Crochet Adorned – Interview, Review & Giveaway!

Today starts a two day crochet extravaganza here on Naughty Secretary Club. To start things off I have an interview with crocheting cutie Linda Permann author of the fantabulously adorable new book Crochet Adorned: Reinvent Your Wardrobe with Crocheted Accents, Embellishments and Trims. The cherry on top is that we are also giving away a copy of Crochet Adorned to one lucky reader and believe me – you want this book.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, needle arts and sewing are not my first crafty love. I made it through an afghan for Tallulah while I was too pregnant to do much else other than sit on the couch and my skills halted with that one single stitch. Often I find the idea of an entire crochet project a bit daunting. The afghan took forever. I want to pick out my outfit and make a pair of earrings to match that same day. That kind of instant craft gratification never seemed possible with crochet, that is until I read Crochet Adorned. My quick crochet crafty prayers had been answered.

Want to make your shoes match your sweater, flip right to page 74 and the Like New Shoes Project. Skill level beginner, hells to yeah. You had me at easy embellished shoes. But then Linda goes and takes it up another notch playing to all my soft spots with not one, but three crocheted jewelry projects. My favorite being the Bird Brooches. The home section is also fun and has a very retro feel about it. The Butterfly Apron makes me want to bake cookies in heels just like a perfect 1950’s housewife and you can tune in tomorrow to see how my adventures in the Lace Bowl making department work out.

None of this cuteness surprises me. Linda has been around the crafty block a time or two. She was the founding Craft and Decorating editor at the much missed Adorn Magazine. You can find her crocheted handiwork in books and magazines like Bust, Crochet Today, Knit 1 and Stitch and Bitch Crochet. Not to mention you can read all about Linda’s crafty adventures on her blog Linda Made. Linda is not only insanely talented and creative, she is also a real sweetie. So sweet in fact she agreed to do a little interview for Naughty Secretary Club. Read on to learn more about the designs you can find in Crochet Adorned and be sure to read all the way to the bottom to enter to win a free copy.

Do you find that you make more crochet items from scratch or do you tend to adorn items you already have or purchase?

It depends. I like to make a lot of accessories, but when it comes to garments, I like to add little crochet touches to things. I’m really not much of a sweater wearer, but there are so many fun things that you can do with crochet, and since I have a bunch of leftover yarn sitting around, it just makes sense.

Can you remember the first wearable item you adorned with crochet?

Hmm. About seven or eight years ago I started making crocheted and sewn brooches (basically combining bits of crochet with sewn yoyos and other fun things like beads and pailettes). Although I didn’t actually sew them on, I wore them as brooches all of the time. I think it started there.

Do you compulsively walk through stores and think “this would be so much cuter with a scalloped edge around the collar?”

Sometimes! When I was shopping for items for the book- definitely! The cool thing is, sometimes you can use crochet to camouflage an undesirable aspect of a garment. For instance, I was looking for a cardigan to embellish so that I could wear it for a book event, and I found one in the perfect shade of purple, but it was one that tied in the center—which I wouldn’t have liked whether or not I was embellishing it. So, since I was covering the front corners of the collar with flowers anyway, I was able to trim, fold back, and stitch the ties in place to conceal them. It’s cool to be able to modify something to be “just right” and decorate it at the same time. Similarly, you could totally cover stains or moth holes with crocheted flowers—bonus, especially if you find a cool vintage piece you don’t want to pass up.

One of the other projects in the book, the Modern Harlequin Dress, was inspired by a real life dress I trimmed. I found the dress for $10 at H&M, but the neck was just too low, and it was also a little short for work. So I figured that if I added a nice wide trim, and overlapped it with the dress by about and inch, I could lengthen the dress and raise the collar. It worked, and I get lots of compliments on the dress. Another of the projects, the Floral Motif Yoke Top, was one that I originally made for myself—I wanted to use up this pretty fabric that I had, but I only had 1 yard—not enough for a shirt! So I combined it with some stash yarn and the top was born!

