We reviewed Annemarie Benthem’s new book, Crochet in the City in the latest issue of I Like Crochet so we decided to catch up with her about her new book, creative process, and more! This book is truly a beautiful collection of crochet and we fell in love with the designs, photography, and colors of these works of art. At the end of this interview, we’re giving away one of these stunning books so be sure to check it out!
What was your inspiration for creating this book?
When I first learned how to crochet, I made a lot of flowers. Flowers are easy to make once you know the basics of crochet and I loved to experiment with colors and yarn. I made flowers in all shapes and colors, and when I was thinking about making this book I knew it had to have a flower theme.
What are some of your favorite flowers that inspire you to crochet?
I grew up in the countryside and I just love flowers. Blue flowers are my absolute favourite. I love Forget-Me-Nots, but I also love Lavender and Blue Daisies. In the book there is a pattern of a large cushion made out of blue flowers. When I started with this design I knew I wanted to make something similar to Blue Poppies as they are so gorgeous. So when I had to give this pillow a name, it could only have one name: the Blue Poppy Pillow.
You love to use color in all of your projects! What are your tips for choosing yarn colors?
Choosing colors is a very personal thing and I mostly pick them while I am crocheting. I never pick colors before I start. I just start with one color and when I’m ready to change color I pick the next color. I don’t use a lot of dark colors like dark purple, dark grey, dark green or dark red. But these colors are lovely in softer shades. When I use one of these colors, I also make sure to use a bright color directly afterwards.
How long did it take you to design and put together this book?
The first time my book publisher and I talked about this book was a year ago. I made two other Dutch books in 2012 and 2013 and I was really looking forward to make a new book. As I love Japanese crochet books, this time I wanted to make a book that had the same style. I first talked to my book publisher in May 2017, so as from there it took almost a year to make this book. I was glad my book publisher gave me all the time I needed because working under pressure just doesn’t work for me.
What are the challenges you came across when creating a book in Dutch and English?
Making a book in one language is hard, but making a book in Dutch and English was a real challenge. As my blog posts and most of my patterns are written in both Dutch and English I am used to writing down everything twice. But when you make a book you have to go over everything time and time again. And now I had to do this twice.
First of all, it is lots of work to design so many projects in a relatively short period of time. Of course not everything just worked out immediately. Sometimes I made something that I just didn’t like once it was finished. If it is not a pattern for a book, you just unravel and move on. But during the making of this book I felt like I was losing precious time. As said there was no pressure from my book publisher, but the designs had to be finished at some point. The other thing that came to mind after a design failed was: what if I cannot design anymore? What if I just can’t make this book? But fortunately I always managed to grab myself together and now I’m so happy the book is here!
At this moment I have planned to visit several craft fairs and yarn shops in The Netherlands and the UK where I’ll be promoting my book and where I’ll be teaching crochet classes. Besides that I will do some design work for crochet magazines. I am not yet thinking of making another book yet, but who knows what I’ll be doing in six months or so.
Official Rules for Giveaway:
- Leave a comment on this blog post answering our question below.
- Each comment will count as an entry, and one winner will be chosen at random after all the comments have been tallied.
- The winner will be announced here on this blog post at the end of the day on July 31, 2018 as well as contacted by the email address provided. Comments posted after the announcement will not be counted.
- Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada