Find out what inspires crochet designer Kirsten from haakmaarraak.nl, and read about her favourite yarns, hooks and accessories!

 

Hi! I’m Kirsten Ballering, the blogger and designer behind haakmaarraak.nl. You might have visited my blog at one point, as I’ve been blogging for the past three and a half years and planning on continuing this for a long time to come. A big thanks to Wool Warehouse, for having me here today!

I’d like to tell you a bit about myself, how I came to be a crochet designer and also about my favourite products!

My crochet journey started when I was studying in Stockholm six years ago, and I was looking for a new hobby and something I could take with me during long lectures to keep my hands busy. With both knitting and crochet in the race, crochet eventually won, not only because it seemed less intimidating but also because it’s more easy to hide! After three weeks of struggling to learn the basic stitches, it all ‘clicked’ and I have been (excuse the pun) hooked ever since.

Becoming a crochet designer isn’t something I planned on becoming (heck, I studied Biomedical sciences to pursue a career in science!), but rather something that just happened. When I found my creative outlet, I realised I had lots of ideas in my head that wanted to come out into the world. I started listening to my own ideas, and after a while it naturally evolved into designing. At first I designed as a way to share my ideas with others and to contribute to the fibre community, and later on in a professional way as well. The process of having an idea and turning it into a touchable piece, writing the pattern, doing photography, being in contact with like-minded people, they’re all parts I rather enjoy about being a designer.

My style focuses on colour and texture, in all shapes and sizes. You might see me working with a palette of similar shades one day, and switch to a complete rainbow of colours on the next. I like to make up surprising colour combinations, or classic combinations with a modern twist. Because of my colour addiction, I mostly design larger projects such as blankets and shawls where I have lots of space to incorporate all my ideas. You might have seen my Spicy Diamond blanket, or Charlie blanket. Recently, I also designed a new take on the classical Feather & Fan shawl in bold colours!

 

Spicy Diamond blanketSpicy Diamond blanket

Charlie blanketCharlie blanket

Feather and Fan shawlFeather & Fan shawl

As you might know, I design crochet projects for Scheepjes yarn company. As a Scheepjes blogger I get to try out lots of their yarns and goodies! I’ve listed my favourites for you:

  • Cotton 8: This is definitely my favourite yarn. It’s a 100% cotton, non-mercerised yarn. This means that it’s matte and soft, and is very durable. The gazillion colours only feed my addiction… I can’t stop making new selections! If you don’t fancy the matte look, then Catona is a great alternative! It’s mercerised cotton and has lovely colours too (among them a collection of pastels to drool over)!
  • Scheepjes buttons: I know, it’s cheesy to be happy about something so simple as a button but they give a very finished look and feel to my designs, just like labels do. They’re very smooth, I’m in love with olivewood!
  • YARN: It’s the new book-a-zine that Scheepjes released this year, filled with crochet and knitting patterns, but also other fibercrafts such as macramé. I’m a sucker for great photography and YARN is beautifully styled. It wouldn’t be bad as a coffee-table book too!
  • A crafts(wo)man needs tools! I love my Clover Amour crochet hooks, and I would be lost without them. The larger grip helps me to prevent cramp in my hands when I crochet a lot.

 

If you want to keep up to date with my new designs, be sure to follow my blog through a RSS feed such as Bloglovin’.If you also like more informal updates and behind-the-scenes shots, you can follow my Facebook and Instagram accounts too.

Hope to see you there!