Posted by Amy | Posted in Designer Q&A's | Posted on 01-03-2016
If you are a keen crocheter and often delve into the crafty blogosphere you may well have heard of Crafternoon Treats, aka Kathryn Senior. Kathryn started her blog back in 2014 and has continued to blog ever since. Last year she began a series on her blog called the ‘Bagalong‘. The idea of the Bagalong is that everyone from all corners of the world makes the bag at the same time. Kathryn has a fantastic Facebook group for the Bagalong where fellow Bagalong crocheters can come together to share hints, tips and offer support. The patterns are usually Kathryn’s own designs, however sometimes she features someone else’s design, all along the bag theme.
This month she has released her latest Bagalong project – Sunny Days beach bag by Annaboo’s House, a bag originally designed as an exclusive pattern for Black Sheep Wools. Kathryn has chosen her own ‘beachy‘ colour theme and slightly adapted the pattern. Both patterns are available to download from our free patterns page or you can purchase yarn kits from our website.
Annaboo’s original bag design
Crafternoon Treats adapted beach bag design
Whilst we were working with Crafternoon Treats on her Bagalong project, we thought it might be nice to get to know a little more about her crafty world. Read our interview with Kathryn here –
Who taught you to crochet? How old were you?
It was so long ago I can hardly remember! I must have been about 10 or 11 and I think I learned at the same time as my mum. We sort of taught each other. She was a great knitter and very skilful but I never got on too well with two needles. I took to the hook like a duck to water though.
As I got older, life took over and crochet sort of fell out of fashion so I put my hook down in the early 1990s and didn’t rediscover crochet until a few years ago. I was really surprised to find how it had become so popular again and I’m now completely addicted.
What was your first ever crocheted project?
I started with something easy – an intricate lace doily made with really thin cotton and a tiny steel hook and worked from a chart. It just seemed to come naturally and back then, I didn’t crochet with wool or other yarns at all.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Ideas just seem to pop into my head – usually when I’m working on crochet projects. There are so many possible things to do and to make, and far too little time. I based my hexagon autumn inspired blanket on some finds from a walk but I often just put colours together because they make me feel good.
What is your favourite yarn to crochet with?
I don’t think you can beat the quality acrylics that are around now and that offer such a huge colour range. One of the things I want to do in the future is to try out other yarns and I’ve been very interested to hear about the possibilities of hand-dyeing yarn from one of the lovely ladies who comes along to my new Crochet and Chat group.
Where is your favourite place to crochet?
Just about anywhere but I have two highly favoured spots – both by full length south facing windows in my house. Crocheting by natural light is the best and I am all set up in my lounge with a lap blanket and a quilt/crochet fusion throw that I made as part of the crochet along with Lucy at Attic24 just before Christmas. These colours are so uplifting. Upstairs in my office/studio I’ve just set up a new spot where I can crochet but also do the photographs for my tutorials and patterns.
Do you ever watch TV or listen to music when doing your crochet? If yes anything in particular?
I do crochet when the TV is on to relax but often find I miss most of the program… crocheting is a lot more interesting than most of what’s on. I also like to crochet with friends, either at the Crochet and Chat that I mentioned or just in the evening at a friend’s house. I have several crafty friends and we each do our own thing – two sew, one knits and I crochet.
Do you have a favourite crochet snack?
No, one of the good things about crochet is that it takes my mind off eating in the evening! Not that I am particularly overweight but those extra few pounds can creep on very easily if chocolate or cake is at hand. Bake off has a lot to answer for as it always makes me crave a slice of Victoria Sandwich but, if my hands are busy with a hook, I can resist!
Are there any crochet designers you particularly admire?
There are so many wonderful designers out there its difficult to choose. I like designers that inspire people to want to crochet and who encourage and produce easy designs that look fabulous. I have been lucky enough to meet up with Lucy at Attic24 quite a few times now and she is definitely Queen of crochet inspiration. I also love the work of Sandra at Cherry Heart, Kara at Petals to Picots and Dragana at Dada’s Place.
What inspired you to write a blog? When did you start blogging?
I started my blog in April 2014 so it’s coming up to 2 years old now. I’d recently lost my mum, who I was very close to and realise now that I used crafting and creating as a way to handle my sadness. I’m interested in all sorts of crafts – handmade books, silversmithing and beading – as well as crochet but I sort of got side-tracked by the hooking and it’s become the focus of the blog. That might change over time but, for now, I’m really interested in sharing my ideas and patterns and makes.
Do you have crocheted treasure? A piece that you could never part with, a gift or maybe something you have made yourself?
I have three small crocheted dolls and some fine crochet lace that were made by my great grandmother. I remember them from my childhood and I found them in my mum’s things after she died, all placed in a special pouch with my great grandmother’s wedding ring. I can’t say for sure that they were made by her but I think there is a very good chance.
You make lots of lovely crochet bags, what other items do you enjoy crocheting?
I like making blankets but they take a lot of time and I find I can’t rattle off blankets very quickly. I love my autumn inspired chunky hexagon blanket, which sits on top of my bed. I’m half way through a seascape ripple, which I must get round to finishing but bags do rather take over!
If you could give us just one crochet tip, what would it be?
Get a little notebook and write down notes to yourself about crochet projects that you do. This is really important for me when I’m designing but even when I’m doing something with a pattern, its essential to note down the colours of yarn, hook size, what the pattern is and any changes you have made as you’ve gone along. We are all guilty of putting projects away for a while and after just a few weeks I find I open up a carefully wrapped piece of crochet with no idea what hook size I was using or exactly which blog I downloaded the pattern from.
What inspired you to start a bag along?
It started sort of accidentally. I’ve always wanted to knit a pair of socks so I joined in with the Sockalong by Christine of Winwick Mum last year. I actually made a sock (still to make one to match but we’ll gloss over that…) and joked on Instagram that we could have a Bag-along and make crochet bags. The response blew me away so I set up the Bagalong group on Facebook to make my Retro Granny Stash bag, expecting it to generate a bit of interest for a month and fizzle out. I’m amazed that so many people are interested in crochet bags – we now have 4000 members and they are all bag-crazy!
Just some of Kathryn’s crocheted bagalong delights.
Do you find yourself attracted to a certain colour or colour palette when you are starting a new project?
I love bright colours but I also like dramatic palletes and pastels. Vintage greys and muted tones look fabulous. Like I said – so much to crochet, so little time…