KP: As a British crocheter, however running an international business, do you see any differences in crochet styles and techniques around the world?
TD: When I first started Angel Yarns I got lots of requests for crochet patterns and there just weren't any trendy designs to be had, there were cushions, doilies and throws but very few if any funky things for people to wear. This was also at the time when ponchos were coming in so I set about designing some ponchos and they flew out. We couldn't stock the yarn quickly enough to send the kits out, it was incredible. We did have fun with the US/UK terminology as they are so different but we got round it by putting a stitch guide at the back of all the patterns with clear images so people would know which stitch they had to use.
KP: Who are your own favorite designers?
TD: That is tricky, there are so many talented people out there that I admire, but obviously from a crochet point of view Jennifer from Stitch Diva in the US is very inspiring, she is also very versatile and has knitting as well as crochet designs.
KP: Do you have any hints and tips for a new crocheter?
TD: Keep practicing! If you are coming to it from knitting it will feel alien to work with only one implement but once you get the hang of the basics it really isn't hard. The best way to learn without a doubt is to watch someone else though. Books are great as a second option but there is no substitute for seeing it for real.
KP: As well as designing, and running a large online yarn business, you are also about to launch a new business LiliMay.com. How do you find the time!! When do you do your designing? (and any tips on good time management for other busy people!?)
TD: This question made me giggle! I'm very lucky to work at home with my husband Klyve and the business success I have had is really down to team effort from us both but he is very much behind the scenes. Obviously he doesn't design garments but he has built the websites and his knowledge online has put us up where we are in search engines. We share the childcare between us, neither Lucas or Lilly are in nursery or care, they are with us all the time.
It is very much a family run business as well, my two older sons also work with us so everyone pretty much chips in including mothers on both sides. There is no set plan generally, we know what needs to be done in a day and we keep going at it until it is complete which means we are often working very late but the children break the day up and take precedence.
We will be publishing a further interview with Tess in the next few weeks, giving us an insight into running a busy online yarn store, what the yarn trends are for the coming months and general glimpse 'behind the scenes'.
Don't forget to let me know if you know of anyone who would make an interesting crochet interview subject!!