Growing up in the south of England, in a place called Totton, nestled nicely between the 'bright' lights of Southampton city and the wild heathlands of the New Forest National Park, my childhood was a joyous one. My dad was a Police Dog Handler, Mum was ex-police turned Learning Support Teacher and my brother was my first best friend (although he would deny it now) seeing as there is only 13 months difference between the two of us.
In the summer Mum and Dad would load the Land Rover up with all the kids from the cul-de-sac and take us out in to the middle of the national park. We’d find a rope swing and be content until it came time to pile back in to the Landie, soaking wet and exhausted and drive home, ready to do it all again tomorrow. If we weren’t in the forest, we were playing roller hockey in the street or waiting for it to get dark before starting a game of ‘9-9-In’ until Dad would call us in for bedtime. Rainy days were spent painting Warhammer, inventing new games or acting out our favourite parts of Disney movies. This was when my first love for crafting started.
My mum is a true artist. She is someone that can try her hand at anything and instantly be amazing. Painting, sculpting, felting, weaving, illustrating, knitting, cake decorating etc. We never really understood how lucky we were to have someone like her around, until later years when my brother would turn to her a day or two before Halloween and say “Mum, I need a dragon outfit for a work thing”. And she would come through, dragon feet shoes and all. So, I don’t really know why it took me so long to ask her to teach me to knit, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I eventually did. They were living in Spain at the time, and I had gone out to visit them between working as a stewardess on a private yacht and starting work as a ski chalet host. I was only there for a week, but she handed me some very yellow acrylic yarn and showed me the basics to knit a snood.
Needless to say, it wasn’t my best work. But that was that I was hooked.