Meet Hortense - Knitting with Chopsticks!
Hello and Happy Friday!! I'm super excited to introduce you to Hortense with Knitting with Chopsticks! If you've been crafting for a bit, I'm pretty sure you've seen her work on the web, and I'd like for you to meet the artist behind the designs.
Hortense is from Belgium, "I lived in Malaysia until last summer when I had to move back home (hopefully temporarily) due to the pandemic." She is married to "Mr. Artichoke, the love of my life and my best friend. We have an adorable 7 months old baby boy, Basile." Hortense does both knit & crochet and says, "Don't ever ask me to pick just one ;)".
I asked Hortense how she learned her craft, "My mom taught me the basics of knitting when I was about 10, bored on the beach. Since then I've been knitting more and more, learning through YouTube videos and blogs like mine. In 2016 I got tricked to learn crochet by an elephant stuffie pattern. Only the ears remained when I noticed they were crocheted. I tried to substitute with a knit version without success, so I ordered a hook to finish my elephant. I was instantly hooked and haven't stopped since."
Hortense's journey as a designer began in December 2018, "I was looking at an income report on Pinterest, when my husband looked over my shoulder and said: "But Hortense, you can do the exact same thing". With this little sentence, he planted the idea in my head to share my own designs and start my website. In just a few months I got completely addicted by the entire online business and design universe since January 2020. I'm lucky I can do it full time while looking after our baby boy."
Her inspiration to begin designing is that she "never had the correct yarn and needles for the patterns I liked and could never find exactly what I wanted with the tools I had. So, I just started adjusting more and more, until one day I didn't need a pattern to start a project. I've been writing and sharing my patterns for 2 years now, but I've been designing my own projects long before that."
To see (and make!) some of Hortense's designs, please click on the links below to any (or all!) of the patterns that you'd like to see. I know I'll be making some of these projects - they are absolutely gorgeous!! And, Chair Socks!! How brilliant is that? I love them!!
Hortense's favorite part of being a designer is "being able to create whatever I want, even if it's unconventional (like my swallow shrug, a shawl with sleeves)." Her inspiration to continue designing is "Probably the fact I always have 10 ideas waiting to get made!"
Currently she is working on "So many projects! A skirt, a shawl, a summer top and a sweater."
I asked Hortense what her biggest tip to a new crafter would be. She says, "Don't let the patterns scare you to inaction. Go one row at a time!"
In addition to knit and crochet, Hortense has some non-fiber hobbies, as well. "Cooking (mostly baking, I admit) and scuba diving (although I haven't been able to dive for a while now)." And, a typical Saturday morning for Hortense? "Until a few months ago, breakfast in bed with yarn and an episode. Now, probably more playing with Basile trying to keep him quiet enough so Mr Artichoke can sleep in."
Hortense has a wonderful gift for you that I think you'll find extremely useful. "Are you sick of all the different yarn jargon? US vs UK, meters or yards, metric and US crochet hook sizes, abbreviations, etc? I know I am, that's why I made these cheatsheets. I now always have them in my project bag and never get frustrated anymore. Join my email list and get yours for FREE here: https://pages.knittingwithchopsticks.com/cheatsheets"
To learn more about Hortense, please visit her website (and join her email list to get the cheatsheets!) and follow her on social media. She does amazing work and I'm sure that you'll be glad you did! Her links are below:
Thank you for joining us today to learn about my friend. I'm hoping that you're inspired to try creating one of her beautiful designs. May your weekend be lovely and filled with lots and lots of yarn!
💕 Stacy J