100 Micro Crochet Motifs, released by crochet designer Steffi Glaves will give you 100 micro-projects to truly love.
We caught up with Steffi to hear all about her book and what you can expect when you get your copy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a crochet jewellery maker and pattern designer based on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. I have been crocheting tiny things since graduating from university in 2013, and I am also a secondary school teacher. Crochet is my first love, but my creative background is interdisciplinary; I love to do traditional metal work including enamelling, bookbinding, ceramics, printmaking and laser cutting.
Tell us a bit about your new book?
I am so proud of 100 Micro Crochet Motifs! It has 10 themed chapters, each with 10 miniature motifs and a step-by-step project to try, from decorative wall pieces to little pouches. Not only does it give you little tips and tricks to help you on your micro-crochet journey, but I also introduce other making skills such as jewellery making, stuffing for tiny toys and blocking. The nice thing about the patterns in this book is that you can make them in any yarn and hook size, not just teeny tiny. It also means that you can start out with your usual yarn and hooks and slowly work your way down the sizes – you may surprise yourself with how tiny you can go!
What is your favourite project/technique featured?
I can’t pick just one! I really like the planet earrings in the celestial chapter. It is something I wanted to try out for years so I’m so glad that I was able to accomplish it for the book. I also have a bit of a soft spot for my Mandala chapter; each motif is named after the women in my family and I really enjoyed picking the ones that suit their personalities.
What was your route into crochet?
My mum taught me to crochet when I was 18 because I was about to go on a college trip down to London and I was going to be on a coach for 4 plus hours. My first samples were terrible, they looked like broken fishing nets, but once I got the hang of basic stitches and how to hold my thread, I turned to YouTube for more complicated stitches. I am a visual learner, so it worked quite well for me, however, it meant that it was a long time before I learned how to read or write a crochet pattern because I never referred to books. I went to De Montfort University and studied Design Crafts, where I specialised in metal work, enamelling and ceramics, but I returned to crochet when I graduated because it didn’t require the specialist tools and equipment I had when I was a student. I started to sell crocheted handwarmers when my mum opened a pop-up gallery in my hometown. We were only supposed to be open for six months, but the shop is still going strong seven years later! I gradually got into micro crochet when I was travelling on the bus a lot and needed projects that were more travel-friendly.
What is the most challenging thing about being a crochet designer?
Having that sparkling crochet idea is great but it is a challenge to put it into action through planning, editing and scheduling it around my job as a design and technology teacher. Also, being a crochet designer goes hand in hand with social media, websites and doing your own marketing, and sometimes that can get in the way of the actual joy of making something. I often feel that I should create social media content for every piece I crochet and that can slow the process down.
What makes up for the challenges?
I love making sentimental jewellery pieces and custom orders for customers. Whenever I design a pattern, I love seeing what people make in response to it, and how they have adapted it to their own preferences. I also just love the physical process of crocheting something; watching it grow in your hands while understanding the stitches enough to spot mistakes or opportunities for new patterns or shapes.
How big a part, if any, does sustainability play in your work?
It plays a role both as my life as a teacher and a maker. I cover sustainability with my students and how it affects us as designers, from planned obsolescence to the ethical sourcing of materials, to extending the lifecycle of a product. This in turn makes me accountable for what I do in my own creative practice, even though it is in small ways. I try not to design for trends, though it’s really tempting. Flowers, for example, will never go out of fashion, and my work has instant sentimental value for many people who buy my work, so I don’t expect that my crochet work will be thrown away by next season. Then, of course, there’s packaging, though it’s not quite 100% recyclable yet, I box my jewellery orders in little card envelopes which my customers love, and recently switched my thank you cards, gift bags and padded envelopes for recyclable alternatives.
In one word, how would you describe this book?
100 Micro Crochet Motifs is out now – get your copy on Bookshop Org on the links below:
Book Depository (Worldwide shipping)