[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] A [/dropcap]rtist Shelley Husband can write proficiently in at least two languages: one is English, and the other is crochet.
When Shelley slips into crochet, the sentences look something like this: “ch 1, dc in same space (ch 3, skip 2 sts, dc into next stitch) x 6, 3 ch, ss into 1st dc (7 x 3 ch loops and 7 dc)”.
It is this second language that Shelley, of Narrawong, is helping to take to the world via the wonders of the internet: it allows her to teach people from across the globe a skill that she has been perfecting since learning how to crochet about two and half years ago.
“I love stretching my brain and I love fine detailed work,” she says.
“I also love finding out how things work, pulling them apart and looking at how it fits together and crochet can be very much like that.”
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] H [/dropcap]aving taught herself how to crochet via books, blogs and YouTube clips, Shelley is now teaching others the step-by-step methods behind various patterns that she has developed.
“I am doing my bit, I guess, to rejuvenate the art of crochet and to get people to go beyond the granny square,” Shelley says with a laugh.
Through her website, Shelley connects with crochet novices around the world, all of whom can follow the lessons for free, or purchase her unique patterns.
For Shelley, who is also a part-time school librarian and integration aide, refining her crochet skills is the second step in a three-step progression from where she began six years ago when she started her craft line, Spincushion.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] S [/dropcap]pincushion, as it sounds, is Shelley’s “spin” on the humble pin cushion, that she has taken and developed into an art form.
After first learning how to make “everybody else’s” pincushion patterns, Shelley began to design and make her own; creating beautiful, colourful and quirky pin cushions that are more works of art than a mere accompaniment to sewing.
Her first market, at Tyrendarra, proved a hit and Shelley soon became a regular face on the South-West Victorian market circuit, while also successfully selling her pincushions online via an etsy store.
Recently, however, Shelley decided to move right away from pincushions and focus on her crochet venture, “Beyond the Granny”, and a new collaboration with two of her three young daughters, Erin (14) and Megan (16), called “Quirkery Stitchery”.
“I really, really loved making the pin cushions and am very proud of what I achieved with those, but it is time for new challenges,” she said.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #ABCCAB;”] Q [/dropcap]uirkery Stitchery grew from a series of quirky drawings by Erin and Megan, who, together with their younger sister Brenna (11), are as creative as their Mum. While the girls create the images, Shelley brings them to life through embroidery.
It is a lovely connection and while the quirky characters are finding their own online market, Shelley says, for her, the creative process is first and foremost about the joy of it.
Using this philosophy, Shelley makes sure that even her “mistakes” are put to good use. She recently advertised a load of unwanted yarn left over from various crochet projects and it was snapped up by a woman to use for “yarn bombing” – the covering of public objects in crocheted or knitted wool.
“I will popping that in the post and it is nice to know it is going to a good home,” she laughs.
[A quick quiz: what is the difference between knitting and crocheting? If you said one involves two needles and the other a single hook, you are on your way to being crafty, unlike the author of this story.]
You might also enjoy…