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National Crochet Month
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Leslie Stahlhut with us today, March 1, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
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!
- Leslie likes caramel.
- Leslie knows how to knit.
- Leslie summered in Fresno as a child.
- Leslie didn’t learn to crochet until she was 37.
If you’re not familiar with Leslie’s work already, we’d like to share two of her designs with you.
African Flower Soccer Ball, FREE pattern on Leslie’s blog
Leslie first became acquainted with the African Flower Hexagon in May of 2010. She says: “I found the motif enchanting and sublime.” This pattern was published in Afrikaans the magazine Sarie, and can be found here. There is also a tutorial available here.
Pastel Cat Bag Tutorial, FREE pattern on Leslie’s blog
I absolutely love this stitch pattern that gives the appearance of little kitties all in a row, popping their heads and paws up over a fence. As much as I love cats, I just had to include this as an example of one of Leslie’s designs.
About 17 years ago, a woman named Edith Proctor, who was in her 80s at the time, taught Leslie how to crochet. For a year and a half, Leslie would go over to Edith’s house every Sunday afternoon, as Edith passed along everything she knew about crochet. To this day, Leslie prefers to focus all her crafting time on crochet, and she has never learned to knit.
Leslie’s first completed crochet project was a blanket made from Red Heart Super Saver yarn in colors of cherry red, bright yellow, and blue. Can you believe she made large squares of single crochet for her blanket? She then added a border of yellow followed by a border of blue before joining the squares together.
While Edith was a gifted crocheter and teacher, she couldn’t read directions. Because Leslie’s pattern-reading skills were originally so limited, she got started designing pretty early, using her own imagination to create her projects. Leslie is now probably best-known for her use of color in her designs and the fabulously intricate projects she designs annually for the North Carolina State Fair. (You need to visit her blog and see some of her creations for previous years!) Her designs are often very geometric and are also usually very personal in some way, although the viewer may not know how or why they are so personal. Leslie thinks the personal element to her designs is probably the “ineffable” part of her design work.
Some of Leslie’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Reference Books: The Adventurous Crocheter by Delia Brock and Lorraine Bodger (out-of-print) and Crochet Workshop by James Walters (recently re-released by Dover Books.
- Favorite Designers: Anne Halliday, Twinkie Chan, Alice Merlino (aka FutureGirl), and Babukatorium/Pippiripi
- Favorite Hook: Clover Amour
- Favorite Yarn: Leslie really likes working with worsted weight yarns and Red Heart Super Saver in particular. She finds it comes in almost all her favorite colors and she can make just about anything she can think of using it. She does have a nostalgic longing for some discontinued colors, such as kiwi, light fuchsia, and magenta.
What Leslie Has to Say about Her Design Process:
Sometimes a design comes to me whole, and all I need to do is write down the particulars and then execute it. But a lot of times I have a clear vision of what I want to get to, but not as clear an idea of how to make that vision into an object. My very first cookie-based afghan took me a total of 18 months to design. I didn’t spend every day of the 18 months working on it, but that’s how long it took me to get the 13 cookies designed to my satisfaction and then make them. This past summer, however, I worked on a picture afghan, and I only spent about twelve weeks on it (I had to get it turned in to the state fair, so it was self-imiting in that regard). For that piece I worked on separate panels, and as I got one panel figured out, I would crochet the pieces for it while I worked on the design for the remaining panels.I get my ideas from everywhere. For example, I had a friend in third grade whose mother was known for baking cookies, so when I wanted to make something special for that friend, I designed a bunch of cookies in a project I now refer to as “Cookieghan 1.0.” Another time, I saw a Frank Stella painting, and I thought “I could totally crochet that, and then it would be craft instead of Art.” That was the inspiration for what eventually became “Bright Squares Art Throw.” And then, of course, there are those moments you (or a family member) need something — like a strap for a marching band music binder — and it is easier and faster to just crochet one than it would be to try to find something else sturdy enough to make it through band camp and marching band season.
Visit Leslie’s Blog: NatCroMo Sneak Peek
Leslie believes crochet is a very social activity. She says, “I have met some of the neatest people as a result of learning to crochet. I highly recommend it.” Check out some of the social aspect related to Leslie’s crochet experiences on her blog post today, where she’ll update readers on some of her current crochet exploits. She hopes to inspire you to seek out a crochet adventure of your own!
Find Leslie Online:
Crochetville: crochetbug13 (must be logged in to view profile)
Ravelry: crochetbug13 (must be logged in to view profile)
Main website/blog: http://www.crochetbug.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/leslie-stahlhut
Did you catch that Leslie doesn’t know how to knit?
Additional Blog Tour Information: