Why this particular craft? I live to knit, sew and crochet and I have been known to make greeting cards and floral decorations. I also own a scroll saw, which I love to ‘play’ with. But that hasn’t seen much use in recent years, with Hattie knocking about. I’m a member of a local knitting group, and we meet every Monday at a pub and sit and knit and natter. What I love about knitting is that I can do it sitting down with not too much paraphernalia.
If you weren’t doing this, what would occupy your time? I’d be doing something with my hands. I like to garden and I love lots of other crafts, so I’d always be creating something.
Who taught you your crafting skills? We visited my mum’s mum in the summer holidays every year. My grandma was a very practical woman and, having lived through two world wars, she was very good at ‘make do and mend’. She would always be making something and if she had a quiet five minutes, she’d pick up her knitting – very often on four pins. She taught my sister and me to knits, crochet and sew.
Why this skill – and this style? The shape of a teapot really dictates my style. I’m afraid most end up looking a bit plump. I grew up watching Camberwick Green and Chigley, and I do love the simplicity of their puppets. And I’m a big fan of Alan Dart. I love his attention to detail and the facial expressions he creates.
Do you teach your skills to others? My older kids were never interested in learning to knit or crochet. But my four-year-old picks up empty needles and pretends to knit. I will teach her when she’s a bit older and her concentration has extended to longer than half a minute.
How would you describe your style? Knitted caricatures. I want my style to be either cute for my animal cosies or playful with my ‘folk’ collection. I want to make people smile at tea time.
Any embarrassing botch-ups along the way? Of course! I’m always knitting things a bit wrong – that’s the beast with product development. When I first knitted a hot-air balloon, it was in one colour of red and it turned out like a big beret. My older daughter actually wore it as such for a while.
Where do you live and work? I live on a housing estate in an English town. What is lovely about where I live is that it only takes 20 minutes by car to get to most places in the town and only 10 minutes to be in the countryside. And I do like to be in the countryside!
Susan Cowper, TeaCosyFolk –