I’m very pleased today to welcome crochet author/designer (and my friend) Linda Permann to Manhattan Craft Room for a stop on her worldwide blog tour promoting her new book, Little Crochet. Hello Linda!!!
Linda and I go way back. Well, a little bit back. We first met about five years ago when we worked together at a craft publisher. I was the editor of Crochet Today and Linda worked on an adorable (sadly, now defunct) magazine called Adorn, and we often had lunch with a couple other crafty co-workers at a yummy Mexican place called Lupe’s. (Ah, memories!)
We’ve since both moved on from those jobs, and Linda has moved far away to Texas. But we keep in touch online, and of course through the crochet world. I was a big fan of Linda’s first book, Crochet Adorned – and I’m super excited about her new book, Little Crochet.
Little Crochet is chock-full of contemporary baby and toddler crochet projects – you won’t see a single pastel or fuzzy duckling in the mix. Linda really did a great job of designing projects that appeal to a more modern sensibility, in great yarns that grown-ups will love as much as the little ones will.
So without further ado, let’s get to it!
BB: I love how fresh and non-traditional-baby your designs are. What’s your philosophy for baby & kids crochet designs?
LP: My philosophy is pretty much the same when it comes to anything I design: let the yarn and color choices speak, don’t over-complicate the pattern, and try to give the stitcher “breathing room”—ie parts of the pattern that are mindless, so they can alternate between focusing and relaxing. Just by picking some amazing yarns and color ways and making sure that you finish the pieces properly (blocking, seaming, etc), even the simplest patterns become show stoppers.
BB: You don’t use many “baby” yarns in your patterns. What’s your advice on choosing yarn that’s baby-friendly, yet not labeled “baby”? Any do’s and don’ts?
LP: I like to use sock yarn for babies, because it’s designed to be durable. Wool is great for soakers, nylon blends and cotton are perfect every day wear. I think it’s okay to splurge a bit on fiber if you want to and you know the family will take care of it—when I crochet, I want to enjoy the process of working on the item as much as the finished piece.
The main thing, of course, is to consider the recipient. And by that, I mean the parents. Will they hand wash or not? Many won’t because they have bigger things on their minds—so look for superwash wools, washable cottons, and acrylic blends. If you take the time to swatch—which you totally should—go ahead and put your swatch through the washer and dryer before you start your project. This will give you a good idea of how it will hold up. A lot of yarns say they are “dry clean only” as a precaution—you can definitely get away with at least washing them. But, always test it out on a swatch before you put the effort into a project.
LP: There are a few beginner-friendly projects in the book. I like the Felted Play Rug—which is only labeled “Easy” (not beginner) because of the color changes. It’s a repetitive pattern using super bulky yarn, and the felting will erase any boo-boos.
The No Fuss Party Bibs are pretty simple, too. There is plenty of information on how to make basic stitches in the appendix, so if someone has a little crochet experience, they should be able to tackle the projects in this book.
What’s your favorite project in the book?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I have a special fondness for the Mix and Match Motif blanket, because I kind of felt like I was making a painting while I crocheted it.
BB: My favorite is the adorable little cape – it just looks so magical and fun to wear!
BB: Congrats on a beautiful book, Linda! I can’t wait to try out some of these patterns myself.
All photos by Heather Weston.
Click here to order your copy of Crochet Adorned.