Next up in my series of interviews with Etsy crocheters is an interview with Abigail Coe, known as Abinocoe on Etsy and Twitter. I was lucky enough to find Abigail’s work because she visited my crochet blog and I in turn visited her (new but terrific) crochet blog and it turns out that I really like the unique items that she is crocheting. She designs 3D sculptural crochet pieces, particularly gold jewellery, and she sells the patterns on Etsy. I wanted to share them with others and thought that an Etsy interview with the creator would be a great way to do that! So off we go …
Note: Abi is from the UK and I’ve left the British spelling in her interview on purpose. J
CROCHETBLOGGER: If you remember, what was the first thing that you ever crocheted?
Abinocoe: The first thing I ever crocheted (aside from the obligatory practise square) was a baby octopus. I’d come across the pattern on design*sponge, a blog I read regularly, which was featuring the free pattern designed by jpolka, another etsyer whose crochet I really admire. In fact, the baby octopus pattern was the reason I taught myself to crochet; I bookmarked it at the time and it must have been over a year later that I finally made one.
CROCHETBLOGGER: How wonderful when something inspires you so much that it sticks with you over time and demands to be made! Where do you usually get inspiration for your crochet?
Abinocoe: I get inspiration from all over the shop. Anything that’s solid and organically shaped is a possibility for me to make. Funnily enough, the one thing that’s pretty much guaranteed not to be an inspiration for me is crochet, particularly crocheted clothes. I also find a lot of inspiration in math and the way it can be applied, for example in terms of fractals to make hyperbolic crochet. I like to turn things that are solid into something soft and yielding. In the not too distant future I’d like to have a bash at making some anatomically correct(ish) patterns for bones, and for bird wings. I’m also working on a range of 3D letters.
CROCHETBLOGGER: Your crochet work is very modern and cutting-edge. As you say, it’s the “antithesis of what people assume crochet still is”. Do you still have to look to designs of the past to get ideas for your crochet or does “granny square crochet” not interest you at all?
Abinocoe: One of the things that really spurred me on when I began to crochet was the realisation that the nature of the way that it works (particularly the fact that you are working from a single stitch rather than a row) means that the possibilities are really limitless in terms of working sculpturally, in three dimensions. Because of this, I’ve not done a lot of working from patterns at all, and the crochet that I tend to lean towards is more recreation of solid objects or things, rather than hats and jumpers or granny squares. I suppose this is why I’ve not done a lot of what people tend to categorise as traditional crochet, though I do have a secret love for doilies, especially really fancy intricate multi layered ones. I think my love of doilies stemmed from seeing this amazing giant doily on Craft Zine:
CROCHETBLOGGER: What is your favorite crochet item that you have made?
Abinocoe: The thing that I’m most proud of so far is the next piece I’m developing in my jewellery line, which is a curb chain link, though I still have a huge soft spot for the super-long mobius strip that I wear as a scarf, which I made from a fabulous organic cotton yarn a year or so ago. Here are some pictures of the curb chain link that’s coming to the store soon …
CROCHETBLOGGER: Yes, I saw that when you recently posted about it for Knit and Crochet Blog Week. Love it!
CROCHETBLOGGER: I love your Golden Rope Jewellery. Have you done this piece in any colors other than gold?
Abinocoe: I’ve not yet made a Rope in any other colour than gold, but just last week I purchased a new ball of beautiful turquoise cotton that is just calling out to be used. I think it’d work really well as a long Rope necklace, though it’ll have to wait until I’ve perfected my curb chain pattern enough to list that in my shop. I’m really itching to get a good range of patterns up.
CROCHETBLOGGER: Looking forward to that! What made you decide to start an Etsy store for your work?
Abinocoe: The Etsy pattern shop was the logical conclusion I reached after a chain of events – namely:
- Designing a pattern that I was really proud of and everyone seemed to love
- Realising that there was too much work in a single chain for me to be able to make and sell the necklaces themselves
- Aiming to design a collection of jewellery patterns, to publish in a book
- Finding out that book royalties, if I’m lucky, are pretty miniscule
- And finally figuring that selling the patterns individually works out better for everyone, i.e. people can pick and choose which patterns they’d like, I get a fair price for my work, and trees are saved from having to become a book with my name on it.
CROCHETBLOGGER: I hadn’t thought about the value of Etsy in that way but it does make perfect sense.
CROCHETBLOGGER: What is one thing about crochet that you want other people to know?
Abinocoe: More than anything I want people to know that crochet is really easy, and more than that, massively rewarding. I taught myself everything I know about crochet just using the Internet and an amazing old seventies book called ‘Knitting Fashion’. I think the third thing I made was without a pattern, and I know that I’m only limited by my imagination and patience.