Today I'm chatting with Elin Jones, a crocheter and surface pattern designer, and also a very good friend of mine. This blog post is a little delayed from Friday, I got a little busy on the sewing machine, which was also Elin's birthday, so happy birthday Elin!
Elin lives in North Wales and studied Textiles at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which is where we met, and since graduating has worked as a teaching assistant at primary school age, and still uses her spare time to crochet and design print.
So, to learn some more about Elin, her current projects and future plans, here's the interview below:
Hey Elin, the first question I have for you is about your day! After a day of teaching the kids, what do you spend your evenings doing?
I'm pretty busy with coursework at the moment for the childcare course I'm doing, but I crochet in the evenings mostly to wind down.
Ooh lovely! What crochet are you working on at the moment, any projects?
I do have a few projects on the go at the moment, one is ami gurumi, which is basically stuffed toys made from crochet. I've been making this for a friend at the moment, it's a character from a game. I'm also making another one to go with it for her birthday.
I'm also working on a cat print cushion cover in purple and black, with the little silhouettes on it. I also want to try tapestry crochet soon, this is when people make images with the crochet, usually scenery, and there's plenty of it in Wales.
Scenery! Local to you?
I visited Llyn Idwal last week, it's a lake up here in North Wales, it's a lovely place. It's in the snowdonia mountains in quite a quiet place. It's supposedly named after a Prince from the Ancient Kings of Wales, legend says he was murdered by being drowned in the lake.
That sounds interesting, so many Welsh places have legends surrounding them, I'd love to see Bedd Gelert myself! Any other crochet projects on the go?
I'm also making another granny square cardigan, it's my third one now. Granny squares are literally squares of crochet that can include patterns, or flowers, these get sewn together then into the cardigan. This one is autumn colours, my other ones were black, red and white, and then red and purple.
Red reminds me of your surface pattern work for our graduate show, you based your work off of 1930s crime scenes, there was a lot of blood! How is your surface pattern design going?
It's hard to fit in at the moment with all the work, but i'm hoping to get more done using inspiration from the Spoonflower challenges.
I love the Spoonflower challenges! For those that don't know, Spoonflower is a US website that prints fabric, like our Fashion Formula or Contrado here in the UK. They post weekly design challenges that hundreds of people take part in, using a theme such as 'Pastel Cafe', 'Year of the Tiger', or 'Tropical Surrealism'. Elin, can you tell me about some of your favourite challenges from last year?
I really enjoyed the Quiet Spaces one, I was in a really zen space when I did that, I really liked it. We just handed everything in for Uni and I felt really free, so the theme fit well. The pattern features candles, books, meditation, things I find relaxing.
I also really liked the space themed one, I think it was called Intergalactic Adventure. I really liked my moon pattern for that one, I thought it would look really good on a dress.
Speaking of dresses, did I see you were making a dress from a pattern you designed?
You did indeed, I used a vintage theme for my 1930s crime scene patterns project, so I wanted to stick with that and make a vintage dress. I liked the flowy skirts from the 50s, so I'm making that with my vintage weapons pattern.
That sounds fab, I can't wait for the photos! So, any plans for the future?
So, I want to start with drawing more for sure, and make more patterns. In March/April I will do a month of drawing, a drawing a day type of thing.
I love those challenges, I got one myself up on the kitchen wall right now, will you follow daily prompts or just think of something yourself each day?
Daily prompts would help, but I wont be super strict with it, as sometimes returning home from a long day means I may just want to draw a squiggle.
Sounds great. And any plans for the immediate future, like what are you doing for your birthday this weekend?
I'm hoping for a walk tomorrow and get some inspiration from my local Welsh scenery.
If you'd like to keep up with Elin on social media, here's her Instagram below! She has also done a really fun photography project last year, taking a polaroid picture every day and scrapbooking it.