Embroidery

A Cold Winter’s Day Calls For Spring Themed Stitching

Hello, how are you doing? Such a simple question I know, but so difficult for many of us, including myself, to answer right now. The weather in Somerset has been absolutely freezing recently, and with a broken boiler and a very cold house, I felt like I needed something cheerful to work on.

I’m aware it’s still very much Winter in the UK, but I absolutely love Spring and I’m feeling so ready for it. I’m looking forward to milder dog walks, new growth in the garden, chocolates over Easter and lighter evenings. Spring is providing me with a sense of hope right now, so this project felt perfect for me and I’m so happy I’ve finished it. What do you think?

This is what our lounge coffee table looked like last weekend as I was working hard to complete the hoop. I am a subscriber to Love Embroidery Magazine and used one of the transfer papers from a 2020 issue I’d saved.

As you may know, I design and sell my own downloadable embroidery patterns and am in the process of growing my Etsy range, but from time to time, I love the convenience of working on a pre-designed pattern, particularly when my energy levels are feeling lower than normal. It’s also great to support other embroidery artists; there’s an amazing array of patterns out there.

I did amend the colours and some of the specified stitches. I wanted to practice chain stitching, which was the stitch used for the ‘Hello’ part of the text and wanted the colours to be as ‘Spring like’ as possible.

I also started designing this citrus themed embroidery pattern here a few weeks ago, which reminded me of an amazing holiday we had in beautiful Lindos, Greece in 2019. I’ve popped this one away for now as I feel the composition needs some improvement and a fresh pair of eyes will help. There are aspects of it that I really love though, especially the textures of the lemon and the little orange circles.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini update and I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks, so please do keep your eyes peeled. In the mean time, take good care of yourself and have a lovely weekend. Here’s a picture of Mabel, one of our miniature poodles, I hope it will make you smile.

Embroidery · In My Studio

What My 6-month Embroidery Journey Has Taught Me & a Brand New Christmas Pattern Release

Hello! I’ve been feeling very reflective this week, probably because we are nearing the end of 2020 and this will be my final blog post of the year.

For many of us, including myself, it’s been the year of loss; largely due of course, to the pandemic. When driving a few days ago, a deep wave of sadness poured over me as I thought about all of the things I’ve lost this year. I know I’m not alone in this and if you too are experiencing similar feelings as you’re reading this, my heart goes out to you and I’m sending a very large virtual hug. A hug is one thing I feel many of us may be in need of right now, including myself; someone who has never really been much of a hugger!

Whilst I acknowledged my feelings in the car, I also felt a glimmer of hope and excitement as I reminded myself of the small but impactful positives I’ve experienced since June of this year; mainly due to my rediscovery of hand embroidery and the incredible support I’ve received from those close to me and you lovely lot online.

As you may already know, I’ve been running a successful greetings card and art prints business on Notonthehighstreet and Etsy for the past 6 years, after graduating and leaving a full time job at a University. The business continued to grow over the years and was at it’s busiest point during the first lockdown in England.

Whilst I was (and still wholeheartedly am) incredibly appreciative of the income and huge support I received from all of my amazing customers, I felt like I’d lost my creative spark along the way. It’d been missing for a while actually, but I couldn’t find another creative avenue to explore and felt feelings of guilt after spending so many years building up the business; especially as I realised that in one sense, it was finally at the point I’d been working towards for all of those years. I later realised I definitely needed to make a change and now was the right time.

I thought back to an embroidery kit I’d purchased to work on over the Christmas before and remembered how much I enjoyed making it. Having previously completed a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Arts, there was a period of time where I did quite a lot of embroidery; but it wasn’t something I felt compelled to pick up again until some 10 years later; when here we are!

In June 2020 I started embroidering more seriously. I’d planned to allow myself an initial period of 6 months to focus on it, whilst not producing paper goods for the business during this time; something I feel incredibly privileged to be able to do. I’m pleased to tell you it’s going exceptionally well; although my confidence is a work in progress as I navigate difficult feelings from my time at art college. I’m pleased to show you some of the hoops I’ve been working on since June 2020. What do you think?

