Create to Destroy! KnitPUNX
I found Breeann Schauffler of Kansas City, MO, on Instagram. She caught my eye similar to the Addicted to Chaos shop due to that classic punk style, so I ordered a fancy all-black silk-mohair blend 3/4-sleeve ’77 sweater off her…and then I thought, what the hell? Why not Create to Destroy her and bring her magical ’77 sweaters to the punk masses!
Who are you and where are your from?
Breeann Schauffler from Kansas City! I’m 29 yrs old, married, and with a crazy 2 1/2 year old.
Why are you a punk?
The only answer I can give without sounding completely cliché, is that it’s just the only way I know how to be. I got into punk because a friend’s sister introduced me to bands like the Exploited, Chaos UK, Op Ivy and Rancid when I was in the 5th grade. I just thought it was the most bad ass shit I’d ever heard. So I continued to listen to punk until I was in middle school. Then I went through a period where I wanted to be cool or something and tried to hang out with the popular kids. Found out real quick that sucked and that I didn’t fit in at all, so I went back to punk when I was about 15. Started going to shows at the El Torreon in KC and met all my best friends that I still have today. Punk music has always just made me feel like I can be who I want to be, do what I wanna do, and not give a fuck what anyone else thinks about me.
Why have you stayed punk?
I’ve stayed punk because I whole heartedly believe that if you can say “you used to be, then you never were.” Punks have a bad rep for being drunk losers who never do anything with their lives, and I guess that’s true for some, but I never thought that for a second about myself. After I graduated college, there was a period of time where I thought I had to grow up and be a responsible adult. I got some shitty corporate job where I literally worked in a cubicle and I wasn’t allowed to look the way I wanted to anymore. I had to be that douchey salesman type person at work. This may be dumb, but I felt like a real part of me had died. I stopped going to shows, never left the house and then it’s like I woke up one day and said fuck this. I had my son and got a new job where it didn’t matter what I looked like, and realized that being punk is what makes me feel like me. It’s who I am and who I’ll always be.
Any good bands where you are that we should know about?
Well, first and foremost, I gotta give a shout-out to my super supportive husband and his band, The Donner Diaries. Then there’s my good friends in No Master and Braindead. I also really like a band from Lawrence, KS, the Josh Berwanger band. They’re a rock ‘n’ roll type band and I think it’s pretty clear from my Instagram that I’m way into rock n’ roll and power pop personally.
Why are mohair sweaters punk?
Haha, I don’t know. I guess because Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren said so! It’s just one of those things that every punk has. A mohair sweater, leather jacket, and skinny jeans, haha.
What is your sweater labeled called?
It’s called KnitPUNX. I tried to do a little play on words, ya know, street punx, crust punx, hardcore punx, and then KNITPUNX.
How did you get into ’77-style knitting?
I got into knitting out of sheer boredom. Like I said, I have a 2 year old. So about a year ago (seriously, just one year) he finally started to go to bed at a normal time and I had all this time on my hands. I couldn’t go to shows as much as I wanted, and sitting on my couch drinking beer and playing video games got pretty old. I just decided one day, I’m going to knit myself a scarf. The very first idea I had in my head was that I wanted a Giuda scarf. So I was literally like, ok… Step 1…learn to knit. Step 2…put words on it. Step 3…make a sweater, because , well, I wanted a mohair sweater — haha!
What ’77 styles inspire you today?
I don’t know, honestly. Most of the stuff that I make is just band scarves, which transformed into band sweaters. So, I honestly don’t see very many people sportin’ Discharge sweaters.
How’d you learn to knit?
YouTube. It’s a wonderful thing. I’ve tried to learn a few times in the past but I never really put much time or dedication into it until after I had my son. So, I bought some basic shitty yarn from Walmart and some knitting needles and just watched videos over and over again until I figured it out. Like I said, I had a goal in mind from the very beginning, I wanted to make band scarves. So, once I figured it out I just kept practicing and practicing until I got to where I am now.
What was the first sweater you knitted?
A disaster. Seriously. I think the first actual thing I could call a sweater was a blue and black striped sweater that was too short, too wide, and had a sweet ’80s shoulder hang to it. Everything before that fit like a parachute.
Where do you get your materials?
All over. I eventually graduated to a knitting machine (which is the biggest pain in my ass, I hate that thing) but it helps me make more accurate band logos and I have to buy specific yarn for that. I buy the mohair yarn off a website online and then sometimes I’ll go to local yarn shops, but they’re usually pretty pricey. So, I try to find good deals online to keep costs low for customers.
What custom orders have you gotten?
I would say my work is probably 90% custom orders. That happened by accident. I seriously thought I was going to get maybe one order a month, but once people saw that I was making custom stuff, I got a little overwhelmed with orders at first haha. But the first custom order was from a shop called Addicted to Chaos. They make really awesome repro seditionaries’ t-shirts and we decided to do a trade. The sweater that they ordered had their logo on it and a skull that they have on their metal pins, and that thing was completely hand knit which took forever. After that, the custom orders started and just never stopped. I do have ideas of my own, but I just haven’t had time to execute them, haha.
Any tips for punks who want to start making their own?
Be patient. Knitting is hard and frustrating and kind of a money pit when you first start to learn. When you’re learning and fuck up on something that you’re making, you basically have to start over until you figured out what you did wrong. And that gets kinda expensive, especially when your yarn ends up in a big knotted mess at your feet. But keep at it!
How can we order from you?
Right now, the only way to order is by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m working on getting a website set up through Big Cartel, but I wanted to make things to actually have for sale on it and that just hasn’t happened yet! Someday I’ll have a website but until then, e-mail me.
Any last words?
Thanks so much for doing this interview with me, probably the coolest thing I’ll ever do in my life!