© BBC Woman's Hour

Most of us dream of being our own boss and getting to do what we love ALL day, EVERY day. But how do you make the leap and turn your passion for crafting – or anything else - into your own (ideally profitable) business? Woman's Hour picked the brains of three creative and wise Woman’s Hour guests to get their TOP tips so you can do just that…

Be prepared to spend most of your time NOT doing the one thing that you love
Think you’re going to be sewing / spinning / weaving all day to your heart’s content? Think again!

“I love knitting and I love making,” says Louise Walker, who launched a business selling Taxidermy-inspired knitting kits, Sincerely Louise. “But during my daytime at the office I have to do everything else; social media, the post, every little thing that makes up that business. There's very little time left to do that thing that you loved in the beginning.”

You should also expect that workload to change with the seasons too.

“Nearer Christmas you're making stuff constantly and sorting out posting and packing,” says Amy. “But at the start of the year it's probably more planning and admin, bookkeeping - so you have to be able to be a jack of all trades.”

Watch this space for the recording of Louisa's spot on Woman's Hour.

Festiwool BagALong

Designed exclusively for Festiwool by Samantha Roberts of Betsy Makes and Helen Ingram of Woolly Chic, you are invited to take part in our Festiwool BagAlong and make one of these stylish bags to bring with you on the day!

Tickets can be bought online, or in person from Kim of Hitchin Haberdashery

To receive your free patterns click on the links below and enter the code on your ticket at the checkout.

Knitted Bag

Crochet Bag 

Great Easter Bunny Hunt, Hitchin

Festiwool's knitting group, Hitchin Stitchin', was asked to provide knitted rabbits for the Great Easter Bunny Hunt, on the first weekend of the school holidays.

With the help of Festiwool, and Woolly Chic, we provided ten Easter Bunnies, who took part in the event. Each was named after a rabbit from children's stories, and was hidden in a shop window display. 

The event proved very popular. Many of those taking part asked if they could purchase their favourite rabbit. The Hunt took place on Saturday 1st April, and the winner was announced on 4th April.

View from the Catwalk

Daphne Selfe, modelling since 1949, wrote this about her involvement with Festiwool.

"Festiwool is a local event that I’ve done for the past few years and is such a joy.  I wanted to tell you a bit about it and why I love it so much." 


"Festiwool and is for those passionate about knitting and crochet and about introducing to the younger generation the joys and benefits that the age-old crafts can bring."

"Plus you can make a bang up to date fashion statement using these crafts too.  You can’t be too old or too young for Festiwool!"

I love to be around creative people and if it involves dressing up even better!

Make a festive toy

Come along to Sue Stratford's workshop and learn some great tips and techniques to help you create the perfect knitted toy.  During the class you will be knitting an exclusive festive design which will contain a selection of popular techniques used when knitting 3-dimensional shapes.  You will then sew your toy up and spend some time embroidering the features, which a lot of knitters find the trickiest part of toy knitting.  Part of the project will be completed to allow time to finish within the workshop.

Sue will also be signing copies of her latest book.

Spotlight on

 Kaye McGown from Studio at No. 30

The love of sewing and all things handmade is something that Kaye has had from a very early age. Even as a small child, her favourite toy was her mum’s old button tin. As we grew up, she and her sisters would spend many Sunday afternoons making clothes for their dolls, creating costumes and putting on shows for their parents. Kaye's grandmother, having been a milliner and a seamstress, taught her how to use a sewing machine, a simple hand-powered machine, which she still uses today.

Kaye's love of dressmaking grew and she made suits forherself, a wedding dress for a friend and a christening gown for her godson. Years later, having trained as a lecturer, travelled the word and had two children of her own, Kaye still loves all things creative, She especially loves combining  teaching skills with the love of sewing to inspire the next generation.

Spotlight on

Helen (Woolly Chic)

Helen often wondered why it was so difficult to source Welsh yarn when she visited the family farm in Pembrokeshire. All those fields full of sheep. What happened to the fleeces after shearing?

Starting with fleeces from the family farm, she sourced a company who would spin for her and went through the complicated process of getting the resultant yarn accredited as Welsh. Most 'British Breeds' yarn comes in natural, undyed, colours, but Helen wanted to provide for the growing market that wanted dyed versions. 

Adding yarn from North Wales' farms, she developed a business plan, in 2012, and launched Woolly Chic. At the time, Helen concentrated on designing small crochet kits and dyed Welsh Yarn.

Twelve months later, there had been numerous Fairs and Shows, articles in three of the leading knitting magazines, expansion of the business - selling on-line and through Amazon - and a great response to new yarn blends and kits.

By 2015, Helen had expanded the business even more,  and was providing knitting kits and teaching crochet sessions and workshops in the local area.


Helen will be running a crochet workshop at Festiwool. Learn/improve your crochet skills and make these lovely flowers.