Meet the knitter

Published on June 27th, 2013 | by Serena


Blogger of the Week : Little Cotton Rabbits

This week our Blogger of the Week is Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits. We already know you love her bunny patterns, now you can read more about Julie herself.


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.


About the Author

Serena loves sunshine, strawberries and Great Danes. She has gone from non-knitter to yarn obsessive in under two years, and is determined to drag the rest of the world along with her.

Last updated: December 6th, 2013.

20 Responses to Blogger of the Week : Little Cotton Rabbits

  1. marion chappell says:

    hi your work is lovely you can find me on fb we could chatt

  2. karri grierson-jones says:

    what a lovely story i knit for pleasure and to relieve my stress i too have son cameron he has ADHD and ASD i’m trying to teach my self to crochet wih no joy x

  3. Cheryl says:

    So much of this sounds like me, but without the stress of an autistic child. I have returned to knitting after a very difficult 2012 when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression as a result of the treatment I received in my job. I retired early and refound my passion for knitting. It is a stress buster and it means I can enjoy all the other pleasures of the garden and baking and camping and just life in general,

  4. Narelle Orton says:

    this is a story that reflects the lives of many. My best friend and I both have the challenge and extreme joy of raising boys with asd and find peace and stress relief in our knitting. We have spent many pleasurable days together drinking coffee and exploring each others stash while our boys play on the x-box together.

  5. Dottieven says:

    Julie’s work is beautiful – perfection – and her new knitting patterns are in themselves a work of art. I am waiting for a (second) liver transplant and knitting is something I can still actually do without too much exhaustion. I find it quite awesome that it brings such comfort to people in so many ways.

    Any problems that one has with one’s children are the trickiest and most demanding to deal with. Julie’s love for her family shines through in her blog and it is such a privilege that she shares her life and talents with us.

  6. Denise Farka says:

    I found you originally on etsy because I have a passion for rabbits. Every time I would look to purchase a rabbit they’d be sold out.. I am trying to make them now! Keep up the good work and give that son of yours a big hug for me.

  7. Janet Capeling says:

    We have so much in common Julie. I have six children, 24 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and 2 on the way. I love the countryside, my dad was a real country person. I loved camping though I can’t do it now, and I had a caravan until just recently. My mum taught me to knit when I was about 7 but I couldn’t put the yarn around my fingers as most people do so I had to find my own way. My first garment was a straight jumper in burgundy and blue. I hate to think of how many garments I have made over the years! I knitted not only for my own children but for nieces and nephews and friends. I have just taught one of my grandaughters to knit and theres one waiting in the wings. I am currently knitting and crotcheting for a new great grandchild in America and have just been told I have another one expected here in England. Keep up the good work, its marvallouse! Thank you for the inspiration you give to us all.

  8. Patricia Dibsdale says:

    Loved reading your blog .Have returned to knitting in past two years and had forgotten how calming it is.
    Am currently knitting wee garments for a new great grandson who was born prematurely weighing 1lb 2oz. He is doing well but not being dressed yet.
    Thankyou for your enthusiasm and good to know knitting helps with coping with your son .He will have artisic ideas maybe.

  9. I have only just learned about Julie and her passion for knitting and am amazed at her skill and knowledge. When I started reading her blog I felt we had something in common as she was taught to knit by her “Gangan” and I was called Gangan as soon as my firstgrandchild could speak and the name has stuck even though the youngest will be 21 next March. I don’t think my knitting or crocheting skills anywhere near equal Julie’s and at my age I don’t think they ever wil, but I can always dream. Good luck to Julie i her future endeavours and look forward to seeing more of her work..

  10. Catherine A. McClarey says:

    I recently got back into crocheting as a calming activity after my own autistic (young adult) son passed away (on Pentecost Sunday, oddly enough). I’m amazed at how much I’ve accomplished in the past 1 1/2 months. I just completed crocheting all the squares for a granny square afghan for my daughter to take to university with her in the fall, and am currently joining them (finished 2 of 3 long seams already, then 5 seams across the shorter dimension, and perhaps 1 “granny round” border for extra reinforcement & a finishing touch). I’m also finding loads of charity crafting projects I can crochet things for (such as Innocent Drinks’ “Big Knit” scheme which Loveknitting is helping promote – if they’ll take tiny crocheted hats too!). What fun to create something beautiful with my hands, a hook and a skein of yarn!

  11. lovely work, blessings to you and your familt!

  12. Helen Schauer says:

    Hi everybody I’m Helen from Australia . It is nice to read every ones stories .Living in the north of Oz knitting is not a big pastime so it is nice to read all your comments. As a nan I have plenty of time to follow my passion for knitting. Mostly hats for premi babies but also lots of odds and ends, I also recently fell into crochetting. Although having been taught at school it is now that I find it challenging. Making bags ,afghans ect. Please could somebody e-mail me that pattern you are all talking about “The rabbit” I am so happy to have this web site ’till nesct time Helen.

  13. Kathleen Galbraith says:

    I was fascinated to read this blog. I care for the elderly often just sitting by the bedside for company and have knitted premi garments too. Could you please advise where I may find, or purchase, the pattern for the “little Bunnies”. Many thanks

  14. I’ve been reading Julie’s blog for about 2 years, now.
    She has motivated me in my relatively (2+ years) new knitting interest with her inspired designs and immaculately crafted bunnies plus and clothing items that go with all of her animals!
    Her ability to compartmentalize her life with knitting as a stress-reducer has helped me as well. We all have stress – but how we cope with it can make all the difference in the world! Julie – Thank you so much!

  15. Sarah Williams says:

    I too have been following your blog for years. I love the links with other folk in the UK who have interests like mine. I have found you to be courageous and inspirational. Like Julie I use knitting and crochet as a stress release mechanism for other life ‘stuff”! I will remember the ‘ old china blanket’ for a long time because of the beautiful colours and I was inspired to make a similar one which is much used and loved! Don’t stop writing Julie! Church mice like me pop by to look!

  16. I am a huge fan of Julie, I have been following her blog for years! In fact I only have my own blog as a result of finding Julie’s because up until then I never knew what a blog was. I followed a link in a magazine because I adore bunnies and found the inspirational world of Little Cotton Rabbits. Julie’s work is amazing and she is a very lovely lady too!!!
    V x

  17. Mary says:

    Could you post the pattern for your afghan in muted colors?

  18. Pingback: loveknitting blog » Knitted Mini Christmas Stockings from Little Cotton Rabbits

  19. Hello I am interested in trying a bit of knitting again. It must have been junior school when I started. And I did a few baby clothes for my daughters! Who are now 38 and 36.. But my mom bless her always finished the necks off. I am dyslexic and wonder if I am really able to understand the patterns Well I have a go .. I am retired off from Nursing, through ill health. The big C kind of insisted twice wan’t enough. Well, I’m having a go with card making so why knitting. Absolutely love this site and so many out there for me search on..

    Kind Regards


  20. Giselle says:

    Oi Juli
    Gostaria imensamente que postasse a receita da coelha
    Pois quando chega na cabeça nào consigo finalizar

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