Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Focus: Kimberly McAlindin

How has your week been? Mine's been pretty busy. My dear friend Nicki is getting married on Sunday (yay!) so I've been doing a lot of thinking about and planning for that in addition to all of my crocheting, errand running, and other daily activities. It's fun to be busy, though.

I'd like to introduce you to a very busy and accomplished designer, Kimberly McAlindin. Kimberly is an established crochet designer and author. What an honor to have her with us today. Here's what she had to say about her crochet experiences.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it? 
I taught myself to crochet after going to a friend’s baby’s shower, she received this beautiful basket filled with beautiful crocheted garments. I was a knitter first and was always spending months knitting wedding and baby gifts. I went up to Mrs. Vitale and asked her how long it took her to crochet all of those beautiful sweaters and blankets and booties, when she told me should could whip out a sweater in a couple evenings…. The very next day I went to my local Michael’s and bought myself a hook and a Learn to Crochet book. I was literally hooked! That was back in 1997.

Why do you crochet?
I crochet because I love the freedom I feel when I sit down with hook and yarn. I love how easy and portable it is. I love the speed! I love that if you drop your hook you do not have the panic that can sometimes occur when knitting. I find it very easy to translate images I see in nature into crochet pieces.

Crochet Favorites
My favorite hooks are Lantern Moon Ebony hooks… there is something about the smooth feel of the hook that I just love. Before my obnoxious obsession with those hooks I was an all out Bates girl. Every single yarn I come across I love! I find the challenge in putting the right hook and design to each yarn. I prefer to crochet garments for example, in sock weight yarns. I loved reading Lily Chin's Crochet Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Crocheter Should Know.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a knit design for Red Heart and swatching for a few crochet submissions. I love to swatch! One project is with crochet cables and one submission is for hairpin Lace.

A few finished objects...
This was an amazing sweater! Oh I loved the way the yarn photographed – I worked on this in the summer on the beach and everyone that saw it could not believe it was a crochet piece. The top was a cable that I’d seen in a stitch dictionary and the bottom and sleeves were a single crochet, but you place your hook in the center of the single crochet from the row above which gave a knit look. It is called the Frosted Windowpane and was in Interweave Crochet Winter 2010.

The Sidewalk Shawl is one of my most popular designs. It was made with Debbie Stoller’s yarn Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe and is available as a free pattern on the Red Heart website. The shawl is a simple pineapple stitch and the shawl is worked from the bottom up - the striking fringe is what really makes this a show stopper!

The Moss Fern Wrap was my first design ever published in Interweave in Fall 2009. This design looks difficult, but is a very easy 2 row repeat that even a beginner can master. I have made this design several times and in different weights of yarn. It is a quick shawl to crochet and I often crochet these as gifts.

Such lovely designs! In all their beauty they still only scratch the surface of Kimberly's design profile, both crochet and knit. You can keep up with her on her website, Ravelry, Twitter, and Facebook. Thank you so much for joining us, Kimberly!

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