We are thrilled to have been nominated for Best Chain Store/Multiple in the British Knitting & Crochet Awards 2017!
Run by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazine, these prestigious awards are in their tenth year and recognise the most successful names in the industry as well as smaller brands, independent stores and bloggers.
Since February, readers of both magazines have been voting for their favourites across all the categories and the thousands of responses have been narrowed down to the final shortlists. Our yarn departments offer a large and varied range of knitting yarns, patterns and pins and we are proud that this has been acknowledged by our loyal customers.
Thank you all for your support so far and we ask you to take this to the next step by voting for us in these exciting awards! With this in mind, we thought you would like to meet some of the yarn team.
Our stores would be nothing without the friendly and expert specialists who are always there to offer advice and inspiration. Chris Carter is the Yarn Specialist in our Winchester store and has worked for the company for over 10 years.
How long have you worked at C&H?
Coming up for 13 years, the last 10 years on yarn.
What attracted you to working at C&H?
I knitted displays for C and H for 7 years and then joined the company as a part-timer on the gift floor, whilst bringing up my family. I moved to Craft fulltime several months later and was excited to be offered the Yarn specialist role 3 years later (my dream of running my own yarn shop nearly fulfilled!)
Do you knit? If so, how did you learn?
I have been knitting from an early age and my first big project was to knit my school cardigan when I was 11. My mum and oldest sister were left handed so they couldn’t teach me easily so I think it was a lot of trial and error!
What do you enjoy doing most as a yarn specialist?
I love hearing customer’s stories about why and what they are knitting, and I find it very rewarding helping them find the right wool and seeing them return to the store. No day is the same, seeing new stock, displays and satisfied customers. (I love sorting out problems when they get stuck and have reknitted a few rows) and I also enjoy learning from the customers.
Why should people vote for us in the British Knitting & Crochet Awards?
We offer so much more than other chain stores – a wide selection of yarn to cover all occasions, knowledgeable staff who give technical help and advice in crochet and knitting, fantastic displays which make the garments come alive – the list is endless!
Our next interviewee is Karen Moss, the Yarn, Craft and Haberdashery buyer for the company! Karen joined us last year and in that short time has given the yarn departments a whole new look!
What attracted you to working for C&H?
I have been a customer of C&H since I was a child and used to buy fabrics and haberdashery for school projects or my own projects! I love sewing and knitting so it was ideal for me to be able to work in a company where I am passionate about the product.
Do you knit? If so, for how long and how did you learn?
Yes I do but I have to admit to not being overly proficient at it! I knit for enjoyment and I find it very therapeutic. My mother taught me when I was young and I’ve been knitting ever since but I’m still learning! Some of the clever new yarns such as the Hayfield baby blossom which knits up to form a flower pattern still astound me! Next I’d like to learn to crochet.
You have recently implemented something of an ‘overhaul’ within our yarn departments. What changes did you make and why?
C&H has always been a destination for knitters and crocheters and I wanted to inspire them by bringing in some new yarns, whilst not forgetting our old favourites. I brought in Stylecraft because they are quick at picking up on new trends and their patterns are stylish and relevant to a modern knitter but not too difficult for the less experienced knitter like me! I also started working with Erika Knight as I love her colour palettes and the patterns are so wearable and versatile for all ages and shapes.
What are you looking for when selecting new yarns and patterns for the season?
I look for inspiration! Yarns where you can’t wait to get them home and start knitting! I am a tactile person so I like to knit with yarns that have a great texture and handfeel to them as you’re knitting but also in the finished piece. Also value for money and good quality are so important so that you know that the project you’ve potentially spent months on isn’t going to fall apart or shrink in the wash!
What can we look forward to for this Autumn in our yarn departments?
A really exciting colour palette! Colour change and variegated yarns are really popular at the moment whether it be subtle change in tone or a rainbow effect. The trend for superchunky yarns has not gone away so I’ve built on that. There’s some great new patterns coming in for fashion including the trends on the high street we’re seeing for sleeve detail, ruffles and jacket style garments. Hopefully there’s something for everyone!
Why do you think people should vote for us in the British Knitting & Crochet Awards
Because we care about our customers! Our staff in store have a wealth of knowledge and experience in knitting and crochet and are always willing to offer advice to experienced or newbie knitters. I am inspired by how passionate our staff are and the wonderful garments, toys (etc etc) they manage to create! And that passion is shared with the customer in store or in classes that are often running.
Vote for us now at letsknit.co.uk/awards