Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with crochet designer Sarah Jane from Brisbane, Australia.
How did you get started designing?
Once when I was browsing around on the internet I came across an ad on the website of an Australian yarn company looking for designers/sample crocheters or knitters. I sent them an email, they took a chance on someone who had never designed a thing in her life and I never looked back…about 6 months after that I stumbled across Ravelry and things were never the same again!
What inspires your designs?
Just about anything can inspire a design, sometimes it’s the yarn, sometimes a stitch pattern and sometimes I am after a certain ‘look’. For the most part I seem to have more ideas than I could possibly ever create, I have a notebook full of (very bad) design drawings and notes. My mind is constantly thinking about different designs and how to construct them in crochet.
Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It varies, sometimes I am inspired by the yarn and sometimes I have an idea that I need to search out the perfect yarn for. There are times when I need to design to a criteria that includes a certain yarn as well.
What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I’m not sure really, I love texture and I like things that are just a little different, I would say that my main criteria is to try and design things that are outside of the ‘norm’ for crochet.
What is your favourite type of item to design?
I would have said that I don’t have a favourite until I looked at my page…it seems that I have a particular penchant for designing hats and cuffs. I do love designing accessories, they are a type of instant gratification and they suit my lifestyle, I am hoping to branch out into more garments though.
Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit/crochet with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Goodness, the pain of having only one yarn to design with..how to choose! I think I would have to go with Dream in Color’s Jilly…the range of colours is gorgeous and fingering weight yarn is my favourite to use.
What’s your “comfort crochet?”
Ummm, I don’t really have any, it’s usually just whatever I am working on at the time along with a good movie.
Which is your most under-appreciated design?
My Asperous Hat and Cowl is a design that I really love but it never really went anywhere.
Which three GAL designs are top of your list to knit/crochet?
I’m not sure how to pick only 3 but I love Shakespeare in Love by Carol Sunday, Sheepy Draughts…and a Wolf Too by Aurelie Colas and Floral Bubbles by Elena (Lena) Fedatova.
What’s the best thing about crocheting?
The creativity available with only a hook and some yarn…you can make almost anything and it doesn’t make much mess (if you don’t count the stash!)
What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crafters?
Don’t let any technique or stitch scare you. Anything is possible if you take it a stitch at a time.
Any crocheting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
Not yet but I’m sure I’ll have some by the end of the year. I am hoping next year to become more serious with my designing as my youngest child starts school and I should have more time.
View all of Sarah Jane’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Sarah Jane and used by permission.
What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!
The number of crochet designers participating in Gift-A-Long this year has grown. For a listing of all crochet designers, please click here.