Meeting Vanessa from Hooked On Sunshine, is quite special. Her infectious laugh and sheer joie de vivre will have you walking away with a huge smile on your face. Better known as the creator of the Atlanticus and Lilliana CAL’s, we simply had to find out more about this crafter.
Tell us about more about yourself.
I’m a single mama of one human child and a selection of furred and feathered critters. Way too many boys in the house, the cat, the dog, the bird, the child… so its quite nice that the grown-up is a girl! I was born in Bloemfontein but we moved to Cape Town when I was very little so I consider myself a Capetonian. I went to boarding school because I was a little bit of a rebel without a clue. In those days the matrics had “skivvies”, and it was our job to do whatever the Matrics asked you to do, make their bed, do their washing, carry their books. That’s how I met Carlé, she was a Matric, I was a skivvie. Who knew we’d team up years later?
How long have you been crocheting and who taught you?
I always get a little nervous when people ask me this… someone is going to discover my secret! I picked up a crochet hook for the first time in my life two and a half years ago. My mom and I taught ourselves by watching You Tube video’s.
What inspires you?
I think anything can be inspiring, it just depends on how you look at it. A cloud in the sky, a colour, a picture, a song, a story but if I had to pick it would be the natural world. There is just way too much of the awesome in the world around us.
How did your first CAL came about?
My first CAL was designed because I had a crazy friend who nagged and nagged until I designed a blanket. She was convinced I needed to write a pattern and design a CAL, I was convinced she was totally mad, considering I had only been crocheting for about a year then!
When designing a new CAL, do you pre-plan everything, in other words, do you ‘see’ the entire design before you start or is it something that happens organically as the project grows?
Design is definitely more of an organic thing to me. I have tried planning blankets and patterns and colours but they always seem to take on a life of their own. Now I just go with flow and let the yarn take me to where it wants to go.
If you weren’t a world-famous CAL designer, what else would you be?
Hmm.. I wouldn’t mind trying out being independently wealthy, lying on a beach and sipping Pina Colada’s for a while.
Anything creative makes me happy so as long as it’s in a creative field that would work for me. I absolutely loved working in interior decorating so that would be at the top of my list.
If you can be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?
I think I would be Einstein… that way I might understand maths, and patterns would be easier to figure out!
I’m very inspired by the artist Gustav Klimt, would love to know what was going through his mind when he was creating. His art is just amazing to me.
What is your favourite NF yarn and colour?
Cotton, cotton, cotton!!!!!
I love the natural, organic feel of it and I love the way the colour sits in the cotton. There is just NOTHING mass produced about it. Carlé’s cotton is like a little ball of love. I’m totally besotted with Pear but Bordeaux is becoming a fast favourite.
How did crochet change your life?
Crochet has changed my life in so many ways. It has brought so many fabulous new people into my life. I love how the craft unites people from all different walks of life; it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, we have a common thread of yarn and a hook.
When I started crocheting I didn’t realise how therapeutic it would be, it helped me heal after a divorce. I think when you are absorbed in a pattern, you forget to think about your problems. Your focus becomes the creating and I think the creating in itself becomes the healing. If you ask me, crochet should be prescribed instead of Prozac.
Do you do any other crafts apart from crochet?
When I can steal myself away from the yarn, I love to paint or mosaic or potter around in my garden.
Connect with Vanessa here:
Facebook: Hooked On Sunshine
Instagram: Hooked On Sunshine