Designer we love

Date: 26th May 2024 | Category:


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Tell us a bit about yourself…

I live in Toft, Warwickshire, with my partner, two children and Pete our dog. I started Toft straight out of university 18 years ago. We are a luxury yarn brand that’s been made famous for our Edward’s Menagerie and Alexandra’s Garden crochet toy ranges. 

How did you first learn to crochet? 

I first learnt to crochet from a YouTube video that taught me the dc stitch. Once I had this building block I’ve not looked back and have created thousands of 3D crochet patterns in the 12 years since.

How did you first get into crochet design? 

I was pregnant and due with my son (Edward) and was trying to distract myself by learning to crochet! In the two weeks he was overdue I made the first 14 animals. 

Recent pattern collections have reflected your personal interests, such as a new-found passion for gardening and growing vegetables. What else inspires your designs?

I really do follow my heart and so my designs are always influenced by things I’m passionate about at that time. 

Can you tell us the significance of Edward’s Menagerie, both to you personally and to the Toft business? 

Edward’s Menagerie changed my life completely and set me off on an incredible creative adventure! 

Can we expect to find anything new in this anniversary edition? 

The first edition of Edward’s Menagerie was published in 2014, so 10 years on, and over a quarter of a million copies sold, this new edition reflects our ever-expanding and improving collection. The new edition features 17 new patterns and 13 revised ones where I’ve tweaked and honed techniques to make them even better, so it will have something new for existing Edward’s Menagerie fans as well as newcomers to the collection. 

Do you have a personal favourite design from your original collections?

It has to be Bridget the Elephant – my first and favourite. But our customer favourite is definitely Emma the Bunny! It’s where 90 per cent of people start with Toft patterns. 

Do you find time to crochet for fun anymore?

Absolutely! Although I’ve learned to always write down the pattern just in case…

Any advice for an aspiring crochet designer? 

It would simply be: make what makes you happy. 

What item in your studio couldn’t you live without? 

Coffee! When we closed the coffee shop at Toft we kept the barista machine, and so the whole team run on more caffeine than most! 

You can find out more about Toft and buy yarns and patterns at toft-uk.com.

The new edition of Edward’s Menagerie by Kerry Lord (David & Charles, £17.99) is available now.


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