Interview with Kristin Omdahl

 

Kristin Omdahl

Broward County, you are in for a treat!  Patti is happy to announce that Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop will be hosting Kristin Omdahl for a special event on February 20, 2016!  Kristin will arrive to the store to display and sell her highly regarded yarn line, Bamboo So Fine!  She will have samples to display and will be signing books as well.  We are thrilled to welcome her to the shop!

In anticipation of her arrival, I was lucky to be able to interview Kristin Omdahl about her designs, business, eclectic creative outlets, and inspiring others.  I loved hearing Kristin’s responses and I hope you will, too.

CM: You are a prolific and celebrated crochet and knitwear designer.  I associate your brand with elegant, feminine, wearable pieces and home decor that make a woman feel special.  I’ve noticed your Ravelry pattern page has almost 450 published designs, including patterns from 11 books you authored and numerous other publications.  How is designing crochet different from designing knitting patterns?  
KO: Thank you! I’m grateful for the compliment and observation. I think long and hard about my designs before they become a reality. I don’t “make just to make”. There is specific inspiration, hidden meaning or deliberate design in everything I do.
Sunny Isles Beach Soft Yellow Crochet Lace Shawl Free Pattern by Kristin Omdahl.
Bonita Beach Raspberry Knit Shawl Free Pattern by Kristin Omdahl.

KO: Knitting and crochet each have their strengths and weaknesses. Crochet samples are usually faster to make than knitting samples, but take much longer to write the patterns and generate the charts. They also cost me much more money in tech editing because tech editors are paid hourly. But I love both crafts, and am grateful I get to work with both in my business! There are projects I prefer in knitting to crochet, and vice versa. 

CM:  I have been following your career for over nine years now.  I love how I’ve seen you lay a foundation with your crochet and knitwear designs and then diversify into your amazing yarn line, Bamboo So Fine and different products like your Wrapture No Rinse Delicate Wash, and graphic design products available in your Etsy and Red Bubble Store.  I’ve also seen you trying different platforms (i.e. Etsy, Amazon, Ravelry) to sell your products and patterns.

Some of Kristin’s Designs & Her Wrapture No Rinse Delicate Wash
CM:  How did you develop this strategy?  Did you formally study business?
KO: Wow! That’s wonderful! Yes, I come from a business background. But honestly, as a small entrepreneur it is often about trial and error and especially about diversity! Many, many, many things fail. Many ideas don’t work out the way I want them to. And many projects are not as successful as I originally wish. But, having said that, I believe in myself, my business and my crafts. I truly believe I make a difference in inspiring others to enjoy their crafts with my ideas.
Slouchy Hat Free Crochet Pattern by Kristin Omdahl
KO: I love hearing from people that watching me work hard, struggle, share my feelings or successes, has inspired them to do more in their own lives. That is remarkable. And that energy then becomes my inspiration as well. A full circle of inspiration. Isn’t that wonderful?
Projects from Kristin’s Holiday E-Book 2015
CM:  On top of everything, you’ve shared a number of recipes & general DIYs on your blog!  Where did the interest in cooking & home decor come from?
KO: I am the type of person who is constantly on the move. You would never hear me say that I’m bored. Cooking, drawing/art, music, and home dec/wood have been passions of mine since before knitting and crochet! In an effort to diversify and connect with people on more levels, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share other aspects of my life publicly. 
Kristin compares her Bamboo So Fine Yarn colors to fabulous trims in New York City.
CM:  Kristin, you are an example of how sophisticated style can be accessible to everyone.  Your YouTube videos take the viewer through step by step instructions on how to complete projects that look great (and may actually be easier than they look!) Do you have any words of advice for crafters who want to try your patterns or projects but may feel a little hesitant?
Kristin’s beautiful Be So Bold Handpainted, Variegated, Worsted Weight yarn

KO:  Yes! Thank you for asking this question! My goal in design is to make things look great in ways that are DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE. I will never try to show off a fancy skill to beginners. One of the things I love most about what I do is showing people how to make things that are easier than they look. Whether its a chic home decor project, a healthy and delicious meal that is actually budget friendly, or a sweater that is figure flattering and sexy but doesn’t require a ton of fancy stitch pattern knowledge! There are tips and tricks to make everything look better, more expensive, more sophisticated and even more complicated that it really is!  ♥

Can you see why Kristin Omdahl is one of my favorite craft celebrities?  Be sure to follow Kristin on her myriad platforms including KristinOmdahl.com, her facebook page, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Craftsy,  and don’t miss her newsletter.

All images in this post are the property of Kristin Omdahl and were used with permission unless otherwise noted.

I want to extend a huge thank you to Kristin for this interview and for all that she does to inspire creativity in all of us!  I wanted to share a pic of my latest KO creation, which I crocheted with her free Slouchy Hat pattern!

