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Q&A with Monique from Crafty Crusader

Hi Monique, can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
I am a thirty-year-old woman working as a psychologist in London. I started the Crafty Crusader nearly five years ago. It is a space for me to record my adventures in craft, and to share ideas and tips with my readers. It started out mostly as a knitting and baking blog, but evolves as I develop creatively.
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
I have always liked making things, but I would say my craft life really started when a friend taught me to knit. I caught the bug immediately. My first project was a scarf from Stitch and Bitch. Unfortunately I have no idea where that scarf is now, and I don’t think I ever took any pictures.
What is your favourite craft?
At the moment, I am obsessed with sewing.
What do you love most about crafting?
I love making things that no one else has. I love starting with the germ of an idea in my head, and then coming out with something practical and beautiful, that I can use and wear.
Do your friends or family craft along with you?
Sometimes. My mother was a dressmaker when I was growing up, so I think that craft is in my blood. I have quite a few friends who craft, and it’s always nice to snatch a quick discussion about dropped stitches and the merits of different fibres.
Who do you make things for?
Mostly myself. Occasionally for friends and their babies.
What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?
A friend encouraged me to.
Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?
Not really. Often, I am so laser-focused on my craft that I will forget to eat or drink for hours on end.
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
1.                  Sewing Machine
2.  Interchangeable Knitting Needles
3.  Good, Sharp Scissors
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?
I love Viscose Fabric because of its beautiful drape. I have just recently started working with Jersey Fabric, and I am amazed by how comfortable the garments I make can be.
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
Many. Different projects have different purposes, e.g. I will often have a small project like socks to carry with me and knit on public transport. Often, I will have most things ready to start a project but inspiration strikes at strange times. Once I am really into a project, I will normally work on that fairly exclusively until it is finished.
What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?
Probably my Totoro jumper. A similar sweater was the first project I ever favourited on Ravelry as a novice knitter. Five years later, I felt I had the skills and confidence to start it, and it turned out just as I had hoped. I was so proud that when I went on Pointless, I argued with the wardrobe person to be allowed to wear it even though they discourage wearing white.
I recently completed my most complex sew, which was a dress made from sheer silk voile. I was sure something would go wrong as it was a tricky fabric and I altered the pattern, but amazingly it went smoothly and I absolutely love the dress.
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
For knitting, I watch a lot of series on Netflix. When I am sewing, I often have something on in the background, but I never pay much attention, so it has to be something I’m not that interested in.
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
I mostly get inspired by materials. Going into Liberty is great for that - both seeing the stunning new collections of beautifully patterned fabrics, and the haberdashery. Ravelry is also great for getting ideas.
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
1.     Colourful
2.     Bold
3.     Honest
What are your crafting ambitions?
At the moment, I’m not sure. I am enjoying developing as a crafter, honing my skills and learning to express my creativity through my makes.
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Just do it! Lots of people say they wish that they could craft, but lack the confidence. The only way to learn is by doing it.

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