I met Linda Perman when she was editor of Adorn, the now defunct cool sewing and craft magazine that was out a few years ago. I did a project for them and have kept in touch with Linda as she has moved around the USA - first to Montana and then to Texas, two places that sound great to live! During it all, she got a two book deal with Potter Craft and we have kept in touch. Linda writes the great blog "Lindamade."
I must admit, I don't crochet too much. I know the basics and I love a good granny. I've never had the desire to become a crochet designer but I'm glad Linda Perman did. Her books are colorful, clever, really fun, and very, very stylish. Her new book is Little Crochet and it is full of amazingly sweet crochet projects for babies and toddlers. The photography is drop dead gorgeous and the instrux look clear and well written, just as her first book Crochet Adorned was.
There are 24 fabulous projects for babies and toddlers up to 4 years old. I am really in love with the cover booties. Are they just too much? Little stars inset into the top of the bootie. Linda says you can whip up a pair in an evening.
And the next one is a colorful afghan worked in my Julia Yarn. It's called the Mix and Match Blanket. This blankie is so clever. To work it, you use the one chart given. All of the squares are made with the same chart but it gets mixed up by changing colors. Some of the squares have a solid color circle, some striped, and some feature a pinwheel design. Linda added embroidery to some of them also. She is a woman after my own heart! I could see this Blankie made much larger into an official Blanket and looking really great on a couch or a bed. What a really nice gift for a new baby..... you could keep adding squares as the baby grows. Here's the Ravelry Page for it.
Linda was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the Mix and Match Blanket.
KN: I'll admit it Linda. I can change color like a master when I'm knitting but I have no clue how to change color in the midst of a round in crochet. What is the secret?
LP: Really the key to nice color changes in crochet is this: complete the last stitch of the OLD color with the NEW color.
IE, for Double crochet: "With FIRST color, yarn over and insert hook in stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through first 2 loops on hook, yarn over with NEXT color, and draw through both remaining loops on hook. Continue working with next color."
Since the last yarn over of the stitch before the "first" stitch in the new color is the loop that lays on top of the stitch, you have to change colors a little before what you would do intuitively (which would be to start the next stitch with the new color). I hope that makes sense, there is an illustration in the appendix of the book under "Joining Yarns and Changing Colors."
KN: Okay Linda, I trust you. I've got an idea for a video tutorial for you now! Like you don't have enough on your plate! But seriously, I love how you used the one motif for the blanket but really mixed it up so it looks totally fun and colorful. How did you plan it?
LP: I knew when I was planning the book that I wanted to have at least one motif-based blanket. What I like about motifs is that they are easy to work and you can easily carry them along with you. I wanted to keep the pattern simple, because I'm someone who likes to put the pattern down after a while and just keep crocheting, so for the Mix and Match Motif Blanket, I based each of the squares on the same motif, with simple touches like color changes and embroidery to make each square feel different. It's easy to personalize the blanket and I also think it's a fun first colorwork project for those who are a little intimidated to mix and match colors.
KN: What was the inspiration behind the Mix & Match Blankie?
LP: I was really inspired by the color palette available in your Julia yarn, and in case any art buffs are reading, by the work of Jasper Johns. If you have trouble picking out colors for this project, look to a piece of fabric or a painting that you like--then look closer to see what colors are involved. If you start with something you know you like, it will make it easier to visualize your color scheme.
Linda also made this really cute video for a book trailer. If you watch it, you'll see everyone of the projects parade across your computer screen. Linda surely is a talented designer.
So here's what I have for you to win today. To celebrate the launch of Linda Perman's Little Crochet, I have enough Julia Yarn for the Mix and Match Motif Blanket and a copy of Linda's new book!
I'll make it easy for you to enter. All you have to answer is this question:
Do you knit, crochet, or embroider, or do you do a combo of all?
Contest is closed. The winner is cellobean who wrote: I love both, but barely get to either. I have always knitted, but taught my mother to crochet in the last few years of her life (she was a very accomplished woman and wasn't happy being less active and ill...the new skill gave her a boost!). I seem to do more dreaming about both than actual doing. I'd love to crochet the blanket! Love your blog.