Meet the Designer – Jennifer E. Ryan

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The April 2018 issue of Crochet World features the beautiful Irish Crochet Explosion shawl by Jennifer E. Ryan. Jennifer has had a life-long love affair with all things Irish, which in turn has inspired her crochet designs. Many of her Celtic Knot designs have graced the pages of Crochet World magazine over the years.

Jennifer shares with us, “The folk music, green pastures, exciting dancing and lilting accent of the Irish have always held a special place in my heart. It was wonderful to experience all of those things and more firsthand as the instructor on Annie’s first ever crochet tour to Ireland in 2016. I found much inspiration for my designs in the Celtic Knotwork all around us at every stop we made and my love of Ireland grew!

I also love the simple beauty of the Irish rose motifs and how many elements joined together with basic chain stitches make a unique and intricate wearable work of art. I learned that creating these beautiful garments to sell to wealthy Europeans helped save thousands of Irish people from starvation during the Great Potato Famine. All ages of men, women and children learned to crochet and then created a variety of ‘signature’ motifs and joining techniques that I tried to honor in this shawl.

I designed this explosionof Irish lace, based on a beautiful antique lace collar, to reflect the intricacies, shapes and textures of the Irish motifs along with the seemingly simple meshlike stitches in between that give the appearance of one seamless piece. I like to think of this project as a tribute to my family’s Irish heritage and a remembrance of all of those Irish designers who created this style in the mid-1800s.”

Jennifer’s blog post here will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how this beautiful shawl came to life.  Be sure to watch her video tutorial showing an easy and unique way to crochet bullion stitches. The pattern for the Irish Crochet Explosion Shawl is available in the April 2018 issue of Crochet World.

3 Comments

3 Responses to Meet the Designer – Jennifer E. Ryan

  1. Peggy Mort says:

    I was lucky enough to do the Irish tour with Jennifer 2 years ago. She’s not only a lovely lady but an amazing instructor as well! I learned so much from her and enjoyed several visits with her during non-class times. I’d do that tour again in a heartbeat!!

  2. All of the Irish lace that I have seen is so beautiful but looks really hard to make. Is it as difficult as it looks?

    • Jackie Daugherty says:

      Melissa, I think Irish crochet can look complicated because it was often done with very fine thread. Many new patterns are crocheted made with heavier yarn. Here is a great place to begin. The Irish Dreams Shawl is crocheted with size 3 crochet cotton and features just a few motifs in the Irish crochet style on a simple filet-style mesh. Or check out the Annie’s website for more patterns and a video class on Irish crochet!

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