Late last year I was approached by Brooke at Sincere Sheep to design a collection of woven projects in the three different weights of her Cormo yarn: fingering, sport, and worsted. The other purpose of this collection was to be able to weave all of the projects on a rigid heddle loom. All three of these patterns were woven solely on a 15" Cricket Loom from Schacht Spindle Company. This collection quickly became a collaboration between me, Sincere Sheep and Jennie the Potter. I noticed a theme before I even started weaving, intersections.
I saw the intersections between me and three other American-made companies, coming together to create something wonderful. Thus was born the Intersections Woven Collection.
The first pattern is the Plaid Bib Scarf; a unique take on a simple scarf. This plaid scarf uses the Cormo Sport Weight yarn, and is a breeze to create. The crocheted details make the buttons pop, and add a bit of structure to the fabric.
The second pattern is the Double or Nothing Cowl, an oversized infinity cowl that is oh so squishy! Made by doubling the yarn in the warp and weft, the fabric created is dense yet pliable and has a ton of visual texture. Sincere Sheep Cormo Worsted adds to this texture and the loft.
If larger projects are more your speed, and shawls are your go-to accessory, then the Intersections Shawl is the project for you! Two panels woven on one warp with Cormo Fingering Weight yarn, and then seamed together, creates a large piece of fabric that drapes beautifully. This project can also be worn as a poncho, utilizing the buttons and clever button hole technique.
I hope you enjoy this collection as much I do. I am so grateful to Sincere Sheep, Jennie the Potter, and Schacht Spindle Company for creating yarn, notions, and tools that helped to make this collection pop. If you have any questions about the patterns or collection as a whole, please contact me.
If you make any of these projects, use the hashtag #benjaminkrudwig on your Instagram posts so I can be sure to see them!
A few weeks ago I was asked to review the new book by Rohn Strong on Crochet Socks!
Of course I obliged and was so thrilled to delve into a world of crochet that I normally don't do. The book is comprised of a few sock patterns to fit different styles and applications. This book is meant for women's socks, so I wouldn't necessarily wear them myself, but as quickly as they all work up they'd make great gifts!
This review will follow the same formula as my other BEnjAMIN reviews.
B - If I saw this book in the store, I would definitely pick the book up, flip through it, and probably put it in my cart. There are enough projects in this book that anyone could find something to love in this book.
Enj - I enjoyed this book immensely. The colorful photographs and designs are fresh, modern, and completely wearable. The charts and images in this book are well-placed and very easy to understand, and are a big help in some of the more complicated designs.
A - There are 12 sock patterns in this book, ranging from the "Basic Sock" to some lace and cable techniques. This book is jam packed with new sock patterns and great crochet techniques, which could easily be translated into other patterns!
M - I plan on altering the basic sock pattern to make a few pairs of my own. I also think these would make great Christmas gifts this year.
I - The most interesting part of this book is the use of traditional lace techniques in the sock patterns. The falling pineapple sock is fascinating, and would make a great spring/summer house sock.
N - I don't make many sock, so I am not sure I NEED this book, but this guide on constructing crochet socks is a must have for anyone who wants an alternative to the knit sock.
Rohn's other books are also great innovative resources for the crocheters out there who are looking for new things to do with their hooks.
This morning (Sept. 22nd, 2015) I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the Yarn Thing Podcast by Marly Bird (show notes can be found here.)
To understand how I got here, we need to rewind a few months. Earlier this year I was contacted by the lovely folks at Stitchcraft Marketing to do a review and project using Bijou Basin Ranch Yarns, and I swiftly said yes and got to work on weaving a tartan scarf.
At Interweave YarnFest, I sauntered over to the Bijou Basin Ranch booth and showed the scarf to the folks working there, and didn't realize until after the encounter (except I knew she looked familiar) that I was talking to Marly Bird, the creative director of Bijou Basin Ranch.
Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and I get an e-mail from Stefanie at Stitchcraft saying that I should contact Marly about her designer dinner at the Summer TNNA ( a few hurried/flurried emails later I was in.) I then made the connection (along with a face-palm) that I had spoken to Marly at YarnFest.
I remember sitting at the designer dinner, looking around at the tables and noticing faces/names that I recognized, and meeting many people who were brand new to me! I realized a beautiful thing, Marly made this all happen. With the help of her friends and colleagues, she had put this dinner on in order to bring people together in a fun night of promos, giveaways, and at the end of the night all of us were friends, colleagues, and contacts.
Marly says she wants to be the Oprah of the fiber industry, and with her trajectory, she is well on her way to being that figure!
