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An Interview with Kristin Omdahl

Meet crocheter and knitter Kristin Omdahl, the best-selling author of how-to craft books, TV personality, curator of gorgeous and thoughtful products for her Kristin Omdahl Brand, producer of educational and inspirational videos, and the founder of Project Kristin Cares, her charity dedicated to helping survivors of domestic violence.

Your new book, Crochet Power, is your 21st.

Meet crocheter and knitter Kristin Omdahl, the best-selling author of how-to craft books, TV personality, curator of gorgeous and thoughtful products for her Kristin Omdahl Brand, producer of educational and inspirational videos, and the founder of Project Kristin Cares, her charity dedicated to helping survivors of domestic violence.

Your new book, Crochet Power, is your 21st. Have all your other books been about crocheting too?

I’ve been a knit and crochet designer for over 18 years, designed over 800 knit and crochet patterns, and have written 21 books on knitting and crochet, the most recent 9 of which are independently published. One of those books, Motif Magic, includes both knitting and crochet in the same book!

Crochet Power is a fascinating title – can you explain what it means?

This book is a concept I have been working on for years – I wanted to create a series of stitch dictionary or reference books that explored many ways to manipulate a stitch pattern for unlimited project possibilities, empowering crocheters of any skill level to create and explore without a pattern.

You have said that you now self-publish your books and handle every aspect, from writing patterns and photography to editing, making charts, designing artwork, and layout. How did you learn to do all of that?

I have over 18 years of experience in the craft industry and a voracious appetite for learning new things! I absolutely loved learning graphic design, photography, video making and every component of the many faceted skills required to publish books.

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you related to working with yarn?

During the last 18 years working in the craft industry, I have had so many amazing opportunities to meet exciting and interesting people, travel to new places, and learn so many new skills. One time I was traveling to California for a yarn convention, and I challenged myself to crochet a sweater on the cross-country flight (about 5 hours). I was using #2 sport weight yarn and it was a top-down raglan construction with a pretty lace stitch pattern. I started the neckline at take-off, crocheted like crazy the entire flight, and literally wove in the loose ends as I arrived at my exhibitor booth at the trade center. I was in Santa Clara, California and named the pattern after the town: Sweet Clara Top Crochet Pattern!

Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration in textures all the time. I can look at a brick wall, a fence, a leaf, the way the water flows out of a fountain, anything really, and see texture for a stitch pattern or silhouette for a garment.

Your tagline is “Create, Share and Inspire” -does this apply to every part of your life?

Yes! I have an insatiable desire to learn and am very enthusiastic about sharing my findings with anyone interested. Whether I am learning about an ancient cooking technique, how to speak another language, how to build furniture without power tools, how to fix something that is broken, or shop on a budget, I am more than happy to share my research and knowledge with others.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

In 10 years I would love to still be writing, producing videos, and creating things with my hands. I would also love to be traveling more and sharing my love of nature with the world.

If you could host a CAL with any group of people, who would they be?

First of all, I think it would be fun to teach anyone who wants to learn how to crochet. Teaching any open-minded, enthusiastic student is such a pleasure! I think it would be awesome to teach the entire winning football team to make hats for charity after next year’s football championship!

Can you tell me about your charity, Project Kristin Cares?

I am a survivor of domestic violence. And part of my healing journey was to help others who find themselves in similar situations. Domestic violence is an often-hidden problem in our society because of the way the victims are blamed or shamed and also because of how isolating the experience can be. I felt so alone when I was struggling to escape, and now I want to be the light in someone else’s storm! Through my charity, I spread awareness and raise money to donate to domestic violence shelters. Together we CAN make a difference.

I know you enjoy many crafts besides crocheting and knitting. Can you tell us what other types of interests you have?

The shorter list would be the things that don’t interest me. However, I do really love everything from jewelry making to woodworking. And I have a fascination for ancient crafts without fancy equipment or power tools.

You just recently moved into an RV – wow! You must have some great tips about organization and working and living in small spaces – will you share them?

Absolutely! This was such a huge transformation to let go of most of my personal belongings and minimize my life. I now live and work in 200 sq ft of living space. And you are so right: organization is key! But first was allowing myself to let go of things. Prioritizing what should be kept and what could be let go. One of the ways I was able to do this was imagining someone enjoying my things as much as I enjoyed them, and it really helped me to let go. And when I got to meet the people I donated things to, it transformed the stressful experience into a warm and beautiful experience.

One of my best tips for organizing in a small space is finding things that have dual (or more) purposes. For example, I have a salad spinner that has attachments to shred, slice and chop veggies for salads. This one tool combines a large salad mixing bowl, salad spinner, box grater, mandolin, and microplaner for salad perfection! And I have also discovered that the salad spinner is fabulous for spinning out excess water when I hand wash clothes or block shawls!

Do you have a favorite type of project to teach?

I absolutely love to teach and would be happy to teach anything to anybody who wants to learn from me. One of my favorite moments in teaching is when you see the ‘a-ha’ look on a student’s face when the new concept clicks.

Do you have a favorite type of project to design?

I love to push boundaries. Anything that requires math and problem solving is probably my favorite type of a challenge. How to increase in a pattern for perfect repeats, how to chart a pattern, how to sample multiple stitch patterns and keep the multiples friendly, or how to grade a garment pattern for multiple sizes.

Is there something you wish you had the time to do?

I wish I had 48 hours in every day. And I probably still wouldn’t have enough time to do everything I want to do in a day! One thing I want to get back to doing regularly again is drawing! I have designed several fabric collections from my drawings, and I really love to do this.  It requires math and problem solving to get perfectly repeating designs but that is what makes this process so interesting to me. I also wish I had more time playing my piano and guitar. The piano is in storage due to space limitations in my RV, but my guitar is just waiting for me to make time for it!

If you could live anywhere, where would that be and why?

I am happiest when I am in a tropical climate and as close to the beach as possible. I once lived ON the beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Israel. I would absolutely love to be able to live on the beach again someday.

Your website says “classes coming soon” – what type of classes will you be teaching, and when?

As I am still transitioning from a proper studio to an RV lifestyle, I am sorting out and figuring out where to film tutorial videos and where to teach. I plan on teaching live classes online as soon as I figure out the technical side of things. Definitely coming soon!

Don’t forget to order your copy of Crochet Power: Making Stitch Patterns Work for You by Kristin Omdahl! 

I wrote this book for me. Well, the beginner-crocheter me anyway. I remember that when I first learned to crochet, I was so excited to create everything and anything but didn’t know where to begin. How I would have loved to have a stitch reference book that could teach me not only how to crochet beautiful stitch patterns but also transform beautiful stitch patterns in so many ways!

In this book, each stitch pattern is interpreted four different ways for unlimited possibilities for exploration. Each stitch pattern is shown Even in Rows, Even in Rounds, Increase In Rows and Increase In Rounds.

Each stitch pattern includes charts as well as written instructions for every adaptation of the pattern’s stitches along with repeating information for you to explore beyond the written words and charts.

With this book, it is my dream to empower you to get the very most out of every stitch pattern and gain the skills and confidence to make anything you want to make with your crochet hook and yarn.

Click here to order your copy of Crochet Power today!

XOXO, Kristin

Comments
  • Sandra S.

    Oh my! My dream is to downsize, de-stuff, and live the “rootless” lifestyle. Still working on getting the hubby onboard with this one! Best wishes!

    Reply
  • Dawn T.

    I bought Kristin’s book Crochet Power and it is so amazing and so much information and inspiration!!! Every crocheter must get this book!!!

    Reply

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