Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Complements Collection

Kristin Omdahl's latest booklet, Complements Collection, does a few nifty things.


First, so many of us knit AND crochet, why don't more books include both crafts? She combines the two here beautifully.

She also showcases a the yarns of a really great company, Bijou Basin Ranch. Their claim to fame is amazing yak yarn. I know what I'm talking about here. I've had the privilege of dyeing some of it myself and I can say it's remarkable. 

The last thing that really intrigued me was that she kept all the projects in the 1-3 skein range. Perfect for those of us on a budget. Plus it means portable projects. Summer is all about being on the go so portable the timing is perfect.

I had a chance to ask Kristin a few questions about herself and the book. I'll let her take it from here. 

Tell me a little about yourself, what's your background? 
I am a very curious person and love to dive in and learn new things all the time - and I've always been that way. I don't take classes, but rather enjoy jumping right in and figuring things out myself. I've taught myself piano, guitar, 2 of the 4 languages I've learned have been self-taught, and on and on. I'm not big on taking classes, because I like to learn at light-speed when I'm passionate about a new subject. I've been sketching wedding gowns and formal evening wear since I was a little girl. Studied architecture and CAD in high school, and taught myself to sew in my late teens. I think this is how I was able to grasp pattern writing. Not to mention I love spatial math - that helped, too. When I learned to sew, I was working as a waitress at the time. The other waitresses were older than me, and liked to go dancing at clubs. So as a side business I custom made cocktail dresses for them and sold them for $100. I eventually made a couple full-length evening gowns. It was a lot of fun. I originally went to college for pre-med but backed out towards the end of my BS because I was afraid I'd finish school and be too old to have babies. So I changed my major in the last year for business. I learned to knit and crochet while pregnant, married and living overseas with virtually no access to yarn hooks needles or patterns. My mom sent me a couple of baby layette booklets and I figured it out! When my baby boy was born, I no longer needed stuff for him, so I began making shawls and manipulating the shapes with geometry and other mathematical skills. It was such an exciting moment for me to combine math and stitching! My passion for knit and crochet design was born :)


This book has both knit and crochet...do you have a favorite? 
Not at all! I've been knitting and crocheting for about the same amount of time (learned both within a month) and have been designing in both ever since. Almost every day I pick up both my needles and my hooks. There are things I like better about one craft over the other, but I would never want to have to choose one over the other!


What was your first crochet  project? What was your first knit project?
My first projects were baby items. The first crochet project was a baby bootie with a complicated stitch pattern. It took me HOURS to make it and it was HUGE when it was done. But I realized it was the proper shape and that it was a gauge problem so I took it as a victory!! So hard for a first project! LOL The first knit project was a baby sailor sweater. It was adorable but also a complicated first project. 


What project have you learned the most from? 
I learned the most from writing "Seamless Crochet" because I had to explore and experiment so many times to make the seamless technique work with shaping within a project for either increasing or decreasing for the shawls or 3-dimensional shaping for the hats. It took months but it was so worth it to me in the end! 

What is your "go to" project. Is there anything you've stitched over and over? 

 Actually, NO! I don't think I've EVER made the same thing twice. I've made the same kind of project for various gifts, like booties & a hat & blanket for a baby, numerous blankets for my son, hats for friends/family, but never the same, identical design twice. Funny that my son requests GIGANTIC blankets for presents, though. Could he choose a larger, more time consuming project???


Can you tell me a little about the genesis of this book? How did you come up with the concept? 
The concept for the book was an introduction to these beautiful, luxury yarns by developing a collection of patterns that use 1-3 skeins of yarn. But I also wanted to see how far I could actually  go with that amount of yarn, so I stretched the yardage as best as I could to make bigger, or more voluminous, projects with the 1-3 skein limitation. And then I wanted to cross over between both knitting and crochet with the same challenge. 


Tell me about your design process. Does the yarn inform the design or the other way around?
It is different every time! I wish I could just sit down and write the patterns for an entire collection first, but my design aesthetic is often to come up with a texture or construction pattern I haven't seen before so there is a trial and error period when I'm exploring an idea to see if it will actually work. Sometimes, I will be inspired by the color of a yarn, or the loft, halo or even the yardage. I get excited about skeins of yarn in high yardage because I like to challenge myself to come up with things that only have 2 ends to weave in! Sometimes I'm inspired by a texture in my front yard or at the beach and I will grab a sketchpad or yarn as soon as I return to my workspace.


