Crocheting is cool! The trendy cardigans, sweaters and accessories designed by Liefs van Suus are proof of this. Vibrant colors, interesting patterns and special stitches all go into making fashion that you gotta love! Want to get to know the crochet star behind these mod designs? Then read on for this second edition of ‘Yarnplaza & ... 2020'.
You may remember Suus from the Dutch ‘HaakSTER’ (Crochet-Star) 2019 competition. She made it all the way to the final with her creativity and enthusiasm. This talented designer has gone on to gain many fans outside of the competition, as evidenced by the more than 5000 followers of her Instagram account (@liefsvansuus_)! Being huge fans of her work ourselves, it was high-time for a collaboration…
I’m Suzanne, but people know me better as Suus. Even my grandmother doesn’t call me Suzanne. Most people will know me from last year’s HaakSTER competition (2019). And some will also know me as 'Liefs van Suus' on Facebook, Instagram or from my blog.
I think it was about 7 years ago. I had an accident that left me stuck at home. And I was really bored! I just had to do something. Watching TV and reading books just wasn’t cutting it. But crocheting did the trick! What first began as a wonderful distraction later became a very small obsession.
I would describe my style as: colorful, trendy and beautiful in its simplicity.
Well, I always go for clothing anyway. I really don’t have the patience for amigurumi. They’re far too fiddly. I do enjoy home decorations, though. I often think, ‘I’ll make a lovely cushion or design a blanket’. I’ll start something, then it somehow turns into a cardigan! I’ve accidentally added some sleeves and it’s now something to wear again, haha! So, I’d like to make some home décor, and there’s a desire to do so somewhere in me, but making clothes is simply what I enjoy most.
I’m most proud of the projects I crocheted for the HaakSTER. Because you constantly have to be at the top of your game and working continuously throughout the competition to deliver really nice things. Also, last summer I designed a wonderful cardigan, the Summer Breeze Cardigan. It’s such a cool piece and people have been so enthusiastic about it. So, yes, I’m definitely very proud of it.
My biggest source of inspiration are current fashion trends. I love seeing what people are wearing on Pinterest and Instagram and I follow loads of fashion accounts. I then try to interpret that in my own style. When I see a sweater at the store, I think, ‘How can I make it even more original and special?’. And then I try to convert that into a pattern.
Now that’s a very difficult question, because I love doing both! Balance is very important. I love eating out or going to the pub, but I also need time to myself some evenings to just crochet with the cat on the sofa.
Well, I can’t actually do anything else, haha! I can crochet… and sew a little. I can sew a basic pair of shorts or take up a pair of long pants, that’s fine. But it’s not really something I’m passionate about. I don't really get knitting, so… yes, I just enjoy crocheting a lot.
Your biggest fan is always your mom, right? My mom’s often telling her friends what I’m busy making. She also got her entire network of friends to vote for me during the HaakSTER. So yes, she’s my biggest fan.
The cat, haha! He’d much rather sit on my lap or he just wants some attention. But if I’m crocheting, he has to go away, otherwise his fur gets all over my crochet work. Or he lies right on top of my ball of yarn. So, he tends to leave the room in a bit of a huff.
At home, in my crochet chair or on the sofa. Crocheting away with a podcast on!
I crochet really tightly. When my patterns get tested, my testers usually end up using a half-size smaller crochet hook than me.
Well, my crochet stash has a bit of everything in it! I have a huge amount of cotton yarn. Because if I decide to make an amigurumi, then I try make sure I’ve got enough yarn. And then I never use them again. So, a lot of cotton, but also a lot of acrylic, like Stylecraft, and more recently I’ve become a big fan of yarn with a wool blend.
Coffee, for sure. Unless it’s after 4 pm, when we switch to wine (sorry Mom, haha!). I always have to have a pair of scissors and a notebook to hand. And something to listen to, like a good true-crime podcast or TV series. I never see the people in the TV series though, I only know their names and that.
Yes, a cardigan! I saw a photo on the Instagram account of a yoga instructor that I follow. She had this really cool scarf on, bright yellow with a mesh-like structure. And I thought, ‘This would like great as part of a cardigan, going around your arms and neck. So, now I knew what the sleeves and neckline would look like, but the rest of the cardigan was still totally vague. I then spent a long time coming up with a nice stitch to use for the rest of the cardigan. I wanted it to look really special, but also be something that everyone could actually make. It has turned out to be a slightly complicated stitch, but once you get the hang of it, it crochets wonderfully.
Well, I’m a big fan of Pleun, the Dutch designer behind @studiowoordendraad. She uses such beautiful colors on Instagram. Her feed is perfection. I also follow a number of English-speaking designers, such as @littlegoldennook. She creates the coolest cardigans and sweaters with bobbles. That’s her signature style. And another designer I love following is Sandra from @nomadstitches. Among other things, she designs Bohemian-style bikini tops and sweaters.
Crocheting with Liefs van Suus
And now it's over to you! In Suus' own words: "With just a little bit of crochet experience, you can crochet this trendy summer cardigan in the exciting butterfly stitch". Order the pattern on its own or go for a complete crochet kit. You'll be absolutely radiant this summer!