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National Crochet Month:
Angelia Robinson, Quaternity Design Studios
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Angelia Robinson with us today, March 24th, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
- Angelia has four kids.
- Angelia’s favorite crocheted border is crab stitch.
- Angelia loves half double crochet ribbing.
- Angelia absolutely loves the great outdoors, and often find ideas for her designs from things in nature.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Angelia’s designs with you.
Angelia remembers, “I first learned to crochet as a child from my mother, but lacked the patience to stick with the craft at the time. I came back to it as an adult after joining the Crochet Club at my local library. I had been a seamstress and crafter, but fell in love with the versatility and portability of crochet. The wonderful ladies in the club helped me refresh and build my skills, then I was “hooked.” Since then, Angelia has been crocheting for 10 years.
“My first project was a green sweater,” Angelia shares with us. “It was such a terrible mess that I ended up throwing it away. Yet, the experience of crocheting it taught me so many valuable lessons. It was more about the journey than the destination.”
“I started designing for selfish reasons!” Angelia tells us. “Initially I just wanted to make things that fit my figure and my sense of style. Soon I started getting my designs into publications like Vogue Knitting’s Special Crochet issue, Love of Crochet, and Interweave Crochet.”
One of Angelia’s signatures as a designer is working from side to side. She says, “I like to use stripes or simple ribbing and turn it on its side to create vertical lines. The resulting garments are figure-flattering and still easy to construct.”
Angelia starts her designs by making lots and lots of swatches. She says, “It is important for me to become one with the stitch pattern so to speak, so I will swatch in different yarn weights, colors, and textures. Next I hang my swatches on my wall, turn them this way and that, then start sketching. Once the swatches and sketches are done, it’s time to dive into the math and calculate stitches, rows, shaping, etc. All of this takes place before I ever get to work the first base chain.”
Angelia finds inspiration everywhere from current runway and vintage fashion, to books, movies, and all the everyday things around her. Angelia’s aesthetic makes her crochet designs stand out. She says, “My work tends toward a playful yet elegant sensibility. I love to design pieces with clean lines and un-fussy details then throw in an unexpected twist. For example, my Parameter dress combines crocheted lace, post stitches, and woven chains to dramatic effect; Counting Sheep is a very easy blanket with the addition of fuzzy little sheep motifs; the Kidner skirt features a front panel worked in stripes from side to side which make the wearer appear slimmer.”
Angelia tells us, “I designed a large ruana for the Winter 2013 issue of Love of Crochet magazine. The original idea came from a scarf a made for Bernadette, a dear friend’s daughter who was going off to college. This friend is also my #1 sample crocheter, and she actually did most of the crocheting on that huge wool/alpaca piece during what turned out to be one of the hottest summers on record. In the end the ruana turned out beautifully, and we were thrilled to see it featured on the cover of the magazine. As an added bonus, the magazine also decided to keep the original name I gave the project (The Bernadette). Unfortunately, our original Bernadette was a little embarrassed by the whole thing.”
Other Fiber-Related Crafts
“I love crochet and knitting and consider myself more or less bi-stitchual. I also love to sew,” says Angelia.
Advice for New Crocheters:
Angelia always tells her students, “This isn’t your daughter’s wedding dress. We’re learning right now, and it’s OK to make mistakes.” She adds, “Often new crocheters have a specific project in mind, and want to jump right into it even though their skills may not yet be up the challenge. Sometimes this leads them to become frustrated, then they give up when things don’t turn out just right. Remember: crochet, like any other skill, takes time to learn. Be patient with yourself.”
Advice for New Designers:
Angelia recommends, “Don’t be afraid to explore, but always stay true to yourself and your sense of style!”
Some of Angelia’s Favorites:
Favorite Hooks: Susan Bates Silvalume
Favorite Yarn: “My favorite indie yarn is Corrie Sock from Happy Fuzzy Yarn. I love it’s softness and the rich, vibrant colors. My favorite mass-produced yarn is Firefly from Classic Elite Yarns. The soft linen blend is perfect for my Southern California climate.”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “I love cowls! They are quick and easy to make. They also give me the change to play with stitch patterns in a small project and still I feel like I’m not just making another scarf.”
Visit Angelia’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Angelia’s blog today! She will discuss felted crochet and give readers five tips for successful felted crochet. If you sign up for her newsletter, you will get a free felted crochet pattern. Angelia will also have a drawing for a sampler of wool yarns perfect for your next felted crochet project.
Find Angelia Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/angelia-robinson
Ravelry Profile: ravelry.com/people/Quaternity (must be logged in to view profile)
The truth is that Angelia does not love the outdoors. She says, “Actually, I’m a city girl – born and bred. So communing with nature isn’t my thing. I do sometimes find inspiration from nature, but I prefer to commune with it in the comfort of my own home while watching nature programs on public television.”
Also, Angelia does indeed have four kids and says, “In fact, the name of my business is inspired by them. A ‘quaternity’ is a spiritual unit with four parts. (Like trinity with three parts.) My family is the inspiration behind everything I do.”
About her favorite border, the crab stitch, Angelia says, “It feels weird when you you’re doing it because you have to work backward, but they results are fabulous.”
Angelia also says, “Right now, I’m having a love affair with half double crochet ribbing. I love this versatile stitch, and use it again and again in my designs.”