Just as cheerful as her designs, Jolanda Maas herself is a delight to meet! Her designs are never boring, always brightly colored and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. We interviewed Jolanda for this first edition of our ‘Yarnplaza & … 2020’ series. A lovely chat in which we got to know lots about this talented Dutch crochet star.
A brief glance at her Instagram account (@_Naald5) says it all! Jolanda Maas loves crochet and color. Lots of color! Whether it’s a throw blanket, a shawl or other (home) accessory. But who is behind these cheerful designs? And where does Jolanda get her inspiration from? Find out this and more as we launch our new series with ‘Yarnplaza & Jolanda Maas’.
Yarnplaza & Jolanda Maas
“My name is Jolanda, I’m 34 years old and I live in Ermelo, the Netherlands. You may know me from ‘De HaakSTER van Nederland’ (‘The Crochet-STAR of the Netherlands’) competition which I took part in in 2018 and reached the final. You may also know me from my creative account on Instagram, @_Naald5 ."
“I think that my passion for crochet began around 14 years ago. I've always loved color and my mother crocheted as well. One plus one is two, and the rest is history.”
“Colorful, simple, yet challenging.”
“I crochet really loosely. If a pattern says, for example, to use size 4 mm, I automatically reach for a half or whole size smaller. If I used the hook size indicated, I would soon notice my work start to get all loose and baggy.”
“Lots and lots of acrylic! I actually have a whole shelving unit packed full of balls, nicely organized by color. I’ve recently been crocheting a lot with Yarn and Colors Epic. Personally, I don’t like crocheting with thin cotton which is why I go for Epic’s thicker thread. An extra bonus: Epic comes in loads of different colors.”
“Of course, a crochet hook, pair of scissors and those kinds of things. But a cup of tea is almost always part of my crochet time. And I enjoy putting on the TV or the radio while I crochet. I find them very relaxing to listen to while crocheting.”
“Definitely prefer accessories. Whether that be fashion accessories or home accessories. Think blankets, bedspreads, scarves and shawls. When I start designing, I often work from a ball of yarn to a stitch, and from there to a scarf or blanket.”
“I’m most proud of the three projects I crocheted for the HaakSTER competition. My cushion, which was very bright and cheerful. The triangular scarf, with the colors blending into each other. And of course, the final piece: my rug. By coincidence, I took it out the closet this morning. It’s crocheted really well. I’m very proud of that.”
“I really like Studio Hip en Stip, who I follow on Instagram. Just like me, she (Annemarie Huijser) loves color and simplicity. That makes her projects really attractive to crochet. I also find inspiration when out and about. When seeing different colors. Or in magazines. The colors, combinations and yarns that are used. When I see a particular color or yarn, I think about which stitches would suit them. And just like that, a new project is born.”
“Haha, that’s a good question! To be honest, I often go out with my crochet work. In our neighborhood we have a beer bar where we regularly meet up with friends. If we pull our crochet work out our bags there, no one bats an eyelid. What also sometimes happens is that after an outing we end up crocheting together. Just recently, I went to a concert with a co-worker. Afterwards we went back home together and sat around crocheting. Until 1 in the morning, haha!”
“I think it’s really great that there are so many people who are interested in my crochet projects and support me. Like during the HaakSTER competition. I couldn’t name any one specific person, but I love seeing how enthusiastic my colleagues, friends and family are.”
“Haha, another good question! My boyfriend doesn’t always like it when I start crocheting. Not because of the crocheting itself, but because the living room overflows with balls of yarn. And because he keeps finding cut strands of yarn, booklets and patterns throughout the house.”
“Last fall I had a stand next to Budgetyarn’s at the Kreadoe craft fair in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I already had something at home and when I saw this yarn, I thought, ‘It would be really cool in those colors.’ I proposed this to Yarnplaza and then went home to work on it with some balls. Stitch by stitch, round by round, the Power Flower throw blanket came to life. Of course, I had to frog it and try again quite a few times. The petals in particular took up quite a lot of design time. As did finding a way to neatly close the open edges around the floral patterns. To make sure this was a blanket you could snuggle up warmly under, I used as little open work as possible. Once the blanket was finishing, I designed the matching Power Flower cushion.”
“@it.is.a.sarah is a lot of fun to follow. I also love @jennpoort’s really colorful crochet work. And @dimequesitejidos is definitely worth checking out. This Instagram account belongs to an Argentinian lady. I just wish I knew how to pronounce the name correctly, haha!”
Crochet with Jolanda Maas
Inspired by Jolanda Maas’ cheerful personality and designs? Then get started on her Power Flower Blanket or Power Flower Cushion. We’d love to see your creations on our Facebook page or via Instagram with #yarnplaza.