Blogger of the Week : Little Cotton Rabbits
Hi, I’m Julie – wife, mum of 2 and knitter. My 11 year old son is severely autistic and so life is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I write a little about our experiences in the hope of helping others in a similar situation and to give a little insight into some aspects of life with an autistic child. I also write a lot about knitting about which I’m passionate – it has helped keep me sane through some of the more difficult times with my son.
I trained as a graphic designer and since graduating I’ve worked as an illustrator, in sales & marketing and more recently as full-time mum and part time knitter. When I was 9 my Mum and Gangan taught me to knit and I’ve never really stopped. I knit to keep stress at bay, to have a creative outlet in my life but mostly because it simply makes me happy.
I like the quiet life.
I like listening to music – Ludovico Einaudu on a sunny Sunday morning, The Wailin Jennys in the quiet of the evening when the children are in bed, Nick Drake when it’s raining or I’m down and Jack Johnson when I feel full of life and want to dance with the children.
I like cooking and eating, especially homemade cake, cold rhubarb crumble with custard, goat cheese with tomatoes and I like drinking tea from a nice cup.
I like being outdoors, especially the smells of mushroomy earth, cut grass and thyme and the sounds of birdsong and the wind in the trees.
I like hills and woods, camping and the sound of rain on your tent when you’re warm & dry inside.
I like buying yarn, knitting, singing when I’m happy, reading other people’s blogs, warm socks and cosy cardis and I love being a mum.
When did you start knitting?
I think I was around 9 years old when I first learnt to knit properly, but I’d always been surrounded by knitting and crafts. My Gangan (gran) was a skilled seamstress and knitter and made a lot of her own clothes as well as things for my brother and me. My grandfather was very good at carpentry and my dad has always painted but it’s mostly my mum who encouraged me to knit, she clicked away most evenings. I seem to remember being given a knitting kit for Christmas one year – a little bag with plastic chunky needles and two balls of squeaky acrylic yarn, my mum showed me the basics and I was off.
What was your first project?
A garter stitch scarf in that squeaky acrylic yarn mentioned above – it was bright red and was never worn
Who are you most inspired by, and why?
My Grandparents have been a huge influence on how I try to live. They were both quite crafty and loved making things, baking, gardening and the countryside. I think that two of the keys to living a happy life are finding pleasure in some of the simpler things and making things with your own two hands.
Where do you look for inspiration when you are about to start something new?
I never really set out with the idea of making something new and then look for inspiration, it’s more the other way round and the inspiration finds me. I love browsing and following links on the internet and I quite often come across things that I bookmark. Sometimes I’ll come across an image and it sparks off an idea that grows into something new.
What is the project you dream of one day completing/finishing?
There are many. My queue list on Ravelry just gets bigger and bigger. I like working on things as the whim takes me so I always have lots of different things on the go interspersed with a lot of bunny knitting.
How and when did you decide to start blogging about your knitting?
I started the blog on September 3rd 2006 which was the day before my little boy started school. I was dreading him going and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my time. I had been away from professional work for over six years and so wasn’t keen on resuming a challenging career and I still wanted to be there when the children got home from school and in school holidays. But being at home most of the time can feel isolating and none of the mums I’d got friendly with were crafty in any way, so to satisfy my need for crafty companionship I’d been following a few creative blogs (mostly American ones). It was mostly Hilary Lang’s Wee Wonderfuls blog that got me thinking. There was a mum, writing about her makes and sharing her creative thoughts with a community of like-minded people and it seemed a great idea to start a blog and see where it took me.
What are your pet hates?
I can’t think that I have any
What are you focused on now? And what do you have planned?
Most of my focus at the moment is on writing up the patterns for all of the different animals that I make. I am really looking forward though to just knitting some again – pattern writing is hard work on the brain!
If you had to choose a favourite piece you have made what would it be?
My misty afghan. I love the muted colours and the geometric design. I’ve not been crocheting long so there are lots of errors in in but it’s nice for snuggling in on a cool evening.
Last updated: December 6th, 2013.