Have y’all “met” Alla Koval yet, either online or in person? I’m sure many of you have; Alla is a crochet designer who is well-known for the lovely, stylish and detailed crochet patterns she’s designed.
If you have already met Alla, I’m sure you’ll be interested in catching up with her and seeing project photos from her brand new series of crochet pattern books; and if you haven’t, this is a great chance to discover her work, learn a bit about her books, and even get the scoop on some fantastic crochet tips and resources that she has shared.
What follows is an email interview with Alla; I emailed her the questions you see written in boldface type below. Alla’s answers follow each question; I’ve formatted them in italics in hopes that you’ll be able to distinguish where the questions end and the answers begin.
Tell us a little about your new crochet books. Who did you write these books for? Who would get the most benefit from them? Would you recommend the books to beginning crocheters, or more experienced crocheters? How many of the patterns, if any, are suitable for beginners?
I wrote these books pretty much to express myself to the other crocheters and designers. What I was trying to say and who could listen that?
The main message, I believe, is a language of design and inspiration. which is not only international but targeted all ranges of skills. I tried to express myself in detailed crochet stitch diagrams and schematics, in different approaches how to apply same pattern in different ways to get outstanding results.
I see my book to be useful for English readers from US or Europe and for readers with no English at all; useful for crocheters of any skill level – from beginners and to advanced designers; and finished projects to be worn by girls from 2 to 12 years old and some pattern are suitable for adults also!
Writing your first books must have been an incredible learning experience. What’s the most important insight you’ve learned from your writing experience so far?
It was (and still is!) such a big and long project for me that I had more than one “incredible learning experience”! 🙂
The most complex one was, as usually – do not give up!
If you thought starting a book was hard, wait until you try to finish one. As I said, writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s a marathon without people handing you cold water and cheering you on. – Guy Kawasaki, “APE How to Publish”
Other than that:
- I had to learn Adobe Illustrator to realize one of my biggest dreams in pattern’s develop – to be able to draw stitch diagram of any level of complexity and size for any pattern;
- Learned how to manage large books in Adobe InDesign;
- Watched hours of video lessons and collected a library of books related to photography;
- Conquered half of the house and converted that to photo studio and storage 🙂
I can continue this list at any time, just ask!
How long have you been crocheting? Why did you decide to learn how to crochet? How did you learn to crochet?
I crochet for a long time, but there were years when I didn’t do it.
Actual learning part happened in the early years of school, mostly during after school day care hours – but you can imaging complexities of these “projects” 🙂 And the real one, which was not only finished but pleased someone, was a sweater created for my father when I was around 11 years old. That sweater was worn for number of years and eventually fell apart.
Then I was knitting and crocheting for many years and loved to use both techniques together in one project – they both add so much to each other and gives you more freedom then just single one.
What tips and advice would you give to brand new crocheters?
As advice to the novice crocheters: do not afraid to learn and experiment to unfold your possibilities – any pattern is just one way and you can always find your own way, just do what you love and put your heart into your designs. And don’t forget to add some time 🙂
Who are your crochet heroines and / or heroes?
Many names come to mind, but I’d like to tell you about Edie Eckman – she is knit and crochet designer, books writer, teacher, tech editor and beyond talented and amazing person! I would love to be as fast, precise, organized and talented as she is.
Do you have any favorite crochet stitches?
Yes, I do: hdc, puff stich and picot for borders. Mainly because they are “reversible” and look great on both sides.
Note From Amy: To the new crocheters joining us, “hdc” is the abbreviation for “half double crochet.” If you haven’t yet learned this delightful basic crochet stitch, you’ll find free half double crochet instructions here at this link.
Which are your 3 favorite crochet books?
I have many favorite crochet books and right now I have 3 of them on my desk:
- Around The Corner Crochet borders by Edie Eckman
- Creative Crochet Lace by Myra Wood
- Japanese book: Antique Lace
Are there any emerging crochet trends or knitting trends that you find interesting these days?
3D printing would save my time on crochet samples, for sure, and would help me to concentrate on patterns! :o)
Besides crochet, are there any other crafts you enjoy? How has this craft / have these crafts influenced your crochet design, if at all?
Knitting, drawing in Illustrator, cooking food and taking care of tropical plants:
And I love to walk and hike daily!
What’s coming up next in your schedule? Do you have any future book plans in the works we should know about?
Tons of plans and ideas! I am working on next 2 books – Fall and Winter, both should be finished and printed around New Year! And then few more! Plus I have few new patterns in different stage which I plan to release in nearest months.
Amy says, “Sounds great, Alla! Please keep us informed about your future books, crochet patterns and activities. We’re looking forward to seeing what will come next.
Quick Links to the Resources Mentioned in This Interview:
Want further information about any of the crochet books and resources mentioned in this interview? Here are some links for your convenience.
- Check out volume 1, the spring pattern book, from the Imagical Seasons Crochet series: Click here for the paperback version, or
click here for the digital (Amazon Kindle) version.
- Check out Volume 2, the summer pattern book from the Imagical Seasons Crochet series: Click here for the paperback version, or
click here for the digital (Amazon Kindle) version.
- Edie Eckman’s book,
Around the Corner Crochet Borders: 150 Colorful, Creative Edging Designs with Charts and Instructions for Turning the Corner Perfectly Every Time is available for sale at Amazon.com, along with project pictures and information. This is an extremely popular book, with good reason, and it’s worth the click to take a look at it.
We Invite Your Comments!
If y’all have any tips, insights or questions to add to the discussion, the floor is open for comments. However, please be aware that at times I might have comment moderation turned on, and so it could take your comments some time to be read, approved and replied to. Thanks in advance to anyone who participates in the discussion. Please know that we really appreciate your interest, and your presence here.
This interview was posted on 7-9-2015.