In issue 60 we featured a mini profile on American author and crochet designer Rohn Strong. You can now read the full interview below.
How did you learn to love crochet?
Crochet is one of those yarn crafts that allows us to express our creativity in infinite ways. I started crocheting when I was just around 8 or 9 years old. So, it’s been a 20 year love affair. Even if I seem to step away for a few months or years I always come back, and my love is just as strong as it once was. I still remember teaching myself to crochet with a book and a bunch of very inexpensive acrylic yarn. I would use a Tunisian hook because it was longer and looked ‘cool’, as I would say back then. My father was never keen on the idea, but my four crochet books have taught him a thing or two!
I think that crochet allows me to design and show the world a small piece of me. We are all so complicated and I like to think that crochet allows us to connect on a different level. A little bit deeper. If that makes any sense at all.
What sort of things do you make?
I think I’m most well known for my socks, they always get the most attention. I love socks, they are the perfect little projects to try out all my favourite techniques and stitches, without feeling like I’ve committed to a huge sweater and just hope it comes out. I’ve never made a pair of socks for myself, however. Having large feet often means I’m not thrilled with the prospect of that much yarn – or time – invested in a pair of socks.
I also don’t think we can downplay the lovely simplicity of the half treble crochet hat. Can we?
Where do you find inspiration?
The dreaded questions of designers left and right. Honestly, I tend to look to knitwear and social media for inspiration. Seeing what people make, what people ‘like’, and what people buy, allows me to design with a customer focused mind. For example, this fall and winter is still about the chunky knits. So, I’m working on a few pieces to see what will work best for my style. Chunky but wearable is quite difficult – if I’m being honest.
Any crafty confessions?
I hate crocheting doilies. I love the look of them but I’ve never used a steel crochet hook and don’t plan too. Having hands as big as a rugby player’s probably doesn’t help the matter…those hooks are tiny!
Tell us about your favourite make or biggest crochet triumph?
My favourite design is actually one that I’ve never published. To be honest, the pattern writing is a bit frightening. It’s a simple vest with a dramatic cable down the front with a small bit of shaping here and there. I love love love the design. Worked in a rustic wool, the stitches just pop! But I can imagine writing that pattern up. Did I mention I never took notes? Yeah.
My biggest triumph? Writing, Step Into Crochet, my newest book. It was SO much work. Two years of crochet, tears, and yarn went into creating the best guide for crochet socks that has been written so far. I’m pretty proud of it.
Where can our readers find you online?
My blog/website is always a great option, www.rohnstrong.com, you can sign up for my newsletter there too. As for social media, Instagram is where it’s at. I’m @rohnstrong over there and post every day…a few times a day!