Emma Varnam's Latest Book is "Cute Crocheted Animals"comments (0) December 15th, 2016
Interview with Author Emma Varnam
Crochet expert Emma Varnam has written and designed Cute Crocheted Animals (Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications, 2016), which features 10 adorable animals with accompanying attire. The majority of the designs in her fourth and newest book use basic crochet stitches. These cute designs of rabbits, mice, bears, cats, and foxes are great for making children's gifts. Each stuffed animal has its own style, with interchangeable articles of clothing, as all the animals are the same size.
Emma Varnam has had a successful crocheting and knitting design career for roughly 10 years. She has written three other books: How to Crochet, Fun Feet, and Crocheting Keyrings and Charms. She is most known for her crocheting blog on which she frequently posts her finished projects for inspiration. She lives in England, but she reaches people across the globe. She crochets creative holiday items, such as the Christmas Pudding Potty hat. Her crafts draw in novice and veteran crafters. Designs range from simple Christmas pot holders to complex home décor items like her well-known Campervan doorstop. Emma also has a "tutorials" tab on her blog containing numerous videos on basic crochet stitches.
Emma spoke with CraftStylish about crocheting.
Craftstylish: Who/what inspired you to begin crocheting?
Emma Varnam: I have knitted since childhood, but it was only in the last 10 years that I began to crochet. We inherited a beautiful crochet blanket from my husband's grandma. I became fixated by the pattern and the way that odds and ends of yarn could be combined to create a beautiful vintage look. So I determined to teach myself and used books and magazines to work my way through the techniques.
CS: What inspired you to write Cute Crocheted Animals?
EV: I have always enjoyed making toys for my son and my godchidren. A couple of years ago, I created a bunny that had a beautiful Liberty dress. She was so pretty. The moment I made her I wanted to create more clothes for her to wear. After awhile, I thought of other animals I could make and the ideas and the outfits just developed from there.
CS: How would you compare the experience of working on Cute Crocheted Animals with your previous three books?
EV: I have loved writing all my books. I work with a wonderful editor, Wendy (McAngus), and she and I have great conversations about how we want the book to look, the kind of content we will develop. It is a wonderful collaboration. More than any book, we giggled with delight thinking about the outfits and the personalities of the animals. I think we used our inner child, and I hope that the feeling of wonder and play comes through on the pages.
CS: As you worked on the book, how did your crocheting evolve?
EV: When you make clothes for toys, you must be very practical. I think that everything must be very robust. I asked children to put on and take off the clothes to ensure that dressing each animal was not too fiddly. I am hoping that people will take the patterns and add their own twist or embellishments. Toys should be loved, played, and hugged.
CS: What is your favorite item you have ever crocheted?
EV: That is a very difficult question. There are so many things I have enjoyed making. My Campervan doorstop is the pattern I am most well-known for. But I do love Emily and Jack Rabbit in this book and their outfits. They make me smile every time I see them.
CS: Do you prefer creating patterns for toys/children's items?
EV: I love making toys, creating little characters. My favorite thing is to hold up a completed toy to my son who is 10 and if his face crumples and he says, "Wow, that is CUTE," I know I am on to a winner. I don't tend to dress myself head to toe in crochet, but I make plenty of accessories to brighten up cold winter days. It is so easy to change or update your outfit, and it is great fun when someone says, "Where did you buy that?"
CS: What would you say is the biggest reward of crocheting?
EV: Well, I think children really appreciate things you make them with love. They get it. I love to see their eyes sparkle when you make them a toy and they know you have spent time creating something special for them. I think adults tend to forget how long it takes to make items by hand.
CS: In what way do you see your crocheting expanding even more?
EV: Oh I am not sure, I love creating new patterns, and I do really enjoy writing my blog. I try to be very generous with hints and tips and hopefully people enjoy what I do. Perhaps, one day I might even visit the great yarn shops of the USA!
CS: What can we expect next from you?
EV: I am just beginning the design work for my next book. I get so excited about new designs. I am almost obsessed. I am very fortunate that my publisher trusts me to work on new ideas with them. It is the best fun in the world.
Free Tutorial from Cute Crocheted Animals
As a bonus, author Emma Varnam and CraftStylish have shared a free tutorial from her book. To learn how to make a miniature handbag for the small crocheted creatures seen her book, click here. Note: Emma uses UK crochet terms in her instructions.