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Getting to know you through your stitching!

Over breakfast, I tend to read a lot of knitting and crochet magazines, as they are great for dipping in and out of over a quick bowl of cereal. This morning, I was reading the back page of Simply Knitting and enjoying their quiz style format of questions in the recurring article “My Life In Stitches”, and decided I’d like to be asked those questions – so here I am, answering them on my blog, just for the hell if it! 😊 Thanks to Simply Knitting for the inspiration!

If you enjoy reading mine, why not have a go at your own? I’d love to read some of these by people I know! In fact – I might ask regulars and tutors to do it specially so I can feature it for you all!

Home LifeGeorge at The York Makery
I live ten minutes walk from the shop, with my very supportive partner Alastair, and my two fur babies – George the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Reggie the cat. I’m a craft shop owner by day AND by night – though I dabble in my first love, amateur theatre, on a fairly regular basis!

Daily Stitching Routine
I very rarely get time to knit or crochet in the shop (although some customers are convinced this is all I do!) so most of my stitching takes place on an evening, in front of the TV.

Happiest Stitching Memory
That’s a hard one! Probably it has to be the absolute sense of euphoria that came with my first ever knitted project – I remember staying up stupidly late, stuck on the “one more row!” mentality, then spending an entire day sat on my tiny student bed knitting while watching Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (amazing tv show!).

Strangebrew sweaterFavourite Pattern
I love anything by Tin Can Knits – I find their patterns so easy to follow! Particularly the Flax Pullover and the Strangebrew plug-and-play decorated yoke pattern.

Stitching Inspirations
I think it depends what mood I am in what inspires me – quite often I am inspired by gifting the finished product, for example to a friend’s baby, and sometimes just because I really like the colours of the yarn. I’m ALWAYS inspired by a good knitted jumper.

Prized Stitch Possession
I love bonny fabric project bags – I don’t think I have a number one favourite, but I have a couple sewed for me by my friend Helen which are gorgeous, and one I made myself!

Guilty Stitch Secret
I don’t think this is much of a secret as I often broadcast it to customers, but – I can’t follow a pattern! I mean, I can physically actually follow a pattern, and so I’m able to help with advising customers and things, but when it comes to concentrating I find patterns too restricting – I prefer to think of them as recipes, and like to freestyle as I go! This works great in crochet as its so freeform, but is Haul from EYF - including John Arbon Yarnsless good for knitting…

Biggest Extravagance
Probably the jumper weight of John Arbon Textiles yarn I have sitting on a shelf in my craft room at home…It’s very reasonable as 100% merino yarn goes, around £12 a skein, but it’s the first jumper I will make out of yarn I don’t stock in the shop, so it means the yarn wasn’t wholesale price!!

Your First Knitting/Crochet Project
My first knitting project was pretty boring and standard – it was *drum roll* - a scarf! I don’t have it any more as it was a bit rubbish, but I was really proud of it at the time. My first crochet project however was more interesting; after my dad died in 2014 I went to a supermarket hunting for icecream, and happened across an issue of Mollie Makes magazine with a pattern for crocheted flowers on the front. I bought it, taught myself to crochet, and made a bunch of pastel coloured flowers. I still have those – in fact, they only yesterday joined my new window display in the shop!

My first ever crochet project!Best thing about Stitching
Easily has to be the mental clarity it affords – on the one hand, it is an outlet for creativity, and on the other hand, it is a mindful activity which soothes and mollifies the brain!

My finest stitching hour
I get to have one of these regularly – I teach crochet on an almost monthly basis, and I think my finest hour is that transition time between the start of a class, when students have never crocheted before, and the end of a class, when they happily bounce out the door having learned to crochet! I love teaching, and it is so rewarding seeing people’s eyes sparkle with happiness as they brandish their accomplishments!

Top Tip for newbies
I think my top tip would be not to worry about stitch count – in some cases obviously it does matter, but in the majority of cases, one stitch more or less isn’t going to matter! It’s much more important that you relax and enjoy the creative process 😊

If you managed to get to the end of that  - well done! What would you write on yours?



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