Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.
As part of this month’s focus on broomstick lace, I’m sharing an interview today with Rhelena, the blogger behind CrochetN’Crafts. Rhelena shares free crochet patterns along with craft and sewing tutorials on her blog. Rhelena happens to have quite a few broomstick lace patterns and tutorials available, and I’m also sharing a mini roundup of my 4 favorite free broomstick lace crochet patterns from her collection.
This post contains affiliate links.
You can find Rhelena online at CrochetN’Crafts, or on Facebook, Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter. She also maintains a free pattern directory, Crochet Pattern Bonanza. All photos are copyright Rhelena/CrochetN’Crafts and are used with permission.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?
Rhelena: My sisters taught me the double crochet when I was kid. One of my older sisters and I crocheted a huge blanket using scrap yarn that someone had given us. After that I learned by following pattern books. In my late teens/early 20s, I began working with crochet thread and enjoyed making pretty doilies.
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Rhelena: One of the biggest reasons behind it was that nothing ever fit me when I followed patterns. I’m very short, and it didn’t matter what pattern I followed it was always way too big for me. So I found it easier to just design my own from scratch. A few of my first patterns were a pair of slippers and a tank top.
UC: Several of your patterns include broomstick lace. How were you introduced to broomstick lace, and what do you enjoy about designing with it?
Rhelena: I learned about broomstick lace when I began to study the history of crochet. I was intrigued to discover that in the olden days, they had used actual broom sticks to create the lace. Knitting needles are commonly used today, which in my mind makes broomstick lace a cross between crochet and knitting. And for me it’s simpler than knitting because you work with only one needle and one crochet hook.
Another reason why I love broomstick lace is because it creates a nice lacy texture on the fabric. It’s great for wraps, blankets, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
UC: You also sew and share sewing tips on your blog. Do you have a favorite craft or does it depend on the project or season?
Rhelena: Crochet is by far my favorite hobby because it’s so easy to do. In school I was taught the very basics of knitting, but I soon discovered that holding one hook was far less complicated than trying to work with two knitting needles. At the same time, I love the gorgeous drape of knit fabrics and I hope to one day learn how to knit beautiful sweaters and other tops.
As for sewing, at one point I had this crazy dream to be a seamstress. During the course of that dream I made quite a few pajamas and simple clothes for myself. I also made a graduation dress for my one niece and a doll dress for her younger sister. Both dresses were done in a satin material, which is difficult to work with. As a matter of fact, I ruined the first dress and had to go back to buy new material and start over. At that point I realized that although I enjoyed sewing, it wasn’t something I wanted to do for a living.
UC: What are your favorite crochet and sewing books in your collection?
Rhelena: The books that taught me how to read and follow crochet patterns will always be my personal favorites. My sister-in-law once gave me an old worn out book that gave you basic instructions on various arts and crafts, including crochet. I no longer have that book, but it will always have a special place in my heart because that book taught me how to read a crochet pattern. After that I resorted to those Leisure Arts pattern booklets that I picked up at Walmart. Two of my personal favorites are Dainty Little Doilies and Pineapple Doilies.
I also have a digital stitch directory that I’m finding very inspirational, especially when it comes to designing patterns.
UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Rhelena: Yes, there are many designers who inspire me. A few of my favorite websites are Cre8tion Crochet, Jessie At Home, Kim Guzman, Patterns For Crochet, and Red Heart. (UC comment: I previously interviewed Kim Guzman here.) I love their designs and seeing them inspires me to bring out my own creativity.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Rhelena, and sharing your love of broomstick lace with us!