“Finarina” ? What’s that?

Finarina is a combination of my daughters’ two names, Josefina and Catarina. They were excited to know that I made their names the name of my business. I love them, and having them in my business name shows what my work is benefitting – an awesome life for them!

I embrace the philosophy of slow fashion, translating it into the meticulous approach I take in developing high-quality, sustainable fashion wearables. Another cool tidbit about the name “Finarina” is that in Portuguese, fina translates to “thin”, but as someone coming from a Portuguese family as a first-generation American, I’ve seen it most used to describe things that are delicate or detailed, like a lace tablecloth, for example. I do have dual citizenship and grew up with a lot of my family speaking Portuguese since they all immigrated from Portugal, but I am incredibly embarassed to speak. I get very nervous because I know my accent is weird, and I immediately forget words and basic grammar. I’m working with a tutor to work on my Portuguese speaking, reading, and writing.

The first completed project of Christina from Finarina Knitwear, which was a garter stitch scarf in a variegated pink, brown, and white yarn.

How did you start knitting?

My friend Meg had an impromptu “how to knit” session at her apartment back in college, and I started knitting a scarf, and apparently I finished it on December 30th, 2008. I want to say we got together in the Fall of 2008.

From there, I knit off and on, but not really too much into it for several years until I moved to North Carolina. I had picked my interest of knitting back up and used it as a way to meet people with like interests. Once I moved back up to CT, I was really involved. The rest, as they say, is history.

Do you work for Finarina Knitwear full-time?

I don’t work “full-time”, but outside of knitting, I work as a consultant under FKW Digital. I don’t have a set schedule, so I am fully self-employed. My health comes first, and working full-time is not in the cards for me. Part of my work has to take place in caring for my health. While I have a disability, I also live a pretty full life with minimal symptoms as long as I maintain my self care, so I can’t complain!

That being said, all sales go to support my knitwear design journey, as well as my family. I’m about as small business as they get, so any support helps!

How did the Instagram account for @finarinaknitwear happen?

I had a personal instagram account (I eventually branched that off, made it private, and created the finarinaknitwear account), and reels became more of a thing to compete with TikTok. I am not a fan of TikTok, but I was willing to give Instagram a try. My first few reels, I tried a couple things, and then when I started designing my first pattern, the Seed Dot Beanie, my account got a little bump in views with my Seed Dot Beanie test knitting call reel using a Bo Burham song. I just went with it. I didn’t have a social media strategy or anything planned, it just happened.

Profile photo of Christina M Gleason of Finarina Knitwear. Her hair is curled, a bit longer than shoulder length, and purple. She's wearing her orange More Simple Lines shawl and is leaning back, facing towards the left at the camera and smiling.

How did you get into the Pardon My Stash podcast?

I am active within the community we have created through our podcast Pardon My Stash, which features four crafters discussing different topics over a knit night gathering. We talked about it as like a, wouldn’t it be cool kind of thing, and the next time we got together I had podcasting equipment! The four of us have been through very serious situations, and the best thing about that podcast is that we get to listen back to these episodes in case anything happens to any of us. It’s theme is a casual knit night, and sometimes we get silly and sometimes we talk about more serious topics. My role is handling the equipment and editing the episodes! I’m a bit of a tech nerd.