Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Focus: Aeron Aanstoos

Y'all know how much I love the ocean. There are plenty of sea-inspired amigurumi patterns out there, but many of them are just so... squidgy. As much as I like cute things, I have to say that I prefer sea creature amigurumi to be more realistic. There is such beauty in a finely made creature, bringing it out of the realm of mere toys and into the realm of art. Forming crochet stitches into the details and shapes that real animals are made up of can be difficult. Lucky for us, Aeron Aanstoos is up to the challenge! Her creatures have just the right balance of cuteness and realism, making them irresistible. Let's focus in on this talented designer.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
I started crocheting about 7 or 8 years ago. I'm mostly self-taught. I come from a crafting family, but strangely enough I'm the only yarn crafter. Which is probably a good thing, because I don't think the house could hold another yarn stash!

Why do you crochet?
Amigurumi is what got me really hooked on crochet (no pun intended). I'd tried a couple of scarves and started an afghan, but lost interest pretty quickly, probably because they were really dull straight single crochet pieces that were more for practice than anything else. But I got really excited when I learned that I could make adorable stuffed animals, not just squares and rectangles. My first projects - a baby dragon and a chubby Totoro - are still two of my favorites. Once I had a little more experience and confidence, I ventured into designing. I love the challenge, and all the possibilities, of figuring out how to form something three dimensional out of a single length of yarn.

Crochet Favorites
For amigurumi, my new favorite yarn is KnitPicks Brava Bulky.  The colors are beautiful and the consistent lofty texture is perfect for making tight stitches.  Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks are great- I usually use a D or E hook for amigurumi with bulky yarn.  

What are you working on right now?
I'm designing some new whale patterns, but they're on hold while I do some other crafting for upcoming shows. I have a long list of sea creatures to do, and I'm always looking for new ideas. 

**We interrupt this interview for an important message from Sara... Squee! Whale patterns! Yay! Cough, cough, okay back to Aeron.**

A few finished objects... 
Dolphin - One of my favorite animals and so special to me, and I'm very happy with how this pattern turned out. I've had customers crochet this pattern in a variety of colors and they're always adorable. 

Humpback whale - Another one of my favorite animals. This one really comes to life when you add the little French knots on her nose.  
Chambered nautilus - This is my latest sea creature design, and one of the most complicated to design, although it's not too complicated to make. I went through about 8 different shells - on the last one, I colored in the stripes with a marker, then disassembled the whole thing one stitch at a time to write the stripe pattern. It was tedious and a little crazy, but I think the end result is worth it. 
I'll say it was worth it! That nautilus is gorgeous! Aeron is certainly a designer to follow. I can't wait to see those new whale patterns. All of her designs can be found on Ravelry and Etsy. Thanks for sharing your ocean wonders with us today, Aeron!

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