Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Focus: Norma Lynn Hood

This autumn I started baking a lot more in an effort to increase my skills. Every Wednesday for the past few months I have put on my apron, pulled out the ingredients, and gotten to work. I have made banana bread, maple cookies, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cupcakes, orange cupcakes, and pumpkin roll just to name a few. I hope to continue baking once a week for the foreseeable future. What do I do with all of the treats? While Alex and I definitely eat some (read: too much) of them, I love to share them with the people in our apartment building.

Norma Lynn Hood whips up tasty treats as well, but her ingredients aren't flour, sugar, or vanilla. She crochets treasure cakes that she turns into sachets. How sweet is that? Even sweeter is the fact that she also shares her treats with others by selling the treasure cakes to raise money for charity. Though treasure cakes are her main claim to fame, she also has many other amazing patterns. Her kind heart and beautifully imaginative designs will soon have you asking for seconds. Settle in with me on this chilly morning and let Norma Lynn warm your heart as today's featured designer.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
I first saw a crocheted piece in Macy’s in 2001.  It was a white ribbed tank adorned with a pink carnation made of yarn.  I was instantly captivated and studied the flower for a few minutes.  I didn’t dare buy the garment because of its overpriced value, but I suddenly had a deep urge to make myself that flower.  That moment was a door to a new world for me.

So I walked into a local yarn shop shortly after and described to the worker the beautiful piece I saw.  With incessant confidence he responded, “That’s crochet.”  I was sold.  I bought my yarn and the hook, and immediately afterward, he gave me my first lesson in crochet.  I first started off crocheting a swatch.  He then told me that my next step would be a dishcloth, but with my itch to replicate the flower, I bypassed the dishcloth, bought a pattern and went home.  I successfully produced my first ever crocheted flower days later!  After that, I mostly taught myself with the help of basic crochet books and since, I've created a website with loads of free patterns and recently started selling several on Etsy.  I’ve been crocheting for 12 years. 

Why do you crochet?
I crochet for therapy and entertainment.  The beneficiaries: me and my health, my family, friends and non-profit organizations.  It’s a win-win for all parties involved!  

Crochet Favorites
Almost all of my work and patterns include Tahki Stacy Charles Cotton Classic with a 3.0mm hook.  It’s my absolute favorite yarn to crochet with.  It’s a smooth yarn that passes through my fingers with ease for tight tension.  I also love working with Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread 10 with a 1.10mm hook. 

What are you working on right now?
My niche in crochet is food.  No matter how much I try to deviate and try crocheting cowls or create a pattern for a hat, I come right back to food.  Right now, I am working on more pasta patterns. 

A few finished objects...
Pasta Party: These pasta patterns include farfalle (bow-tie), fettuccine, penne lisc (smooth), penne rigate (furrowed), ravioli and tortellini.  It’s definitely a party when crocheting these pasta pieces! 


Egg Birdhouse: Using jute yarn and a piece of twig from a random plant, this pattern builds a home for our feathered friends.  Provide cute dwellings for our cohabitants!


Love in Cursive: This appliqué can add the spice of romance or simple love to any project.  


What a feast for the eyes. I love Norma Lynn's aesthetic. The pasta is so realistic! Her work can be found on her website and her Ravelry page. Thank you so much for serving us some comfort food today, Norma Lynn!

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