It is all about me and Louise - My crochet journey over the years
I just thought that you would probably want to know my crafting background, and if I have any experience or not before you buy a pattern from me.
My name is Alison and I am married to Phil, we have two daughters and Louise who works with me here at Ali Crafts Designs and Wool to your door is our youngest. She is married to Peter and they have two boys. Our eldest daughter is married and they live nearby as well.
I started to crochet when I was about 16 and although my Mother was a knitter I was not as keen about knitting as she was. So I taught myself to crochet and loved the speed that I could produce something compared to my very slow knitting method...
I can take my crochet everywhere.
I start out teaching the children to crochet granny squares in my daughters junior school and that was it, I loved being able to teach people and to see their joy at being able to produce a square straight away.
I got a break in my local Adult Education centre a few years later where I went to learn how to Tat. The teacher was leaving and she put my name forward to take over her classes.
So it began, I started out over 30 years ago teaching tatting and crochet and have not stopped teaching since then. On my second year I started an embroidery and craft class where I taught many other things. We covered Hardanger, tapestry, cross stitch, card making, parcel wrapping, scrapbooking, beading and lots more over the years. One of my ladies encouraged me to start writing my designs and so from small acorns with simple type written patterns to learning and teaching computer skills on the way, here we are, our own range of crochet patterns and dare I say it our first knitting pattern. Working from home is great and I enjoy every moment.
I left Adult Ed. about 7 years ago and have taught classes and workshops since then from my home, I have had an online shop selling patterns for 5 years and we now have yarns and hand dyed yarns as well as lots of other items in our shop.
Phil and I have packed up our car 3 times a year for 5 years and set up stands at the NEC in Birmingham for the Hobbycrafts and York for the British Wool Show. We love doing the shows and meeting lots of very excitable ladies and some gentlemen, when they see our stand is only crochet. It is very hard work and now I am afraid the prices of the stands has meant we only did 2 last year and it may only be one this year.
I also used to do talks and workshops for anyone who asked me to do them. I have been to WI groups and Lace guilds as well, I am not keen on speaking but I can enthuse about what I think is the best time of my life.
And to the present day, Louise and I work together, she is the computer wiz doing the blog, Twitter and Instagram etc., she also loves to crochet and knit, while I design patterns and generally mess up the computer stuff. It works well for both us working from home....
Louise went to Hartlepool to Art College after leaving school has a Degree in Textiles and surface pattern and then went on to do a Masters in Computer Multimedia applications at Teesside University. She worked for a few years as a web designer but left to become a full time Mum.
Hope that this gives you some idea about us,
Ali and Louise