I bought this magazine last week, it's a special one-off summer edition by the same people who produce Simply Knitting magazine. Truthfully I very rarely buy crochet magazines as they don't often contain anything much that appeals to me. I find the style and content of them is often quite a long way off the mark for me, they simply don't excite me or rock my hooky boat.
Having said that, this one is actually pretty good. There is a good range of projects, plus lots and lots of interesting recommendations for inspiring blogs, shops, books, products and people. The pages are pretty chocka full of stuff, there is lots to take in.
There is lots of Granny Square Love in the pages which is certainly right up my street.
I quite like this scarf, although I would replace the back joining colour with a beautiful deep navy blue I think.
On the back page, there is a bit of a colour explosion. Oh, that must be me then.
Yes that's definitely me! I'm sorry my photographs today are pretty awful, the light here has been dire as we've had heavy rain All Day. But I'm going to give you a link to open up a PDF of this page, I hope it works out as my brain is fairly weary and I'm not quite sure I'm up to doing anything technical......did you click the link? Did it work? Do please let me know? Ta.
When I agreed to answer some questions for this feature, I ended up writing a surprising amount of blurb. Only a smidge was included here on the printed page so I thought you might possibly like to read the long winded version? I'm going to have a rootle through my photo archives and share some colourful crochet Ta-dah's with you too.
When did you start crocheting?
Summer 2007. It was the same time that I discovered the world of creative blogging and fell head over heels in love with granny square blankets.
Who taught you to crochet? What do you remember about learning to crochet?
My friend Sarah taught me, we were sat having an afternoon cuppa at a mutal friends house (we all had small children the same age, were part of the same post-natal group), and that’s how it all started. Sarah had recently taken it up and convinced me to give it a go. She gave me a ball of yarn and a hook and got me started with the very basics, ie how to hold the hook and yarn, how to make a chain, and how to produce a wobbly line of double crochet. I then bought a small book (“Learn to Crochet” by Sally Harding) and worked my way through all the basic stitches that very same day. I knew I wanted to make granny squares more than anything else, so I searched the internet to find a pattern and sat for hours practicing until I could do it. I was so excited! Within a few days I had bought a big stack of brightly coloured cotton yarns and began my crocheting adventure. It changed the whole direction of my life.
What is your advice to crocheters who are just beginning?
My very best advice is to try and find someone to get you started. The way that you hold the hook, manipulate the yarn and control the tension is the hardest part of learning, and it’s made so much easier if you can get shown this by a real person instead of a book page.
The other thing I wish someone had told me in the beginning was that there is a difference between UK and US stitch terminology. Always make sure you know which language the pattern/book is written in before you begin trying to decipher it, other wise you will end up pulling your hair out with frustration when it all goes wrong. I learnt that one the hard way.
Who is your crochet hero?
My crochet heroes are all the thousands of folk the world over who take time to share their creations on the internet. Through Ravelry, Flickr, Pinterest and Blogs, there is such a generous spirit of sharing and such tremendous inspiration to be found. I am full of gratitude for the online creative community, and so glad to be a part of it.
Where is your favourite place to crochet?
Wherever my heart is happy. In bed is always a pleasure. Or maybe sat in a warm, sunny corner of my home, or perhaps beside the fire in winter. But I think my favourite place of all is on a beach....I always think when I crochet at the seaside that the sound of the sea will weave it’s way into the stitches, trapping the essence of holiday feel-good into whatever I’m making.
How would you describe your style?
Playful, fun and colourful with a smidge of quirkiness.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I absorb visual inspiration from everywhere, from books, magazines, artwork, stationary, ceramics, flowers, fabrics, interiors. Anything with an element of colour and pattern has the ability to inspire.
What is your greatest crochet triumph?
Coming up with my first design and writing a pattern for it (it was the yarn bag, still very popular the world over)
What is your most spectacular crochet disaster?
Choosing to edge a whole pile of large blocks for a double bed spread in white, then deciding 2/3 of the way through that the white was killing the other colours and had to go. It was the most unravelling I’ve ever done.
What is your favourite crochet snack?
Homemade cake with a frothy milky coffee.
What music do you like to listen to when you crochet?
Nah, no music! I prefer absolute quiet, or the gentle sound of birdsong or the sound of the sea. I like to be able to hear my own inner voice when I crochet, I do a lot of creative thinking when I’m hooking, and music/tv gets in the way.
Are you a member of a crochet group?
Yes, I think sociable crochet is one of the things that makes it so appealing. I go to a weekly “knit and natter” at a local cafe. I also started up my own little group which meets on a Monday night in the local pub. There are 8 of us, all good friends, it’s a very special and creative group and I love it. We laugh a lot, and yes some crochet gets done, but it’s become much more about the sharing of our lives in general, with the crochet providing the link that pulls us all together.
Do you have any unfulfilled crochet aspirations?
