Spotlight: Ali

Today we are spotlighting Ali!  We first met Ali as a client at one of our Knitting in Recovery classes.  Now Ali has been clean and sober for over a year, and she is one of our teachers for Knitting in Recovery!

Over the summer, Ali submitted several pieces to the Ventura County Fair and won three 3rd place, one 2nd place, and one 1st place ribbons!

Ali is currently teaching for Knitting in Recovery at one facility and will be starting at a few new facilities in the coming months.  We are also hoping to start a knitting and crochet group at the VC Arts Collective in the Pacific View Mall, which Ali will teach.

Ali has several pieces on display and available for purchase at the VC Arts Collective, including several beanies slouchy beanies and adorable clutch purses.


She has finished several recent commissions including leg warmers, beanies, and blankets, and she is currently working on a king-sized blanket for a family friend.  She is already planning on making beanies in sports team and school colors to have for sale at the mall space, such as black and gold for Ventura High School.

Thank you, Ali, for helping our program grow and better serve our community.


Donor Spotlight: Deb Thompson

At Knitting in Recovery, all of our gracious donors mean the world to us.  They make what we do possible, so we wanted to take the time to highlight them and share our deepest gratitude.

Today we are spotlighting Deb Thompson.


Like many of us, Deb learned to knit from her mother when she was young.  She mostly put her needles down until she walked into Anacapa Fine Yarns and was suddenly inspired to knit again!  (Who can ever resist gorgeous yarn?!)  Deb has also taken up weaving, in part as a means to use up scrap yarn, and has even ventured into spinning her own yarn.  She is part of the Ventura Weavers and Spinners Guild.


Deb made a generous donation of vibrant wool yarn, including some that she had spun herself.  We are honored to receive this labor of love.

Deb’s hand-spun yarn.

Thank you, Deb, for helping our program succeed in helping other women in our community.

Knitting in Recovery at the Pacific View Mall

For over a year, Knitting in Recovery has partnered with the Ventura County Arts Council (VCAC), a non-profit that serves the whole of Ventura County with arts education and advocacy.  VCAC runs a space in the Pacific View Mall called the VC Arts Collective.  The space acts as part gallery, part retail space, and part art studio and classroom.


Knitting in Recovery is very excited to be featured in this space.  Currently, we have a permanent display case full of work made by our clients.  We also have some pieces hanging along the display wall including a fantastic granny-square blanket and small pom-pom wall-hanging.  Our teachers and clients engage in workforce training and help to staff the space.


In the near future, we hope to establish knitting and crochet classes in the space and have an Arts in Recovery exhibition (including reception) including work from our knitting and crochet classes, visual art classes, and poetry classes taught at recovery centers.

We are excited about the opportunities the Arts Collective provides for our program and our clients.  Many thanks to the Ventura County Arts Council for their collaboration.

The VC Arts Collective is located at:
The Pacific View Mall
3301 E Main St, Suite 2167
Ventura, CA 93003

Donor Spotlight: Terri Nigro

At Knitting in Recovery, all of our gracious donors mean the world to us.  They make what we do possible, so we wanted to take the time to highlight them and share our deepest gratitude.

Today we are spotlighting Terri Nigro.  Terri has given generous yarn donations that we have spotlighted in the past.  Not only that, but she has gotten other friends involved in donating to Knitting in Recovery as well.  We asked Terri to share a little bit about herself, her passion for knitting, and how she got involved with Knitting in Recovery.  Thank you, Terri, for helping our program succeed in helping other women in our community:

