Episode 47 : From Law to Cross Stitch with Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch

Sally Wilson

LISTEN TO SALLY’S EPISODE HERE.

Like so many makers, despite loving all the creative subjects at school, Sally Wilson took a traditional route of study and then a ‘conventional’ career which for her was as a lawyer. However, whilst on maternity leave, she began to question whether a return to law was really what she wanted at the end of her family time away from her job.

Sally found time to shoe-horn in an e-commerce course and to build a website around caring for her young daughter before breaking the news to her friends and family (and her boss) that instead of pursuing law, she would be selling a range of cross stitch kits she had designed.

Despite a few raised eyebrows, seven years, and a lot of hard work later, Caterpillar Cross stitch now supplies kits to thousands of embroiderers around the world operating out of a warehouse and with a staff of colleagues helping Sally with her business. Sally says the secret to her success is persistence and not having a ‘Plan B’. Caterpillar Cross Stitch now holds regular stitch-alongs with crafters across the globe and has recently launched its own software allowing users to design their own cross stitch patterns.

You can find the Caterpillar Cross Stitch website here, Caterpillar Cross Stitch on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & YouTube.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Up the Garden Path Daisy pattern now in the Making Stitches Shop

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 44 : Crochet & Knitting at the Woolnest with Lynne Rowe

Lynne Rowe

Crochet & Knitting designer Lynne Rowe is my guest for this episode of Making Stitches Podcast. You can hear her episode HERE.

Lynne first learned to knit and crochet as a child, but it was after the birth of her own children that she turned to yarn crafts in earnest. Firstly knitting for pleasure, then to raise money for charity, Lynne then ventured into crochet and knitting design and has written several books as well as working with a number of different craft magazines.

A passionate yarn crafter, Lynne runs workshops for crochet & knitting beginners as well as mentoring crochet and knitting designers to help them progress their careers too.

You can find Lynne at her website, Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest.


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

Episode 43 : COLOUR, CREATIVITY & A COMMUNITY KICK-STARTER with Clare Albans from hellohooray.com

Clare Albans from Hello Hooray Blog

Hello and welcome to this episode of Making Stitches Podcast celebrating the joys of colour and creativity as well as community support. You can hear Clare’s episode here.

When Clare Albans left a career in music behind, hand embroidery helped fill the gap leaving her job had left her with. After blogging about her life and makes for several years, Clare launched her small embroidery business selling designs and haberdashery and filling her Instagram followers’ feeds with a riot of colour and inspiration.

The Happy Stitch Project
One of Clare’s hoop kits

Last year, Clare launched a kick-starter campaign to raise the funds needed to open her own bricks and mortar haberdashery shop and studio which she hoped to use to help her local community in the North East of England. Unsure how the fundraising would go, she was overwhelmed with support and is now celebrating her one-year anniversary of Hello Hooray Haberdashery & Studio. Clare has been enjoying spreading her love of making, meeting customers and being able to host craft social events and workshops in her studio too.

The Happy Hooray Studio

You can find out more about Clare on her website, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter. Clare also has her own YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Clare’s first book: Colourful, Fun Embroidery

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

Episode 42 : CROCHET-TASTIC with Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet & Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet

Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet (l) & Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet (r)

Welcome to a crochet-tastic double bill of Making Stitches featuring not just one, but two inspirational makers; Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet and Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet. You can listen to the episode here.

Hannah Cross

My first guest, Hannah Cross has been designing crochet garments, toys and soft furnishings for over a decade and has been featured in Simply Crochet Magazine many times over those years. After leaving a career in Midwifery, Hannah now designs full time and is about to launch her first crochet course this spring. She spoke to me about how she finds comfort in her crochet and how her career has developed over the years.

Hannah’s Strawberries & Cream Blanket

Hannah can turn her hand to all sorts of crocheted items and says she has a style but not a particular niche with garments, toys, accessories and soft furnishings amongst her many designs.

Hannah’s Oliver Sweater

You can find Hannah on her website, Facebook & Instagram.

Hannah’s Cross Cable Pillow design
Amanda Bloom wrapped up in one of the Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine

In part 2 of this episode I share a chat I had last week with Amanda Bloom from Little Box of Crochet about her project ‘Blanket of Hugs Ukraine’ which has seen her appeal to crocheters around the world to send her crocheted squares to be made into blankets to raise funds for the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) for their work on the ground in Ukraine. The Little Box of Crochet community hasn’t let her down, with dozens of squares arriving daily at her home where she’s eagerly joining them to make beautiful blankets.

Amanda’s dog Betty who you may hear in the background of our chat admiring one of the blanket tassels!

You can find out more about Blanket of Hugs Ukraine through the Little Box of Crochet website, Facebook page & Instagram.

Sunflower detail from one of the blanket squares
A completed Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Sophia the Sunflower surrounded with Blanket of Hugs for Ukraine squares ready to be posted to Amanda


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.


You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 40 : Forgiveness, Hope & Knitted Bears with Figen Murray

Figen Murray OBE

Figen Murray first took up knitting seriously to help her cope with hearing loss. At the time, she was working as a psychotherapist, and decided to practice what she preached and turned to creativity to help lift her mood. Little did she know then that just a few years later her knitting would help her cope with the dreadful loss of her son, Martyn Hett, who was one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Figen’s knitted bears

By the time of the attack, Figen had taken to knitting bears which she sold online and which she used to help people with various mental health issues. In May 2017, her life was (in her words) “turned upside down”, and she left psychotherapy work to look at why people are compelled to commit acts of terrorism and to try to prevent it happening so that other families wouldn’t have to experience what happened to hers.