Why did you decide to write a book about adorning ready made clothing and accessories with crochet rather than a book that had straight up all crochet all the time projects?

That’s a good question, and I had several reasons. First of all, I like projects that are quick and doable—and I don’t think I’m alone in that! I still get the satisfaction of making something I’m wearing when I do an embellishment project, and it doesn’t take me weeks or months to finish.I also wanted to take the intimidation factor out of making clothes—it can be scary to put a lot of work into something and not know whether it fits, but people can get their feet wet by starting out with crocheted embellishments.

I also wanted to write a book that would appeal to people who are already crocheting, and perhaps attract new crocheters, too. I really think crocheting is a lovely craft, and it’s still trying to have its renaissance. I’ve always loved combining different crafts—I think it’s so much fun to use crochet in everything, and I hope that multi-crafty people will see this book as a way to begin exploring crochet. I don’t think most people learn new skills unless they want to do something with those skills, so I hope this book is an inspiration point that lights that crocheting fire for some. I like the open-endedness of these kinds of projects—readers can make them exactly as presented, or do their own twist on the ideas.

Also, to put it simply, I don’t wear a lot of sweaters! I just don’t like to be hot. But I do like a dressed up t-shirt or tank top, and after years of collecting the occasional hand crocheted trim at the thrift shop, it occurred to me that I could make my own trims. I started seeing crochet make a comeback in ready made clothing, and I wanted to do a nice, modern book on applying crocheted elements to clothes (and more) for those who want to do it themselves.

If I were to go through your closets how many items would I find that you have adorned with crochet? What is your favorite item that you have given a facelift to using crochet?

I have quite a few items—the motif tank and dress I mentioned above, my own version of the sweater on the cover, many many brooches that I pin on hats, scarves, jackets and the like, and skirt with an offset doily appliqué. I think my favorite has to be the trimmed dress, but the cardigan with the flowers is giving it a run for its money!

Thanks for the interview Linda, Naughty Secretary Club hearts you and Crochet Adorned! Want to add Crochet Adorned to your collection of craft books? Leave me a comment letting me know your favortie craft books of all time and why? Did Stitch and Bitch teach you to knit? Did Handmade Nation inspire you? Are you scouring flea markets after reading The Naughty Secretary Club. You have one week to leave a comment!

51 Responses to “Crochet Adorned – Interview, Review & Giveaway!”

  1. Ady

    I like craft books with small, easy-to-do projects. My favorite right now is Two Skeins or Less, but because I have crafty children trying to learn to knit, Kids Knit is probably the most used book in my house.

  2. Craftiness

    I love to collect craft books. Perusing the pictures inspire me to get moving on crafts. I did learn a lot from Stitch N Bitch and still use it as reference. The Naughty Secretary Club Working Girls Guide has inspired me to peruse 'A Thing From The Past' store in North Austin. My daughter uses the book to help her with making jewelry. I just received Handmade Home and am really excited

  3. gardienne

    I love the japanese craft books, the one that captured me was the Loop Flower book. I also really like the Singer Sewing Library books for reference, they have some amazingly simple tips on perfecting your sewing.

  4. Melody

    This might sound silly but I like Klutz Books & Kits. I know they are mainly for kids. It really helped me. The Klutz Knitting Book/Kit and Klutz Crochet Book/Kit along with free online videos taught me both of those crafts

  5. Nesiejean

    There was a craft book at my local library that I used to check out so often that the librarian on duty would say, "you know you've read this, right?". It was a Donna Dewberry painting book, and although I don't really do much of that kind of crafting any longer, I have to say it's my favorite because my success with one stroke painting helped me get brave enough to try

  6. Turtle

    i love craft books in general and love those with many projects that use 2 skeins or less, more affordable and easier for gift giving. But i do admit that my fav all time is Dominitrix, as much as i love the designs i love the retro feel and look of the book.

  7. Deilia

    I love love love Ready Made Magazine. It's not a craft book but I think it counts. I adore NSC and am inspired everyday!

