Meet 'One Man Crochet' Matthew Spiers, the winner of the Christmas tree competition on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas and find out all about what went on behind the scenes
Big-bearded Matthew Spiers won the Christmas tree decorating competition on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas TV show and, quite appropriately, appeared proudly kitted-out in handmade crocheted clothing. We were very impressed!
Men have always been a huge part of the knitting and crochet community through the ages, famously knitting fishnets and Gansey jumpers for trawling expeditions at the turn of the 20th century.
That’s why it’s all the more exciting that the modern man is still at it, promoting the craft as something enjoyable and creative that everyone can enjoy.
We were first introduced to Matthew with his geometric wall-hangings on display at a UKHKA design competition that we were invited to judge in 2014 and have loved keeping up with what he’s been up to since.
Matthew began writing blogs, under the pseudonym ‘One Man Crochet’, on his crochet creations and love of yarn, about 4 years ago.
He quickly discovered a captive audience for his eye-catching use of bright colours and geometric shapes. It’s easy to be fascinated by (his words, not ours) ‘that weird crochet bloke’.
We couldn’t wait to hear all about the competition on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas programme, so we asked Matthew to tell us all about the experience.
‘When I was first contacted by the TV show to ask if I would like to take part, I had a bit of a dilemma,’ he admits. ‘I knew it could be fun and it was something I’d never done before, but the deadline for filming was coming up fast.
‘With the knowledge that sometimes I can flourish under pressure, I decided to push myself and go for it, with only a fortnight to make enough decorations for a 5ft tree. Two weekends of non-stop crochet followed, including a 15-hour stint on one day.’ Ouch!
Matthew surprised us by admitting: ‘Perhaps controversially for someone appearing on a Christmas show, I’m not actually a big fan of this time of year. Personally I find that a lot of elements of Christmas highlights our throwaway culture and our reliance on mass-produced items.’
To make his point. Matthew gave a handmade twist to mass-produced baubles and rope lights, covering them in crochet cases with an original and vibrant colourway.
‘Never one to follow convention, I also decided to steer clear of using the common Christmassy colour schemes, instead sticking to bright and neon colours that have come to represent my own personal style,’ he explains.
Frankly we’d expect nothing less from this super-modern crochet designer!
Matthew was pleased with his finished tree but was still shocked to triumph.
‘I never thought for a second that I would be in with a chance of winning,’ he says, ‘but when our judge Sue Timney (interior and textiles designer) spoke about my crochet tree and declared me the winner, it was clear she appreciated the thinking and design approach behind it.’
We agree that she made the right decision. Congratulations, Matthew!
Find out more about Matthew and his crochet on his blog.
Crochet yourself something merry and bright!
We can’t match Matthew’s querky decorations but this crocheted horse is almost as much fun and gives you the opportunity to experiment with some bright colours of your very own. Simply give our shop team a rin on 0800 024 1212 to get your pattern.