Today I am talking to Mia, who is from Sweden. She is a real inspiration to me. Her crochet work is absolutely beautiful, not least because she dyes her yarn herself which makes it even more special. I hope you enjoy what Mia has to say, and do visit her blog for some colouful inspiration!
Mia :: blog :: site :: yarn inspiration blog
Where in the world are you?
Gothenburg, Swedish West Coast
Briefly describe yourself and what you make
46 years old, single mother of two wonderful teenagers – Sofia and Martin.
Working 8-4 at a shipping company, which is not at all creative but a safe income. Spending most of my free time with my yarn basket and my laptop within reach.
With the yarn I knit, crochet and make tapestry stuff. Beanies, blankets, softies, bags, socks, dish-clothes and sometimes something totally new which pops up in my mind. For almost everything I make I use a quite thin cotton yarn, which we in Scandinavia call ”8/4 spun”. It is a soft but strong yarn. I buy it unbleached, in hanks, and dye it myself with tie-dye colours.
Who or what inspires you?
Folklore, nature and colours. Most of all colours.
There are trillions of ways to combine colours and each new combination makes a new impression and feeling. Kaffe Fassett, who is the master of colours is also a huge source of inspiration and my guru of creativity. Also, I love to surf the web and find lots of inspiration in the works of all of you other talented knitters and crocheteers out there. I find pictures of lovely colourful creations everywhere and that is why I recently started the new blog ”Yarny Inspiration” to be a place to collect and save all the inspiration – both for myself and to share with others.
When / how did you learn?
Have been knitting and crocheting for as long as I can remember, I cannot even recall how it all begun. I do have some childhood memories though, from summers at my grandmother’s, when I sat at the backyard in the sun crocheting clothes for my troll dolls.
Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
Someting within me that needs to always have something going on. There is a kind of soul in handmade things that never can be copied in mass fabricated products. Your home cooked blueberry jam tastes sooo much better than the jam you bought at the supermarket. The clothes you have spent hours to make with the yarn passing thru your fingers are sooo much nicer to wear than the ones made by a machine in a factory.
What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Colour and quality. Everything I make is made with love and care, and shoud stand the everyday use for many years.
Absolutely when the Museum of art&design here in Gothenburg, held an excibition of Kaffe Fassett about seven years ago. I had the oppertunity to attend two different workshops with his assistant Brandon Mably. One together with my kids when we made colourful paper collage. And one together with my sister, when we learned a tecnique for shaded embroidery. That was really inspiring! And at the coffe break, Brandon caught eyes of my crocheted bag and said ”Gosh, I wish Kaffe had seen that bag – he would LOVE it !!”. Oh dear, was I proud of my bag and myself that day!
Have you always made 'stuff'?
Yes, as far as I can remember I have made things. Paper dolls with clothes, beaded necklaces, hotpads, knitted and crocheted clothes for my Barbie dolls and the troll dolls.
Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
Well, I do not really know myself how it works. It is just there by itself. While working on a knitted beanie or a crochet bag, new colour combinations just pop up in my mind ready to try on the next thing. Quite often I cannot wait to try it out, so I tend to have lots of things going on at the same time, and my basket full of ufos. [ufo = unfinished object - no aliens involved!]
How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
I really depends on what kind of mistake. Recently I made mistakes with the order of the colored stripes when knitting a beanie, and when blogging it I had several comments from people who said only nice things about mistakes. That the 'impression' of the hand should be visible in handmade things. When something is too perfect there is no soul in it. If the mistake weakens the quality of the thing I’m making, I would of course remake it.
Favourite book(s) or craftbook(s)?
One favourite author is Joanne Harris, and I read and loved most of the books of John Irving.
Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
Oh yes, my chair by the TV. It is very important to me. I really do have difficulty knitting or crocheting when sitting in the sofa, so my kids know they better not occupy my chair.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
Nope, but I use ”Yarny Inspiration” to save inspiring pictures.
Why is crafting good for you?
It gives me peace of mind. And I love to know when I inspire other people to be creative as well.
Is your art/ craft a business as well? Any advice on running an arty/ crafty business?
It is a little bit of business. I have an etsy shop ”VickeVira” and there are a couple of other shops selling my stuff. Sorry, but I have no good advice to share. I would really like some good advice myself!
What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
It has had a huge impact! Both for sharing my own love of colours and craft to others, and very much for myself getting new crafty ideas and making new friends all over the world. When I found the pattern for the crochet ”African Flower” I also found a new dear crafty friend in Elizabeth Cat, and as we share the same kind of love for colours and the joy of sharing inspiration with others it really added a whole new dimension to my own creativity.
Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
I make craft. Handicraft. For me crafts are for daily use, and art is for the beauty of it. I love people to be able to use the things I make.
If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?
I would love to do crafts projects together with my talented sister who moved with husband and kids to New Zeeland several years ago. We both love yarn dying, knitting, pottery and lots of other crafty things. If we could be geographically closer I’m sure we would come up with tons of new projects!
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