What Inspires You?

Jun 16, 2011

What inspires a crochet design? When I am choosing my next crochet project, I always consider when and where I want wear it. Living in Colorado, I find myself wearing sweaters most of the year.

Designer Kristin Omdahl lives in Florida I asked her to tell us a little bit about how climate influences her crochet designs. Here is what she said about her inspiration.

When I began my design business, I was living in Michigan. After a couple of years, I had the opportunity to move to Southwest Florida. While for some people the tropical heat may not be appealing, I am a beach girl at heart and this is where I belong.

There are obvious contrasts between the two climates that greatly affect a fiber design business. Working on a worsted-weight wool afghan in August in Florida is a challenge! As I single mom working on deadlines over summer vacation, I don't always have the luxury of knitting or crocheting in air conditioning. I have spent many days outdoors with wool during the summer break. All I can say is this: Shade is my friend! But, for most of the year, I can knit and crochet outdoors in very comfortable weather. I take my yarn to the beach, outdoor cafes, parks, or my back yard almost every day.

I'm always asked if I ever get to wear my handknits and crochet garments here. Absolutely! In the winter, a handmade sweater is all the jacket I need.In Michigan I would have to wear a coat over my sweater. Now, nothing hides my handwork! What may surprise you is how often I wear shawls in the summer. A lace alpaca or merino shawl fits neatly into my purse and can be worn to protect my shoulders from strong air conditioning in restaurants and movie theaters.

I adore and am greatly inspired by the tropical surroundings of my new home. The geometric texture of palm fronds , orchid petals, seashells and much more can be seen in much of my design work. 
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The Desert Skirt motif hem is inspired by something from my former stomping grounds: mosaic tilework in the oldest restaurant in Detroit, Michigan: The Roma Cafe. It was my favorite restaurant as a little girl and is probably still my favorite Detroit restaurant. 

In Florida I am surrounded by floral inspiration all year. The Birch Vest has a strong floral motif pattern that I love, but the beauty of this vest is the fact that I designed it with the illusion of shaping rather than actual waist shaping, which makes it flattering on many more body types.

  The Golightly Tunic has one of my favorite geometric shapes: spirals! Many of the seashells I find are miniature spiral structures.  I thought it would be so fun to utilize the spiral as a necklace-style design element while still being a structured part of the top. I think this would be stunning if you added more color to the spiral collar. If I were to make another one, I would use a different, bright color for each stripe of the collar, and use a neutral color for the body of the top. Hmmmm...there just isn't enough time in the day, am I right? 

Now I will look at crocheting for the summer in an entirely different light. Download six of Kristin's patterns, great for any season or climate, in her new designer profile eBook. 

Best wishes,

Featured Product

Designer Profile eBook, with 6 Crochet Patterns by Kristin Omdahl

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Meet designer Kristin Omdahl and create six of her patterns in this easy to download eBook!


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chriscv wrote
on Jun 16, 2011 11:39 AM

I would love to see more patterns for cotton and bamboo for summer projects. Perhaps beach cover ups, placemats, doormats, tote bags, summer weight shawls, tank tops, summer skirts, etc. Not everyone has great arms so tees with sleeves and cover ups that are not totally lacey would be nice too.

I live in Arizona and it is almost never cool here. I work with cotton and bamboo most of the time. There is an abundance of winter wear but most summer patterns are so out of style they make me think of my great grandmother!

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Jun 16, 2011 1:17 PM

Hi Chriscv,

Thank you for your suggestions! I love good Summer projects, and I have bins full of cotton. The next project on my queue is the Petal Pullover from Spring 2011. This sleeved top is worked in a cool linen/merino blend.


nasihas wrote
on Jun 18, 2011 11:49 AM

wow..i love these works

on Jun 27, 2011 1:42 AM

Hi Toni, this is my first attempt at online communication so please bear with me.  My inspirations comes mre from who than what. With 9 grandchildren and one greatgrand son; whenever I hear -  Granny do you know how to make------------; the internal wheels start.  My biggest challenge was finding a seahorse family for my granddaughter who at the time was five.  It took me about six months,but they arrived on her birthday as requested.  I also do items for charity and i'm usually working on one project or another.     ML Stallworth