Blogger of the Month – April 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 13-05-2015

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blogger of the month april 2015The time has come round again to announce our Blogger of the month. Congratulations go to Heather from ‘Little Tin Bird‘ blog who is Black Sheep Wools April Blogger of the month. Over on Little Tin Bird blog you can take a glimpse into Heather’s life. One of her favourite things to share is her love of crochet and all of the beautiful things she makes. Heather enjoys taking photographs and there are always lots on her blog documenting her latest update.

heather - little tin bird

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

I’ve been blogging since May 2009, so that’s six years now – I can hardly believe it’s been that long!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

I’m currently working on another blanket using solid “Elmer” squares, I’m making them 4 rounds in size and using Stylecraft Special dk. I don’t have a photo at the moment as I’m just snatching five minutes here and there to make them! They look like these.

little tin bird blanket squares

Who taught you to knit / crochet?

I’m self taught, I followed YouTube videos and blog tutorials until I’d worked it out.

What was your first ever crochet project?

I made a small blanket that I ended up giving to my sister. It was 7×7 squares using the Attic24 “Summer Garden Granny Squares” pattern.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you crochet?

I love to crochet while watching something! I find that I am more productive that way as my mind is occupied as well as my hands. I don’t have a TV so I mainly watch whatever is on iPlayer/other online catchup channels at the time.

Is there a knitted / crocheted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

I treasure the blankets that I’ve made for my children, particularly my “Big Elmer” blanket that I made for my son, and the little cream/pinky colours Rowan blanket that I made for my daughter.

Big elmer

Do you have a knitting or crochet tip you would like to share?

Always sew in your ends as you go along!

Where do you find inspiration for a new project?

Pinterest is a wealth of inspiration! At the moment I mostly make baby blankets to give to friends and I just use the same patterns and yarns really, I look forward to having more time to be more creative and try out some of the ideas in my head. Well, I don’t want to wish the time away too much as I’m enjoying things right now but more crafty time is something to look forward to in the future.

Do you have a favourite knitting snack?

I don’t tend to eat while crocheting because I need both hands and eating slows me down!

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

Right now I use Stylecraft Special dk as my go-to yarn as it’s so easy to work with and it’s a good yarn for making baby blankets with. I really loved working with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino dk but it’s a bit out of my price range these days.

Do you have a favourite project? 

My favourite project is the granny squares blanket that I made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino dk.

granny squares

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

My favourite blog is Foxs Lane – I love her photography, her honesty, and the perspective on life that she shares. Just a lovely blog.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Oh gosh that varies somewhat! Right now I try to only have one project on the go, work hard on it and finish it, otherwise I end up with too many WIPs and it gets overwhelming. In the past I’ve had two or three on the go. Unless you’re counting things I started ages ago and haven’t finished yet? If you’re counting those then I have one baby blanket, one toddler blanket, two granny square blankets AND a knitted blanket in progress but I’m only actively working on the first two. The others are in hibernation!

What other past times do you enjoy?

Taking photos! I would love to improve my photography and I’ve been working on taking a weekly photo of my son with my SLR using manual settings but I just love taking photos all day long. I use my phone a lot for taking photos at the moment, I like the convenience of it, and I have been using the Project Life app to make a collage at the end of each day – I plan to make a photobook at the end of the year. I also enjoy going for walks (and taking photos), playing with my children, and spending time with my friends.

What is your favourite item to knit?

Just plain garter stitch squares right now – I’m using Drops Big Merino and just making squares for a blanket.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Be honest! And, think about how you’re going to store your photos. If I’d have known how long I would continue blogging for when I started I would have come up with a much more logical way to store them. Now they’re all over the place which isn’t very practical.

Do you have a preference when it comes to choosing your needles?

I prefer metal circular ones, I found that I couldn’t get on with straights. I think its because I learnt to knit after I’d been crocheting for years and I couldn’t cope with anything much longer than a crochet hook. It was weird enough having two needles!

Who do you knit/ crochet for?

Friends and their babies, and occasionally my family. Lots of my friends are having babies right now and I like to make sure that they all have a blanket.

Blogger of the month – March 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 14-04-2015

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march_2015We are pleased to share our Blogger of the month for March 2015. A massive congratualtions goes to……… Charm About You blogger, aka Lucy. Lucy writes a beautiful and colourful blog where she shares all of her patchwork and quilting experience. There is always a new project popping up finished with interesting embroidery or reading the journey through a blog post, as a selection of fabrics are gradually transformed into a patchwork design. Charm About You is the perfect place to gravitate for all patchwork lovers. It may well inspire you to dust off your sewing machine.

Read all about Lucy and her blog – Charm About You in the interview below. Don’t forget to take a look at her blog too. She has a fantastic offer and Black Sheep Wools gift card to give away. If you enjoy keeping up with your favourite bloggers via social media, be sure to follow Lucy @charmaboutyou.

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

When I began quilting I read a lot of blogs and didn’t have any friends that sewed. I starting blogging to document my projects and reach out to the quilting community. I made my first quilt in the summer of 2011 and that’s when I decided to start blogging. The friendships and connections I have made through blogging continue to inspire and encourage me.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

There is always more than one WIP on the go! My current favourite is my Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern by Jen Kingwell. I am hand sewing the blocks and enjoying the relaxed pace. I have created my own versions of the appliqué blocks because I wanted to incorporate some English Paper Piecing and have used different shapes to create the flowers.

epp flowers

Who taught you to sew? When did you catch the bug?

I am mostly self-taught and used a lot of different online tutorials to help me learn the basics. My Aunty and my American cousin both quilt and offered me lots of tips and advice. I did some embroidery when I was younger and still enjoy doing that occasionally. I have always had a basic sewing machine but it was reading blogs that encouraged me to really get into quilting.

What was your first ever patchwork / quilting project?

The first quilt I made was a present for my Nan using a very simple pattern. My grandmother is an amazing woman and she knits, crochets, embroiders and also paints beautifully. She made me and each of my children crochet blankets and I wanted to make something for her.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you sew? If so what?

