We’ve got a NEW Colour Box Studio Workshop coming up  and so we’re excited to be diving into the art of crocheting! Workshop facilitator Shalini Akhil has all of the knowledge to get you started – you’ll be making blankets and experimenting with designs before you know it. We love crochet because its fun, relaxing, practical and portable! For more details about the workshop on 3 October in the CBD click here and to read our interview with Shalini see below.
Image provided.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative practice.

I’m a bit of a craft fan in general – I love trying out new creative ways of making things, and am a huge fan of upcycling. Crochet has become my main thing – I love the quiet, calming nature of the craft, and the sense of accomplishment I get when I start, work on, and finish something new. I really enjoy helping people get into crochet, and think more people should do it!
Where did you all grow up and has it influenced what you create?
I grew up in Fiji, and that’s where I first learned how to crochet. My cousin taught me, and I picked it up fast, and lost interest just as quick. Looking back, it was more of a ‘life skill’ in the same way that Jane Austen’s ladies learned how to play music, paint, and embroider, so that might explain my disengagement. Also, the trend back them was to use natural or cream coloured cotton – not super-excting for the hyperactive young teen I was.
Image courtesy of artist

Who or what was inspires you?
Colours inspire me. I have always loved contrasting and clashing colours – they’re everywhere in my culture, in saris and other traditional women’s clothing; in our food; in our traditional religious celebrations. I love creating colourful and functional pieces, like blankets, coasters, and bunting.
Where/ when do you feel most creative?
I create mostly at home, and usually when I have a whole heap of other work that needs doing. I have taken yarn and hooks on holiday with me before – rainy days are great for crochet.
Image courtesy of artist
Whose creative work are you digging right now?
I am loving – always loving – Lucy from Attic24 (http://attic24.typepad.com/). Hers was the blog that got me back into it, and I love her tutorials and designs – she’s all about the colour, too.
How did you learn to crochet?
I learned when I was a young teen, but didn’t pick it up again till a few years ago. A friend of mine who is also a mad crafter introduced me to some blogs, and the colourful work I saw on them just blew my mind. I picked up the hook again and haven’t looked back since. I especially love working with bright cottons, and that’s what we’ll be working with in my workshop.

Blooming Flower Cushion by workshop facilitator Shalini Akhil.
Blooming Flower Cushion by workshop facilitator Shalini Akhil.
Tell us more about the workshop. 
I have been taking crochet classes in Melbourne for a few years. This workshop will focus on the granny – we’ll make stripes, squares, triangles – actually you can choose, and I show you the way – and you’ll be able to tackle any-granny-thing once we’re through.
Image courtesy of artist
Where can we see more of your work?
I don’t have much out there at the moment, but you can check some stuff out at my fledgling blog, by hook or by cook – http://byhook-bycook.blogspot.com.au/
Crochet Cushion Cover by workshop facilitator Shalini Akhil. Image provided.
Crochet Cushion Cover by workshop facilitator Shalini Akhil. Image provided.

Crochet for Beginners:

3 October, 1-4:30pm, Games Laboratory, CBD.
More information and bookings: CLICK HERE