Posts tagged [shawl pin]


  • Q&A with the designer - Hilda Steyn (session 3 of 3)

    For me, the Crochet Guide to Greatness workshop was the moment when I finally decided to wean myself from acrylic yarn to natural fibres.  I'm still learning a lot though!  Hilda shared her process from using acrylic yarn to only natural fibres in the previous post.

    Now!  The reason why I wanted to interview Hilda:  The Wacky Weave Interlocking Crochet-a-long.  My blanket is finished and washed and blocked and very, very pretty!

     

    Helène:  You are running the Wacky Weave Interlocking crochet-a-long (CAL) at the moment.  We have been given a peak of the follow up Babette Interlocking CAL.  Before you announced the initial CAL I was completely unaware of the technique and yet last year you were already running workshops teaching on it.  How did you first become aware of the interlocking technique and why has it kept your attention?

    Hilda:  I saw interlocking by accident on Pinterest in 2014. Since then, it has kept my interest. There is just so much that can be done. It is different than other colour work in that you don’t end up with that many tails. I am still discovering the intricacies of this technique. I will be interlocking for a long time still. I have three CALs in my head, planned for 2019, all interlocking. Whether they will all see the light is another question. The moment I feel bored with something, I look for the next challenge. I am not yet there with Interlocking. She has some secrets I haven’t yet told the rest of the world, and some more, I haven’t yet figured out. I love math, and the math part of interlocking got me hooked.

    Helène:  Anyone who have been crocheting a while can reasonably easy alter a pattern to suit their needs.  For example the Granny Square stitch pattern can easily be manipulated into a rectangle or a circle by any confident crocheter.  The Interlocking technique is not difficult.  But I can imagine the design of an interlocking block is tricky.  Is it?

    Hilda:  Designing an interlocking square is a bit of a challenge. It is tricky for sure. I have grown to the point where I know what the front will look like after it has been crocheted, but I have no idea of the back; it is a surprise every time. I draw what I want to see on the front, then I crochet a row, type a row, crochet a row, and type a row. I actually realised that although I am not dyslexic, I do have a tendency. My poor testers. There has been a few occurrences where I wrote the entire pattern back to front. We couldn’t understand why their squares were different from mine. Alet Scott finally figured it out. Now I try to be a lot more careful, and all my patterns go to Alet first for a quick check, before the other testers get it. I sure had a lot of fun laughing at myself with the two Wacky Weave CALs.

    Helène:  Everybody wants to leave a legacy when they are no longer on this earth.  What is the one thing you would like to leave as a legacy – specifically to the crafting community?

    Hilda:  I wonder how many times I have blogged on this topic. My legacy. It’s difficult isn’t it?

    https://broomformybrain.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/the-epitaph/

    https://broomformybrain.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/eternity-value-finally/

    I want to do things in my everyday life, that has eternity value. I want to inspire people, encourage people, and pick up the one who doesn’t have strength to stand anymore. I want to spread the light of unconditional love, regardless of race, culture, or religion. I have many friends who are not Christian; I don’t mind that. If I don’t show them unconditional love and acceptance, who will? Yarn in a Barn was just a way to connect with people. It was a way for me to befriend those who God felt, needed something from me. As an Aspie, I don’t pick up social cues. If you don’t tell me how you feel, I won’t know. That was a revelation for me with my diagnosis too. If I suddenly become aware of a person on that level, I know God is speaking to me. In myself, I don’t have the tools to pick it up. What a blessing. God can use me because I have Aspergers. Isn’t that amazing? When I am gone, I hope people will remember me for the positives I brought into their lives.

    Helène:  How does your ultimate project bag look like?

    Hilda:  My favourite project bag was a gift from Monika Snyman. It is a Brilliantmommy tote bag with little colourful sheep on it. I absolutely love it. It hangs from my warping frame, above the fire place in the lounge. Whenever I am heading out the door, my project bag takes whatever I feel like working on.

    While you are pondering over whether Hilda just performed a paid promotion for us or not make sure to subscribe to our newsletter (click here http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn) so that we can drop you a mail now and then.

