Sonia Bownes

Five minutes with... Sonia Bownes of London Craft Club

We chatted to the founder of London Craft Club about her latest knitting projects

18th July 2016

How did you learn to knit?

My mum. I clearly remember her teaching me to knit on the train, I think we were coming back to London from Felixstowe maybe. I felt so grown up doing it, I must have been eight or so. 

What is your favourite crafting technique?

I change my mind about this all the time! Right now it's sewing, I find putting in a concealed zip enormously satisfying!

What is your favourite item in your craft stash?

I'm a terrible fashion victim – I have 2m of a fabulous tropical palm print cotton that I'm using for accessories at the moment. I also love Marimekko and have lots of bits of their Unikko pattern, and some amazing 60s and 70s vintage fabric that my Aunt gave me.

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I love Hoooked jersey yarn because it's so versatile, fast to work with and there are so many colours. I have bobbles of it hanging around everywhere, there's braids of it hanging of my blinds so i can reach them, macrame wall hangings in it, handbags, jewellery, woven bits and bobs and I'm working on a pale pink jacket in the Fuzzy yarn. 

What inspires you?

What apart from Pinterest? Solving problems. I really enjoy try to find new ways to solve a problem, some of our regulars joke that I have an encyclopedic knowledge of craft materials and hacks! It's usually a need for a particular thing that kicks of my problem solving thoughts and then as the problem unravels, I start thinking visually about how to make a thing look well as well as work well

Tell us about your favourite craft project.

Always the last thing I did! Recently I had a go at spinning which was wonderful. My hands smelled of sheep afterwards. 

Which notion/gadget can't you live without?

I am a gadget addict! I have loads of pompom makers, i don't even think they are much better than a cardboard circle or a fork but I still have them in 6 different sizes! But my sewing machine and all it's various feet are very important to me. Or an iron - basic but utterly essential for so many things

Tell us your tips for learning a new skill.

Well everyone learns differently - but for me it's best if I just try the technique with no end product in mind at first. It means you can experiment and make mistakes with nothing riding on it in particular.

What is your worst crafting habit?

Suddenly getting the urge to do a bit of *chooses a craft at random*, starting there and then but not having all the right bits and ending up with a half finished thing that hangs around for ages. 

What is your desert island yarn?

I know it's a bit trendy but I love the Manoush Cloud yarn. Makes me want to cuddle!

Tell us about your most recent knitting project.

Oh just a cushion cover in stocking stitch - it was going to be a scarf as a gift but it matched the sofa nicely and was rather stiff for a scarf so I change my plan! 

Who is your favourite knitting designer?

I love a Sandra Backlund. I did sculpture and glass at art college and it's the perfect mix of construction and textiles for me. I'd love to knit like that, it's like a huge structural problem to solve in wool

What is your biggest knitting ambition?

Just to finish the pink Fuzzy yarn jacket for now!


Sonia will be at The Handmade Fair this September, and we have an exclusive ticket offer that gives you the a Full Experience ticket for just £29 (usually £32). It includes a Super Theatre Session, a Skills Workshop and a Grand Make! Simply quote KNITTING29 when you book.

To book your tickets and for more information, click here or visit Offer valid on Full Experience tickets, booked by 31st August 2016. Not valid in conjunction with any other offers. Tickets are strictly limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.

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