Meet the Maker – Ali Firth
As part of the Knitcraft team, Ali loves to knit and crochet and is focusing on our WI yarn range. She will be developing lots of new exciting patterns for you to knit and crochet so we thought it would be a great idea to get to know a bit more about her.
Meet the Maker – Ali Firth
How did you first get into knitting?
Knitting was always around me, both my Nans (Nanny Bingo and Nanny Frog) were keen knitters, they were always putting us in their knitted creations and when we were getting too old our Barbie’s and Dolls got all new knitwear! My aim was to become a gardening designer but once I explored textiles on my foundation course, that was it, I turned into an addict that was all things knit technical! My Degree made me more passionate, then work experience at Sibling inspired me even more with completing a Masters and then to become technical lecturer!! So to sum it up my nans were the seed of which I am installing into my mum, sister and anyone who sits on the sofa next to me!
What’s your favourite thing to make?
Apart from recipes and general designing my favourite things to make are random. They consist of cushions to scarves to amigurmi creations! My friend Mike celebrated his 25th and I crocheted him an SLR Camera that he now uses for a toy for his baby, but that was one of my favourite things that I have made.
How many projects do you have at the moment?
Countless projects on the go, I think I am a project Hoarder, I plan to create, I start and then I see something new and boom another project! Endless post it notes to remind me what to do next but at the moment creating the new and exciting patterns for the Women’s Institute are at the forefront. So I better start getting organised!
What other crafts are you into?
A variety of crafts, from being a technical lecturer at Bucks New University I undertook various courses and had to teach myself some too so I could demonstrate to the students – Macramé, Pattern Making, Grading, Hand Knitting, Crochet, Weaving, Machine Knitting, Needle felting, Screen Printing etc.… My favourite one was when I was commissioned to create a Netted Crib where I had my brother create me a large shuttle, it was incredible! So my plan is to create myself a power cord hammock next year to enjoy the summer 2017 in between the 2 old oak trees in my mum’s garden outside my workshop.
What’s your favourite thing you have made?
There are a variety of things that I have made that I are my favourite, so I have titled them;
- For friends – Emily’s floral Crocheted Granny Square Blanket.
- Designed for Cat Walk – Jasper Conran Machine Knitted Bomber Jackets.
- Designed for Knitters – Todd and Duncan Animal Creations.
- While I was a Student – Piti Filati for the trend forecasting.
- For the Family – Hand Knitted Jumper with a Swiss Darned Bird on for my mum.
- For Me – I wear a jumper from my MA that I created – comes out on special occasions!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from a collection of things, it could come while I am driving, while watching the tv or making things! My main point of inspiration is from my photography that I take while I am pootling around. I spend quite a lot of my time over in Holland where my dad lives and their craft and thrift shops are incredible! You can get so many ideas for future projects it’s unreal! So maybe I should get going……
What is next for you?
So apart from making all things knitted and crocheted for the WI within Hobbycrafts ‘Knitcrafts’ department, I will be delving into sort my studio out and embark on new and old projects I want to get back into! I rescued an Ercol Slumber Chair that I want to recover to make my Yarn Cosy Chair. Of course it will be all WI yarns as I build up the brand, but I will make it exciting, colourful and of course cosy! Oh and also some adventures planned to hike, knit, cycle, crochet, run and make at various places…… So watch this space.