Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Rohn Strong and I am an author, designer and instructor. I pretty much focus on knitting and crochet although I do love all different kinds of crafting. I began as a knitwear designer, studying the history of knitting during both world wars. Crochet called me, however, when I realized that the craft I’d learned years ago was making a comeback. I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. So, I picked up a crochet hook and designed a collection of five hats called Strong Designs. It was a big hit and the rest, as cliché as it sounds, is history.
When/how did you start crochet?
I taught myself to crochet when I was 7 or 8 years. Hard to believe it’s been over 20 years. Knitting came later, in 2006 or so.
What inspires you to create your projects?
Honestly, it all comes down to a single idea. If I think it’ll work I go for it. I have a very strange approach to design. Sometimes, a client knows what they want and I design it. Other times, specifically if I am designing for myself, I start with a stitch and pick a yarn and go to town. If it works…yay! If not…well it joins one of the other 100 or so wips I have scattered around my house.
Do you have a favorite?
A favorite specific project? No. A favorite all around collection? Yes. My book, Step Into Crochet is, by far, my proudest piece of work to date.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Pinterest. I know, it’s silly and cliché and everyone says it but Pinterest is such a great resource.
Who are your favorite people in the industry?
Marly Bird is my crochet bestie, I love working with her and love that she helped jumpstart my career. I also love Rebecca Valasquez, Ellen Gormley, and Kristen Mangus.
Have you run into any roadblocks along the way?
YES! Always. I toss aside at least 3-4 designs a week! Seriously, designing is such a hellish process. I never know if it’s going to turn out right and often it doesn’t. Usually, every design you see is the result of 4-5 total mess ups.
What do you do when you run into a challenge with a project?
I give up. I’m not afraid to give up. As a designer, I have to ask myself the tough question…If I’m designing this and I’m having a hell of a time with it, won’t other people?
The design process must be fluid and easy. If it isn’t then the project isn’t worth it.
Do you have timelines for your projects?
Always. Working as a designer is working on a deadline.
Any pie in the sky dreams/goals?
Yes. I want to have my own tv show focusing on knitting and crochet. One day! One day!
Any exciting future projects in the works?
SO MANY! And I can’t tell you a single one. Well, other than I’ve got a few more patterns with Red Heart coming down the pipeline.
Rohn’s Favorite Male Crochet Designers
I love to crochet and designing crochet is one of my favorite things in the world. I know I’m not alone! Below you’ll find a list of my top five male crochet designers that you should be following!
- Benjamin Krudwig – Benjamin is a friend of mine and quite the crafty fellow. He’s a knitter, weaver, crocheter, and general crafter. His designs are always perfectly tailored and interesting to knit.
- and 3. Arne and Carlos – this colorful pair of men design some of the most amazing pieces I’ve ever seen. From knitwear to crochet to embroidery, they hit every box I need to be checked in a new design.
- Vincent Green-Hite – Vincent is what I would call a millennial crocheter. His designs are off the wall and unique. His Amigurumi is far and above what I’ve seen before and his hilarious photos on Instagram will always lend a giggle.
- Dennis van den Brink – This graphic designer and Amigurumi designer from Amsterdam. He takes Amigurumi to a whole new level and shares it on his Instagram and Facebook page. He’s modern, fresh, and has an eye for design I rarely see in this industry. Follow him @dendennis on Instagram!