Eve is a self-taught crafter from Whitley Bay, in the North East of England. She learnt to crochet during study breaks from an English with Creative Writing degree. And on her study abroad year in Reykjavik, Iceland - where the wild weather and dark winter days inspire indoor activities - she started making jewellery.
What initially attracted you to crochet stitches?
How would you describe your style? Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
Carefree and colourful. I know not all the jewellery I make is suitable for everyday wear. That’s part of the reason I love seeing people wear it.
I’m drawn to designers who use playful and unusual patterns and make them look luxurious. Helmstedt and Paloma Wool are two of my favourites. And I like Story mfg’s use of and natural fibres and dyes.
My Granny is also incredibly skilled and knowledgeable at crafting. Her quilting and patchwork is beautifully detailed. She taught me to knit, although I have never managed to match her speed.
Aside from bees, what sorts of things are inspiring you right now? Where do you look for inspiration at a time like this?
I find a lot of inspiration from the materials themselves. After I was made redundant from my theatre job last summer, I worked briefly in a wool shop and I’d come home from being around different yarns all day full of ideas of what to make next. (This obsession with the wool shelves has me branded a dork in my house but wool lovers - if you know, you know. It was like a little therapy room.)
I’ve recently started to list personalised woven wall hangings on my Etsy. And my brother gave me the things to try bargello for Christmas. Trying out new crafts inspires the other crafts I do. Specifically though, Garden of Eve’s next crochet designs are inspired by the sun and the moon. I’ve some gorgeous starry night coloured thread waiting to be used.
What are the can’t-live-without crochet essentials?
Patience and good lighting. Many of my designs use pearl thread to crochet with, which is fiddly and makes it difficult to see the stitches. I spend a surprising amount of time unravelling my work and starting again.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to teach themselves a craft?
Youtube! Anything, even the most specific and unique crochet stich (or knitting or weaving technique), can be found broken down by someone across the world on Youtube. And patience is key. Don’t try once and think that’s it you can’t do it. In lockdown my mam and I introduced my dad to needle felt - he has fingers like Cumberland sausages and still manages to make things he loves!
Do you have any tips for someone wanting to turn their craft into a side hustle?
It needs to be something you honestly enjoy doing for hours on end. If after a day at work you would rather sit down and do something else, then keep your craft as a hobby because the commitment will make you resent it. Also, if you are not particularly entrepreneurial like me then just ask for advice from people who are!
Who is your Queen Bee?
Ever? Prince. Alive today? Carmen Maria Machado, a writer whose work I can read over and over.
You can find Eve’s bespoke Beeble bee earrings in our online shop!
Written by Harry