Crochet Designer Interview: Jess Bennett’s Woven Raglan Pullover

by Heather Mann

Here at Crochet Foundry, we LOVE working with all the talented crochet designers that we have the privilege to showcase in our magazine. In this Designer Interview series, we’ll get to know some of this month’s issue’s designers. Today we’re talking to crochet designer Jess Bennett, who contributed the Woven Raglan Pullover AND Homespun Hand Warmers crochet patterns in our October 2023 issue.

Crochet Designer Jess Bennett

What’s your name and brand (if you have one)?

My name is Jess and my brand name is Rock Salt Plum. I started off with a focus on garments for children but more recently I have branched out into garments and accessories for adults, plus homewares.

Woven Raglan Pullover

What is your design for this month, and can you tell us a little bit about what inspired it?

I have 2 designs in this month’s Crochet Foundry Magazine, which I am delighted about. They are the Woven Raglan Sweater and the Homespun Hand Warmers. Both use different stitches to create a woven look fabric. A few years ago I went to a woolen mill in Wales, where my mum is from, and ever since I’ve been experimenting with incorporating some of the looks or techniques associated with weaving into my crochet designs.

Homespun Hand Warmers

What were some challenges about designing these pieces? 

With the Woven Raglan Sweater I think tension can be a challenge. When you are working over another strand of yarn you need to keep it at an even tension. Too loose and the yarn will come out of the fabric, too tight and it will distort. I’ve certainly had problems with tension in the past when using this technique.

The Homespun Hand Warmers are a bit more straightforward but the first round could be tricky, as it can be with crochet. Take care to have the correct number of missed stitches in the foundation chain and not to twist the round when you join.

What are a couple of fun facts about you?

I crochet anywhere and everywhere. On the train if I’m going into the office, in a cafe, in the park, I can even crochet when I’m walking along. I’m always happy to engage with people who are interested in what I’m doing and I usually don’t correct them if they call it knitting! And I’m terrible at baking. At my son’s 3rd birthday the kids just ate the icing and left the cake.

How can our readers find you?

You can find me on Instagram, I’m @rock_salt_plum

Anything else you’d like to add?

I absolutely love seeing my designs made by other people and I’m always so happy when I get tagged in a post when someone shares their hard work.

Are you a crochet designer (or would you like to be)? Crochet Foundry works with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Email list to be notified of design opportunities.

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