room of one's own".
When life started to get back on a more even keel, I had this overwhelming urge to knit blankets. Not the kind that your Nanna would make, as in delicate, perfect and insanely complicated creations; I wanted to knit chunky and highly textural pieces that took on a life of their own. I wanted to create rebellious and crazy blankets that would make people stop and look.
So, post transplant, I got my Mother on the phone and would not let her off until I had committed the cast on/off process to memory. Turns out I got it completely wrong and laboured under the misapprehension for weeks until my Mother, on an interstate visit, politely pointed out that I had invented a new method for casting on/off. Oops!
The idea of "Little Dandelion" teetered on the edge for quite sometime until one afternoon, over a cup of tea, a dear friend said to me, "Jacqui, so many people have "good ideas" but unless you actually do something to get your idea from A to B it will always remain just a "good idea". My Friend's advice really resonated with me and it has sustained me through some considerable curve balls thrown in Little Dandelion's path.
Fast forward two years, an interstate move and back, 3 school changes, much experimentation, some very good advice and many many hours of knitting and here we are. We are good to go people. Thanks to all my loved ones for your support and a special thank you to my Little Fella and a very precious little dandelion who gave me back my Mother."
You write, knit, create, work, relate with heart and soul and make the world a beautiful and better place.
Thank you, Jacqui, for being a blessing!
Oh, Jacqui, I love this story! I just discovered your work through Knit Stars Season 6 and popped over here to investigate. :) I’m also a double lung transplant recipient—I’m so glad your mom received her transplant and that you had more time with her. Can’t wait to take your class!