When my fingertips begin to get antsy, overambition tends to get the best of me. Weeks and weeks later I end up with a bag of abandoned crochet squares in my closet, yet no afghan under which to cuddle and drink hot tea. Linda Permann’s book, Crochet Adorned, is a bounty of pretty crochet projects that prove crafting satisfaction is attainable for all! With cheerful ideas to spruce up old cardigans, tote bags, and aprons, this autumn will be the season to refashion, renew, and renovate. For this week’s How-Tuesday, Linda answers some of our questions on inspiration and design, and shares her Like-New Shoes project for those extra bits of handspun yarn you’ve been saving in your basket.
There is something so simple about sitting down with a hook, some yarn, and an idea. And yet the thought of making something to wear can be so intimidating! Notions of shaping stitches to fit your body, making sure you have the precise gauge, and wondering if you even measured yourself correctly in the first place can turn off beginners — and plenty of more experienced crafters! — from making crocheted garments.
Last summer I started thinking about ways to incorporate crochet into my wardrobe that took away the intimidation factor. I kept seeing crochet details in fashion and thinking, “I could do that… better.” There’s something about having a hand in making your garments that gives them longevity — for me, no store-bought piece can compete. So I started to design embellishment projects from simple trims to vintage-inspired, motif-based yokes and collars, and from there, this book was born. I hope you find the projects quick to work, inexpensive, and fun to make.
Interview With Author Linda Permann
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do.
My name is Linda Permann and I’m a crochet and craft designer and writer. I design crochet patterns and craft projects, write articles on techniques, and write a crochet advice column for Crochet Today, among other things.
What draws you to crocheting and how did you get started with it?
I think I’ve just always liked to work with what I have and do things as I go, and crocheting lends itself to both of those practices. My grandma taught me to crochet when I was little but I really never went anywhere with it, and then in 2001 I went to the Knit Out and picked up some crochet pamphlets — no idea why I decided to do crochet instead, but there you have it. I mainly wanted to make some hats and scarves for myself and then I started making more for friends, coworkers, etc.
Where do you find inspiration for your creative process?
Everywhere! For this book I looked at a lot of fashion and ready-to-wear catalogs — not only at crocheted things, but knitted, sewn, machine produced, etc. I find a lot of inspiration by reading blogs and in real life attention to little details. I work at a yarn shop and I love seeing what people are making and touching all of the yarn. Yarn is probably the #1 thing that inspires me; even if I have a somewhat predetermined idea of what I want to make in my head, the yarn tells me the best way to make it.
What’s next for you?
More writing, more crafting, and more crochet designing! Although I can’t divulge the particulars, let’s just say I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Give your tired shoes a mini-makeover with these easy trims. They work up so quickly that you’ll be able to coordinate a pair with every outfit. You’ll only need a tiny bit of yarn for each shoe, so try working with odds and ends you have on hand.
The completed Chain Stitch Trim measures 1/8″ (3mm) wide; the length of the trim is determined by your shoe. One completed Ruffle Trim measures 3/4″ (2cm) wide by 3 1/4″ (8.5cm) long.
Size D-3 (3.25mm) crochet hook (for ruffle trim) or size F-5 (3.75mm) crochet hook (for chain trim), or size to obtain gauge.
Shoes to embellish (look for a pair that’s easy to sew through)
Sewing thread to match yarn
Fabric glue (optional)
Gauge is not critical for this project. Refer to the finished measurements, and make one ruffle or one length of chain to check gauge.
Ruffle Trim (Make 2)
With yarn A and a size D-3 (3.25mm) hook, ch 14.
Row 1 (WS) Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn — 13 sc.
Row 2 Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), (3 dc, hdc) in first sc, *hdc in next sc (hdc, 3 dc, hdc) in next sc; repeat from * across.
Fasten off. Weave in the ends.
Note: If you’d like a longer ruffle, work a longer foundation chain. Make sure to work a multiple of 2 chain stitches.
Sew one ruffle to the toe of each shoe. Use a sharp needle to sew the foundation chain loops to the front edge of the shoe opening, then tack some of the ruffles in place from the inside of the shoe. Knot off the thread and secure the end with a dab of fabric glue, if desired.
Chain Stitch Trim
Make two foundation chains, each about 1″ (2.5cm) longer than the opening of your shoe. Fasten off the yarn and weave in the ends.
Place one end of the chain trim at the instep of the shoe and sew the trim around the entire edge. When you reach the beginning of the trim again, overlap the excess 1″ (2.5cm) and securely sew the trim in place. You can also try gluing the trim in place, but be sure to test the glue first to make sure it won’t discolor the shoe or yarn.
Looking for more ways to embellish with yarn? Check out a copy of Crochet Adorned for delightful inspiration. Thanks to Linda Permann and the good folks at Potter Craft for sharing this project with us.