Exclusive Interview – Deborah Stuart

Date: 8th December 2014 | Category: Interview, News


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We caught up with the talented designer of issue 60's cover star, the Greengage hat.

Hi Deborah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello there! I’m a freelance designer living in a beautiful part of South Wales called the Vale of Glamorgan.  I love to take my two dogs on long walks and many of my designs are inspired by the colours, shapes and textures of nature.

When/how did you learn to crochet?
I was very lucky growing up in that my Mother was a great home seamstress and my Grandmother was an expert knitter.  They both taught me a great deal.  However, sadly, neither could crochet so I only learned in the last couple of years and joined two really supportive crochet clubs.  I still knit and sew but crochet has become my first love.  It grows so quickly and is easy to rip back (essential when designing)!

[Left: Dunes Cowl by Deborah Stuart Inside Crochet issue 56]

How long have you been designing and do you have a favourite of your designs?
Both my Mum and Nan were happy to work without patterns and I was brought up to value something handmade and unique over commercially produced items. I began designing jewellery semi-professionally a few years ago and had patterns published in a number of specialist jewellery, and general craft, publications. When I took up crochet it seemed only natural to progress to writing patterns for that too.
I do usually have a soft spot for the design that I’ve just finished. I love the Greengage Hat – it is such fun but stylish as well.

Do you have a favourite 'type' of project to design?
At last, an easy question!  It has to be accessories, accessories and then a few more accessories!  I adore them.  You can take a really plain, sensible coat, and change the mood with a hat, scarf or gloves.  Also, accessories tend to take less yarn - so you can splash out on materials you couldn’t afford in a much larger garment.

[Below: Neopolitan Beret by Deborah Stuart – Inside Crochet issue 53]

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What inspired the Greengage Hat?
Essentially it was the yarn and that fabulous colour.  It reminded me of picking fruit in the early Autumn.  The hat has a very simple design but the zingy shade and chunkiness of the yarn really make a statement.  

What was your reaction when you saw it had made the front cover of issue 60?
I had to do a double take!  I hadn’t been told beforehand that I had been chosen so it was a complete, and glorious, surprise.  I’m chuffed and very honoured.  Inside Crochet features the best of all the prestigious designers and it is humbling to be in their company.

What tips would you give to someone new to designing?
Design something you love, in a good quality yarn.  Beautiful yarns make everything look, and feel, better.  
Be patient! We all have days where we can fling a project across the room but they pass, believe me.  There’s an old saying that you learn more from your mistakes than your successes.
Crafting can be quite an insular process.  Join a club or group with similar interests to your own.  The feedback and encouragement will be invaluable.

[Right: Clover Fingerless Gloves by Deborah Stuart – Inside Crochet issue 51]

Do you have any patterns in the pipe-line ready to be published?
Yes I do. I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say but Inside Crochet will soon be featuring my reversible Mobius cowl in Tunisian Crochet. The pattern is striped on one side and tweed on the other.  It's a very stylish unisex pattern and I hope your readers like it.

[IC: Check back on our blog tomorrow for an exclusive look at Deborah's Mobius Cowl!]

Thanks for the opportunity to chat to everyone and I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a productive 2015!


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