HI, IT’S ANISA HERE!
At hello hart we want to share with you insights from some of the wonderful individuals that share our passion, or places that inspire our creativity. Our first chat was with Elaine van Wyk (left) and Stephni Fogwill (right) of I LOVE YARN. This is how our conversation went…
What inspires you?
Elaine: It is so important to be inspired. Beauty, love, faith, art, successful people, life itself and to be better at everything all the time!
Stephni: Generally I read a lot but I also try to expose myself to new experiences. I went to AfrikaBurn this year and that was an enormously inspiring experience. Travelling is great for inspiration – I would love to do more of it! With knitting and crochet, inspiration starts with the yarn!
When did you start crafting and who taught you?
Elaine: I started crafting at a very early age. My mother is extremely creative and stylish. She baked and decorated wedding cakes from when I was very little. Every birthday my cake was far more beautiful than the previous one. I watched her for hours. She took around 2 weeks to decorate a cake. Besides this, she is amazing at sewing, knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, embroidery, silk screen, etc. I always joined in and loved making things with my hands from when I was very little. My mom taught me to knit when I was at primary school. She also did felt projects with me.
Tell me about I Love Yarn?
Elaine: I LOVE YARN initially started in my home. I wanted to sell high quality yarn that wasn’t regularly available. I also wanted to start the business as an online store. Besides this, the colour choices of yarns are limited, and I decided to start dyeing my own yarn. The concept of our yarn range is to have fresh, current colours. The store concept is based on personal service, assisting people with colour choices and techniques. We serve coffee and tea and offer advice on projects. Our clients become our friends. We provide assistance with patterns and projects. We have two “Knit One Sip One” groups where we host a craft group in our store. One after hours on a Wednesday and one on a Thursday morning. All these initiatives promote creativity and forms relationships between our clients and us. It also forms a close community between crafters.
How did the two of you meet?
Stephni: Elaine and I know each other from our kids’ primary school and we met again just as I was looking for a change in career (I have a background in accounting). Elaine started the business and mentioned she would love a business partner and I decided that ‘I Love Yarn’ would be perfect! We are constantly looking at what we need to do next but when we look back I am amazed at how much we did in the past year.
What do you think will be the next big thing in the world of craft?
Stephni: I think the very thin or very chunky yarns will continue to inspire people to try something new. Locally people will want to refine and improve their skills and a younger generation will want to learn those skills too.
Who on the international craft scene do you admire most and why?
Elaine: I am always drawn to Kaffet Fasset for his life long contribution to fibre art and his amazing use of colour.
Stephni: Stephen West of Westknits – I love his playful and quirky designs, his use of colour and the variety of techniques he applies. Amy Herzog of Amy Herzog Designs – using her technical & shape knowledge to help women create hand knits that flatter their bodies.
What is your favourite blog and why?
Elaine: My favourite blog is Magda de Lange’s blog Pigtails. Her use of colour, craft, photography, and mixing of mediums is really incredible! She takes her readers with her on her travels through her photos and inspires one to get creative.
What is your favourite craft and what would you do if you had more time on your hands?
Elaine: How do I choose between crochet, knitting and painting? My only restriction is time! If I had more time I would paint enough to have an exhibition, crochet enough so that all my family and friends have a blanket to snuggle up with in front of the fireplace and knit enough to have a cardigan with every colour T-shirt in my cupboard!
What is your favourite yarn/craft store and why?
Stephni: I LOVE YARN! Our shop is a happy, friendly place with lots of lovely people visiting us. It is also a beautiful environment to work in every day.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING WITH US, ELAINE AND STEPHNI!
YOU TRULY INSPIRE US!