NatCroMo 2015, March 15: Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten

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National Crochet Month:

Welcome to Crochetville’s third annual Designer Blog Tour, taking place all throughout March 2015 in celebration of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Each day on our blog, you will find 1) in-depth profile posts for two crochet designers, with a link to their blogs so you can see what specials (free patterns, discount coupon codes, tutorials, etc.) they may be offering for NatCroMo, 2) a daily giveaway post with entries open from 8:00 AM CST to 8:00 AM CST the following day, and 3) during the last week of the month, daily posts from a Crochet Guild of America board member. Join us each day for a new surprise!

Today’s Posts: Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten, Fiber Arts by Andrea Lyn | Daily Giveaway | Halos of Hope Hat Collection | Complete Designer Schedule

Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten

Crochetville is very proud to have designer Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten with us today, March 15, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).

Andrea_Lyn_Van_Benschoten_Headshot

 

Three Truths and a Lie:

Take a guess as to which of the following statements isn’t true. We’ll let you know which statement is “The Lie” somewhere in this post, so keep reading to learn the truth!

  1. Andrea collects hornets’ nests so she can repurpose them as art.
  2. A garment Andrea crocheted is on loan to the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center.
  3. Andrea has an 18-year-old cockatiel named Mendelssohn.
  4. She uses crochet and yarn to make fly ties for fly fishing.

 

Andrea’s Designs:

If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Andrea’s designs with you.

Andrea_turtle_hat

Child’s Turtle Hat, available for $3.00 on Etsy

This adorable hat has just a little bit of whimsy and a whole lot of fun! Depending on your color choices, it could be turtles or ladybugs or any number of things. There is a lot here to amuse the crafter, since the ‘turtle’ shapes are appliqued on afterwards and the eyes sewn on.

 

Andrea_three_dishcloths

Three Crochet Dishcloths, available for $5.00 on Etsy

These dish cloths only take one ball of cotton yarn each and work up quickly. The great textures will get those dishes clean and look great in your kitchen at the same time!

 

About Andrea:

Andrea has been crocheting for the past 15 years. One day in 2000, she mentioned to her co-worker Eileen that she had missed the opportunity to learn to crochet from her grandmother and that she’d always wanted to give it a try. Eileen also wanted to learn. She remembered hearing that another co-worker, Jean Miller, knew how to crochet and suggested they ask Jean to teach them.  A plan for lunchtime lessons ensued.

Jean sent Andrea and Eileen off to purchase worsted weight yarn and size G hooks.  In her excitement, Andrea sent out what Jean later jokingly named the “all points bulletin,” inviting half the division to the lunchtime crochet sessions. About 10 people showed up at the first meeting. Everyone joked about how crochet was supposed to be relaxing, as they all desperately tried to force the hook through ridiculously tight chains. Most students ended up with triangular scarves as they kept dropping stitches at the ends of rows. Andrea was able to successfully complete a single crochet scarf with added fringe as a result of these lessons.

Andrea always has someone in mind as she’s developing a new design. The first pattern she had published, Celia’s Scarf, was made in memory of her mother-in-law who had passed away from breast cancer. This design was included in the book Think Pink: Crochet for the Cure.

One of Andrea’s pieces, entitled Trout Jacket, is on display at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center in Livingston Manor, NY.

In addition to her crochet work, Andrea enjoys spinning and needle felting. She is currently learning more about weaving and wet felting. Andrea encourages everyone to explore as many different fiber arts as possible. She says, “You’ll be able to combine them into your projects to make something truly unique!”

 

 

About Her Design Process:

I rarely used a pattern exactly as it was provided. More often I would look at the photo, maybe follow a few rows and then improvise. I just found it to be much more fun that way! I also enjoy writing articles about crochet and yarn spinning.

 

I always keep a notebook on hand. Sometimes ideas just hit me! It could be a project idea, or an experiment with a stitch pattern.

 

Fun Story from the Crochet Industry:

I absolutely loved the one time I had the opportunity to go to the CGOA event in New Hampshire and meeting all the wonderful people I had “met” online!

 

Some of Andrea’s Favorites:

Cover of Donna Koolers Encyclopedia of Crochet
Cover of The Crocheter's Companion
Cover of The Crochet Workbook
Cover of Freeform Knitting and Crochet

 

Predictions for the Next Big Crochet Trend:

I think alternative fibers (bamboo, hemp, pineapple silk, and even paper!) will continue to intrigue fiber artists. Recycling/Upcyclcing different materials will also become more interesting to the masses, such as using cassette/VHS tape and sari silk.

 

Visit Andrea’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek

You will definitely want to visit Andrea’s blog post today! She’ll be writing a review of a crochet book and then giving the book away to a lucky winner!

Visit_Andrea_Blog

 

 

Find Andrea Online:

Ravelry: alvb (must be logged in to view profile)

Website: http://www.alvbfiberart.com

Blog: http://www.thefiberforum.com

Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/andrea-lyn-van-benschoten

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FiberArtsByAndreaLyn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alvb

Patternfish: https://www.patternfish.com/catalogs/1-patternfish

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AndreasYarnBasket

 

The Truth:

Although it sounds exciting, Andrea does not collect collect hornets’ nests and re-purpose them as art. You’re disappointed, I know, dear readers!

 

Additional Blog Tour Information:

Icons via icons8.com and iconsmind.com.

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