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The art of crocheting: Ides of May

The art of crocheting: Ides of May

Hi, my name is Danielle Reid! I’m a Journalism student at Ryerson University and I started Ides of May in August 2020 on as a way to share my passion for handmade, slow fashion and crochet pieces with the rest of the world.

It's important to me that my pieces are both functional and comfortable even though they are handmade. Clothes should look cute but you should also be able to move around freely in them. I try to make clothes and accessories that can be a lasting part of your wardrobe even as trends fade in and out.

Photographer: Amryn Shae

How long have you been crocheting? How did you learn to do it?

I started crocheting as a hobby at the beginning of quarantine in april 2020. Funnily enough, its something that I had always been vaguely interested in but could never really get the hang of. My grandma tried teaching me a few times when I was younger but I would get too impatient and frustrated to continue. With so much free time during lockdown, my best friend and I decided it was the perfect time to learn, and took a deep dive into youtube tutorials and I’ve basically been crocheting everyday since then.

 

How did Ides of May get its start? Where does the name come from?

I started posting pictures on my personal instagram of airpod cases and cropped tops that I made for myself and started getting a lot of messages from people who thought they were cute and a few friends even asked if they could buy something that I had made.

 

This gave me the Idea to start Ides of May in August 2020 as an instagram shop where people could order custom pieces through DMs. The name is in reference to the Ides of March (the assasination of Julius Caesar) which I suppose is a little dark and definitely does not relate to crocheting but does reflect my LOVE for Ancient History and my birth month (and the best month), May.

From Ides of May's instagram

Do you have a favourite thing to make? Personally, I’m obsessed with your market bags! SO CUTE!

I love the market bags too! They’re one of the first things I started to sell and have become kind of an Ides of May staple. My favourite thing to make are for sure the Mucket Bucket Hats in the Fall and Winter time because of the cool colour combinations that I get to do and the fact that I can make them to match different outfits perfectly! They remind me of something that would definitely be sitting in the closet of a 90s teen movie It Girl!

 

Is there an Ides of May piece in your personal wardrobe that is a staple for you?

I’d say that the yellow and blue Jo Bikini top is definitely a staple for me! I spent most of the summer in bikini tops with a sweater or button down over it and I love that I can wear them under an otherwise boring outfit and it adds a pop of fun colour to it. I definitely have to see how I can possibly incorporate them into my winter wardrobe. They’re also just really comfy!

Photographer: Amryn Shae

Where do you find your everyday inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from Pinterest! Especially now since crocheting has become increasingly more popular, there are so many beautiful styles and ideas that I can’t wait to try out. I also get a lot of inspiration from artwork especially when coming up with unique colour combinations and patterns! I recently discovered a book about Joe Norris, aNova Scotian folk artist who incorporated the use of primary colours to create these incredible landscape scenes that inspired some of the pieces that I’m currently working on.

Walking around really trendy neighbourhoods like Queen Street in Toronto can also be really inspiring because you can see what people are wearing and ways of styling clothing that I may not have even thought about.

 

What is your creative process like? Walk me through a day of making pieces for Ides of May!

On a perfect day I’d get up early before anyone else in my home and take a really long walk to kind of prepare myself since a day of crocheting typically means a lot of sitting in the same place for a super long time. If there's a pattern I'm trying to figure out, I like to crochet while watching a TV show (right now it’s Seinfeld reruns <3) or listening to a podcast, but most days it’s just Folklore by Taylor Swift on repeat. I enjoy crocheting because I can multitask so it never gets boring. I also try to crochet outside in the park as often as possible because working in a comfortable and relaxing environment makes the process so much more peaceful and even a bit cathartic.

From Ides of May's instagram

A tough question now! You can only crochet with 3 colours of yarn for the next year-- which colours are you picking?

No, not tough at all! Pink! I love pink and I think it's what I tend to gravitate most to when crocheting especially when making something for myself, plus it really does go with everything. I would also probably pick green (matcha green to be exact) because it works for any season and red for a little bit of excitement.

 

If you could see anyone-- celeb, influencer, artist, whoever!-- in an Ides of May piece, who would it be and why?

It would be so cool to see resident girlboss and insta-diva Devon Lee Carlson in an Ides of May piece! She’s always supporting small businesses which is great and I feel like she just promotes this fashion philosophy that clothing should be fun and not taken too seriously. The most important thing is that you like what you're wearing and if you don’t, who cares?- there's always tomorrow.

Photographer: Amryn Shae

What does Ides of May look like 5 years from now in your dream world?

A daunting and exciting question. In my dream world Ides of May will expand to a small team of crocheters and seamstresses who have a passion for ethical fashion and design. I’d also love to branch out into a personal fashion online publication! Ides of May as a community of like minded fashion lovers who can share their stories and provide inspiration on how to utilize fashion as a tool for self expression.

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