Lulu by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

Lulu by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

The Lulu shawl featured in Issue 24 has a frilly border but still maintains a casual feel appropriate for everyday. We're checking in with designer Romi to learn more about this design and its careful balance of sweet and cool, as well as a little bit about her favorite place where she grew up and her first encounters with making.

She even tells us a little bit about the tradition of hand and arm tattoos among Croatian women, so keep reading to the end!

amirisu: What, if any, challenges did you encounter during the design process?
Romi: I based my design on my grandmother’s crocheted dickies and shells, and as a knitter, it was a challenge to find a lacy stitch pattern that evoked the same feeling as her beautiful crochet. Her pieces were also done with a tiny steel hook and fine crochet cotton. I wanted to translate that into knitting with a thicker wool.

amirisu: If you were to knit this design in another color, what would it be?
Romi: I’d love to see it in a dove grey or a dusky pink!

amirisu: How did you start your knitting journey?
Romi: I was raised by my mother and grandmother who were amazing crocheters and makers, so I was taught to crochet, embroider, and sew starting at about four years of age. But I was obsessed with the look of knitted fabric and I begged and begged my mother to teach me. She finally relented when I was nine!

amirisu: Tell us a little bit about a favorite place of yours in the town or area you grew up in or where you live now.
Romi: This would have to be Muir Woods, near where I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (northern California). I used to hike there for hours. It was always very crowded in the lower areas near the parking lot, but the farther up on the mountain you went, the fewer people there were. It is a magical place. I had a favorite little stream where I used to sit and watch the crayfish.

amirisu:  What is one handicraft or traditional art or skill (other than knitting) from your country or region that you like or have an interest in? 
Romi: I was born in the US, but my father’s side of the family is Croatian, and I’ve become fascinated with the traditional Croatian hand poke tattoos done on women’s hands and wrists. During the Ottoman Empire when Croatian girls were often stolen from their villages, the tattoos became reminders of their religion and homes, but the tradition predates that period of time. I love the patterns and their meanings: community, nature, and family are common themes. Girls were tattooed by groups of older women in a ceremony, and the handwork is truly beautiful. I’m trying to find out as much as possible!

Thank you, Romi!



amirisu: デザインの過程で、どんな苦労や工夫がありましたか?
Romi: 祖母がかぎ針で編んだディッキーがデザインのベースになっています。ニッターとして、彼女の美しいかぎ針編みと同じ感覚を呼び起こすレース模様を考えるのは、チャレンジングな試みでした。彼女の作品は、小さな鉄製のかぎ針と細いコットンで作られたものです。それを、より厚みのあるウールで編めるようにしたかったんです。

amirisu: もう一枚編むとしたら何色で編みますか?

amirisu: 編み物を始めたきっかけは何でしたか?

amirisu: あなたの住む町や生まれ育った町の好きな場所はどこですか?簡単に紹介してください。

amirsiu: あなたの国や地域に伝わる手工芸や技術について、好きなものを一つ選んで教えてください。
Romi: 私はアメリカ生まれですが、父方の家系はクロアチアです。なので、女性の手や手首に入れるクロアチアの伝統的なタトゥーに興味があります。オスマン帝国時代、クロアチアの少女たちはしばしば村から連行されていました。タトゥーの伝統はその時代より前に遡るものですが、連れて行かれた先で、タトゥーは彼女たちの宗教や故郷を思い起こすきっかけになったのです。私はタトゥーの模様や意味合いが大好きです。共同体や自然、家族が共通のテーマになっています。少女たちは儀式で年長の女性たちからタトゥーを施されます。本当に美しい手仕事だと思います。少しでも多くのことを知りたいと思っています!


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