I am very happy to be part of the blog tour for Kristin Omdahl new collection ‘Complements Collection’. This booklet is being released by Bijou Basin Ranch and can be bought from them as a paper booklet. Alternatively if you like your media electronic then an e-version is available at Ravelry or Craftsy.
This booklet has 13 designs in it, interestingly it is a mix of crochet and knitting with 7 knit and 6 crochet projects. I’m fascinated with the idea of designers switching between knit and crochet having never mastered more than the most basic crochet stitches.
Kristin is a really prolific designer (I’m not kidding – she has 266 patterns on ravelry!) I am always curious to hear about other designers process and what inspires them so I sent a few questions on to Kristin:
Looking through your designs I’m in awe of the the volume of design work you do. How does the design process work for you?
It varies from project to project. Sometimes, I’m inspired in nature, and carry a sketchpad to jot down the natural textures and how I think I can create them in a stitch pattern or construction. Sometimes, an idea comes to me in sleep, and I keep another notepad next to my bed for the same reason. Other times, I fall in love with a yarn or color and just grab my hooks or needles and design on the fly. When I work that way, it is EXTREMELY important to write notes as I go otherwise it’s impossible to remember the entire pattern when I’ve finished.
I work full time designing in knitting and crochet. As a single mom, I derive all of my income from this job and you know how labor intensive it can be, so I work long hours to produce around a design per week. Not including marketing, and all the other aspects of having your own business.
Was there anything different about working on a project in conjunction with a yarn company?
It was something I’ve not done before and I have a great relationship with the people of Bijou Basin Ranch. We love collaborating together and I presented this as another way for us to work together. When I work with a magazine or a book publisher, my job ends at turning in the samples, except for approving tech edits and promotion. On this collaboration, I had the liberty to be involved in all of the decision making and learned a lot. One of the things I thought was really interesting about working with a yarn company on a book collaboration is providing kits to support the designs. For example, the Apple Blossom Shawl (the knit shawl on the cover of the book) is available as a gorgeous kit. The kit INCLUDES the book, a super cute canvas project bag, and all the yarn at a 15% reduction.
You have a big mix of crochet and knit designs in your design portfolio. Which did you learn to do first? Do you have any preference when you are designing?
I learned to knit and crochet within a month of each other 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my son and living overseas. I wanted to make booties & blankets for him before he was born. I didn’t have access to many patterns. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, I began designing almost as soon as I began knitting and crocheting. I believe that was a tremendous blessing for my future! Do I have a favorite? No way. I love both very much. There are some things I prefer in one craft over the other, and some weights and fibers I prefer over others in each craft. But I truly love both and am happy I get to work with both almost daily.
When you begin with a design idea do you always know before you start if it’s going to be in knit or crochet or is this something that changes along the way?
I generally know it’s going to be knit or crocheted up front. Usually, it is because the job was specifically designated for a specific craft. This book was the first time I got to choose which ones should be knit or crocheted, and because I am so immersed in both crafts, it was a great experiences to get to explore both, but differently, in the same collection.
Do you have a favorite from the Complements Collection?
I have a few favorites, for different reasons. I love the Gladiolus XOXO Hat as a cure to the Boyfriend Curse Sweater. I love the Aster Tiered Knit Cowl. I think it’s the most cheerful accessory: a bright flower with beautiful tiered petals framing your smiling face as you walk down the street. And, of course I love the shawls. Ok, I could go on, I guess. LOL
Have you worked with Bijou Basin Ranch yarns before? What did you like about their yarn and do you have a favorite?
I have used Bijou Basin Ranch in all of my books, current and in production ones, too. I have used Bijou Bliss more than the rest. It is the cormo wool/yak blend yarn and it gets softer and softer with wear. I love it. Not to say I don’t love their other yarns, too! They have a variety of incredible blends. I used the sock yarn Tibetan Dream for a couple of the shawls and not only is it a great fiber blend, but the yardage was incredible. 2 skeins for a large shawl. You can’t beat that
For any knitters and/or crocheters out there that would like to get your hands on this booklet I’m offering a giveaway for an electronic copy! Just post a comment and I’ll pick out a winner at random on Friday 11h of May.