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National Crochet Month:
Susie Allen, East End Design Company
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Susie Allen of East End Design Company with us today, March 20, 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 try to let you know which statement is “The Lie” somewhere in this post. If we just can’t work it in, we’ll post the truth at the bottom of the post!
- Susie’s favorite place in the world is a mountain top in Vermont.
- She has no yarn stash.
- Susie likes to run.
- She loves Nutella.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Susie’s designs with you.
“A great breeze, as you sit on the beach waiting for the sunset, is the perfect end to a perfect day. The chill in the air can be lessened by this wrap that encompasses the essence of a sunset. Made with 100% fine wool from the mountains of New England, this single yarn, is hand painted by local Melissa Johnson exclusively for Green Mountain Spinnery.”
“A little color goes a long way. Inspired by the gorgeous color of Nassau Blue by Madeline Tosh it reminded me of Long Island’s gorgeous beaches. The single nature of the yarn allows the crochet stitch pattern to really shine.”
Getting Off to a Good Start
Susie is mainly a self-taught crocheter. She learned to crochet 15 years ago when she sat down with a Leisure Arts book, a Susan Bates hook, and a skein of Red Heart yarn. Two wonderful women, Agnes McMillan and Angela from her local yarn store, helped her expand her crochet skills. Susie says her first project was a scarf from a pattern published in Woman’s Day magazine that she made with a skein of Lion Brand Homespun. She then proceeded to make a scarf for everyone!
A Design Career Is Begun
Susie began coming up with ideas for things that she not seen in patterns published elsewhere. When she was placed on bed rest while pregnant with her daughter, she started to self-publish patterns. Things just took off from there!
Susie loves open work crochet, and her designs usually have a lacy, open feel. However, she says she’s also obsessed with crochet cables. “I think they are the unsung hero of the crochet world! I’m currently writing a pattern for a vest that I hope to define my signature style,” says Susie.
Susie also pays close attention to current fashion and color trends, which helps set her designs apart. She also values using local yarns whenever possible.
Sources of Inspiration
Susie gets her inspiration from the natural world around her as well as from the latest Anthropologie catalog!
Her Greatest Crochet Accompishment
Susie believes her greatest crochet accomplishment is her jute rope beach bag. She says, “I totally love it and still use it but my hands hurt for weeks after that!”
The Wider World of Fiber Arts
Susie is also a knitting designer who enjoys researching heritage breeds of sheep.
About Her Design Process:
My design process is directly inspired by my natural surroundings. I live by the coast but frequent the mountains. I often bring my sketch book and take pictures of things that inspire me.
Advice for New Designers:
Research the whole process, talk to a lot of people who are in the industry, volunteer to work a show with your favorite yarn company. There are so many aspects to this industry, it’s amazing! But in the end, it is a business and that’s the side you need to know about so you can start, thrive, and maintain your success. (It’s hard work! )
Some of Susie’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Books: The Harmony Stitch Guides published by Interweave/F+W and Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula. Susie says, “Robyn’s engineering background and how that equates to stitch diagrams rocks my world! (Total fan girl!)”
- Designers: Marly Bird, Maureen Clark, Rebecca Velasquez, Robyn Chachula, Ellen Gormley, Doris Chan, Lily Chin, and Candi Jensen
- Favorite Hook: Susie loves “a good old Susan Bates” for most things, but for anything bigger than 5.0 mm, she loves the Brittany hooks!
- Favorite Yarn: Green Mountain Spinnery and Buffalo Gold are her favorite yarn companies. She loves working with worsted weight yarns, especially those spun as singles.
- Favorite Thing to Crochet: Baby items, especially those for preemies.
Visit Susie’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Susie’s blog post today! She will be releasing an Easter basket pattern and offering a special discount code (valid for two weeks) for 50% off ALL her crochet patterns in her Ravelry shop. Use coupon code: March to get the discount.
Susie will also talk about teaching her 5-year-old child how to crochet and how to get the whole family involved in crochet.
Find Susie Online:
Ravelry: eastenddesignco (must be logged in to see profile)
East End Design Company Blog: http://www.eastenddesignco.wordpress.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/susie-allen
Susie really DOES have a yarn stash, just like the rest of us!