Lee-Anne (a.k.a CoCo Crochet) is an Ontario, Canada-based designer and crafter. She learned to crochet after her daugher was born, and has been crocheting ever since! We sent her some questions. Read her answers below!
How did you learn to knit/crochet, and what drove you to make the jump to designing?
I learned to crochet when my daughter was born nearly 9 years ago. I took a small class at a local craft shop, taught by a young lady that I can now happily call my friend. I didn’t really get into crocheting until 4 years later when my son was born. I began by making things for other people using my own designs, but when it became a bit overwhelming to keep up, I decided to make the switch, and just write the designs up for others to make instead.
How do you develop (or what inspires your) new patterns?
I am generally most inspired by the yarn I am using for my project. The color, the texture, everything about it tends to lend itself to certain items in particular. I have the most fun making amigurumi or children’s toys. I enjoy bright colours and whimsical designs.
If money were no object, and you could get a mill to spin any custom blend of yarn you wanted, what would it be? What would you design with it?
I am completely in love with Alpaca yarn. I love the smell of it, the warmth of it, and the ply. I would crochet myself warm socks and cardigans and be warm forever! There is a local Alpaca farm close by to me where I live in Ontario, Canada, and I tend to buy their yarn whenever I can.
What is the single most indispensable tool in your notions bag, and why?
I am very fond of my clay handled hooks from Happy Crochet Hooks. The designs are so beautiful, and the handles make it easy to crochet for long periods of time.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far as a designer?
Edit, edit, edit! Test your work over and over, and edit it until you can’t edit any more. Have others test your designs too, as a fresh pair of eyes might see something yours have missed!
What are the most difficult or challenging things about being a designer?
I feel that one of the biggest challenges for designing is being original. There are so many wonderful
designers out there, and if you think of an idea, chances are it’s been done before. I try to strive for originality in my work.
…the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect of designing is the enjoyment you see from others. That’s a great feeling to
Most creative professionals have days where they don’t feel like being creative, and yet have a deadline to meet. As a designer, do you experience creative block and if so, what do you do to overcome it?
When I get a creative block, I try to commit to working on it for a certain amount of time without stopping. Even if it’s something like, if you do a few rows, then you can go do ‘that thing’ you wanted to do. A lot of the time, once I start a design, I find it very difficult to stop until it’s finished.