After embroidering the red postbox hoop on the right for the pure purpose of learning new embroidery techniques, my Husband, Andrew (aka, my number one fan), suggested I release it as a pattern to sell online. I’d originally told him that I’d like to sell patterns online, produce patterns for magazines and one day release a hand embroidery book, which are the goals that keep me motivated each day, but the thought of writing and releasing my first pattern slightly filled me with dread!

Anyone who knows me personally will now how determined I am, so I set aside my feelings of anxiousness and wrote my very first pattern, which was later released to Etsy. I’m not going to lie, for the first week despite my efforts, I sold none. I was a little deflated, but continued to put work into the marketing and worked hard not to lose hope. Along with my determination comes impatience; so it was hard *giggles*. However, I woke up to my first embroidery pattern sale a few days later. I happy danced all the way down to the kitchen and had a smile on my face for the rest of the day!

After selling a few more in the days that followed, I decided to design another pattern. I realised it would need to be released asap due to it being a Christmas themed pattern, so this gave me lots of motivation to release it without delay. After a few late nights and long hours of embroidering (embroidery is an amazing but very slow craft for those wondering) and a weekend of writing the pattern up, I finally published it to Etsy along with the first one. More happy dances followed as this one proved to be successful too. They’re both now available as a ‘bundle’, pictured above, so if you’re planning on making them both over Christmas, it’s a little cheaper to purchase them together.

So, what have I learnt within the last 6-months of my embroidery journey you ask? Take the leap. I truly believe if Andrew, my Husband didn’t suggest I publish the first pattern, I wouldn’t even be selling right now. Whilst it’s not everybody’s goal to sell, this goal was on my list, but due to confidence being low at times, I didn’t think I was ready at that point to release my first pattern.

When I began writing my first pattern, I realised that it was actually very achievable and not as scary as I thought. I’ve had many years of reading patterns (mainly crochet, knitting and a few embroidery ones), so I’ve learnt a lot in this time about what I consider makes a good pattern. I actually have more experience than I allow myself to believe!

So, my main advice for you, if you’re at the start of a similar journey, is to take a leap of faith. Perhaps you have a small glimmer of confidence somewhere within you, if confidence is something that holds you back. That glimmer may just about be about enough to get you started on your journey; and from there, the sky is the limit. (ok, that sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s true!)

Remember the kit I was telling you about earlier that I embroidered last Christmas? Well, those words are another excellent piece of advice.

So what now? I’m going to allow myself to have a break over the festive period (or at least try to), but I absolutely love Spring and all of the beautiful pastel themed colours, so I’m looking forward to designing and writing up more embroidery patterns for my Etsy shop.

I’m also going to start a newsletter which will include a free pattern each month and lots of inspirational hand embroidery content, so if this sounds like your cup of tea, if you haven’t done already, please hit the ‘subscribe’ button. I’d love to share this brand new journey with you.

Sending love and best wishes to you all this Christmas. Whilst it might not be the Christmas you may have had planned, I hope you can find small moments of joy. You deserve it!

Take care,

Lauren

Embroidery

My First Ever Embroidery Pattern is Officially Released

Hello and happy Friday! You may have seen my earlier post back in August of this year, when I announced that I’d just started embroidering again. Well, fast forward three months and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just released my first ever embroidery pattern for sale on Etsy. How amazing is that?!

I’m not entirely new to embroidery, but prior to August, I hadn’t picked up a sewing needle in at least 8 years. I realised I had some serious relearning to do, so I’ve spent the last few months refreshing my skills and picking up some brand new ones along the way.

I’ve always loved Christmas, so I knew I’d get lots of enjoyment out of designing something festive, and I was totally right. I just absolutely LOVED working on this piece. Christmas was also a very helpful deadline for me to set, as I knew I wanted to release the pattern before December, to give fellow makers enough time to stitch the pattern before Christmas Day. This short deadline definitely kept me focussed and motivated, even if it did involve quite a few late nights and Sunday afternoons on the computer!

