Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #23, Sixskeins
This week we talk to Steph of SixSkeins. Steph creates crochet and knit accessories and hand dyes yarn. She tells us more about her obsession with yarn in her CraftBritannia Shop of the Week intervew…
Describe your “typical” working day or week
My day job takes up most of the week days, but thankfully I am able to mostly work from home, so I can still fit in general home chores and small craft/Etsy tasks in my lunch breaks. Then it’s on to cooking dinner and spending time with my 2 daughters, doing homework, watching a film, etc until bedtime. Sometimes we go to the beach at Perranporth after dinner to chill out for an hour and have a hot chocolate or an ice cream, depending on the weather – it’s a great way to unwind. Once the girls have gone to bed I usually get some time for Etsy or crafting, depending on what I feel like doing. Weekends are similar to the evenings, although if it’s rainy I sometimes ask my husband to take the girls out swimming so I can dye yarn without interruptions! Of course if it’s a hot sunny day we all head down to the beach – not that we’re getting many of those days this summer!
What was the first piece you ever sold?
Hmm, that would be way back at primary school! My best friend and I made lots of different coloured yarn octopuses and pompom pets in our garage, put them all on a tray and carried them round the estate where we lived, selling them to friends and neighbours for a few pence – to raise money for WWF or something similar.
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
Be patient, relax and enjoy it!
What material do you most enjoy working with?
I am a complete yarnaholic – I think about it in every spare moment, and go to sleep dreaming of it! Most yarns nowadays are lovely, but my favourites are silk or cashmere blends. Angora feels delicious too, but leaves fibres on everything it touches! I only ever work with yarns that I could wear myself and, as I have sensitive eczema-prone skin, that means nothing too harsh.
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
Only one?! The list would include glass bead making, spinning, and pottery 🙂
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
Again it’s hard to pick out just one! I guess I would feel pretty lost without my Addi circular knitting needles. I hate seaming knitwear, so I knit as much as possible in the round. I have used sets of double-pointed needles but circular needles make everything so much more portable!
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
My pin cushion. I made it in the last year of primary school, from patchwork hexagons of different cotton fabrics. It’s still going strong 35 years on, despite constant use!
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
I’m slowly increasing the hand-dyed yarn section, and decreasing the ready-made side. I’m hoping to have a workshop built at home soon, where I can dye (and dry) yarns without interruption. Also my youngest daughter is about to start secondary school, so my work hours can change as I won’t need to do the school run any more. Ideally I’d like to free up at least one day a week to dedicate to my Etsy shop! As far as stock goes, I’m currently planning some knitting and crochet kits which include my original patterns and hand-dyed yarns, presented in knitting bags from another Etsy seller, which will make fabulous gifts!
Thank you Steph for sharing your story with us! We look forward to seeing your new kits too. You can follow Steph’s crafty adventures here: