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Meet the author: Val Pierce

Val Pierce's passion for knitting began at the age of five. Later in life she began home knitting for yarn manufacturers, and since then she has made a huge range of items, from evening dresses to teddy bears. She later began designing items of her own, and before long Val's designs were appearing regularly in national knitting and crochet magazines. She also teaches knitting, as well as a range of other needlecrafts, to both adults and children. Val lives and works in Shropshire.

An Interview with Val

Where were you born?

I was born in a small village just outside Shrewsbury in Shropshire

What is your educational background?

Primary and High School, Open University and College Courses. Funnily, none of these courses were craft orientated as I am completely self taught.

What first got you interested in craft?

I have been a crafter since I was a tiny girl, my mother and aunts were all clever needlewomen and I think I must have inherited their skills. I watched my mother sewing and knitting all the time.

How long have you been crafting?

I began knitting as a little girl, and the interest just grew as I got older. I knitted at every opportunity I could, took work to school with me and spent most evenings and weekends making something or other. I taught myself to crochet and sew and passed on those skills to the children I taught at school. I also taught craft lessons to adults at day centres.

Where do you get your materials?

Most of the major spinners supply the yarns I need for projects, but I am always on the look out for buttons and ribbons, and anything pretty wherever I go. I do in fact have quite the Aladin's Cave when it comes to embellishments and can always find something pretty to suit the occasion when I am making my designs.

How/Where did Search Press discover you?

Writing my own book has been a lifelong ambition for me and I initiated the contact with Search Press.

What were your first thoughts when asked to write a book?

I was absolutely delighted when Roz Dace called and asked if I would like to work on a book for them. It was a dream come true for sure.

Has publishing a book changed your life in anyway?

I feel very privileged to have been able to share my designs with other like minded people and all the hard work invloved in designing, making and writing patterns and text for the book have been richly rewarded by the lovely letters and kind reviews that so many people have sent to me.

Any tips for beginners?

If you have a passion for a craft then follow it, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says about your work as long as you enjoy what you do. Everyone has to start somewhere and making mistakes is all part of the learning process. Practise makes perfect, so the saying goes! Never give up, you WILL achieve if you try hard enough.

What is your favourite craft tool?

My beautiful wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks - they are a luxury to work with and such pretty colours too.

Have you travelled for your craft?

I haven't travelled to craft as such, but when on holidays in Austria, Germany and Italy I am always on the look out for craft shops to browse the different types of yarns and patterns offered there.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I think my inspiration comes from everything around me, I have a wonderful imagination and can see in my minds eye just what I want to create. I look at nature for colours and patterns, and when I create toys I look at the animal, fish or bird in question to get ideas. I then add to that a character of my own and add expressions to make them fun.

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