One of my favorite parts of the Indie Design Gift-a-Long is the opportunity to find new designers. Today I have the honor of introducing you to crochet designer, Fiona “Fi” Langtry.
Please tell a little bit about yourself and your designs.
I’m a crochet designer of ladies’ garments and accessories from Australia. Trevor and I have been married for almost 31 years and we live in a small town called Yass with our two teenagers.
I love to design and make gloves, scarves and beanies, along with ponchos and capes. My style is boho-shic – relaxed fit, comfortable and often colorful. I love working with chunky, unusual and/or hand-dyed yarns. No fiber or yarn scares me – I simply grab a big hook (9 or 10mm are often in my hand!)
How long have you been crocheting/knitting?
I was a knitter. I learned when I was around 10 and never stopped. I would have said I was an intermediate level; I could make fairly intricate lacework, do color work and cables… but I was SLOW.
I became a crocheter. When I was in my 40s, a friend needed help making lots of brooches. I discovered how fast crochet was, and I’ve never looked back!
How long have you been designing and what led you to design?
I published my first design in May 2014. The EasyFit Beanie was a “happy accident” that I decided to write down for others to make too. I had already been a tester for others, and therefore knew some of the process, so I gave my own patterns a go. I now have over 60 patterns published and another 5 in various stages of the design / testing process.
What is your design process?
Many times, I will hold the end of a ball of yarn in my fingers and start crocheting with little-to-no plan in place. I may plan a hat, or some gloves or a poncho, but sometimes that will be the extent of the plan. Often the yarn will drive the textures I choose to incorporate.
I will usually make notes on my tablet while I create, then do the actual pattern writing on my computer.
Once a pattern is at a “certain stage”, I will send an email to my testing pool and request expressions of interest.
The testing stage can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the size and complexity of the pattern in question. Once my testers are happy, I send the pattern to my tech editor and publish on Ravelry and my Website. Most patterns also end up in my Etsy shop and on LoveCrafts.
Do you have any other crafts or hobbies? or is there one you would like to learn?
When my teenagers “leave home”, I plan on learning how to spin. I am deliberately NOT learning until then, because I feel like it will become an all-consuming hobby and for the moment I don’t have time for anything else J
What was the last thing you crocheted/knit for yourself?
I designed the Senorita Shawl using 3 balls of yarn I picked up at Lincraft (an Aussie chain store for crafters). It wasn’t intentionally for me, but this shawl/scarf became my wardrobe staple this past winter – a scarf under coats, and a shawl when the coat wasn’t required. I love it!
What are your favorite stitches?
I love using “cheat” stitches – I discovered “foundation” stitch and fell in love with it (no more working into chains, YAY!), and then I discovered Chainless Starting stitches – again, no more chains! Most of my patterns include one, if not both of these amazing alternatives to traditional methods… I have customers who thank me for introducing these stitches to them, some after 30 years of crocheting!
What pattern/design are you most proud of? why?
My proudest accomplishment is the Desert Dreams Poncho – it was a “barely there” idea for nearly 18 months, and then, when I was recuperating from minor surgery in July 2018, I sat and finally worked it out. I ran a CAL group on Facebook for my testers and we had a lot of fun getting this pattern to the final release in December 2018. It has been my most popular pattern across all platforms in 2019 and those who complete it are really proud of the final results!
What is/are your favorite crochet tool(s) or notion(s)?
I love love love my Clover Amour hooks – I have 2 full sets, and they’re the only way I can complete the number of projects I make each year.
There is a screw-top magnetic needle case that means I’m never searching for a needle to complete a project – I store all sizes in it, from giant eye needles for super chunky yarn, through to the needle I use for tiny buttons.
And… my snippers – they travel with me almost everywhere – and they’re safe because they have a lid to keep the blades from stabbing anything!
Thank you Fi! I agree, you should be proud of the Desert Dreams Poncho. It is AMAZING!