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National Crochet Month:
Today’s Posts: Kristin Omdahl, Styled by Kristin | Mary Jane Hall, Positively Crochet! | Daily Giveaway | Kate Steinke, CGOA Board of Directors | Halos of Hope Hat Collection | Complete Designer Schedule
Kristin Omdahl, Styled by Kristin
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Kristin Omdahl with us today, March 30th, 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 Kristin’s designs with you.
Three Truths and a Lie:
- Kristin was a professional model as a teenager.
- Kristin plays guitar and piano.
- Kristin is really afraid of snakes and sharks.
- Kristin can’t swim.
Kristin is a self-taught crocheter who has been crocheting for 13 years. She also taught herself to knit. She says, “I was living overseas, pregnant and homesick during the 9/11 catastrophe. Learning to knit and crochet baby things while waiting for the birth of my son was very comforting to me.”
Her first project was a baby bootie that was very large because she didn’t yet understand gauge. But she took it as a success because despite the size, it looked like the right shape. She tried again, using a smaller hook, and the bootie turned out the correct size.
Becoming a Designer
Kristin shares with us, “Designing gave me hope when I was in an abusive marriage overseas with a baby. I dreamed of supporting my son and myself if I could safely get back to US soil. We arrived with a suitcase of clothes, my knitting needles and crochet hooks, and a dream. I tried every angle I could think of! I made ready-to-wear for boutiques, and I sold patterns to magazines, yarn companies and book publishers.” Eleven years later, she’s working on her 12th and 13th books, she owns her own yarn company, has the experience of being on a crafting TV show for ten seasons, and more. Kristin adds, “I’ve had so many wonderful experiences so far, and I’m not done learning and exploring new ideas!”
Kristin’s design signature is lightweight, figure flattering women’s wear with a focus on lace. But she likes to design a variety of things, including home decor, menswear, baby items, survival gear, and more.
Kristin says her designs just come from inside her. She tells us, “I get passionate bursts of energy with ideas that make me excited. It brings me a lot of joy. I’m grateful people find my designs special. It’s kept a roof over our heads and food on our table for 11 years. My son and I are very grateful.”
Kristin finds inspiration in textures. She says, “Whether it is the formation of the petals in a flower, the texture of bark or leaves, or the scales or feathers of an animal, nature is a driving force behind my inspiration.” She also says, “I like to watch fashion trends, but avoid knitting and crochet trends as much as possible. I prefer to be inspired by the silhouettes of cut-and-sewn fashion.”
Kristin’s design process depends on the project. She says, “I’m an experimental designer. Sometimes it makes more sense to write it down first and study the math and charts (theory). Other times, it makes more sense to see if it actually works (practice). And sometimes, it goes in the garbage and I start all over. That’s the nature of the beast. Designing is an experimental process. I love the challenge!”
Of all Kristin’s work, she is most proud of the pattern collections she’s designed for her books and the pattern e-books she self-publishes to support her beautiful yarns. She says, “I’m currently learning to dye my own yarn to create color changes perfect for the types of projects I like to design. Can’t wait to show you more!!!”
In addition to crocheting, Kristin also knits, makes jewelry, and hand-dyes her own yarns. She has a new collection of hand-dyed yarns coming soon. Kristin also draws the fabric artwork for Erin Lane Bags‘ knit and crochet project bags.
Advice for New Crocheters:
Kristin recommends, “Watch videos, take classes, and find projects that excite you. Your brain is more receptive to learning when you are excited about the project you want to make.”
Advice for New Designers:
“Don’t quit your day job,” Kristin cautions. “It is a very time consuming, labor-intensive profession. Do your homework, ask a lot of questions from a variety of professionals in the industry, and see if there is a niche you can fill. Go slow, and it will grow. Quitting you day job should be the last step, not the first.”
Some of Kristin’s Favorites:
Favorite Yarn: Favorite animal fiber: alpaca. Favorite plant fiber: bamboo.
Kristin says, “I think there is a yarn for every project, and a project for every yarn. Sometimes I’m in the mood for lace and fingering, sometimes chunky. I probably lean towards the lighter yarns mostly, but chunky is fun, too!”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “I think blankets are the best gift to make and receive, period. I make baby blankets for friends and family. My son requests blankets to fit his bed. We have an assortment of big blankets I’ve made over the years. My favorite was the Megalodon Blanket I Tunisian-crocheted for him after a trip to the Natural History Museum in Washington DC. The border was gigantic teeth to represent the enormous jaw we stood inside for a picture at the museum. I still haven’t published the pattern, but we love to take it to the park for picnics.”
Favorite Designers: “Drew Emborsky is my favorite person in the industry, but I love many wonderfully talented people in our industry, and I would hate to forget anyone.”
Visit Kristin’s Blog: NatCroMo Celebration Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Krsitin’s blog post today to find out what she is going to share with us in celebration of National Crochet Month!
Find Kristin Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/kristin-omdahl
Ravelry Profile: ravelry.com/people/KristinOmdahl (must be logged in to view profile)
The truth is that Kristin can indeed swim. If you are already a follower of Kristin, you will notice that she is often poolside in photographs.