By Salena Baca, on behalf of the Design Wars Challenge
As the founder and host of the Design Wars Challenge, I’m always looking to put a spotlight on the best our crochet community has to offer! This week I’m really proud to share designer, author and professional instructor, Edie Eckman!
I’ve followed Edie since early 2009 after reading her book Crochet Motifs, and I’ve been an inspired fan ever since! Her crochet resume includes two Craftsy classes, over 530 published knit and crochet designs, and contributions in over 60 books and magazines to date! So chances are, if you knit or crochet, Edie’s many publications have likely taught or inspired you to make something stress-free and beautiful!
Edie was kind enough to chat with me about her success, inspiration, and future plans! And, in case you don’t already have one, she’s even provided a signed copy of her most recent book for one of our fans to win: Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs!
Salena Baca (SB): Define success; what do you hope to accomplish?
Edie Eckman (EE): Wow! That’s a deep question! I guess I need to confine myself to the question of career success, rather than success at life. Over the years my definition of success has changed; as I have been successful at reaching certain goals, I’ll set new ones so I have something to work toward. For example, an early goal might have been to get published in a magazine (this was before internet self-publishing became a reality). As I reached that goal, I might have decided I wanted to branch out into teaching more, and so on. My recent goals have been geared toward educating knitters and crocheters about pattern-writing and -reading skills. But I have some other thoughts about new and different career directions, as well!
SB: What inspired you to write Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs?
EE: My first book about crocheted motifs, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, was very popular, and I had lots of people asking me for more. While Beyond the Square covered a little bit about putting motifs together into projects, it didn’t go into a lot of detail. Connect the Shapes was my chance to explore and share a myriad of ways to put those separate units together into a cohesive whole fabric. In it, I discuss both seaming and join-as-you-go methods, why you might choose one or another, and offer plenty of examples. Plus, there are another 101 motifs that aren’t in Beyond the Square.
SB: Which of your designs do you feel best represent you as an artist?
EE: Oh, gosh, another hard question! People tell me I have a “style”, but I don’t really feel like I do. I just design whatever comes into my head–or perhaps more accurately, off my hooks/needles. I love saturated colors and using simple techniques to make something a bit unusual. In Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs, I really enjoyted working on the “Layered Mesh” and “Wheels & Shells” chapters.
SB: Are there any crochet artists you follow? Can you name some of your favorites?
EE: There are lots of very talented crocheters, and I admire a great many of them. Myra Wood is an amazing and inspirational fiber artist and I’m happy to count her as a friend, as well. Rather than follow specific crochet designers, I tend generalize, and get my inspiration from a variety of sources.
SB: Your Craftsy Class “How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters” looks to be an amazing resource for designers! With your vast expertise, do you plan to offer this same concept for crocheters?
EE: Perhaps. The class actually has a great deal of information that crocheters would find helpful, and if I taught an online class approximately the first two-thirds of the class would be pretty much the same. I do teach “How to Say It” for both knitters and crocheters at in-person events, so the opportunity does exist for people to take the class in person. Getting crocheters to actually take a class has always been a challenge. I would encourage anyone reading this who thinks they might be interested in taking a crochet-pattern-writing class to contact me directly (edie AT edieeckman DOT com). Maybe if I get enough interest, I can get something going on that very soon!
I’d like to offer a half-price discount on my two Craftsy classes. Click on the class title and sign up now to get the discount: How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters, Joining Crochet Motifs.
SB: What are you working on now? Are there any new books or projects we can look forward to from you?
EE: At this very moment I’m taking my first look at pages of a new crochet book that will be coming out in August 2014. I can’t talk about it *quite* yet, but come July or August I’ll be thrilled to tell everybody about it. It’s looking great so far!
In early 2015, there’s another big project that I’m excited about; I’m just sorry that I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet.
And I’m always scheduling teaching and book signing events around the country; I love to meet and hear from fans! If you want to know more about what I’m doing, you can find me on my website, Facebook, Ravelry (and Edie Eckman Stitchers Group) and Twitter (@edieeckman).