Do you have a favorite design in the book? Or is that a question you don't want to answer? ;-)
Ha! That is always a hard one, because as a designer you pour your blood sweat & tears into the collection. I love the inspiration behind the Gladiolus Hat (being the solution to the Boyfriend Curse Sweater). I 'tattooed' X's and O's into the crown of the hat as a symbol of hugs and kisses, but they would probably go unnoticed by the recipient thus making it a romantic gift while only looking like a regular, ribbed hat. 






The Aster Cowl is knit in separate strips of edging that are joined into tubes, then picked up and knit simultaneously with a simple, circular cowl for a no-sew project. The tiers of petals are so pretty and in the vibrant pink color, it looks like a cheerful, happy framing to your face. I can't wait to wear this one :)






The crochet cowl Tulip Cowl is similar in the respect that it has tiers, but that is where the similarity ends. The construction is completely reversed. The ancient, Turkish inspired lace tiers are picked up and knit onto the existing cowl that is worked in the ultra simple "granny stitch" style crochet. This project could be easily modified for increased width to create a caplet or even a skirt! 




I love the Apple Blossom Shawl (the cover design pictured at the top of this post) because I think the pop of bright teal against the natural yak colors is so bold and beautiful. This shawl is inspired by a scallop sea shell at the beach, but utilizes the ultra simple feather & fan stitch pattern and simply increases within the pattern for perfectly growing scallops throughout the shawl. 

Thanks Kristin! 



So, are you wondering how to get your hands on a copy of this beauty? You can get it directly from Ruby at Bijou Basin Ranch. Or if you're feeling lucky, you can win a copy from us. Just tell us which design you want to make first and you'll be entered into a drawing. Comments will close at midnight on May 31st. I'll announce the winner on June 1. (Don't forget to tell me how to reach you.) 




57 comments:

rinebird said...

I like the Tulip cowl.I crochet & knit so this book would be a great welcome.rinebird on Ravelry

ANetTow said...

I love the texture of the Tulip Cowl! ANetTow on Ravelry.

Anonymous said...

Crochet has been my passion for YEARS! Recently, I've had to learn to knit because I'm loosing the use of my hands due to what is called Madelung's Deformity. Knitting doesn't take as much wrist rotation. So, using the combination of knitting and crocheting sounds wonderful and the hands might like it too!

Pam said...

I would probably make the Apple Blossom Shawl first. I really like the stitch pattern and design. I love Kristins designs and would love to win the book!!

JudyAnn said...

I'd make the Aster Cowl! Gorgeous!

Jane said...

I love knitting and am working on improving my crochet skills. I would love to try the crochet Tulip Cowl. I think I could make it with a little help from my crochet friends.

Anonymous said...

Amaryllis Knit Hourglass Capelet is the one for me...if I am picked. Deskritt on revelry

Anonymous said...

I was drawn to the cover when I first saw the book. I wouldn't be so bold to make it those colors, but do love them. I was just looking at some of Kristin's designs last night, like them and am happy to see a book with both knit and crochet since I do both. So many times I'll see a knitted design and be in the mood to crochet. This would be great! Thanks for giving us a chance to win it! cappycat on ravelry

judy said...

The Apple Blossom Shawl would be my first choice as feather and fan is such a classically beautiful pattern that can be adapted to so many uses. Such a nice idea to give away a copy of the book; thanks for the opportunity.

Knittingdancer on Ravelry said...

I would knit the Apple Blossom Knit Shawl.

tastefuldiversions said...

Oh, I love the Gladiolus hat! tastefldiversns on Rav

pickledpurls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pickledpurls said...

I like the hat and fingerless mitts. Actually they are all lovely.

pickledpurls on Rav

The Needle Nerd said...

Most definitely the Petals Wrap Cardigan. It is so gorgeous!

Leslie said...

For my first project it would be the Apple Blossom Shawl and my second the boyfriend hat. I so appreciate patterns that only take 1-3 skeins of yarn, the budget is tight these days.

rofl because one of my security words is "pecuniary" -- so apt!

kkhymn said...

All of them are beautiful! I think I would start with the hat or fingerless mitts, then move to the cowls. I love to knit, and forgotten how to crochet, but this book may have me hooking aging too. LOL.

I don't know how to turn this crap off said...

I think I'd go with the Aster Cowl first. So, so pretty.

Haileysmomscat said...

OOOh I love the Tulip Coal! very pretty!

cbk said...

Tulip cowl would be first for me, looks like it might make a great holiday gift!

Anonymous said...

Apple Blossom shawl has my vote. I love shawls! But there are so many other designs that would be fun to expand my horizons with. :) nestinknitter on Ravelry.