  8. kgirl

    My favourite craft book right now is Subversive Cross-Stitch. Thanks to that book, all of my friends are getting bookmarks with dirty messages on them for Christmas.

  9. Anonymous

    My favorite craft is book is ever changing I am a bookbuyer at a library so my craft library is kind of limitless. I am in love with the printmakers bible, several titles on soapmaking, the newest martha stewart craft book, and jam it pickle it cure it, food craft yay!


    lisasjournal at yahoo

  10. stacysews

    I love craft books and have quite a large collection going, so it's hard to chose just one! But, my favorite would have to be Amy Butler's In Stitches. I love the projects included in the book and it's one of the few that I've used over and over again!

  11. Mindy Shuman

    I would have to say that the book that most influenced my crocheting and the one I turn to for inspiration most often is A New Look at Crochet by Elyse and Mike Sommer printed in 1975. Crochet is presented simply and without rules allowing for lots of creativity. Up until I found this book in the library I didn't realize that crochet could be art. I love this book and snatched up the

  12. Kacy

    My favorite craft book is the Harmony Stitch Guide for crochet motifs. I'm always inspired to design my own blankets and scarfs when I flip through it. I also love looking at the different beautiful motifs. Crochet Adorned sounds like a book I'd really enjoy.

  13. Sursi

    My latest favorite is Pop Goes Crochet because it inspired me to crochet and knit again. If I win this, it may be my new favorite because I love small projects.

  14. WireMySoul

    I love the old school library discard books about crafting with kids. You know the ones, they often have a few different recipes for play dough and papier mache. Those are the best.. and thumbing through them once in a while is like finding a long-lost treasure.

    I know I would LOVE this book though. PICK ME! hehe


  15. Bonafyde

    Right now my favorite craft book has got to be "The Crafter's Devotional – 365 Days of Tip, Tricks And Techniques For Unlocking Your Creative Spirit By Barbara R. Call" because it contains so many crafts I am interested in and is chock full of inspiration in all it's nooks and crannies…. it is a MUST have beside your night table, trust me!

  16. take

    this is really great information thank you for this article….. 🙂 Wanna have one secretary also…. :p

  17. Jessica

    My favorite craft book of all time is Sew What! Skirts. I love it because it taught me how to draft my own patterns, which has opened the door to endless skirt possibilities. I like books that give you a starting point, plus the tools to create your vision and keep exploring in new directions. This looks like it could be one of them! Thanks for the interview.

  18. Megan

    I love the vintage craft books! I haven't made too much from any of the ones I've collected yet, but I think they're so fun and inspiring! I especially like the ones from the 60s and 70s.

  19. sassypriscilla

    What a great book! My favorite crafting book is called the Everything Book. I got it as a young girl and it allowed me to try all kinds of crafts myself and make my mom and dad presents. This was back in the 70s so the book is out of print but you can find it used on Amazon and eBay. I saved mine and have done some crafts with my son!

  20. unitedstatesoftamarica

    I tend to have favorites based on the craft, so I don't think I can pick just one. The latest crochet book I picked up is called Hooked Scarves by Margaret Huber. The patterns look easy enough for a beginner (read: me), but the finished project is trendy, cool and looks like you worked hard.

    The best tip on craft books comes from my mom: Always buy a children's book on the

  21. Sarah

    Favorite craft books of all time, hmmm… So many to choose from. But I'd have to say that a "Today's Woman Granny Squares" (1976) was the one that taught me to crochet. Excellent instructions and drawings of exactly how to do each type of stitch. I've even used it to teach others because it is so clear. Another, newer, favorite for reference is "200 Crochet Tips,

  22. Karen

    My most recent favorite is Robyn Chachula's "Blueprint Crochet". I had never tried crocheting by diagram before, but with that book and some very helpful advice from Linda Permann, it has opened up a whole new world of crochet to me. So I'd love to add "Crochet Adorned" to my book collection now, too. I love Linda's designs, and I know that her instructions will be

  23. caroline

    My favorite craft book changes all the time, but currently I am really into "The Big-Ass Book of Crafts" by Mark Montano.

