I am happy to bring you an interview today with Erna who blogs at Eyes of a Child, a beautiful blog inspired by the creativity and curiosity of how children see the world. She is a crafter who loves to crochet and has seen the benefits of the craft. She is also a photographer who shares beautiful images of her work. In this interview, we learn about her history with the craft and get a few photo tips for crafters.
When and how did you learn to crochet?
My earliest memories are of creating art and crafts with whatever was on hand. I loved all of the art subjects in school, and I continued to make things at home. I took all of the available creative subjects in high school including cooking, sewing, and arts and crafts. Through that I was introduced to floral design, embroidery, modelling, screen printing, painting, macramé and much more. I wanted to take woodworking but girls were discouraged from that (this was in the early seventies).
I taught myself how to knit and yes, also to crochet. My mom was (and is) an avid knitter and crocheter. She tried to teach me, but I struggled with learning from her. I need to see illustrations and read directions in a written form, and then I can learn most things. So that was how I learned. Although I didn’t learn from my mom, crocheting runs in my family, as my grandmother crocheted and my mother continues in the tradition.
What is the number one reason you craft?
It is part of who I am. I can’t imagine my days without some form of crafting or creating.
You mentioned in this post that you were intrigued to read more about the benefits of crochet. In what ways has crochet been helpful in your own life?
I find that crochet is very relaxing. The rhythm of the hook, the repetitive pattern, sitting still – it all helps to settle my brain and create a sense of peace. It is during these times that my mind can wander and I can think through my day, or think about people and situations. Resolving problems, discovering a course of action, or meditating and praying are benefits to engaging in the practice of crochet.
I also find a great deal of satisfaction in making a hand crafted item and giving it as a gift. I often think of the person that will be receiving the item, wondering how they are doing, maybe saying a little prayer for them. Sometimes a friend or family member requests a specific crocheted item, and I feel honoured to be the one who will create it for them. I mainly work on crochet projects in the evenings. We’ll turn on the TV to relax after dinner, and I will take in the show while crocheting. Now I am unable to watch TV unless I have a crochet hook in hand. It seems like such a time waster otherwise!
While travelling, I pack along small crochet projects. Fortunately I don’t get car sick, so I crochet on road trips. Wherever we stay on vacations, I always find time to crochet, usually in the evenings when we’re at our hotel or condo.
Do you find any difference in the benefits between knitting and crochet?
Because I am more confident with crochet, I relax more when crocheting. I find it easier to set a project down, no matter where I am in the process, with a crocheted item. There is only one stitch and one hook to deal with. As for knitting, I’m always concerned that I might drop a stitch, as I’m not confident I can fix it. Plus, there is the counting that goes on in my head, knit – purl – knit – purl to keep the pattern going. I don’t have to pay as much attention when I’m crocheting.
What is your favourite thing to crochet?
Right now I’m making lots of baby hats to give away and to send in to the World Vision’s Knit for Kids program. There are so many cute patterns to choose from; I want to try them all. I also like it when I’ve been asked to create a specific item, and I have to figure out a new pattern.
What is one fond crochet memory that you have?
Most recently, the delight from a friend after I crocheted four Christmas stockings, and how proud she was to display them on her fireplace mantel.
Part of the “about” from the Eyes of a Child blog
How does your blog’s mission to “see things through the eyes of a child” relate to your crochet work?
I believe children find joy in simple things. I find joy in the simple art of crocheting. Children are also naturally creative. I think that crocheting fosters creativity through choosing yarn, choosing a pattern and making modifications along the way.
Do you have any tips / thoughts about teaching children to crochet?
Because of my own inclination to learn from written instructions, I’m not sure I’m the best person to teach another, especially a child. Interestingly, a friend asked me to help her learn to crochet, just recently, and it went quite well. So, maybe I’ll have the courage to teach a child. If the child has a natural bent towards making things, it would benefit them in learning to crochet. I did teach a young lady to ‘finger knit’ and we were both delighted with the process and the result. So, perhaps I could teach crochet one day.
As a photographer, what tips can you offer to someone interested in taking good photos of their crochet?
I try to use an uncluttered background, a DSLR, and natural light. I usually take several shots, both close up and further away. I like to use a wide open aperture to get a narrow depth of field. Then I will post-process in either Lightroom or Photoshop.
Anything else we should know?
Any time I hear someone say, “I’m just not crafty”, I feel a pang of sadness. I believe we are creative beings, made in the image of God, the Creator. Sometimes our creativity takes various forms: writing, cooking, gardening, building, designing — it doesn’t have to be “crafty” to be creative. When we create, we are doing what we are meant to do, and we are who we are meant to be.