Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hookin' Up, Day 28: An Open Book

I am excited to be Day 28 of the Hookin' Up Project being hosted/planned by Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence.

I want to sincerely thank Yarn Dharma for the review of my blog yesterday in addition to introducing to you the next blog in the project: An Open Book.

I would like to take this time to introduce you to Rowena, the owner/writer of "An Open Book" blog.

Rowena is a soon-to-be mom from Australia living in the Blue Mountains with her Canadian husband. I must admit that I had not heard of her blog before the Hookin' Up Project, which is primarily what the project is about - introducing us to new blogs we may have missed and meet fun new people who enjoy many of the things we do. Rowena and I have a lot in common excluding she's a soon-to-be mom, although I do remember those days before my first was born.

Her blog is a candid look at her life. Primarily she blogs about crafting and her creative nature, but she does blog about other aspects of her life like pregnancy, insomnia, and The Gladiator.

I'll leave you to find out who The Gladiator is.

So without further adieu, I want to share with you a short interview I had with Rowena -

Would you mind sharing when you first learned to crochet? Who taught you or are you self-taught? What was the first thing you remember crocheting?

I was first exposed to crochet when I was 8 years old, a cousin was crocheting me a giant granny square blanket. I didn't actively pick up a hook till I was 12 or 13 when my mother tried to teach me.  It didn't work as she is left handed and I'm right handed.  Eventually I taught myself through magazine articles,  but then gave up in frustration, everything was so daggy and uninspired.

I picked up the hook  about three years ago when I found there was a big "internet revolution" and that crafting didn't have to be daggy.  The first thing I remember crocheting was a wonky granny square with squeaky acrylic yarn.

Ya know, while my mother was the primary teacher in my household, I have to say the internet has been critical in learning new things as an adult. So I think that the "internet revolution" has really impacting crafting as a whole, even if you do have a real person to help you too. 

Now, I must say that your blog appears to be relatively new. Is it your first blog? What inspired you to start a blog?

I have had other blogs before, but deleted them.  I used to feel like I had to hide things even on the internet about myself, I wouldn't even post a photo of myself, where as now with this blog I feel like I can post anything.  I think I used to be worried about not impressing anyone and that's ridiculous because when it comes down to it, a blog is your own personal space and if people want to read it, that's good and if they don't - well that's okay.

I was inspired to start this blog because I wanted my own 'Sacred Space' on the internet, where it didn't matter if I posted raw unfinished pictures of my projects or whine about my pregnancy . I wanted it to be something that I can use as a record, to look back on.

Well, I must admit that since finding your blog, I have really enjoyed it. I am glad you have found a place to have as your own Sacred Space but are willing to share it with people like me.

So I have to ask how long have you been designing crochet items? What are your favorite to design?

I wouldn't call myself a designer ;)

Oh, I beg to differ, Rowena! I've read your blog and looked at your pictures - you are definitely a designer. *smiles*

I have only recently started out drawing rough sketches.  Actually it came with a surge of creativity around my pregnancy! (I'll be six months when this is published)  I'll literally get flashes in my minds eye and have to write something down, so at the moment I have about 3 or 4 sketches, that I need to flesh out.  I'm currently working on two. My favourite thing to design would be something gothic and wearable.

Six months - congratulations! I can only remember how excited I was when I was in your shoes.... almost 12 years ago! So I have to ask have you made anything special for the baby that you would like to share?

umm nothing really special, just an array of baby cardigans and some booties. Ravelry is great for baby patterns!  I wish I could say I'd made something spectacular, but I'm a bit slack in that department.

Now, I loved the blurb you wrote about needing to begin creating spirals and mandalas. 

*shuffles papers*

Rowena's Design
You wrote, and I quote: "Yesterday I was happily working on my rainbow stripes granny blanket and the creative side of my brain took over and started designing spirals and mandalas. I literally had to drop my current project, waddle inside, get a pencil and start sketching." Is this how the creative process usually strikes you?

ERG Yes!  And its starting to drive me nuts because I'm the sort of person who doesn't like have lots of works in progress.  I'd much rather work on one thing at a time and finish it, so I end up with lots of sketches, lyrics, and bass lines (I'm also a musically inclined person) and I want them to all be finished.

Oh? Musically inclined? What instruments do you play and how long have you played them?

I have been playing electric guitar since I was 13.  I stopped for about ten years when I turned 17, just lost a lot of respect for the music industry and performers and this impacted my playing.  I recently have gotten into playing the bass guitar, which *I* L-O-V-E!!! I find its a lot easier for me to write out melodies on a bass guitar.  So this is my main instrument.

That's really cool. I'm seriously into music and would love to see more of it on your blog... in addition to lots of crochet posts, of course *laughs*

So back to crochet, is there a person who inspires you to crochet or design?
An Australian parrot - Rowena loves this one!

Not so much a person but the environment around me, I'm inspired by colour, especially the landscape and animals.  Australia has some magnificent sights so I want to incorporate the sights and colours somehow in my projects.

Here is a picture of an Australian parrot that I love.
*shows the picture*

What is your absolutely favorite thing to crochet or design for crochet?

I'm going to be boring and say blankets!

I've made two blankets for family members, and I always have people wanting one. I didn't realise how useful blankets are. Its not just the warmth, its the fact that someone went out of their way to make you something that big and spent so much time on it!

Oh, I have to agree - I take so long on blankets that it really means a lot to someone who knows how much work they are.

Blankets take me ages to make too!

*smiling and laughing*

ok ok - let's get back on track here *laughing* Do you do any charity crochet work? If so, are there any specific projects you like to crochet for that you'd like to share with the readers?

Occasionally.  I like to make simple blankets to take to dog shelters.  Just crochet hdc (that's half treble for UK folks).  You can check with your local rescue shelters if they need any.

Alright, Rowena - one more question: Do you have any crochet websites or blogs you absolutely adore and would like to share with the readers?  (the blog of Staffy Rescue NSW)

Thank you again for your time, Rowena - I know you have a lot going on. I really appreciate your taking the time to sit down with me for an interview. I wish you the best with your pregnancy and look forward to many more blog posts about crochet and motherhood.


Be sure to stop by Rowena's blog "An Open Book" and learn more about her and read her review of Cute Crochet Chat tomorrow.

(as a note, in case anyone was curious - Rowena and I did the interview via email... I used creative licensure to make it seem as if we were able to sit down together in the same room)


Rowe said...

awwww cris, thanks so much for the wonderful review.  I had lots of fun answering your questions. :) this was such a wonderful project to take part in. <3

Cris said...

I am just glad I was introduced to your blog - this project really did what it was intended to do :) Thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions :)

CrochetBlogger said...

Terrific interview! I love the great questions you've asked and the way you've enhanced the interview with your own interjections. And I'm so glad you got a chance to find a new crochet blog through Hookin Up!

Cristina Barnes said...

This was a fun interview so well done and conducted I could almost see you guys smiling and giggling :)

Beth said...

Thank you so for for the interview!  I've only been reading her blog for a short while and really look forward to them.  And her answers to your questions and what she had to say made me like her even more.  I continue to look forward to future posts.  I'm a knitter for many, many years, but what she is doing is making me want to learn how to crochet.  Thanks again.

Rowe said...


I would just like to say thank you so much for your kind comments!  They make my heart smile and I'm glad to hear you like my blog


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