Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WWKIP - Interview with Michelle from Buttontree Lane

This week yarn tragics around the globe are taking part in World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP).  I'm proud to be hosting an event in Canberra you can RSVP over hereTo help celebrate I'm also interviewing some well known bloggers every day this week at suzy hausfrau about what they are working on and their plans for WWKIP.  So make yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy today's guest blogger, my friend Michelle from Buttontree Lane.

Michelle loves to craft - she crochets, quilts and sews most of her own clothes. Occasionally, when she feels like it, she makes and sells project bags for knitters and crocheters. While a busy full-time job keeps her out of trouble on weekdays, Michelle finds nothing more relaxing than an evening with a cup of tea, a crochet hook or the sewing machine.When she's not crafting, you'll find Michelle in the garden making a mess, or in the kitchen making a bigger mess. She lives in a daggy old house in Canberra with her husband Scott and thinks about renovating. A lot.

First up, do you knit, crochet or both?
I only crochet. I learnt to knit when I was a child, and tried taking it up again in my 30s, but I never liked it very much. Crochet on the other hand has always been a good fit. I leave the knitting to my mum - I give her the yarn, and she knits me the socks. It's a beautiful arrangement.

Tell us about how old you were when you learnt and who taught you.
I was probably about 8 years old. I can't remember exactly who taught me, but I know my mum and her mum, my Oma, were involved in teaching me at different stages. Oma was an amazing crafter - she sewed her own clothes and crocheted amazing ripple rugs. Mum is the all-round crafter in the family and that's who I take after most. She was rarely without a knitting, crochet, cross stitch, macrame or a sewing project. Most winters she would knit me a new cardigan or jumper which I would wear to the Townsville Show in July - the only night of the year it got cold enough in North Queensland to wear something warm.

Tell us about what project/s you have on the go right now.
I am slowly crocheting a Critron shawl using laceweight yarn, and I also wouldn't mind finishing a grey cardigan I've had on the go for a couple of years now. Mainly because it's super cold in Canberra at the moment and the cardigan would get a lot of wear! But I don't tend to give myself deadlines anymore, so these projects languish and I really don't mind or get stressed about it. I just enjoy the making.

Tell us about what project/design that you hold most dear.
All of them! I love everything I crochet, but some have special significance to me. Last year I was very ill and wasn't able to crochet for a long time but when I was recovering from surgery I was re-enthused by it. One of the first things I made while recovering was a Solveig scarf for my best friend Patricia. I try to make her some kind of scarf every couple of years - like me she's from North Queensland, but unlike me she really dislikes the cold.

  Solveig scarf

My other favourite project was when I crocheted seven Durango hats in a couple of weeks for my friends and I. A couple of winters ago we all took off to the desert in Central Australia for a couple of weeks to attend a singing workshop with Indigenous women from the area. We were known as the "Beanie Ladies" by the other workshop attendees. It was kind of like having a secret handshake. A secret crocheted handshake.

  Beanie Ladies

We never stop learning as knitters/crocheters...helps to keep the Alzheimer's at bay! What is next on your wish list to learn/conquer?
I'm actually really happy with the skills I have at the moment. Just following a pattern or chart stretches my brain. I did try to teach myself slip stitch crochet a couple of years ago and failed miserably. I wouldn't mind teaching myself how to do Tunisian crochet one day - the texture that you get with Tunisian fascinates me.

Just because we want to rid ourselves of some guilt...
How many UFOs have you got in the cupboard?
Just three - and embarrassingly one of those could be finished in a couple of hours.

Could you open a yarn store with your stash?
I'd prefer to crochet with it as I get it. Kind of keeps me honest as a professional semi-hoarder. I was collecting quite a large amount of Wollmeise at one stage, but I gave most of it to mum so she could knit me socks, used a lot of it on crocheted shawls, and destashed the rest. Having said that though, I do still have a fair yarn stash. I just find it so pretty and I can't help myself.

...and because we're curious,
Are you a year round or seasonal knitter/crocheter?
I don't tend to crochet in the heat of summer - my hands get too sticky and I'd much rather sew clothes or a quilt on the machine in front of the fan, or do hand sewing under the elm tree in the back yard. I also have a bit of tennis elbow, so I have to put the crochet down for a few weeks at a time and give my arm a break. It's all about balance and keeping yourself happy and healthy.
Do you have a favourite yarn or fibre that you work with?
Definitely wool, and wool silk blend. The shawl I made last year with Holst Garn silk wool was just so nice to work with, is super warm and has a beautiful texture once it was blocked.

   Lacy aubergine shawl 

and the two shawls I've made with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool are my favourite shawls to wear on a frosty morning. I've recently discovered BC Garn Semilla DK - and within a week had made two cowls using it.

Dentelle cowls

What will you be doing for World Wide Knit in public Day?
I'll be spending it with the other Canberra crocheters and knitters at a warm cafe, at an event hosted by Suzy Hausfrau! Maybe I'll be putting the last stitches into my grey cardigan ... but most probably I won't be. No deadlines is my mantra!

Thanks Michelle for waving the crochet flag!  You can follow Michelle over on her blog ( or on Ravelry


  1. I am really enjoying these posts. Look forwRx to seeing who else you have lined up.

  2. I am also really enjoying these posts Renae. It is great to read about other yarn tragics and how they got to where they are.
    Many thanks Michelle. I love your crochet and just wish that the code made more sense to me (I'll be sticking to sticks for a little longer)

  3. I'm with those guys - great guest posts! I'd love to hear (well, read) YOUR answers to your interview questions though too! =)

  4. I was just thinking the same thing as Kuka - I want you to do a guest interview on yourself!

    Can't wait to see who else got to have as much fun as I did ;)


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog...I especially love it when I get comments. Have a great day, suzy xoxo


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