We sat down with incredible designer Toni Lipsey for some tea and a chat!
Hi! What are you up to today?
Today is your average day for a full-time maker – I start with some delicious hibiscus tea, a few cuddles with my cats and a text to my best friend before powering up my computer. First comes a mountain of emails of every sort, then a bit of social media maintenance and pattern writing. After a break for lunch, I’ve got a Tunisian crochet tutorial video to record, edit, and prepare to launch this weekend – all in a day’s work.
What is your favourite type of project to crochet?
It’s a toss-up between small accessories or blankets. These pieces feel like they are on opposite ends of a spectrum, but they are equally rewarding.
Which of your crochet projects are you proudest of?
It’s so hard to say! If I had to pick one, it would have to be the Autumn Granny Square Afghan. It features 99 squares made from 12 different colours in a beautifully random layout.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced with your crochet?
The biggest challenge I ever faced in crochet was making myself a sweater. Like most people, I have some insecurities about my shape and size, which has deterred me from making garments for myself. I had a big yarn-related event coming up and wanted to make myself a sweater. After many frogging and video calls with my mom, I finally made a sweater I loved, and I wore it proudly to the yarn festival. Getting over that fear of creating something to fit my body opened up a whole new world of making for me. I can’t wait to fill my wardrobe with crochet goodness.
What’s the best piece of crochet advice you’ve ever received?
Run your own race. When I first started TL Yarn Crafts, I studied established makers and tried to emulate their recipes for success. It wasn’t until I began drawing inspiration from outside of my industry and designing unique pieces from my heart that I hit my stride. We all have a special sauce that we bring to crochet – tend to your own creative fire, and others will take notice.
Do you have any big crochet plans coming up?
I do! I’m launching my very first book soon. It’s called The Tunisian Crochet Handbook and covers the basics of Tunisian crochet for absolute beginners. In addition to more than 60 pages of photo tutorials, the book includes 20 brand new patterns designed for beginners, encompassing every ounce of the passion I have for Tunisian crochet, and I’m so excited to share it with the world.
“Tend to your own creative fire and others will take notice”
You can find all things TL Yarn Crafts on www.TLYarnCrafts.com, including PDF patterns, merch, and Toni’s blog. Be sure to follow Toni’s daily musings on Instagram @TLYarnCrafts, and join her 24/7 crochet party in the TLYC Makers Facebook group.