Editor’s inspiration: Wink, a very creative being indeed.
Hands up if you love the fabulous blog, A Creative Being? Written by Marinke Slump, aka Wink, it is one of the most loved and viewed blogs in the crochet world. Tragically, Wink died a few weeks ago, but her patterns are being crocheted all over the world in tribute to a treasured talent.
Every week, we write about what inspires us with our crochet – and this week, I want to tell you about someone who really inspires me: Marinke Slump, known to her friends, as Wink. I discovered Wink’s blog, A Creative Being, about a year ago, and without wanting to make an awful crochet pun, I was hooked! Her designs were so zingy and fresh and fabulous, and she was so full of passion and enthusiasm – you couldn’t not love it. Just as I was all set to email her to ask her to create some patterns with us at LoveCrochet, we heard that she had taken her own life after a long battle with severe depression.
It is a huge tribute to Wink that her fabulous patterns, enormously popular when she was with us, are even more popular now – and if she could tap into Google, she would see hundreds and thousands of people creating her signature mandalas and fat bottom bags in loving memory of her glowing artistry.
Wink’s Fat Bottom Bag is the darling of the bagalong – a simply brilliant giant granny square that is gathered up with double crochet and attached to handles – and then embellished with whatever takes your fancy! I have seen it in so many colours and textures online this week, with beads and ribbons and lace – absolutely gorgeous! It is this freedom to embellish and use colour that is at the heart of Wink’s patterns, and crochet in general – a wonderful freedom to express yourself with colour, to match up and blend colours and shades together!
Crocheted mandalas were another passion for Wink. A mandala, a Hindu and Buddhist symbol derived from Sanskrit, has become a name for any chart or pattern that represents the cosmos or the universe symbolically – using circles and squares or geometric patterns.
Instagram is brimming with mandalas with the hashtag #manadalasformarinke thanks to Kathryn Vercillo from the Crochet Concupscience blog, who met Wink when she was compiling a book, “Crochet saved my life” chronicling stories of crafters who had learned to crochet to help them cope with anxiety and depression: Wink was one of those crafters. Kathryn is planning a fabulous tribute by collecting mandalas from all over the world, asking crocheters to channel their memories and thoughts into a mandala to celebrate Wink’s own creativity – and to use the mandalas to raise awareness of depression, to help people battle this debilitating disease. Full details are available here.
I am in awe of anyone who designs crochet, or knitting patterns, but I was particularly inspired by Wink’s patterns because so many of them are so accessible, and so stylish. I love her Groovy Ghan blanket, clever clever design stepping up through colour; the Solid Granny Squares look gorgeous in variegated yarn, and her tutorials are clear and easy to follow – a real achievement when you see lots of them online! She persuaded people to have a go and learn – to try something new – her enthusiasm was contagious!
Craft is a great healer. For us at LoveCrochet, crochet is the yarn craft we love – with its colour and texture adventures – working on big blankets with different stitches, or granny squares, making small pieces that make up the whole. We love fine lace weight shawls, and gorgeous cotton cardies – and some brave crocheters even make socks! Our homes are full of it, our imaginations are working overtime on what to do next (before we’ve finished what we’re working on!) and we oooh and aaah over colour and yarn – it’s no wonder crochet is so captivating! It certainly helped Wink in the early stages of her first terrible depression, and it has helped many crafters all over the world.
Wink was great friends with one our favourite bloggers, Sarah Knight, from Crafts from the Cwtch, and she has written a beautiful piece about Wink on her blog – you can read it here. If you are touched by Wink’s story, as I am, crochet one of her fabulous patterns to remember her by, or create a mandala for #mandalasformarinke – she inspired crocheters all over the world, and she deserves to be remembered with awe.