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Tricotin.com has become a key actor of the French craft Internet community. It is a very rich portal with an extremely active community, based on the will to help each other, to share our creativity, and to find new ideas, thank to our big "500.000 posts" Forum, our lively Facebook page, our pretty Flickr album, our tweeting Twitter and our Blog. It is also an amazing resource centre full of precious data for those who want to know more about Wool Crafts or learn one from scratch. They will find free step by step pictures tutorials and new free video courses. Tricotin.com is not only the place to learn all the techniques and but also get the inspiration, find the best projects with our Free Patterns Directory. And last but not least, Tricotin.com has opened a shop (2005) to provide all the goodies and gizmos for us (we're badly addicted to our crafts...) and our faithful clients to help them create and have fun with our favourite Wool Crafts. The shelves of our e-store are crowded with amazing treasures we have found while travelling the World and thank to our very creative top notch suppliers.
Tricotin.com in 3 words : TEACH, CREATE, SHARE.
Born in Greece
It is in 1999 that Flore, a French expatriate in Athens, Greece, starts knitting again. She finds it very hard to learn without a grand-mother next to her in the sofa... Flore is a kind of geek, passionate about the new concept of the Internet. It was still a very dull technical network back then with very few pages about craft. But while surfing searching for decent patterns, she finally finds an American website. Still quite simple but interesting she thinks she should do better and in French.
The idea was: "I could become everyone's cyber grandmother". The Internet looks like a good mean of communication, with the photos we could add (even if it was very slow at the time) the texts and the email could be a way for people to ask questions, and for Flore to help, now that she had been through the whole process of leaning... It's all she needed to start.
The 1st tricotin.com was born, made of online courses with pictures (some a bit blurry, taken by one of the first digital cameras!) showing the techniques step by step, vintage patterns to give knitting a go without getting in trouble with copyright and more and more of Flore's own patterns. As it was the only Knitting Website in French it started very soon to welcome some visitors. At first, Flore was amazed to receive 2 or 3 visitors a day!! Then more people popped in, 10, 100, 1000 per day! Flore started to be completely overwhelmed by the amount of emails she received. She had to answer the same questions every day all over again. So she started a handmade sort of Forum and copied/pasted the email she received and the answers she sent. It was a huge work... The forums started to flourish on the web and Tricotin.com’ famous and now unavoidable ;) Forum was born. It worked all on its own! (or nearly...)
The 1st buzz
More and more free online tutorials were created and Flore went back to France. A famous French newspaper, Le Nouvel Obs, got interested in Flore's unusual case... Knitting... on the Internet??? Hahahahahahah! How funny... How "décalé"... A young girl (23 at the time) pretends to be a grand-mother on the web and help people to knit... such an old fashion activity indeed. The eminent newspapers Le Monde, Les Echos, and then famous magazines like Elle, Marie-Claire also started to write about it. Even the first "Internet paper Magazines" the old Google on paper which soon disappeared as the amount of websites became unmanageable, had Tricotin.com in their "unusual" or leisure chapter.
This is how the story goes, Tricotin.com became a famous website and now that everybody had a blog and the web is filled up with an infinite amount of data, Tricotin.com is still number one in the French speaking countries, teaching generations of French people how to knit, crochet, spin, weave, dye, felt, etc. The hundreds of visitors turned into around 20.000 a day. And the adventure continues...
The Adventures in country of the sheep
Flore then decided to move to Australia where she discovers a whole new approach to the Wool Crafts. It not all about Knitting Down Under. There is also Spinning, Weaving, Felting, Dyeing etc. You can make your own yarn and not a dull boring one, no! You can actually make an Art Yarn from scratch, chose those colours you love, your dream texture, your own fibres... You can create a yarn which could be part of a Jean-Paul Gaultier outfit. She had to give it a go. She started with good old lessons at the Spinners and Weavers Guild in Melbourne and after years of practice, she became herself a teacher. Along the way, she discovered weaving, tapestry weaving, arm and finger knitting. In France, all these crafts suffered from a bad image at the time. Bad memories of grungy brown rugs from the hippy 70ies. But she discovered that nowadays, the woven fabrics are subtle, fine and wearable! So Flore dove into it and now she is unstoppable and has dragged many people in it with her. She took hardcore crochet courses, learned finger and arm knitting with a famous Aussie fibre artist, Marta, learns the craft of wool dyeing, the colour wheel, the eucalyptus dyes...
From this dive into the heart of the Wool Country, she created more free online courses, new forum sections. Tricotin.com had become THE reference in Fiber Arts.
The big Dive
In 2004, the project of an e-store was born. Inspired by numerous emails and messages from Tricotin.com’ visitors Flore went on a hunt throughout the World and left her Head Hunter Job in IT to launch this new project.
It is an immediate success. It allows the website to afford a makeover and Flore to negotiate with spinning mills and other Craft market partners to give her the authorization to publish lots of new free patterns. The visitors come in large numbers and it starts to really impress the specialists. In 2010, the 20.000 unique visitors per day mark is reached.
The shop gathers more and more treasures. Flore's travels give her the opportunity to be always the first one to launch a new product on the French and even European market: Knit Pro, Knit Picks, Rachel John, Tilli Tomas, Denise Interchangeable, Addi.
The big boiling Pot
To keep in touch with her knitters and spinners friends, with the artists who have helped her develop the website always following the latest fashion, and the craftswomen and craftsmen who have sometimes started their business learning their craft on Tricotin.com, Flore has launched the Parisian Pub Spinning. It is a monthly meeting in Paris, for Wool Arts Fans who want to share their passion with a good fresh beer in hand* People come from far away to take part of this event and the French press and television have helped to make it a real Parisian phenomenon. Our friends Marie & Zouzou, welcome you each month to show you what they can do and help you give it a go. They are here to give you a hand if you need to.
Mid 2011, Tricotin.com has launched its Youtube channel: TeleTricotin where you will soon see hundreds of free tutorials in video (keep an eye on it, there are already a few goodies). You will be able to learn (in French and in English) for free, all you need to know about, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, weaving, hand spinning, dyeing, felting, braiding, pompom making, thread and wool jewellery making, manual or semi-mechanical French knitting, hand and arm knitting, and so much more.
Since our first steps until now, Tricotin.com has been a Big Pot boiling with creativity. Flore has found the best people to make this broth a real nectar for creative people to share. Each passing week, a new project is achieved and Tricotin.com enriches itself with new data and ideas. Keep an eye on our website as in September 2011, the brand new version of Tricotin.com will be finally aired. We have chosen the best American Open source Software to help us provide you with the best possible internet experience. Following our very successful Free Pattern Hunt opened in 2011 on the Forum, your will be able to download the best patterns ever!!! Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel where you will be notified every time we will publish a new free tutorial.
We like to keep in touch with you, so please, never hesitate to send us an email! Some people write: "Sorry to bother you, but"... but you never bother us :)
Flore : email@example.com
La Boutique : firstname.lastname@example.org
A warm thanks to all of you without whom this tiny little project would never have become what it is now.
Thank you to our more than 22.000 visitors a day!
Thank you to Cathy, the most precious partner in the Whole Wide World.
Thank you to Wendell the sexiest IT guy it the Whole Wide World.
Thank you to Marie & Zouzou for their help, their professionalism and their creativity.
Thanks to Rob for his trust and Nicolas & Rachel for their technical assistance.
Thank you to Alberto & Federica, Jérémie & Marie, Andie, Elo, Midian, Tania, Genviève.
Thank you to all the people (a vast number of them) who never hesitate to give us a hand on a daily basis on our Forum.
*of course, no need to say, too much alcohol is dangerous for your health :)