To begin with, I used ProCreate on my iPad to draw the black and white pattern, which was later transferred onto my fabric and embroidered. Although I didn’t take as many progress shots whilst embroidering as I’d have liked, I documented all of the thread colours, materials and embroidery stitches used for each section. This made the pattern writing slightly easier, even though it was still a very enjoyable (but lengthy) process.

The pattern I produced is 17 pages long and covers; materials and methods for getting started – such as transferring the design onto fabric and preparing your needle, thread and hoop correctly, the printable pattern itself, a stitch key, thread colour guide and 2 pages of ‘need-to-know’ embroidery stitch diagrams. The remaining sections feature a step-by-step pattern guide with photographs and a helpful tutorial for finishing your embroidery hoop.

I’ve followed quite a few embroidery (and crochet) patterns over the past few years and have made some fabulous items from them that will be treasured forever. But most importantly in terms of pattern writing, they’ve taught me what I like and dislike about patterns in general, which has helped me greatly throughout this process.

Rediscovering my love of embroidery during such a turbulent year (in terms of the global pandemic) has been one of the greatest positives for me. It’s given me something special to focus on and is helping to slowly re-build my design confidence. Not every piece of embroidery I’ve created since August has worked out, and thats ok – mistakes are amazing for learning, but the pieces which have gone to plan have made me feel extremely proud.

It’s my hope that anyone buying this pattern, experiences the same level of joy, hope and excitement that embroidery brings to me, especially at a time when those feelings can be hard to find.

You may be wondering if you need any prior embroidery experience before purchasing my pattern. The simple answer is, no! My pattern is extensive and should provide you with enough information to start and finish the project without any stress.

As it’s Black Friday today, I’m offering a 15% discount off of the price of this pattern, which will be automatically applied at checkout on Etsy. This discount is running until Sunday 29th November 2020, so if you’re looking for a Christmas hand embroidery pattern, pop over to my shop and download it, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Oh and before I go, I’d just like to say, please keep your eyes peeled for more patterns, which will be coming soon! I’m currently working on another festive pattern which you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram. Come and say hello there and follow my journey, I’d love to hear from you.

Take care!

Embroidery

Autumnal Stitching Makes My Heart Smile

In my last post I excitedly shared that I was working on a new Autumnal embroidery project. Well, here it is, yay! It’s been at least eight years since I’ve invested a reasonable amount of time on hand embroidery, so over the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly but steadily relearning everything I’ve forgotten along the way. I’ve also learnt some brand new stitches in the process, so I’m giving myself a large pat on the back as I type!

YouTube has been tremendously helpful and there is such an amazing array of inspirational embroidery books out there now – something that was perhaps lacking when I first started embroidering previously.

This particular piece is my own design – it’s been brought to life from an autumnal illustration I designed last year. I love seeing the illustration in a new form and I’m definitely going to be designing more. I’m going to share my creative process with you all soon, from the initial drawing and designing stage to the final stitching and finishing, so keep your eyes peeled for a future post.

In the mean time, please come over to Instagram to catch some sneaky peeks of my day-to-day progress. I wish you all well and I hope this post has given you some cosy, autumnal feels. Time to pop the kettle on?

Embroidery · In My Studio

A New Embroidery Journey

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I have some rather exciting news to share with you – I’ve just started embroidering again, yay! I’m so excited to share my makes with you over the next few months both here and over on Instagram.

The majority of my work over the past few years has been focussed on developing my illustrated greetings cards and art print ranges over on Notonthehighstreet and Etsy. However, I’ve been really keen to start embroidering again, with the initial aim of developing a new range of embroidery patterns to sell.

Once established, I’d love to work on my own embroidery pattern book and have some of my own embroidery designs featured in UK craft magazines. Doesn’t this just sound like the absolute dream?!?

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I’m not entirely new to the world of embroidery. I studied for a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Art & Design many moons ago, where I specialised in printed textiles.

While studying, I took an evening embroidery class at Central Saint Martins – I know how to have fun as a student! The course was a great introduction to the world of hand embroidery and I used the skills learnt to develop my collection of printed and embroidered handbags for my final collection, showcased in my 2012 degree show.

