MAKER SPOTLIGHT: Pearson Handmade

MAKER SPOTLIGHT: Pearson Handmade
Lara Pollard-Jones

Sue works in all aspects of crochet and has been commissioned to design and make items for publication in national magazines.  Her work has appeared in Crochet Now and Simply Crochet, and is scheduled to appear in both magazines again in 2024.  One of her designs for a magazine used some of our own yarns and so we asked her to hop on to our blog!

When did you start your craft?

As a child, my mum taught me to knit and crochet before I was 10 years old.  She taught me to sew by hand and with a machine, and how to cross-stitch.  A neighbour taught me how to smock. In my early twenties I learnt the basics of lace-making, enough to make the lace edging for my baby’s christening robe.  When my children were small, I embarked on a City and Guilds Design and Embroidery qualification, where I discovered braid making, tassel making and felt making. During the first Coronavirus lockdown in early 2020 my husband built me an inkle loom from bits of wood in his shed, and I taught myself to weave.  During the second Coronavirus lockdown in late 2020 I discovered Tunisian crochet.  I keep coming back to crochet - it is my favourite thing to do.  I keep my hand in with lots of the other crafts, but crochet is the thing I always return to.


What do you like best about it?

I love that crochet enables you to make a stitch anywhere - there aren’t really any rules if you choose.  You can pick up a hook and use any materials you have to hand, from beautiful yarn to string or cut-up plastic bags.  It’s easily transportable - a hook and a ball of yarn fits into most bags, so I’m never bored.  I can’t readily sit and do nothing: I need something in my hands, and crochet is so tactile.


Do you have a favourite thing to make?

I love making, full stop, but if I had to choose a project just for my own pleasure, it would be an aran-weight blanket.  There is something very lovely about making a blanket with good drape, that grows over you and keeps you warm as you work.


Why is crafting important to you?

I think it’s telling that my re-focusing on crochet happened around the Coronovirus lockdowns when we were all, to some extent, isolated and out of our usual routines.  Crochet is important to me because it calms my mind as it keeps my hands busy.  I like to joke that it stops me raiding the biscuit tin, but in all seriousness working with yarns, with ideas, swatching, sampling, ripping out and starting again, is all part of such a joyous process - crafting is my happy space.


What are your preferred products to use?

I’m often drawn to colour - I can’t resist a long gradient colour change, or a beautiful shade of a single colour, or the simplicity of undyed natural fibre.  In summary, if I see it, it goes in my basket.  Having said that, I always try to design with yarn that has at least some percentage of natural fibre.  Recently, I’ve been working a lot with aran-weight yarns and 4ply.  I’m also, whisper it quietly, obsessed with hooks and accessories.  I don’t need any more, but I can’t resist a beautiful hook, a chunky yarn bowl or a shiny stitch marker.  An intervention may be necessary.


Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to take up your craft?

When you watch someone with experience crochet, it looks really easy.  After all, it’s one hook and some yarn - what could go wrong.  I think learning to hold the yarn in your non-hook hand is key to keeping a good tension, which in turn helps you to manage making the stitch.  Don’t give up if your first attempt isn’t fabulous - if you keep trying, you’ll soon be crocheting smoothly.

What's your favourite thing about World of Wool? 

(As usual, we're not going to apologise for this leading question! :P)

The wealth of natural fibres available is my favourite thing.  At World of Wool you can find yarn from UK breeds of sheep, which is important.  I particularly like the Marble range, which blends merino wool and silk, because it gives good stitch definition and feels lovely when crocheting.

You can find Sue on her own website, Instagram, Ravelry and Etsy.

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