How it all began
The inspiration for jumbo size craft tools came while I was working in the US at a knitting exhibition.
My light bulb moment happened while i watching a demonstration on how to knit with wire to create sculpture. It was the needles that fascinated me & quicky my mind was working overtime. I had an enormous stash of yarn! All different weights, amounts, colour but not enough of the same to create a large project. My thinking was to combine them together in some way creating an extreme thick (rope like) yarn & knit it into a massive blanket.
They also needed to be able to carry lots of stitches so I was able to knit a kingsize throw in one piece so no addition of sewing pieces together. I needed longer jumbo needles than the ones on the market.
That's Where Dad came in... Firstly he wasn't sure, but he created me a pair to try. I love knitting with them immediately, it was so quick. That evening I made my first blanket.
I was demonstrating that weekend at a local yarn show, so I persuaded him to make me a dozen pairs. I took them & my blanket to the show. Within 10 minutes they had sold them all. I was able to take future orders.
Dad being a perfectionist continued to develop the needles. Customers started to ask for crochet hooks, it was a natural option to develop the Tunisian Crochet Hook also another craft I enjoy. Give it a go, It’s so easy, being a combination of knit & crochet very unlike anything else. If you find knitting a little hard to tackle, you only use one needle/hook, people find it easier than knitting or crochet.
Another great idea dad came up with was his secret serum to oil the tools. That took some time to perfect as we wanted each tool to be a pleasure to use & not sticky this meant a very smooth surface so as not to catch on stitches. The serum really does give that & cares for the wood too. You will find our tools really do get better with age this is due to the combination of the serum and the natural oils from your hands.
Then the sad news, dad was diagnosed with the big C! Well, that was it! But, oh no he would not have that. He was so proud of what we had achieved he wanted me to keep it going. I didn’t want to go on without him, also dealing with the thought of losing him I had no desire either to continue. He wasn’t having any of it. “No, I will teach you how to make them, we have two years to do it” that was what he said. I am sure you can imagine how I felt.
Well, he did just that, he taught me step by step, he was so patient with me, we basically kept going even when he was really ill, he would sit on a chair giving help & instructions, he just wouldn’t give up. He went into hospital for a few opps he told all who cared for him what I was doing. In the hospice I would go in & the nurses would say "oh you're Juey, we know all about you, Jimmy has been filling us in, he's so proud". There were times when I wanted to give up & times when I had to go into work without him, but I can tell you now, I am so grateful for what you have taught me dad. Bless him! He even said teaching me kept him here longer because he couldn't go until I had got it!
Thank you, dad, for leaving me this legacy. At the time I could never have realised how much learning new skills would have helped me through losing you. We created Juey Jumbo Craft Tools together. I will keep it going for as long as possible.
Now with the immense help of my husband & support of family we are going from strength to strength.
You may or may not have gathered that his nickname for me was Our Juey…- We now proudly supply several very well-known Companies. I even guest present on TV at Sewing Street who are such a support & inspired one of our new products the 'Sew Useful Tool'. We have the most supportive, wonderful customers we could ever ask for. I am actively coming up with new innovative products like our hard to keep in stock Winding Wand which was just waiting to be invented. I just love this tool.I hope you are inspired to give jumbo crafting a go. Thank you for taking the time to read my story
Love Juey X