Since then, I hadn’t picked up any sewing needles, so it’s wonderful to be getting back into it again. For the design pictured above, which reads, ‘enjoy today,’ I used a gorgeous pattern from the ‘Thread Folk’ book by Libby Moore, which I will link to here.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I purchased the book independently – I just want you to know how amazing it is. It has some beautiful patterns inside and is an absolute inspiration to any new, keen embroiderers out there!

I really enjoyed the pattern and I customised the colours to suit my own style. Within the past couple of days, I’ve started another embroidery hoop design, this time using my own pattern. I’ll share it with you soon, so please keep your eyes peeled.

I won’t give too much away, but I will say that if you love Autumn, you’ll very much enjoy seeing it!

Articles

Tea, Cake and Frame Loom Weaving

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Julia Davey Ceramics is an utterly delightful family business, specialising in fine bone china tableware. Julia’s ceramics take inspiration from her Bath studio, located within the beautiful Somerset countryside. The surrounding woodland creatures and rolling fields strongly influence Julia’s charming collection – all of which can be admired in her ‘bricks and mortar’ shop, in Bear Flat, Bath.

Julia runs a vast selection of creative workshops in her Bath shop. It was here, that textile designer, Ellie Fisher of Elka Textiles – a Winchester based woven textile studio, provided a three-hour introduction into the impressive world of frame loom weaving.

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Ellie had thoughtfully laid all of our tools and material onto the work table, ready for our anticipated arrival. Once the ever-so-important tea, coffee and cake orders had been taken, Ellie shared some of her own inspirational work, providing the perfect opportunity for us to muster up some of our own creative ideas.

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If you’re unfamiliar with weaving terminology, what you see below is a loom. The loom holds the vertical warp threads aligned and under tension, to allow weaving to take place. Whilst enjoying our sweet treats and much needed warm drinks, we were taught how to set this up. I became quite perturbed at this point when noticing a tangle and realising my progress was slower than that of the rest of the group, yet Ellie was on hand to restore calmness – and that she certainly did.

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The next stage focused on the weft; the horizontal threads that interlace with the warp. We were introduced to the necessary tools and techniques and began weaving our first few rows with the use of warp yarn – which to you and I, is of a very similar appearance to bakers twine or string.

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Once complete, the fun could really begin! Ellie’s selection of weft yarns and roving was, without a doubt, sensational, and I was so excited to choose materials and begin the creative weaving process. I felt like an excitable child in a sweet shop as I browsed through the vast selection of yarns and fibres – including organic cotton, bamboo, flax and hemp.

Whilst choosing materials, Ellie brought our attention to some of her naturally dyed and recycled yarns, all available to use on our woven pieces, which I found incredibly kind and inspiring. Sustainability is at the forefront of Ellie’s creative process and business, and it was truly refreshing to hear about her sustainable, cruelty-free, plant-based products.

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As somebody who is naturally obsessed with colour, this stage of the workshop, without a doubt, suited me down to the ground. Identifying and choosing materials for my weaving, from such a luxuriously wide selection was certainly the most pleasurable part of the morning. This was completely and utterly soothing, and it didn’t take me very long to forget about the technical issues I’d faced previously.

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I can wholeheartedly say that I left the workshop feeling uplifted, relaxed and content, which can sometimes be challenging to achieve. I spent the following afternoon at home working on my woven piece, whilst listening to relaxing music – it felt like such a treat.

Although it’s not considered a perfectly technical weave, the very act of making, experimenting with something new and leaving my comfort zone, allowed me to truly appreciate every single fibre.

I’d thoroughly recommend Ellie Fisher’s weaving courses, and if you happen to be visiting Bath, a trip to Julia Davey is likely to provide a great sense of joy and admiration. Please let me know if you follow my recommendations, I’d love to hear from you.

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Articles

Breaking the Rules with Embroidery

If you’ve ever set foot in a traditional sewing class or watched The Great British Sewing Bee in any length, you’ll be all too familiar with straight lines, neat curves and clean corners. The manual dexterity earned from years of traditional sewing, is without a doubt, exceptionally valuable. However, free-machine embroidery is here to challenge this completely, asking you to become a rebellious sewist.

