Friday, July 3, 2009
When I first entered Joan Lahy's shop, Focus on Color, I thought I had just entered a fine nursery school. It's full of dolls clothed with beautiful clothes that Joan has made for them both knitted and sewn. Knitted and crocheted animal pacifier holders, knitted finger puppets abound, And there are the cutest, brightly colored baby outfits. I think you'll find that she is a crafting renaissance woman. To go to Joan's store click on the spotlight title.
When did you learn to knit or crochet, and who taught you?
I pretty much taught myself to knit and crochet starting around 9 years old. One of my grandmothers was a wonderful knitter, and the other was an expert crocheter. I used to sit by them and intently study how they knitted/crocheted; then, I sat for hours with a How-To book and learned the crafts. This self-teaching continues, and I’ve much more to learn in both crafts, and will enjoy every moment along the way. I’m a very fast knitter and crocheter, so I’ve practiced many techniques and patterns over my many years beyond 9.
Do you have a lot of contact with young ones, and how do they inspire you?
Actually I have NO contact with any children. My only child is a nearly 22 year old daughter. We have no family near us, and there are few young children in our neighborhood. I love children of all ages and have always had a magnetic attraction for children and them for me. Many of the things children like are what I like, and am inspired by, such as: pretend play, fantasy, color, little things, glitter, sparkle, magical things, fairies and elves and more.
What kinds of fibers do you enjoy spinning the most and are they your own fibers or do you order them?
I mostly spin wool, but also enjoy silk, angora, flax, mohair, dog hair. None of these fibers are my own. I usually attend sheep shearing events in the area, and buy my wool. Most times I buy a whole fleece right off the sheep, do all the preparation myself, and find pleasure in processing the yarn from the very beginning . . . well, short of raising the sheep. Spinning puts me into total relaxation and frees my mind to think and wonder. I’m self taught at this as well. Some day I’ll treat myself to buying some dyed and un-spun wool online. That is when the economy perks up and we don’t have to worry about stretching our money to eat.
Sewing is something that many of us knitters and crocheters just hate, but you enjoy it. So, I want to ask who taught you to sew?
Again, I taught myself to sew and quilt. My mother sewed some and showed me the very basics. I sew clothing, household items, doll clothes, and quilts (bed and wall). Quilting allows me to create my own designs and use lots of color, fabrics, prints, and fibers. My collection of fabric matches my yarn and crochet thread collections . . . huge!
Of all the varied crafts that you engage in, which is your favorite and why?
Selecting a favorite craft is very difficult. Knitting is probably my choice today because it is so versatile and portable and can be picked up and put down. If I answered that question tomorrow, and I was deeply involved in a quilting project or drawing or painting or tatting or stenciling, those would be my picks. They all require blocks of uninterrupted time, but I find pleasure loosing myself into a fantasy world when I’m creating. I’ve dabbled in so many different crafts and lost arts, and still want to learn more.
I was astounded to find out that Joan has no contact with children. Her shop looks like children live there. To visit click on the spotlight title or go to http://www.focusoncolor.etsy.com