Continuing my theme of highlighting friends and fabulous people, I thought it was time I told you more about my wonderful sponsor Superknits. I was extremely lucky to stumble across this friendship and therefore her YARN quite early on in podcasting. Not only is this lovely lady warm and intelligent, she's a super dyeing genius and all time record holding best customer service person ever! (try saying that 5 times fast). Also, I love trying to guess where her colourway names come from- it's a favourite game in the playful household.
psssst There's free postage within the UK till 31st December 2011 so get in quick!
1. Tag, you're it! Take centre stage and tell us who you are.
I am the person behind superknits.com where I sell lots of nice yarns including my own range of yarns. For many years I drifted along in the legal profession but woke up one morning realising I was quite unhappy with my life. I wasn’t really sure what direction to take so I left my job and took some time out to discover what I wanted to do. I’ve always been a bit craft happy and had been knitting on and off since my teens. There wasn’t anywhere locally to buy nice yarn so I decided to set up Super Knits to sell all the products I liked. Deciding to set up the business was the easy part; getting finance was much harder. Unless you own a house, banks generally aren’t interested in you, especially during the recession and especially if you’re unemployed and single. In the end I went to the Princes Trust but although they could provide a mentor, they wouldn’t lend me any money either as they no longer support retail ventures! I finally managed to get a small amount of finance from a bank which enabled me to buy stock and set up the website. I liked the yarns I sold but I couldn’t seem to find the sort of shades that I wanted. I like slightly off palette colours, dirty teals, spicy mustards and semi-solid greys. I couldn’t seem to find these shades anywhere so I went on a course to learn how to dye yarn. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I love playing around with colours and for years I’ve collected paint charts, bits of wrapping paper with nice colours on, nice scraps of fabric. This seemed to really fire my imagination and I left the course feeling quite certain about what I wanted to do. I now sell my own range of hand dyed yarns through my website.
What helps keep you playful?
I’m a big reader. A few years ago I sold a lot of my books on ebay and that’s probably my second regret in life (the first is that I never got to see riverdance live). I also like taking photographs of flowers, animals and landscapes. I think it goes without saying that I do a lot of knitting. I am a cardigan and sock addict. I am taking part in a dozen shawls in 2012 KAL to try and curb this habit.
What is your guiltiest pleasure? (If you say X factor or Towie, I will remove you as Sponsor).
I am obsessed by medieval things. I love anything to do with the Tudors or the War of the Roses. It’s no coincidence that my yarns are named Bessie, Mary and Anne. I am thinking of studying for a history degree but I’m still a bit undecided about it.
I also love comedy, the sillier, the better. Neither of my parents have a funny bone and can’t stand comedies. I have no idea where I get it from.
I love writing my blog as well. It’s a kind of outlet for all the stuff in my head and I do enjoy it.
I also rather love the Eurovision song contest. That has to be the guiltiest pleasure of them all.
What is your comfort food of choice?
I don’t have one particular comfort food of choice but I do like a biscuit. I am a grazer and I snack constantly. I like Cheddar biscuits, those tuc biscuits which are really salty with the creamy cheese in the middle and bourbon biscuits. I have a bit of a thing for Skittles sweets at the moment. I like cheap, naff wines like babycham and blue nun. A friend and I used to buy each other rip off wines, each trying to outdo the other, like a magnum of “Charlemagne” (rather than champagne) although that came to an end when we got a 79p bottle of wine, nicknamed “the basilisk” from a discount shop and it was like paint stripper. I also have a bit of a thing for teapigs English breakfast tea.
What was your favourite childhood game?
My favourite games were the ones I made up (although I loved playing Hungry Hippos). The first was “fat bellies” which was a wrestling style competition for two people where you poked your belly out as far as it would go and then try and knock your opponent over using your stomach (no arms allowed).
The second game didn’t have a name but was by far the most superior. My childhood home was at that time, a quiet residential street with few cars. In the houses nearby there were lots of children of a similar age so we would all play together in the front gardens or in the street. For this game you needed a skateboard and probably at least 7 children; 2 riders, 1 pusher, 2 stewards and 2 traffic wardens. The street around the corner was a steep hill. One of us had a massive skateboard (you can see where this is going). We were lucky that we were relatively small children so two of us would sit on the skateboard, there would be a relay of shouts of “ready” up and down the hill, the pusher would give you a good shove, gravity would take effect and whoooosh, off you went. You would travel down the hill, picking up speed, trying to stay on the pavement and the skateboard and then when you nearly got to the bottom of the hill the traffic wardens would have to check the road was safe. I clearly remember being on the skateboard and a child having to stop traffic in the road, the drivers looking extremely confused when a skateboard carrying two children ricocheted down the hill, over the road at breakneck speed and came to a halt by crashing into a conifer tree. And no, we never wore helmets.
When you daydream, where do you tend to end up?
I once spent a really enjoyable summer season working for the National Trust at Hanbury Hall which is just outside Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire. It is a beautiful part of the world. I worked as a talking signpost (seriously) and was based outside. When I daydream I tend to be back around that area, being outside in the sun with a gentle breeze, surrounded by green fields and having a nice slow walk up the hill to the church. Of course I completely forget that it poured with rain, the wind blew horizontally across the fields, there was a large amount of sheep poo and I once got so wet my underwear was soaked through. Happy days.
Quick! Zombie apocolypse, what do you do?
I would probably wish that I had read the Zombie version of Pride and Prejudice, like I had always meant to, as this may contain some useful advice. By this time I would probably have been eaten.
If you and I had a party, what would happen and who would come?
Well obviously we would have to make sure we had enough babycham for everyone first! I’ve been going to lots of formal events lately which is nice but what I really want is a proper old fashioned knees up, you know the sort that’s held in a function room in a pub with a cheesy dj on his little dj set (with the flashy light and the speakers), playing really rubbish music like Agadoo with lots of cheap drinks. We would need to invite at least one person who can remember the dance routine to Whigfield’s Saturday Night.
Any closing thoughts?
I have often wondered if dogs bark with a different regional accent depending on where they live.