Emma Lamb is the renowned British crochet designer and blogger that everyone is talking about. Her latest book, Crochet Home is filled with fresh ideas, beautiful colours and accessible projects to brighten up every corner of the house. By cleverly combining simple hand printing techniques with sewing projects, she demonstrates how to make beautiful fabric into practical, everyday items.
We asked Emma about her predictions for the next big crochet trend and the exciting projects she is currently working on…
Who taught you to crochet?
It was my Mam that taught me the basics of the humble granny square many, many years ago and I have clear memory of being around five years old and crocheting in the kitchen with her. When my mam was baking in the kitchen it was the warmest room in the house so while the oven was warm we would sit and crochet for a while. I know we were crocheting granny squares because I can remember that I didn’t know how to make the foundation ring, once I had picked out a colour to work with I would hand it over to my Mam to do that part, then I would happily crochet around and around to make my squares that we would eventually turn into blankets.
What inspires your designs?
As a designer I am constantly viewing and absorbing the world around me and with a background as a textile designer I have a particular interest in colour, pattern and texture. I love both urban and natural environments for inspiration, for me the patterns created by scaffolding structures or brick walls are as mesmerising as the patterns found in tiny seashells on the beach at low tide or the delicate structures of flower petals in the spring. I feel lucky to live in a city that has a wealth of both environments, from its huge open green spaces to its historic architecture, I can always find something around Edinburgh to inspire me.
What are your favourite blogs?
Right now I love reading decor8, Holly Becker’s blog stands out from the crowd for me because she continues to write in her own voice and has the strength to put forward her opinions in a very insightful and engaging way. A skill and authenticity that I feel is being forgotten about in the blogging world.
Colossal is another of my favourite blogs that brings together the best in art, innovation and creativity from around the world. It is written by Christopher Jobson, who in my opinion has an incredible eye for unexpected beauty! Whenever I’m feeling uncreative I’ll read a few posts on Colossal to remind me why I love to create.
Which project in Crochet Home is your favourite?
Wow, that’s a really tough question! It’s probably a bit of a cliché to say this but I love all the projects in this book because they all have a unique meaning to me, they each have their own stories and reasons for being included in Crochet Home. However, I do have a quite a soft spot for the Granny Chic Pinwheel Blanket. Of all the samples I created for this book this blanket is one of the most memorable as it represents one month of my life, one month of non-stop crocheting! Also projects of this size are sometimes tricky to plan out completely at the design stage and although I had the stitch pattern and colour palette worked out before I began the sample I purposefully left the colour placement to chance. The last element of the design process was decided in the moment as I was crocheting, so until the blanket was lying out on the blocking mat I was never one hundred percent sure of how it would actually look. In the end it looked pretty amazing to me, but I may be a little biased!
Although I had already designed, self-published and worked to commission before beginning work on Crochet Home, being able to take twenty of my ideas from hastily scribbled notes to fill the pages of my first published book was such a great experience! The whole process of producing a book has been an insightful and exciting learning curve, everything from pattern writing, sourcing gorgeous yarns, crocheting samples, advising with the design and illustration, attending photoshoots and styling the photography. It was an honour to work so hands on with a very dedicated team and my special thanks go to Anna, Jason and Kang for all their incredible work! I am very proud of this book and I hope everyone loves it just as much as I do?!
What is your prediction for the next big crochet trend?
Goodness, that’s a really interesting question! I personally believe that crochet is still in its infancy in terms of its creative potential and application. Right now I can see glimmers of a bright future for crochet through up and coming indie designers who are producing designs that will rival the knitting market, The Crochet Project is a prime example. It would be wonderful to see this continue and become more than just a trend.
What exciting projects have you got in the pipeline?
Right now I am very much focused on designing, expanding my pattern collection and exploring more ideas beyond homewares, which I am enjoying immensely. Looking further ahead I would love to be able to offer creative crochet workshops and e-courses as well as writing more books!