My favorite hat!, photo by @artlikebread
As always, thanks for reading the blog!  If you liked learning all about Kristin Omdahl, please share this post with a friend through social media, or better yet, give a good friend a call plan to meet at the trunk show on February 20 at Sheep Thrills!  Like our Facebook page for updates about this and other events!  We’d love to see you in the store, so remember we can be found at 4725 N. University Drive in Lauderhill, FL 33351.  Feel free to give us a call at (855) YARNS-4-U or check out our website at sheepthrillsfl.com.

Cuddle Bears for Vulnerable Children

Something really special happens when a group of crafters is inspired by a moving story.  They want to help.  And they do.

Cuddle Bear Project 8 at Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop Broward County 4725 N. University Drive Lauderhill FL (954) 468-5577 @sheepthrillsfl Caissa McClinton @artlikebread

At Sheep Thrills in Broward County, the Cuddle Bear Project has been a crafting focus and a source of purpose in the past month, and will continue to be so for years to come.  The charitable project began just a few weeks ago.  The process is simple:

  1. Knitters and crocheters lovingly craft sweaters for stuffed teddy bears.
  2. Personalized, handwritten note tags with encouraging words are attached to the sweater and the sweater is placed on a stuffed teddy bear.
  3. The teddy bear is then given to a police officer or child protection worker who will in turn pass the Cuddle Bear on to a vulnerable child in a difficult situation.

The Need

Unfortunately, when families have domestic disputes, there are cases where a child needs to be separated from his or her parents for safety reasons. Whether it is only for a few hours or it needs to be more permanent,  this separation can be a source of trauma for a child.  The teddy bears with handmade sweaters will be given to children in exactly this situation.  The hope is that they will find some comfort in these moments.  As the police officer gives a scared child a teddy bear, the child will have something to hold on to.

The First Batch of Cuddle Bears on the couch were a sight to behold!
The First Batch of Cuddle Bears on the couch were a sight to behold!

All of the supplies, including stuffed bears, yarn, and tools if needed are donated by Sheep Thrills.  On December 20, one hundred bears were donated to the local police and child safety workers for distribution in our county.  This project will be ongoing and was recently covered in the Sun Sentinel.

My Cuddle Bear

I personally took part in the Cuddle Bear Project and I relished working on this simple piece.  I crocheted each stitch with intention and tried to infuse the finished piece with good feelings.  It was wonderful to sit around a table with fellow crafters and for us all to be working with the same purpose in mind.  The conversation was wonderful and it felt good to be helping in some small way.

I made a cute accessory for that big, brown bear.  I named him "Mr. Bear Paws."
I made a cute accessory for that big, brown bear.  I named him “Mr. Bear Paws.”

Join In & Help Out

If you are interested in making a knit or crocheted Cuddle Bear Sweater, you can stop by the store for a free pattern print out.  You can craft in the store with donated yarn if you’d like!  We’d love to see you!

Free Crochet and Knit Teddy Sweater Pattern Links

Other possible Cuddle Bear Sweaters can be found for free online and include Teddy or Baby Doll Cute Cardigan Jacket, Poppy Cardigan, and Beary Easy Sweater in knit; and Seasoned Just Right, Teddy Sweater 3, Easy Sweater Pattern for 18-Inch Doll, and Animal Sweater in crochet.

If you are not close to Sheep Thrills, you could always start a project like this in your area!

As always, thanks for reading the blog! If you liked learning about the Cuddle Bears of Sheep Thrills, please share this post with a friend through social media, or better yet, give a good friend a call and meet up at Sheep Thrills! We’d love to see you in the store, so remember we can be found at 4725 N. University Drive in Lauderhill, FL 33351. Feel free to give us a call at (855) YARNS-4-U or check out our website at sheepthrillsfl.com.

Learning to Weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Sheep Thrills is truly the place to be when it comes to weaving in Broward County.  The owner Patti is a weaver herself and has enabled many a new weaver!  If you come into the store you are sure to see a loom or two set up and lovely woven samples to try on.

Patti wove this scarf on a rigid heddle loom. It is plain weave. The yarn changes in the weft give it so much interest.
Patti wove this scarf on a rigid heddle loom. It is plain weave. The yarn changes in the weft give it so much interest.

In my previous blog post, Five Fantastic Reasons to Learn Weaving, I tried to get everyone excited about learning weaving and I ended up convincing myself to take the Introduction to Weaving Class!

Instant gratification.
Instant gratification.

It was really exciting to learn a brand new (to me) craft!  What I liked about the class was that we were using a rigid heddle loom, which was new for me.  The kinds of looms we all used as children are frame looms, where we move the weft (horizontal) fibers under and over, under and over the warp (vertical) fibers.  The rigid heddle loom uses a reed that moves every other warp string up and down so that you just have to slide the weft string through on a shuttle.  It’s fascinating, hypnotic, and addictive.

