Saturday 10 November 2012

Guest Blogger Week 38 Ocean of Stitches

I would like to say a huge welcome
to Ana

Hello!  Ana from Ocean of Stitches Blog here!

I am a crochet teacher and designer in Austin, Texas, and am so pleased to be able to guest blog for you today!  Ok, we say y'all, but I stopped myself just this once. 

I learned to crochet first as a 5 year old.  Standard, long, crazy chains.  I draped them around my room, wore them in my hair, tied toys together with them.  I recall being taught by my mom and my great-grandmother.  At least, they tried hard.  I was one of those hyper-kinetic kids who changed direction once every other minute.  They finally got me to sit down long enough to learn to do granny squares (it was the mid 1970s) and I was hooked, you might say. My great-grandmother was called Granny, so I thought she had invented them, and was therefore the smartest person I could ever know.  Well, she obviously didn't, but I didn't care. 

I picked up crochet again just a few years ago, about a year before my daughter was born.  I felt the need to add to my knitting repertoire, and I remembered how much I enjoyed wielding a hook as a kid.  There was something so satisfying about pulling loops through each other in such a rhythmic way.  I started slowly, as it was so different from knitting, but I quickly caught on again.  And I was off and running.  Designs started appearing to me and demanding to be made, and so I started.  I think this owl (Bubo Owl) was one of my first.

I started teaching at 2 of my LYSs around the same time, and have a lovely group of ongoing students who challenge me to go further and further with crochet designs.  One of the LYSs publishes it's own knitting and crochet pattern collections and I have been in two of them.  I have really been focusing on using fine-gauge yarn to create intricate and wearable garments in crochet that defy the 1970s stigma that so many crocheted garments have.  The first was a flirtatious and diaphanous shawl "Girl at the Spoke" and the next was a western inspired skirt "Prairie Point"   I really was influenced by the look of riding skirts worn by cowgirls at the turn of the 20th century, but didn't want an overly "cowgirl" look.


But, I still go back to my love of toys and owls all of the time.  I have to say that one of my favorite designs is the "Owls Two Ways" owls.  
So many people have made them, and it always makes me happy to see so many versions.

I have just released a new pattern for fingerless mitts, which are done in a fine sock yarn.  I really wanted to make something delicate that framed the hand and was reminiscent of Victorian patternwork.  I grew up in a town in Texas that has lovely 19th century homes that survived an immense hurricane in 1900, and that now has a yearly Dickens festival.  So I will admit that historic costume and fashion is one of my greatest influences, as far as crocheted accessories and clothing go.  I loved, and still love the exquisite attention to detail that was shown in even everyday clothing, and I strive to emulate that attention in my own designs. 
 The Enwreathed mitts really exemplify that design aesthetic for me.

I don't know about you, but I think about crochet all of the time.  I even dream crochet.  For example, I woke up this past Wednesday adamant that I had seen a pattern for a matching lace-weight crocheted infinity scarf and mitts.  I looked all over the internet and all throughout my pattern library for just the pattern I had seen, when it finally dawned on me (while sitting in a pile of books) that I had dreamed the whole thing.  Down to the color and stitch construction.  I will leave it to you to guess what my next design project is.

Thank you ever so much Ana
for your fantastic post!
I love your work!
I will make a Bubo Owl soon!
I think that will be on my list to make
for Little Red :-)


  1. Love the owl and thank you for sharing your story!

  2. Thank you for your comment. I have forwarded it to Ana.


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