    Until next time.

    x Helène

    Make sure to buy from me in the online store and follow me on Facebook and Instagram

    But wait!  There's more!

    We have a wonderful giveaway for the yarn obsessed!

    This giveaway is sponsored by Hilda SteynLJ Craft Creations and Brilliantmommy.

    The giveaway includes:

    *12 50g balls of 4ply 100% Merino Wool Superwash dk (4 Lemon, 4 Peach, 4 Dusky Pink),

    *1 LJ Craft Creations wooden hand crafted shawl pin,

    *1 Brilliantmommy tote bag, and

    *Free delivery to an ordinary address in South Africa

    Total value of this giveaway is R1 260!

    This giveaway are open for entries from the publication of this post and will close for entries on the 30th of June 2018.

    How to enter:  To be eligible for this giveaway you need to be subscribed to Brilliantmommy's newsletter.  If you are not already subscribed please click here:  http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn.

    hilda steyn giveaway

    Terms and conditions:

    * Only valid email addresses will be eligible to win.

    * An email address will be randomly chosen from the entire Brilliantmommy email list that exists at the time that the giveaway closes.

    * A confirmation email will be sent to the randomly drawn email address to ascertain the validity.

    * If an email address is already on the Brilliantmommy email list that email address is already eligible to win.

    * An email address may only win once every 12 months.

    * Only 1 winner will be drawn, at random by the close of the giveaway.

    * Prize is not transferable.

    * This competition is in no way endorsed or run by Facebook or Instagram.

    * Judges decision is final.

    * Valid for delivery in SA only.

    * Valid for over 18's only.

    Read More  

  • Q&A with the designer - Hilda Steyn (session 2 of 3)

    Have you read the first part of the interview?  Hilda allowed us a glimpse into her world living with Asperger's.  You can catch up here.

    Hilda Steyn needs no introduction - whether you came across her (now retired) Yarn in a Barn store or crossed swords over the sharing of patterns without crediting the designer!  In her Ravelry store her shawl designs are easy to master and her Ready, Steady, Ripple blanket design is still on my to-do list - all free of charge!

    In this part of the interview I ask Hilda more about her decision to republish her patterns without copyright.  Without copyright?!  Without copyright.

    Helène:  You have zero tolerance for copyright infringers.  You even went so far as to put it into writing on your blog (http://www.ilonaslowlifecreations.co.za/tutorial/copyright-made-simple/).  Recently, you re-published all your patterns copyright free.  For me it was a sad day and somehow I felt that evil managed to overcome good.  Did you feel the same?  What motivated this decision and what are you hoping to achieve by this?

    Hilda:  Evil didn’t win. Good decided to make evil work for a change. When my patterns had copyright on, I got extremely angry whenever I saw an infringement of my copyright. I was policing various Facebook groups, notoriously known for their copyright infringement. To tell the truth, it stole my joy. Designing wasn’t fun anymore. I prayed about it and God said I received freely, and I should give freely. So I removed the copyright. Now, those who love to steal, can do my marketing for me, and take my name into all the groups I don’t want to belong to. 

    Helène:  Inspiration is all around us.  We spend countless hours on Facebook groups, Instagram and Pinterest and look at what other makers are doing and those images are filed in our memories.  Then one day you design and subsequently publish a pattern that for all intents and purposes are your original work but actually, unintentionally, originated from something you saw/read months or years ago.  How do you as a designer safeguard yourself from infringing copyright?

    Hilda:  What you described, actually happened to me. I designed a shawl, and I got a very angry email from another designer whom I didn’t know existed. Somebody saw my design, and saw that in a way, it was similar to hers. She insisted that I withdrew my design, which I did. I would rather forfeit a design than being accused of pattern theft. I used to go to Ravelry, to search and make sure there isn’t a similar item to the picture in my head, but lately, I don’t do it anymore. I design from a picture in my head. Knowing that, is enough for me. As long as my conscience is clean, I am happy. If the same thing happens again, I will just ditch the pattern again. No big deal really.

