Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m the designer behind the Mon Petit Violon brand. I was born in Riga, Latvia, but currently live in Italy with my husband and our two kids. I mainly create crochet garments for children, but occasionally I create patterns for women too.
When did you first learn to crochet?
My grandmother taught me when I was around five years old. Later I learned to knit as well, but after having my first baby I realised how convenient crochet is when you have a small child and I almost completely switched to crochet.
How did you get into crochet design?
When I became a stay-at-home mum, in a new country, without knowing the language, I needed something that would keep me sane and allow me to express myself and create contacts with new people. It was also the time when Etsy was getting very popular and seeing all those creative ideas in one place was very inspiring. I started by selling ready-made crochet garments, but people were always asking me for instructions how to make them instead. So I began to write and sell the patterns.
What inspires your designs?
I live in a very beautiful country and here inspiration is around every corner. I like to observe people, I enjoy window shopping and museums – these are probably the main sources of my inspiration. My style is modern vintage and all my designs include a lot of texture. I like timeless designs; I always try to create something that even in 10–20 years could still be considered beautiful and wearable.
Tell us about your colours and yarns.
If you browse through my designs you’ll see a lot of dusty pink, cream, beige and grey. I normally don’t use very bright, vibrant colours, but there are some exceptions. I love natural fibres too. My favourites are wool, alpaca and cashmere yarns.
What’s your favourite part of the design process?
It’s the moment when I have a clear idea about my design, and I see it’s turned out the way I imagined it – or even better. My favourite part is always the crocheting, and my second favourite is the photography. All the rest is far less exciting. Pattern writing, grading and testing takes more time and effort than any other parts, and I don’t particularly enjoy it.
Any advice for an aspiring crochet designer?
Be persistent and patient. It takes time to find your own style and to find people who will appreciate what you do. But you must keep going – learn new things, always try to improve your techniques and the way you write your patterns.
What are you looking forward to?
The biggest crochet event for me this year has already happened: my second book, Timeless Textured Baby Crochet, came out in April [see our review in issue 158], and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I’m also thinking about offering an online crochet course but it’s still just an idea that needs to be elaborated. But it’s something I’d like to do to push myself out of my comfort zone.