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Kerry Lord

In The Hot Seat With Kerry Lord, owner of TOFT luxury British DIY knitwear and wool company

Have you always been creative?

Yes I suppose I have always been creative, but I certainly haven’t always been a crafter.

What is the first thing you can recall making as a child and who was it for?

I clearly remember using a knitting Nancy (French knitting doll) to make metres and metres of small knitted cord. I have absolutely no idea what I ever planned to make with it or who/what it was for, but I made it obsessively and carried it around in a big bag with me everywhere!

What did you want to be when you 'grew up'?

As I grew up, what I wanted to be changed dramatically. From a vet, through a doctor and to an academic.

Why/when did you decide you could make a living out of crafting?

My company TOFT is 10 years old this year. My story is a little different as I starting running a company that encouraged me to learn to knit and crochet and only once I had caught the crafting bug did it become a crafting-focussed business.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I love to read, and am ever on the quest to perfect my multitasking skills to be able to manage to crochet and read at the same time!

What craft item can you not live without?

I would struggle to live without my oversized wool needle. Not only do I sew up every demo for the whole company with this one hard-working needle, but it constantly seems to come in handy for fixing all manner of other things in my house and wardrobe.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 5 items, what would they be and why?

I would love to take a very fine gauge crochet hook and four balls of very thin and very long yarn. My work and life are so busy as a business owner and mum that I find it very hard to ever find time to indulgently make for me. Due to these time constraints I tend to always be drawn towards thick yarn, big hooks and quick-to-make small projects. If I was stranded with nothing else to worry about it would be lovely to embark upon a project to pour thousands of hours into.

What's your biggest ambition in life?

To live and work amongst happy and healthy people.

What's been the highlight of your crafting life so far?

The highlight was probably the launch of my first book Edward’s Menagerie.

Any advice for beginners?

Choose quick-to-make projects as your first ones. Taking on a blanket as a newbie is very likely to result in a half-finished project which will leave you without that sense of completion and satisfaction that makes you want to start the next. I would recommend something small and easy.