    Helène:  Up to a few months or so ago you owned a yarn store that only stocked natural fibres.  There exist very divided opinions on the use of acrylic yarn verses natural fibre yarn.  Apart from the negative environmental impact, acrylic yarn do have a number of plus points (cost effective, easy to launder, no lot number colour differences, moth resistant and widely available).  Can you remember the exact moment when you made up your mind to never again work with acrylic yarn?

    It wasn’t a moment. I think it was a process. The more I read and researched, the less I wanted to touch acrylic. The last straw was when I broke out in a rash all over my forearms while working with one of the local acrylic brands. I made my mind up to never touch it again. With the knowledge I have now, after four years in the yarn industry, I won’t ever go back on that decision either. I am so much in love with natural fibres. And I am a spoiled brat. I love fibres that isn’t readily available in South Africa. I have a special stash that contains mink, cashmere, possum, pure mulberry silk, camel and then some more. How can I ever go back to scratchy acrylic that causes cancer? Nope. Not me.  

    Helène:  Natural fibre yarn is expensive.  Not only is it human labour intensive, the source of it is finite.  The water crisis in South Africa has forced many of us to cut back on our water use and be creative in ways to reuse it.  As a casual dyer yourself, do you think this will impact the South African Indie dyers in the long run?

    I don’t see myself as a casual dyer. I did the colour workshops just for the fun of it. I hate getting my hands dirty. I can’t stand it. The dying drove me nuts! I ended up with ‘variegated hands’ after each one, regardless of how hard I tried to keep my hands clean! I hope our current water crisis will be resolved before it starts to seriously impact the yarn industry. That would really be a bummer. But I also think it is time that each crafter seriously considers how he/she is impacting the environment through craft. I became very mindful of my yarn waste. I no longer throw it away – birds get their feet tangled in it. I now mix it with a little bit of oil or paraffin in; we use it for fire lighters. I don’t have to buy Blitz anymore. Unfortunately, many yarn snobs like me, scream about the effect of acrylic on the environment, yet they don’t change their own ways to improve life on our planet. If you don’t want to crochet or knit with acrylic yarn due to it being plastic, you can’t keep buying plastic bottles and use plastic straws. If you want to stick your head out and say something, you have to walk the walk and talk the talk. It is in the best interest of the entire world, that ALL of us, should take inventory of our actions and decide on a better way forward.

    As far as the price of natural fibres go – yes, it is expensive. But I would rather have one, classic, high quality, natural fibre cardigan in my closet, than 5 cheap acrylic cardigans. Slow living is also mindful living. I don’t have much clothes. Heck, you can only wear one set at a time! We tend to buy too much, and live as if life is infinite. It isn’t. All of us should slow down and think about our actions.

    During the third and final part of the interview Hilda and I talk about the successful Wacky Weave Interlocking Crochet-a-long that she hosted and that recently came to an end.  Hopefully I will be able to show you my completed Wacky Weave blanket!

    Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter (click here http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn) so that we can drop you a mail when the new posts are up on the blog.

    Until next time.

    x Helène

    Make sure to buy from me in the online store and follow me on Facebook and Instagram

    But wait!  There's more!

    We have a wonderful giveaway for the yarn obsessed!

    This giveaway is sponsored by Hilda SteynLJ Craft Creations and Brilliantmommy.

    The giveaway includes:

    *12 50g balls of 4ply 100% Merino Wool Superwash dk (4 Lemon, 4 Peach, 4 Dusky Pink),

    *1 LJ Craft Creations wooden hand crafted shawl pin,

    *1 Brilliantmommy tote bag, and

    *Free delivery to an ordinary address in South Africa

    Total value of this giveaway is R1 260!

    This giveaway are open for entries from the publication of this post and will close for entries on the 30th of June 2018.

    How to enter:  To be eligible for this giveaway you need to be subscribed to Brilliantmommy's newsletter.  If you are not already subscribed please click here:  http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn.

    hilda steyn giveaway

    Terms and conditions:

    * Only valid email addresses will be eligible to win.

    * An email address will be randomly chosen from the entire Brilliantmommy email list that exists at the time that the giveaway closes.

    * A confirmation email will be sent to the randomly drawn email address to ascertain the validity.

