Talking craft and creativity with... Alison Howard
Thursday, February 26, 2015
To celebrate International Women's Day on 8th March, we talk to a series of crafty authors about inspiration and what craft means to them
Sunday 8th March is International Women’s Day and to celebrate, we’ve spoken to some of our favourite female crafters about inspiration, creativity and what craft means to them. There will be a new feature every day this week so check back for more!
Meet... Alison Howard!
When did you start crafting and why?
I've made things for as long as I can remember, beginning with an embroidered mat at my little village primary school, where we even learned to weave and to make baskets.
My grandmother taught me to knit and I taught myself to crochet. By the time I was 11 I was sewing dresses for my sister, though the knitted bikini I made when I was 13 wasn't a great success. I'm never without a project of some kind on the go, often two or three at once so I don't get bored.
When starting new projects or coming up with new ideas, what inspires you?
My motivation for new projects is usually the belief that I can make something for less than I can buy it for. I have a huge stash of bargain yarn to dip into when I need inspiration, and I've just made a brilliant cardigan using yarn that cost 39p a ball.
When I'm planning a knitting book, I like to give tips for substituting yarn and I also think it's important to include projects for knitters of all abilities. I'm not the most skilled knitter and I sometimes teach myself techniques after I've decided to make something, but I think that helps me to explain things more clearly. I also like to offer lots of tips and alternative methods of working the difficult bits. I'm too impatient to make anything too intricate, but I'm obsessed by tension and I always try to persuade people to check it before they start to knit.
Alison Howard is the author of Knitted & Crocheted Slippers and brand new book Knitted Cushions, both published by GMC (available to buy at www.thegmcgroup.com). She will be demonstrating projects from the books at GMC’s Author Lounge at The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show (Stand F14) on Thursday 5th March.