We love that you’re so local to us- how much has Yorkshire been an inspiration to you?
Living and working here in Yorkshire has without a doubt had a huge influence on the way I think about colour and design. I moved to Skipton ten years ago having lived in York previously, and the transition from city living to rural living has been a great inspiration. I'm much more aware of the subtle seasonal changes here as I live surrounded by hills and the glorious Yorkshire Dales countryside. Many of my recent blanket designs have been directly inspired by the landscape around where I live, using colour palettes that capture the feel of a particular season or time of year.
Are your patterns and blogs good for complete beginners?
I’m a self-taught crocheter (I have a background in textiles and embroidery but took to the hook later in life), and at the time when I taught myself eleven years ago there were limited online resources aimed at beginners. There were many times when I was learning that I found the lack of guidance very frustrating and almost gave up. So when I first began sharing my own patterns on my blog I tried very hard to make them as simple and easy to follow as I could, because that’s what I was desperate for when I was first starting out. I wanted to make my tutorials the next best thing to having me sat beside you as you figure out a new patter and I deliberately design with beginners in mind. My aim is to help even the newest crocheter embark on a big project feeling hopeful and inspired.
You’ve been working with Stylecraft yarns for a while now. What do you like about them?
I was initially drawn to using Stylecraft Special DK for making blankets for three reasons :
I’ve made many Stylecraft blankets since my first one in 2010, and they are in constant use in my home as well as when we are out and about holidaying, camping, travelling and picnicking. They wear incredibly well (and believe me, my children are ruthless with my creations), staying soft and lovely even after many rounds in the washing machine and tumble drier. I am greedy when it comes to colour choices and will always want more, but the range of shades in the SSDK is really fabulous and inspirational. Whether you want rainbow brights, soft pastels, gorgeous vintage tones or nature inspired colours, the 89 shades provide an irresistible amount of choice.
If people are new to your designs, where should they start?
I would say that any of my blanket designs are suitable for beginners, and I hear so many wonderful stories from people who complete their first ever big project using my patterns. I would advise trying a pattern where the rows use only stitch with very easy, memorable repeats, for example the basic Granny Stripe or the Cosy Stripe which are worked using just treble crochet. The hydrangea stripe is also a good one for beginners because every row is the same and there is no counting involved after the initial set-up rows.
All patterns are free on my blog and come with a full (and I really do mean full) picture tutorial to help you every step of the way.
Will you be at Yarndale this year?
Yes, I most certainly will! As one of the organisers of Yarndale, I am fully involved in the festival every year and am there to help set up as well as meet and greet visitors throughout the weekend. You’ll be able to find me right in the centre of the auction mart inside the auctioneers ring which we turn into a social knit and natter hub – come and say hello!
What’s the latest project you’re working on?
I’ve been experimenting with using pure wool yarn to make crochet that will felt in the washing machine – it’s so much fun! I’m making a large felted basket/bag that is big enough to hold 15 x 100g balls of yarn. The kits will contain the wool yarn with a printed pattern and felting instructions and will be on sale at Yarndale, then online shortly after that.
I’m also sampling and designing for my next blanket which will be run as a CAL (crochet-a-long) project at the start of 2019. I can’t give anything away about this just yet, other than to say I’m using a floral inspired colour palette and it is sooooooo pretty!
Thanks Lucy! See you at Yarndale :-)