    * If an email address is already on the Brilliantmommy email list that email address is already eligible to win.

    * An email address may only win once every 12 months.

    * Only 1 winner will be drawn, at random by the close of the giveaway.

    * Prize is not transferable.

    * This competition is in no way endorsed or run by Facebook or Instagram.

    * Judges decision is final.

    * Valid for delivery in SA only.

    * Valid for over 18's only.

    Read More  

  • Q&A with the designer - Hilda Steyn (session 1 of 3)

    If I had R1 for every time that I sped past Yarn in a Barn's entrance I'd have a few Rands.  I'm telling you.  Every single time I went out to The Barn I would somehow miss the entrance and either have to break quite fast to turn in or turn around.  The last time I went out there I meticulously measured 4.4km from the turn and managed to not miss the entrance.  Success!

    Hilda Steyn equals Yarn in a Barn and Yarn in a Barn equals Hilda Steyn.  Recently we had to forget all that!  The Barn closed down but Ilona Slow Life Creations was born and, among others, brought us the Wacky Weave Interlocking Crochet-a-long (WW1 CAL).  Boy, oh boy.  Don't just read over those last few words.  Those words are heavy with meaning.  It was a whole new technique for me (maybe it was a good thing that I didn't know about it at the time that I signed up for the CAL and ordered my yarn kit - I was just like:  oooh!  new pattern!  new yarn purchase!).  But I can proudly say that I made it through to the end.

    Before I show you the final product, I want to share with you conversations that I had with Hilda about the her personal life, finding inspiration and the CAL (following in blog posts after this).

    Find Hilda on her website, Facebook group and Ravelry page.  

     

    Helène:  Earlier this year you, very generously, have shared your Asperger’s diagnoses with us.  My first thought was ‘yeah for mental health openness!’ Tell us more about your Aspergers.

    Hilda:  My Aspergers come a long way. I remember as a small pre-school toddler, my mother taught me to knit to keep my hands busy. I had the typical fidgeting that you find with many a child on the Autism spectrum. It was the biggest gift ever. Knitting and crochet kept my hands and my mind occupied my entire life. Whenever I can’t cope with circumstances, I run for yarn and knitting pins. My diagnosis was the best thing ever. Finally my weirdness had a name. So many things about myself suddenly made sense:

    • my ability to offend people without meaning to (oh hell I can write volumes on this);
    • my inability to judge distance, time and volume due to a lack of spatial awareness (my husband has touch up paint in the BMW as I cannot judge the distance to the curb if I cannot see it – oops);
    • my obsession with fibre and fibre arts;
    • the battle I have to make eye contact with people;
    • the absolute hate of anything social (I will most gladly become a hermit, no really!);
    • the total lack of tact and social grace I have…

    There are many more, but these are the most obvious. 

    My Aspergers are definitely getting worse as I get older. This has contributed hugely to our decision to close Yarn in a Barn. I really don’t need all that stress, and coping with it, became more and more of a challenge.

    Helène:  My second thought was ‘I wonder how that impact her craft?’.  You are an artist of many talents – especially when it involves yarn.  There are many bloggers that specifically write about crochet/knit as therapy for their mental health.  However I struggle to find a blog specifically mentioning how their mental health diagnosis as an adult has changed the way in which they approach their long time craft such as crochet/knitting.  Did you purposefully change the way in which you crochet/knit/weave/spin once you were diagnosed?

    Hilda: Since my diagnosis, I am striving to live slower. So my craft has changed a bit. I am no longer chasing deadlines. I am enjoying every moment, of every project. I have a project going in each craft; I do whatever I feel in the mood for, whether it is knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving or sewing (quilting too). Some days I just unpack and repack my stash. It makes me happy to just cuddle all my special yarns. I don’t only craft to design anymore either. Using another person’s pattern is something I have very seldom done in my life. I always chased the pictures in my head. Now, I actually have a few patterns lined up that I want to try, just to spend time on myself, making something for me. I have to gather the courage still. I have been looking at Stephen West’s Enchanted Mesa for months. The yarn is ready. I just need to get my big girl panties on! It’s scary working from another person’s pattern!

