17 March 2016

A week at Simply Crochet HQ

Hey hey blog fans. Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to help out at the Simply Crochet office in Bristol, and thought I would give you a brief insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

On my first day I was introduced to the team, and given an overview of how the magazine is produced and the plan for my week – I have to admit that initially I was a bit overwhelmed but quickly started to feel at ease with being surrounded by all things crochet . The Simply Crochet team is actually quite small, and I was instantly astounded by the amount that they get done within such a small team. Once I got my bearings and settled in (and was shown the filing cabinets that were full of wool), it was time to get to work.

Just one of the drawers bursting with wool
One of the first things I helped out with was writing some book reviews for a future issue. This was a really fun task, but it’s not without its challenges. Obviously you’re being privileged to a first look at some of the newest crochet books on the market – but time is of the essence so you can’t necessarily read it cover to cover and try out every project. You have to learn how to spot the important things - How innovative are the patterns? What does it look like aesthetically? How well written are the instructions? It was a good first task as it really focussed my mind on what information is important for the reader.

A 'small' section of the crochet book shelves 
Over the next few days I was assisting each member of the team with some of their tasks, such as uploading patterns to Ravelry, updating the website, helping with technical editing of patterns, posting content to social media, online research, reviewing products, and coming up with ideas for future features. It was during a team meeting that it really struck me as to quite how much there was to do. I’d been invited along just to see what it was like, but I was so impressed by how much information the team constantly has to be thinking about. Take for example the amount of patterns in each issue. Now, when you consider the fact that all the patterns have to be submitted, checked, photographed, edited, prepared and readied for print, it’ll come as no surprise that they have to work way in advance. So, bearing in mind that Simply Crochet averages roughly 20 patterns each issue, and they can be commissioning for three or four issues ahead as well as working on the current one – that can be around 80-100 patterns they have to keep track of at any one time!!!

Art Editor Charlene Lim preparing props for photographs
On my final day I got to accompany the art editor in the photography studio. This was loads of fun and particularly appealed to my creative side. It’s never a simple case of point and click – you have to set up the shot, decide what would make the best props and backgrounds, work with the photographer to get the lighting just right, and so much more. It was photographing some of the amigurumi projects that I enjoyed the most, I loved the way how just adjusting the positioning of a crochet character ever so slightly could completely change the overall look of a project.

in the office on my best behaviour, combed beard and everything
I had a brilliant time with the team and I’d say it wasn’t even really work – it was an education, and I love to learn! The whole team made me feel welcome from the moment I got there. We finished the week by going for a beer together at the end of the day, where they gave me a big bag of wool as a thankyou/parting gift – beer & wool, my two favourite things! If I have to sum up what I learnt from the week, it’s that you should never underestimate what goes into making a magazine. The whole team have to work incredibly hard to bring you a magazine of such quality month after month!

That's all for now, until next time - peace out!


  1. Great post, it's cool to see how much work goes on behind the scenes.

  2. Awesome! It's always fun to get a "behind the scenes" peak. I love to read your column in Simply Crochet, by the way.