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National Crochet Month
Shelby Allaho, Stitch Story
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Shelby Allaho with us today, March 3, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Shelby’s designs with you.
Nouveau Necklace Crochet Kit (green with birch wood), available for $29.95 on Etsy
This multi-media kit features a frame cut from kiri wood and coordinating variegated microfiber yarn. The background is to be crocheted in one piece, then it is stitched to the wooden frame, and the cords are crocheted and knotted to the frame. The cords can also be crocheted longer for a different look. The wood is lightweight and the yarn is soft, so it is comfortable to wear. It is a true statement necklace that you can make up in an afternoon!
Petals Collar, available for $2.99 on Ravelry
Basic stitches are combined to create an eye-catching, embellished collar with whimsical ties. Make any simple top, more fun to wear!
Shelby was originally taught to crochet years ago by her maternal grandmother, an avid crocheter who crocheted every day, and she has been actively crocheting herself for the past 12 years. Shelby doesn’t remember her first crochet project, but she has fond memories of spending time in the summers with her grandmother and looking through her large collection of Workbasket magazines. She would choose small projects that her grandmother would help her to complete.
Shelby has always been interested in the fiber arts, leading her to a degree in fashion design. She discovered freeform crochet back in 2005 when she was active with an online group of freeform crocheters. Through this group she met Bonnie Pierce, who encouraged her to submit her designs for publication. Shelby discovered that she really enjoyed designing crochet patterns, and she started submitting to online magazines. She entered a design contest sponsored by Berroco yarn company and won one of her first big breaks. She was one of the finalists and her design caught the eye of their design director at that time, Norah Gaughan. This success led to Shelby doing more designs for them. Shelby then began to submit to magazines, with her work being accepted and published more and more frequently.
You may be familiar with some of Shelby’s fabulous jewelry designs, which are inspired both by vintage and very modern jewelry. While each piece looks very different, Shelby’s unique style is recognizable in each piece. Shelby says, “I do love to create designs with half double crochet in the back loop, since it creates a beautiful ribbed effect, and I also love to do pieces with chain type links in them.” If you look at Shelby’s body of work, you’ll soon recognize her signature of lazy daisy stitch embellishments.
Shelby considers her greatest crochet accomplishment so far to be the publication of Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, a book she co-wrote with fellow designer Ellen Gormley.
Shelby enjoys many other fiber-related crafts, including knitting, embroidery, sewing, weaving, and spinning on a drop spindle. She loves to do anything related to the fiber arts!
Shelby is now collaborating with her husband, who is a woodworker, to combine their crafts to release a line of wooden items to stitch and crochet kits with wooden elements. You can find their eWoodStory shop on Etsy.
What Shelby Has to Say about Her Design Process:
I get my inspiration from many places, but often it may be from something I have seen that I love in a vintage shop, or things I find in nature. I usually start with a sketch as a jumping off point, then I begin trying to recreate what is in the sketch to see where that takes me. I may choose to scrap many of the design elements I originally intended to include, and new ones may come about as the piece develops. The final result is usually a surprise ending!
Encouragement for New Designers:
If you believe in what you do, and you feel it is unique, persevere. You will find your niche!
Predictions for the Next Big Crochet Trend:
Mixed media- using other crafts to enhance the beauty of crochet. Things like embroidery embellishment.
Some of Shelby’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Reference Books: All her Japanese stitch dictionaries
- Favorite Designers: Linda Skuja (gorgeous crochet garments), Margaret Hubert (a wonderful mentor!), Ellen Gormley (so wonderful to work with)
- Favorite Hook: Etimo hooks by Tulip
- Favorite Yarn: DK weight in a variety of fibers
- Favorite Thing to Crochet: Accessories!
Visit Shelby’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Shelby’s blog post today so you can pick up a FREE copy of her new necklace design!
Find Shelby Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/shelby-allaho