Get to know the PLY team: Beth Vincelette

Beth provides PLY’s customer service, so when you write to the contact us email address or call the PLY phone number, Beth is who you’ll reach!

Tell us a little bit about yourself, what fiber craft(s) you do, and how you got started in the fiber world.

Knitting is my “main” fiber art, but I also love quilting, spinning (obviously), needlepoint, and sewing. I also dabble in weaving. Oh, and photography. And drawing and watercolor painting have recently been added in to the mix. It all got started in the Girl Scouts when I earned the Knitting badge. Other than that, I was a pretty terrible scout! I’m not one to blindly follow along with whatever the rest of the crowd is doing, so that was a mismatch from the get-go.

Tell us about how you got started with your role at PLY and what you do for PLY.

My best friend told me about the opening at PLY after she saw it on Facebook, and I still don’t know why she didn’t keep it for herself! She would have been an excellent choice. She’s also the one I blame for getting me into spinning because she raises Finns and I think she just wanted to off-load some of her fleeces! Anyway, I sent in a totally non-traditional email as an application, didn’t include a resumé, and was completely shocked when I made the cut to have an online interview with Jacey, and even more so when she offered me the job!

This photo is from a
class with Franklin Habit on photographing your knitting. The man is genius personified, I tell you; take any class with him that you can!

And I must say that I absolutely love this job! I have had so many customer service and retail jobs where the clients were just so consistently unpleasant, but that has not been the case at all with PLY! Most of my work comes in by email, but I absolutely love it when our readers call. One customer even called from Australia! There are a few readers who keep in touch with an email every now and then, and it absolutely makes my day to know that someone on the other side of the country is thinking about me when we have never met face-to-face. What an honor!

What do you do with your free time?

Free time? Hah! What free time? Have you seen the list of hobbies? My beloved and I also moved to a new home at the end of May. It had been empty for some time and needs a lot of work, so that is currently taking up a bunch of our time. It has been a lot of fun putting our creative energy into faux painting techniques, using stencils for wall decorations, and choosing paint colors. He is orignally from South Korea, so finding a mutually-pleasing aesthetic is proving to be a challenge: he favors a more Zen approach, while I am left drooling over all the super colorful renovations Lucy Neatby has been posting on Instagram!

What else would you like to share about yourself?

We live in Conneticut with my two boys and two frisky kitties (Jacey and I are cat twins!). I fully intend to milk the “my house is a mess because we’re not done unpacking” excuse to avoid housework as long as possible. And I love the fact that I can do my job in pajamas and nobody knows the difference.

I used to be a bad ass. This was the test for my Third Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo. Before I hit them, those bricks were on fire. The man on the left, in the two-tone uniform, is my teacher and my beloved. I met him in class.

Am I a Consistent Spinner and Other Lies I Tell Myself

Consistency is tough. It has been something I have strived for in so many aspects of my life, my spinning being only one small example. As PLY’s customer service representative, I try so hard to provide a consistently high level of assistance to all of our wonderful readers. I try to make my spaghetti sauce taste pretty much the same every time I make it. But my yarn? Oh. My. That is another story.

I try, I really do. Thankfully, being a world-class spinner was not a job requirement. (Thank you, Jacey!) Please bear in mind that I have ADHD, and sometimes I forget to take my meds. For those of you who don’t know what it’s like to live with this type of brain, I refer you to the movie Up. If “Squirrel!” means anything to you, now you get it. If you don’t know the movie, it’s fabulous on so many levels, so you should watch it. Really. Without meds, I see a lot of squirrels on an hourly basis.

For example, I may start out with the intention of spinning a lovely laceweight in an amazing blue fiber that’s a blend of silk and Merino and other lovelies, and I’m fine until “Squirrel!” And my fully focused, mostly even worsted yarn becomes a mostly even-ish woolen yarn a few (hah! several!!) less WPI than what I started with. This is the sad but true story of my spinning life. I console myself by saying that nobody will ever notice once the shawl is knitted up after the singles have been plied. I mean, plying hides a multitude of sins, doesn’t it?

I consistently tell myself that if I concentrate really, really hard, I can make sure the rest of the spinning is 100% worsted so the plying will make up for my encounters with grey rodents. That my whimsy merely shows the “hand” in handmade. Maybe I tell myself that only expert eyes will examine my knitting that closely, and if they do, maybe they need to relax a bit and back off.

At the end of the day, the one consistent thing about my spinning is that I try. Sometimes I actually succeed. For very brief periods of time. The trick is to not let that stop you. You just have to find the “convincing arguments” (some would say “lies”; po-tay-to, po-tah-to) that keep you going. Find them. Use them. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. My personal motto is “It will be fine.” The “it” changes all the time. Sometimes it’s my spinning, sometimes the spaghetti sauce. Either way, I end up with something worth the effort.

PLY Magazine believes that Black lives matter, as well as LBGTQI+ lives. Those most vulnerable and persecuted in our communities deserve our love and support. Please be good to each other.

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