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We've been open for very nearly a year now (it's our birthday next week, and you should come) and we thought it was about time you got to know some of the people behind the scenes.

We've spoken to a few of the people who we talk to regularly, from the independent businesses we try and support, to the biggest suppliers and publishers. We'll bring you an interview type post every week or two and hopefully give you a little glimpse into how the yarn you love gets created and brought to you.
 

TRULY HOOKED

First up is Verity from Truly Hooked. Producing beautiful, bold and brilliant yarns, Truly Hooked aims to bring a splash of colour to your stash.  Every skein is dyed by hand, bringing you unique luxury yarns that are a pleasure to work with.

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  • Where did Truly Hooked start?

Entirely by accident! After having my first baby, I’d been thinking of learning to crochet & never got round to it, but the sudden loss of my Dad gave me motivation to learn, mainly to take my mind off everything that was going on around that time. I posted photos on social media, friends asked me to make things for them, like baby hats and jumpers. They told their friends and all of a sudden I was earning some extra cash doing something I liked that fitted in around my child. The business became official in April 2012 and once I learned how to dye yarn and became confident at it, I made the permanent switch to yarn dyeing and designing.

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  • Looking at your Facebook and Instagram Truly Hooked is very much a family affair. How easy is it running a business with three young children?

Its hard work! Four years ago, I used to get up early and do dyeing at 5am before the kids were awake, as my days would be so busy with them but since 2015 Mr TH has been home full time too, which makes things a bit easier as we share a lot of the non-business responsibilities. The last two years has been very exhausting, with a house move, pregnancy and a small baby too, but now the (not so small) baby is at nursery, I have a couple of days completely child free which really helps me manage my time more. Finding the balance is always tricky, but the relative freedom we have as a family is wonderful.

  • Are Mr. TH or the kids interested in knitting or crochet?
Not especially! Our daughter will often say she’s ‘doing some knit-ning’ but shes actually just aimlessly sticking needles in a ball. If she asks me to teach her though, then I’d love to. Mr TH and I did decide once that he was secretly going to learn to knit and I was secretly going to learn to drive, but we spend all our time together so it hasn’t happened yet!
  • You seem to spend a lot of your time at yarn shows, which is your favourite and why?
We love all the shows! Its such a buzz for us getting out there and meeting customers old and new, seeing the projects they’ve made and developing lovely relationships. We’ve become really good friends with other exhibitors too, and getting to see them a few times a year is just lovely. Its like a big yarny family! Yarndale is wonderful as its just SO busy and such good fun but I also love Bakewell Wool Gathering for its lovely relaxed vibe, and I did enjoy the ease of getting to the Nottingham Yarn Expo last year as it was on our doorstep!
  • Which did you learn first, knitting or crochet, and which do you prefer?
I actually learned to knit when I was 7 or 8, but didn’t stick with it very long. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I learned crochet and then a year later re-learned knitting again. They both have their merits – crochet is my first love and its just so speedy, especially for designing, but I have to say I find knitting more relaxing and enjoyable now.
  • We're big fans of Truly Hooked personally, and have lots of your yarn in our stashes at home (as you know!), but what's your favourite fibre and colourway to dye up?

I pretty much exclusively dye merino based fibres, so they’re definitely my favourite as I love the softness and the ease in which it takes colour, but I do also love the depth and richness of colour that yak fibres give as they’re naturally a dark grey to begin with. My favourite colourway changes all the time, at the moment its Petrichor – a soft green and white based colourway with neon green, yellow and grape speckles over it.

  • Which of your pattern designs do you like the most?

I think its probably Beatrix, a crochet shawl that I designed a few years ago to show off gradient yarns. We were going on holiday to Norfolk, and the shawl just fell off my hook on the 4 hour drive. Its been really popular, and I will never tire of seeing the different versions people bring to shows or tag me in on social media.

  • Are knitted leggings REALLY that practical? Are they comfy? (Verity made knitted leggings, you can see them here)
They are SO comfy! Not especially practical with a snotty grubby toddler grabbing on to them all the time, so I don’t wear them a lot at home, and they’re not ideal in a rainstorm, but for hanging out at yarn shows, or keeping warm on a cold day, they’re brilliant! Everyone should have a pair.
  • Where do you get your inspiration and ideas?
I get asked this a lot, and the honest answer, is that I just don’t know! I don’t do mood boards, or have ideas of things I’d like to do, it just kind of happens. I very much ‘wing it’ when I’m designing, and often when I’m dyeing too unless I have a fixed theme for a club where I’ll use a photo for inspiration or guidance. Being creative allows such a great degree of freedom, and I really enjoy that.
  • If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 things would you take, and why?
- A swiss army knife for doing practical/survival type things,
- my trainers so I could run without injuring my feet,
- a large series of books, like A Song of Ice & Fire, because I never get time to read,
- a project bag with enough yarn/needles/etc to make a couple of things
- a photo of my husband and kids

  • What can we look forward to next from you?
A new sock book! ‘The Second Drawer Down’ is a work in progress, patterns have been designed, test knitted, sent for tech editing and I’m nearly ready to hand everything over to MrTH for photos/layout/all the magic to happen! We hope to launch it at Fibre East, if not sooner!
 