I first learned to knit at a class at Sears when I was 10 years old.  Our project was a sweater (yikes!) that I made for my mother (who, bless her heart, wore it underneath her winter coat on a few occasions).  After that, I didn’t knit again until I was in my forties.  I had, however, cross-stitched for many years and enjoyed it very much.
One day, my cross-stitch friends went on a trip to a yarn store, and I went along.  I saw so many pretty samples and beautiful yarns, and I caught the fever.  I bought some fancy eyelash yarn that was all the rage and brought it home.  I looked up knitting on the Internet, and re-taught myself to knit.  I garter-stitched a scarf, and I was on my way with two new hobbies: knitting and collecting yarn.  After 30 scarves, I started to branch out to other items and stitches.  I’ve learned to do socks and sweaters and everything in between.
I’m even better at that second hobby: stash-building.  So when Lois at Anacapa Fine Yarns told me about Knitting in Recovery, I was pleased to be able to share a goodly sum of yarn to the project.  I also let those knitting friends know, and Marsha Blanton, Janet Mailhot, Lou Webster, and JoAnn Zullo added to the bags as well.
I’m grateful for all the good work happening at Knitting in Recovery, and that they are able to share this fun and creative hobby with those who find it brings them peace and a smile.
Thank you, Terri and friends!
Knitting in Recovery teachers bringing Terri’s donation to class.

Gratitude Month Donor Spotlight: Basha Kooler and Kooler Design Studio

At Knitting in Recovery, all of our gracious donors mean the world to us.  They make what we do possible, so we wanted to take the time this holiday season to highlight them and share our deepest gratitude.

Today we are spotlighting Basha Kooler and Kooler Design Studio.
Kooler Loft
Kooler Design Studio loft space
For over 30 years, Kooler Design Studio has designed and licensed classic and perennial artwork for the needlework, craft, and giftware industries.  They are experts in creating needlework designs, charts, patterns and stitch guides for any application.  Kooler Design Studio’s team has produced hundreds of books and leaflets for craft publishers.  As a service to crafters around the world, the Kooler Design online store carries many of their kits, books, charts and related products gathered from their various clients and publishers, including over 400 needlework patterns available online as PDF direct downloads at
cross stitch sachet samples
Kooler Design Studio cross stitch patterns sampled on sachets
Basha has been the president of Kooler Design Studio since 2010, and continues its great traditions today: To bring quality needle art and craft design to the creative community worldwide.
Basha at Best of Kooler book signing
Basha Kooler at Best of Kooler book signing
Basha was first connected to our founder, Lise Solvang, and Knitting in Recovery through Ruthie Marks, a dear friend and talented crochet designer who designed projects for many of Kooler Design Studio’s books for over a decade.
Donations to Knitting in Recovery come from Kooler Design Studio inventory.
Our sincerest thanks to Basha and Kooler Design Studios for helping Knitting in Recovery continue to serve our community.
If you would like to make a donation to Knitting in Recovery, please follow our “Donate” link on the lefthand side of the page.

#Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

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Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

There are many worthy organizations, but one of the best ways to make the most impact is in your own community.  Like choosing to shop locally, giving locally helps small non-profits directly serve the needs of your community members.

This Giving Tuesday, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to Knitting in Recovery.  Donations will go toward purchasing yarn, knitting needles, and crochet hooks for our clients, paying our teachers to continue administering kind instruction to our clients, and providing employment for a client at our storefront in the Pacific View Mall.

Donations can also be made in someone’s honor and given as a gift.

Gift in your honor card

If you would like to donate, click here or follow the “Donate” link on the left-hand side of the blog.  If you are making a donation in someone else’s name and would like the “A gift has been made in your honor” card seen above, please email

Knitting in Recovery at Focus on the Masters Gift Shop

Knitting in Recovery is currently at the Focus on the Masters Holiday Gift Shop.

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Local friends, come stop by!

The event is open this weekend only:

83 S Palm St, Ventura, CA

Saturday: 10 am-5pm

Sunday 12 pm-4 pm

Our clients have been working hard crafting lovely, cozy things to sell at this event.  They are thrilled to be represented alongside such talented local artists.

The event features 23 local Ventura County artists selling paintings, jewelry, ceramics, artisan soap, quilts, silk scarves, holiday cards, and more.

A portion of the profits go toward Focus on the Masters (FOTM), a Ventura-based non-profit art appreciation organization that documents, preserves and presents the works and lives of accomplished contemporary artists, emphasizing the importance of the arts to a healthy society.  FOTM is going into their 23rd year of programming.  Find out more about the organization here.