Designer Bio: Laura Eccleston

Date: 23rd August 2013 | Category: Designer Bio


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HappyBerry.co.uk is the brainchild of crochet designer Laura Eccleston. Together with knitter Deborah Reader they've transformed the site into a place packed with inspiration and patterns to buy.  Based in the rural English countryside, Laura Eccleston has designed for various crochet magazines (including Inside Crochet!), as well as for Deramores and DMC Creative World's new range of children's fashion patterns. We managed to persuade Laura to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us.


IC: Hi Laura, I hope you don't mind us jumping straight in with the questions but we just have to know more about your inspiration for the name "Happy Berry".
LE: The story of Happy Berry always makes me giggle because originally I came up with the name Nanny Berry which represented motherhood and healthy foods. I had even gone as far as looking at registering the name but when I came to finalise the name I found someone else had bought the domain and was planning to re-sell it back to me! Dis-heartened I tried to come up with alternative names but it was my husband David who actually came up with the name Happy Berry.
Now I love the name so much more than Nanny Berry because it seems so much … well happier!

IC:How would you describe yourself and your work?
LE: I’d say I try not to follow the usual crochet styles as I’m always trying to design something that someone else hasn’t designed before. I don’t really enjoy designing crochet items that everyone else has designed, like owl hats for example. I do try to be different but I also try to design items that people want. I like to think of my designs as refreshing, something a little different, and contemporary with perhaps a dash of English charm with a little French flair thrown in.

IC: When did you learn to crochet?

LE: I wish I could say I’ve been crocheting for many years but as a child I only ever learnt to knit as that was all my mother ever did but sadly I was never very good at knitting. When my daughter was born about 3 years ago I really wanted to make her clothes by my own hand but as my knitting skills were appalling I turned to crochet after seeing it on a craft program. I was amazed at how quickly I took to it. I had gone from taking months to make a knitted jumper to just days making a crocheted one. It has definitely become my forte and my passion!


IC: How long have you been designing your own pieces?
LE: I started designing soon after I learnt to crochet because I found some crochet patterns overly complicated and time consuming to read. I wanted to design my own items because to me it was quicker visualising what I needed to crochet and working the relevant stitches than reading patterns.
As I’ve shared my work with other crocheters I’ve tried to really simplify the patterns so that all levels can understand how to make them. I am always learning though and I don’t think any designer stops trying to better their skills.

IC: If you had to pick just one, which of your designs with you say was your favourite?
LE: I think my favourite item I’ve designed has been my Petal Trim Tunic. I don’t really know how this tunic came together but the finished results when I put it on my mannequin really blew me away. I felt really proud of what I had achieved, not just in the design but the fact I had crocheted something as big as a tunic dress! It made my dream of designing and crocheting a wedding dress ever closer.

IC:
Who would you name as your top 3 crochet designers?

LE: Oooh tough one as there are so many great designers out there. I would have to say Carmen who owns Thistles and Tulips Crochet, her work is so sweet and she is a very talented young lady. I also love Drops Designs, there is something I just love about their designs, I can always see myself wearing them and whenever I look at their crochet designs my hook starts calling me! My third favourite crochet designer would have to be your Claire Montgomerie, he he but it’s because her designs are so contemporary and stylish, she also has great photography.

Finally, we asked Laura to sum up, in just one sentence, what she likes most about crochet. Here's what she said:
"I think I just like the fact that I can make whatever I want from my own clothes to toys for my daughter, it’s the freedom it gives you to be creative."

If you'd like to know more about Laura or HappyBerry, head to the HappyBerry website at www.happyberry.co.uk


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