Tell us a bit
I live in the Netherlands with my family in a small rural village. We have four children, three girls and a boy, who are 8, 10, 15 and 17 years old.
Could you tell
us a bit about what you do?
I love to design and make crochet garments and accessories for adults and children. I love designing and crocheting clothes; thatâ€™s where my heart is. But Iâ€™m also a self-employed hairdresser and go to peopleâ€™s homes to do their hair. Iâ€™ve been doing this for over 20 years, and I still love it, especially as it allows me time for my crochet work too.
How did you first
learn to crochet?
From my grandma and my mother when I was about seven years old. I also learned to knit and to sew. My grandmothers were very creative women, and my mother is too. Creativity is definitely â€œin my genesâ€.
How did you get
into crochet design?
In 2018 I entered a crochet contest and it was the first time I had to write my patterns out. Until then I crocheted everything without a pattern. I won the contest and thatâ€™s where it all started.
I get my inspiration from everywhere. Sometimes I have a romantic image of the rural English countryside in my head, but I can also walk into a shop and see a beautiful piece of clothing that I want to translate into a crocheted item, and I particularly like a repeating pattern. I design my patterns for everyone and always try to make them accessible.
What are your
most popular patterns?
My Summer lace top, the Leaf Yoke sweater, the Romantic bolero, the Indian Summer sweater and a childrenâ€™s cardigan. I also have some free patterns on my website that have been downloaded a lot. Itâ€™s hard to name a personal favourite though. I just finished a maxi cardigan that Iâ€™m totally in love with and a sweater with a rose pattern that is so pretty too. If something turns out the way I envisioned it, that makes me so happy.
achievements are you most proud of?
In 2020 I published my first book, Crocheting With Love, and I am very proud of that. My children were the models, and my partner did the photography. But I am also happy that I work for various magazines, that I am asked to do fairs and workshops, and that I can design for different yarn brands. These things have always been a dream for me and now they have come true.
Are there any
designers or artists who inspire you?
There are a number of artists who are a source of inspiration for me. I like the old Victorian style; I can spend hours wandering in an old mansion or church taking in the beautiful paintings. The fashion from that time really appeals to me and is very inspiring. I also love 20th century designers such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, who all made feminine and stylish designs that are easy to wear.
What is your
favourite part of the design process?
What I like most of all is the crocheting. I usually know in advance what something will look like; I can see it in my head. I also usually know how I want to photograph it and what kind of atmosphere it should radiate. Writing patterns isnâ€™t my favourite part, but I love finding the perfect yarn and colours. I donâ€™t do sketches very often, mostly I design in my head â€“ and what my head comes up with, my hands make.
Do you enjoy
running your own business?
It can be difficult to find the right balance between my work, my family and social life but I think Iâ€™m not the only one who struggles with that. Iâ€™m quite a workaholic and I have to be careful not to let my work swallow me up completely. I sometimes have to get out of my bubble and consciously make time for everything around me.
Any advice for
an aspiring crochet designer?
I think anyone can learn how to crochet. And if there is creativity in you, it will come out. Then you just want to start something. I enjoy passing on my knowledge and making people enthusiastic about crochet. I try to encourage them to finish something and not throw it in a corner if it doesnâ€™t work right away. Just do it, have fun, work with your hands. Crochet can have such a calming effect and I think thatâ€™s great.