     

    Helène:  You advocate ‘slow living’ (you even took the time to show us how to diy handwash http://www.ilonaslowlifecreations.co.za/slow-life-tips/slow-life-living-making-your-own-handwash/!).  In fact, your social media profile is now named Ilona Slow Life Creations.  Ilona is your beautiful middle name with the most delightful meaning but why ‘Slow Life’?  What brought that on and how are you living slower?

    Hilda:  Ilona is actually not my official middle name. I was born as Hilda Maud Hodgkinson. Yeah. My father was English. The name Ilona has a very special story to it. Back in 1997, I used to play piano in church. One Sunday the preacher stopped in the middle of his sermon, and asked where I was. I stood up thinking he wanted me to go play again. But instead, he gave me a scripture. Isaiah 60:1. He didn’t know what was in the passage, he just knew that it was for me. The scripture says: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you”. At the time, I didn’t understand it, but I wrote it down in my journal. Shortly after that, I lost my hearing due to Ménière's disease. Both my ears were operated and I was deaf for a couple of weeks. In that time, I read the scripture in Revelation 22:17 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” I was wondering about the new name. Hilda means battle, or war. Maud means battle maid. Believe me, I was tired of getting into trouble and always fighting (aspie always offending…. Bleh). So I thought a name change will be marvellous! I prayed and asked God for a new name. One Sunday afternoon shortly after, I took a nap, while still deaf. I woke up from a voice calling ‘Ilona’. I was shocked. When I went to sleep I couldn’t hear. I wondered if my hearing came back. I jumped out of bed, and heard it again. And then the voice said: “You have a new name”. I was shocked into total standstill for a while. When I finally got myself together, I realised I was still deaf. This had to be a supernatural experience. I wanted to know what Ilona means – Bearer of Light. That was confirmation of the scripture given to me by the preacher. Since then, I have been trying to take the light of God’s unconditional love, wherever I go. The big change in my life, gave me the courage, to at least use the name on my Facebook profile. I won’t go and change it at Home Affairs; my family will be extremely offended (again – pffffft).

    When I decided to close Yarn in a Barn down, I decided at the same time, to really live out my calling. I wanted to slow down, get other woman to slow down, get them to appreciate themselves, and spread the light of Christ.

    Over the next few weeks we'll explore how Hilda finds inspiration and what she wants to leave as her legacy.  Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter (click here http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn) so that we can drop you a mail when the new posts are up on the blog.

    Until next time.

    x Helène

    Make sure to buy from me in the online store and follow me on Facebook and Instagram

    But wait!  There's more!

    We have a wonderful giveaway for the yarn obsessed!

    This giveaway is sponsored by Hilda SteynLJ Craft Creations and Brilliantmommy.

    The giveaway includes:

    *12 50g balls of 4ply 100% Merino Wool Superwash dk (4 Lemon, 4 Peach, 4 Dusky Pink),

    *1 LJ Craft Creations wooden hand crafted shawl pin,

    *1 Brilliantmommy tote bag, and

    *Free delivery to an ordinary address in South Africa

    Total value of this giveaway is R1 260!

    This giveaway are open for entries from the publication of this post and will close for entries on the 30th of June 2018.

    How to enter:  To be eligible for this giveaway you need to be subscribed to Brilliantmommy's newsletter.  If you are not already subscribed please click here:  http://eepurl.com/cWsYwn.

    hilda steyn giveaway

    Terms and conditions:

    * Only valid email addresses will be eligible to win.

    * An email address will be randomly chosen from the entire Brilliantmommy email list that exists at the time that the giveaway closes.

    * A confirmation email will be sent to the randomly drawn email address to ascertain the validity.

    * If an email address is already on the Brilliantmommy email list that email address is already eligible to win.

    * An email address may only win once every 12 months.

    * Only 1 winner will be drawn, at random by the close of the giveaway.

    * Prize is not transferable.

    * This competition is in no way endorsed or run by Facebook or Instagram.

    * Judges decision is final.

    * Valid for delivery in SA only.

    * Valid for over 18's only.

    Read More