Crochet Foundry wouldn’t be anything without all the talented crochet designers we work with in each issue! This month, we’re chatting with Leanna Haughian of Crafty Bones, the designer of our September 2023 magazine cover garment, the Bishop Cardigan.
Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?
As a designer, I wanted to create that cardigan that could be both sophisticated and comfortable, while also incorporating a timeless and classic look. Who doesn't want a staple piece in their wardrobe that you grab when you want to dress up a little but still feel very cozy and warm. Using the Alpine stitch allowed me to keep the overall structure of the body very simple while still getting that feeling of soft and cozy texture. I have been trying for quite a while to find the perfect design to incorporate bishop sleeves into, and this just so happened to be the pattern where I couldn't resist any longer. Pairing the bishop sleeves with the alpine stitch and ribbing details all just seemed to work. I am very excited to have this cardigan as part of my wardrobe.
What were some challenges about designing this piece?
I wanted to make sure the design was as straight forward as possible while making sure that it would fit each size correctly. I didn't want to have a huge baggy cardigan that the sleeve and ribbing details would get lost in. But I also didn't want the sleeves or body to be too tight where it lost the cozy factor either. One of the challenges of having such a large sleeve like the bishop sleeve is you need to have it taper back down to fit snuggly around your wrist. I was able to come up with a solution of creating the wrist ribbing separately and adding in a ¼ inch thick elastic to make sure you can adjust how tight or how loose it is on your wrist to maximize comfort and wearability.
How did you learn to crochet?
I actually taught myself somewhere around 2012 with the help of the internet. Started off learning all of the basic stitches by watching all the how to YouTube videos I could find. Then I found a written pattern that had a video tutorial and taught myself how to read written patterns. I would read along with the pattern while following the videos instructions and quickly picked up on reading a written pattern. I have also done the same thing now with written patterns and stitch charts. Charts can be so intimidating but at the same time they can be so useful and knowing how to approach them can alleviate the fear.
What is your favorite crochet technique or stitch pattern?
I don't know if I have one technique or stitch pattern that is my favourite. I really enjoy crocheting and designing with stitches that create texture and dimension to the finished garment or item. I have come to love adding leather pieces or details to my crochet pieces. Being able to design every aspect of the over all look I think is my favorite thing to do.
How do you hold your crochet hook?
I am right-handed and hold my crochet hook with a knife grip. I am working very hard at not strangling the crochet hook while working. Lots of breaks to release tension in the neck and shoulder, and using the correct crochet hook for my hands has helped reduce this tremendously. Which hook you may ask? For me it is the Odyssey Hooks!
What are a couple of fun facts about you?
Let's see. I am married and a mom to three young boys. I am a certified hairstylist who stepped away from the chair after having kids, and traded in my shears for crochet hooks. I love the Math and problem solving that goes into crochet design. I love that I can be doing something creative with my hands and still igniting the love of math and 3-dimensional space.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I love that I can feel the sense of community, even if I am sitting alone while working from home up here in Canada. And by alone, I mean with no fellow adults there are always kids around, I tend to work with my husband is at work or has gone to bed for the night! Everyone has been so supportive of my journey so far and I am excited to have the opportunity to share even more patterns and concepts that have been floating around as ideas in my head for a while now.
How can our readers find you?
Well they can find me the most active over on Instagram @crafty.bones
It is always welcomed when they check out my blog crafty-bones.com
or if they prefer Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest, or YouTube I am under Crafty Bones.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! We can't wait to work with you again.
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.