Vlogger of the Month is a new addition to our newsletter where to speak to social media personalities about their projects. This month, we spoke to Pascale Moëllic from Joueuse de Pelotes about her growing YouTube channel and blog.
What was the inspiration for your YouTube channel?
I have been a lover of knitting since a young age, and I have always had a project on the go. Sweater, scarf, skirt, coat, I couldn't stop. Each day, on my way home from work, I devoted a few hours to this hobby, to relax and to rest from the tiredness of the day. I have a curious mind and I have always looked for tips and tricks to knit better, to knit more easily, so that my knits are more beautiful. One day, I thought 'I would like to pass on all this knowledge'. It was the beginning of YouTube, in 2012, that I started. My first videos were very episodic, but after a few months, I found that the viewers liked them. So I continued to post, as an amateur, to exchange with others.
In 2016, I took a professional turn, and I devoted myself completely to knitting. I continued making YouTube videos and I created a blog. I also started writing books. All the books are in French because I am French. I am the author of "50 montages de Tricot", "Comprendre les instructions de Tricot", and "Accessoires de Salle de Bain au Tricot".
How popular is knitting/crochet in France?
Knitting and crochet have long been neglected. Few people of my generation practised these hobbies. It was no longer fashionable, it was even 'cheesy'. I continued to knit, but knitting was catalogued as an activity for grandmothers. And suddenly it came back into fashion. For the past decade or so people have gone back to knitting, and I think they love it. It has become more than knitting, it is also a tool for personal development and restructuring. Many find in this activity the opportunity to relax, meditate, let go. The works are no longer the same, the goal is not only clothing. Knitting has entered interior decoration, creating all kinds of accessories. People have less time and less patience; things must be done quickly: chunky yarn and very large needles are very popular.
What inspires your designs?
It’s hard to say. When it comes to choosing technical topics for videos, I'm often helped by questions from my subscribers and comments from my channel. I don't have time to respond to everyone's problems individually. I choose the interesting subjects, and so everyone benefits. For my creations, I look for inspiration in the spirit of the times: in fashion, in the street.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently immersed in the writing of a book which should come out in a few weeks on the brioche stitch and the fisherman's rib. This is a somewhat technical book, which will compare the two schools and propose some models. On the same subject, I am also preparing training workshops which I will give during the "Aiguille en Fête" fair which takes place in Paris from March 12 to 15. It will be an opportunity for me to really meet some of my followers whom I only know by their pseudo and that’s a real joy. At the same time, I continue to prepare tutorials for my blog and for my YouTube channel. I also have a designer activity and I offer models for a few brands of wool. Here is my current model: lace and linen. It will be out for spring.
How has HiyaHiya helped with your work?
I had heard of HiyaHiya many years ago and had ordered a few circular needles over the internet. I think it was in 2007. I had trouble finding where to buy them. I bought it from a North American distributor and when I tried them for the first time, I was immediately won over by the extreme quality. The steel knitting needles were perfect for my knitting style. Since then, I have used this brand of needles as much as possible. I work a lot with interchangeable needles and tips. I always have several books in progress, I do a lot of tests and samples for my books and my lessons; I move around a lot. With the kits, I can travel with all my equipment. The modularity of the needles allows me to carry out all my activities at the same time, to go from flat knitting to circular knitting with no problem, changing needle size to adapt while knitting. The complete range of HiyaHiya does me a lot of service.
Is there a designer who you admire or have been influenced by?
I like to watch what is extravagant and grand. What is out of the ordinary, when knitting, becomes
art. I of course love street art and yarn-bombing, in particular the work of Magda Sayed. I admire the remarkable creations made by certain designers who work wool as sculptures. I will cite among others: the Swedish designer Sandra Backlund and the Australian artist Jacqui Fink.
What trends do you see happening in the craft industry in the future?
People around me are more and more interested in being environmentally responsible. They want to take charge of their destiny and improve the state of the planet. This current trend is found everywhere and even in manual work and in creative hobbies. People no longer want to produce waste but recycle instead. It’s useful and it’s quick, it’s easier to knit a dishcloth than a sweater. You can knit a cotton pad faster than a jacket. So I think that in the future, the manufacture of everyday products will occupy a large place among the works of knitters. I also proposed this year patterns to create bathroom accessories: washcloths, sponges for the shower, etc. And the big 'must' in knitting/crochet is currently the commission net which replaces the horrible polluting plastic bags.
What are your plans for your YouTube channel in the future?
In 2019, my channel exceeded 10 million views. It was an important step in the development of my project. In 2020, within a few months, my channel should reach the 100,000 subscriber mark! This is another big step that I plan to share with my loyal subscribers. I am preparing an event to celebrate this great moment. It could be a live video, or a contest, I haven't made a final decision yet - but I'm working on it. And of course, I will continue to broadcast new videos to transmit my knowledge and my love of knitting.