It's been pretty hot and humid in Seattle lately. I like to walk whenever I can, especially when I get to walk around town with my husband, but the heat tends to drag me down. With sweat beads forming on the bridge of my nose under my glasses and my skirt clinging damply to my legs you might think that warm, fuzzy crochet items are the farthest things from my mind. Not so! Alas, the holiday season is just around the corner. Did I really just say that? Yes, and it's true. Since crochet is so labor intensive and time consuming, if I want to finish all of my planned Christmas gifts on time I need to start them quite soon. This means I am keeping my eyes peeled for good patterns.
Today's Friday Focus highlights designer Jade Red. Jade writes both crochet and knitting patterns, many of which would make excellent cold weather gifts. This is certainly appropriate since Jade lives in Australia, where it is currently winter! Her floral and feminine designs caught my eye. She kindly took the time to share a little about her crochet career with us today.
Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
I learned knitting and crocheting from my grandma when I was 5 years old. In fact, for crocheting, grandma only taught me a very basic chain stitch. At that time it was very popular and people were crocheting fisherman's net shopping bags and table cloths. It was hard to find a place that sold crochet hooks. I used a crochet hook with a latch that was lent to me by my neighbor who worked in a knit wear factory. People also used this type of hook to mend stockings. Later, my friend's dad made a metal crochet hook using clothing hanger.
I can still vividly remember the first shopping bag I made - it started with crocheting two round motifs put together as the base of the bag, then making a fisherman's net as the body. Then I folded the bag body into the two motif base to make it smaller and neat to carry. I hope that one day when I find the time, I can replicate it again.
When I was young, I always dreamt of crocheting a beautiful curtain with a butterfly filet pattern. Unfortunately it never happened because mum could not afford to buy the cotton yarn then.
My favorites are Doris Chan's crochet books/designs. She is an amazing crochet designer who is able to create such striking clothes and accessories using simple, basic technique.
What are you working on right now? What is your next project?
My partner has two daughters who will have babies later this year or earlier next year. We are all so excited and I just can't help starting to make something for the babies even though we still don't know the babies' sexes yet. I have just finished a baby blanket with an xmas theme, a dress (matching pattern with my Gorgeous Snow White Baby Jacket listing), and a pair of booties.
A month ago, I finished a hat formed with a cute dress shape. There are quite a few other items I have created in the past few months but I just could not find time to write a pattern. I have been flat out as we are renovating the house, but I have made a promise to myself that I will write at least two patterns in next two months. Next project? There will be lots of baby items in my mind but I just want to wait until I know exactly the babies' sexes are.
A few finished objects...
Butterfly - I love butterflies! They bring me wonderful childhood memories - chasing butterflies, who wouldn't have! This creamy gorgeous butterfly brooch is so lively, as if it could fly away at any time - and it is so easy to make!
Pink Vintage Look Curly Flower Hat - This vintage inspired pink hat can be worn with or without the beautiful curly flower pinned to the side. This hat reminds me of my beloved grandma; a traditional, beautiful, elegant woman.
Exquisite Aqua Scarf - This exquisite scarf speaks for itself. This scarf is crocheted using simple basic stitches (chain, single, double stitch) without breaking the yarn to create a beautiful, eye-catching effect. When I started to learn to knit and crochet, my grandma always reminded me not to waste yarn by breaking it. This has reflected upon many of my designs, and this is one of them. Nowadays, it is not so much about saving the yarn, I just love the challenge of thinking and finding ways of not easily breaking yarn.
Great patterns! Her work can be found on Ravelry and Etsy. Thanks for sharing, Jade!