A three hour class dedicated to the art of free-machine embroidery, encapsulating all of the creative freedom I could ask for, seemed a perfect way to spend a Saturday. I knew I had to sign up.

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A trip to V V Rouleaux in Bath, aka haberdashery heaven to you and I, provided the perfect opportunity to do just that. 

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The class itself was held in a perfectly exuberant workroom, adjoined to the haberdashery. All of the tools awaited, as did our lovely workshop facilitator, Poppy.

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After receiving basic, but without a doubt, incredibly useful instructions on how to operate our sewing machines, we stretched calico over our embroidery hoops and began our first practice pieces. The words ‘be careful of your fingers – keep them away from the needle and foot’, and ‘if you ever hurt yourself, seek medical attention,’ may have contributed to a steep blood pressure rise at this point, however, suffice to say, all participants left injury free.

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After a few needle breakages, bobbin adjustments and foot-to-hoop collisions, my confidence grew. I began to find the process of free-machine embroidery highly relaxing, almost meditative. We were given the opportunity of drawing onto the calico with the use of erasable pens prior to stitching, but I quite happily used the sewing needle for mark making throughout this stage.

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After gaining some confidence with the process, the last hour of the workshop focussed on appliqué. This involved cutting shapes from a selection of beautifully patterned fabrics, and free-machining them onto our final piece. After cutting out a variety of shapes, in my case, flowers, we used fusible webbing to fix them on to our fabric.

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Towards the end of the session, we were encouraged to collectively place our work on a nearby table. Everyone present was able to produce something charmingly unique, whilst leaving the workshop with a brand new skill.

Often in my day-to-day work when I am illustrating on Adobe software, I’m focussing on small details, ensuring everything has a smooth, immaculate finish, in keeping with my style. The fluidness of free-motion embroidery, contradictory to this rigid working process, made it even more appealing.

I would definitely recommend this course to any local embroidery enthusiasts, like myself, looking to acquire a new skill in a fabulously creative, vibrant setting. Go on, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Articles

How to Stay Motivated When Running a Small Creative Business

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Are you a small creative business owner working from home, feeling unmotivated? Does this create feelings of guilt, challenging your motivation levels even further? If so, please know that you’re not alone. As a self-employed, small business owner of five years, I too have experienced fluctuating levels of motivation. I’m writing this to let you know that it’s completely normal.

So, what’s causing it exactly? There are many reasons you may be lacking motivation, and this is a crucial question to ask yourself. Allowing yourself to be mindful of the underlying causes can be extremely beneficial. I appreciate this can be tremendously difficult, and like myself in the past, you may have been deliberately avoiding this question entirely.

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When I first became self-employed, my motivation was incredibly high. I had been planning to leave my full time job for some time, and my to-do-list was brimming with tasks, of which I was enormously excited to complete.

It was all going so well, for quite a reasonable length of time I may add, until the procrastination presented itself. I suddenly became Marie Kondo’s greatest fan. Thanks to the KonMari method, my wardrobe had never been so impeccably presented. The dishwasher had never looked so clean, and the kitchen drawers were organised to a whole new level. That Victoria sponge cake just needed to be baked, but first, the oven needed to be cleaned again, for the tenth time. I’m fairly sure you can see where I’m going with this. 

Throughout this time, my business was about to become neglected, and I knew I desperately needed to reinstate the strong level of purpose I had once established. This was, and still is, an ongoing process. The advice below certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and I’m certainly no expert. However, as a current small creative business owner, having faced similar issues to yourself, I’ve learnt a few things along the way which may help you.

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Create a Regular Routine

You know it, distractions are everywhere. I’m partial to an episode of ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ and ‘Escape to the Country’ too. Whilst we can’t always commit to a rigid work routine, nor would we want to, routine really is the key to success. As you know, there aren’t unlimited hours in the day, so it’s really important to maximise them as much as possible. Use a planner and begin to establish a routine for the duration of a week. Assess your level of productivity and motivation at the end of the week. Continue to make regular adjustments where necessary. If this works for you, try to stay mindful of your routine and its benefits.