I do watch TV while I am hand sewing, mostly totally trashy stuff that doesn’t require attentive viewing! I prefer to do one thing at a time so I might stop to watch Scorpion, Bones or Elementary. My days are so busy and noisy (three children!) that I prefer peace and quiet when I sew so I can concentrate, also my machine is so loud I can’t really hear anything over it!

Is there any one project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

There’s a few but one of my most treasured is the Bees of A Feather quilt I finished last year. I was in two online quilting bees, ‘Bee A Brit Stingy’ and ‘Scrappy? Sew Bee It’, and asked both groups to make me feather blocks using the Feather Bed Quilt pattern by Anna Maria Horner. After making some of my own feathers I put them all together, it was a bit of a puzzle and I used low volume fabrics to fill in any gaps. I hand quilted it and loved every stitch! Having blocks come from friends all over the world, the scrappy and beautiful feathers and the overall design make this a very treasured quilt that I sleep under every night.

beesofafeatherquilt

quilting

Do you have a patchwork or quilting tip you would like to share?

There are so many great books and resources online full of practical tips but generally I would say to sew what you love. Find a pattern that excites you, fabric that speaks to you and go for it! Quilting projects can take time and I stay motivated when I really want to see the finished quilt. I have tried lots of methods and styles of patchwork and quilting, it is fun experimenting and using different techniques so you can see what you enjoy most. I never thought I would love hand piecing until I actually did it. Foundation paper piecing, free motion quilting, appliqué, English paper piecing, hand quilting etc. – there are so many methods for you to try!

Where do you find inspiration for a new project? Do you choose the fabric or pattern first?

Usually my inspiration comes from online, I also see a lot of projects in books and magazines but anything can spark an idea! I tend to pick a project first and then find the perfect fabric to make it.

Do you have a favourite crafting snack?

Not sure it counts but probably coffee!

What is your favourite fabric to work with? Is there a particular brand?

I use many different brands and designers and like to mix lines rather than stick to one. I like modern prints, as well as 1930s reproduction fabrics and lots in between. Many of my projects are quite eclectic as a result.

Do you have a favourite project? 

Two of my favourite makes combine sewing and embroidery to create cases that I use daily! The first is my Sewing Portfolio Organiser, pattern by Kerry Green available on the Liberty Craft Blog. I changed the outer part and used a Sublime Stitching embroidery pattern. The second is the Embroidery Bag, from the tutorial by Sara Lawson. Both these bags help keep me organised and I really enjoyed making them.

sewing bags

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I follow so many, too many to list! I often use Feedly to keep up with the blogs I read but you can see who I follow on my Blogger profile.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Loads! When I started I just did one at a time but those days are gone and now I’m happy with working on different projects when the mood suits me.

What other pastimes do you enjoy?

Other pastimes?! I think I’m too addicted to sewing for anything else! I love being with my family, my kids creativity makes me smile and seeing friends and having a good natter is always good for my soul. I am a voracious fiction reader and welcome book recommendations!

Which fabric designers do you admire? 

I love Denyse Schmidt and her ability to create retro prints that still feel modern. Anna Maria Horner designs beautiful prints in gorgeous colour palettes. Darlene Zimmerman has adorable 1930s prints and two of my favourite modern fabric designers are Carolyn Friedlander and Rashida Coleman-Hale. There are many more I admire and I look forward to more fabric collections from Jen Kingwell and Ayumi Takahashi who both debuted their first designs this year.

What is your favourite item to sew?

Quilts! I adore making beautiful, snuggly quilts to cover people up in handmade goodness. I also love smaller projects like decorative items, zip bags and cushions for when I want a quicker finish.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Be yourself. I am glad I blog because it is a document of my creative journey. Only now have I started to feel I have developed my own style and am confident in my decisions when crafting. Join in the community; comment on blogs, link up to weekly/ monthly blog parties, join swaps or bees – it’s a great way to make new friends. I run another blog called Le Challenge with my friend Nat from Made in Home, we set a theme each month and people link up their finished projects and show how they interpreted the theme. It’s a fun way to get inspiration and get really creative!

Do you read any craft magazines?

I like Quilt Now! Quilt Mania, Love Patchwork and Quilting and Stitch. I tend to buy them when there is a project or article I would like to make or read!

Who do you sew for?

Anyone and everyone. I started giving quilts to all my family and friends but recently I have started more selfish sewing and making things for myself.

What one tool could you not live without?

Just one? Probably a needle! That is all I really need for hand sewing. For patchwork I couldn’t be without a rotary cutter, ruler and mat. There are so many great quilting tools available but those are the bare necessities!

Blogger of the month – January 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 11-02-2015

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blogger of the month january 2015

We are pleased to announce our very first Black Sheep Wools Blogger of the month for 2015. And the award for January 2015 Blogger of the month goes to………..The Patchwork Heart. A beautiful blog written by Heather Leal, bustling with colour and tonnes of crochet inspiration. Every post includes lots imagery to make you reach out for your crochet hook. For the non-crocheter, it makes you want to learn, as soon as possible!  Heather has answered our blogger questions and sent over a snippet, of just some of the tempting photos featured on her blog. Enjoy reading and don’t forget you too could be our next blogger of the month. If you write a blog please head over to this page to find out more and fill out your details.

patchwork heart blogger

Who taught you to crochet?

I was taught to crochet by my Mum as a child and remember making granny squares and my first blanket as a teenager. However it is only in the last 4 years that I have really taken my crochet seriously, and it has now taken over my life!

Where do you find inspiration for a new project?

I am a blogger and have a busy Facebook Page and Instagram feed. I get much inspiration from other crochet artists in these communities and I am often to be found on Pinterest too! I choose the pattern first and then enjoy choosing colours from my stash.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

Currently I am working on 2 blankets. I like to have a few projects on the go so I don’t get bored with a pattern or the colours. I find it increases my productivity rate if I can change from 1 to another. I am nearing the end of a bright coloured flower blanket Stylecraft 9090. It is join as you go so getting rather large and definitely too big to take out! My 2nd blanket just beginning is a starburst flower blanket which is very portable at the moment. I have just spent a lovely afternoon planning the colours for round 2 of each circle.

Stylecraft Flower

Starburst round 1

How many projects do you have on the go at one time? Do you like to vary between different crafts?

