Crochet Entrepreneurs: Zoë Halstead

Date: 31st August 2018 | Category: News


Photography by King Cole
Zoë Halstead lives in a village in Leicestershire with her husband, two teenage sons (13 and 16) and a cute, but naughty, black cat! She’s a freelance knit and crochet designer and author. Most of her crochet and knit design work is for King Cole but she also contributes to magazines and other publications, and designs for other yarn companies.
She also assists one to two days a week in a local yarn shop which, she says, “is great fun advising and helping customers and keeps me updated on the latest yarns and trends.” Zoë taught herself to crochet “using a Good Housekeeping book of my mum’s (that I still have!) when I was in my early twenties. However, having been a knitter since the age of five, I really struggled to get to grips with it and it wasn’t until I was working for DMC about eight years later, on some crochet scarf kits, that I picked it up again determined to crack it. Happily I did!”
After a degree in constructed textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University, Zoë returned to Leicestershire and worked as a designer in the knitwear manufacturing and yarn spinning industries before moving to DMC Creative World to design needlework and craft kits. She took voluntary redundancy from there in May 2008 to become freelance full time. “When I first became freelance I worked on a knitting partwork and the publishers were starting a crochet version. I was asked if I would design for that too but was a little unsure whether my crochet skills were good enough! I’m so glad I accepted though as I really honed my crochet design skills working over the two to three years it ran for.”
Inspiration can come from anywhere, says Zoë. “Sometimes it comes from nature – a particular texture or colour combination. Sometimes a garment shape or detail inspires me to recreate it in crochet. Or I have a mental image of something in particular and I just have to try and create it! And sometimes the yarn is the starting point and that will take me down a particular path.”
So how does Zoë juggle home life and her business? “I’m not sure how I fit it all in, especially as I crochet everything I design myself! I try and do any sort of paperwork or designing in the mornings and then crochet (or knit) in the afternoons and evenings.

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