Author Interview | Esme Crick | Mix and Match Modern Crochet Blankets

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a self-confessed crochet obsessive who loves nothing more than working on new designs with music blaring. I work full-time as a designer at my kitchen table. I wrote my first book Mosaic Crochet Workshop in 2020 as an ode to pattern and geometry. My second crochet book Mix And Match Modern Crochet Blankets is pretty much finished now. I live in Suffolk in the east of England, in a really draughty old house, with my partner and our 2 teens. Well, one teen has flown the nest to university but she still comes home for food and to get her washing done. Oh, there’s the cat too of course. Hank Deluxe. When I’m not working, I’m usually out walking, or in the kitchen cooking lots of wholesome, delicious vegetarian food.

Tell us a bit about your new book?
My new book is such fun! I just love the concept so much. It was a meeting with D & C director Ame Verso which created the concept for Mix and Match Modern Crochet Blankets– it’s a simple idea- you have 100 patterns to choose from (everything from bobbles to filet, mosaic to tapestry to cables), each pattern can be worked into a single strip along its short edge (no more lugging a huge unfinished wip with you, just a neat strip in your bag!). You make your strips, then seam them together to create your own mix-and-match masterpiece blankets.

What is your favourite project/technique featured?
I adore the 5 Vibes Blankets I made as inspiration projects in the book, they were really extraordinary to design and make. Each one is a visual feast for the eyes, and each one evokes a certain vibe or mood, such as walking across the fields on a cold winter’s day (Frosty Morning) or a woozy night out with friends (Neon City). They were so good to create!

How do you think you reached this point in your craft?
Sheer determination, a lot of hard work, and a huge need to express myself artistically. Crochet just happened to be the medium that adopted me. I’m quite introverted and shy at heart, so crochet allows me to express myself and gives me an outlet for all the stresses of life.

Where do you look for inspiration?
Well, the Vibe Blankets answer that question! Everything can be inspiration, from walking in the woods to hanging out with friends or childhood memories, things like going to the funfair. I love the idea of unlocking a mood or emotion from a particular day or moment and creating art to capture it forever.

What makes up for the challenges?
You know, viewing challenges not as something to stop you, but rather using them as a reason to keep going and figure a path through is really the key for me. I’m really fortunate, I have a great skill and lots of people on my side who enjoy what I do. I see it as a privilege to earn my living through crochet, so therefore most challenges can be dealt with, or at least accepted.

What do you think the “Next Big Thing” in your craft will be?
There are so many talented designers in the crochet community, it blows my mind seeing what everyone is working on. I don’t know what the next big thing will be, but I am sure the crochet community will never stop pushing the craft forward.

How big a part, if any, does sustainability play in your work?
I’m all for slow fashion, and crochet plays a big part in that. Making clothing and accessories which last for years is far more interesting to me than going shopping. In addition I like to make everyone handmade, useful gifts for birthdays and Christmas. I hate shopping in general, so making things to wear or gift is the ideal way to be sustainable for me.

Who (dead or alive) would you invite to the perfect Crafting retreat?
Yayoi Kusama would have to be there! If she could run some kind of polka-dot workshop that would be my idea of heaven. I’d like to invite Greyson Perry too. He’s a natural communicator, he’d put everyone at ease, maybe he could throw a few pots too if we have a potter’s wheel to hand? And maybe some of the crochet people who I love but have never had the honour of meeting face to face could come too, just to get the party started after all the arty stuff.

What advice would you give to your beginner self?
Dream big, keep going, be kind to yourself, be proud of every achievement, believe in yourself. Take a break when your brain tells you to! Say no now and then!

In one word, how would you describe your book?

1 fun fact about yourself not many people know?
I used to be a pretty good violinist! I was classically trained and even played a couple of times at Snape Maltings Concert Hall which was unbelievably terrifying and exhilarating. I wouldn’t dare to try and play now with people within earshot. It would be awful!

What’s next for you?
A lie down in a darkened room for a while. Honestly, I don’t know! I want to get back into teaching, either teaching English as a second language (which was my previous life) or getting crochet classes and crochet club set up again. It’s all fallen by the wayside over the past few years. I like helping people learn, and giving them useful skills. There will definitely be more crochet of some sort, though!

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