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Crochet Designer Interview: Edith Martin Smith

By now you know that Crochet Foundry LOVES working with all the talented crochet designers that we have the privilege to showcase in our magazine. In this Designer Interview series, we'll get to know some of our June issue designers. Today we're talking to Edith Martin Smith, who contributed the beautiful and sparkling Pearlescence Shawl in our June 2023 issue.

Edith Smith, Crochet Designer, headshot

Let's chat! What's your name and brand?

My name is Edith Martin Smith. To the extent that I might be considered to have a brand, it is Crochetsmith Enterprises, but this mostly relates to my work as a tech editor for crochet patterns.

Pearlescence Shawl crochet pattern

What is your design for this month, and can you tell us a little bit about what inspired it?
My design is the Pearlescence Shawl. This piece grew from my great love of crochet pineapples and my desire to place them strategically in a shawl that would stay on the shoulders easily. I originally started this design with hopes of entering the shawl in the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Design Competition in 2019, but life got in the way and I wasn't able to finish it in time for entry into that competition. Then the pandemic hit and I just held onto the design for a long time.

We're so glad we got to be the lucky publication to help with this shawl's debut! What were some challenges about designing this piece?

While the stitches used in the design are not that complex the design was quite challenging because I didn't go for simple pattern repeats. I wanted there to be a variety of points of attention within the lacework so I was really creating something new with each row. Another challenge for me involved the use of beads. I wanted to do more than just incorporate some beading in the final border row, but I didn't want the beads to be too overwhelming so I had to figure out where to place the beads to draw the eye without being a distraction from the overall design.

Pearlescence Shawl

What are a couple of fun facts about you?
I'll be turning 70 in June. I only learned to crochet in 2001 and I didn't view the craft as more than a hobby until I retired in 2012. I had learned a lot of techniques through CGOA classes and in 2012 one of my teachers announced that she was holding auditions for new contract crocheters. I did the audition and passed and after awhile I was doing contract crocheting for a few different designers.

Then in 2015 I developed biceps tendonitis and I had to give that up due to shoulder pain. I knew I would be good at tech editing crochet patterns though so I sought out a mentor through CGOA and I soon began working as a tech editor for a few different designers. I gradually progressed to doing design work of my own.

Just so our readers know, a crochet tech editor (or "technical editor") is the editor who looks at a pattern and checks the math, stitch counts, formatting, and other components of a pattern and makes sure that all the counts actually work and the pattern is easy to read and use.

Crochet WIP picture featuring the Pearlescence Shawl
Other fun facts: I have a highly technical background with my BA in Economics, MS in Finance, and MS in Management Science and Information Systems specializing in Operations Research. I spent most of my career working in finance and accounting for public agencies. I currently serve on the board of directors of CGOA. I am also a published poet and there are 14 cats living in my house at the moment.

How can our readers find you?
I may be found on Facebook, on Instagram @crochetsmith1, or on Ravelry as Edith M. Smith. I don't have much of a social media presence though.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Edith. We look forward to working with you again in the future!

Are you a crochet designer (or would you like to be)? Crochet Foundry works with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Email list to be notified of design opportunities.