It's countdown time so all day there will be various vendors featured as we share all the latest news and give you lots to think about in preparation for the marketplace. First of all we have Claire Griffiths. Claire will be joining Unwind as a vendor so I asked her to answer a few questions and to share some of her crafting experiences with us.
Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences.
Growing up in a household where the motto ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ was adhered to with much enthusiasm has played a huge part in my design aesthetic, at school I designed and made a sofa bed from wooden pallets, a wall clock using old CD's and fashioned a candleholder using bent forks. I now design and create jewellery using mostly vintage and second hand knitting needles and crochet hooks, I run an online Etsy shop called ‘Yellow Bear Wares’ and run stalls at craft fairs, this is my debut knitting festival and I am very excited about it!
What treats can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?
On my stand at Unwind you will find all of my jewellery designs including rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces each one created using beautiful knitting needles and crochet hooks, the perfect statement jewellery for knitters and craft lovers alike.
Being a photographer I have created some greetings card designs that I am sure you knitters will appreciate, these will be available at my stand. Also available will be GIANT wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks handmade by my dad in his attic workshop. They are such a pleasure to knit with -projects grow so fast! You can quickly whip up rugs, throws, blankets and loose knit scarves. You can knit with extra thick yarn, multiple stands of DK bunched together or create your own yarn using old t-shirts.
Alongside this I will also have available second hand and vintage knitting and crochet paraphernalia including needles, needle boxes and crochet hooks. Lined up I also have a top secret new jewellery design which will be released at Unwind, you’ll have to come and see me to find out what it is!
You products are upcycled treasures- where do you hunt for most of your treasures?
I love scouring the local charity shops and markets to find my knitting needles and am ever surprised by the variety of colours available, the charity shops near me are so familiar with my request that they start to gather what they’ve got for me before I even reach the counter!
Another source for my needles is eBay and though not quite as fun I love the random bits that I end up with collecting through buying auction ‘lots’ I have even created an artwork from various knitting needle gauges I have collected (which you will see at my stall at Unwind).
Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
I love the unexpected juxtaposition of objects caused by the upcycling movement and I have used that as inspiration within my designs, not many people would expect to find knitting needles wrapped around fingers as rings or hanging from a chain around ones neck. I am also inspired by the gorgeous palette of colours presented to me in the needles I find, pairing them up is one of my favourite things about my process, looking for clashing or complementing colours.
You are a Brighton resident- what’s your top tip for enjoying the weekend in Brighton?
For a bit of fun there is Dolphin Derby on the Palace Pier (though make sure there are no cheaters starting with more balls than four on your race!) and the old penny arcade museum on the seafront, also down there on the seafront near the pier is the Fishing Quarter gallery which will have an exhibition on by ‘Makers Boutique’; a collection of high quality local makers works for sale, perfect for gifts or just treating yourself. Brighton is such a creative and vibrant city, you will find a perfect example of this with a walk through the North Laine; it can keep you entertained for hours with independent local shops selling a multitude of gorgeous things, from fashion, to handmade, to Guarana products, to health food shops and falafel, it’s part of why I’ve lived here for ten years and can’t bring myself to leave!
What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?
A chance to present my wares to a multitude of knitters; at craft fairs I meet a few random knitters whom I love chatting with but it is only online that I have access to meeting a whole community of knitters and that just isn’t the same as in real life, I’m looking forward to meeting you all and receiving your constructive feedback about my jewellery designs, after all isn’t that how we develop and grow?
A big thank you to Claire Griffiths for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting jewellery world. You can find Claire’s etsy shop by visiting http://yellowbearwares.etsy.com/. To keep up to date with all of the latest Yellow Bear Wares news, keep an eye on Instagram:, Facebook, Twitter: @yellowbearwares and the blog http://yellowbearwares.wordpress.com/.