Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Focus: Ann D. Angelo

Fall has come to Seattle quite suddenly. There's been lots of rain, lots of wind, and lots of leaves on the ground. It really is true that time passes subjectively faster as you age. I can't believe summer is gone! However, I am excited about all of my autumn favorites. Pumpkin spice lattes, my cat sleeping in her basket by the fireplace, warm cuddles on the couch, baking, and fall tree gazing are all in my future. I even kicked things off by baking banana bread yesterday. Of course, some of the best things about fall are the holidays. Thanksgiving, my birthday (that's a holiday, right?), and *drumroll* Halloween! That night of frights is just around the corner.

Have you thought about crocheting some Halloween decorations? There's still time! If you're looking for a great project, look no further than the splendid creations of Ann D. Angelo. Ann's special stuffies are sure to send a shiver down your spine. Her creepy patterns are detailed and often historical. I find her style to be especially interesting since Ann herself is totally bright, sweet, and peppy. She'll soon have you as charmed as I am!

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
Well, let’s see. At the age of five, while playing dentist with the neighbor boy, I used a crochet hook to remove his filling, which I mistook for a particularly stubborn hunk of food. Although I didn’t technically make anything that day, I think this episode clearly shows that I knew how to use a crochet hook for my own dark and stubborn purposes from very early on.

Meanwhile, to answer the question you actually asked, when I was nine, my best friend and I were summarily informed that we were going to learn crocheting from a woman who had a basement shop in our very tiny downtown. The whole dental work disaster aside, I don’t remember expressing any interest in crocheting before that point, so one of our mothers must have decided that we needed to sit still and stop giggling for a change.

Why do you crochet?
I have a very panicky, nervous, and imaginative brain. I can scarcely even watch TV without thinking about 17 other things at once, 15 of which are going to end with an explosion, a car crash, a failed root canal - something. Crocheting is meditative for me. If I turn on a program and pick up a project, ahh! Peace!

Crochet Favorites
My favorite yarn? Oh boy. This is the part where people say proper things like “Mad Tosh” or “Noro,” right? I am going to horrify fiber enthusiasts everywhere when I say that I actually like working with acrylics. Not kidding. The vast majority of the things I make are amis, so I use acrylics and (occasionally) cotton blends.

As for hooks, I’m a Clover girl, all the way.

What are you working on right now?
At the moment, I am all about Christmas ornaments, not because I am in any particular hurry to get to Christmas, but because I have to be out in front of the holidays with my designs. (Apparently, some people like to start making Christmas ornaments and presents before December 20, which is wonderful and admirable and strange. I usually decide on December 20 that I need to make someone a sweater coat - and then I trick myself into thinking I might actually succeed! One of these years, I am going to turn myself over to Christmas Anonymous so I can get the help I so clearly need!) 

A few finished objects...
I’m a HUGE horror fan, and this is my Nosferatu ami. I am still in love with his enormous hands, because seriously, have you looked at Nosferatu’s hands lately? They’re not even gorilla hands; they’re King Kong hands!

I have been fascinated with the Lizzie Borden case since sixth grade. I have visited her house. I have read books. And now, I have rendered her in yarn. Yar!

I made Merlin & Arthur for a friend’s daughter last Christmas. Every once in awhile, I like to make things that aren’t dark, just to prove I can.

These dolls are so cute and they barely scratch the surface of Ann's amazing collection. My personal favorite is Edgar Allen Poe. She also co-writes a really fun blog. Ann, I dig your "sudden affection for purple"! Purple is THE BEST. Many thanks to our featured crocheter for sharing her work with us today. Happy October!

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