Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I design and make crocheted accessories and am also a screen print artist. In my crocheted work, I like to use a combination of new and vintage yarns and threads. I love to mix natural fibres, such as wool, cotton and linen, as well as more unusual materials including metallic threads, wire and banana silk. My screen prints and illustrations are quite simple in style with blocks of colour and shapes behind a figurative subject. I mainly work with acrylics but also use emulsions. I enjoy lino printing as well. Recently, I have been working with the Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, producing a range of craft books which cover a variety of creative disciplines, including print making, knitting crochet and sewing, suitable for the beginner through to the advanced maker. I have also written projects for various craft magazines.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Crocheted Sea Creatures is a book of 12 crochet projects to make. Each project has a number of charts to make the instructions easier to follow. The projects include a whale, worked mainly in rounds of double crochet and a hermit crab, that has crocheted ridges around the body and the front legs to form the sections. The hermit crab’s home is crocheted separately, so it can come out of its shell!
What was the inspiration behind it?
I looked at photos of the weird and wonderful creatures found in the deepest oceans for inspiration, as well as those we are more familiar with. I used colourful yarns for most of them and added texture with various crochet and embroidery stitches for the details.
Which is your favourite project?
I really enjoyed creating the octopus. I crocheted bobble stitches to form the suckers. The arms are all crocheted to curve in one direction, but can be twisted into shape without the need to insert wire, making it a nice soft toy. I also love the sea horses. They are quite dainty looking with the chain stitches and picots decorating the surface.
What is your craft space like?
I have a room upstairs at home where I work. It is full, from floor to ceiling, of books, pictures, yarns and threads, fabrics and treasures I have found that inspire me. I write at a desk in front of the window, looking out onto the garden. I have a large table in the middle of the room for cutting patterns and fabric and for printing. I have the radio on while I work to keep me company.
Have you always been creative?
My mother and grandmother did a lot of crocheting, knitting and sewing, so from a young age I was keen to make my own things. I was always interested in clothes and wanted to be a fashion designer. I made a miniature version of Princess Diana’s wedding dress to fit a doll, but in my enthusiasm to get all the frilly details on, I sewed the waist and neck openings together!
When did you first start crafting?
My mum and grandmother showed me how to crochet granny squares and I made little cushions and blankets for my dolls. That was probably one of the first things I did, when I was around 8 years old. I still have my first crocheted squares.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Sophie Digard’s crocheted accessories are lovely and I adore the colour palette she uses. I find the geometric patterns in Sonia Delaunay’s textiles and art very inspiring. Another favourite of mine is Karen Nicol who uses a variety of materials for her beautiful embroidered creations. I love Erika Knight’s patterns and have some of her books which are beautifully photographed and lovely just to look at, as well as to make.
Where do you find inspiration?
I enjoy researching traditional techniques and have a collection of old sewing, knitting and crochet patterns and books that I often refer to. I also like to keep up with current trends through fashion magazines. I find inspiration for my crocheted designs in woven textiles and pattern, and in nature where there is a limitless supply. I am lucky to live in the Sussex countryside so have plenty on my doorstep.
What's next for you?
I have just finished working on a book of crocheted animal heads. They are life-sized trophy heads to hang on the wall, ranging from a tiny mouse to a bull, complete with horns and a ring through its nose. I am currently working on a book of vintage inspired sewing and knitting projects for men.
Following the success of her charming knitting book Animal Hats, Vanessa Mooncie has once again stirred her imagination to design an ocean-full of sea creatures for you to create. Crocheted Sea Creatures is a lovable collection of maritime minions to crochet for every member of your family. Learn silly facts about underwater animals as you crochet delightful, stuffed animal friends like the Lackadaisical Lobster. Everyone will be enchanted by the whimsical, colorful designs throughout the book in 175 photographs. Each project's beautifully rendered crochet illustrations and detailed charts are extremely helpful for crocheters of all skill levels.