Beth of Mumbles Mummy has been crocheting for about three years. She loves the idea of wrapping those she loves up in something warm. She now also makes custom items on request. Today she shares her experiences with us in an interview about her work and crafting life.
Q: I guess we should start with this basics, right? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mumbles Mummy: I’m a 30 year old WAHM of two. I love the fact that I’m a “hooker”. It’s definitely an ice breaker when meeting new people! I’m finally using my creativity to make me happy and enable me to spend time with my kids. I never want to return to a 9 to 5 job knowing that this other life is possible.
Q: I know you have been crocheting for about three years. How did you learn to crochet? What inspired you to start?
Mumbles Mummy: Yes, I learned to crochet on the 15th January, 2010. It was the day my daughter was due to be born; (she arrived late!) The first thing I made was a granny square blanket for her cot. I literally picked up a hook and some yarn and tried to copy the shapes of the stitches on a granny blanket I owned at the time.
My mum tried several times before to show me but I just couldn’t do it. I crochet very differently to the way she does. Amusingly, I didn’t find tutorials until I’d taught myself various different stitches from a book I bought in a charity shop. Bobwilson123 is EPIC for those who want to learn. Her tutorials are clear and easy to follow.
Initially, I just wanted to make something for my daughter. This being my first child, I was excited, bored of waiting, anxious to meet her, and determined to be one of those wonderful mums who makes things for their kids and cooked everything from scratch. I had made a knitted blanket for her early in the pregnancy but found it slow, frustrating and very, very dull. I just wanted to have something that would distract me from how long my daughter was making me wait for a cuddle. LOL.
As time passed, I made a few items for my daughter, including a fab dress that I designed myself, but just here and there, not an obsession. It was only during the later pregnancy with my son that things really took off for Mumbles Mummy.
Q: Where did the name Mumbles Mummy come from?
Mumbles Mummy: At the 20 week scan of my daughter, she was huddled up and apparently dancing. She loved music, and my bump would “sway” to music within earshot. This tiny little white and black blob on the screen looked to me like the baby penguin off Happy Feet. “OMG It’s Mumble!” I exclaimed. The name stuck.
Q: You seem to crochet a lot of hats and a lot of “character” pieces. Would you say those are among your favourite things to make?
Yes. I’ve made a few items of clothing and a few toys, and I’ve enjoyed making them but don’t “need” to make them. I don’t dream up new ideas and it feels a little forced but making hats really does bring me great joy, comes easily to me, and even the most frustrating has been worth it to see the customer’s reaction at the end.
Q: I know that you also make jewelery – is that crocheted as well?
Mumbles Mummy: My jewellery is not crocheted. It is made from chains, jump rings and other things, created using silver or brass plates and beads of all types.
Q: Do you prefer making your own items and then selling them or getting a custom request to make a specific item?
Mumbles Mummy: I love custom requests! I love being challenged! And I love to make an item with a specific person in mind. I want people to LOVE what I make. Not just to buy it becauses it’s there. There are times when an idea is screaming to come out of my head, and won’t shut up until I’ve made it, but then I can go back to making requests. I enjoy both equally, I think that they both contribute to any success I enjoy, but I tend to have “moods” where I need to work on something from my head rather than a request, and most of the time I’m grateful for orders not just financially, but for the fact that I feel it keeps my brain active and gives me a sense of achievement when it is completed.
This photo comes from Mumble Mummy’s terrific Facebook album titled “Happy Customers”
Q: How can people purchase work from you?
Mumbles Mummy: If someone wants to purchase work from me, they just need to drop me an email with their requirements to [email protected] In a couple of months, I’ll be re-opening my Etsy shop to sell any items that “just fall out of my head”.
Q: What would you like to do with crochet that you haven’t done yet?
Mumbles Mummy: Oooooooooh! Difficult question. I have a lot of secret missions coming up over the next two or three years. I have a folder a foot thick of ideas I want to make, things I want to try. I guess I just want to keep evolving. I don’t think I’ll ever be as famous as other designers or even crocheters but it would be nice to keep changing, developing, exploring ideas.
I tend to hang out on Facebook more than on blogs. I can so very easily lose track of time with blogs reading and re-reading wonderful stories anecdotes, patterns and recipes. I guess looking at my Facebook and Pinterest would give you a clue of how eclectic my tastes are. I’m not personally a great blogger although I hope this year to get a little better.
Q: I love the hook that’s featured in one of your most recent Facebook photos (shown above). Where did you get that?!
Mumbles Mummy: I knew that I wanted a set of wooden crochet hooks. People started to ask me if I could make them hat and as soon as I did I started putting a little money aside from each hat I made to save up for the hooks I wanted. I hoped that the money I made would total up to enough … I’m still surprised at what I’ve achieved. I found these gorgeous tools quite by accident online.
I have several handmade hooks now. The one you mentioned was made in New York by a lovely guy named Robert. I’ve not ordered any in a while but I’m getting “the itch” … I’m sure that I need another … several … it’s not like 200+ hooks (aluminium, steel, ivory, wood, bamboo, clay acrylic etc) is nearly enough, right?! :)
Q: What do you think are the biggest benefits of crochet?
Mumbles Mummy: For me, it’s saved my sanity, if not my life. I’m not the person I was before having children and crochet has helped me to find some middle ground. My children are much better off because I crochet. They are my world, and the moon and stars also … but there is a small part of me that is still ME. The Me I was BEFORE having children. Not just Mumbles Mummy. I craft in many different ways, but crochet is the thing I itch for and the thing which keeps me in contact as an adult with the adult world.
Through crocheting, I’ve not only spoken to customers and fans from all around the globe, but I’ve made contact and formed friendships with a number of talented artists from around the world too. We’ve become like a huge multinational family and are vehemently protective of one another. How strange for people who have never met in person, but it works. I treasure each and every one of them. I will always be grateful for the very dearest of all these friends, a particular dragon of a lady, whose no-nonsense attitude keeps my feet firmly on the ground, and whose brutal, sometimes wounding honesty is always important to me. If I was crap, I’d know, because she would have no issues at all in telling me. I think I’m the only one who dares to return the brutality of honesty. I think these kinds of friendships are priceless, and I’m just so grateful to have found these wonderful friends.
Additionally, having issues with my joints, crochet helps keep my fingers moving: If I don’t crochet for a few days, BOY does it make my hands hurt!
Got a question for Mumbles Mummy? Leave it in the comments below!