Learn Weaving with a Rigid Heddle Loom at Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop Broward County 4725 N. University Drive Lauderhill FL (954) 468-5577 @sheepthrillsfl Caissa McClinton @artlikebread

Compared to knitting and crochet, weaving is really quick.  People say it takes a while to warp the loom (place the vertical strings on the loom) but the experienced weavers I met at Sheep Thrills have lots of methods to make the warping go smoothly and efficiently.

You will see weavers warping their looms at Sheep Thrills!
You will see weavers warping their looms at Sheep Thrills!

Once the warp is in place, the projects advance rapidly and you can crank out multiple projects using the same warp threads.

Sheep Thrills offers Weave Night on a regular basis.  Just check the website or follow on our facebook page to see when the next event will take place.

As always, thanks for reading the blog!  If you liked hearing about weaving, please share this post with a friend through social media, or better yet, give a good friend a call and get together to weave!  We’d love to see you in the store, so remember we can be found at 4725 N. University Drive in Lauderhill, FL 33351.  Feel free to give us a call at (855) YARNS-4-U or check out our website at sheepthrillsfl.com.

Knit Along with Susie – Details on The Road Map Scarf

As you may know, Susie made a beautiful Road Map Scarf sample and everyone in the store has been going gaga for it!  By popular demand, she’s leading a Knit Along, and soon you’ll see these handknit beauties driving the roads of Broward County!

Make this Awesome Road Map Scarf at Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop Broward County 4725 N. University Drive Lauderhill FL (954) 468-5577 @sheepthrillsfl Caissa McClinton @artlikebread

According to designer Susan Barstein’s Ravelry page, “Road Map is a scarf made up of 10 different designs. The scarf is knitted in one piece and an attached icord is added to the sides. This is a fun and educational project for an intermediate or advanced beginner to knit.”

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Join Our Knit Alongs!

This Week’s Knit-A-Longs
By special request, we added more KALs for the Road Map Scarf. This Friday, December 11th and Saturday, December 12th, we are having the Road Map KAL from 2 pm to 4 pm. Two separate KALs. This is a two-session KAL and the second one for each will be the following week on Friday and Saturday, December 18th and 19th at the same time. There is no charge, as long as materials are purchased in the store. Susie is heading it, so she will be there if you need any help. Level: Intermediate. If you want to see what the finished scarf looks like check it out. For more information come by the shop or call the shop. 954-468-5577.

Make this Awesome Road Map Scarf at Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop Broward County 4725 N. University Drive Lauderhill FL (954) 468-5577 @sheepthrillsfl Caissa McClinton @artlikebread 2

On Sunday, December 13th from 12 pm to 5 pm, we are having a new KAL to make the Sheep Balls ornament. This is a really cute project and knits up quickly. It is a Fair Isles project perfect for practicing that technique. There is no charge for this, as long as you purchase the supplies at the shop. You can either knit these with DPNs or with Magic Loop. Bring size US 1.5 needles. If you’re a tight knitter, you might want to bring a size up. Brigitte will be heading this KAL. If you get stuck at a part, she will be more than happy to help. Level: Intermediate. If you want to see what the finished ornament looks like check it out. Come by or call the shop for more information. 954-468-5577.

Sheep Balls Ornament KAL at Sheep Thrills

 

Mini-Skeins for Your Many Moods

If you’ve been keeping abreast of yarn trends here in Broward County and all over the world, there’s no doubt you’ve noticed the proliferation of enchanting mini-skeins! I have a suspicion that mini-skeins became very popular largely because of the great hexipuff craze of 2011 (and 2012, and 2013)… In my mind it really took off with the famed Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits.  The pattern sparked a craze, with knitters finally finding an amazingly addictive use for their leftover sock yarn.  Because the hexipuffs which compose the cozy quilt are adorable, easy to make, and customizable, the trend took off and the demand for smaller amounts of sock weight yarns was increased.  People started swapping mini-skeins with their friends and indie dyers started releasing mini-skein sets.  Not long after, larger yarn companies followed – first in sock weight, and then in thicker weights.

Fab color patterns by Lee Meredith
Fab patterns by Lee Meredith, designing color work way before hexipuffs! 😉

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Thirty Quick Gifts You Can Crochet or Knit before Christmas!

Yes, yes. The holiday season is upon us. Life is beautiful and busy and I bet your fingers are itching to make something special for everyone. There’s nothing like sharing the holiday love but we’re also on a limited schedule here.

30 Quick Crochet and Knit Gifts to Finish before Christmas

This round up includes links to

30 patterns for quick gifts you can make in batches and finish before the holidays.

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