Figen’s book which was published in 2017

Figen’s bears became ‘Peace Bears’ and not only have they given her a constructive way of coping with her own grief, but she has used them to reach out to the victims of other attacks too. Figen now visits schools to speak about terrorism and the dangers of radicalisation as well as the good and positivity there is in the world in a bid to “break the cycle of hate”. In December 2021, Figen graduated with a Masters Degree in Counter Terrorism from the University of Central Lancashire and was recognised for her work in counter terrorism when she was awarded an OBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Figen’s Bears doing yoga!

It was utter pleasure to speak to Figen for Making Stitches and I’m incredibly grateful for her time and openness in speaking to me for the podcast.

Jordan Bear whose travels are documented on Facebook

You can find out more about Figen here and to see Jordan Bear’s traveling adventures you can find him here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 38 : Happy Stitchmas 2021! The Making Stitches Podcast Christmas Special & Review of the Year 2021 (Part 1)

It’s Christmas Eve, so here’s my Christmas gift to you dear listener! This year I’m splitting my Christmas Special into two halves, the first one is here for you today, and the second one will be out one week from today on New Year’s Eve.

In Part 1 I look back at a few of my personal highlights of the year so far on Making Stitches and feature little snippets from interviews with Sara Huntington – Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine, Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons, Great British Sewing Bee 2021 contestant Adam Brooks, Heather Griffith from HGDC Crochet & Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou. You’ll also hear from Tracy, Julie and Lucy from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington and Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK hand-stitched cards.

You can find links to all my guests below. My thanks to everyone who spoke to me for the Podcast this year – I couldn’t have done it without you!

I hope you enjoy listening to this special festive episode and I very much look forward to sharing Part 2 with you soon! Have a great Christmas! You can listen to it here.

Sara Huntington – Editor Simply Crochet Magazine & @crochetdeli on Instagram
Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons
Hayley Shelton aka DotCraftStudio
Adam Brooks
Matthew Downham Art
Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet
Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou
Tracy, Julie & Lucy from Black Sheep Wools
Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK on Etsy & Instagra
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 37 : Alyson Chu from Moorit & Keep Calm & Carry Yarn

When Alyson Chu spotted a gap in the market for a high-end crochet magazine, she decided to draw on her publishing experience and put one together herself. With Kick-Starter backing of over 600 individuals and the support of a group of crochet designers, Moorit was born this autumn showcasing beautiful crocheted garments to make as well as articles and a very cute sheep project too.

A podcaster herself for more than 4 years along with her mother, Vivian, with Keep Calm and Carry Yarn, Alyson is well used to speaking about her ongoing projects and her love of crochet. I think you’ll really enjoy hearing about how Moorit came into being, as well as Alyson’s hopes for the magazine going forwards and whether she will be won over by the dark side (knitting) or not!

Sivu Jumper designed by Linda Skuja (from Issue 1 of Moorit)

My sincere thanks to Alyson for speaking to me for Making Stitches Podcast. You can hear the episode here.

Spraoi Mittens & Cowl designed by Anne-Michelle Phelan (featured in Issue 1 of Moorit)

You can find out more about Moorit Magazine here and Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 34 : Living a colourful crochet life with Emma Leith

Emma Leith

When I sat down to chat with the self-named ‘Queen of Colour’ & crochet designer Emma Leith, I was in for a treat. Emma’s enthusiasm for creativity and colour is infectious and she was a delight to speak to. She started out teaching mosaic but a couple of large scale yarnbombs brought Emma to prominence and two books of crochet patterns soon followed.

Emma’s mindful creations and colour choices are so zingy and uplifting – you can’t help but be filled with optimism when you see them.

I hope you enjoy our chat which covered subjects including how a breast cancer diagnosis gave Emma the time to focus on her crochet without pressure, how her creativity is a conduit for her Buddhist practice and how she has learned to embrace the colours of autumn.

You can hear Emma’s episode here.

You can find Emma’s work on her website & Instagram.
Mary Rose Young Pottery is one of Emma’s inspirations.

One of Emma’s mosaics


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is also supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 30 : Sew on the Go with Mary Jane Baxter

Mary Jane with her new book in ‘Bambi’
Photo credit: Thomas Skovsende

Back in the days before Covid, when the notion of being able to pack up a camper van and do a road trip of Europe was a thing, former BBC Brussels Correspondent Mary Jane Baxter did just that. She did it in style in a 1986 Bedford Bambi van adorned with vintage wallpaper. Taking just a few possessions with her, including her hand-crank sewing machine and a collection of her own hand-made hats, she set off on a voyage of creativity and adventure calling in on former work colleagues and discovering new textile inspired destinations.

A picturesque meal by Lake Annecy

On her return from her tour of France, Belgium, Italy and Scotland, Mary Jane set about recording her travels in the form of a book; Sew on the Go. In it you find a travel journal, a number of creative craft projects you can have a go at as well as a searingly honest document of the highs and, at times, painfully lonely lows of solo traveling. From driving down a black run in the Alps (during summer) and camping next to a Cathedral in France to browsing flea markets and hosting craft pop-ups to help fund the trip, Mary Jane’s account of her travels is warm, emotional and utterly inspiring.

Bambi on the road

My grateful thanks to Mary Jane for sharing her adventures with me for Making Stitches.

Crossing into Italy

You can listen to Mary Jane on Making Stitches here.

Mary Jane looking for bargains at a brocante (flea market)

You can find Mary Jane’s website, where you can order her book; Sew on the Go here and her Instagram account here.

Sewing on the go in Britain


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Bambi at Applecross in Scotland

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.