My love of crafts started when I was 5. My lovely next door neighbour taught me to knit and my first project was knitting a strip in garter stitch, folding it in half, sewing a seam on one side, adding 2 lengths of ribbon to make a baby’s bonnet. The baby probably never wore it but I was proud of it.
Over the next years, I did the usual sewing, art, pottery, metal work (where I learnt to enamel jewellery) at school. I did O level (as they were back then) Embroidery.
Having done dressmaking at school, I carried on making my own clothes and even made a trouser suit as a going away outfit for my wedding, which didn’t happen, so I gave it away. I made all sorts of different things from large patchwork floor cushions, elephant pouffe, to a large Afghan Hound dog as well as lots of smaller items. I also knitted and made clothes for my Son during the 90s
I had a break for a few years but started again when I opened my B&M shop in 2011 (above pic). I was introduced by some of my customers to Jean Greenhowe and immediately loved her patterns. I have knitted the MacScarecrow Clan, Santa and Mrs Claus to name a few. They are so simple and not anywhere near as complicated as they look. The majority of the dolls are made using the same simple basic body. It is the accessories, which are also simple to knit that build the character. If you can cast on (thumb method), knit, purl, increase, decrease and cast off, you can knit Jean’s Patterns.
Jean Greenhowe’s Scotty MacScarecrow and his wife Morag. Pixie Patch
Jean Greenhowe’s Great Uncle Angus MacScarecrow
Ann Franklin’s Doris the Land Girl
In 2006, I did a Silversmithing and Jewellery making course at college.
I also run Southam Crafters, which I started in January 2014. We meet twice a month in the Community Centre in Bishops Itchington where we craft and chat. We currently have a lovely group of people who are learning to crochet, although all crafts are welcome. Lots of laughs and fun.
Sadly, last year for reasons out of my control I was unable to renew the lease on the shop so decided to run it from home in one of our barns.
The work on the barn is progressing nicely and hopefully it will not be too long before it is open. Therefore, our products are only available online through our website or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/thecraftyottersholt.
We currently stock products from Stylecraft, King Cole, James C Brett, Bergere De France, Woolcraft, Pony, Clover, Hemline and Trimits. We are still in the process of adding all the products to our website, with lots more to come, so please bear with us. In the meantime if you cannot see what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us. Sign up for our Newsletter for news of products added, special offers etc.
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