Life at The Little Grey Sheep

Back to School by Jill

I started knitting a few years ago aged 31. I had seen Kate Davies' Owl jumper and didn't knit so I asked my Mum to make it for me as a birthday gift. Then, having started to follow Kate's blog I wanted a fair isle hat she had designed. I decided it just wasn't sensible to ask my Mum again (and again) so instead I asked her to help me learn how, and she did. My next project was a hat for my partner, with a fair isle design of my own and the rest is history.

Although I'm slow and easily distracted, I find knitting very calming and therapeutic. I get frustrated, but then elated when I solve a problem, usually via youtube.

I quickly came to the conclusion that if young women with little education, toiling hard outdoors in the Scottish weather could knit spectacular items then really I ought to be able to attempt and complete anything, providing I had the wherewithal to stick at it. It would be fair to say I am an inexperienced, ambitious knitter.

When I recently left my job to look after my young child I never would have predicted my good fortune. I learned about Emma and The Little Grey Sheep, situated not 10 min away from my home, when my good (knitting) friend showed me an article feature in Country Living.

I pondered and planned how to approach Emma and wrote a letter explaining how much I would love to be involved in The Little Grey Sheep in any capacity. I now help Emma 2 days a week and I have learned so much since I began just a couple of months ago.

So far it's been helping with the new website, stock taking and organisation. I would describe Emma as an 'idea firework' who achieves a truly remarkable amount in the 24 hours she has each day, but I have helped to provide some horse power behind the boring but important part of getting all her wonderful products online. Not that it has ever been boring. Being around Emma and her yarn is inspirational and we chat all day about what happens next.

One of our discoveries was that some knitwear designers do not actually write up the patterns they design themselves and that there are plenty of pattern writers who do not design, but only write up patterns. After incubating this idea I wondered if perhaps I should learn how to write up patterns - potentially a suitable skill for a full time mum?

An internet search later and I discovered that there are not many distance learning opportunities available, but I found Loraine McClean, who's course Knit Design Online (Knit Design Online: Loraine McClean - Hand Knit Design Course), could teach me pattern writing and design and of course all the things I've never tried with knitting, which appears to be about 98% of it.

My coursework for module one arrived last week, my Vogue Knitting book (recommended, but not essential reading) arrived yesterday and I'm ready to begin. 

When you visit the blog here at The Little Grey Sheep and I've posted, you can expect to see something of my experience of learning the ropes and also more of my story of a knitting mum of one. I'll be really interested to hear what you think and look forward to hearing about your knitting story too.

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