I usually have a minimum of 2 crochet projects on the go for day to day work and in my school holidays I enjoy sewing aswell.

Who do you crochet for?

I began 4 years ago by crocheting for myself and gradually crochet took over my Facebook page. I have had many lovely customers worldwide from my blog and Facebook. Nowadays I am changing the emphasis of my business to become a place where I can share and inspire others and I am currently enjoying working with magazines and yarn companies. In the near future I hope to run classes to teach people how to crochet and courses for learning new skills.

patchwork heart baubles

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you crochet?

My favourite way to crochet is in peace and quiet on my settee snuggled under a blanket or in bed! My life is extremely busy as a teacher and crochet time is precious to me!

Patchwork House

When yarn shopping are you always drawn to a certain colour?

When making items for myself for Patchwork House I am drawn to a colour palette of red pink blue turquoise and green. I do keep in stock though most colours in the Stylecraft range ready for customer orders.

The same goes for fabric really, are there certain prints that always catch your eye?

Im a lover of florals, anything Cath Kidston or vintage gets my seal of approval.

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

My favourite yarn for blanket making is Stylecraft Special DK for its affordability and washability. It is really soft and snuggly and comes in an amazing 60 shades. For mandalas, bunting, brooches and Christmas decorations I have recently been enjoying Rico Cotton Essentials DK.

Do you have a favourite crochet snack?

There’s often a mug of something hot when I’m hooking and one of my trademarks is matching my mug to me crochet! It’s the little things in life that make me happy!

Do you read any craft magazines? If so do you have a favourite?

Favourite magazines at present are Inside Crochet and Simply Crochet.

Do you have a favourite project?

I have just finished a special blanket for my daughter to take away to University. This was a real pleasure to make. She is a textiles student and was very interested in designing her blanket. She chose 28 colours of Stylecraft Special DK and The Circle of Friends pattern by Priscilla Hewitt. This was a joy to make. Each round of the large 18cm squares was made in a different colour and the pattern has a lot of texture. I joined the squares using a join as you go flat braid join which adds yet even more texture.

Circle of Friends by Prscilla Hewitt

What other past times do you enjoy?

I like to sew,patchwork and free motion machine embroidery are my current pleasures.

Where do you store all of your yarn and fabrics?

Since my eldest son left home I am very fortunate to have a craft room. My wonderful husband filled the built in wardrobe with shelves for my fabrics and I have free standing shelves for my yarn boxes.

Heather has been featured in this month’s issue of Simply Crochet magazine (issue 28) in an article all about tackling your WIP’s.

simply_crochet_magazine

 

 

 

Blogger of the month – November 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 10-12-2014

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blogger of the month november

Well done to ‘The Bumbling Bee‘ on being nominated as our blogger of the month for November 2014. We were all very pleased to see Hannah aka The Bumbling Bee nominated. She writes a lovely blog where you will find various crafty projects, including sewing and knitting, plus tasty treats too. Take a look over on her blog where you will find her latest post with the promise of a new project on the horizon. Which blanket will she choose? As always we sent out a list of questions, Hannah has kindly answered and with lots of photos too.

If you write a blog don’t forget to get in touch or nominate one that you have just discovered reading. We are always on the lookout! Head to our nominations page here.

hannah

How long have you been blogging? What inspired you to begin writing?

I’ve been blogging for just over 3 years. I had discovered the world of blogs about a year before that and was intrigued to give it a go. This came around the same time that I was getting frustrated by how little time I had for creativity in my life anymore and starting a blog seemed like the perfect way to help motivate me to get back to crafting.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

I currently have a few things on the go in the lead up to Christmas. I actually thought about Christmas early enough this year to be able to knit some of my gifts. I’m usually very last minute when it comes to Christmas shopping. I’m currently finishing a set of knitted owl lavender bags for my Nana, as well as having a couple of scarves cast on. I’m still quite slow at knitting but I’m hoping I’ll get it all done in time!

Who taught you to sew/knit?

My mum both sews and knits and she tried to teach me when I was growing up – I just wish I had been a more willing learner back then! I have fond memories of lazy Sunday afternoons of making things alongside her. She is my go to whenever I have a sewing or knitting question. Last year, when I decided I wanted to learn to knit again, I arranged a knitting night with some friends where another friend of ours taught us how to get started. I would definitely recommend that as a fun way to learn!

What was your first ever knitting project? 

This is the first year that I’ve been serious about knitting so I’ll ignore the partially knitted scarves from my childhood! I started making a scarf for myself but I made it up as I went and cast on too many stitches so that quickly became a blanket for my niece’s doll. My first successful project was my second attempt at a scarf!

scarf

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / sew?

Craft is my way to relax so I love to listen to laid back music whenever I knit or sew – I find I get a bit frantic with the knitting needles if I listen to anything too upbeat!

Do you have a sewing or knitting tip you would like to share?

Just give it a go! Don’t worry about it being perfect, I personally think that the best way to learn is to find a project that catches your eye and just pick up the thread or knitting needles and have a go. There is very little that can happen that can’t be corrected and if you do make a mistake just find somebody to ask about it (take your project into a shop if you don’t know anybody). I’ve definitely learnt best from my mistakes and have found sewing and knitting far more satisfying since I’ve just enjoyed the making process rather than focusing on the end product.

Where do you find inspiration for a new project? E.g. online, local yarn shop etc. Do you choose the yarn or pattern first? 

I can often be found on Pinterest and Instagram, the beautiful images just draw me in! I’ll nearly always pick a pattern first or at least have an idea of what I would like to make before choosing yarn.

Do you have a favourite project? 

Without doubt it is the cot quilt I made recently. It is the biggest sewing project I’ve made and it was so satisfying to finish it. I’ve been wanting to try quilting for some time but felt a little daunted by how involved it is. As somebody who tends to like to see end results quickly, I was surprised at how satisfying I found the whole process… in fact I’m planning to make another couple of quilts after Christmas!

quilt

Do you follow other blogs? 

Under the Sycamore is a regular read of mine, I love how craft is so naturally integrated into her life and how she captures beauty in everyday life so wonderfully. I also like to keep up-to-date with Emma Knitted and Caught on a Whim for sewing and knitting inspiration.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time? Do you like to vary between different crafts?

