Thursday, 17 April 2014

Interview with Natalie Schwarz.

I'm actually embarrassed about how long it has taken me to share this FANTASTIC interview with you all! I've been very busy this last month, sorry! Natalie has been oh so patient about my lack of blogger action (thank you, thank you, thank you)!
Anyway, lets settle down and read all about the star that is, Natalie Schwarz:

Where are you from?
Melbourne, Australia

How long have you been crocheting/knitting for & how did you learn?
I started to learn to crochet at the end of December 2013, I week before my 30th birthday...  I have always wanted to learn how to crochet, and have had many many failed attempts over the years.  And it was definitely something on my huge long ‘before I turn 30 bucket list’ haha.  So one night I was watching TV and saw a commercial for a 'learn to knit' magazine.  The next day I went to the yarn store, bought a hook and some yarn, went home and spent the whole night trying over and over and over to try to crochet.  Countless cups of coffee, and numerous you tube videos later, at 2am it finally clicked and I had completed about 20 rows of single crochet.  I was beyond excited!  And from there I started exploring the wonderful world of crochet.  And ticked something off my list before I turned 30!

Do you have skills in any other crafts?
I love to cross stitch as well.  My mum taught me when I was about 12 years old.  I can also use a sewing machine... well I can thread the sewing machine.. and sew a straight line haha!

Is there anything you particularly like making?
I have made socks, and scarves, and baby booties so far.. but it’s the blankets I seem to love crocheting the most!! I think with making a blanket because it is a larger project I can zone out.  I would love to learn how to crochet amigurumi animals one day too, they look cute.
Tell us about your mood blanket.
Which project are you doing, the 365 or 52?
365, so a square a day.. well I am trying to at least.. honestly its probably more like 3 one day and 2 another day for the week.

What colours are you using and why? Are you following a colour mood chart or are you picking the colour you're drawn to each day/week?
I am using brightly coloured yarn, its really bright actually.. and I made sure to try to get a shade from every colour in the rainbow... so I have 7 colours in total, and I will join the blanket with white yarn.  I don’t have a chart for different moods.. I just pick up a colour that I like that day. 

What makes it different from the other mood blankets you've seen?
I think the bright colours I have chosen and the flower pattern make mine a little different.  I fell in love with making the little flowers, and thought it would be beautiful to have a finished blanket that looked like a bright garden.

Did you plan it this way from the start or has there been any changes?
Hahahaha no.  There were so many changes in the beginning!! I came across the mood blanket on instagram about half way through January.  I kept seeing posts with the hashtag “#crochetmoodblanket2014” and all these beautiful granny squares and striped blankets.  I became very curious and found the mood blanket group on facebook and asked to join.  Such a lovely supportive group of people!! My first post to the group was asking if it was too late to join as it was getting towards the end of the first month and I hadn’t even started.  I was overwhelmed by the lovely messages and support I received back.  Messages urging me to start, and that it’s never too late, and even people saying they can’t wait to see my work.  I was so excited!

I decided on the bright colours straight away.  I went and bought the yarn the next day.  But the blanket itself... well my first idea was based on the idea that I am new to crochet so I would do a different style of square every day, so I can learn a new pattern as I go.. well that started to become completely overwhelming!! I couldn’t read patterns, and I was getting frustrated at having to unravel square after square, so that idea failed. 

Next was doing just a plain simple granny square each day in my mood colour but then I discovered (with some maths) that my blanket would end up being bigger than my living room when I finished.. so that idea was scrapped.

Then finally, I was watching a you tube video on making these little flowers.  And so I gave it a go, completely thinking this is way over my head and there was no way I could make a flower.  But I did it!! I was so proud and happy that I kept trying.  And that’s when I decided on doing these little flowers for my granny squares each day.  And my maths now tells me I should have a single bed blanket by the end... fingers crossed!!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I was in a car accident about 8 years ago, which resulted in a bad injury to my back.  Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done to fix it, I live in chronic pain, and am unable to work.  But now that I have found this hobby I have found a way to deal with the pain.  It’s given me something to keep me occupied, and opened me up to a community of such lovely supportive people, especially on instagram.  Every time I get a comment or like, or a new follower, I am amazed that people are enjoying my little hobby.  Oh and making gifts for people - especially seeing a little baby wrapped in a blanket that I can remember doing every single stitch for, it’s a wonderful feeling.  Before I started I was feeling down and a little lost. Plus because I couldn’t work I felt like I wasn’t contributing anything.  Even though I do the housework, cooking, shopping, never ending washing etc haha I still wasn’t feeling like I had a skill, or something that fulfilled me.  Because let’s face it, I don’t know gets excited about cleaning the bathroom again.  But now I feel like I am accomplishing something, and that I have a special skill too.  It’s so much fun, and I am loving learning new projects. I can even decipher patterns now, which was a huge milestone for me!

I want to thank Stacey for this amazing mood blanket project!!  Stacey has inspired me to develop me crochet, and given me a little ray of sunshine in every single day.  I cannot wait to sit down and work on my mood blanket and my crochet! The anticipation of watching the mood blanket grow, day by day, then month by month is exciting.  I cannot wait to see my blanket finished.  I hope to keep it for a very long time.  I can’t wait to one day be able to show my kids and say your mum made that... and you can do that too, let me show you.

My mum is also my inspiration.  I grew up with mum always being crafty, there was a huge cupboard filled with fabric and buttons and yarn, and projects on the table, and a sewing machine.. I can remember the smell of the fabric, and the buzz of the machine.  And seeing all these things being created.. I was always in awe.  And mum always let me join in too.  She taught me how to use the machine, and let me play with all her crafty things. Now I cringe thinking how many of mums projects I probably ruined, or how much of her expensive supplies I wasted making kiddie things.  But mum seemed to love letting me play and explore, and I cherish that. I hope to one day pass this on to my kids too, these memories.

Natalie can I just say thank you again for your patience and wonderful wonderful interview! I love seeing your progress, my day is also brighter seeing it pop up in my IG feed! :) I'm glad you've found something that you can focus on and feel so so positive about. Knowing I'm a small part in that is heartwarming!

Right lovelies, I WILL update my blanket info soon, I promise!


  1. Amazing how much Natalie has achieved in such a short time. Love her Mood Blanket and absolutely adore her Bambi blanket she is donating as a raffle prize.
    Lovely interview.
    Carol xx

  2. my theory of crochet as therapy right here!
    a beautiful blanket of brightness and an inspiring lady :-)