This interview was originally published in Your Crochet Magazine, which you can buy HERE. Inside you will find a crochet pattern for Octobubble – a little amigurumi octopus, perfectly fit for your pocket!
Where did your love for crochet sparked from?
I’ve always loved trying new crafts but crochet never actually appealed to me! That is, until 2011 when my friends were all having babies and I needed a unicorn horn for a swaddling blanket I was sewing. Mum suggested crocheting the horn would be most effective but I was hesitant to learn. Once I caved in, she taught me and I became instantly obsessed – I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing out on all that time!
Could you tell us more about the way you’ve come to designing advanced amigurumi?
The crochet pattern marketplace is already full of so many wonderful patterns, and I’m not a good salesperson, so in order to compete, I decided to try and make my product stand out from what was already available in some way. Now I’ve come to love the challenge of creating new shapes that might seem impossible at first.
Your amigurumi creatures are out of this world! Where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you so much! Inspiration comes from all over; from animals I’ve seen in real life to creatures that creep into my head, seemingly out of nowhere, or things people ask me to make. I get inspired by other creators and their amazing work; the animators of the old classic Disney movies, the artists who draw Pokémon, small-business creators who sculpt or sew magical dolls and plushies – there’s an endless supply!
Do you have a favourite creature that you have designed?
That’s a tough one. Comet the Unicorn is special because she was, in a way, the catalyst for my business becoming successful. But each time I design something new, it usually becomes my favourite until the next new pattern!
Your crochet patterns are extremely detailed and complex. How long does it take from drafting the concept to the release of the final pattern?
On average, it takes about 5 weeks to design a model and draft the pattern document for it. The pattern then goes for testing, which takes about another 5 weeks before it’s ready to be published. That’s the general timeframe; the simpler designs can go quicker but Lunar the Lemur for example took an entire year!
It’s tricky to make instructions understandable for beginners. What makes your patterns so easy to follow?
Having my patterns thoroughly tested by a team of trained individuals helps weed out potential confusion for users. I also pay attention to the feedback from all the people use my patterns, in order to try improve the ease of use even more with each new project. It’s not always possible to get a particular concept across to every single person and their unique way of understanding, so sometimes I include video supplements to help, and I also have support communities for helping people with their questions.
Which skills should I practice to be able to work with advanced amigurumi patterns?
Patience and willingness to apply yourself would be the most useful skills! My patterns contain every tiny bit of information you’d need to complete them. If you’re willing to read all the words, look at all the pictures, and then apply your mind to doing what they say, then you don’t need any special crocheting skills in advance. Anywhere that my patterns diverge from very basic amigurumi, they include extra tips and info on how to complete the steps, and when things get ultra-complex, I make videos to break it down even further. All you need to know in advance is basic crocheting, but starting on my easier patterns and working your way up is also a good strategy.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan for 2022 is to equip crocheters with the skills for working with furry yarn and also creating fur effects by various other techniques, so I’m currently running a year-long event called Projectarian’s Year of Fur to facilitate that. Afterwards, I’d like to focus on creating more video content, and I have a couple of books in mind too. I’d love to collaborate with fellow designers and make more connections with partners in the fibre community.
Jessie is a crochet designer who specializes in life-sized amigurumi animals.
Since establishing Projectarian in 2015, she has dreamed up an entire menagerie’s worth of fanciful beasts, composing a collection of tutorials for complex designs which are accessible to users of all skills levels. Projectarian patterns have become known for their exceptional quality and the wealth of information packed into the pages, attracting the following of a warm and friendly community of users on social media. When she’s not doing something artsy, you’ll find Jessie scuba diving on the coast of South Africa where she lives with her husband and two dogs.
This interview was originally published in Your Crochet Magazine, which you can buy HERE.