Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Focus: Lucy Collin aka Lucy Ravenscar

Something that I appreciate about crochet is how easy it is to work in the round. Knitters can work in the round but it is a bit more difficult and doesn't look as crisp in my opinion. Crochet really shines brightly when it is used for amigurumi. Rounds of single crochet make a nice, tight fabric. Details can easily be added to perfect the object. When finished, it's really rewarding to realize that you have just made a toy from start to finish.

Someone who has done a lot to help crocheters achieve their amigurumi potential is Lucy Collins, nickname Lucy Ravenscar. Her blissfully nerdy amigurumi patterns have delighted hundreds of fans. She's got something for everyone with both paid and complimentary patterns. I am thrilled and honored to have her here with us today to share a little bit about herself and her fabulous patterns for our Friday Focus.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
My Nana (grandmother) taught me when I was about 8 years old - she was always very crafty and made me party dresses and cuddly toys that I really loved - she also crocheted a dress for my Mum that I was fascinated with. I took to it fairly easily and made a few little things, leading up to a self-designed cardigan when I was in my teens. Then I didn't do it for ages until my oldest child had started school, about nine years ago. I got involved with the PTA and was looking for little things to make for a school craft fair, when I came across crocheted flower patterns online. It all came back to me and I started searching for more free patterns and that led me to amigurumi.

Why do you crochet?
I've always loved drawing, and creating things, but when I had children I think I used up most of my creative impulses on playing with them. I got inspired by needing to make things for the PTA, and once I'd tried a few patterns I had to try out my own ideas. My boys also inspired me by loving everything I made and requesting all their favourite characters as toys. Once I found out how much I enjoyed designing and making amigurumi I just got obsessed, and now I think about things I want to make all the time and I feel weird if I sit and watch TV without a project in my hands.

Crochet Favorites Since I mostly make amigurumi I stick with my trusty metal 3.5mm hook - I keep meaning to try the ergonomic ones, but I haven't yet. I have a massive stash of lots of single balls of yarn to give me all the different colours I might need, all double knitting weight and mostly acrylic. I do like mohair yarns to give interesting texture to certain creatures, but it can be hard to get hold of, so it can be difficult to recommend in a pattern.
What are you working on right now? I'm working on some new Star Wars characters - I've made Jabba the Hutt and Princess Leia in her slave bikini, but I still need to test the patterns, and I'm intending on making a few more characters. I'm also working on some Dwarves - I'm planning a set of fantasy characters and I've already done patterns to make Elves and Halflings, so Dwarves are next. I've made one but I want to make a few more to give some options in the pattern. I have lots of little toys that I made for Christmas Bazaars at my sons' school in previous years that I want to make available as free patterns, so I need to get on with that too.
I also wrote six patterns earlier this year for a book, 'Hollywood Crochet', which I think is due to be published shortly. They are all famous film stars and characters: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Bond, Audrey Hepburn and Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from Titanic; the book comes in a set with the materials to make Elvis.
A few finished objects...  
Fierce Little Dragon - this is one of my first patterns. I love dragons and would often be on the lookout for dragon toys, so when I had learned enough skills I just had to make one for myself. When I put photos of it online I got lots of requests for the pattern, and that encouraged me to believe that I could design patterns that other people might like. The pattern is available for free on Ravelry. 
Elves - I'm a big fan of fantasy books, films and games, and I've been wanting to design classic fantasy characters for ages. For each type I'm trying to come up with lots of variations - different hair, clothes, and accessories - so that people can make the characters the way they want. This is just one of the Elves, there are three more alternatives included in the pattern.

Star Wars  - these are a few of my fourteen Star Wars designs. I call them mini amigurumi because they're all between 2.5 and 4.5 inches tall, which makes them quite simple to make and perfect to play with and go on adventures, or just sit on your desk.
Lucy's patterns are beloved by many. It's no wonder she's being featured in an upcoming book! Her little amis just make you feel so good. Hurray for nerds! Some of my personal favorites are her Totoros from My Neighbor Totoro and Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. I also know that many of the hookers on r/crochet really like her Dalek pattern. You can catch all of her amazing creations and patterns on her blog, Ravelry, and Etsy. I can't wait to make a Totoro once the crazy holidays are over. Thank you so very much for sharing your fabulous crochet with us today, Lucy!

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