Introducing:… Roxann Blazetich-Ozols! Crochet Designer!

At Almonte Fibrefest this past fall I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Ontario resident, Roxann Blazetich-Ozols of BEADADDICT. To our delight when she was asked she agreed to be part of our team of designers! We were and are really happy to have her join us. As you will see in her interview, she is a multi-talented person.
Not only has she developed a dual lucet (Ducette®), but she teaches lucet braiding and basic crocheting, as well as designing and creating her own jewellery (she has worked with beads for over 20 years).

She prefers to create crochet patterns that only use smaller amounts of yarn, and likes to design projects with flexible gauges, which leaves more room for creativity. She also enjoys supporting local dyers and fibre farms. Naturally we love this idea!

Since last fall Roxann has been working on patterns for a shawlette and a shawl which will be available for sale in one pattern file. We are looking forward to its release which will be soon!!!

Now, we invite you to read Roxann’s interview, get to know her better, and find out a little about her beautiful creations.

If you want to checkout more of Roxann’s work, or stay up to date with what she is doing then please click on any of the links below:

1. What first drew you to crocheting and when did you learn to crochet?

I was in primary school when I began to learn both crochet and knitting from my mother at home. I remember having difficulty with 2 needles so I think that crochet became my craft of choice. Since then, it seems to take me less time to crochet a finished piece than to knit one so I still prefer using a hook rather than needles.

2. How did you progress to designing your own patterns?

It started by just being “lazy”… Years ago I wanted to crochet a granny square afghan for a friend. Since I did not have the patience to sew the squares together as the traditional one would be made, I decided that I would crochet one big square. From there it was a matter of making it myself if wanted something specific in mind that I could not find elsewhere. Years ago sometimes creating your own garments was a matter of necessity but now I find tremendous pleasure in creating something useful from the “raw” materials. Just like adapting a cooking recipe, I tend to start with an “inspirational” pattern design and change the creation of it to suit what supplies I have on hand and the finished design in my mind.

3. Which fibres do you prefer to work with and why?

I must admit that I seek out natural fibres and blended yarns at thrift shops and sales to experiment with. Once I decide on a design, I prefer to work with these same materials from designers or dyers that I have met either locally or at shows. I enjoy the experience of meeting the fibre artist personally and feeling the yarn that they so lovingly prepared to share with others. I want to support creative individuals/companies who have a passion for “playing” with fibres just as I do.

4. Are there specific types of garments and/or stitches you enjoy working more?

Once again my “laziness” comes into play… I love to make garments that don’t require any fitting or keeping to a close gauge. It helps too that I enjoy wearing shawls and wraps of all kinds. This type of garment works best for gifts and usually requires one or two skeins. I am learning to keep a journal of my patterns as they evolve- even the modifications as I go along (I have a habit of thinking that I will remember what I did, but never do!). One-of-a-kind pieces are wonderful to create but sometimes they turn out to be designs that I want to replicate.

5. What inspires your pattern designs?

I have this “compulsion” to develop a design that requires one ball or less of fibre. When I feel that I need a creative kick start, I often peruse stitch dictionaries to get an idea of what would work best with the yarn I want to use. Having access to Pinterest and Ravelry is inspiring (and addictive!) because of the vast array of creativity that is shared.

6. Is there a particular part of the process that appeals to you or do you enjoy it all from project conception to lifting the blocked item up and trying it on (when possible)?

Once I decide on the pattern I want to use, I am in a hurry to get it completed (even the blocking). Often, what is in my mind’s eye is not what evolves- sometimes that it is a good thing and sometimes not. Needless to say, I have a lot of UFO’s (un-finished objects) in various states of completion. I have been known to continue with projects if I become inspired but most times I end up “frogging” (undoing) them.

7. Do you have favourite tools (a specific crochet hook brand for example) that you prefer to work with?

When I am doing tubular bead crochet jewellery, I have to use a small hook size. In order to get the (hand) comfort I need, I use an ergonomic “Eleggant” hook which has a bulbous wooden handle that makes it easier to hold. Now that I am using thicker fibres, I like to use the polished wooden Knit Picks crochet hooks for their smooth texture and Créations Mirdi’s specialty wood handled versions for the ergonomic and artistic design.

8. Any amusing anecdotes associated with you learning to crochet or design that you would like to share?

When I was doing samples for the bead crochet classes that I was teaching, I would have the beads strung for each project so that they would be ready to do “on the road”, whether I was waiting for a flight or medical appointment. With all the sports activities that I was taking my children to at the time, these events became the perfect opportunity to get my crochet work done AND not get emotionally involved in the competitions. I was able to channel whatever anxiety I was developing into the project at hand (and that meant a lot less shouting during the games!).

9. Do you make other crafts?

Over the years I have explored most other fibre crafts. Now I have become obsessed with lucet braiding since I developed a dual lucet (Ducette®) to use with fine or thick fibres. At first I was using up my yarn scraps and leather strands to braid “scarflace” cords to wear as fashion accessories. Then my “laziness” kicked in again….I discovered a broader scope for this ancient cord making technique by“braiding the braid”. This eliminated the need to sew a long cord together to make mats, scarves, mats or other items.The bonus comes from the fact that these hand made pieces look like crochet or knitting without using hooks or needles. This is a great feature for those who want to use up their yarn stash or who suffer from wrist/arm pain associated with other crafts.

10. What do you do when you aren’t designing gorgeous patterns?

I am involved with several fibre guilds and help out either at the meetings or organizing/participating in their shows. I am a vendor of beaded jewellery and Ducette® kits, beads and other supplies at several fibre art events that are in Ontario and Quebec. I teach lucet/ Ducette® braiding at shows, conferences and fibre group meetings where folks want to learn another skill and to de-stash in a very practical way. I am also teaching basic crochet skills and lucet braiding to adults within my local school board. In order to rest my wrists from too much crocheting, I have started knitting again (and it’s not so bad now…). I enjoy travelling to explore and to learn anything new to me- different countries, food, markets, craft techniques and thrift shops.

Extra information: BEADADDICT Business Bio

Roxann Blazetich-Ozols, BSc, has worked with beads for over 20 years creating finished jewellery then kits using the name of BEADADDICT. Recent beadwork ‘engineering’ opportunities with lampworkers have allowed Roxann to design unique wearble art which have been included in US & Canadian publications, exhibitions and competitions. Her dual lucet braiding tool invention, the Ducette®, and her discovery of the “braiding the braid” technique has allowed Roxann to expand her scope into fibre arts with workshops and award winning unique fashion and decor items.

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