The finalists in our Knitting and Crochet Guild design competition are certainly a talented bunch. We have had lots of messages asking us for more information about them and how they became interested in design so we sent them a bunch of questions.
Most of our finalists have a ‘day job’ ranging from a production editor at The Guardian, a technical editor for knitwear designers, a senior manager in local government, a retired teacher, a full time craftsperson to a career in IT.
All describe their deep love of knitting and craft in general whether they have been knitting or crocheting for 5 years or more than 50. But most of our finalists also do other crafts from sewing, to embroidery and even working with glass – a multi-talented group of individuals, that’s for sure.
For some this competition was their first attempt at designing, while others are often adapting patterns to suit their body shapes. One or two have actually had designs published in UK magazines so make a note of their names and see if you can spot where their creativity takes them next.
So why did they enter? A square is both accessible to people making their first attempt at designing, as well as being a challenge to the more experienced. I met Amelia Hodsdon earlier in the year: “I entered because you asked me to! You spoke to me at the I Knit Fandango in May, when I was sitting with a friend, surrounded by a pile of new yarn. I saw it as a personal challenge.” Good for you Amelia.
Mireille Jenner told us: “I really like the ethos behind the Knitting and Crochet Guild. The UK has such a rich history of knitting and it is important to me that we preserve it for future generations. The idea of the pattern being sold to help raise money for the guild seemed like a good way of showing support plus having a bit of fun along the way.” This was a sentiment echoed by many.
Finally, we asked our finalists which designers they admire and, as you can imagine the list was fairly comprehensive including established favourites such as Kaffe Fassett, Nicky Epstein, Debbie Bliss, Debbie Abrahams, Jane Crowfoot and Kim Hargreaves, as well as the new breed of designer such as Kate Davies, Joji Locatelli, Sarah Hatton, Rachel Coopey and Ysolda Teague. What a rich list!
Our winner, Bronagh Miskelly finds she is often inspired by techniques rather than individuals “I am very influenced by and interested in vintage patterns and techniques.” And of course family members have a great impact on our love of craft, not just for our finalists but definitely on the Yarn Stories team!
You can see how wonderfully diverse our finalists and their experience of their craft are, but they really are just like you and me. Next time you see a design competition in a magazine or on a website, why not have a go? We could be writing a blog post all about you!