Rohn Strong is a crochet and knitwear designer who has published numerous independent patterns including a paperback book entitled, Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII: Two Wars. Two Needles. One Extraordinary Response to War, where he combined knitting, history and personal stories to convey the lifestyles and realities of those who were living during that era.
Rohn has just released a new pattern e-book entitled, Southern Crochet Winter 2012, where he combined both his love for crochet and the south. His crochet designs are modern and fashionable, yet timeless; pieces you'll be sure to wear year after year. Rohn's latest patterns are now available on Ravelry; I personally love the Emily's Sweater pattern crocheted in Fishermen's Wool. Find out more about Rohn and his inspirations below!
How long have you been knitting and crocheting?
Rohn: I have been knitting for just over 7 years now. I learned when I was running after school programs for at-risk youth. We wanted to teach them knitting and crochet to give them something to do one day a week.
As for crochet I have been doing that for about 18 years. I began when my Mother decided to begin making an afghan for my father (who mind you, was 6'5" and weighed over 400 pounds!). She quickly gave up and I taught myself what I was doing. I put it down here and there over the years and within the last three to four years I have been perfecting my craft!
Where do you typically find your design inspiration?
R: Everywhere I can, honestly! Inspiration can come from a simple stitch pattern, color work image, or it can even depend on the yarn! For Southern Crochet: Winter 2012 for example much of the inspiration came from the yarn. I wanted to show off the yarn, how it could be used, and that the price of a skein of yarn does not dictate the beauty of the finished piece!
When did you realize you wanted to start publishing books, and why?
R: It was actually the first thing I did when I began designing. It just seemed natural. That is not the only way to make money in this business but it is my chosen niche. Now my love for books has grown because I love seeing my patterns in print and I want to be able to tap into the group of crocheters and knitters that might not know what Ravelry, Craftsy, or Patternfish is.
How did the inspiration for your book Southern Crochet come about?
R: Southern Crochet actually started as one book, five patterns, all accessories; [but then] I decided that I should make it a seasonal publication! Each season, we would have an all new set of garments that would fit into what we actually wear and use. You see, in the south our seasons are manic. Today, for example, it is nearly 70 outside. My windows are open, the breeze is blowing, it is wonderful! However, tomorrow we are suppose to drop down to 40! We have to be ready for anything. My garments are designed with that in mind. It all boils down to yarn choice, construction, and overall stitch pattern. I love Southern Crochet, it truly is my labor of love!
What else are you currently working on?
R: I am always working on something and much of the time I have to keep it a secret! HA! However, right now I just received a yarn shipment for a Southern Crochet Spring and am working on designing the summer collection! in 2013 I have one publication coming out every month next year! All are crochet as of now, I said I wanted 2013 to be a year of crochet and that is what it's turning into!
For more on Rohn Strong, you can visit his website, Rohn Strong Knitwear.