Melissa said...

I'd knit the Gladiolus Hat - my husband (who is extremely knit-worthy) is id dire need of a new hat and has been searching ravelry with me for a pattern he likes.

grapejelly said...

Hard for me to choose between the Apple Blossoms Knit Shawl and the Tulip Tiered Crochet Cowl.
I just love how their offered in kits at Bijou Basin Ranch!
To make the temptation worse, they also accept Bill Me Later!!!
If I must chose, I think.... I'll choose.... the Tulip Tiered Crochet Cowl. I What a unique stitch and look!

SimchasJewels said...

I'd probably start with the tulip cowl. That is so pretty.

simchasjewels @ hotmail.com

Linette said...

I love the look of the Aster Cowl. That would be my first project :)
3garnets on Ravelry

Loraine, Pugs said...

I both knit and crochet. The more challenging and hand manipulating the better. The Aster Cowl looks fun and challenging as well as beautiful. I would definitely do this first.

Loraine, Pugs said...

I both knit and crochet. The more challenging and hand manipulating the better. The Aster Cowl looks fun and challenging as well as beautiful. I would definitely do this first.

jcoz1701 said...

I love the Apple Blossom shawl!

TMac said...

The Tulip Cowl is beautiful and would make a lovely start on the wonderful patterns in this book!

jackie-tn said...

I would make the Gladiolus Hat first!

Odds'n'Ends said...

I love the Aster Cowl and I would love to give it a try. Thanks a lot!

Mimi F said...

I love the apple blossom cowl. I recently bought some bijou basin yarn and am trying to figure out what to make with it- this book would be awesome!
mimifan on ravelry

Anonymous said...

It is tough to decide. I like all the patterns. But, if I have to chose, it would be the apple blossom.

Anonymous said...

I love the Lily of the Incas shawl! I am very intrigued to cast on! knitranslatezen on Ravelry

ctubbs2 said...

Definitely the Aster cowl. So lovely.

Robin said...

I knit and crochet- more knit since patterns are better. I would definately make Gladiolus XOXO Hugs & Kisses Knit Hat & Wristlets for my DD.

dendiane said...

I really love the aster cowl. so pretty!!

LaurenS said...

I love the Astor cowl!

LaurenS (ravelry)

Firepea said...

Definitely the Tulip cowl!!

Li'l Mz Knitz Alot said...

i would love to do the lily of the incas shawl! i love producing shawls for those i love! THANK YOU FOR THE CHNACE!

purlyBeluga on Ravelry said...

The Apple Blossom Knit Shawl is already in my Ravelry favorites. I love me some old shale!

yarnsnob@hotmail.com said...

All of them?? Really, do I have to choose?

kcscrapper said...

I love love love the Tulip Cowel, it is a beautiful Crochet pattern and I would love to make it!

KayakChickee said...

I would make the Gladiolus Hat for my dear husband and the wristlets for myself. He rocks a stocking cap!

Concetta Phillipps said...

Definitely the Tulip Cowl. Gorgeous and unique. Love it!

Lissa Kadlec said...

It's so hard to decide!!! Her designs are all beautiful! I think I would make the Crochet Tulip Cowl...I love it!
I am melinwis on Ravelry.

Donna Shepper said...

Astor Cowl....yes!

Lisa said...

Gladiolus Hat would be this year's Christmas gift for the men-folk, and the wristlets are perfect for the ladies. Thanks! llmcguire on Ravelry

Amy said...

I have been looking for something totally new to knit/crochet and that Tulip Cowl might be just the ticket!
amy [at] StrandOverFist.com

Michelle said...

Definitely the Tulip Tiered Cowl. Love it. And I am due to start a crochet project and give knitting a break.

Sue Who Knits said...

The Tulip Cowl Is tempting. I love the tiered effect of the pattern. I'm SueChicago on Ravelry.

Sue Edlin

Ronda said...

I think that Tulip Cowl would be great to make for my MIL for her birthday in August!

CathPete said...

I like the aster cowl.

HelenS said...

Has to be Aster or Tulip cowl - they are gorgeous - wonder if I can transfer from granny square crochet to this??!

Bluesky said...

well the cowls looks awesome, but i think i am leaning towards the boyfriend items they look like they would be fun to make and i can't wait to get a copy (hope this isnt a dupl i am having trouble commenting)

Bluesky said...

whoops forgot to give you contact info bpenatzer on ravelry or @aol.com

Lorna's Laces said...

Comments closed!

Lorna's Laces said...

We have a winner! Congrats to bpenatzer. Look for an email with the deets.