Come behind the scenes at Squirrel Picnic and tour Jennifer's craft headquarters in Colorado and her travel studio while on the move.
Tell us about your space
My craft space, which I call Craft Headquarters, is really just a corner of my bedroom in my apartment near Denver, Colorado. It's where I store all my tools, yarn, and Hodge and Podge – the amigurumi mascots of my blog Squirrel Picnic.
When I'm not working at the headquarters, I'm crocheting on the road. In fact, I do most of my work on the bus, commuting 60 minutes every day to and from work in Boulder. I have a travel studio that consists of crochet hooks, measuring tape, stitch counter, gauge measure, stitch markers, yarn needles, travel scissors, and a bag to hold my yarn and whatever project I am working on. The whole kit fits inside a little 8-inch square quilted yellow bag that my mother made for me when I was a kid. I love my little crochet travel studio. It makes it possible for me to enjoy my hobby everywhere I go.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
I used crocheted flowers and leaves to decorate the yarn rack and storage bins. A lot of these flowers I originally made for the banner image on my blog. I'm proud that I have been able to repurpose these decorations in my own space.
How do you keep organized?
I keep organized with bins, baskets, and a yarn rack. And I try to abide by the rule to put everything away when I'm done with it. Otherwise, I will undoubtedly lose things... which drives me nuts!
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
My supply organization has been a work in progress for many years. It's by trial and error that I am finding the system that works for me. And that's probably my biggest piece of advice: It's important to realize that what works for one person may not work for you. You have to find the system you are comfortable with. For instance, some people need to be able to see everything that they own in order to work out their ideas, while others would prefer for everything to be neatly tucked away in boxes and drawers. I fall somewhere in the middle. I like having drawers to keep the supplies that I don't use every day like adhesives, yarn winder and swift, and sewing supplies. But I have my crochet and knitting tools in an old train case so that I can access them easily whenever I need to pack my bag for another commute. And I also have a basket (not pictured) where I keep my current projects, because I find it important to have those front and center. Otherwise, I might forget to work on them (out of sight, out of mind). I encourage you to pay attention to how you work and try not to fight your urges. If you need to lay everything out in your studio in order to work, go for it! And don't let anyone tell you your way is messy or wrong. Embrace what works for you.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
My favorite possessions are my Hodge and Podge dolls, a photo of my grandparents, and a favor from my wedding. The latter is especially meaningful for me because I made over 1,000 origami cranes for my wedding (to bring good luck). My mother and husband helped: she contributed 50 and he was pleased to complete 1. I keep all of these treasures in a birdhouse-shaped cubby on the wall.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I have a small blank book that I carry with me everywhere to jot down and sketch out ideas in.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I turn to the websites Ravelry and Pinterest, as well as Google images, when I'm thinking up new ideas. More than anything I am inspired to try things that haven't been done before, so I always start by doing a cursory search of my idea. If I find that someone else has already done what I am thinking of doing in the way I am envisioning it, I will just toss the idea out and start with something else.
I've also collected a number of crochet reference books over the years which are invaluable to me. Some of my favorites were passed down to me by my grandmother. I love old pattern books!
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
My wishes are pretty humble. 1) I'd love a table, one that is really long so I can spread my projects out on it. 2) Track lighting. 3) And the space to put them in.
Whose craft room would you love to explore? Send us a message!