Crochet Designer Interview: Olya Mikesh's Ranunculus Shawl
Here at Crochet Foundry, we LOVE working with all the talented crochet designers that we have the privilege to showcase in our magazine. In this Designer Interview series, we'll get to know some of this month's issue's designers. Today we're talking to crochet designer Olya Mikesh, who contributed the Ranunculus Shawl crochet pattern featured on the cover of our December 2023 issue.
Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?
I was inspired by the two stitch patterns used in the shawl. The two dimensional border stitch was new to me, and looked like flower petals. I was intrigued by it, and wanted to use it in a project. The wave stitch reminded me of the traditional “feathers and fan” knitted lace used in many shawls. I thought that creating a crochet equivalent would be a fun challenge.
What were some challenges about designing this piece?
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to fit the wave stitch pattern into the triangular shawl construction. Since increases would be constantly changing the stitch counts, I had to break up the pattern with some rows of double crochet stitches, in order to have some repetition in the pattern.
How did you learn to crochet?
I learned to crochet from my mother when I was 6 or 7 years old. I remember making a potholder for my school teacher as my first project. I would also make doll clothes, using crochet thread and a tiny hook. I guess, I just loved to create!
What is your favorite crochet technique or stitch pattern?
I have always loved lace, and it still draws me in, admiring its intricate beauty. But I also love simple stitch patterns, such as ribbing. The slip stitch ribbing in crochet is my favorite.
How do you hold your crochet hook?
I hold my hook the same way I hold a pen or a pencil. I am pretty sure that is how my mother taught me. I think it allows for maximum control and precision, especially necessary when working with finer threads. All those doll clothes in crochet thread made an impact!
What are a couple of fun facts about you?
Despite having a house full of kids, and a dog, I really enjoy peace and quiet. My crafting time recharges me, and gives me the energy to be there for my family.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Becoming a pattern designer has been one of the best challenges I’ve taken. I love the constraint of working within a specific framework (mood board, yarn, or theme.) I think it helps to fuel the creative process, and gives an opportunity for problem solving, which I also enjoy.
Are you a crochet designer (or would you like to be)? Crochet Foundry works with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Email list to be notified of design opportunities.