Friday, 24 April 2015

Ministry of Craft - The End of an Era

This week it’s with a tear in our eye that we announce the stepping down of Sam Sterken, founder of Ministry of Craft. Sam has decided that after 6 years at the helm of the good ship Ministry, it’s time to move on to pastures new and pursue a host of exciting new endeavours.  

Sam Sterken, Founder of Ministry of Craft
The idea for Ministry of Craft came to Sam in a vision as she was driving down the M6 to her creatively unfulfilling job (managing canals - it’s a long story!). A few months later after the birth of her first child, Max, and whilst still on maternity leave, Sam let Ministry of Craft out of her imagination and into the world. 

Having a very quick crafting break from our own workshops at The Vintage Festival last summer
Over the past 6 years, as well as being a busy super-mum of two, Sam has built up an enviable team of tutors, experts and dedicated team members in order to deliver first class craft courses and to keep up with the ever-increasing demand from our ever-expanding customer base. 

Sam with son Max (6) and daughter Ilse (3)
The Ministry team is sad to be saying goodbye to Sam, but at the same time we’re delighted that the baton is passing to Alison Leese, who many of you will know as our dressmaking and sewing tutor extraordinaire! So even though it’s a huge change for us, it’s still business as usual for Ministry of Craft, which is just the way Sam wanted it! And to be fair, she’s not going far: she’ll still be teaching her awesome TAILOR MADE FABRIC LAMPSHADE course, along with the supercute SASSY SNAP FRAME PURSE and CLASSY CLUTCH BAG courses to boot. 

Passing the Ministry mantel to Alison Leese
If you’d like to join us in wishing Sam well in her future adventures then why not drop her a line at, leave a message on our Facebook page or you can even tweet us. Next week will be her final week as the Guv’nor (blub!)

Luckily for us we can all follow Sam’s future exploits on her blog A TIN OF PINS, and also on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest so head there now and give her a virtual hug.

Sam teaching a lovely bunch of hens at one of our hen parties

We’re going to miss you Sam!

Lots of love from the Ministry team.

Sam and Lindsey at The Vintage Festival last year

Friday, 10 April 2015

Book Review & Giveaway - Arm & Finger Knitting by Laura Strutt

'35 no-needle knits for the home and to wear'. I'm in! Sign me up! Get me some super chunky yarn! Why am I shouting? I'm clearly a bit too excited about receiving my copy of Arm & Finger Knitting by Laura Strutt (photography by Penny Wincer, published by CICO Books rrp £12.99).

Just look at this throw. LOOK AT IT WITH YOUR EYES and tell me you aren't tempted to run to the nearest yarn shop right now?! I'm not sure I can even wait that long: I'm currently deconstructing my husband's best t-shirts into one continuous strand of chunky jersey yarn just so that I can knit up this masterpiece. Ok. I'm not really doing that, but I should be.

 There's something VERY appealing about not needing any needles, no knitting bag, no crafting equipment. Just your arms, fingers and balls of chunky wool. It's lo-fi at its best but just look at the magnificent projects at your disposal. Knit up this cute chunky travel blanket on the bus to work (you might need a bit of extra room in order to avoid punching your fellow passengers in the face as you 'knit', so grab the whole back seat).

Not all of the garments in the book are my cup of tea, I've never been much of a bolero wearer, but there is a lovely infinity scarf which is an essential item for your Autumn, Winter and let's face it Spring wardrobe.

I'm also loving these finger knit baskets and other colourful vessels. Finger knitting is where many of us started out as kids, and now we've got a reason to rekindle our love for this overlooked craftform. So limber up your fingers, pull out your yarn stash or visit the sales, and have a go at one of the many projects on offer. This book would make a great addition to your crafting library or it could be the perfect gift for the creative person in your life.

The lovely people at CICO Books have given us a copy to giveaway. To enter just visit our Facebook page and leave us a comment by next Friday 24th April. Good luck and HAPPY KNITTING!

Arm & Finger Knitting by Laura Strutt, photography by Penny Wincer, published by CICO Books rrp £12.99