Tuesday 22 January 2013

Meet the Maker: Caroline Bradshaw of Caroline Makes it

I am excited about meeting the maker of this lovely bag. Can you guess why? A girl after my own heart. I love a bit of crochet.
I would love to blurb a bit more but this post is all about our next maker. So lets get on with it!

Firstly, two very important questions.

Tea or coffee? 
Coffee and lots of it! With a little milk and sugar.

Biscuit or cake?

Tell us a bit about yourself. 
Caroline Bradshaw, happily married to maths teacher hubbie with a beautiful daughter who has just turned four. Originally from Mid-Wales, now living in Dorset. My business is called 'Caroline Makes it', my items are available via http://folksy.com/shops/carolinemakesit and from Sherborne Tapestry Centre. You can keep in touch with me through my blog. My items are either knitted, crocheted or occasionally sewn, I concentrate largely on accessories, hats, scarves, jewellery etc. My life is split between looking after my family, crafting, working part time at Sherborne Tapestry Centre and volunteering one day a week at our local Sue Ryder charity shop.

What about the item that you are sharing with us?
I would like to share with you my latest make, a Granny Square Bag. The design is proving really popular at the moment, with the resurgence in popularity of all things crochet! It has been hand crocheted using a mix of Aran and Chunky weight yarn, in cream and a lovely colourway called 'Irish Rose' by Sirdar. It is currently available from my folksy shop. I love the versatility of the Granny Square design, you are only limited by your own imagination!

What is your craft? 
My main craft at the moment for retail is crochet, I find it works up quickly and produces beautiful textures and finishes, I am also an avid knitter, although I largely knit for family and friends at the moment, but it is not uncommon to find knitted items on my site alongside the crocheted ones. I have recently inherited a beautiful old Singer sewing machine from my grandmother, it dates from 1902, so my next mission is to master that!

How long have you been crafting and how did you learn? 
I have been knitting since a small child, my Grandfather and later my Mother taught me all they knew. It was also my Mother that last Easter (2012) sat me down and showed me the basics of crochet! I took a beginners crochet course at Three Bags Full in Yeovil, run by the wonderful Avril Best from Rowan last September, that took my skill beyond chains and trebles!

When did you start 'Caroline Makes It' and why? 
I started 'Caroline Makes It' September 2012 in response to various positive comments from family and friends who had bought my work.

What inspires and motivates you?
I find inspiration in all sorts of places, I often buy yarn before knowing what exactly I am going to do with it, and see where it leads me! I love trawling through second hand shops for ideas, items I can up-cycle or modify. My motivation comes from my wonderful family and friends that have so much faith in me.

Any crafting heroes?
Crafting heroes is a difficult one, I'm a big fan of Kirstie Allsopp's programmes, although most of my inspiration comes from books. Some of my favourites at the moment are by Erika Knight (I love the crochet designs), Val Pierce (her baby knits are gorgeous) and Tiff Fussell & Rachelle Blondel (their book Granny Chic is my new bible).

What are your plans for 2013 Caroline?
It's set to be an exciting year, there are a few new partnerships and opportunities on the horizon, I am hoping to expand my product line on Folksy and with the items I stock at Sherborne Tapestry Centre. I am interested in developing new jewellery designs, particularly using wire for knitting and crochet.

So, can we join you in your virtual world? 
You can find me in the following virtual places - http://folksy.com/shops/carolinemakesitt . On twitter @carolinemakesit , on pinterest 'Carolinemakesit' , my new blog is at carolinemakesit.blogspot.co.uk , I'm also on ravelry as 'carolinemakesit' and finally on Facebook 'Caroline Makes It' - that's a lot social media, isn't it!

A few quick fire questions for you.

Favourite Colour?
At the moment Red (but could change any time!)

The Best Season? 
Winter (perfect knitting weather)

Your favourite food?
Chocolate chip cookies!

The best day of the week?

What is the best word?

Favourite place?
Home with a warm cuppa and some yarn!

Your biggest achievement?
Gaining the confidence to put my work out there for public scrutiny

A big thank you to Caroline for sharing one on her lovely items with us. My hands are itching a little bit now...where are those hooks...

Mrs Crafty B

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