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I am so honored to interview one of the biggest stars in the crocheting world. If you don’t know her by name, I am absolutely sure you know her patterns.
Today I want to introduce Kate E Hancock from Wales, United Kingdom. She is the founder of PatchworkMoose Etsy Shop.
Watch out, because you will fall in love and want to have them all. 🙂 But don’t worry, Kate is so kind she offered a special discount code only for my readers. Here is the code for 25% off on all of the patterns: BOC25 It is valid until 7th September 2020. I advise you to take advantage of this amazing offer as soon as possible.
Kate is an amigurumi designer because she adores them and hasn’t yet been able to stop. She tweaks them, names them, photographs them, makes up backstories for them, and when she is finished playing, she creates crochet pattern instructions for them, so that we can enjoy them as much as she does.
Kate says that when she was a child, her bed was full of stuffed toys with barely enough room for her. They all had a name, a personality, and a place to be, tucked in each night. When she looks back now, she wonders if it all started there.
All Kates patterns are thoroughly tested before publication. They are easy to follow, with plenty of photos or diagrams for any tricky bits, and you will always be welcome to contact her for any extra help.
Kate E Hancock really is a big star in the crocheting world; she designed patterns for several UK and European magazines. You can also find a few of her designs published in the:
- Zoomigurumi 3 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Zoomigurumi 4 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Zoomigurumi 5 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Zoomigurumi 6 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Zoomigurumi 7 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Zoomigurumi 8 (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Amigurumi Animals at work (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Amigurumi Parent and Baby Animals book (Amazon, Book Depository)
- Unicorns, Dragons and other Fantasy Amigurumi (Amazon, Book Depository)
All of these books are so amazing! I am sure you have at least one of them at home. If not, I added links to Amazon and Book Depository, because these books are a must-have if you are an amigurumi lover.
I usually ask designers to share something personal with me, this is what Kate shared:
“I live in the beautiful countryside of North Wales with my family and two mischievous cats. I enjoy hiking, swimming, gardening, reading and seem to collect crafts. My academic background is in art, but I mostly crochet, knit and sometimes spin – my newest craft adventure is copper foil stained glass, which is providing quite a challenge, especially on the soldering front! My favourite pastime for a sunny day is to curl up in the garden with a story and a new project.
Get to know Kate better, and read her interview below.
1. How did it all begin? Tell us your story.
I stumbled across amigurumi (or cute crocheted or knitted characters) when I joined a knitting group in my library. I was looking for inspiration and a place to start when I discovered a book for these adorable crocheted creatures…. and I fell instantly in love. I knew that I had to learn how to make them for myself, so I learnt to crochet instead.
As my amigurumi collection grew alarmingly along with my passion for them, I started designing my own animals and creating the patterns along with them too. As I found others with the same love for them and my designs became popular, Patchwork Moose was born. Today, it’s been nearly ten years since I started designing ami’s and turning a length of yarn into a cuddly animal is still completely magical to me.
2. What inspires you?
Mostly nature and the wildlife around us, I also take a lot of inspiration from natural history museums and wildlife parks. I am very lucky to live in the countryside and my daily walks will take me past horses, sheep and alpaca before I even get to the woods!
I started on Ambrose the badger after finding a set of badger prints in the woods. Where I live, we have a lot of badgers around us, but we don’t see them very often and I was keen to work on an animal that was close to us. Sometimes I’ll design a specific animal for people and sometimes I am sent or see a really cute photo and I think ‘Wow! I have to make one of those!’ – I designed Artemis the sloth after I was sent an adorable picture of a sloth in pyjamas.
3. How does your every day look like?
My average work day changes quite a bit as there’s only me and a lot of different elements to juggle! But it keeps me learning and on my toes.
Days start with coffee, if I’m being super good a bit of yoga and then I generally start with answering any email and customer questions.
If it’s one of my favourite days I get to do what I absolutely love and sit down and work on a new design, then I fall down a rabbit hole and it’s crochet, a quick food scavenge and back to crochet until I think I’ve got my newest design nailed.
Most days though there are all the other jobs to do, yarns to find, photos to take and edit, pattern notes to write up, read and re-read, number checking, testing and editing, not to mention the business side and promotion! So these days I work on those as needed.
I try to fit in some swimming or a walk around lunch because you have to get away from a computer screen occasionally 😉 Then after work it’s family time and I settle down in the evening with whatever craft I’m obsessing about at the moment, currently knitting and a bit of painting.
4. What is your favorite yarn?
I prefer to use natural fibres and I’ve learnt I definitely have expensive tastes…. I love using alpaca, it’s so soft, squishy and a dream to work with. I enjoy using it on my amis as it looks so homemade and luxurious, but it is really pricey to make a toy from alpaca and washing them is going to require a lot of care, which isn’t always possible for the extremely well loved and well used ones.
However, I’m also really fond of Garnstudio’s Drops yarns, they are affordable and really good quality for the price, plus they are available in such a range of colours, lots of my newer designs have been made in Drops.
5. Do you have any advice for other sellers?
I do a lot of crafts and I tried selling a few different things on Etsy before I started selling as a designer and none of them sold well for me, so don’t be disheartened, sometimes it might take a while to find your niche or your passion.
I work really hard on my photos and making my patterns as easy to follow as possible, I do a lot of testing, proof reading and rewriting so I’m really confident in the quality of my product.
I also offer pattern support and spend time helping people if they need it because I want my customers to feel like they’ve achieved something when they finish an amigurumi and I’m hoping they will love making them as much as I do!
It’s the most fantastic feeling when they send me a photo of what they’ve made, especially if I’ve helped them along a bump on the way. I also think this contributes a lot toward my return customers, so be generous with your customer support and care, a happy customer sharing a photo of their amigurumi is one of the most rewarding parts of my work.
What an amazing woman! I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am so honored Kate took her time in her busy schedule to talk with me.
Here is a special discount code for 25% off on all of the PatchworkMoose patterns only for my readers again: BOC25. Make sure you use it until 7th September 2020.
And here is a surprise for the end of the post, in Kate’s blog, you can find three very adorable free patterns: Edie the Penguin Chick, Sleepy Little Lambs Pattern, and Amigurumi Dust Bunny Pattern. Click on the link or on the photo to get to them.
Thank you for reading. Please share with me in the comments which of PatchworkMoose patterns you like most, and if you made one yet.
Pin this interview for later here:
Have a beautiful day, and enjoy crocheting.