My house is filled with half-finished projects, I’m very guilty of starting things and never finishing them! I like the challenge of trying something new so I try a wide variety of crafts – I feel most experienced at making jewellery but love paper craft, sewing and knitting as well.

teardrop jewellery

origami boxes

Where do you store all of your yarn and fabrics? Is your stash ever growing? 

I’m a hoarder when it comes to craft supplies – you never know when that scrap of fabric might come in handy! I don’t have an allocated craft area so I’m regularly moving things around to try to create extra storage space but fabric is overflowing in our spare room, whilst I keep my yarn in the lounge to bring a dash of colour to the room.

What is your favourite item to knit/sew? 

I love to make things that have a practical use so any kind of accessory or something for the home. It’s nice to be able to wear handmade accessories knowing that they’re completely unique.

clutch bag

flower hair accessory

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Be authentic, it is obvious when bloggers are trying to orchestrate their posts to maximise blog visits rather than just be themselves and it’s really off-putting. Also, don’t worry if you’re new to design or photography…it’s best to just get started and learn as you go. I am certainly not a designer or photographer but I have learnt a lot in these last couple of years to help improve the quality of my blog posts, I’d still be waiting to start my blog if I had waited to learn these skills first!

Who do you sew / knit for? 

I love to make things for my friends and family, it’s a great excuse to buy new yarn when it’s a gift! I really enjoy the process of choosing a pattern and yarn that I know they’ll love. I’ll also soon be knitting for our baby which is due in February…so yet another great excuse to go yarn shopping!

Do you enjoy machine sewing or sewing by hand? Or both? 

I mostly use the sewing machine because it’s much quicker and a lot less likely to fall apart than my slightly dodgy hand sewing! However I’ve become more and more attracted to the idea of relishing the making process and I also want to improve my patience at hand sewing so I’m going to try to start sewing by hand more often.

Kanzashi flower

 

Blogger of the month – September 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 21-10-2014

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septof_the_month

Congratulations to September’s blogger of the month Barbara aka ‘Noddfacrafts‘ blogger. After finding out that she had been nominated as our Blogger of the month for September Barbara decided to pay a visit to the Craft Barn. It was lovely to meet Barbara and for her to get the chance to have a browse of the Craft Barn. Whilst she was here she kindly allowed us to take her photo for this very blog post. As you can see in the pic below, Barbara was wearing a beautiful hand knitted cardigan.

As usual we sent over the questions to Barbara and she has answered them with photos too…………

barbara

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

I have been blogging for just over two years. I started a travel log when we travelled from Lands End to the Orkney Isles in 2013 in my Camper Van AKA Damnvan1. This log quickly became a blog in which I talked about my crafting,vintage hunts, and travels.

80s sweater

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

My latest WIP is a shawl for my 88 year old Mum for Christmas. I do have multiple UFOs (unfinished objects) but I am trying to focus and complete this gift in good time, and not allow it to become another UFO! But life would be boring without UFOs!

shawl

Who taught you to crochet?

My Nanna taught me to crochet when I was a teenager. She could only do edging around embroidered cloths but in order to crochet you can start with very basic knowledge. If you can pull wool through a loop using a hook you can crochet!

What was your first ever knitting or sewing project?

As a very young child I was brought up to sew and knit. As a 7 year old my Mum taught me to use her hand sewing machine with which I made curtains for my dolls house. My Mum also taught me to knit. As an 11 year old I knit squares to sew into the sleeves of my hand knitted school jumper. These were to stop the elbows wearing out as I was always leaning on them! Thrifty days!

applique

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / crochet? If so what?

I do watch tv whilst knitting. I enjoy Great British Bake Off and the British Sewing Bee. I always think that I could win but of course that’s rubbish!

Is there a crocheted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

One of my greatest treasures is a tapestry covered chair that my lovely late father recovered in hand made and designed wool tapestry. This is what I would save if my house was on fire. (After the dog)

Do you have a crochet or knitting tip you would like to share?

The very best tip is when sewing,wool fabric etc,thread your needle with the two ends of yarn through the eye of the needle. This will leave a loop at the other end. Pass needle through material and up through the loop. This secures the thread without a knot or multiple stitches and is a tidy way of starting to stitch.

Where do you find inspiration for a new project?

I use the internet mainly for inspiration. I am a great Ravelry fan. I also collect vintage patterns and books which are a great sources of ideas. I browse yarn and fabric emporiums constantly especially when travelling in the van. I love the Black Sheep Craft Barn which is perfect as the staff are wonderful and I can have a tea and scone in their coffee shop. I am a pattern first girl. I rarely buy yarn without first finding a pattern.

Do you have a favourite knitting snack?

See 8 above. I drink far to much tea and love scone with jam and butter. Yum!!

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

I don’t have a favourite yarn as it is always the last one that I bought! But I am currently using 100% Alpaca and a fabulous Rowan Yarn called Mohair Haze.

When yarn shopping are you always drawn to a certain colour?

I love colours that are vibrant, clear and lush. I have a tendency to choose from the pink/red end of the spectrum, but it depends how I feel on the day.

Do you have a favourite project?

One of my favourite projects is my Bee Keepers Quilt. This is being made in Alpaca and Sock Yarn and seems to be becoming a labour of love.

bee keeper

Do you follow other blogs?

I follow lots of blogs. Mainly crafty ones.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Currently I’ve six or seven projects on the go. Many are put away in my stash chest but surface every now and again and I do a bit more work on them! Every blue moon I actually finish one! Unfortunately I’m not disciplined enough to complete one before I start another.

What other past times do you enjoy?

Other favourite pastimes include baking, travelling and looking after my Grandchildren of which I have three!

What is your favourite item to crochet?

My favourite item that I crocheted is a multicoloured, bright, Granny Square blanket which I made for my Daughter when she moved into her new home.

granny square blanket

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

My advice to anyone wanting to try blogging is give it a go. Enjoy the words, don’t worry about followers etc and blog away to your hearts content.

Do you have a preference when it comes to choosing your crochet hooks and knitting needles?

