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.
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 WraptureNo 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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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! ♥
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.
Something really special happens when a group of crafters is inspired by a moving story. They want to help. And they do.
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:
Knitters and crocheters lovingly craft sweaters for stuffed teddy bears.
Personalized, handwritten note tags with encouraging words are attached to the sweater and the sweater is placed on a stuffed teddy bear.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.”
Although it was rainy in the late afternoon, nothing was going to keep this stitch fan from braving the Broward County weather and making my way to Sheep Thrills Yarn Shop! This was the event we were all so eagerly anticipating! As a fitting finale to our fun fiber festivities during Socktacular September, author, knitwear designer, and strong, independent businesswoman