Here at Sketchfolk I want to celebrate the lovely people that use my books and this week I took the opportunity to quiz Claudine, the talented designer behind Iron Lamb crochet, about her creative work. Her instagram feed is a vibrant riot of colour and fun, if you love crochet or colour in general then you should definitely take a look.
Describe your style…
Bright and colourful, with lots of texture. I love fun designs and modern colour palettes.
Where did you get the name Iron Lamb from?
When I was writing my dissertation at Uni, we had to work in pairs to create a fictitious business – and that was the name we chose for it. The inspiration came from an image of a metal lamb sculpture we saw in a magazine. The contrast of the softness of lamb’s wool, combined with the strength of metal, made us think about women being feminine, but also strong and independent, and it really appealed to us. I always loved the name and said that if I ever started a company I would use it – and it links well with the wool aspect of my work!
How did the crochet world of Iron Lamb begin?
A friend taught me to crochet when I was going through a knitting frenzy after giving birth to my daughter. I made a few cowls, but nothing exciting. Then a year or two later I signed up to Instagram and discovered this whole new world of amazing crochet inspiration. I was knitting jumpers using my own patterns by then, so I had a go at crocheting a jumper from scratch, and was thrilled when it worked out! I came upon the idea of my Granny Rocks jumper, after admiring so many crochet granny blankets on Instagram, and once I posted a picture of it I was inundated with requests for the pattern. It took me a while to figure out the grading side of it, but once it was released there was no stopping me!
Where did your love of all things yarn originate?
I’ve always loved wool, and have knitted on and off since my mum taught me to knit as a child. I never really found any patterns I liked though, as Pinterest and Instagram didn’t exist back then, so I didn’t pursue it very often. It wasn’t really until social media opened my eyes to all the possibilities that I really fell in love with it again. There is nothing cosier than wearing a colourful woolly jumper you have made yourself!
What inspires you?
Eccentric knitwear from the runway and the fashion industry, Pinterest, the textures on blankets and cushions that I see on Instagram. I get inspiration for colour palettes from designers like Cotton Clara (@cottonclara) and some interior/graphic designers that I follow.
What does your working day look like?
I work Monday to Wednesday at the moment, as I still have a pre-schooler at home. On those days I do the school/pre-school run, go for a quick run and then crank up the laptop. I try to answer emails and do my pattern writing in the morning, as well as taking any photos, when my brain is fresh. I then crochet in the afternoons and the evenings. Sometimes I have to change things around as I need to crochet and take step by step photos when the light is good.
The day always goes by way too fast and I never achieve everything on my to -do list!
How do you find time to explore creative ideas?
I just have to fit it in when I can. If I wake up in the night with an idea I’ll jot it down in my phone. I often screenshot things that inspire me and then do some swatching in the evening. It can be difficult to find the time to crochet a whole garment with two young children, so I tend to take it everywhere with me; car journeys, on the beach, in the park, waiting rooms.. anywhere I can sneak in a few rows!
What are you excited about doing next?
I’m excited about teaching some workshops in the new year, it will be nice to do some teaching again, and interact with other crocheters in real life! I plan to start a blog to share some tips about making garments, and I’ve got some great new designs which I’m excited about releasing! I would eventually like to publish a book of garment designs, that would be really exciting!