Set Realistic Goals

Whilst it’s admirable to dream big, setting unrealistic goals for yourself may lead to an indefinite level of disappointment, particularly when your motivation levels are low. Instead, look at aspects of your business that may be affecting your motivation levels, and think about how these may be improved. Use this process to set some initial goals for yourself. They may be small goals, but try to look at their combined impact when actioned.

Make a Plan of Action

Alongside each goal you’ve established, make a specific plan towards achieving each one. This should consist of manageable, easily identifiable chunks.

Focus and Commit

Set time aside to complete each goal and be sure to commit. This is going to be an ongoing process. Scheduling time for this process on a regular basis really helps, it can make you feel positively accountable.

Reward and Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is of paramount importance. Without it, you won’t be producing your best work, and your business and personal life may begin to suffer. Think about ways you can introduce self-care into your day-to-day life and start planning. It’s so important to reward yourself for your hard work. You’ll have something special to look forward to on a regular basis, which in turn may help to increase your level of motivation.

Connect with Other Creative Business Owners

Do you often feel lonely during your working day? It’s easier than ever before to connect with other small business owners, some of whom may be facing the same difficulties as you. Reach out to them and try to build a relationship. If you live nearby, you could suggest a regular catch up in a local coffee shop, or if this isn’t possible, regular Skype calls. You can use this as an opportunity to socialise, whilst also gaining a new perspective on your creative work. If your budget allows, the use of a co-working space may also help you to feel less isolated and more connected.

Remind Yourself Why

Why did you decide to start your own small creative business? How did you feel when you sold your first piece of work? You may even think back to a previous job. How did you feel on your last day, when you had this brand new journey ahead of you? For me, I chose to start my own business due to a need for more day-to-day creativity and fulfilment. Sunday blue’s became a regular occurrence and I knew I had to introduce something new into my life. Thinking back to this time helps me to renew a sense of perspective, which in turn improves my motivation levels.

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With so much distraction out there, I completely understand the affect it can have on motivation. Running your own business, although incredibly challenging, is an exhilarating experience. Demonstrating an ability to work through difficult issues faced, has the potential to improve your confidence, levels of happiness, and greater knowledge. Overcoming low motivation is challenging, but at the same time, please know that it’s entirely possible, and you’re more capable than ever before.

To all small creative business owners out there, you’ve got this!

Articles · Knitting & Crochet

How to Form a Successful Knitting and Crochet Group

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Five years ago having recently joined the wonderful world of self-employment, I was completely and utterly delighted to be working from home in my purpose made craft room. I’d just left a full-time position at a local University, which didn’t leave a great deal of time for pursuing creative goals and dreams.

The thought of having endless hours to work creatively, tucked away in this cosy little haven, was, without a doubt, a dream come true. I was, and still of course am, incredibly grateful to have been in the position where I was able to transform my life in this way. I can wholeheartedly say that it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

Fast forward six months later, and Felix, the ever so adorable black miniature poodle, became part of my life. He turned my world upside down in ways that I could truly never have imagined. Toilet training, shredded household items, 3am whines and interrupted face masks aside, he was, and still is, absolutely wonderful company.

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As the months passed, however, I really started to miss the level of human interaction I was once used to. After all, there’s only so many one way conversations we can have with our rather furry and ever so faithful friends. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘is there really?’ If you are, I’ll let you into a little secret. Felix and I still have our fair share of dog to human ‘conversations’, there’s no judgement here.

Canine communication aside, I excitedly scoured the web for local craft groups, specifically knitting and crochet related. To my disappointment, I wasn’t able to find one single established group in the entire area of Bath, Somerset. This was the moment I realised that I needed to create my own.

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Having absolutely no experience in running anything like this before, and possessing the classic personality traits of a strong introvert, I honestly didn’t know where on earth to start. I could have quite easily waited for another group to present itself. However, I’m so glad I took the first step towards establishing my own.

