Jenny Mitchell - interview for Virtual Bunch
Jenny Mitchell is a crochet artist who loves to create beautiful pieces inspired by nature. Although born in Canada, her family moved to Guernsey when she was 9 years old, and she has called the island home ever since.

Though she left for a time after completing her schooling and university education, living in London and Africa, Jenny returned to Guernsey in her early 30s. She felt drawn to come home, especially as her mother still lived there. Jenny initially pursued a career in Public Relations and later worked in the travel industry. However, upon returning to Guernsey, she joined the local recruitment agency Situations, which she later co-managed with her friend and business partner, Melissa Campbell.

After spending a wonderful twenty years there, she decided to retire from the business and focus on other areas of her life, with her beautiful daughter Daisy being her top priority. It was during this period of time and space that the idea of establishing Jenny’s crochet business, Yarnover, was inspired, and the rest, as they say, is history.

During our conversation with Jenny, we asked about the challenges one can experience in the crochet business, her insights into starting crocheting, and why she enjoys living in Guernsey.

Can you tell us about your journey into crochet artistry and what inspired you to pursue this creative path?

As a little girl I was always drawn to my grandmother’s crochet and knitting basket when we would visit her on her farm. I’d help her take the skeins of yarn and wind them into balls and I loved watching her work. She had taught my mother to knit and one of my favourite toys was ‘Woolly Winnie’, a knitted doll my mother made me. I started crocheting and knitting myself when I was 8 or 9 as I wanted to make clothes for my dolls. I didn’t pick it up again in earnest until I was pregnant with my daughter 13 years ago.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your creations?

Initially it was my daughter Daisy who inspired me, as I would make her toys, blankets, and Christmas decorations, then as she grew older she started asking me to make her clothes. With each request I’d think, “well, I’ve never made one of those but I’ll give it a go” and as I love learning I’d launch myself into the next project. Nowadays though I suppose the times when I feel most inspired and when the ideas flow, are when I’m in my garden or walking my dog Biscuit. Guernsey is so beautiful and I’m most at peace and present when I’m in nature. I’ll think up a new project, or an idea will just come to me and then I can’t wait to get home, grab some yarn and get started!

Are there specific themes or motifs you particularly enjoy incorporating into your work?

My very favourite pieces are those where I can use natural fibres like wool, jute and cotton and I adore the changing seasons so especially love the bright hues of spring and summer, and the deep, rich and warm tones of autumn. As December baby, I adore Christmas and crocheting Christmas decor is a real favourite!

What challenges have you encountered in your crochet journey, and how have you overcome them?

Some crochet pieces are definitely more challenging than others, whether it’s the yarn, the design or just not seeing what I’m doing wrong. I never give up though and have frogged (a crochet / knitting term for ripping out the stitches to correct a mistake) many a piece to start again until I figure it out! It’s the only way to learn though. Other than that, I started selling at markets for the first time last year and I really wasn’t prepared well enough in advance. This year I’ll be starting Christmas in July!

For those interested in picking up crochet as a creative outlet, what advice would you give them?

Start small and with the basics and practice, practice, practice! I think where many people go wrong is that they want to rush into making a challenging project right away before they’ve really mastered the most basic stitches and techniques. They then get frustrated and give up and say ‘I can’t crochet’. I honestly think anyone can learn, they just need to be patient and to take things slowly. Once you’ve caught on though you’ll be hooked, quite literally!

Photo credit: Jenny Mitchell

Photo credit: Jenny Mitchell

Are there specific resources or tools you recommend for someone starting their crochet journey?

You can find a remarkable amount of information online nowadays and there are some excellent tutorials on Youtube which teach everything from the most basic techniques to fantastic tricks and hacks for making professional finishes.

All you really need to get started is some yarn, a hook, a yarn needle and some scissors and you can buy all of these in Guernsey from places like Craftwise and Creaseys whose staff are so helpful.

From there the sky is the limit as you might want to start trying different styles of hooks, buying helpful gadgets and oh the yarn! So many gorgeous choices, colours and fibres and oh so many things to make, from home decor, bags, toys and wearables.

How do you balance the artistic side with the business aspect of your craft?

I suppose one of the things that motivates me most is wanting to share my work with others, to bring joy to someone who will love something I’ve made, and hopefully keep it for years to come. In order to do this, the business aspect has evolved so that I can reach them.

Plus I actually find that I can make the business side creative too, whether it’s writing product descriptions, posts on social media, getting business cards made, and creating a website. I do like a challenge and pushing myself and it’s so rewarding if I’m having to learn how to use a piece of software, or can’t get to grips with invoicing, and I actually crack it!

Do you have any exciting plans or projects for the future of your crochet artistry?

I’ve just recently started selling in a local gallery / gift shop and would like to try a few more outlets and expand the products I’m selling. I’ll be launching my website soon (it’s up and running but I haven’t advertised it yet) and I’m really keen to expand my home decor range into some bigger items like throws and cushions. I take a lot of custom orders and it’s interesting to see what people want so this might well lead me in a new direction.

Photo credit: Jenny Mitchell

Photo credit: Jenny Mitchell

What do you enjoy most about living in Guernsey?

I’ve been so lucky to have been able to travel extensively and even lived off island for a time, but I just feel so utterly at home here, at peace, at my most authentic when I’m in Guernsey. There’s never a day that goes by that doesn’t take my breath away with the beauty of my surroundings, walks by the ocean, the sense of community here, it’s just magical.

Are there any hidden gems or favorite spots you’d recommend to someone new to the island?

Oh there are so many I can’t name them all! Here are just a few: walks along the beach at Cobo and Grand Rocques, the cliff paths of the east and south coast, with some of the most spectacular views in the world, an early morning swim in the sea (Port Soif is a particular favourite or Marble Bay if you don’t mind the walk back up the hill!), sitting on the sea wall at Vazon watching the sunset. I could go on!

If you would like to purchase some lovely crochet products from Jenny, you can find her on Instagram as yarn._over and on Facebook as Yarnover. Alternatively, you can head directly to her website at She also sells a small selection of her products at The Barn Gallery & Gift Store at Sausmarez Manor.