Black Sheep Boutique - Lilla Björn
At Black Sheep Wools we get to meet some really lovely superstars from the world of knitting and crochet. Lilla Björn aka Tatsiana, is one of those lovely folk. An exceptionally talented lady who is just so incredibly humble. Tatsiana is the blogger behind Lilla Björn. If you are not already aware of her designs or a reader of her blog, prepare to be mesmerised! She is regularly updating her blog with truly stunning crochet and the occasional spot of knitting. It's especially great if you haven't taken a look for a while, you are always welcomed by a treat when you pop over. Enjoy being immersed in the creative world of Lilla Björn. There are projects for beginners through to more complex designs to challenge you further.
Tatsiana works on many of her projects with Scheepjes, being one of their blogger / designers. With their yarns and extensive colour ranges to hand she comes up with the most effective projects. Looking at her work you get the impression that Tatsiana really considers the yarn for each particular stitch pattern she creates and her colour choice is dealt with the same.
We were delighted when she agreed to join our Black Sheep Boutique. A selection of projects were chosen and are now available as colour packs in our Boutique area online. Hopefully with many more to follow in the not so distant future.
Here are a few of the projects that you will find in the Lilla Björn boutique.
As an extra special introduction we asked Tatsiana a few questions to find out more about her crochet world.
Q & A with Lilla Björn
When did you learn to crochet and knit?
I was lucky to learn to knit and crochet when I was a child, as the age of 5 or 6. A teacher from kindergarten taught me, and since then I have been crocheting non-stop.
Can you remember the very first thing that you made?
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures, as my parents didn’t have a camera when I was little. But I clearly remember I crocheted small mushrooms (and made butterflies with paper to pin on top of them). And there was a knitted cabled hat in dark grey color. My mother didn’t believe I could knit something descent so she bought very cheap acrylic yarn for me to practice. I truly regret I didn’t save those precious projects.
What came first, blogging about crochet and knitting or designing?
I’ve been a kind of “designing” since I learned how to knit and crochet. When I was at school, I was making some crazy shaped sweaters in very bright and sometimes not matching colors. Once I was asked by my teacher to go home and change clothes, haha. But that all was not professional, of course. And when I started to think of a designing as my daily job, then I thought about launching a blog at the same time. I had no idea what I would be blogging about and if anyone would come to read.
What inspired you to start designing?
Necessity! For all my life I have been designing for fun. I had a nice daily job as a journalist and magazine editor. But one day I decided to quit everything and dedicate myself to opera singing (which I’ve also been studying for many years). And when this dream failed, I found myself in a foreign country without a job and income. My husband went to work every day, and I stayed at home alone not knowing what to do. And that was the time when I thought about crochet design as a professional thing!
Your crochet designs are so intricate and beautifully designed. What is your design process? Do you begin with swatches / drawings etc?
That’s a very difficult question. Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what I am going to make. So I just take yarn and hook and try to follow an image in my head. With some projects this method doesn’t work. Like with crochet garments, for example. Where everything begins with very precise maths. And then pattern starts taking shape. I rarely make swatches. Or better to say, I just design and redesign, and frog and redesign again until I am happy with the result.
Colour is such a wonderful thing to play with when designing. What inspires your colour palette in a project?
I always begin with what I have in stash. I literally pull down all yarns I have, sit on the floor and try to find nice color combinations. But very often that’s not enough. Very often colors look beautiful together when lying in skeins on the floor, next to each other. But when I start shaping the pattern, they suddenly stop matching nicely. And then I can replace some colors as-I-go.
As one of the Scheepjes bloggers you get to work with some fantastic yarns. Do you have a favourite?
I am a fan of everything natural, so blends with natural fibres are my absolute favourites. Like Whirl, for example. I love this yarn!
Being a Scheepjes blogger you are one of a rather talented bunch of knitting and crochet designers. Is there anyone in particular whose work you admire?
I admire all of them! They are so creative, friendly, loving and supporting ladies. And a guy :)
We are very honoured to have your Lilla Björn shop as part of our Black Sheep Boutique. What does it mean to you to be part of our new venture?
I am also very honoured to be a (tiny) part of Black Sheep Wools. It feels like finding a family. I am very happy my crochet work can be exposed to a new audience, and I hope your customers will like my designs!
Do you ever take a break from knitting and crochet to do any other crafts or hobbies? Or take time out from Lilla Björn blog and make something for yourself?
Honestly? Never! If you look at my designs, you might think I am all about textures and colors, but in real life I am “muted” person preferring grey, black and dark blue. But I really like my newly released Fjell cardigan! And I plan to wear it a lot.
Your crocheted sweaters have been a huge hit. The Esja sweater, Huldra sweater and Fjell Cardigan are incredible pieces of crochet. The skill you have to be able to create designs that are wearable, yet exceptionally designed is admirable. The designs echo your style we see in your blankets and shawls, but you have somehow managed to make them into a garment. You are so talented! Have you enjoyed taking on the challenge of designing sweaters? Was it different for you compared to designing a blanket or shawl?
Of course it’s absolutely different from what I had been making before. Garment design involves massive math. The pattern must fit as many sizes as possible, and it’s a huge challenge for a designer. Especially for an inexperienced garment designer, as I think about myself. Before Esja was released, I made a lot of research in garment shaping and sizing. And now it’s getting easier with every new pattern. But there are no limits for improvement!
What are your crafty plans for 2019? Are there any upcoming projects you can share?
I am currently working on a few secret projects, and unfortunately I can’t share them with you, as they are created in partnership with other companies. But regarding plans, I really want to design more garments in the future.
We are looking forward to having Tatsiana at the Craft Barn for a couple of days in September. Join her for afternoon tea on 26th September, places are available to book on our website. She will also be here for a meet and greet on Friday 27th September from 10am - 12pm, why not pop in and say hello?