I have no preference for hooks and needles. I have one complete set of needles and hooks from my Nanna. I have another complete set from my Mum. I have collected a complete metric set for myself and I still don’t have what I want! I’m just starting to buy circular needles but even they come in different lengths and I have to buy another one!

Do you read any craft magazines? If so do you have a favourite?

I am a “Magaholic” I buy loads of magazines. I particularly like “Mollie Makes” due to its young, vibrant content and it’s links to the internet. I also buy “Simply Knitting” and “Knitting”.

Who do you crochet / knit for?

I knit and sew for myself and for my Grandchildren. After all knitting and crochet is very ” on trend” these days.

Blogger of the month – August 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 10-09-2014

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aug_blog

Congratulations to our August Blogger of the month – Cherry Heart. For a while now we have been coveting many projects Sandra aka Cherry Heart shares on her blog. Head over to Cherry Heart blog and you will be greeted by an abundance of colour and beautiful photography to tempt and inspire; two things that all crafters love to see. Sandra has kindly answered a selection of questions to delve a little deeper into her world of blogging. Be warned there are some gorgeous projects that will have you reaching for the crochet hook before you even finish reading!

sandra_chery heart

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

Well, my very first post was way back in May 2009, but back then it was just a place where I put my very first patterns as you couldn’t upload PDF files to Ravelry back in those days. Things were very sporadic at first so I’d date the real beginning of the blog as 2011. I’d been reading and enjoying crafty blogs for a while by then and thought ‘I wonder if I could do that too?’ I just wanted to be involved in that world, it looked like fun!

squares_crochet

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I’m supposed to be making a nice and simple granny square blanket at the moment but I started it about 3 weeks ago and have only made 6 squares so far. I think it’s going to be a bit of a slow burner.

Current WIP blogger of the month

Who taught you to crochet?

I’m pretty much self taught. My sister and I sat down together one night with hooks in hand and some basic instructions in a crochet book and that’s how it began. She is probably responsible for the fact I’m crocheting today though, it she hadn’t of encouraged me to keep going after the first 5 minutes when I was about ready to give up forever, who knows what would of happened?

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / crochet?

I almost always have something to listen to or watch while I crochet or knit, except maybe if I’m figuring out a tricky bit in a pattern. In the evening I’m most likely to put on a film or watch the TV, but during the day I like to listen to audiobooks. I love Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett and P G Wodehouse, the Jeeves and Wooster ones are my favourites, I can hear them again and again. Lately I’ve been laughing out loud at ‘Cabin Pressure’ which is a radio sitcom I’ve become addicted to.

blanket2

Is there a crocheted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

A huge white filet crochet tablecloth given to me by my Nan. She made it early in her married life from white crochet thread. She told me she would buy one ball at a time to make it with as she would have to save up in between to buy each new ball of thread. It must have taken her an awfully long time to finish it and it’s rather special to me.

Do you have a favourite knitting snack?

Maltesers are my weakness!

When yarn shopping are you always drawn to a certain colour?

Lately it’s blues.Particularly duck egg blue, I seen to be drawn to that like a magnet. And mustard, it’s hard to find a good mustard colour yarn and it’s one I love to use so I always have my eye out for a nice shade.

Who do you crochet for?

Me! Well, I do let other people get a look in sometimes, my daughter, my nieces, my mum or my nan maybe, even the hubs got something once. Mostly though I make things I’ve seen and coveted for myself. Or, more often lately, I make things because I’ve had an idea for something and I want to see if I can make it work.

pastel_blanket

Do you follow other blogs? 

Yes, many many blogs!  Too many probably but a few of my favourite yarny ones would be: Crejjtion, My Rose Valley, Coco Rose Diaries, Betsy Makes, Pink Milk, Cozy Things and Little Cotton Rabbits.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I’m quite a monogamous crafter by nature so I normally only have one or two on the go. Sometimes a sewing one by day and a yarny one by night.Or maybe I’ll have a pattern idea I’ll be working on and then something else a little more relaxing as a little light relief.

flower_crochet

What other past times do you enjoy?

I love to sew. It’s so quick and instant compared to knitting and crochet, although I’ve been too busy to indulge in it much lately. I’ve done a few pieces of weaving and have my own little loom, and sometimes I manage a little embroidery but I’m not very neat yet.

What is your favourite item to crochet?

That’s a hard one to pin down as it varies so much with my mood at the time. Usually it’s whatever I have a pattern idea for at that moment, so I suppose just playing with different ideas, seeing what works and what doesn’t is one of my favourite things to do at the moment. But next to that I think it would have to be a blanket. You can do so much with a blanket, make it as simple or as complicated as you would like, as big or as small as you like and the sense of achievement once it is complete is fantastic. Plus of course you can cuddle in it while you work. It’s win – win really!

blanket1

crochet cherry heart

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

My top tips would be:
– Be a consistent poster. You don’t have to post lots and lots but you do want to be regular. That way people will come back to check for new posts.
– Make sure your pictures are a good size. If you are sharing a crafty make people will want a good look at it.
– Read and comment on the blogs you love. If you get involved with other bloggers out there then you’ll start to become part of the community.

 

Blogger of the month – July 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 08-08-2014

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Drum roll please…………. and the winner of Black Sheep Wools July 2014 blogger of the month is ‘Just Pootling‘. Congratulations to Kate who is the author of the creatively crafty blog. As the winner of blogger of the month Kate has won a £25 gift card to spend on goodies to create even more fabulous projects. If you are a blogger or read a knitting, crochet or stitching blog we would love to hear from you, fill out our nomination page today.

Kate soon replied with her answers to the blogger questions and sent over lots and lots of lovely photos too. Read all about Kate and her blog Just Pootling below.

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Here is Kate

kate

How long have you been blogging ?

I began blogging just over a year ago, when I set up my Just Pootling blog. I have loved everything about my first year of blogging, from sitting at the kitchen table setting up my blog template, to writing each and every one of my posts over the year.

Who taught you to crochet?

I taught myself to crochet a couple of years ago by watching clips on You Tube. The pause button was certainly used a lot but it was definitely a case of mind over matter and a sheer determination to get the hang of it. I haven’t looked back since!

Do you follow other blogs?

