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Meet Carol Meldrum, author of Knit Your Own Boyfriend

Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knit and crochet titles. She was taught to knit, crochet & sew at a young age by her Mum & Grandma. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, she has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan. Her own unique take on all things textile can be found online at Beat Knit and in selected boutique shops in Scotland.

 

What makes you passionate about your craft?
What I just love about knit is that from 2 sticks, a bit of yarn, knit & purl stitches and increase & decrease, you can create anything. There are so many fantastic yarns available to work with as well. It’s the challenge of creating the idea from your mind down through your hands & needles into a physical thing.

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
I have so many childhood memories, it’s hard to pick just one. The most cherished ones would be of family picnics & gatherings running around having adventures with my brother & cousins.

What sparks your creativity?
Inspiration can appear in all sorts of places for me. For my own accessories label, beatknit, I would say the main thing is colour, texture and pattern & how they can almost sing when you get it right. I also enjoy being given a brief to work from as well: it can take you in a direction that you might not necessarily naturally go, that’s when you discover new & exciting ideas.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
My crafty day actually starts the night before – I’ll write a list of everything that needs to be done, updates, emails, deadlines. I like getting up early in the morning and, weather permitting, go out for a run or a walk to blow away the cobwebs. Generally I’ll be home & ready to get started for 8.30/ 9am. A large cup of coffee is required! Then sit down at the computer & work through emails & correspondence. I usually have a few projects on the go at once so I try to split my day into sections, maybe knit in the morning and crochet in the afternoon followed by a bit of pattern writing. I’ll check the emails again early afternoon just in case there are any updates. I must admit I love scoring things off the to do list!

Organised mess or creative minimalism? What does your working space look like?
I tend towards the organised mess – I call it creative chaos! I can quite easily take over the whole house especially if I have a busy workshop schedule. I have a large living room that I work out of: I station myself at the dining table, and then gradually fill the space up with books, notes, yarn, needles. Every so often when I have a break between projects I tidy up vowing it won’t happen again!

Carol Meldrum is the author of Knit Your Own Boyfriend (Collins & Brown, £9.99)