Interview: Laurinda Reddig

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Title: Reversible Color Crochet

Author: Laurinda Reddig

Interview by Brenda Bourg

Today I have an interview with Laurinda Reddig on her brand new book Reversible Color Crochet! For those of you who haven't heard yet, Laurinda has come up with a very cool way to do reversible intarsia technique!

Brenda: Who taught you to crochet?

Laurinda: My Campfire Leader taught me to crochet when I was in junior high. Her house was halfway up the biggest hill on my nearly mile long walk home from the bus stop, so I stopped at her house nearly every day after school for a snack and often a craft. One day she was crocheting granny squares and I asked her to teach me. Because I am left-handed, she had me sit opposite her as she demonstrated how to work the stitches. I still have the Christmas tree skirt I eventually made from those first granny squares. Throughout high school and college, whenever I saw someone crocheting I would pick up new skills, including Tapestry/Colorwork at a church camp, Beading in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), and Lacework while driving through a little town in Mexico.

Brenda: Do you have a favorite fiber for working in intarsia?

Laurinda: Not really. I actually like trying different types of yarn to get different effects. For the projects in the book I stuck with washable yarns, mostly superwash wool blends and acrylics. Who wants an afghan that will felt up if it accidentally gets thrown in warm water? Yarns that are not too tightly spun tend to fill in the spaces between stitches better to create a more solid colorwork fabric. But lately I have been playing with finer weight, even lace weight yarns but on a larger hook to create colorwork patterns with a lacy look.

Brenda: What project would you suggest for a beginner?

Laurinda: The Learn To Crochet Sampler (on the cover) was designed to basically teach the entire technique, building skills as you progress through the squares, including half double and double crochet stitches. It is helpful if crocheters have a basic understanding of how to join a new color in crochet, but that is also included in the first couple of squares. Also, you can make all of the "picture" squares by just learning the half double crochet stitches (which are a little easier than the double crochets). Each group of Picture Squares appears in order from easiest to most difficult, so either Grampa Kit’s Garden or Tyler’s Space Adventure would ease less experienced crocheters into working in this technique.

Brenda: What hooks are your favorite for intarsia?

Laurinda: I actually prefer “fat bottomed” hooks, whether they are metal with handles that have been built up with fimo or other padding, or wooden hooks carved with wider handles. They rest more comfortably in my hand and I do not have to grip them as tightly while I am crocheting. When I realized that I had about 4 months to crochet the 10 afghans for the book, I got a whole set of Fimo handled hooks from a local friend who makes them. I alternate between those and several one-of-a-kind hand-carved wooden ones I have from another nearby friend (Craftwich Creations - https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftwich)

Brenda: What is your favorite design in the book?

Laurinda: Every time I show someone the book, I flip right to page 102, to show them my son’s pictures hanging on the wall behind Tyler’s Space Adventure blanket. Right below the Alien and Robot drawings on the wall, you can see my yarn version of his drawings. This was the last of the 10 blankets that I came up with, but has the best story. I designed the original version of this blanket, with the help of my son, for the son of a friend of mine. When he had to have brain surgery the week before Christmas (for the second time in as many months), I thought it would be nice to use intarsia to make squares of some of his favorite things, and enlisted the help of six other moms to make the solid squares (in his favorite color) that were stitched between the picture squares. Between my son’s drawings and the other crocheters it turned out to be a great community project to support a little boy we all knew and wanted to bring comfort.

Head on over to Interweave to order your copy today!

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