Maggie Pace started Pick Up Sticks! in 2003, when she was five months pregnant with her second child, Callum. After working as an editor for 10 years, Maggie was ready for something new. She had just discovered felting, and she found herself madly knitting gigantic, grocery-sized bags and shrinking them down into exciting smaller shapes. What she loved most was the transformation of the fibers: she could take a standard-looking wool handknit and turn it into a brand new textile, stiff, yet soft to the touch, with all the colors blending as if they had always been a single material. She was hooked, and literally felted everything that wasnt pinned down. This was the career she had been searching for, so she marched down to the city and got herself a business license.
Two weeks later, fate dealt a surprising blow: Maggie was hospitalized due to complications with her pregnancy. There, doctors told her if she wanted to save the baby, she had to lie flat on her back for the next four months. No sitting, no working, no running after her daughter, Kendal. It was from this mandatory confinement that Pick Up Sticks! patterns were born—right along with Callum, who entered the world June 14, 2003, full term, and perfectly healthy. (He arrived just in time to model Ball Cap, a design inspired by his birth.)
Today, Pick Up Sticks! patterns and kits are sold at stores nationwide. And weve expanded the company:
Joan has been working alongside Maggie since the inception of the company, encouraging and helping in more ways that we can list. She is a sanity check, has a sixth sense for when something is going to work or not, and does everything from feed us chicken salad to develop and test every pattern.
Kelly joined Pick Up Sticks! in 2006. She and Maggie met and worked as journalists together more than 10 years ago, where they used to take coffee breaks in Maggie’s Saturn, longing for the day they would run their own company. Who knew that 10 years later, it would be reality—only now its a minivan, and theyre researching old mill machinery and color palettes instead of city council agendas.
Thanks so much for your interest in our work. We hope you enjoy our patterns and that you get as much pleasure out of knitting them as we get out of creating them!