Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Focus: Susan Lowman

It is such a privilege to post a new Friday Focus designer interview each week. Connecting with crocheters from all over the world is so fun and rewarding. My selection process for designers is pretty simple... I approach folks whose patterns I like, regardless of their notoriety. This can be a bit intimidating, especially since some of the crocheters I've interviewed (and some who I hope to interview in the future!) are what I like to call "sub-culture famous", meaning that their names would be familiar to others who practice the craft. To my delight I have found the crochet community and its members to be kind, helpful, and excited to share their experiences.

Today's light shines on Susan Lowman, an accomplished crocheter and prominent member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Her crochet career is quite impressive and her patterns are varied. I can't help but marvel that her adventures in crochet have lasted longer than I have been alive. I am elated to show you what The Crochet Architect has to share with us.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
During the 70’s, my best friend in high school taught me to crochet. She later became my sister-in-law when I married her brother.
I’ve been crocheting for over 35 years. I love learning new crochet stitches and techniques to incorporate into my crochet designs. And I absolutely LOVE to design crochet patterns! I am thankful every day for the creativity that God has given me and I enjoy sharing that creativity with others through my crochet designs.

Crochet Favorites
I love Japanese crochet books and Russian crochet magazines. The Japanese and Russians design fabulous crochet projects!
One of my favorite yarns is Red Heart LusterSheen. It is a lighter-weight yarn, has wonderful drape, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! But my all-time favorite to work with is size 10 cotton crochet thread. It blocks beautifully and comes in so many gorgeous colors! I mostly use Coats & Clark threads, as well as DMC Cebelia. I’ve just started using some Lizbeth crochet thread, too. It has a wonderful sheen and comes in fabulous colors, as well.

What are you working on right now? What is your next project?
I’m working on some crochet designs for the CGOA Design Contest and some wiggly crochet hot pad & coaster patterns for my website right now.

A few finished objects...
This is my dragon ship that was published as a web bonus in the Feb. 2011 issue of Crochet World magazine. This pattern is only available as a web bonus to paid subscribers of Crochet World magazine. I designed it to look like the dragon ship in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” movie. Michele Maks, the editor for Crochet World magazine at the time, asked me to design it (before the movie came out). I found a few photos on the internet of the Dawn Treader ship that was being built for the movie to guide me in how to design this dragon ship. It was a challenge to design and I won a “Flamie” award for it in 2011. For information about the thread I used and a close up photo of the dragon’s head, along with teeth, a tongue and horns, please see my Ravelry page for the dragon ship.

This is my Faux Tatted Jewelry Set. This set is crocheted with size 10 cotton crochet thread to look like tatting, but it’s actually crocheted. I used buttons and/or beads on these sets, but you could also use charms. This necklace, bracelet and earrings can be made to coordinate with many outfits, simply by using the desired color of crochet thread and beads. This pattern is available for purchase on my website.

This is my wiggly crochet fish rug. I first learned to do wiggly crochet around 2002, when a friend asked me to make a new hot pad for her like the one her grandmother had made many years before. That hot pad was made in concentric squares and had seen its better days! So I figured out how it was made and set out to remake her hot pad. Through that experience, I realized that wiggly hot pads could be made with designs instead of concentric squares, so I began to design them on graph paper with colored pencils. I designed enough for a leaflet, called “Hot Stuff for the Holidays”, published by Jeanette Crews Designs in 2003. Six years later, I designed some wiggly crochet rugs that were published in another leaflet called “Wiggly Crochet Rugs” by Annie’s Attic (now just called Annie’s). Then last year, I had another wiggly crochet leaflet published by Annie’s called “Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths”. I’ve had various other wiggly crochet designs published over the years, as well. Wiggly crochet is a lot of fun to make and the rugs are squishy on the feet, since they’re 3-dimensional! This wiggly crochet fish rug pattern is available for purchase on my website, along with several other wiggly crochet patterns.

I’ve been a member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) for over 10 years. I joined shortly after I started designing crochet patterns. To find out more about CGOA and all that is available to CGOA members, please visit their website. I am currently the secretary on the CGOA Board of Directors, as well as co-chair of the CGOA Masters Committee and a Masters portfolio reviewer.

Over the last 13 years, I’ve had over 150 crochet designs published in various books and magazines. You can see all of my published designs on my Ravelry page. I’ve also done 2 thread crochet online classes for Annie’s: “Crocheting with Thread” and “Beginner’s First Doily”. My website is where I self-publish crochet patterns, blog about crochet, and will be adding more crochet tutorials very soon.

Wow! Such cool designs. Though I really like a number of Susan's designs, if I had to pick a favorite it would be this beautiful butterfly afghan. I've thought about both joining the CGOA as well as working through the Master's program before, and connecting with Susan has encouraged me even more in that regard. Many thanks to her for sharing her work and her thoughts with us today. Have a crochet-filled weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Susan is a stunning example of the type of people who are members of CGOA. She's dedicated to learning her craft and accomplished after so many years of practicing crochet. She's a thoughtful volunteer on the CGOA board and a loyal member for many years who always toot the crochet horn.

    We would warmly welcome you, Illuminate Crochet; great profile!


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