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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I am a designer/maker living in the South East UK with my husband, young son, and dog.
I work as a creative designer & consultant and get to spend a good portion of my time working as a craft author. After studying an English & Creative Studies Degree, I completed my post graduate studies in Journalism and am former Editor of Craft Business magazine, the leading UK trade publication. I launched Sew magazine, a UK monthly contemporary stitching title, in 2009 and continued as Editor until 2012, leaving to pursue my freelance career.
I am passionate about textile design and enjoy all aspects of knitting, crochet, sewing and everything in between.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Modern Crochet Blankets, Throws & Cushions is a collection of 35 crochet designs arranged in colour themes, including Neutral & Natural, Warm & Rich and Bright & Beautiful. I have tried to include a wide variety of styles, stitches and techniques adding my own modern take on some traditional styles - hopefully there will be something for everyone and the collection will spark some inspiration in beginners and more advanced crochet fans alike!
What was the inspiration behind it?
The main inspiration for this book was to work with some classic and traditional crochet motifs, stitches and techniques and - through the selection of different yarns, fibres, colour ways - create a modern collection, that would offer up a fresh take on some time honoured crochet styles.
I adore working with crochet, so working on this book was a great opportunity to grab a hook and yarn and really let my imagination run wild!
Which is your favourite project?
That is a tough call! I really enjoyed making the Dark Star Blanket (page 50) - it doesn’t take long before the pattern is visible and I’m already dreaming about all the different colours combinations that I could make this in! But, I always have a special place in my heart for the Granny Square, so the Sunburst Square Blanket (page 24) is also a firm fave! Modular designs, like these sunburst Granny Squares, are so portable and it amazes me how quick these makes grow!
What is your craft space like?
Space is at something of a premium with a husband, toddler and a dog! But, fortunately I have a dedicated studio area, and although it is rather compact it is very helpful to have a place devoted to working on sketches, concentrating on pattern notes and writing the copy for the book. However, as any keen crochet-fanatic will know, the yarn stash will fill any available space, so you’ll be sure to find a skein of yarn (or three!) in almost every room in our home!
Have you always been creative?
I am very fortunate to come from a creative family - both my grandmothers were excellent at knitting and crochet, my grandfather was a talented calligrapher and embroiderer, and both my mum & sister also share the love for yarn crafts. So, I have lots of memories of making a wide range of craft projects throughout my childhood.
When did you first start crafting?
As children, I remember we were always making something or other (probably a huge mess in the process!). There are lots of UFO in my early years - a white & lilac knitted tank top that never got past the neckline and a scarf that featured some unintentional tapering! I do recall my first time sitting at our vintage Singer sewing machine as a child and sewing a pink cotton mermaid tail for my doll, I stitched it on so tight that the doll remained a mermaid for the rest of her days!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I am a huge fan of Julie Crawford and her blog Knitted Bliss, this is a great place to visit when you’re looking for some inspiration -her passion for knitwear design, yarns, accessories and all things knitting is truly contagious!
There are also lots of everyday craft heroes too - I love scrolling through crochet and knitting hashtags on Instagram and seeing how many talented makers are out there in the creative online community!
Where do you find inspiration?
Colour and texture are two of my key focus points when starting on a new design or collection. Fortunately there is an abundance of things in the world around us that sparks the imagination on these aspects. I am often struck by a repeated pattern, shaded motif or a colour combination and use these as a starting point for a project. When I feel like I’m lacking inspiration, I like to get out for a walk - fresh air to blow away the cobwebs and then start taking in surroundings. Town or countryside, it is amazing the different colours, patterns, shades, motifs and designs you can see in nature, architecture, crowds of people, pebbles on the beach…and, so much more, all ready to be soaked up and explored in design.
What's next for you?
I have a couple of very exciting projects that I’m currently working on - these are real passion projects so I’m very much looking forward to sharing more about these in Spring 2019…watch this space!