Vanessa Mooncie is a contemporary craftsperson, artist and author. She has a whole host of books under her belt covering a wide array of craft topics.
We recently caught up with Vanessa to find out more about her and how she became a ‘Jack of all trades’ in the craft world.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I design and make crocheted accessories and am also a screen print artist. I have been working with GMC Publications producing a range of craft books covering a variety of creative disciplines including print making, knitting, crochet and sewing. I have also designed projects for craft magazines and yarn companies. In my crocheted work, I like to use natural fibres, such as wool, cotton and linen, and to combine them with more unusual materials including metallic threads, fine wire, banana silk and nettle twine. My screen prints and illustrations are fairly simple in style with blocks of colour and shapes behind a figurative subject. I also enjoy lino printing.
You have so many strings to your bow! What is your favourite craft, if that isn’t too hard to choose?
My favourite craft is usually whatever I am working on at the time, although I find crochet is easy to do any time as it can be picked up and put down, without the risk of dropping stitches. The tools are so simple – just a hook and some yarn that can be taken anywhere.
What is your favourite thing to crochet?
I really enjoyed crocheting the trophy heads for the book, Animal Heads. They were so much fun to do. I am currently working on a couple of hare heads, using up odd balls of yarn. One of them will be a miniature version that I’m making in fine wool with a tiny hook.
What is your greatest craft achievement?
I am very proud of the books I have written. It is wonderful to see the work I have done in print.
What’s your top tip for any crocheter?
I would recommend doing a tension swatch before starting a project. This could save a lot of time and frustration because working in the wrong tension can affect the size of the finished project, as well as the amount of yarn you use. Experiment with different materials and stitches. Sometimes, what you might think is a mistake can form the foundations of something very special.
Are there any crafts you can’t do?!
There are a lot of things I haven’t tried. I have a weakness for shoes and would like to learn how to make them. I would like to do lace making and I have a tatting shuttle and some old patterns that I would like to try out one day.
Can you tell us 5 fun facts about yourself?
- I love taxidermy. I have a few beautiful pieces by Jazmine Miles-Long, an ethical taxidermist who only works with animals that have died from natural causes or as the result of a road casualty.
- I collect old sewing, knitting and crochet patterns. I find them very inspirational – from the patterns themselves to the artwork and photography of the covers or envelopes.
- I enjoy going to boot fairs and browsing flea markets. I look for retro pieces for my home, pretty brooches and, of course, old patterns.
- I like to go for long walks with my family. We often walk over the field from our house to Charleston Farmhouse for tea and cake.
- I have bantam chickens and Indian runner ducks in my garden. I have to grow things out of their reach, in hanging baskets and window boxes, otherwise, they eat it all.