If you want to find out more about Truly Hooked you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, or at trulyhooked.com.
 
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CREATIVE WORLD OF CRAFTS

Next up in our Friends of Woolfull interview series is Kirsty, the office manager (and our favourite person), from Creative World of Crafts.

For all you fans of our amazing range of cake yarns, these are the guys you have to thank! :)

When we started Woolfull wanting to stock Caron Cakes was one of the first choices we made. Our cake range now is huge, and still growing.
 
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  • Tell us a little about CWOC. How did it start and what do you do?
Creative World of Crafts started in 2010, it is now growing to be one of the biggest craft distributors in the UK. We distribute three of the biggest yarn brands, Caron, Bernat and Lily, as well as things such as KB Looms, Cross Stitch and Papercraft. I joined the company as a junior in 2013 and I am now the office manager, I look after all of the trade accounts, as well as overseeing the office and warehouse staff.
  • How many people work there and where are you based?
We currently employ 15 staff members, the offices are based in Kibworth and the warehouse is in Oadby, both in Leicestershire.
  • What’s your role and, other than talking to Debbie a lot, what does a typical day look like?
As office manager, everyday is different. There is always something going on, or a new challenge to overcome. Generally my mornings are spent looking after the orders and making sure everything is running smoothly, then the afternoons can vary and the end of the day is for invoicing and accounts, (as well as talking to Debbie) :D
  • We’ve been massive fans of Caron yarns for a while now, but they’re only just becoming popular in the UK. Have you been surprised by how they’ve taken off in the last year?
I'm not at all surprised at how well the products have taken off. They're fantastic, the quality is amazing, the colours are stunning, the yarns speak for themselves.
  • Do you knit or crochet yourself?
No :( I'm left handed and I can't get the hang of it, but I've tried to learn a couple of times. I'll stick to my Cross Stitch.
  • What’s your favourite yarn?
At the minute I would say Boysenberry & Cherry Cake in the Caron - Big Cakes because they look like Mermaids and Unicorns. There is also a STUNNING new yarn coming out towards the end of the year but it's top secret. Don't tell anyone :) all I will say is you won't be able to stop stroking it!
  • If you were stuck on a desert island what 5 things would you take and why?
My Dog, An Emma Bridgewater Mug, Pyjamas, Strawberry Cables and my phone - because I can't live without any of them lol!
  • What’s the best thing about working for CWOC?
Everyday is different, it's never boring! I love speaking to all of the customers (especially Debbie of course) and stroking all of the fabulous wools!
 
Creative World of Crafts retail to trade customers only. You can get your hands on most of their products at Woolfull (of course!). To find out more about Creative World of Crafts check out their Facebook page.

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CROCHET NOW

Next up in our Friends of Woolfull interview series is Liam, our friend at Practical Publishing.

Practical Publishing have a wide range of leading craft magazines, but the main one we get involved with is Crochet Now.

  • Crochet Now is one of our favourite magazines, but what's it like to work there?

It’s great! It’s really nice to have a job that allows you to have so much creative expression, whether it’s through writing pages for the magazine, working on crochet projects or even coming up with fun ideas for future issues. It’s a very fast paced environment with everything being worked to deadlines, but I enjoy being kept busy.

  • How long have you been working for Crochet Now?

I joined Practical Publishing in January of this year. My role is as Editorial Assistant for yarn magazines, which means I work across both Crochet Now and sister magazine Knit Now.

  • What’s the best thing about your job?

I think getting to see and test brand new yarns as they’re released is a definite perk of the job!

  • Do you knit or crochet yourself? If so when and how did you learn?

Yes – both! My mum taught me to knit years ago but I’d never experimented with more than a scarf or a hat until recently. I taught myself to crochet at the end of last year when I applied for the job here at Practical Publishing. I’ve finished a few projects since then including a teddy bear for my niece and a jumper for my dog (which he looked so ashamed to wear).

  • How many people work for Crochet Now and where are you based?

Our offices are based in Stockport and we have more than 60 people working here across all of our paper craft magazines, sewing magazines, yarn magazines and even a team dedicated to our online ecommerce site, Craftstash. The Crochet Now team consists of our Editor Jenny, Art Editor Craig and myself. We’re also supported by the many other experienced crafters in the office who are passionate about crochet and are happy to lend their thoughts to making the magazine the best it can be.

