Hooking With …. Veronika Cromwell
Today’s edition of Hooking With features to über talented Veronika Cromwell of Blue Star Crochet.
Over the last year I have had the honour and privilege of being in a couple of events with this lady and getting to know her a wee bit through these. Her garment designs are stunning and so practical! If you are in our Community Group on FB you may recognise a few of her designs.
Veronika is a crochet fashion designer behind Blue Star Crochet Company. She was born in picturesque Slovakia but moved to the United Kingdom a few years ago where she lives with her husband Darren and sons Jacob and Cole.
She was taught to crochet as a young girl by her mum, but it wasn’t until she was expecting her son when she found a real passion for designing and creating her own patterns for garments and accessories for the whole family.
The lack of cool and fun clothes for boys has led her to come up with her own designs. She set up Blue Star Crochet Company in December 2016.
Her wide range of garment and homeware designs have since been published in all major UK crochet magazines including Inside Crochet, Crochet Now and Simply Crochet.
She set up Blue Star Crochet blog in May 2020 to enjoy creative freedom and share free patterns and tutorials.
When did you start designing?
I must adit I have never followed a crochet pattern in its entirety. I have always tweaked and played around with the designs making adjustment to suit me or combining elements from various patterns. However, it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first son who is now 6! I have made a Tunisian crochet cardigan for him and actually wrote down notes which later become my first ever written crochet pattern. It was the same pattern that actually got published in Inside Crochet magazine which has started the whole crochet addiction! Talk about steep learning curve!
Do you have a blog? If so, when did you start that up?
Yes, I started Blue Star Crochet blog in May 2020 and it was the best decision I have made in my crochet designer journey!
What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
I have been previously working mostly for yarn companies and UK crochet magazines. Although I loved it, it can be a little restrictive. You have to work to certain colour schemes and mood boards. I love having my blog where I can share my own designs without having to incorporate certain theme or colour.
How have your designs and designing process evolved?
The evolution was based on the work I was doing and company or magazine I was working for. I am happy now I have the creative freedom to work on designs for my blog. These are timeless designs that are wardrobe staples I wear every day.
What designs do you specialize in?
My absolute favourite to design are women’s garments. I love sweaters, cardigans and crochet tops! But I do also enjoy designing garments and accessories for the rest of the family and modern homewares.
Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
My favourite basic stitch is half double crochet. I find it a very versatile stitch which is not too small so the item grows quite quick. But it isn’t too tall where you are left with large gaps in your work. You can mix things up by working through back or third loop of the stitch to create different looks! However, I do like mixing things up and using lacy crochet stitch combinations for delicate lace designs.
When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?
This is a bit like what came first – the chicken or the egg! Most of the time I come up with a design in my head and go on a yarn hunt to get the perfect yarn. I have a pretty vivid picture in my head of what I would like the design to look like. Although, some yarns I receive are asking to be a specific project. In that case I just go with it and make an item based on the yarn.
When did you start crocheting?
I was taught to crochet by my mum who used to be a very keen crafter. I was a young girl, around 10 years old, when she showed me a few basic crochet stitches and I instantly fell in love.
What made you decide to become a designer?
It wasn’t a decision I made as such. I think the encouragement from other people and the excitement of working for magazines sucked me into the designing world. Then all the lovely comments from people using my patterns and seeing their makes fuelled me to design and write more patterns.
Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
My top pattern on the must make list is The Venus Shawl from Aoibhe Ni. It is a stunning Tunisian crochet shawl design. One that makes you so jealous that you haven’t designed it yourself lol!
Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
When I picked up the crochet hook again in my early twenties, I discovered Kat Goldin and her Hook, Stitch and Give book which I instantly bought. It lit the fire in my belly again to explore crochet stitches and techniques. Kat along with Joanne who form The Crochet Project are absolutely amazing and I love their mission of bringing modern crochet designs and moving away from the misconception of crochet being the poorer sister of knitting.
Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?
If I had to choose just one, my favourite would have to be Adelaide Lace Sweater. It is the most popular pattern in my shops and I love it too. Although it looks a bit complicated, it was such a dream to design and write the pattern for.
Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
There is one stitch that seems to be my nemesis and that is the Celtic Weave! I have tried it a couple of times but got myself all twisted and ended up in a right mess!
What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
My biggest challenge at the moment is having enough time to crochet! With two young boys and a new puppy I seem to need to have another 2 pairs of hands and a few more hours in the day! But I think this is every crocheter’s dream, right?
Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?
I don’t think I have ever lost my crojo! Were there projects I got fed up with and didn’t finish? Sure! Was there a time where I really wanted to crochet something but had no ideas or inspiration coming to me? Absolutely!
What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
The best advice I was given was not to compare your beginning with someone else’s middle! It is quite easy to get discouraged when you see all these beautiful projects but yours looks nothing like it!
Also practice makes perfect!
But most importantly, just enjoy the process of creating something beautiful with just a string and hook! It is a real gift!
Veronika also has LOTS of free patterns on her blog! Do go check it out. I have picked out her Coatigan, which is a recent design. You can find it here.
Where you can Find Veronika and Blue Star Crochet:
MAIN WEBSITE LINK
DERAMORES DESIGNER SHOP https://www.deramores.com/blogs/designer-shops/blue-star-crochet
Thank you Veronika for joining us!
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