Megan Kreiner is known for her books of cute crocheted animals. After the success of her popular Crochet a Zoo book (our review), she has come out with the new Bathtime Buddies book. The projects are designed to safe and fun for kids to play with, in the bathtub (sponge stuffing!) and out.
1) How is the thought process behind this book different than Crochet a Zoo?
I approached this book in a similar manner in how I approached Crochet a Zoo in that I wanted to create a set of creatures that all belonged to the same world & narrative. The sea animals were a bit more challenging in that there seemed to be less opportunities to repeat & double up on common parts (for example, in the Crochet a Zoo book, almost all animals share the same body shape and common leg shapes).
2) What prompted you to create animals that can be taken into the bathtub?
With two kids at home, I’m always looking for various ways to incorporate handmade toys into their playtime. Since I had the idea of a sea animal book among my book proposals, it seemed like a natural idea to try to make them water friendly.
3) What are your children’s favorite animals to play with?
For my daughter who loves to sing the baby beluga song, I had designed a beluga pattern that she’s really fond off (the pattern didn’t make the book as ran over our initial page count, but I did design a knitted version that appears in the Love of Knitting magazine Spring 2015 issue). My son really enjoys the little guppies and has them in the bath every night.
4) What were some of the creative challenges you faced when writing this book?
Sometimes, I might get stuck with a few subtleties in the shapes I’m trying to capture, so tearing out and restitching the pattern is pretty much par for the course. Mostly, I’m most interested in trying to make the set look appealing and stylistically consistent.
5) Did you have difficulty locating materials to use when making these animals?
I did some testing with sponge stuffing before I started – I had hoped to use natural sponges or pieces of dried/flattened cellulose sponges. After discovering issues with each, I tried using cubed up pieces of the baby bath sponge which happily worked well, was a bit more tolerant to cleaning, and stayed soft when dried
6) Approximately how long does it take to go from just an idea in your head, to an actual book?
I have a pretty healthy list of book ideas stashed away. I mostly try to formulate ideas that can easily be expanded upon – otherwise, if an idea is too narrow, I will end up struggling for enough patterns to fill a book.
7) What types of Red Heart yarns are used in the book?
Quite a few of the patterns made use of the Creme de la Creme line.
I loved using the variegated yarns in particular for the jelly fish and seahorses. Since the color mix is randomized, it’s fun to see all the different variations in the colors forming as I worked.
9) Are you good at predicting upcoming trends, either the colors that will be front and center or by which animals you feel will be popular?
I go with ideas and concepts that would appeal to me and my kids and I will always ask myself – if I saw this book on the shelf, would I want to buy it? There certainly seems to be plenty of popular & tried and true themes that have universal appeal to both boys and girls. In the end, my main goal is to put together patterns that inspire the crafter making them to add their own special touches and for the final recipients of the toys to have something to play with that sparks their imagination.
10) What else would you like our readers to know about you?
For my day job, I work as an animator at DreamWorks Animation.
My Crochet a Farm book is due out in November 2015.
Please check out Megan’s website: www.mkcrochet.com.