Done, done and done! I'm elated with the outcome of the crochet top that I made over the last few weeks! And I'm not just saying that because the designer and I spent a lovely morning in a beautiful coffee shop at the seaside with the waves crashing to shore and laughing at my incredibly funny and witty conversation with our own handmade shawls cascading from our shoulders... Insert a bucket-load of eye-rolling GIFs here and read on.
Maybe Bren Grobler sat at the beach while she answered my questions on email but I certainly was not! The gifted and accomplished designer of the cover crochet top from the Your Family Magazine of February 2018 (that I'm showing off in the pic above) took the time to answer a lot of my questions that I had about the crochet industry. In this first session of three she shares what characteristic your handmade garment lacks that makes it look old-fashioned rather than on-trend.
In sessions two and three Bren shares her view on pattern copyright infringement and her tips for Mompreneurs / Solopreneurs who crochet for income. Don't miss it and get it straight to your inbox every Wednesday by clicking here: Brilliantmommy email.
Set the scene: Bren and I (wearing the top I made from her pattern with full smokey eye makeup and hair sprayed to a stiff yet modern style) are sitting at the seaside coffee shop, cue the waves crashing sound in the background, Bren laughs at my funny joke... and go:
Me: Recently you’ve been appointed as the Brand Ambassador and Head Designer at Nurturing Fibres – a natural fibre yarn brand. During your pattern designing career, was it ever a title that you aspired to or worked towards?
Bren: To be quite honest, that wasn’t even something I ever gave a thought to. I always thought I’d end up as a rep for a yarn company!
Me: Now that you hold the title, has it in any way influenced your designing process? Do you perhaps now feel obligated to design patterns where in the past you may have designed something new when a pattern developed in your thoughts?
Bren: It hasn’t influenced my designing process at all. Carlé is a terrific boss and I’m very fortunate to work for her. She gives me tons of leeway to do my own thing, in the yarn I like and my preferred colours. So yes, the yarns continue to talk to me and tell me what they want to become. As with any job, though, there will always be the ‘must-do’s’ so from time to time she would ask me to design a specific item. I don’t mind at all though, because our aesthetic in terms of colour and design is very much aligned.
Me: Most of the designs in your Ravelry store are for ladies clothing. In your opinion, what design characteristic in a handmade garment – specifically such a historic craft as crochet – transforms it from old-fashioned to on-trend.
Bren: Simplicity. Older garment patterns were very bright (lots of colours) and had either intricate patterns with severe set-in sleeves or were very boxy in design. Using classic, softer colours and softening the lines transforms clothing garments from a 1970’s vibe to something modern women (and teenagers!) want to wear.
I switch off the recorder, Bren shares something off the record with me whereby I nod appreciatively and say something like "I understand, I can so relate...", we signal the waiter to bring our wine order and I switch the recorder back on... and go.