The Back Story: Kath Webber crochet.
I have a few crochet heroes that inspire me to crochet everyday. Be it with their imaginative, fun designs or perhaps just by introducing me to their simple but genius colour palettes. Kath Webber crocheter ‘extraordinaire’ is one of those designers.
Kath Webber crochet Goddess
She inspires me to pick up my hook and crochet all the time (if only I could) She is a modern crochet Goddess. Her patterns are well written and easy to follow. Her designs are fresh, colourful, unique and quirky. You will have seen her designs in probably every crochet magazine you have ever picked up. I dont know how she does it, there is so much work that goes into designing an original crochet pattern. Two of her designs can be seen in Inside Crochet magazine, issue 80, out this month.
Kath kindly agreed to take some precious time out to answer 5 questions for my Back Story series…
1. When did you start crocheting and why?
I first began crocheting in Spring 2008; my flat mate Amy had taught herself and one evening at her mother’ house boat I asked her to teach me! I started with a granny square, then the next day we visited the LYS and got ourselves fully kitted out! I bought various shades of blue and oatmeal for a coastal-inspired giant granny square, as I was determine to have a bedspread. Of course I never anticipated the amount of yarn and time I would spend on it! A year later when it was finally finished, I made a little baby-sized granny square for my first baby, which is when my obsession began. I discovered crochet blogs Attic24, Yvestown and Dottie Angel, which I still follow now on the various social media platforms!
2. What inspires you and why?
I began my own blog www.kathwebbercrochet.blogspot.com (formerly inverleith- the name of our old house ) inspired by Lucy at Attic24’s bright colour palette. Since 2010 my tastes have changed, and I tend to by inspired by a more vintage colour palette. It’s important not look *too* much at other people’s work, as I’m aware that I don’t want to subconsciously copy or imitate other people’s work.
My Book 500 Crochet blocks
I’ve been lucky enough to explore crochet a lot this past few years, trying out literally hundreds of stitches and ideas with the book I co-wrote with my dear friend Hannah Elgie. I tend now to use 500 Crochet Blocks as a basis for many of my patterns, using Pinterest to inspire me with shapes and colour palettes outside my usual comfort zone of mustard, off-White, faded turquoise, pinks and forest green. Inspiration often comes from a shape or garment I’ve seen used in another craft like knitting or felting- if it can be made 3D I’ll just a give it a go! I also love poring over magazines and catalogues for textiles inspiration, especially as I love to make interior accessories and homewares.
I’m still not sure I have a definitive aesthetic or style, I guess my tastes change and evolve all the time. But I do love the classic crochet shapes and stitches, with easy-to-follow patterns that everyone can understand.
3. How do you manage to organise your design work around your young family?
It can be a struggle, and I find the school holidays particularly tricky. Usually, while my eldest is at school and the youngest is at pre-school I’ll sit and sketch, research yarns and put together a design proposal based on the brief from the magazine or website, then I will usually work on the crocheting in the evenings once they’re in bed. I look forward to having more time during the day while the small ones are at school soon, as I do love to sit and watch a box set or Netflix while I hook.
Podcasts and magazines
Quite often I’ll listen to a podcast so there is no visual distraction from a tricky design. I love the PomPom Quarterly magazine podcast (Pomcast!), Curious Handmade, and A Playful Day)
I’m trying more and more to write a pattern (if not on paper or laptop then at least have an idea in my head) before I crochet, trial and error can be very time consuming and I’m becoming more confident in organising myself to ensure success later on.
4. what advice would you give someone just learning to crochet?
Well for me, it’s spending time with a teacher. I’m very much a slow, careful learner so I’m an advocate of paying for someone’s time to learn a new skill. Ultimately it’s about coordination and muscle memory, and virtually anyone can do it, but do watch out if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome! Plenty of people have managed to learn from book illustrations or from YouTube, so find your learning style and be inspired by Pinterest or magazines like Inside Crochet for beautiful garments, Simply Crochet for fun, quick makes and Art of Crochet to build your skills and techniques.
5. Do you have any plans for future design work?
I’m always working on something, and often have four or five deadlines on the go at once! Sadly all my creative energies are channeled into my design work, so my blog is poorly neglected.
I’m currently working on new designs for Simply Crochet, Homemaker, Let’s Get Crafting, and two new collaborations- one with DMC yarn (which I LOVE for crochet) and – where you can already buy some of my patterns. I’m hoping to soon have time to photograph and upload some of my more autumnal designs onto Love Crochet.
I would like to thank Kath for answering my questions. I find it fascinating to hear about a designers thought process don’t you?