By Luba – Artwork created one stitch at a time. Limited edition contemporary crocheted and knitted wire jewellery. It might be knitted, or crocheted, it won’t keep you warm in winter, but it promises to warm your heart.
I took up beading in the winter of 2010. Previously I have never been that interested in arts and crafts. I started knitting and crocheting for something to do in front of the fireplace on those cold Victorian winters days and nights. My sister tried to teach me how to knit and crochet when I was a child, I learnt the basics then, and I taught myself more stitches and techniques via You Tube, the videos are free and great! I soon realised I preferred crocheting and it became a portable hobby that I use to pass the time on my daily commute from Geelong to Melbourne. One Friday night, watching Better Homes and Gardens, I saw a story demonstrating wire crochet with beads, just a simple single chain with a bead in each stitch, with several strands interwoven and worn as a lariat. I thought; “I can do that!” That was it! Pardon the pun, I was hooked! My beading obsession had begun.
And yes, it has become an obsession, I spend my spare time designing new pieces, shopping for beads, mixing blends of beads, matching beads with wire and researching new techniques and designs. I love the challenge of learning new things and once I learn a technique I push the boundaries, often varying the stitches or the size or shape of the beads etc. I was looking for something “different” to try and found Yoola Invisible Spool Knitting (ISK), it is a bit like spool knitting and even though the technique is primarily used to create a wire mesh I have also incorporated beads into my designs.
As I can thread the beads onto the wire at home, I can crochet and knit my creations on the train without the fear of losing beads or having to chase down dropped beads in the train carriage. It continues to be a relaxing, creative outlet to pass the time on my rail trips today as it can take up to 10 hours to make a necklace or bracelet, depending on the intricacy.
One of the mantras I live by is “life is too short not to surround yourself with beautiful things”. I really do love my sparkly things and love making them. So why not spend my free time making beautiful sparkly things. I am not sure what my style is, as I generally just make things I like, which is important when items can take many hours and patience to make. As the items are either knitted or crocheted I probably go out of my way to make sure they look modern and sophisticated, as I want to prove knitting and crochet doesn’t have to look nanna-ish.
As I kept hearing a chorus of; “you should sell that” on the completion of an item and I was very fortunate to have two friends, that allowed me to leave my items at their gallery and boutique for sale on consignment. The sales funded my bead and wire addiction… I remember when I got my first sale. I received a text from the boutique… I was soooooo excited I don’t think I breathed all the way home on the train.
As flattering as it was to have regular sales. I felt a bit stifled as I did not have enough time to create gifts for friends and family and I did not have the time to experiment and learn new techniques. So I have taken some time off and kept myself busy making birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends and experimenting and learning how to make new things.
My items are handcrafted one stitch at a time. It might be knitted or crocheted but it isn’t going to keep you warm this winter.