YARN Ambassador Lily on her passion for textiles

Woman and sheepskins

Hi, my name is Lily, and I’m 15.

I am currently studying for my GCSE in Textiles at Shelley College, and I’ve spent my entire life in an incredibly creative household, where nearly everyone is always working on something creative. When I was very small, I sewed dresses for my teddies and dolls, and my mum and grandma both knit.

I can knit and crochet (also known as ‘Bicraftuality’). I started knitting when I was in year 4 (about 6 years ago), and I learned to crochet about 4 years ago. I think I learned to knit because everyone else in my house could knit (except Grandad). One of my friend’s mum and grandma taught me to crochet, and the first thing I made was a face cloth. A very holey face cloth. I am slowly improving, and I love every moment of the knitting and crochet process – finding a pattern and some beautiful yarn, casting on, unpicking 17 rows in a row, knitting the equivalent of 23 socks instead of 2, binding off, blocking (washing) and wearing my creations with pride. Knitting, or crochet, curled up on a sofa with a nice film in the background is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

I am fortunate to know yarn dyers, knitwear (and Crochetwear, if that’s a word. If it isn’t, it is now.) designers and even a farmer who keeps sheep, so I’m familiar with the process of sheep to garment, and I find the whole thing fascinating. Like how some sheep have fleece that when spun is virtually waterproof, or how the same colour of acid dye looks very different depending on what yarn it is used on. I even love the fact that the pretty examples of patterns you can see knitted up, are often knitted by someone else.

I joined the Knitting and Crochet Guild officially this year, but I’ve been going to the Huddersfield branch meetings for a quite a while. I’ve been to all sorts of workshops and talks all about textiles and the social history of textiles. I love the guild, because everyone knows you and it is a really nice, creative environment where there is a wealth of knowledge and little tricks that you’ll NEVER LEARN ON YOUTUBE!! It is always lovely to see the people you, for one reason or another, haven’t seen in ages, have a catch-up and compare knitting.

I wanted to join YARN for the simple reason that I love textiles – and I love meeting people who share that passion.

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