The best tip ever for learning how to knit! [interview]

Claire Gelder, founder and managing director of Wool Couture Company

Today I'm talking to Claire Gelder, Founder and Managing Director of Wool Couture Company, based in Yorkshire, UK. Wool Couture is a design studio that specialises in DIY knitting kits with giant needles and yarn.

Claire quit her high-powered job in the NHS to start up Wool Couture, which is her pride and joy. She has made a great success of her company, selling her products in John Lewis and Free People, and building up a dedicated team around her.

Claire's latest venture is workshops to teach people how to knit (including how to arm-knit!), crochet and weave at her new Studio and Makery in Barnsley, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom.

Hi Claire! Thanks for taking the time to chat to me today.

Tell me about a day in your life. What happens in a normal day for you?

In order of what happens...


Check messages and sales on sites. Respond to anything urgent.

Walk my two dogs, Lottie and Skye, Springers aged 7 and 4.


Go to our studio.

Pack our orders up.

This is normally the first half of the day. In our busy periods this can be all of my day!

Then every day is different from making hand-finished items, designing new products, cleaning our workspace, meeting with buyers...

What keeps you inspired and motivated?

Crafting makes me helps with depression and keeps me in a positive space. I have a constant supply of ideas that just come into my head and have to carefully choose which ones to progress. Being in a crafty space just naturally fits with me and keeps me inspired and motivated.

How did you get into knitting in the first place? Do you remember the first thing you knitted?

It was actually crochet that I did first, probably 8 years ago with a tiny hook and yarn. I managed to crochet a circle. Since then I have gone on to try most crafts, but I generally come back to knitting and crochet.

Which other designers do you admire?

My favourite artist is Lotte Glob I just love the natural form colours of her work. I went to visit Lotte once. She lives in a wonderful place on the tip of the North West corner of Scotland, on the edge of Loch Eriboll. I really want to move to some place like this one day, but maybe somewhere a touch warmer.

Why is real wool important to you?

I think this sums it up...

What tips do you have for those who want to learn to knit?

Top tip...start with super-chunky yarn. It's so much easier to see what you are doing. You have less chance of making mistakes, or if you do you notice it pretty quick.

What are you working on at the moment? Any exciting new developments you can share with us?

We have just launched our new cotton ropes for macrame and I'm busy designing DIY kits!

Claire Gelder, founder and managing director of Wool Couture Company

You can learn how to knit, how to weave, how to crochet, how to arm-knit, and even how to make my Star Stitch cushion at Wool Couture's brand new Studio and Makery in Yorkshire.

Check out Wool Couture's website for details and booking.

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