Marly wears MANY hats in her life, and one of the hats she wears the most is the cheerleader. Her support of so many people in the industry is a testament to her love for the industry, and that is why I feel so honored to know her, and help her in her quest!
Please check her podcast out as well as her many knit and crochet designs she has published!
Thank you Marly for all that you do!!
After a two week hiatus (thanks sinus infection) I am back with a fiber-packed episode full of goodies! You can find the show note below the embedded video.
Ariana Krudwig (my wife) is joining the company as the business manager, so I can focus on the creative half of the company. She is happy to be a part of such a wonderful community!
Check out the Schacht Spindle Company blog here.
-Anzula Luxury Fibers has the following patterns of mine at their booth at Stitches West
Tectonic Knit Hat
Glaucus Crochet Shawl
“Mastercrafts" - series on YouTube I have enjoyed
Newsletter - would you be interested in subscribing to a monthly or quarterly newsletter? Let us know in the comments!
Stash Enhancement - brought to you by.... Anzula Luxury Fibers, check them out!
Giveaway info - Go to my Ravelry group and join in on the FO February thread to enter for a chance to win some of my hand-dyed fiber.
Podcasts I mentioned!
Come Knit With Us
knttng - knitting Julian
Eat Sleep Stitch
Have you ever wondered how to be a more productive and successful maker? Do you want to take your hobby to the next level? If these thoughts apply to you, or if you are just struggling with productivity, the following tips may help you out. These are just 5 of the many things that I have found to be helpful in my career as a crafter.
1. Stay Organized
Having a lot of projects going on can be a good thing, but having a complete and cluttered mess is counter-productive. Having a specific place for every project is a good idea, whether that means separate project bags, bins or totes, is all up to you.
2. Give Yourself a Deadline
If you want to remain successful and continuously be making new things, or if you do the craft-fair circuit, it is imperative that you give yourself a deadline. This doesn't always have to be a hard and fast date, but a general time-line is a good idea. Not only are most of our weeks full of other life events, making a single date deadline can be stressful and disheartening if you miss it. By having a "week-of" deadline, it gives you flexibility to do other things and in general be more relaxed. Having these deadlines gives you momentum, and when you finish something it feels good. You are less likely to finish things if there isn't a reason or deadline.
3. Write Everything Down
Any ideas you might have should go down on paper. This solidifies them in your mind, and gives you something to reference when you embark on your next project.
Project notes are super important, and can be extremely helpful later on down the road if you choose to make another item using the same template, pattern, design, etc. Also, if you are a blogger, this gives you tons of content to post if you want to share your process or patterns.
4. Have a Few Irons in the Fire.
This sounds counter-productive on the surface, but in my experience, I find that I am more productive when I have multiple projects going. I find that if I work too long on a singular project, I get burnt out quickly and end up resenting what I made. When I have a few projects, I am consistently doing something different, and crafting no longer feels like a chore. Sometimes when I feel particularly stuck on one thing, I can bounce to something else for awhile so as not to become too frustrated with that project. I also have figured a problem out by working on another project. The other side of the coin is to make sure you don't take on too many projects and become overwhelmed.
5. Be Flexible
Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. The important thing is to take it with a grain of salt and move on. Knowing that projects don't always turn out the way you expected ends up allowing you to still feel good about what you have created. By placing harsh expectations on yourself it leads you to being disappointed when you don't meet them, however rare or common that is.
For more tips and tricks, Subscribe to my blog, and follow me on my social media sites!
My wife asked me the other day how I keep track of all of the projects that I am working on. This question was coming from the woman who has memorized dozens of arias. I told her that although it may seem like it's all in my head, I have everything written down in a sketchbook.
At any given time, I probably have at least 3-4 projects in progress (usually one per medium) and most if not all are written down in my sketchbook. Many of my ideas actually start out as sketches that I end up mulling over for awhile.
One such pattern is a companion accessory to the Tectonic Cowl. In have now started the process of taking my sketches to the hook. I have chosen my yarn, Dreamy by Anzula, my hook, and now it is swatching time!
Not every project gets a spot in my sketchbook though. Often times I just pick up my needles or hook and start working. If it's a simple hat or scarf, there is no need for any written documentation.
Also, not every pattern in my sketchbook becomes a physical item. Sometimes the idea morphs into something else, or I scrap the idea entirely.
If I could give any advice to new or aspiring designers, it would be to write down as many ideas of yours as possible! Take photos, jot down notes, sketch a little shape; do anything that gets your ideas out of your head and on to paper.
Keep an eye out for the finished pattern,iIt will be available in my Ravelry pattern store!
Share your sketchbook photos with me on my social media (links at the head of the website!) I'd love to see your way of documenting your process!