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Q&A with Frankie of KnitWitsOwls Sewing Blog

Hi everyone,
You may remember Frankie from the last time she was featured on this blog. She blogs over at KnitWitsOwls, a knitting, sewing, refashioning, thrifting and all round craft blog! I recently go in touch and asked if she would like to do a Q&A guest post for all of your to read to get to know her a little better. On her blog Frankie describes herself as 'I'm a crafter, I knit, sew and paint, in fact there's nothing that's safe from me and my scissors'...a girl after my own heart :)
So without further ado, meet Frankie...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

I'm Frankie, I'm 22 years old and i live in Kidsgrove near Stoke on Trent with my fiance and little boy. I'm a stay at home mum, so I started my blog www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk as a way of re-finding the grownup crafting me!

When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?

I started crafting very young, according to my mother I could knit by the age of three and she taught me to sew not long after. I have very vivid memories of my first sewing project being a little handmade doll made from one of my dads old shirts, complete with wool hair and a wonky mouth! After my first project things started to spiral and before long i was sewing on my mums machine and demanding my own!

What is your favourite craft?

This is a tough one! I think it really depends on my mood, some weeks I'll knit continuously, sometimes I'll bust out 5 items of clothing in a week and if I'm feeling under the weather I tend to quilt. I think it depends on my mood and my emotions. But all in all I'd say those are my top three! It also depends on how my hands and back are feeling, my doctor says that years of sewing and knitting has given me arthritis in my hands and a bad back, he suggested I stopped crafting.... My solution? If my hands start to hurt from knitting I'll start sewing!

What do you love most about crafting?

The peace, its like sinking yourself into a good book, the entire world melts away and leaves you with hands and materials, trying to make something beautiful. I think it's primal really, even the cavemen wanted to make pretty things, they used cave paintings, we use copious amounts of fabric and yarn! Most of which we stash away because its just too pretty!

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

When I lived at home my mum used to pop her head in every now and again , but now I have my own house and family I tend to see crafting as my little bit of 'me time'. And as a mum of a spirited three year old it can be quite nice to have some quiet time every now and again! Saying that I am very excited to be working with my sister on a Ralph Rucci coat project this year! She's a first time sewer so I'm sure its going to be an experience that neither of us will forget in a hurry!

Who do you make things for?

Anyone and everyone! My favourite thing is to make things for myself! However I also make knitted and sewn items to order. And make things for very special family members! I recently made a blouse for my mum and I'm currently working on a truck load of baby gifts as my best friend is expecting! Generally I find that if someone finds as much joy as I do in something I make then I don't mind making something for them!

Knitted Yoda doorstop made to order!

What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?

I read blogs for ages before I started blogging, in fact they were what really inspired me to start making things again after I had my little boy, I remember spending hours pouring over Handmade Janes blog looking at all the beautiful things she'd made and wondering if I'd ever be that accomplished! The main reason though was that I was terrible at finishing projects, and whereas before I had my own craft room, now I have to share the house with two other people who arn't always pleased to find half finished projects in every corner. My blog forces me to be methodical, and it also shows me how far I've progressed in the past year, from learning new knitting stitches to finishing garments to a high standard! Not Handmade Jane standard quite yet, but one day I'll get there!

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

Biscuits, cake? But mainly I have to have a cup of tea by my side. I'm typically British , I cant cope without a decent brew!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

My scissors – razor sharp and brightly coloured, they are easy to find!

My tape measure – I'm a bugger for trying to do things by eye, my tape measure forces me to think properly and be precise (and as an added bonus it used to belong to my grandma!)

My little snips! - I know some people favour the unpicker but I much prefer a little tiny pair of scissors! Aside the fact they have a habit of slipping down the sofa cushions I think they are pretty awesome!

What's your worst sewing habit?

Putting pins in my mouth! Hands down this is the worst thing I do! I sit their sometimes and think “If i swallow this, I'm going to be royally screwed..... And I'll probably get blood on my fabric.”

What sewing skills would you like to learn/improve?

I'd like to do more with knit fabric, I'm hoping to crack that this year, and I'd love to learn how to make my own patterns.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?

I love cotton just because it produces such a clean finish, wool fabric because its make beautiful jackets and skirts and felt because it doesn't fray so its nice to use with kids! And also for adding small details to knitted projects!

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

I feel like maybe I should lie? Too many? I try to keep it to one knitting, one hand sewing and one dressmaking........... I try, I also fail!

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

I'd have to say its between my wool skirt suit and my corset dress, I was so pleased with the fit of both of them that I took photographs immediately!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

I'm currently working on a English paper pieced hexagon quilt as my main project for the year, I've promised the boys it will be ready for winter, so they can snuggle under it when they have the flu!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I watch the trashiest TV I can find when I sew! Teen mom, dance moms, soaps! Anything that's easy to follow if I miss a bit when I'm ironing! The more drama the better!

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?

Pinterest! Is there any other answer! I pin everything I love! I cant help it anymore it's like reflex, but other than that I look in magazines and read other peoples blogs!

Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?

Take a break, when your buttonhole foot isn't working, and you've sewn the wrong pieces together for the third time in a row just stop, make a cup of tea, read the paper and take five. Before you throw your project out of the window! That and measure twice cut once! That was drilled into me by my A level textiles teacher!

Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?

I read a lot of blogs! But some of my favourite are, Lovelaughquilt, Handmadejane, Sozo, Scruffybadger and Tillyandthebuttons! I like it when it sounds like a blog is written by a real person and not a corporate machine. I like to hear about peoples lives as well as their crafting!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

As corny as it is, be yourself! There is no one in this world who can be you quite like you can. After high school and college I had to accept myself as what I am, a ditsy, messy, seventy year old trapped in a 22 year old's body! I like to keep the tone of my blog conversational, almost as if I'm talking to my friends! And don't give up on it! It's not about views or comments or how many people are looking at your page, you started blogging because you had something to say! Yes its lovely if a million people a day read it! But its just as lovely if your close friends and family read it! Or even just your mum!

Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?

Messy, sporadic, flightly!

Knit by the age of 3? Wow that's impressive! And yes I have far too many projects on the go at once too. Thanks so much for sharing this insight Frankie. To find out more and see future projects take shape be sure to hop on over to Frankie's blog.

See you soon,

Vicki x

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