It was just after learning to crochet that I discovered the big wide world of crafty crochet blogs. Since then I have made so many brilliant bloggy friends, and taken so much inspiration from so many other crochet addicts and knitty-holics.
Over the year I have had so many encouraging messages from so many different people and each message, more often than not, has led me to discover more and more wonderful blogs to follow, with projects to be shared, stories to be told and a multitude of beautiful photos to feast upon. It’s so hard to pick my favourites because I follow so many blogs that are all unique and individual, but off the top of my head I would have to say that for crochet I adore Jules’ work on Little Woollie – I love everything she creates as each new piece is beautifully bright and colourful and so modern. For knitting it would have to be Julies blog Little Cotton Rabbits. I am quite in awe of everything that Julie makes, her work is utterly gorgeous, so precise and perfect, and again entirely unique to Julie.

What is your latest WIP?

Ah, now there’s a question! Where do I begin?
I am a true crochet addict in every sense and consequently always have several things on the go at any one time. However I know that I am not alone in this as it would seem to be a very common condition with all yarn lovers !
I have just finished off a couple of quick little projects, firstly some cushions for the chairs in my shady crochet corner in the garden,

WIP1

 

WIP2

 

WIP3

and secondly a little string of daisy chain bunting, made with the wool left over from my cushions.

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daisy_chain2

What is your favourite item to crochet?

Blankets are, without a doubt, my favourite thing to crochet and I always have one on the go. I’m not sure how many I have made since starting to crochet a couple of years ago but it’s fair to say our house is full of them, as is our caravan and all our pets beds.

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For our home I like to choose muted taupes and creams,

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But for our caravan I have really enjoyed working with a bit more colour.

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I have had so much fun creating our own little cosy cottage on wheels.

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Who do you crochet for?

Pretty much all my friends and family have blankets that I have made for them. They have been of all shapes and sizes, but I think my favourites have to be the ones I have made for my three daughters for when they have all left home.

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Beth’s came first when she headed off to Uni,

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closely followed by Megs when she moved into her new home.

I’m currently busying myself getting Immi’s blanket finished in time for September when she leaves home to start at Surrey Uni.

immis_blanket

It’s quite a bit bigger than this now and I’m nearly at my favourite bit  which is adding the border. I’m thinking that for this I’m going to use one of my most favourite yarns, Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, in cream, and that the final row of the border is almost certainly going to have to be bobbly.

Do you have a crochet tip you would like to share?

Whilst I love having several different things on the go at any one time there have been a number of occasions where I’ve gone back to a project and suddenly realised I have no idea what number hook, shade of yarn or pattern I was working with.

My top tip for this?

luggage_tags

Luggage tags! Now, whenever I start something new, I tie a label onto the corner with all the crucial details written on it.

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Problem solved!

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And there you have it, a quick whizz around my little world of blogging and all things crochet. I adore them both.

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And so I’m off for an appointment with my sofa and my crochet hook. If you fancy a little peek into my world pop over for a quick pootle when you have a minute. The kettle’s on and you’re always welcome.

 

 

Blogger of the month – June 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 17-07-2014

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june_of_the_monthWow! It has nearly been 12 months since we started our Blogger of the month feature! In that time we have discovered so many fabulous blogs and it has been great being able to share them with you. I still enjoy looking back at the winning blogs and reading about their latest projects, and what they have been up to in the blogging world. If you have missed one of the months, take a look for yourself in the ‘Blogger of the Month‘ category on the right hand side of this page. There might be a blog you have never heard of before, or one you enjoy following already. Either way we hope you find a further  insight from our blogger interviews.

Our June blogger of the month winner is Made with Loops aka Heike. I sent over the question list to Heike and she promptly sent over her replies with lots of photos attached.

heike blogger of the month june

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

I started Made with Loops just over two years ago. As long as I can remember I have always been making things. When I left working in London behind and moved to Wales, I was finally able to fulfil my dream of working with yarn. Working for Rowan Yarns as a design consultant and teaching workshops let to starting a knitting group, and writing a blog was the next step. Initially it was to keep a diary for myself, but it has steadily grown into what it is today…a work in progress.

crochet_knit_cushions

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I find it impossible to work on just one project at any one time. At the moment I am working on a new knitted shawl design and crochet table centrepiece, as well as my project 2014, which is a knitted blanket, made of all my odd balls of merino DK yarn.

coasters_flowers

knitted_shawl

Who taught you to crochet and knit?

Both my grandmother’s taught me, one taught me to knit and the other to crochet. I started when I was about seven years old.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / crochet?

I generally work in my studio, which is a computer and TV free zone. My radio keeps me entertained throughout the day, usually I swap between Radio 4, Classic FM and Radio 2, depending what time of day it is.

crochet_washcloth

Is there a crocheted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

I truly treasure all hand made items that I have been given or made myself. Just think of all the work that goes into something made by hand, and all the love and thoughts that the maker puts into the item – priceless!

Do you have a crochet or knitting tip you would like to share?

I have many tips I would love to share, but maybe the most important of all is that it’s all about the finish of an item. A rushed finish can easily ruin what you have spent many hours making – So take your time!

Where do you find inspiration for a new project?

Almost always everything starts with colour and yarn. I see the yarn and the colour and an idea comes to my head. Immediately I start scribbling notes, either in my notebook or on my phone and then the next step is swatching…a lot of swatching. This is followed by knitting or crocheting the item, often having to frog back a few times. I write notes whilst I work, and eventually most things become patterns.

pretty_crochet

Do you have a favourite project?

My favourite project at the moment is my Project 2014 blanket. I love to sit down in the evening working on it whilst watching some TV. The simple and trusted garter stitch rows provide soothing relaxation at the end of a long day.

blankets

What is your favourite item to crochet?

I love the speed of crochet and the fact that I can be really bold and creative with colour. I don’t have a particular favourite thing that I love to make, but anything that will decorate the home is fun to work on.

crochet_mandala

crochet_lampshade

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

The best advice someone gave me when I started was: “Write the blog you would want to read” and “Give yourself permission to experiment”. Two great pieces of advice that have helped me find my own style in blog-land.

Do you read any craft magazines? If so do you have a favourite?

