Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: Hooked: 40 Whimsical Motifs from Weird to Wonderful by Michelle, Cecile & Sylvie Delprat

Hooked: 40 Whimsical Motifs from Weird to Wonderful
Beautifully designed by using crisp, clean graphics like  pleasantly arranged motifs that made me smile;

meandering strands of yarn; and colorful balls of yarn,

these whimsical motifs range from quirky to charming.


Clear, colorful illustrations are paired with simple instructions that recommend that use of natural materials and allow latitude for various skill levels and finished sizes. Also included are practical ideas for using the motifs.

Inspired by their travels to India, nature and everyday life, this family design team whose embroidery and crochet workshop is in Madagascar has taken on an important social role. Their fair trade company, Emalisa  provides income for over 100 families

Published in March 2015 by David & Charles/F+W, Hooked is available for $19.99.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

National Crochet Month: A Fibery Celebration!

Crocheters across the nation have gotten creative in finding ways to celebrate their beloved craft during the month of March for National Crochet Month. Started originally as National Crochet Week by the Crochet Guild of America in 1997.  it has grown and grown and there is so much to celebrate that CGOA changed it to a monthlong event a few years later. Fibery people, CGOA members, and companies large and small are on the bandwagon now to draw attention to all we love about crochet!

Ryan Reynolds
What did you do to celebrate? I'm sure we educated many, many of the unenlightened during March ~ but calm down, physical violence allowed; just threaten with a crochet hook!

The Northern IL Chapter of CGOA has wrapped up its celebration  with our annual Crochet Buffet. It is always a feast for the senses and a smorgasbord for the eyes! Thank you to all the chapter members who displayed their beautiful crochet! We also filled the library showcase where we meet with crochet during the month.

Here are some highlights:

Crocheted food
Chapter Pres & VP: Crochet Stitches
Past CGOA Pres: Chapter Study Group
Past Chapter Pres: Bead Crochet
Broomstick Crochet
Charity Crochet
Crocheted Accessories
Thread Crochet

Thursday, March 26, 2015

An Interview with Kristin Omdahl

Kristin Omdahl, photo courtesy of Aaron Miller
Crochetqueen: What inspires your designs?
Kristin: Textures in nature is a big inspiration for me: formation of flower petals, textures of leaves, feather and scale patterns on animals, etc. I also love architectural textures: tile work, brickwork, especially mosaic and Moroccan tiles. I like to get inspiration for silhouettes from the runways, but only with cut & sewn garments. I try to avoid seeing what others are doing in the fiber world.

Crochetqueen:  How long have you been designing?
Kristin: I’m self taught at knitting and crochet. I’ve been designing for almost as long as I’ve had yarn in my hands. Designing came quickly and easily to me.

Crochetkween: I am always grateful to hear about the therapeutic benefits of crochet; it seems like that is the case for you. What got you interested in crochet?
Kristin: Pregnant, alone, and living overseas, I was really homesick. Making the decision to teach myself to make baby things was very comforting to me, and I started with a pair of booties.

Crochetkween: What is your educational background?
Kristin: I studied autoCAD and architecture in high school. I was a pre-med organic chemistry major and ended up finishing up my academic scholarship at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan with a business major.

Today, I am the proud owner of a yarn company “Bamboo So Fine by Kristin Omdahl” with two yarn lines: Be So Fine and Be So Sporty, as well as the proud author of 11 books of knitting and crochet design. I Just started books 12 and 13 this week (one knit and one crochet). I just celebrated my 11th anniversary in business last week! So, as you can see, it is a full-time career for me.

Crochetkween: What have you discovered about crochet that is unique to you or your life?
Kristin: I think it is very empowering to me that I can make ANYTHING!

Crochetqueen: Your women’s designs are very fashionable and creative. Do you attend fashion shows? Do you get your inspiration from the runways?
Kristin: I really work hard to avoid watching knitting trends, whether on the runways or in knitting and crochet books & magazines. I prefer to draw my inspiration from the rest of the fashion world.

Crochetqueen: How receptive are women to crocheting your designs, especially exquisite ones? In these days of casual/sloppy dress codes… do women bother?
Kristin: I only design what I would like to wear. I am sensitive about my curves and would never wear anything that didn’t flatter my body. I don’t care for bulky sweaters because I think they pack on the pounds! I think my customers appreciate the time and effort put into making flattering knit and crochet garments that are deceptively simple to create. I like to make the simple techniques look fancy!

Crochetqueen: Do you design knit patterns?
Kristin: Yes, and I love to design for men and have several men’s hat patterns. I have also knit many things (one of a kind, no pattern) for friends. I think I feel inspired to do a full collection sooner than later!

Read my review Kristin’s latest book, Crochet So Lovely. It is available from Interweave/F+W and retails for $24.99. Be sure to watch for what’s next in her exciting design future!