If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, you’ve come to the best place possible, yay! Below, I’ve condensed everything I’ve learnt over the past five years into a mini-guide. So, go and make yourself an extra large cup of tea in your favourite mug, open the biscuits, and read on. I promise you’ll be a successful knitting and crochet group guru in absolutely no time.

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Finding Members

If you have a large circle of ‘crafty’ friends, contact them. Explain that you’d like to establish a regular knitting and crochet group and name a time, date and place for it to be held on. Depending on the anticipated size of the group, your friends may wish to invite their friends, and you can continue to expand the group. If you’re not in this position, here are a few ways you can find them:

  • Sign up to meetup.com, as I did, and create your own group, which you’ll need to name. Unbeknown to me, there were many other local knitters and crocheters seeking similar groups. This website played a significant role in connecting us.
  • Create a flyer, post it in as many appropriate places you can think of.
  • Create a page on Facebook, try to attract as many relevant locals as you can. Once established, this will provide a useful space for information and can be used as one of your advertising tools.

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Organising Your Group

  • As above, decide the time, date, location and frequency of your group. Try to be as consistent as possible. My group runs on a fortnightly basis, it’s always held on a Thursday evening. We meet in a very well loved, independent coffee shop.
  • If you decide to use meetup.com, go ahead and create your group. Each group has its own calendar, so you can schedule regular meet ups there. Your members will be informed of upcoming meet ups and can RSVP.
  • Your first group may be very busy (as mine was), so be try to be prepared for this. Make a point of introducing yourself to as many members as possible, and create a happy, productive, welcoming environment for all. These people are crucial to the success of your group, continuously thank them for being a part of it, they’re amazing!

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Listen To Fellow Members

Last year when my own knitting and crochet group was about to turn four, we worked on a collaborative project in celebration, which now lives permanently in the coffee shop. We shared yarn, hooks, needles, patterns and had an absolutely fabulous time creating it. New bonds were created over crochet, tea and cake, and a cushion was made for all to enjoy.  This idea originated from a much appreciated, fellow member. Without her suggestion and my acceptance, this may never have happened, so be as open as you possibly can to new suggestions.

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Enjoy Yourself

The main point of a knitting and crochet group is to be able to meet existing craftspeople and to share your hobbies and interests with others. Personally for me, it feels incredibly heartwarming to know that I’ve been able to connect so many local knitters and crocheters, whilst supporting a local business. If your group, like mine, continues to run for years to come, continuously remind yourself why you set it up and always make an effort to appreciate it.

Now, please go on and create your own unique group. If it’s anything like mine, it’s going to be an amazing experience. Enjoy!

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Knitting & Crochet

Crocheting For A Cosy Autumn Evening

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We’re experiencing a cold snap in the UK at the moment and the evenings have been really quite chilly, brrr! I’m in the process of making a colourful granny square blanket, which is the perfect make for this time of year. However, as Halloween draws closer I really wanted to crochet some pumpkins. Luckily I was able to tuck into my yarn stash from the blanket, which will mean both makes will match beautifully once completed. Don’t you think the colours are just beautiful for this time of year?

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These granny squares will eventually all be crocheted together to make the blanket you see above. I’ve been slowly working on them during the fortnightly crochet group in Bath, which I’ve been running for the past four years. They’re the perfect project to take along to a crochet group as they’re not too technically demanding (and can of course be paused for the odd bite of cake and sip of warm hot chocolate!)

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The date of our last crochet group happened to mark its fourth birthday, so we decided it was the perfect opportunity to make pumpkins together. I was so happy about the prospect of crocheting pumpkins, but even more so with friends in a cosy coffee shop. I found the pumpkin pattern really enjoyable and just couldn’t stop making them. I challenge you to just make one….  I was able to stop at four pumpkins, which are now sitting very pretty on our fireplace.

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It’s now my plan to resume work on the beautiful sunburst granny square blanket, which you’ll find the pattern for here. Do you have any seasonal makes on your hook or needles? If so, I’d absolutely love to see them, please feel free to leave a link to your recent projects below. For all of you celebrating Halloween, have a spooktacular time and I’ll see you again soon.