  • We’re willing to bet working for a magazine isn’t always fun and games, but what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you there?

We’ve all had some rather exciting news recently as Crochet Now has just been awarded Magazine of the Year in the Specialist Interest category at the National Magazine Awards 2018! We’re all really excited that our work has been recognised in such a fantastic way and hope this is the first of many accolades for the magazine.

  • Do you get to travel around to shows and things?
Yes. The team regularly gets out of the office to visit shows, meet with yarn companies and to say hello to our friends in yarn shops around the country. It’s great to be able to get out of the office and find out first hand what’s getting people excited. Everything we discover helps us to improve the magazine and bring our reader’s high quality patterns and content.
  • What’s your favourite yarn?
I’m currently working on a knitted dress from Knit Now magazine for my two year old niece using King Cole’s Big Value Recycled Cotton Aran. It’s so soft and easy to work with so I’d definitely put it high up on my list.
  • If you were stuck on a desert island what 5 things would you take and why?

I love The Island on channel 4 and if I’ve learned anything from Bear Grylls, it would be to take...
- Plenty of matches to make it easy getting a fire lit
- A fishing net to hopefully catch some fish for dinner
- A sharp knife to chop and carve wood for the fire and shelter.
- A big ball of yarn so I’ll have something to keep me entertained. It might be useful for making a raft or shelter as well, who knows.
- A satellite phone so I can call someone to come get me when I get bored.

  • Do you have a favourite designer? If so, who?

We work with so many fantastic designers on a daily basis and I’m constantly saying that I want to make all of the patterns that are submitted to the magazine. I’d struggle to name an absolute favourite!

  • What’s your go-to pattern?

I’m still learning a lot about crochet so I’m trying a bit of everything at the moment! I think I’d like to try a blanket next so will be on the lookout for a great pattern to work from. (Editor's Note - we can recommend a great crochet blanket that will match any decor -  the Woolfull 100 Colour Blanket)  ;)

Keep up to date with the latest Crochet Now news by visiting www.crochetnow.co.uk or by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Back issues and magazine subscriptions are also available by visiting www.moremags.com. You can also download digital additions from www.pocketmags.com.

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LET'S KNIT

Next up in our Friends of Woolfull interview series is Becky, our friend at Aceville.

Aceville publish over 30 magazines, but the main ones we get involved in are Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting.

  • How long have you been working for Let's Knit?

I have worked for Aceville for just over 8 years now starting with Crafts Beautiful magazine, then PaperCrafter and Top Crochet Patterns. I started working with the ladies on Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting in November last year and really love it.

  • What’s the best thing about your job?
The people! Here at Aceville we all work so closely together and are all very proud of our publications. Working with clients producing bespoke campaigns to take them through a journey is the most rewarding job ever. Working so closely together day to day, I feel like I have an extended family
  • Do you Knit or crochet yourself? If so what’s your go-to pattern?
I have tried crochet before and enjoyed it. I am looking at learning on a bigger scale. I look at all the beautiful projects from Let's Knit, Let's Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet and Top Crochet Patterns and get the instant feeling of ' I need to make this now'.
  • We've just taken part in our second yarn shop day, and it was weeks in the planning, but when do you guys start getting ready for it?
We talk about Yarn Shop Day all year round. We are due to discuss preparations for 2019 next week just days after the 2018 event has finished. So exciting!
  • How many people work for Let's Knit and where are you based?

With editorial and advertising combined there is a team of six. We are based in Colchester Essex.

  • We’re willing to bet working for a magazine isn’t always glamorous, but what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you there?

Being able to join the Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting team for me has been the most exciting thing that has happened to date.

  • Do you get to travel around to shows and things?

Yes, I visit where I can and also help out when we exhibit at shows. Meeting the consumers who are purchasing our publications, and hearing face to face feedback on how much they love our titles is so rewarding. I also like to visit trade shows to keep an eye on latest trends and anything new coming up.

  • What’s your favourite yarn?

There are too many to choose from! I love them all!

  • Do you get sent free stuff to test? What’s the weirdest?

I haven't yet received anything weird. I love seeing all of the new yarns coming through.

  • If you were stuck on a desert island what 5 things would you take and why?

Definitely my son Archie, My husband Adam and my dog Teddy. Wherever I go even if it is a trip to a relatives I have to pack snacks, so I would pack snacks and plenty of water!

Thanks very much to Becky for taking part in our interview series. You can subscribe to Let's Knit at https://www.letsknit.co.uk/www.letsknit.co.uk/

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