We love documenting our yarny adventures with photographs, so when Wool Warehouse asked Jeni if she'd like to be interviewed about how she developed Fyberspates and takeover their Instagram feed for the weekend she jumped at the chance!
Tech editor extraordinaire Jen Arnall-Culliford is one of our favourite yarny people and as well as working with us, she also works with amazing designers like Kate Davies and Rachel Coopey!
Jen turns 40 today and to celebrate, she's offering 40% off any of the gorgeous patterns in her Ravelry store for forty hours until 16.00 London time (BST) tomorrow (Wednesday 27th April 2016)! You don't need a code, just add the patterns you want to buy to your Ravelry cart and the discount will be applied automatically.
(All the designs pictured are available to buy in Jen's Ravelry store, just click on the pictures to be taken to the pattern pages.)
We though it would be nice to get to know Jen a little better, so, Jen, it's over to you.....
40 random facts about me…
1. I have 3 Blue Peter badges (standard, green and silver in case you were interested). This is my favourite random fact about myself.
2. When I was 17 my chosen career path was opera singer.
3. Nic, my colleague and Art Director describes me as “Good with a haddock slap when required.”
4. I have enjoyed a nice glass of (very weak) gin and tonic since I was about 6 - to the horror of my grandmother.
5. I have a cat called Ginge who likes to ambush us in the garden.
6. I ran my own gardening business for 2 years, but my own garden is always more neglected than I would like.
7. I love birds!
8. Puffins are my all-time favourite birds, but I’m also a sucker for owls, blue tits, nut hatches and penguins.
9. I studied Chemistry and French at university, and have a doctorate.
10. I love selling things so much that Kate and Tom suggested I could have a successful market stall after I worked with them at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year.
11. I really don’t like peas.
12. But peas are OK when eaten raw and freshly picked in the garden.
13. I talk about knitting so much that my husband learned enough about knitting to quit teaching and become a technical editor.
14. I once taught at an Anglo-European secondary school, where I sometimes taught Science through the medium of French.
15. If you tickle me for long enough I might have an accident (that factoid is brought to you courtesy of my children!).
16. I love aubergines. Probably too much.
17. I like to stack the plastic kids’ cups in rainbow order.
18. I am a board game geek! My favourite game is Puerto Rico, but my family won’t play with me as I usually win.
19. I constantly change my mind about what I most enjoy knitting. At the moment I’m loving cardigans.
20. I almost always wear at least one hand-knit.
21. I have a shade of yarn named after me (Jen’s Green in the Scrumptious range).
22. I will never ever run a marathon. EVER!
23. I played in a gamelan orchestra in London when I was a teenager and we appeared on children’s TV a few times.
24. I snore.
25. I’ve been married to Jim for 15 years and I still pinch myself that he said yes when I proposed.
26. My hair is extremely poorly behaved, and a source of much early-morning amusement to my family.
27. I had a hair disaster the week before my wedding, when the hairdresser topped up the hair dye with bright orange halfway through my appointment.
28. My favourite TV show of all time is ER.
29. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A would be my save from the waves track if I were to appear on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
30. I can’t listen to music when I’m pattern editing, but I love to turn up the volume when I am drawing knitting charts.
31. Build a Rocket Boys! and The Seldom Seen Kid both by Elbow were the soundtrack to drawing charts for The Book of Haps.
32. I have a second cat called Ollie, and he likes to keep my knees warm while I knit.
33. Writing the experimental section of my thesis was the perfect training for editing knitting patterns. I constantly see the parallels between science and knitting.
34. I have had to concede that despite my inner view of myself (formed as a very geeky maths/science teenager), I might be creative after all.
35. The knitting design that I’m most proud of was my Redlynch Shawl, but is about to be superseded by my design for The Book of Haps (Kate Davies' upcoming book).
36. To date, I’ve designed more with Fyberspates than with any other yarn brand. The saturated colours and beautiful fibres inspire me no end.
37. I hold my RHS General Certificate of Horticulture, and love doing tree identifications with the kids.
38. I’ll forever be grateful to Jeni for supporting my decision to go freelance, and booking me to work on her first pattern book, The Scrumptious Collection volume 1.
39. My favourite knitting slogan is, “that shit will block right out”.
40. I plan to be just as excited about my 94th birthday as I was about my 6th. Birthdays should always be fun.
Happy Birthday Jen! Hope you have a lovely day :)