Seamless Crochet Review

I am hoping you have all by now have seen Kristin Omdahl's latest book, Seamless Crochet: Techniques and Designs for Join-As-You-Go Motifs , advertised.  I can tell you first hand, it is just as beautiful as you think it is.  Seriously, it has all of Kristin's beautiful projects, plus tons of stitch diagrams to help you along with the seamless technique.

The lowdown on the book is a fantastic old technique of making continuous strips of motifs without having to fasten off.  I had seen this done in an old Japanese book, which totally blue me away, years ago.  And since then, when I crochet sometimes I slip right into the seamless method just to avoid weaving in ends.  Now you have seen this before from me (in a much much much simpler way), just look at my heading that's the Madison Scarf from my first book, Blueprint Crochet.  That is the seamless technique.  It looks like a bunch of circles but its just regular crochet with really long rows.  In Seamless Crochet , Kristin starts off simple going in rows, then she kicks it up a notch to show you how to go in diagonals and 3 dimensions.  It is mind blowing awesome.  If you love granny motifs as much as I do, I really urge to you get the book and learn this technique.  It is so inspiring and fun, and I am in love with Kristin for creating such a great book for us to use!

I took the blog tour opportunity to hassle my friend, Kristin, a bit.  It can be so hard being a friend, when I am such a fan too.  She is so sweet and went along with me and answered my burning questions.  Hope you enjoy!

RC: You know I am a total nerd, and have an obsession about researching cool techniques that are not used frequently here in the US. I do know your crochet genius pretty well, and you can come up with these techniques without all my geeky research.   But how about this book? How did you come up with the concept for Seamless Crochet

KO: I was reading an old Japanese magazine with color coded charts written in four colors and couldn't understand the color coding. I studied it for days and had an a-ha moment when I realized the technique. I then worked on figuring out how to manipulate different shaped and different types of grids (offset and straight up and down) of joining and tried to figure out how to make this "seamless technique" work for all of them. I practiced the technique on random motifs for a year before feeling confident I could design a collection of motifs and even figure out shaping to create 3-dimensional projects using this technique. It took a while to figure out how to best write the explanation in line-by-line instructions.

RC:  Now that you have so well defined this technique, I am jumping up and down to use it on everything.  But where do you see this technique being best utilized?

KO:  Well, I have been using it every motif project I've ever done since learning the technique. But as a designer under deadline pressure (as I'm sure you understand), eliminating the time of weave in hundreds of ends really appeals to me. However, for the hobbyist who is looking to take a project on the go, this might not be the best project. It takes a little extra attention, too, so maybe a stitch party with wine I would take a different project, too. At least until you totally understand it.

RC:  Besides the technique its self, What most inspired the aesthetic design of projects for this book?

KO: This was a total puzzle geeky project for me. I was inspired by geometry and tried to push the technique to the limits of what I could do with it. The mobius and cowl were feats to figure out how to join the fabric in the round while maintaining the continuous thread of yarn without cutting. The shawls with shaping were very difficult to figure out at first, especially figuring out the sequence of where the shaping should go. But once I figured it out, it was smooth sailing, and the patterns are not difficult to follow once you get the idea of what you are doing. The hats I am especially proud of because now that I've figured out 3-dimensional projects, I know I can do any style of sweater yoke, too. That would be a really fun exploration in my future.

RC: Living in Florida, it can be amazingly hot and humid. How do you stay motivated to design cold weather things when it is sweltering outside?

KO: I despise air conditioning, so you'd be surprised how often I feel cold here! I wear shawls year round in movie theaters and restaurants and our winters are just cold enough to need hand knit sweaters without having to hide them under coats! So I wear hand knit and crochet items almost year round. I find Florida to be especially inspiring to me because I love the nature so much and love to recreate the textures I see in nature in my fabric textures.

RC: Do you have any favorite gift projects for others living in warm weather climates like your own?

KO: One of the projects that I want to talk about is the Flower Trivets. I think they are great trivets, but my original idea was to make them Exfoliating Washcloths and use them in a gift box or basket with various spa products. I love to make my own sugar scrubs and bath bombs and think that if you used soothing spa colors, that would make a FANTASTIC gift! If you don't feel comfortable making the body products, you could purchase them separately but put them in the gift package.

RC:  You have heard me say this before, but you know I adore your creative and unique ways of pieces projects together that always blow my mind. Where do you find inspiration for your dramatic and amazing crochet projects?

KO: Nature for sure. Especially geometry in nature. But I also find inspiration in geometry period. I can find inspiration in the geometry of tile work, cracked pavement (seriously, I know that sounds weird), and sometimes I come up with ideas in my dreams, too.

RC:  How long have you been designing in crochet?  What was your first project you designed?

KO: I've been designing in knit AND crochet as long as I've been knitting and crocheting. I lived overseas when I taught myself both crafts and due to the fact that I had very limited resources for patterns, I was forced to create my own things if I wanted to stitch! You have no idea how grateful I am for that now! It forced me to become a designer whether I wanted to or not! I love what I do more than words, but had no idea back then that it would snowball into a career to support my son as a single mom.

RC:  I know that you are super crafty, what is it about crochet that appeals to you?

KO:I used to sew before I knit and crocheted. I think it is super math geeky that we create our fabric instead of just cutting it. I ADORE making lace stitch patterns for crochet (and knitting) and watching the geometric pattern blossom in the negative space when blocked. That always makes me smile. And I ADORE the luxury fibers we have the privilege of working with every day: from the artisan hand dyed colors and the luxury fibers, I would never want to choose just one.

RC: You have changed the landscape of knitting and crocheting by making it much more beautiful.  What is next for Kristin Omdahl?

KO: Thank you, Robyn! It's funny, but I'm looking to go in three extreme directions in my next book projects. One involves very little yardage, one involves more yardage than most books out there, and one involves a totally different set of materials -- but all three are knit and crochet books. Ha! How's that for a puzzle clue?

What a tease!  Now don't you love her too?  I really hope you take a chance to check out this book.  It is such a great one to have in your crochet library!
  Seamless Crochet BLAD


Katelyn said...

Thanks for the review. I can't wait to see this book. I love to do motifs but HATE to spend the time to weave in the ends, by that time I just want the finished product. Can't wait to see all that is in this book!

CrochetBlogger said...

I think it really speaks to Kristin's credit that she put a year's worth of effort into designing and playing with the technique before working on the book. Shows true commitment to a creative technique and is definitely what makes her a crochet expert.

Mmatilda said...

I would love to see the old japanese book Kristin mentions here. Just to be able to compare the technique to my own seamless technique. Is it possible to get to know the name of the book and the author?