Crochet Adorned:Reinvent Your Wardrobe with Crocheted Accents, Embellishments, and Trims by Linda Permann
Web Site: LindaMade
We are so excited to be a part of Linda Perman’s blog tour for her new book Crochet Adorned! I’d like to call myself a natural born knitter but in the last few years while working at CRAFT, I’ve been hit with the crochet bug. So when I got my copy of Crochet Adorned, let’s just say I did my own happy dance in my head. As a fashion lover, I can’t resist all the projects in the book because opening it is like reading the Anthropologie catalog. And here’s the great part, you can use these patterns in the book to update your wardrobe at a budget! We all have old cardigans, shirts, and dresses that could use a bit more love, don’t we? As a bonus, the Stitch Dictionary in the back is really like it’s own little book. In there you’ll find 100 stitches for trims, flowers, geometric shapes, as well as basic and popular crochet stitches. It’s such a handy reference to have that I’ll know I’ll be able to refer to the pages in this book again and again.
(photo via CraftyPod)
My dream project from Crochet Adorned is this Breezy Tunic above. I love how the crochet trim that embellishes the sleeve is in perfect harmony with flowered print of the shirt.
Book Giveaway Time!
One lucky CRAFT winner will win a copy of Crochet Adorned! Just leave a comment to this post and tell us why you want this book. Make sure you enter in your email address in the form field (won’t be published). All comments will be closed on Monday, August 17 at Noon PST. The winner will be announced next week on CRAFT. Good luck!
Read on for my interview with Linda Permann and find out more about Crochet Adorned and her tips for crochet and fashion.
Natalie: Tell me more about your new book, Crochet Adorned. What inspired you to write this book?
A few things combined to inspire me to write the book. First off, I’m not really a sweater person. There, I said it! But I love to make things to wear, and I knew there must be some way to successfully combine crochet and sewing. Also, I started seeing crochet-embellished items on runways and in stores, and I thought it would be nice to outline some ways to achieve this look for DIYers. It’s fun to work with what you have, and you can also use nicer yarns than what’s sold readymade in stores. The other point of inspiration: I just love to crochet. I think it’s something that you can easily apply to many other crafts like knitting and sewing, and I wanted to show ways to do that.
Natalie: Which projects in the book are your favorites?
Linda: I really love the Floral Motif Yoke Top, the Pretty Petals Tank, the Butterfly Apron and the Medallion Table Mat. I can’t show you all of them here, but I can tell you that it was really fun to work with specific garments and ideas and try to get the yarn, stitch, fabric and design to converge.
Natalie: You have some amazing embellishment projects like the Breezey Tunic or the Garden Party Cardigan (on the cover). What is your process for designing trim or embellishment to an existing fashion piece?
Linda: It was a lot of back and forth. First I went shopping for garments, and sometimes the garment would inspire the project. For instance, the Breezy Tunic has inset trim on the sleeves–I knew I wanted something made of a non-knit and was thrilled to find the shirt I used, since it also had a print pattern..Once I had the garments, I had to find yarns that matched the pieces well, which, with looking at a lot of color cards online, was a process of trial and error. So sometimes I’d end up with a yarn and go hunting for a new garment. I’d choose the garments based on what kind of embellishments I thought they would lend themselves to (ie: a wide necked cardigan might make a pretty canvas for flowers, a strappy tank could easily be cut and modified) and went from there.
Natalie: What kinds of tops, dresses, or cardigans are the best pieces to embellish?
Linda: I talk about this a lot in the book, but in a nutshell, there are a few things to look for:
1. Garments that don’t have a lot of stretch in key areas (ie waist band, neck line, etc). For instance, if you want to embellish the waist band of a skirt, choose one with a zipper or buttons. If you try to adorn something stretchy (ie an elastic waist), then your embellishments have to stretch, and it can be difficult to attach them without having to stretch out the garment itself. In general, it’s easier to appliqué on a more stable surface, so the garment needs to be somewhat stretchless, at least in the area you plan to embellish.
2. When possible, choose garments with a little more weight/heft — those vintage feeling super thin tees aren’t really going to give you enough stability for appliqués.
3) You can either find a garment that speaks to you (a skirt that says, “give me tiers!” or a cardigan with stains that want to be covered), or start with a garment that needs a little help. For instance, one of the projects came from a real life dress of mine that was too short and too low-cut in the neck. I added a wide trim to the neck and hem with really fun results. I was able to use a lot of scraps to get a colorful effect, and my $10 dress suddenly looked like a designer item.
Natalie: What is a crochet tip you can share with our readers?
Linda: Block your work! It makes such a big difference to the way the finished piece looks. All you have to do is pin the crocheted piece to desired dimensions on a blocking board (or ironing board) and spray it with water. It will open up any lacy elements and even out wonkiness (for instance, unstraight edges on a granny square). I admit that I didn’t do much blocking before I started writing the book, but I am a changed crocheter now!
Natalie: What are some upcoming projects you are working on now?
Linda: I’m doing a lot of freelance work for different magazines, including Crochet Today, Interweave Crochet, Stitch, and Sew Stylish. I mainly design crocheted accessories and little things, and do a lot of writing as well. I’m also working on another big project, but I can’t quite announce that yet. And, when I have time to breathe, I’d like to get some more self-published crochet patterns up in my Ravelry store.
Thanks Linda for the great interview! You can catch Linda tomorrow with our friend Susan Beal over at West Coast Crafty as well as the rest of the stops on her blog tour.
If you are in Portland, OR, join Linda tonight at Powell’s for a book signing at 7:30pm.