Crikey it's cold at the moment. And a bit grey some days isn't it? And err... SNOW! Well, we've been longing for something bright, beautiful and totally cheery this Winter... and then KAPOW! ;) Tessa, AKA The Squirrel Collective, appeared on our Instagram feed and that was it. We had to chat with her on the blog and get some of her colouful crochet in our lives! You'll see why when you check out these beauties:
Get a load of those reds, yellows, blues, pinks, greens and oranges! Don't you feel sunnier already? Well, keep reading because Tessa creates her awesome accessories and beautiful pieces right here in Somerset and we've asked her four questions we think you'd love to know the answers to. Just the thing to blow away the February cobwebs!
1. Can you tell us a bit about The Squirrel Collective, how you got started and what you love most about colourful crochet?
The Squirrel Collective was inspired by some of my best friends that live in my computer... crafters and creatives I've become friends with online. We call ourselves Squirrels :).
I crochet colourful things and I’m not a naturally crafty person, so it came as a surprise when a friend managed to teach me to crochet five years ago. It was the only goal on my ‘things to do before I turn 30 list’!
I’ve struggled with my mental health most of my life and during a crisis a couple of years ago, crochet truly kept me going. The rhythmic stitching is wonderful mindfulness, I’m surrounded by mood boosting colour, and the sense of pride when something is completed is awesome.
The passion for crochet turned into a business when friends, and friends of friends, asked me to make my rainbow scarves for their children.
I’d given up my job and was working on my mental health through therapy at the time, so it made sense to try to make a go of working at home and for myself.
2. Who would you love to see wearing or owning one of your designs and why?
I’m a member of the In Colourful Company community, a group for fans of all things colour (you can find them on Facebook) and it always blows my mind when one of the gang buys something of mine. Every sale means the world, but one of the highlights of 2018 was seeing my rainbow baubles on Laura of Ip Dip Design's Christmas tree!
3. If you could sit down, grab a cuppa and crochet with anyone at all, who would it be and why?
There are lots of crocheters that I admire, but I’d love to sit down for a crochet binge with Lucy of Attic24. The patterns on her blog were some of the first I tried, with wonderful step by step photo tutorials, so I feel I at least owe her a massive slab of cake.
4. Tell us a secret about The Squirrel Collective that no-one else knows
I always struggle to think of new secrets I can expose, as I’m an over sharer and not terribly exciting! I think something that surprises people is that whilst I surround myself with rainbow yarn and sparkles and dress like a children’s TV presenter, my favourite colour is black. It’s deep and smooth and calming. The 14 year old goth in me is strong.
And there's nothing wrong with that we say, as we put on another album by The Cure :).
Anyway, the thing about Tessa's colourful creations is they're all hand made by her (of course) and are usually gone in a flash, so if you love them as much as we do then the best thing to do is follow The Squirrel Collective on Instagram and Twitter and totally get on it when new pieces are added to the shop! We'd definitely love to be wearing one of these beautiful 'The Katrina at the Fun Fair ' braided cowls, on a day like today...
... and finally, how flipping ace is it to discover Somerset makers like Tessa, totally rocking their craft?