Meet Cristina Mershon

Fidelma Motif Shawl
 I would like to introduce you to Cristina Mershon, graphic designer, art director, crochet designer, and mom.  Her work is just stunning.  It combines everything we love about crochet from lace to color to texture, and mixes it with her keen art director eye for amazing results.  A walk through her ravelry page will show you more then I could describe.

In Vintage Modern Crochet, Cristina designed Fidelma Motif Shawl for the Irish Crochet Chapter.  She took a very classic Irish Motif Flower and instead of freeforming the netting she crocheted the netting right onto the motif.  The result is a mix of history with textural flowers combined with modern ways of joining crochet motifs for a beautiful project.  The best part is the hidden beads on the edges of the shawl to give the heavenly cloud yarn some weight to drape perfectly on you.

We got to chat a bit about crochet last week, here is some of our chat:

RC: What is it about crochet that inspires you to design in it?
CM: For me, crochet is like art, sometimes you start a project trying to create a new stitch or a new shape, and you end up with something unexpected and beautiful. it's like the hook is guiding you through the yarn, not really knowing where you were going. Of course, that changes when you have to create very specific pieces. I use to knit when I was younger, and I always felt that I have to calculate every stitch every row. Yarn is always an inspiration. The colors, the textures, they way it flows when your are working with it sometimes determines the kind of project is calling out to be. I get great inspiration from looking at fashion magazines, the shapes and colors, that sometimes break molds, and run away from the granny squares to becomes something bigger and more complex.
Fidelma Close-up

RC: What is one of your favorite techniques in crochet?
CM: I love using old school techniques to incorporate into new and modern garments. My favorite is always Irish crochet, since growing up in Spain, my mom was obsessed with making doilies with puffy roses, and intricate designs that would cover most of our furniture. I was amazed when arriving to the United States I discovered that crochet wen beyond old dainty doilies, you could use to crochet for everything. And that's how my passion for crochet design started. 

RC: What was the last item that you made for yourself (in any craft)?
MC: So, traveling through the Northwest, I discovered this tiny yarn store in Idaho that carried yarn from Brown Sheep Yarns. I've been crocheting for many years, too many to count, and I never heard of them. I purchased 20 skein of  shinny Lamb's Pride yarn and for the first time, I did a triangle motif throw for myself. It was one of those pieces too pretty to give away. So I am working on finishing the pattern now for my Ravelry patterns, it's going to be gorgeous. And since I have 4 little kids, I cannot help myself but doing hats, girly jackets, pretty dresses, and everything that would bring a smile to their little faces, and keep me sane.

RC: What other crafts do you love?
CM: I love macrame, knitting, felting... but honestly, I don't have for any of that anymore. It's family, work and crochet, and as soon as I find time for something else, I would probably just crochet some more.

RC: What was your inspiration behind your design in Vintage Modern Crochet?
CM: I was so lucky to get to work on the Fidelma Shawl. It was the perfect combination of Irish crochet, retro feel and modern twist with the beautiful silky mohair yarn. As I was making swatches, I was thinking is breezy summer nights (without kids!). The color was rich and bright, so I wanted to create something with flow, like a cloud, using classic Irish crochet techniques, like the rose, picots, leaves and arches.
Fidelma Motif Shawl

RC: What is next for you?  Where can people see more of your work?
CM: I just finished a couple projects for Vogue and Noro, that would be coming up in the fall. A new collaborative book with Interweave just come out, Modern Baby Crochet. And now I am working on writing a few of my favorite patterns that I have in storage forever. I will be publishing those on Ravelry shortly using my new favorite yarns from Brown Sheep, and even making some crochet kits, so you won't have to go crazy choosing yarns and patterns.

You can see most of Cristina's work on Ravelry.  She would love to hear from you!  Please send her a message and tell her what kind of pattern you would like her to do next.

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