8 September 2016

To celebrate the launch of Kerry Lord's latest book, Edward's Crochet Imaginarium, TOFT are delighted to kick off Ed's Blog Tour!

With monster making, reviews and giveaways, a selection of crafters will be revealing what's inside the book and more over the next few days, and this is the first stop on the tour where you'll find a new monster competition. Read on to find out about the creation of this book from the author herself, Kerry Lord…

"I'm very excited that September the 8th is finally here, a day that I not only get to celebrate the launch of my NEW book, but also eat cake and party with Edward my son to mark his 4th Birthday. "

How and when did you first discover crochet?

I first picked up a hook when entering my final few weeks of pregnancy. I had been a knitter for a number of years, but had truly always viewed crochet as something very difficult and if I'm honest not particularly desirable. I think there was a real lack of inspiring crochet patterns even do recently as three years ago. Thankfully that's all changed and there's no better time to learn to crochet. 


How has your love of crochet developed since then?

In a word, obsessively. I still can't believe what a whirlwind the last three years have been. I do still turn to two pointy sticks when I'm looking to make something to wear, but the rest of the time I can't imagine not having a hook in my handbag. 

What was the first crochet item you designed? What inspired it?

I spent one determined night on you tube learning the 'single crochet' (or as I now know, the British double crochet) stitch. The next day I sat down on the sofa and crocheted what would become Bridget the elephant from 'Edward's Menagerie' . She did of course have some limbs inside out, (and her eyes were perhaps a tad wonky), but as soon as I shared my creation with my colleagues back at TOFT I knew I was into something. 


What prompted you to  the first Edward’s Menagerie book?

I never thought I was writing a book. Following my first elephant I promptly went on to crochet a bunny, a zebra, a bear and a rhino. In fact I made a dozen animals in the fourteen over-due days that I had to wait for Edward to be born. I was making toys for my unborn baby, not planing projects for a book. It was only once I first saw public reaction to the animals that I realised that other people might like them too! 


We love all the quirky animals – where did the ideas for these come from?

I think that learning the double crochet stitch suddenly gave me a structure/tool/method to make the shapes and characters that had been living in me for a long time. 


How did Edward himself respond?

The greatest pleasure for me is watching the development of Edward's play with the menagerie. It's even more rewarding for me to watch a role play where Esme the fox is selling train tickets to Sophia the Flamingo than it was to see him asking for Siegfried before he fell to sleep as a baby.


Describe, if you can, your creative process when coming up with a “monster” for Edward's Imaginarium.

My creative process when designing a new monster will be very similar to the process I am asking others to do when using the book.  You flip through through the shapes to select a head, arms and legs that the your fancy, and then you move onto selecting colours , patterns and any added extras like tails or wings.  Sometimes I will sketch out my idea first, but at other times i just start with the yarn i’ve got closest to hand and see where it takes me. Ever taken time to think about what the creatures at the bottom of your garden might look like, or visualised the disheveled hairstyle of the sock monster who lives in your washing machine?


You have been involved with all aspects of TOFT, from alpaca shearing, business management and designing to workshop instructing – what's your favourite part of your job?


The variety of every week is the favourite part of my job. In the last ten years I really don’t think two days have ever been the same and that keeps me and my team very motivated, flexible and very adaptable to respond rapidly to trends.


You can purchase your copy of the book from TOFT today – and if you buy it directly through our website, you'll receive a free and exclusive pdf that includes bonus patterns. Just click here to buy the book, and don't forget to tag and share your project with us on social media (@toft_uk) using the hashtag #edsflipbook.

The next stop on Ed's Blog Tour will be Crafts from the Cwtch on Friday 9th September – click here to go straight to their website, and enjoy!