I love flicking through magazines over a lovely cup of tea, but my two absolute favourites are Selvedge Magazine and the Edition Paumes Series for endless inspiration.

If you have a blog or read a blog we have not yet featured please share away and nominate today. Click here to go through to our blogger of the month nominations page.

Blogger of the month – May 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 18-06-2014

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Blogger of the month is a great place to discover new blogs you haven’t heard of before, or if you have heard of the blog it is a great place to find out more about your favourite blogger.

This month our blogger of the month winner (remember the chosen blogger wins a £25 gift card!) is Kristen from the blog ‘Knitionary‘. Kristen writes a lovely blog which always features lots and lots of colour in the form of flowers, yarn and food, when you are in need of a spot of inspiration head on over to Knitionary. Read all about Kristen’s world of blogging in our Q & A below.

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

I started blogging in May of 2009 and just had my 5 year blogversary and didn’t even notice! I’m also coming up on my 500th post; I can’t imagine what I’ve had to say all these years! I started blogging to make a connection with others with similar interests. I wanted to share and show off a bit too!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

I work on at least a half dozen knitting projects at any given time. A few with tiny needles and one or two that can go a little faster. Right now I’m working on the Martin Storey Mystery Afghan KAL, a Kidsilk Haze Stripe top down sweater, a v neck pullover by Sarah Hatton in Panama, Guido, a gorgeous sweater using linen stitch for my son using Rowan Revive and Goldie, from Kim Hargreave’s newest book Honey. I love simple shapes using gorgeous yarn. For me, knitting is all about great fit and beautiful fabric.

stripe_sweater

vneck_sweater

ladies_cardigan

Who taught you to knit?

I’m self taught from a small pamphlet I must have purchased from a dime store. I can still remember what it looked like with a bright orange and green cover. I must have learned when I was in grade school because I remember making dolly blankets and rugs with garter stitch. There’s never been a time in my life that I can remember when I haven’t had a project.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit?

I most often watch TV and I love old movies from the 40s. I take my knitting everywhere, seriously, I never leave home without it! If I have a few minutes in line or at the movies, my knitting is with me. If it’s simple stockinette I can touch knit which is handy as it’s not distracting to others in meetings, etc. Because of that, I always have several simple stockinette projects on hand that I leave by the door to grab and go.

Is there a knit project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

My favourite sweater of all time in Pearly by Martin Storey . I made it back in 2005 and it still is gorgeous. It’s my husband’s favorite sweater and is knit in one of my all time favorite yarns, Rowan 4-Ply Soft, now discontinued. I love that knitting holds memories. I knit Lisette when I was sitting with my father when he was in the hospital. He was pretty sick but his eyes would go from my face to my hands and finally he said, “I don’t ever remember seeing you sit and not have your hands busy.” That sweater reminds me of the last precious weeks with my father.

cream_cable_cardigan

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

My number one yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I’ve knit countless sweaters in this lovely stuff and always have at least one project going using it. I miss it too much if I don’t! I’m a diehard Rowan fan and for the last 10 years have used it almost exclusively. I’m always happy with their quality and the beauty of their yarn. All of my favorite yarns are Rowan; beside KSH I love Felted Tweed, Wool/Cotton 4-Ply, Kid Classic and now Pure Linen and Revive. Because of my Rowan love, I applied and was accepted as one of 14 Rowan Ambassadors chosen from around the world. We are mostly bloggers and all of us are “champions of the brand”. At the end of June we will be meeting at the Rowan mill in Holmfirth, England to meet each other and the Rowan designers and brand manager. I am absolutely giddy about the trip and am counting the days!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which ones?

I love Slim Paley, she has one heck of a life. I also read French Essence by Vicki Archer. She always manages to have some fashion and beauty tips that I can ease into my life. If I had to choose one craft blog it would be Posie Get’s Cozy, it’s a feel good blog. For home decorating I would choose Tone on Tone, that guy has style! I love blogs!

What other past times do you enjoy?

I love to garden and entertain. Now that my husband is retired he helps out with both. Where we live in California we can grow a garden just about all year long. When we entertain, whatever is growing in our garden is featured in our menu. I love to set a beautiful table and over the years have collected a good selection of linens and more dishes and glasses than I’d care to admit! I often blog about my parties and my garden.

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vegetable_patch

What is your favourite item to knit? And why?

I’ve just started designing doll clothes to fit the 18” doll. I have three patterns now and offer them for free in the patterns section of my blog. I have more ideas and can’t wait to get the patterns written up. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had good feedback. It’s been good practice in pattern writing.

dolls_cardigan

Do you have a preference when it comes to choosing your crochet hooks?

I love them all. I switch around from wood to metal to bamboo to carbon. I am passionate about choosing the right needle for each project and wrote a blog post on that subject. I think the right needle can tame just about any yarn.

Once again congratulations Kristen and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Blogger of the month – April 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 12-05-2014

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The time has come to share our ‘Blogger of the month‘ for April 2014. This will be our tenth bogger of the month! It is hard to believe that almost a year has passed since we started out on our quest to discover your favourite craft bloggers. I really enjoy finding out who has been voted each month, more often than not the blogs nominated turn out to be a one I haven’t stumbled across before. I find when you read and follow one blog it often leads you to others that will inspire. That is what we hope to do with our blogger of the month feature, each month adding a new one to your list.

If there is a knitting, stitching or crochet blog that you are loving at the moment (it might even be your own) please share away and nominate over on our nominations page.

On to April’s blogger of the month, we are pleased to announce Crochet Concupiscence. Kathryn aka Crochet Concupiscence has answered our questions below.

kathryn

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

I am a professional writer who has worked in blogging for more than ten years. When I got hired for my first blog I didn’t even really know what a blog was but I rapidly found that it was a perfect medium for me. I love the immediacy and personal qualities of blogging but also take it seriously as a space to provide detailed research, unique opinions and develop my own voice.

I started Crochet Concupiscence in 2011. At the time I was doing a lot of writing work for other people that I didn’t feel inspired by and I wanted to start a new blog that would be a place of refuge for me. Crochet had become really important in my life and starting a blog about it was a great way for me to share what I was learning in the craft while connecting with a larger community of like-minded people.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? 

