Blogger of the month - July
As you may remember a while back, we began the hunt for a blogger of the month. Every month we will feature the winner here on the knit & stitch blog. Anyone can put forward a nomination and the winning blogger will receive a £25 Black Sheep Wools voucher.
The nominations have been counted and the winner of our blogger of the month is - The Little Room of Rachell. Congratulations Rachell! I sent Rachell a selection of questions, so that we could all get to know a little bit more about her and her crafty blog. Here is what Rachell had to say.
How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?
I started my blog on December 31st 2011, amazingly it’s coming up to my second year anniversary. Though sometimes I reflect upon and question the process of the whole blogging thing I have no intention of giving up.
When learning to crochet I wanted to check something and so Googled a crochet term. The results included Lucy’s Attic 24 blog, and so I discovered a whole new world of craft blogs, websites, book recommendations and magazines. After reading others’ crafty blogs for a little while, I decided to begin my own blog as a kind of online diary which would record my progress as I learnt to crochet. Of course it quickly evolved as I began to show readers places I visited, including craft shops, events, exhibitions as well as craft supplies I’ve bought. Occasionally I’ll share photos of tasty food or a recipe that is far too delicious to keep to myself, as well as other random photos.
I’ve also realised that blogging and social networking sites like Ravelry and Twitter can be a really good way to publicise charity craft projects.
What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?
I’m crocheting little sparkley silver stockings at the moment to be sold on the Deaf Access craft stall in the autumn by my friend Gill.
I’m also crocheting and knitting more mice for the Mile of Mice fundraiser and Guinness World Record attempt, to be held in October, in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society. I’ve set up a Ravelry group (KAL: A Mile of Mice) in support of this great cause. It has over 110 members now and more are always welcome.
For more info and to contact the organiser see their Facebook page.
Who taught you to knit / crochet?
My Mum and Granny taught me to knit when I was a child.
Despite really wanting to learn to crochet when I was little I couldn’t grasp more than how to do chains. I was a late starter; in 2009 I crocheted a blanket which Mum started off for me and I basically went around and around crocheting clusters of trebles and chains until it was big enough. I still couldn’t really crochet, since trebles and chains were all I could do. In 2011 I decided to finally learn and taught myself to crochet from scratch. This was problematic at times due to most materials being aimed at right handers (see my recent guest post about left handed crochet for Slugs on the refrigerator).
'The Yorkshire Blanket’ is my first crochet project.
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / crochet? If so what?
I listen to audio books or music or watch TV, but I’m not allowed to crochet or knit while we watch a film because I can miss too many visual clues and ask many, many questions, or pause and rewind it constantly. Apparently this is irritating for some reason?!
The resource that helped me learn most was a fantastic little book called Crochet Unravelled by Claire Bojczuk which I found on Amazon. I also read crochet magazines, books and You Tube tutorials.
Is there a knitted / crocheted project that you treasure? Made by yourself or a handmade gift from a loved one?
Many of my clothes were knitted or hand sewn by my Mum when I was young. They were so well-made, I really wish I had kept some but you don’t when you’re little and they’re just clothes you’re used to wearing....
Where do you find inspiration for a new project? Do you choose the yarn or pattern first?
Crochet books and magazines like Simply Crochet and Mollie Makes, Ravelry patterns and often I’m inspired by other bloggers’ posts; I’ll think “I can make that and I have just the yarn.”
I tend to have the yarn first and look for patterns I can use it on, but I’m not a big spender. I prefer to use up most of my stash before buying lots more yarn, but I’m fairly new to crochet still, so ask me again in another year!
What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?
I really like Lang Tosca Light and the ubiquitous Stylecraft Special DK. (Link to scarf knitted in Lang Tosca Light on my blog).
Do you follow other blogs?
My current top favourites are:
Attic 24 (of course!)
Greedy for Colour
According to Matt
Posy Gets Cozy
These are just few. I’m an avid blog follower and look out for new blogs all the time. I love recommendations from others. Following bloggers who are all over the world and having a snap-shot into their crafty lives is one of the best things about blogging.
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
2-4 usually and I’ll finish them all. I hate unfinished tasks!
What other past times do you enjoy?
Meeting friends, social crafting, travelling to new places, reading, watching films, walking, cooking, G&T on a Friday at the end of the day.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
It’s very tempting to try to emulate your favourite blogger, it’s a way to begin I guess but the best thing is to develop your own voice. Just write what you want to say and it will come.
Do you have a preference when it comes to choosing your needles & hooks?
I’ve tried posh soft-grip crochet hooks and bamboo but the ones I use regularly are a pretty cheap coloured metal set I was given.
I really want a set of Knit-Pro circular needles, they are on my wish list. I’m still using metal needles I’ve had for years, or have ‘borrowed’ from my Mum.
Do you read any craft magazines? If so do you have a favourite?
Simply Crochet and Mollie Makes – hands down.
Who do you knit/ crochet for?
Family, friends, myself (and charity causes in the last six months.)
And finally a photo of more goregous crochet projects by Rachell.
If you write a blog or enjoy reading a crafty, knitting, crochet or stitching blog, please put forward your nominations for next month. Head to our nominations page with the link here! I am looking forward to discovering more and more blogs.