About A Girl... And Her Yarn

Posted by Joanna Rampton on

''We're all stories in the end..''

When I was a little girl I remember watching my grandmother knitting with her eyes closed, the needles would just move in her hands and she was resting, It was totally mesmerising to watch. My other grandmother was a crocheter and she would always crochet slippers for us.

I never showed much interest in either as a youngster- I crocheted a doily when I was about 10 but that's about it.I have always been drawn to art, drawing , painting, sculpting were always my thing , and books- lots and lots of books.

When I came to live in the UK from Poland over 15 years ago , i didn't have time to pursue any of my hobbies because I was too busy working. A few years later I met my now husband and life slowed down. Becoming a wife, mother was a different kind of life. The slow and frustrating at times new adventure had taken its toll on me and the depression had crept into my life. I had to find something to occupy my mind and so I bought a set of hooks and some yarn and with the help of YouTube turorials my adventure with crocheting has begun.

Hats, scarves. booties, dresses - yup done them and loved making them but...when I first saw a photo of a crocheted picture- my whole crochet world has changed.

My very first graphghan was a photoghan, a portrait of my youngest daughter. I made it for my Mother in law, later on finishing two more pictures of my other children to be joined into a big blanket. Since then I have decided to change it and make a new one 

I love designing patterns from photos and the harder they are to get right, the more I love and appreciate it. I draw a lot to get it just right and while it's not always possible to get a perfect pattern, I always try my best.

Designing them for others was a natural process for me and while mostly heartbreaking stories are behind each photo, it gives me a sense of purpose , to help people keep the memories of their loved ones for a little longer.

I joined Lobby's Team as a designer just over a year ago.

I am one of the UK designers in the CGL Group on Facebook (the other one being my husband John Michael). As you now know English is not my first language so I am very conscious about spelling mistakes, I am also blind in one eye so one of the reasons my business name - The Wooly Duck is spelled incorrectly is to remind me that we are not perfect and we all make mistakes and that's ok as long as we make amends.

I love crocheting photoghans as well as designing them , but unfortunately my pleas for extending the hours in the day to 48 have always been ignored by the Top Guy 

I have always been inspired in my crochet work by the amazing Lee Mac from Totaleenet who is such an amazing crochet portrait artist, she will forever be my Guru.

I design my patterns with a lot of care and it sometimes takes ages but I believe a good pattern is a make it or break it in the photoghan scenario.

I have tons of yarn at my house, I am lucky that my husband understands what I mean when I say I don't have the right shade of yarn, and he makes no remarks when yet another yarn delivery appears  . We live a quiet yet busy life with our three young children in a small town in the UK. Designing patterns while watching Doctor Who, or Merlin or LOTR 


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  • I loved first reading your background story in CGL and reading it now for a second time on your blog, I love it even more! Both yourself and your husband are such fun and fabulous designers! Thank you 😊

    Megan Westley on

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