I have a few. At the beginning of the year I went through my WIP’s and realized that I had a bunch of started-but-not-finished crochet blankets so I’ve been steadily working on finishing those. I just wrapped up a large granny square blanket and am now working on finishing a post stitch blanket. In the meantime, I slip in a few instant gratification projects here and there. The most recent one of those that I finished was a crochet cowl.

large granny blanket

post stitch blanket

cowl

And my other big WIP is my next book, Hook to Heal, which will be out later this year. It’s a book of creativity exercises to help crocheters enhance their lives, relationships and health. My last book, Crochet Saved My Life, was a research and story-based book about the health benefits of crochet and this one is more of a hands-on guide to using crochet to heal.

Image of Cover for Crochet Saved My Life

Who taught you to crochet? What was your first ever crochet project?

When I was a little kid (maybe 8?) my mom taught me to crochet. All I remember crocheting at the time was a long chain. It got so long that I wound it around and around a rolling pin. I tried lots of different crafts when I was a kid, though, and that one didn’t stick at the time but apparently stayed lodged somewhere in my memory.

When I was in my mid-twenties and battling a deep period of depression I read somewhere that it’s beneficial to return to things that you loved as a child and for some reason crochet came to mind. My mom actually was there again, taking me to the yarn store and picking up the first supplies with me. Neither of us could really remember how to crochet, though, so I ended up getting a kids’ crochet book out of the library and re-teaching myself. The first new thing that I made was a crochet scarf that ended up being way too small because I didn’t know anything about sizing and was just following the kids’ instructions. I still have it, though, and sometimes wear it as a scarflette or a hair bow.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you crochet?

I usually watch TV while crocheting or at least have it on in the background. I’m a fan of TV crime dramas (currently loving Perception, Elementary, Lie to Me, Hannibal, and Those Who Kill and a long time fan of the Law and Orders and Criminal Minds). I also confess to a love of really trashy reality TV (Dance Moms, Teen Mom, Catfish) and competition shows (The Voice, Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race). But sometimes I put on documentaries. Or if I’m in a music mood I’ll play Spotify and usually listen to a station based on Christina Perri, Kina Grannis or Dar Williams.

Is there a knitted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?

A few years ago a woman that I really adore and consider a mentor made me a beautiful blue knit scarf. Since I don’t knit, it’s a special piece in my wardrobe, and it’s special because it came from her.

Do you have a crochet or knitting tip you would like to share?

Yarn crafting heals if you let it! Find the way that it works best for you – whether that’s meditative or functional or as a form of self-expression or as an escape from the rest of life or whatever it may be. Don’t let anyone else decide what crochet or knitting is for you. Don’t let it be a “should” in your life. Enjoy it, celebrate it and let it work it’s magic in your life.

Where do you find inspiration for a new project? E.g. online, local yarn shop etc. Do you choose the yarn or pattern first?

I almost never work from patterns. I like shopping for random yarns and buying whatever I fall in love with. (I have a ridiculously large yarn stash!) Then I just work whatever I’m feeling like working at the time. Usually I make wearables for myself (cowls, shrugs and dresses) inspired by whatever mood I’m in at the time.

blogger of the month

blogger of the month crochet concupiscence

blogger of the month crochet concupiscence

Do you have a favourite crochet snack?

I rarely eat while crocheting. Which is good because I work from home and tend to be a grazer anyway so it helps to keep my hands busy and away from food when I’m not actually hungry!

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

I have a soft spot in my heart for baby alpaca yarn bought directly from fiber farms whenever possible. I like supporting indie spinners and dyers. I also like silk bamboo blends. Anything super soft, really. As far as brand names go, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and the Schoppel Wolle Zauberball are my current favorites.

When yarn shopping are you always drawn to a certain colour?

Any variation or form of blue!

On your blog you have lots of fab projects. Do you have a favourite project?

Thanks. I love showcasing the work that other people are doing and there are so many great things out there that it’s way too hard to pick just one. What I most respect is people who do really beautiful work with a lot of colors. I tend to work in just a few colors at a time so I find this really different from what I do and really special. I also really, really love following the work of different crochet artists who do amazing one-of-a-kind pieces.

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

Obsessively. I follow more than 300 crochet-specific blogs through Feedly and then a handful of others in crafting and DIY. The best way to see what I’m loving most in other blogs is to follow my Saturday link love posts where I roundup all of my favorite posts from the week from all around the crochet/ craft web.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

It used to be only one at a time but then I started that stack of crochet blankets that never got finished so now it’s more. Usually I’ve got one blanket actually going and then one smaller project going. There are about five more blankets left in the queue and then my WIP’s stack will be clear.

What other past times do you enjoy?

I love writing and have been trying to play with more creative forms of writing recently including poetry. I love mixed media art and do a lot of collage work incorporating words and images. I like photography although I would say I’m a definitely amateur in that area. And I love attending and supporting creative things all throughout the city of San Francisco including local theatre, music shows, festivals, films, burlesque and drag shows, dance, etc.

What is your favourite item to crochet?

Large granny square blankets. So meditative. So relaxing. So healing. And so easy but you have a finished product that is really functional and gift-able.

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Find your own voice. There are a lot of tips out there for bloggers and it’s helpful to read through them but in the end make your blog a special place where you do and say what is really true and right and real for you.

Do you have a preference when it comes to choosing your crochet hooks? 

I’m a Boye girl at heart (aluminium). I do love handcrafted beautiful crochet hooks – glass and wood especially – but I don’t find them as easy to work with.

Do you read any craft magazines? 

I write a regular column for Interweave Crochet profiling Everyday Crocheters. And I just started a new column on crochet health for the digital magazine Happily Hooked. And for awhile I was a Crochet Today blogger. So I obviously like all of those magazines. But I also like Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet, Inspired Crochet, Knit Edge, Mollie Makes, Vogue Knitting and Crochetvolution.

Who do you crochet for?

Me, myself and I! No, actually I do make a lot of crochet gifts for the people in my life and I love adding crochet details to other gifts as well but I definitely crochet wearables for myself more than I crochet anything else. And that’s also for my readers since I showcase all the makes on my blog!