Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I design and make crocheted accessories. I love combining new and vintage yarns and threads and to mix natural fibres with more unusual materials, such as nettle twine, wire and banana silk. I am also a screen print artist. My screen prints and illustrations are quite simple in style, inspired by vintage children’s illustrations and fashion photography, as well as theatre and dance. I have been working with the Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, producing a range of craft books which cover a variety of creative disciplines, including print making, knitting, crochet and sewing, suitable for the beginner through to the advanced maker. I have also written projects for various craft magazines.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Animal Heads is a book of 10 crocheted trophy heads to make. The projects are life size and include a bull with a shiny ring through its nose, a swan with crocheted feathers and a tiny mouse with nylon whiskers. All of the projects have charts to make the instructions easier to follow.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I was very excited when I was asked if I would like to do this book and combine my interest in taxidermy with my love of crochet. I was keen for the animal heads to look less toy-like and more of a sculptural piece that could be enjoyed by any age group. I wanted to challenge myself and design pieces that were full of detail and character without being too complicated to make.
Which is your favourite project?
I am thrilled with all of the projects, but my favourite is the zebra. I’m very pleased with how the stripes look and the shape of the finished head.
What is your craft space like?
I am lucky to have a workroom in my home. It is full, from floor to ceiling, with collections of patterns, books, yarns, fabrics and treasures I have found that inspire my work. I write at a desk in front of the window, looking out onto my garden. I draft patterns, cut fabric and print at a large table in the middle of the room. I like to listen to the radio while I work.
Have you always been creative?
My mother and grandmother did a lot of crocheting, knitting and sewing, making and mending clothes for us. I was keen to learn to make things myself and wanted to be a fashion designer when I was little.
When did you first start crafting?
My Mum and grandmother taught me to crochet granny squares and I made little cushions and blankets for my dolls. That was probably one of the first things I did, when I was around 8 years old. I still have my first crocheted squares.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I love the designs and colour palette of Sophie Digard’s crocheted accessories and am very inspired by Sonia Delaunay’s textiles and art. I have a book of Karen Nicol’s beautiful, intricate embroideries. She uses a variety of different materials in her work which I find very inspirational. I also have books by Erika Knight. They are beautifully presented and the projects are lovely to make.
Where do you find inspiration?
I have a collection of old sewing, knitting and crochet patterns and books that I often refer to. I enjoy browsing through them and researching traditional techniques. I like to keep up with current trends as well, through fashion magazines. Inspiration for my crocheted designs comes from a range of different areas, such as woven patterns and prints found in textiles, a pretty piece of old lace or vintage jewellery, and in nature where there is a limitless supply. I am very lucky to live in the countryside, so have plenty of inspiration on my doorstep.
What's next for you?
I am currently working on a book of vintage inspired knitting and sewing projects for men. The projects include pyjamas, a shirt and waistcoat, and knitted ties and a trilby hat. I have been doing some comic noir inspired drawings to go with it as well, which has been fun.
This amazing collection of trophy animal heads to crochet will be a stunning addition to any home. Inside this colorful book there are 10 fabulous trophy animals to choose from. Simply place above the fireplace for a great conversation piece or on a child's bedroom wall for a playful decoration. The projects vary in level of complexity and there is a comprehensive techniques section to help you learn all the necessary skills. Each project includes beautifully drawn crochet charts and detailed instructions.