Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kristin Omdahl: Self-Taught Master Crocheter




Hello there! We are excited to have Kristin Omdahl posting here at Jimmy Beans Wool! Not only is she an amazing designer, she's also a good friend! Please enjoy her post and free pattern below!


I taught myself to knit and crochet while living overseas and pregnant with my son 8 years ago. I made many baby layettes and blankets for him during my pregnancy. When he was born, I had an incredible desire to continue knitting and crocheting, but had to find a different outlet - he had more baby blankets than days of the week!

Because I didn’t have access to patterns back then, I had to design my own creations from the very beginning. It was such a blessing in hindsight, because I began my designing career without even knowing it! I submitted 2 designs to magazine publishers and yarn companies shortly thereafter and both were accepted (1 knitting and 1 crochet). Since then, I have published over 200 patterns, 2 crochet books (Wrapped In Crochet, Crochet So Fine), 1 knitting book (A Knitting Wrapsody), 3 DVD workshops and I’m just getting started!

One of the challenges I impose on myself during a new design is how to interpret a texture or beautiful object I find. I live in Southwest Florida and spend a lot of time outdoors, (running and fishing with my son), so my inspirational textures are often the tropical foliage of this area. Palm trees, orchids, waves, birds, alligators, and clouds are some of my muses, to name a few.

The Crochet Flower Shawl is an example of how I challenged myself to recreate a flower garden in a crochet lace shawl. I love the flower motif you see running down the center back of the shawl. I converted these pretty flowers into half-flowers to make a beautiful scalloped, floral border without compromising the flat edge of the side triangles. The shawl is crocheted in separate pieces. The side triangles are really easy and you will memorize the pattern quickly. The motifs are made individually and joined to the triangles’ edges. In the current season of Knitting Daily TV, I demonstrate how to make and assemble this shawl.

The Crochet Flower Shawl can be made with any laceweight yarn. Silk, bamboo, wool, alpaca, and cashmere would all be great choices. I chose a solid color for my project, but the construction of this project would complement a variegated yarn, too. With all the beautiful, hand dyed yarn options available, I think your choices are endless!

While gauge is not critical for this project, if you want your shawl to be close to the size of the sample in the pattern (60” x 25”) you should make a gauge swatch. However, to achieve the gauge of the pattern, please block your swatch. You can wet it down, stretch, pin and let dry. Or, you can steam it, stretch, pin and let dry. The dried measurement is your blocked measurement. Besides achieving gauge, this will also give you a good indication of how the finished fabric will look. If you are happy, continue. If you are not, adjust for a fabric you will love to wear!
Please enjoy this pattern with my compliments! Crochet Flower Shawl Free Pattern
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The above is a guest post from Kristin Omdahl. Kristin designs knit and crochet garments and patterns under her label KRISTIN, and is the author of A Knitting Wrapsody, Crochet so Fine and Wrapped In Crochet. She appears in every episode of Knitting Daily TV on public television as the show's "Crochet Corner" expert, and she conducts seminars around the country on crochet and in her new DVD workshops, "Crochet Basics and Beyond with Kristin Omdahl" and "Innovative Crochet: Motifs". Kristin's work has appeared in magazines such as Interweave Crochet, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Vogue Knitting, plus books including Crochet Gifts and Crochet Me. She enjoys knitting and crocheting in her orchid garden in sunny, Southwest Florida. Check out what's new with Kristin at www.StyledbyKristin.com.

1 comment:

  1. Kristin,

    What a GREAT inspiration! Thanks for such a great post! Jeanne (JBW)

    ReplyDelete