Meet Kate Eastwood…
Kate Eastwood, author of the Just Pootling blog, writes fabulous tutorials for us here at Crochet Club! We caught up with her to find out what she loves to hook best…
Kate, when did you learn to crochet? What started your journey?
I started to crochet about 5 years ago – and it was pure determined stubbornness that started it off! I have knitted for as long as I can remember and had always thought of crochet as something that I would never be able to do because it was far too complicated, plus being a child of the 70s I was never a huge fan of granny square belts and waistcoats ! But then, reading a magazine one day, I stumbled across an article and photoshoot on a book by Nicki Trench called Cute and Easy Crochet. Well! What a revelation – it turns out crochet can be pretty darn cute, and fun, and the possibilities are actually endless! BUT I still couldn’t crochet, and neither did anyone in my family , so off to YouTube I went. And Oh, the joy of a video tutorial – you can pause, and pause and pause again ….
And slowly, very slowly little crochet squares materialised, not very good ones admittedly, but crochet squares they were never-the-less. I can honestly say that since that day I have been totally and utterly hooked. Addicted doesn’t even come close!
Do you prefer knitting or crochet?
I do still love to knit but crochet is far and away at the top of the list. I don’t know what it is that makes it so much more appealing that knitting, but I do love the fact that you are always only working with one loop on your hook instead of reams and reams of stitches as you do with knitting – and oh, the simplicity of ripping things back if need be rather than the awful panic I used to get into whenever I dropped a stitch whilst knitting. And, of course, quite a big plus from the rest of the family’s point of view is there is no faintly annoying clicking of knitting needles in the background as I was never the quietest of knitters.
What do you love to crochet most?
Hands down it would have to be blankets – there is just nothing like the fizz of excitement when planning a new one, choosing the yarn and getting started. The soothing backwards and forwards of a large piece of work is total therapy at the end of a day of work. I think pretty much everyone in my family has a crochet blanket now and all three of my daughters had a special one made for them when they either left home or went off to Uni. A crochet blanket has to be the ultimate hug that you can give to someone who’s away from home. Having said that though, since writing tutorials for lovecrochet.com I have really had to step out of my little box and make all sorts of other things besides blankets, and I have loved every single minute of it.
What’s been your favourite LC tutorial so far?
Oh, that’s such a tricky question to answer – because I have truly loved designing each and every one ! But if I had to choose it would be a toss up between my Animal Taggy Blankets and my Bobbly Cushion. I loved the Animal taggies because having a Nursery School I know how well loved favourite snugglies can be and I have to admit that the two I made have been wrapped in tissue paper and put at the bottom of my drawer, ready and waiting for my grandchildren!
The bobbly cushion I love because, well, its bobbly and also the design just worked so well, and so many of friends have made these now, which makes me feel very proud and more than a little warm inside!
Your tutorials are very clear and easy to follow – how did you create your style?
Thank you – I think that has probably got to be the teacher in me coming out ! I guess anything and everything can trigger an idea, and once that little seed is planted in my head there’s no stopping it. Of course, it goes without saying if I can get a bobble or ruffle in somewhere all the better, and one thing that really seems to be behind a lot of my ideas is the time of the year, from the different seasons and natures colours, from spring flowers to autumn leaves and that’s before I’ve even started on garlands for special occasions and celebrations. The whole process of creating something from nothing is something I will never get tired of – after all, the possibilities are literally endless! So much yarn, so many different things to make and just not enough hours in the day!
We love all your photography, and the way you set your “scenes” for displaying finished items – what’s your advice for people taking pictures of their work?
I have always loved looking at magazines and books and I suppose, subconsciously, certain styles become your inspiration. I love simplicity and clean lines and I guess when taking photos that would be my main starting point. Having said that I don’t have any formal training and more than a little hit and miss, with many photos being destined for the delete button! I often think that everyone must be getting very sick of my battered old kitchen table that seems to feature a lot in so many of my photos, but it just seems to work as the perfect place for photos with the kitchen being one of the lightest rooms in our house. That said, if there was someone taking a photo of me taking my photos you’d see dogs, cats and goodness knows what else all causing chaos around me!
What is your signature colour palette?
It sounds terribly dull and dreary but oh, I do love a grey ! From dark grey to the lightest of greys I just cannot resist, especially when a little touch of something light is added to it to lift it a little. And then, don’t even get me started on your camels, stones and taupes – heaven!
If you were a yarn…. which yarn would you be?
Oooh, that’s so hard ! How can I possibly choose ? If I was making a blanket I think I’d have to go for something cashmerino-ey, beautiful to work with and giving you the softest and warmest of finished blanket, but if I was setting to and making a garland of some sort it would have to be a 4 ply cotton for the texture and definition it gives. But, one things for sure, whatever the yarn it always has to go through the sniff test – I just can’t resist!