Sharon Hernes Silverman is the author of numerous crochet books as well as books on other topics like parenting and travel. She’s also an enthusiastic crafter and talented crochet pattern designer. Her crochet books have taught many beginners how to crochet and have motivated many crafters to pick up their crochet hooks and create lovely projects ranging from baby clothes to blankets. Sharon is best known for creating practical, wearable, usable Tunisian crochet projects that are both attractive and interesting to make.
If you have already met Sharon, either online or in person or through her books, I’m positive you’ll be interested in catching up with her and seeing pictures of some of her latest crochet designs; and if you haven’t, I hope you’ll enjoy having this opportunity to discover her work, learn a bit about her brand new crochet pattern book, and find out what she’s up to next.
The following is an email interview with Sharon; I emailed her the questions you see written in boldface type below. Sharon’s answers follow each question; I’ve formatted them in italics in hopes that you’ll be able to easily distinguish where the questions end and the answers begin.
Amy: “Sharon, congrats on your new crochet pattern book, Crochet Cowls, published by Stackpole Books. Which of the patterns in the book are generating the biggest buzz with your readers so far?”
Sharon: “Atlantic Ice,” the cowl on the cover, is attracting a lot of attention because of the colors and the silk-mohair texture of the yarn. That cowl is worked with two strands held together to change the color from subtle to vivid and back again.
People also are intrigued by “Loopy Boa,” worked in three colors. The exuberance of that project just seems to put a smile on people’s faces!
Amy: “Which cowl from this book do you think is the easiest one to crochet?”
Sharon: “The “Chepstow Cowl” is worked in woven stitch, a simple combination of single crochet and chain stitches. It uses a large hook and two strands held together, so it is a quick and easy project. “Chepstow” makes an excellent gift for someone, or make a few for yourself in different colors to go with your fall and winter wardrobe.”
Amy: “Which cowl from this book do you think is the most versatile, and what do you plan to wear it with?”
Sharon: “I’m a sucker for chevrons, so the “Maritime Chevrons” cowl appeals to me. It can be worn in a single loop or doubled, or even folded and then pulled through like a scarf. I’ll wear it with a jean jacket, my winter coat, and indoors over a sweater.”
Amy: “What else does it go with?”
Sharon: “This cowl is nice and tidy so it goes with tailored items, but the stripes keep it from being too formal or dressy so it looks good with casual wear, too.”
Amy: “I agree with you. I can see pairing this design with tailored blazers, business suits, simple business casual-type dresses or a variety of casual ensembles.
My career wardrobe consists almost entirely of black clothing, with a few khaki and neutral-colored pieces as well. If I were to crochet an infinity scarf like this in black and white, black and gray, or black and tan, it would give an instant update to almost everything I might want to wear to business meetings or interviews this coming fall / winter season. This scarf would also go well with the black snowmobiling bib I wear for doing night watches when I’m out sailing in cold environments. I’m with you in thinking I’d get plenty of wear out of this piece.”
“Also, I’ve noticed that chevrons are trendy right now. They’ve been popular with crafters for as long as I’ve been writing about crochet, and crochet enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of them. Lately chevrons have also been a big thing with the mainstream fashion industry and with interior designers. So this is really a timely design. For crafters who only have time to make a piece or two this season, I think this crochet pattern is a great choice to consider.”
Amy: Which crochet projects in the book did you have the most fun making?
Sharon: “It’s hard to choose. I loved designing and crocheting “Art Deco Skyline,” a beaded cowl inspired by the Chrysler Building in New York.
“And because I’m such a fan of Tunisian crochet, the five Tunisian projects were very enjoyable. Those range from the delicate “Green Fields Capelet” to the eye-catching “Chunky Lime Cowl.”
But all of the projects were enjoyable—it’s energizing to see the wonderful yarn selection that’s out there, and to use those fibers in new ways.”
Amy: “What made these cowls interesting for you to crochet?”
Sharon: “What’s fun about doing a book is that I can use many different techniques, colors, yarn weights, stitch patterns…there are no limitations. The projects in Crochet Cowls use shell stitches, post stitches, beaded crochet, Tunisian crochet, mosaic crochet, chevrons, and V-stitches, to name just some of the techniques. The book also gave me an opportunity to come up with finished projects that will appeal to people with different skill levels and ideas about fashion.
Amy: I’m excited to see you’ve included international symbol crochet charts in this book. That’s a strong selling point with many of our readers here at knittingandcrochet.net; many crochet enthusiasts want patterns that include symbol crochet charts, and it’s in fact one of our most popular requests. We also have bunches of beginning crocheters reading along. Since the new crocheters among us might not have any experience with reading charts, let’s discuss the advantages of symbol crochet charts. Why did you decide to include them in Crochet Cowls” when so many similar crochet pattern books don’t include this feature?
Sharon: “Symbol charts provide a quick reference about a pattern, or about a section of a pattern. They are especially useful for visual learners. Even though the charts are a lot of work to prepare, I think it’s worth it. The charts are also helpful to me when I’m writing patterns; I can make sure that there are no discrepancies between the text and the diagram.”
Amy: “I’d like to point out that written instructions are also included in this book — so readers are covered either way, whether they prefer charts or text instructions.
Amy: “Sharon, did you learn anything interesting from putting this pattern collection together?”
Sharon: “How vital it is to have an excellent photographer who brings together professional models and exquisite styling. Shanken Photography, Inc., took the model shots, and I couldn’t be happier with the way those turned out. Daniel Shanken did a fabulous job making sure the cowls aren’t overshadowed by the beautiful women modeling them. No easy trick!”
“The book also includes technique photos shot by Alan Wycheck of Alan Wycheck Photography. Alan is a genius at showing motion in still shots. For anyone who is learning a new technique or needs a refresher, those pictures are a big help.”
Amy: What’s next for you, Sharon?
Sharon: “I’m putting together another book proposal for Stackpole Books but can’t share the content just yet. However, I can tell you that it will be a collection and will include patterns from other designers.”
Recently I became an instructor for Annie’s Online Classes (“Learn to Crochet Ripples”), and I hope to do more teaching for them.”
“This fall I have a book-signing/fashion show and two classes scheduled at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York. One is an Introduction to Tunisian Crochet; the other is the Firelight Turtleneck project class from the cowls book. If any crochet groups or yarn shops are interested in a trunk show and/or class, my motto is ‘Have hook, will travel!’ “
Amy says, “Sounds great, Sharon! Best wishes with the book signing, fashion show and crochet classes. I hope some of our readers will join you for those fun events.
The floor is open for reader comments if anyone has questions for us or insights to share — although I do have comment moderation turned on, so please forgive me if it takes awhile for me to approve your comment.”
Quick Links to Related Resources:
- Want more information about Sharon’s Crochet Cowls book? Click here to check out the book’s product page at Amazon.com, or click here to find my detailed book review of this title at Crochet-Books.com.
- Click here to check out the new class Sharon teaches at Annie’s, Learn to Crochet Ripples.
- Click here to visit Sharon’s crochet blog at Sharonsilverman.com.
- Sharon’s Crochet Cowls book is included on our list of best crochet scarf pattern books. Click here to check out the entire list.
- Click here to take a look at our list of scarf patterns to knit and crochet.
- Click here to check out patterns for matching hat and scarf sets.