Wednesday, November 19, 2008

crochet genius: margaret oomen

my first honoree of the *crochet genius* title is margaret oomen of resurrection fern. i discovered her blog a few months ago through one of the others i read, and was instantly hooked (pun not intended)! i mean, anyone who crochets sweaters and halloween costumes for snails is automatically on my list of favorite people! margaret takes crochet in unusual, organically innovative directions, and her nature photographs are other-worldly. you must check out her mushroom, ice, and slime mold photos which i didn't have room to include here! she also writes up many a detailed tutorial for her incredible projects. i asked margaret five questions to which she graciously responded:

1. how and when did you learn to crochet? I am completely self taught. I taught myself how to crochet when I wanted to make some crocheted hats for my children when they were young. I think I went to the library , took out a basic crochet book and mastered the basic stitches. The hat was beautiful blue hand dyed wool and I made it to fit her head exactly in circles of single crochet. I embellished it with felt and embroidery. That was when I first noticed it is much easier to embellish crocheted items than knitted ones. I still have this hat and should take a good photo of it one day.
2. what is your favorite stitch? I only use the basic stitches so I would have to say double crochet. It is easy and versatile and I love how when I cover natural objects they peak out from underneath the stitches between the small openings.

3. what do you love about crochet? I love the freedom it gives the artist or craftsperson. I never follow a pattern . I always make it up as I go along and sometimes remember to write down what I did so that I can share it with others. I love how you can stop and start where ever you want. Impossible to do with knitting. I love the sculptural aspect of it as you can tell from my work. The one thing I don't really like about it is that I have to look at what I am working on . With knitting unless I am doing a complex lace pattern. The other little pet peeve is that because I am working with fine fiber and a tiny hook I need to wear reading glasses when I work.

4. do you have any special/favorite materials or tools that you crochet with? It is probably pretty obvious that I love working with natural fibers and things like stones and wood. Almost all my crochet hooks come from the thrift stores as well as most of my fiber. Some of it is very old , quite apparent when you see the price of the spool if it is still attached. The colors are softer and sometimes a little yellowed with age. I love that. My new love is any fiber from Habu textiles.

5. any interesting plans, projects, or new directions in your crochet future? I really want to try to make some more sculptural pieces like the roots one I did recently. I am always looking for new natural things to cover and I am very fortunate to have a store that sells rocks and minerals about 10 minutes from my home. I also want to do some natural art and photography with lace , snow and ice. A beautiful wintery combination I think.

thanks again for sharing, margaret! you really are a creative genius, whether you agree or not ;n)


Christina said...

The snail costumes are just plain awesome!

jen said...

so beautiful!

ZenCrafter said...

What a beautiful post!! I am a huge admirer of Margie's art and it was so fun to read that she is completely self-taught. It gives me hope for my own work, though I do think the genius term applies to Margie in every way and so it's also a little intimdidating!