Oh cripes, yes of course, far too many to mention. I am chockablock full to bursting with ideas for new projects, they spill over in my mind at an alarming rate. I would also love to write a book one day.
What do you crochet when you’re on holiday?
It’s usually whatever project I’m working on at the time.
What is your top crochet tip?
Always make sure you are in love with whatever colours and yarn you choose for a project so that the whole making process is a complete pleasure.
Where do you keep your stash?
My current project sits in my basket ready to be picked up whenever there is a spare moment in the day. The rest of my stash is sorted into clear plastic tubs and stored in the Attic eaves.
Has crocheting ever caused you to neglect your duties?
Of course! Most days I choose to crochet when I should really be doing something else. Occasionally I also forget to feed the children, but they are now quite good at nagging me when they are hungry.
Who is your favourite crochet companion?
I really prefer my own company when I’m “in the zone” with a crochet project. But my Monday night pub gang are great crochet buddies.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently near to the end of a single bed sized ripple blanket using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I also have a couple of small decorative projects on the go :: a circular cushion and some small roses for a summer wreath idea. I’m also in early stages of sampling some crochet using embroidery thread, kind of a cross between a scarf and a necklace made up of delicate leaves and flowers.
Describe your family life growing up.
The first part of my childhood was spent in London, we lived in a small rented terraced house on a busy urban street, opposite a famous football ground. I remember lots of noise and traffic and being scared of the busy main roads all around. Playtime was confined to the garden. The second part of my childhood was spent on the south coast of Dorset which has given me a love of the countryside and the coast. We had much more freedom, and playtime extended out into the fields and woods near our house (a rented semi on a new housing estate).
My parents are both creative, there was always lots of making, drawing and creative play. We had no television, there was very little money, I would say that out of necessity we lived very simply. Frugal even.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Oddly I always wanted to be a Librarian, I adored my weekly visits to the library as a child and for a long time was obsessed with the whole way in which libraries functioned. This was in the age before computers, when library book information was recorded on little tickets and catalogued in huge drawers in alphabetical order. To this day I still adore old cabinets with lots of drawers, it would be my dream to own one.
Describe your family life now.
Happy! I am married with three children and I absolutely love my role as Stay At Home Mum. We live in a Victorian terrace house in a warm, friendly neighbourhood within walking distance of a beautiful old market town. I love being able to walk everywhere and don’t own a car now. I would say we live quite simply, we holiday in our old caravan, or at my parents down in Dorset, but mostly we are happy to stay close to home as we have the glorious Yorkshire Dales on our doorstep.
Describe your home today.
It’s relaxed, warm and cosy, a tad scruffy but in a comfy way. Still a work in progress, we are slowly decorating and making some changes as time and money allows.
Which is the best home you’ve ever lived in?
Without a doubt it’s this one, number 24. This is the first time I’ve felt truly “home”
Where would you like to live, apart from where you live now?
Beside the sea! If I could transport this house and town to the coast I would.
What would you change about yourself, if you could?
I would be less forgetful and disorganised, I often feel so ditsy and out of touch with reality!
Besides crochet, what are you really good at?
I would hope I am a good Mummy and a good homemaker, two things that I am passionate about.
What are you terrible at?
Remembering names, dates and facts, my memory is atrocious.
Besides crochet, what do you do to relax?
I bake. It’s my fail safe stress buster.
What are some of your favourite things?
Fresh flowers in the house, blankets, clear starry nights, the sound of the sea, caravans, wooden childrens toys, carrot cake, stripy socks, little houses.
Do you have any favourite colours and colour combinations?
I like bright, pure colours, not necessarily rainbow colours, but colours without white or grey added. Undiluted, saturated tones. Happy colours.
What are your favourite decorative styles?
My favourite decorative style is homespun/handmade. Lots of textiles, colours, artwork, pretty objects and painted furniture against plain walls. Relaxed, colourful and fun.
What is your most irresistible temptation?
Danish pastries, ooooohhhhh how I adore them.
Do you have a motto you live by?
To Love Life. It’s such a gift and we only get to live it once.
Tell us a secret (it doesn’t have to be about crochet)!
I can’t swim. I love the sea, but I really don’t like being in water.
Edit to add :: thank you SO MUCH for all your wonderful, heart warming comments on this post, it has absolutely made my weekend to read them all. Thank♥you.
I just wanted to add that the super-talented Sarah London has written about her own inclusion in the magazine along with some delicious photos. She also mentioned that the mag will be distributed in the UK, USA and Australia, and that a digital copy will be available via Apple Newsstand (enter Simply Crochet in the search bar). Thanks to Sarah for this info, she is obviously very much more in-the-know than I am!
Second edit :: 3rd July :: Simply Crochet magazine is available to buy mail order with world wide shipping, yaaaayyyy!!! GO HERE to buy youself a pretty copy!