On the other side of the world, a woman crochets away into my night. Renate Kirkpatrick, German transplant to Australia, has many talents but these days she focuses her energy on developing the wild side of crochet. She is one of the charter members of TAFA, joining a month after I launched the concept in January of 2010, showing a huge vote of confidence given that we really didn’t have much to show yet. I’ve never met Ren in real life and being so far away, don’t know if I ever will. But, in these two years of interaction online, my experience has been of warmth, sweetness, and a gentle spirit. It’s a nice image for me, to think of her crocheting beautiful things on the other side of my world, somehow keeping it all in balance.
Renate has a nice bio on her Etsy shop which tells a bit more about her story:
|“I’ve dabbled a little in pottery, became obsessed with Handmade Paper, both natural fibre and recycled & by 1984 my papermaking was in full swing, retailing unique paper products across Australia & conducting regular workshops.|
In 1994 I participated in a group exhibition at the Queensland Museum with the Papermakers of Queensland.From here, attracted by the colour & texture of fabric, I drifted into Rag Rugging & in 2001 won the Best Entry Fibre Art Award at the Caloundra Arts & craft Festival. Workshops & weekly classes began the same year.
In amongst it all I always crocheted (just for fun, just for me, but always exploring the old & the new) From 2002, as crochet made its huge resurgence & increased in popularity again, I was encouraged to share my knowledge in Traditional, Tunisian (Tricot), Jacquard, Crochenit (double-ended hook) & in more recent years Freeform techniques which has led to workshops & classes across the Sunshine Coast.”
Ren’s Etsy shop showcases a nice collection of her accessories, mostly hats, scarves and bags. She has a new line of beanie hats that are great fun!
Click on the image to see her hat selection in her shop. The beanies use a felting technique that will keep your head nice and warm in the winter. More of Ren’s work:
Ren has authored books on her techniques and teaches workshops, so if you are interested in learning more, connect with her and find out what she offers these days. You will find her links on her TAFA Profile: rensfibreart.
TAFA has been a wonderful source of inspiration and joy for me. I work hard at it, but it is people like Ren who give life to the beautiful work that we showcase. Real people with good hearts making things for other real people, all around the world! This is the spirit of supporting the handmade movement. Join us!
Renate Kirkpatrick, crocheting in Australia.