Today I am absolutely thrilled to have a wonderful person I have been following for quite some time over for a visit on my virtual sofa - Libby @ Truly Myrtle
Welcome on Marigolds' Loft Libby, I hope you are comfortable :)
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to your craft.
I’ve been playing with yarn since I was a small child after being taught to knit by my grandmother. My mother knits everyday and I grew up with the idea that this was a perfectly usual thing to do! I remember making up my own stitch patterns and experimenting with colourwork when I was about 11 or 12 but had no notion that this was what I was doing. I knitted and sewed throughout my teens and early twenties but as my legal career grew and I traveled, I experimented more with cooking than crafts. It was with the birth of my first baby in my early thirties that I rediscovered knitting and sewing and I haven’t looked back. I began blogging about knitting and sewing in 2012 and loved how many like-minded people I met from all over the world. Slowly things have evolved and these days I live in New Zealand with my husband and our four children aged 14 to 6 and enjoy designing knitting patterns and making most of my own clothes.
First you were a blogger and have since excelled at being a Podcaster. Why did you want to podcast?
Thank you! I really enjoy podcasting - maybe it’s because I enjoy talking! I’d been thinking about podcasting for a while before I plucked up the nerve to have a go. I thought it would be a cool way to reach my followers - there’s something intimate about speaking directly to people and I really enjoy talking about knitting, sewing and all things crafty. I never run out of things to say!
I have been following your journey for a couple of years and have watched you grow from strength to strength, what does the future hold for Truly Myrtle?
It has been very fun journey. I started my blog with small children at home all day long and slowly things have grown as they’ve headed off to school. I’m not sure what the future holds for Truly Myrtle, I have a million ideas at any one time, it’s matter of working out what I can manage to do in the hours I have. I do tend to be a little optimistic about what I can get accomplished, so I’m forever chasing fun dreams. Right now I’m really enjoying designing knitting patterns and I think I’ll be sticking to that for a while yet!
What does the Handmade Movement mean to you?
I’ve always been a maker. My earliest memories as a small child involve yarn and glue and scissors and building things. My parents are both avid makers and we mostly stayed home and made things throughout my childhood. Making things is as essential to me as breathing. So, the "handmade movement" is a funny idea to me in some ways, because I’ve always lived it. It feels very normal. What is exciting however is that more people are getting involved - I love bumping into people that enjoy talking about wool as much as I do or who are crazy excited about the woodwork they’re doing in their shed. I adore their passion.
Who are you most inspired by and why?
Goodness that’s a tough question. I find inspiration in all sorts of people. I think I’m most inspired by people that get on and do stuff and give all sorts of ideas a go. People who achieve great things one little step at a time in amongst day to day family life are hugely inspirational to me. I guess that’s because that’s the kind of life I aspire to.
Where do you feel most inspired to design?
Definitely the car. There’s usually too many kids squabbling while they’re getting ready for school to feel relaxed in the shower. I should drive more often!
Your designs are stunning (I have recently cast on your Mindful Shawl and am loving the pattern :)), will you be moving onto bigger projects or is your niche hats and shawls? I for one would love to see a Truly Myrtle Cardie :)
Ooh I’m so excited to be moving to bigger projects! I am determined to get to grips with garment design this year and I have two garments that I really need to get finished and released. I have always been a “cardigan” person so that’s definitely where I’m headed.
What is the one Craft tool you couldn't be without?
My knitting needles. Lots of people claim to be able to knit on pencils in the absence of needles. Not me. I love my knitting needles, I’d wait for them.
Are their designers/artists who have inspired you along the way?
I majored in art history at University and was completely swept away by a variety of artists from the modernist movement. Their irreverence towards to the established system and their determination to explore shape, colour and dimension is thrilling.
What are your inspirations right now?
I’m hugely inspired by the colours of New Zealand and the wild, untamed country around me. The light here is intense and the colours are strong and alive. There’s nothing wishy-washy about the New Zealand landscape. We spent a couple of weeks camping in the Coromandel peninsula over the summer and I’m pretty sure I designed a whole collection in my head based on the colours and textures of the coastline!
If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for to advance the Handmade Movement?
I’d wish that everyone would have a go. I firmly believe that creativity is inside every single one of us. It’s just a matter of figuring out how you enjoy being creative and feeling the confidence to have a go. I’m delighted to see a slow return to handmade and crafts so I think my wish might already be coming true. I’d also wish that people would wake up to the realities of cheap high street clothing and that they’d be a bigger focus on arts and crafts in schools.
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and have a little chat with me Libby, it has been an absolute pleasure to have you here.
Where can my readers find you on the web?
You can find me here:
You can find Libby's Podcast on her Website or on your podcast player under Truly Myrtle.
See you soon
P.S. If you are a podcaster that would like to come and chat with me, or would like me to watch/hear your podcast, feel free to contact me :)