Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Focus: Sarah Jane Designs

We've reached the end of the month once again. You know what that means... Friday Focus time! Today's featured designer, Sarah Jane, creates really interesting lacy and textured patterns. Her accessories have such a neat Victorian flair. If you're looking for something a bit different yet still elegant and chic, Sarah's got just the patterns for you. She's here today to tell us a bit about her patterns and about her design career.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
I have been crocheting since I was about 4 years old (if very long chains count!). From memory I was shown the basic stitches by a great Aunt of mine who was actually blind. I only ever saw her the once but she was patient enough with a curious 4 year old and sent me away with a ball of wool and my very own crochet hook. The rest I taught myself via library books and trial and error (lots of error!). My first actual finished object was a hideous cape thing made from any scrap of yarn I could salvage, using only chain stitch and single crochet which were the only 2 stitches I knew at the time (I was about 8 I think)....I wish I still had it.

Why do you crochet?
I need to be creative, it helps to keep me sane in the insanity of a life that involves 8 children even though they are a mixture of children and adults now. I love to crochet because it’s portable and needs minimal tools, I can pick up a hook and work just a few stitches or spend an entire afternoon ‘hooking’. I have done many other crafts but have always come back to crochet which is my first love. With the number of children in the house it’s great to have a craft that I can pick up and put down at will and that doesn’t include copious pins or other sharp implements, also if I lose a stitch it is only one stitch :D.

Crochet Favorites
Magazines, I love all kinds of magazines for crochet and I get a lot of inspiration from knitting and fashion magazines as well. Pinterest is my very favourite place (after Ravelry of course), I can spend hours on Pinterest if I’m not careful. I have a couple of stitch dictionaries but these days I find most of what I need on the internet. Also and are my favourite blogs both for reading and tutorials and things.

As for hook I use the cheap aluminium hooks that can be bought on Ebay for just a few dollars, I also use Boye aluminium hooks and love them. I seem to prefer the weight and feel of the aluminium hooks over other types and don’t like hooks that have handles because my crocheting style means that the handle gets in the way.I adore colour and texture, I am inspired by the feel and colour of the yarn as well.

What are you working on right now?
I have just finished a shawl that I am blocking and am part way through a submission piece. I also have a few ideas floating around for a couple of collections I’d like to publish next year. I am also working on a hat but am not liking it so much so that one will probably end up in the frog pile.

A few finished objects...
I am very proud of my Hardware Heaven Collection which combines both crochet and steampunk. It’s made in Jilly yarn from Dream in Color and I loved everything about working on this collection.

Soft as Butter was a departure for me as it is a larger item than I usually make. Creating the pattern and charts was challenging but I love how it turned out.

Frostberry Hat is one of my most popular designs and came from a stitch pattern I saw on the internet that I loved and was determined to use in something...The difference in the texture from one side of the hat to the other is my favourite thing about this.

Sarah is so talented to be able to create such unique and different designs. Take a look at more of her work on Ravelry and catch up with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Thank you so much for joining us today, Sarah!

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