This week we meet Angela from Small Purple Hedgehog.
Tell us a bit about the artist behind your beautiful creations.
Hi. My name is Angela. I make a variety of crochet items including fancy tea cosies. I used to be a teacher and I guess I’ve always been a problem solver and creative. I worked with children with Special Educational Needs in a main stream school. And often used drawings and sometimes stories that I wrote to develop the children’s skills. I had to stop work because of stress and changes in working conditions. This was not helped by a light sensitivity issue that developed many years earlier. I decided to become a self employed crocheter as I had always enjoyed crocheting and it was something I could do.
Have you always been creative or did your talent evolve over time?
I think I’ve always been creative. When I was young, children watched less tv. My Nana taught me to crochet when I was 6/7. I also learnt to knit ( no idea who taught me) and to use Mum’s treadle sewing machine. I made dolls house dolls clothes, Tressie doll clothes. I wrote stories and drew. I continued to knit when I became a teacher. But had to stop all crafting when I became severely light sensitive – I couldn’t even read a newspaper. I could read and write on grey sugar paper. Fortunately the condition eased off and I was able to start crocheting again. I mainly used other people’s patterns at first. Then started making my own some of which I sell in my Etsy shop. I’ve always been able to do this with crochet, but not with knitting.
What is it that you enjoy most about your work?
Trying to make the picture I have in my head in crochet. I also just like to crochet. I can’t sit and do nothing. I like to make other people happy with the items I make.
Have you achieved anything in your crafting life that you are particularly proud of?
Two items: The first was a crochet cake for a customer. The lady was very particular about how she wanted it to look. It was about 40cm high. A great challenge.
And the second is my daughter’s uni blanket. It’s not finished, fortunately she has been doing an art foundation course this year and living at home. I need to finish it before the middle of September. I’m making it in squares, some of which are decorated with crochet motifs (most of which I’ve designed) to show the things my daughter likes/is interested in.
Other than crafting what else do you like to do?
I also bake, make jam and chutney, grow veg and plants for the local Rochester Country Market.
I love to spend time in the garden. One day it will be finished and I can just sit and enjoy it.
If you had to choose your favourite from your creations, which would it be?
Probably the Spring tea cosy. It was a commission for an American lady who has bought a few tea cosies from me. Last year she wanted something to make her think of Spring as the Winter had lasted so long. I love Spring flowers too, so we agreed on a combination of daffodils in different shades (which reminded me of the grounds at college) and purple violas to add a pinch of colour.
Find something you enjoy doing and explore its possibilities. Join a Facebook group or two and join in with the posts. Joining your local Country Market if there is one is a great way to meet other people and sell a bit of craft. Crafting can be a lonely business. If you bake, keep bees, grow veg and plants it’s also a great place to be.
What advice would you offer to someone new starting out in the craft world?
Find something you enjoy doing and explore its possibilities. Join a Facebook group or two and join in with the posts.
Joining your local Country Market if there is one is a great way to meet other people and sell a bit of craft. Crafting can be a lonely business. If you bake, keep bees, grow veg and plants it’s also a great place to be.
If you could change one thing about what you do, what would it be?
To be able to crochet faster and take better photos.
What do you think has helped your business the most?
Joining craft groups on Facebook. You need to join in with posts. I’ve been lucky. The groups I joined early on have been very supportive. Crafting can be a very lonely, so having a supportive group makes the ‘job’ much better.
Has any person helped or supported you more than any other?
Not an individual, but my family have been very supportive. Even though our house is full of boxes of my yarn! My daughter is often my model, although both my husband and son have modelled too.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I love hemerocallis. I have many different ones in my garden.
How would our readers find you? (websites, social media etc)
Would you like to be interviewed by Creative Crafting? Find out more HERE