those of you who know me, know that i’m not usually a big fan of baby stuff, but lately there have been a few little people being born in my circle, and i’ve come to appreciate the satisfaction of little projects…
i am so enthusiastic about this book that i’ve been carrying it around and showing it to anyone who cares (namely my crochet students and LYS owner over at White Barn Farm)! and for the first time EVER, i’ve done what i always want to do when reviewing a book: i actually sat down and MADE one of the projects, those cutie-patootie Star Booties above! of course they were super quick which was part of the fun… and i can now attest that the pattern was very well-written and a breeze to understand. and the addition of stitch diagrams was very helpful to a visual folk like me. ok, so i guess it’s time i showed you this book, huh?
voila. clean, modern, simple and beautiful! such a delight to the eyes! and selfish crocheter that i am, i want to make most of the projects for myself. (notice i only seemed to photograph the girly projects in the book? there are plenty of unisex and boyish projects too!)
incidentally, Ms. Permann is also the author of one of my other favorite crochet books, Crochet Adorned, which i have been meaning to review since it came out. if you haven’t seen that one yet, you’re gonna love it too!
there is just so much to love about this book, which i think is very different than most baby crochet books. it fills a void for crocheters who want simple, well-designed projects in gorgeous, natural-fiber yarns. Linda and i see eye-to-eye about many facets of the art of hooking, so we had a little chat:
cp: Usually the crochet projects and patterns for babies I see turn me off, because they look so impractical. Yours are just the opposite! They seem so fresh, modern, and hip. What inspired you to write a book about crocheting for the little people?
LP: When my nephew was born, I had all of these ideas of cool things I wanted to make for him. I started out with toys, which I designed on the fly (I made “prototypes” for Stripe the Giraffe and Tegue’s Jingle Ball for him). But when I started looking for garments, which I was less comfortable designing at that time, I really couldn’t find anything I loved. I’m used to changing colors and yarns on patterns, but even then nothing did it for me. I found that the customers at my yarn shop had similar experiences (and often gave up to pursue knitted patterns, of which there are tons), and it clicked that there needed to be a hip, modern baby crochet book out there. So, I decided to write it!
cp: I love that you used REAL yarn for this book, or in other words, the good stuff that we like to crochet with, not pastel acrylic. Do you think the world is finally ready to embrace wool and other natural fibers, in the full spectrum of colors, for babies?
LP: I hope. I’m not sure, but I am always trying to reel people in. I figured if people can see the results on small-scale, relatively inexpensive project, they might realize all of the benefits and apply them to garments for themselves. I want my books to inspire people–and show them the products of more vibrant color choices. Of course, you can easily substitute less expensive yarns, but there are plenty of books and patterns for those yarns–and at this moment, still very few crochet patterns written in nicer yarns.
cp: Sometimes I feel like a crusader trying to spread the word about what I call “Good Crochet”. Do you think more people are realizing that crochet is not just about doilies and potholder vests anymore?
LP: I’m with you Cal! My official title at the yarn shop where I work is “Crochet Evangelist.” I think a lot of people–even crocheters–don’t realize that you can pretty much do anything you want to in either crochet or knitting. Each craft has strengths and weaknesses, but I’m trying to obliterate the blanket statements (pun intended!) about what crochet is good for. I think it’s good for a lot of things, and there are so many crocheters in the world, I hope that this book will help show people what you can do with a hook. So far, it seems to be working!
i would also like to mention that the sweet and cheerful photographs are by the awesome Heather Weston, who also did the ones in my book.
thanks for answering my questions, Linda, and for writing such a fantastic book!