Rachel is a circular weave magician. This is certainly her signature style and she totally owns it. Whats more she makes colour placement and the use of texture look easy.
If you have a few hours, it is easy to get lost across Rachel's social media. Not only is it full of gorgeous things and inspiring colour palettes, it is also a great space for yarn and weaving related tips and tricks with a fun and clever edge.
Rachel's story is also one of inspiration where once again we are finding out the incredible benefits that taking part in fibre arts has on the mind, body and soul.
I hope you enjoy the read. It was a great pleasure to showcase Rachel and her work. Make sure you show her some love.
Tell us in a few sentences a little bit about yourself: Some info you may like to include is where you are from, do you work outside of your fibre obsession, family etc. Anything you are comfortable in sharing.
My name is Rachel and I live in inner city Sydney. I worked in media/marketing/advertising for around 10 years then had to stop work a few years ago due to chronic health issues (I have dysautonomia/POTS, gastroparesis, and chronic pain). I live with my long-term partner Oliver in a plant-filled apartment (we have around 100 houseplants). I started weaving at the start of 2021, but prior to that I had never had an interest in arts or craft.
Please share one random/interesting fact about you.
I once took an entire suitcase full of American doritos (theirs taste better than ours) back from a business trip to LA
Which fibre art/s has sent you down the rabbit hole?
Punch needle is where I started, and I loved the meditative aspect of it. Then I came across weaving, experimented a bit and found my passion for circle weaving.
How long have you been creating?
Just over a year. Before then… well I wrote poetry in my teens, and even got on the honours list for my poetry submission for the HSC, and studied a bit of writing at university. Then I went into the workforce and stopped writing and reading, and I thought that I was no longer a creative type for a whole decade.
How/Why did you get into it?
Before I started Lush Little Loops, I ran a houseplant advice page and ecommerce store/blog called Lush Little Jungle. I was lucky enough to get to host some huge giveaways, I did around 20 brand collabs (with big brands like Dyson, Ryobi, Nescafe, and smaller businesses too). At the start of 2021, after having chronic issues for two years, my health issues became more significant to the point of being mostly housebound, and I couldn’t produce content the way I was for that page any more. I needed a change of pace, and something to engage with every day that made me feel productive, connected with a kind hearted community, and something I was passionate about. Weaving was it for me, even though I wasn’t seeking it out actively! I have to rest a lot and often in a semi-reclined position, so weaving is an activity that is well-suited to my abilities and I LOVE it! Once I found it, I was waking up excited to seize each day, to learn something, to create something. I also find it really helpful as a way to manage my chronic pain, as I can immerse myself in it – meditation through movement.
What are your future fibre goals?
I’m currently working on creating both wall hangings for home décor as well as fibre packs for weavers. I would like to create Lush Little Loops into a place where new and experienced weavers can get advice, tips, and inspiration on weaving, as well as promoting the fabulous Australian suppliers and products we have here.
What is it about fibre art that makes you love it the way you do?
Exploring colour! My house is full of plants, so greenery is a big part of my décor, and then otherwise the main colours/materials are oak wood, light grey, pink and touch of metallic. But in weaving I can explore colours that I perhaps would not have otherwise, and it brings me so much joy.
What is your most challenging piece to date? Pics would be amazing.
This earthy gradient piece. I made it while I had kidney stones (do not recommend getting them!) and the soothing colours of the gradient, the softness of the wool and repetitive movement helped me with the painful experience I was going through.
How have you learnt your craft - self-taught, workshops, books, online tutorials?
Online tutorials & self taught
Do you have a favourite book or tutorial you would recommend?
Hello Hydrangea’s Intro Course, which I recommend to anyone looking for a great resource. Spruce and Linen’s channel on YouTube has also been great
Is there a fibre artist that inspires you the most?
I absolutely adore the work of @orchardweaves, her work with colour is exceptional. I’m also inspired by @babu_finds who does extraordinary work, pushing the boundaries on how to use fibre. And I also @loominarium_fiberart who creates such a varied range of different styles in textural and highly creative ways.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting into the craft but isn’t sure?
Don’t put pressure on yourself to make your first pieces look amazing. Your early days are about learning technique and experimentation. The “ugly” pieces you create will teach you so much. Think of weaving like trying to run a marathon when you can’t run 100m – you have to start somewhere, start small, and each time you practice it you will learn, improve and evolve.
Best Tip or Trick?
Facebook marketplace can be great for finding different and unusual fibres for a bargain
What is your favourite knot/technique to do? Why
I love the knotting technique in weaving. I feel like it’s a technique that lets the fibre sing. You can use it with voluminous fluffy chunky yarns, or create tiny detail using thin string that you double or quadruple. It’s very versatile and looks great on almost every fibre I’ve used.
Neutrals or colour?
Colours, especially mustard and pink.
Are you drawn to pattern or texture?
Texture for sure. I like to weave freestyle so I do end up creating patterns sometimes, but textural ones!
What would you say is your style? Geometric, boho etc
I would say eclectic, vibrant and joyful
What is your favourite VADA BLUE fibre to use and why?
Linen frizz! The colours you have are just gorgeous and it has this amazing sheen that you can see when you get up close to it. It is similar to cotton frizz which has become hugely popular in recent years, but has a more refined look (in my opinion) so it’s a great fibre to use if you’re looking to create really unique pieces. I used the Lichen frizz in a mossy weave I made that was inspired by moss walls & rainforest floors
Where can you find your work? Ie: online, markets, website, shop?
I have an Etsy store - https://www.etsy.com/shop/LushLittleLoops
If you have a social media account – let us know.
Instagram.com/lushlittleloops or https://www.facebook.com/lushlittleloops/
Feel free to add anything else you think of that people might find useful or interesting.
I love connecting with fellow fibre artists and am always happy to share my knowledge, so if you need a fibre friend to have a chat with, feel free to get in touch with me on Instagram!
Take a moment to enjoy Rachels pieces below. The featured weaves mentioned above can be found below.
Earthy Gradient, row 3 - middle
Mossy Weave, bottom row - left