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National Crochet Month:
Linda Dean, Linda Dean Crochet
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Linda Dean of Linda Dean Crochet with us today, March 28, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). She’s been a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America for the past two years.
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!
- Linda has been skydiving, ballooning, and zip lining, all in celebration of wedding anniversaries.
- When she isn’t crocheting, she’s doing something online.
- Linda has crocheted for 75% of her life.
- She is the fourth generation on the same street, restoring the house that her great-grandfather built.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Linda’s designs with you.
This design won an Honorable Mention in the Accessories Category of the Crochet Guild of America 2013 Design Contest.
“Five petal flowers are everywhere in this design, each motif is worked in Tunisian crochet to form flowers in the negative space. Within these negative space flowers a flower blooms on each petal. This design is created with three large motifs that join as you go, creating a wrap that can transform into a shrug by simply utilizing the flower “buttons” that accent the motifs.”
“The simple Drop Stitch creates an airy and elegant wrap, that only looks like you spent hours making hairpin lace. Make it as an easy dress up for a night out or a fun cover to keep the sun from your shoulders; this is a versatile addition to any wardrobe!”
Getting Off to a Good Start
Linda is a self-taught crocheter. When she was about 10 years old, a family friend gave her family a stack of books, including one called Step by Step Crochet, published by Golden Press in 1972. Linda found a crochet hook, some scrap yarn, and got to work. She managed to teach herself all the basic stitches.
Linda spent her summer break sitting out on the hillside near her home in northern California, going through the stitches and working up clothes for her Barbie and some carves (which she still has to this day). She then convinced her mom that she could make an afghan. She picked out a chevron-style pattern, bought the yarn, and started the project. She remembers having trouble getting her edges straight at the beginning, as she kept accidentally increasing stitches. To hide the mistake, she added a scallop edging, figuring out very early what it takes some longer to figure out: Turn a mistake into a design feature! That afghan is still in use at her parents’ home, a warm favorite.
A Design Career Is Begun
I actually feel it was a luck of fate that I am a professional designer. I was probably designing for years, but never really identified myself as such. My journey began as a “stick your neck out trip.” The journey actually began about 2007 when my dad was running for local office. I would accompany him to campaign events, as my mom was ill and waiting for a transplant. During one of these fundraising events, I won a drop spindle lesson from a local woman, Jean Franklin, who encouraged me to join her local Fiber Guild. It was my first experience with a guild, and I was hooked, and greatly inspired.
When I learned of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), I was eager to see what it had to offer me. I jumped right in by completing the Master’s of Advanced Stitches and Techniques Program, and in the summer of 2011 I was invited to attend one of the annual conferences to be recognized at the banquet dinner. With encouragement from my family and a few close friends, I decided to go and see what it was all about. So I arrived in Minneapolis and took part in everything that I could. I took my first crochet class ever, I met wonderful people, and one evening while sitting in the hotel lobby, I got a jump start on a new career. I was playing with a stitch technique I was attempting to figure out, when the lady across the table asked what I was doing. I explained I was attempting to work something out; she looked it over and stated that I should take it to the “Designer Meet & Greet”. I explained I had a class and then realized that the woman I was speaking to was my instructor for that class, Margaret Hubert. Margaret told me I was to leave her class early and attend, and she made sure I did, too. At the Meet & Greet I sold a design, and that stitch I was working out, Backed Broomstick Lace, well I had shared it with Carol Alexander and that became my first published pattern and article in Crochet! Magazine’s launch of the Learn It Do It section in Spring 2012. The rest as they say is history.
Linda enjoys designing fabrics that have nice drape and are constructed in ways that are not readily apparent. She like to work items vertically, as she believes this gives a nice line to tops and jackets. She also likes working on the diagonal (or on the bias, if you’re familiar with sewing terms) because of the way the color and lines blend together visually without a solid vertical line. She enjoys playing with different stitch techniques to translate an old idea into something new, all the while making something practical that makes her feel good.
Sources of Inspiration
Linda gets inspiration from home renovation magazines, architecture, colors, hotel carpets, and even conversations with friends. She’s even come up with stitch patterns based on dance steps!
Her Greatest Crochet Accomplishment
Linda has several career highlights. She is proud of taking second place in the Accessories category of the 2012 CGOA Design Contest with her Vineyard at Dawn Shawl and of having her Blossom Spin Wrap design featured on the cover of the current special issue of Crochet! Magazine Quick and Easy Crochet Accessories. She also considers each of her designs an accomplishment.
The Wider World of Fiber Arts
Linda has discovered that she really enjoys teaching crochet. She says she learns something new every time she walks into a classroom. She tries to help each student find their own empowerment and confidence. “There is great power in creating,” Linda says.
Linda knows how to spin and dye yarn. Her 8-year-old daughter is teaching her to knit.
About Her Design Process:
My design process is different almost every time. It depends upon where I find the inspiration and how I see it envisioned. There are many variables in play. Usually it begins with either a stitch or an image, and I mull it over for a while figuring out the simplest way to create it, before I even begin sketching it out. I many times find that by playing with yarn in different ways, or de-constructing a stitch, I see a completely new idea.
Advice for New Designers:
To remember that you are not in this alone, there are many people that assist in making your business successful, and practicing professionalism in communication and networking can help you establish connections that are mutually beneficial. Over all, you are running a business, treat it as such.
Advice for New Crocheters:
Enjoy it. It is a process, and there are many different facets to crochet. Even “Experts” were, and in some areas of crochet may still be, “Novices”, so do not beat yourself up for not getting it the first time.
Some of Linda’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Book: Linda loves teaching with Margaret Hubert’s The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.
- Favorite Hooks: She works best with tapered hooks such as Boye, but also enjoys ChiaoGoo wooden hooks for Tunisian work.
- Favorite Yarn: It really depends upon the project, but easily gravitates toward silks, alpacas, and good cotton.
Visit Linda’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Linda’s blog post today! Linda will be making her Empress Wide Tunisian Scarf pattern available for FREE as well as offering a discount on patterns in her Ravelry store.
Find Linda Online:
Ravelry: lindadeancrochet (must be logged in to see profile)
Linda Dean Crochet Blog: http://www.lindadeancrochet.com/blog/
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/linda-dean
Linda is actually not online that often as she lives in an area with very unreliable and inconsistent internet access.
Additional Blog Tour Information: