Tish Maguire of Artish has no pets, which is understandable when you learn she has two girls, Poppy and Daisy, four and two respectively. Plus! By not having pets, she eliminates a whole aisle at the supermarket! Tish and her husband, Nigel, live in Hunter Valley, in New South Wales, Australia.
Tish traveled around a fair bit growing up; living in Papua New Guinea, the USA, and London, and visiting lots of other places. She lives in the country, about an hour or two north of Sydney. She likes being close to the vineyards and the mountains, not far from a myriad of beautiful beaches, and close to the city.
When/how/why did you start crocheting?
My mother taught me to crochet (and knit) a long time ago – but I didn’t ever really do anything with it for quite a while. My mother and I now live in different countries – so when I became interested in fiber again, I bought a book to refresh my memory. I’ve been making scarves and beanies randomly over the last 10 years, but mostly just for myself to wear – because I could never find what I wanted in shops, and because I like fashion to be personal, not mass produced. Then friends and family started asking me to make things for them, and I started giving my creations as gifts because the house was getting too crowded.
Aside from these reasons, I also had two babies, and needed something that was indoor-friendly and didn’t need to be put too far out of reach of little hands.
How do you figure out the color combinations?
My process is fairly random, and often accidental. When I do have a plan, it usually starts with an idea that requires hunting for the right fiber to create it. But most of the time I start with one ball of yarn that I love and then add colours or textures that just look or feel ‘right’ to me. If I find I can’t create anything and have Knitters Block, I will generally start with two yarns that I think DON’T go together, and I’m often pleasantly surprised by the results.
Where do you find your yarn?
My yarn comes from everywhere! Local shops, on the internet, on Etsy, from friends (I’ve even recently been offered the wool from a friend who has become the owner of a sheep!), and from re-purposed items that I unravel and reuse. I love the internet, and could (in fact, I probably do!) spend hours on there browsing yarn stores.
Do you have a favorite kind of yarn?
Not really. They each have their pros and cons. And it varies from season to season, and it depends on what I want to use it for.
Is this your day job or your side job?
This is my day job now. It started off as a hobby since I have two girls aged 2 and 4, who keep me very busy. It’s now become quite consuming, and is fast on it’s way to being a full time job.
Do you do other kinds of arts/crafts?
My first loves are painting and drawing. I found it difficult to paint when my girls were born, so I started turning to other creative things that I could do indoors, and could leave out without it being a hazard for the girls. Now it seems to have taken over, but I would like to get back to my art one day. I also love to sew, take photos, and play around with web design.
What is your best selling item?
Scarves are absolutely the best sellers. They are so versatile, and appeal to women, men, and children. After scarves, I’d have to say that wrist warmers are the biggest sellers.
Do you have a workspace or workroom? What does it look like?
I have a workroom. It is not ideal! It’s too dark and too small. It consists of some lovely square pigeon-hole-type shelving for my wool, and a desk where my sewing machine and other various bits and bobs live. I also have some shelves and big rectangular tubs for storage of completed and abandoned
projects. My scarves all hang on racks. Every now and then I am inspired to give it a thorough Spring Clean…. then it slowly ends up in chaos again as I create things!