Meet the Maker: Coastal Crochet
Eleonora runs the blog Coastal Crochet and loves to take inspiration from the lovely surroundings of the South coast of England. Read below to find out more about Eleonora and check out the Coastal Wall hanging she designed for Hobbycraft.
How did you first get into knitting/crochet?
Both knitting and crochet have always been a big part of my life. As a child I remember my mother (who’s from The Netherlands) knitting me jumpers and cardigans and crocheting finger puppets. My Dutch grandmother knitted and sewed a whole wardrobe of clothes for my dolls. I grew up in a home filled with crochet including pot holders in the kitchen, a blanket and windows framed with crocheted curtains (which were very popular in The Netherlands in the 1970’s). I can’t pinpoint the exact time that I first began to knit and crochet myself but it was in my childhood with the help of my mother (who crocheted her own wedding dress in1974) and books.
When my children were babies I was keen to knit them little cardigans and that’s when my passion for anything yarn related really began. In 2014 I decided to crochet a dress for my daughter for a special occasion. Although I had crocheted simple flowers and edgings before, this was my first big crochet project. I so adored the process of crocheting that dress and it looked stunning when it was finished – from that point on it is crochet that has taken over my life!
What’s your favourite thing to make?
Oooh, that’s difficult to say- I love to crochet anything and am amazed by how practical and useful some crocheted items can be. I enjoy crocheting blankets that gradually grow and you can add to them whenever and wherever you are, plus the blanket keeps you warm as it grows adding to that cosy crochet feeling! They can take a long time to complete so I like to crochet smaller projects in between. I’ve crocheted a few stool covers in the last year that I really enjoyed making and they’ve transformed the look of tired stools.
How many projects do you have at the moment?
I have lots of projects on the go! I’m currently enrolled on the International Diploma in Crochet through Pauline Turner at Crochet Design. There are many samples and projects I need to submit so I’m always crocheting these. I like to experiment and have recently started to write my own patterns plus I like to crochet things for our home and for family and friends. I rarely leave the house without some yarn and a hook.
What other crafts are you into?
Living near to the sea I can’t resist beachcombing and I often use driftwood, sea glass and other beach finds in a creative way.
Sewing has also been a creative passion of mine for as long as I can remember. My Dutch aunt has always inspired me with sewing and I get really excited seeing gorgeous fabrics. I made my own wedding dress in 1999 plus my sister-in-law’s wedding dress and a christening gown for my niece. I’ve made all the curtains in our house plus covered old cushions and seat pads to give a new lease of life to old furniture. It’s just not as portable as crochet- I love that I can take my crochet with me wherever I go!
What’s your favourite thing you have made?
I’ve made so many things that I adore over the years (including my wedding dress), it’s so hard to choose just one! But if I have to pick one then it’s probably the dress I crocheted for my daughter from a pattern by Lisa Naskrent. She looked gorgeous in it and it was this dress that kick-started my current passion for all things crochet. It led to me starting my Coastal Crochet blog and Instagram so I think of that dress fondly for so many reasons.
Where do you find your inspiration?
We live on a cliff top location near to the beach so I’m constantly inspired by the coast and sea. From the colours, to the sights, sounds and smells. It looks different everyday depending on the tides, the weather and the seasons. We have a dog called Salty and beach walks with her do wonders for my creativity.
And then there’s my crochet blog and Instagram which has allowed me to connect with so many other creative people from all over the world. The constant encouragement from like-minded people in a wonderful online community inspires me every day. Writing a crochet blog means I’m forever on the lookout for inspiration and ideas to write about and share. It’s a huge motivator for me.
What is next for you?
To carry on crocheting – I can’t imagine ever wanting to stop! There’s just not enough hours in the day to do all that I’d like! Designing and pattern writing will be my focus over the next year and of course I want to complete the International Diploma in Crochet course that I’m currently working through. I’m keen to teach others and will be leading a crochet taster session for colleagues at work (I’m a nurse in my day job) as part of ‘Wellbeing at Work’ month in May. And then there’s ‘yarn bombing’ – I get so excited when I come across crocheted creations out and about such as a fabulous footpath sign covered in crochet that we saw in Wales last year. I’d love to spread some of that crochet joy myself so watch this space…