What's In My Yarn Bag? with Emma Lamb

I am so excited to introduce the lovely Emma Lamb for this month's "What's In My Yarn Bag?" interview! Emma is an extremely talented textile designer, shop owner, and all around yarn-lover from Edinburgh, Scotland. I am thrilled to get this peek inside her colorful yarn bag. I hope you enjoy!

1. What do you typically keep in your yarn bag?

Usually my yarn bags hold my personal projects rather than my work ones. Just now I have two on the go, a crochet cardigan and a knitted jumper in the most gorgeous shade of green. In these bags I keep the project and the yarn needed for it alongside the pattern and a neat wee bundle of empty ball-bands, which I'm never able to part with until the project is finished!

They grey crochet cardigan is my 'driving project' (obviously I'm not the one driving!) and has been in wip form for over two years now! I only ever take it in the car when we go to visit my parents as it's such a great way to fill those few hours. The pattern was very quick to memorize as it is a very simple repeat, so it is easy to pick up this project even after a few months of not working on it. The pattern is 'Charm' by Erika Knight from Rowan magazine #49 and the yarn is Rowan Purelife organic cotton, 4ply, in Oak Bark. Such a gorgeous yarn and such a shame it's been discontinued!

The green knitted jumper is a wee project I started over the festive break and is part of my 2013 agenda - 'I must use up the yarn from my personal stash before I buy more!' I was doing so well until this month when I went along to the first ever Edinburgh Yarn Festival! In my defense, I made sure I didn't blow my entire budget on yarn and picked up a couple of great pattern books too... ;) Anyhow, this pattern is the Yoke detail sweater by Debbie Bliss and the yarn is RYC Luxury Cotton DK in Cabbage, another lovely yarn that has been discontinued.

Saying that there are a few things I do keep handy whenever I'm working on any knitting or crochet project. Absolute essentials are herbal tea, either peppermint or a warming ginger infusion, and delicious dark chocolate, anything 80% cocoa usually gets my seal of approval! I also keep a few notebooks and accompanying bit'n'bobs nearby. I have three at that the moment - one for my crochet notes of course; one that I scribble my day to day lists in, blogs post ideas and whatnot; the last is a wee sketchbook for the occasional mindless doodling when I need to do something completely different.

2. Are you working on any fun projects or new items for you shop at the moment? We want to see!

At the moment I do have a few things on the hook for my shop, but they're top secret until they're ready! One thing I am always working on are my multi-coloured Penny Garlands. I use up all the oddments of leftover yarn from my Forever Flower Garlands to make these, so they don't come along very often and no two are ever the same. These are always a lot of fun to crochet as I don't hold to any rules about choosing the colours, I just let them happen. Oh, and the collection of colourful wee squares are to make my wee man Spanner a new crochet blanket, I'll probably edge and joining them with a simple cream yarn.

I've also just started work on an epic crochet blanket project, and for me it's one of those projects that feels a wee bit like a guilty pleasure! Again I've thrown out all the colour rules and am having so much fun just making this up as I go along. I have no idea how this will turn out or even if I will like the end result, but it's very liberating to work on and and a great exercise in letting go of my obsessive colour control.

3. What is your favorite crochet creation that you've ever made?

Custom projects are my absolute favourite to work on because they often present the opportunity to explore ideas I might not get the chance to otherwise. It's always very inspiring to work so closely with my customers too, while we discuss ideas we get to know each other a wee bit and this helps to make the project that much more enjoyable. So far one of my favourite commissions was from last summer when a lovely lady asked me to create a collection of twelve of my Forever Flower Garlands, her plan was to use them as decorations for her birthing room to welcome her new baby into the world! I mean, wow! What an honour! Not only that, but this commission came along only a few weeks after I began pondering a similar idea. I had been wanting to create something quite epic with my garlands and this was exactly that opportunity! And 'epic' it was. These twelve garlands took 192 flowers with another 12 for the wee swing tags. I needed a total of 204 but must have crocheted at least 250 to able to experiment with colour placement. All those hours (including weaving in all those ends) was so worth it because the end result was far more amazing than I could have imagined.

4. Do you like to carry your yarn bag with you and work on your crochet projects in public? Where do you feel most comfortable crocheting?

Apart from a wee bit of crochet in the car and maybe taking something along to a summer picnic (I have really bad circulation in my fingers so in the winter months here in Scotland my hands get very cold very easily and I need to work over a hot water bottle!) I tend to do most of my crochet at home. I'm definitely not one for always carrying a project with me to squeeze in a few stitches here and there. For me knitting and crochet is something to focus on for an hour or two at a time and more often than not I do it while watching a bunch of great films with lots of tea and chocolate to hand.

5. What is your favorite part about yarn crafting?
Buying yarn is so satisfying, right!? As I said earlier, choosing and matching colours is something I am completely obsessed with and I can spend an hour or two pondering over colours in a yarn shop!

Thank you so much for sharing your inspirations and creative process with us Emma! Your projects are so beautiful. 

Tea and dark chocolate...the perfect yarn crafting companions. :)