    I am always going back to my Stitch n Bitch "Happy Hooker" for patterns; I'm currently making the monkey baby blanket for the third time and it's got so many fun patterns.

    oh, the list could go on and on…

  24. readingmandy

    amanda cox,

    my favourite craft book is the Big-Ass Book of Crafts. this isn't because I use it (I crochet and right now am focused on my Kyuoto Amigurumi), but because my husband uses it. he's under a lot of stress and pressure these days finishing up his phd but this book has inspired him to all sorts of crafts and ideas that give him outlets to relieve the stress. so it&#39

  25. LBG

    I don't think my favorite craft book has a name. It is a small "learn to crochet" pamphlet from the 1950's. My Grandmother gave it to me, along with various other crafty things, in high school and I have been crocheting since then. The best part is the random patterns I found tucked inside from my Grandmothers womens group. One was to make bandages for lepers (1950 something)

  26. Terri

    The Happy Hooker was what started me into crocheting. Although I've never made a single item out of the book, it opened my eyes to the newer type of crochet. I've been trying on my owm to figure out adornments to add to my clothes without any luck. I would absolutely love to own this book.

  27. SewitlittlethingS

    Honestly I love my basic instructions book. It is always good to refresh the things you any of my crochet, knit, embroidery, sewing books are always on my craft table…I think I never start a new project without consulting what best basic tech will really make the item stand out!

  28. Sophie

    Basically, I love Any craft books- I'm a craft addict, I confess. I've been through all the ones at my local library, some many times. I'm always on the lookout for new craft books. However, most of the ones we have at our house are for kids. The one craft book that I think my girls got the mose from is "Cool Crafts to Make: Even if You Don't Have a Creative Bone in Your

  29. argylerabbit

    My favourite craft book is "The Australian Woman's Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes" book series! I swear, as a kid in the 80's, the coolest thing you could get on your birthday is one of those cakes. I really wanted the jelly (jello?) swimming pool one.

    Oh and Naughty Secretary Club book has me collecting small plastic dinosaurs for a necklace like no ones business. too

  30. Gerry

    Crochet Adorned is just the book I NEED ! ! !
    My hooks are right here and so is a meager amount of yarn. So, when I win this book, a trip to the lys is in order so that I can 'stash up'! However, I have a pile of crocheted bags just waiting for the right embellishment.

  31. Jane

    I think my favorite, the most useful to me, has been Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting. Hope this wins me the crochet book!

  32. Twisted Knitter

    Stitch 'n Bitch was the first knitting book I bought when I learned how to knit and it's still the one I recommend to new knitters. When I learned how to crochet earlier this year, I knew that the Stitch 'n Bitch crochet book – Happy Hooker – would be an awesome addition to my library and I refer to it all the time!

  33. miss lila

    my favorite craft books for pure utility are the Reader's Digest "Complete Guides" — they're the first place I go when I'm stumped by a technique. for inspiration, Asian craft books win hands down; there's so many of those that I love, there's no way I can choose a favorite!

    I never win contests, but have my fingers crossed… I'm strugglng through

  34. chez shoes

    I'm pretty sure this would be my favorite if I won it! But for now, my fave is One Skein – knitting, crocheting, and great patterns all in one place.

  35. onmyhorse

    My favorite craft book, of all time, is "kids America" which my dad gave to me and my brother when I was around seven. It had all sorts of crafts (making maple gum! making a teepee!) for kids as well as some history about the US. Even more surprising, our parents tolerated all sorts of experiments based out of the book. I still have Kids America, and though it's a bit cheesy, I hope

  36. Heather

    I'd say the first book that inspired me to craft was the Girl Scout handbook. A more recent 'book' that I love is Jenny Hart's Stitch It kit & book, it really opened my ideas to new, modern craftiness.

  37. What Happens Next

    Like many others, I have too many craft books to count, and love every one of them!!

    I would have to say that "Vogue Sewing" started it all back in the late seventies. Sewing has been for me the constant that I go back to again and again, and I absolutely love combining it with crochet.

    The book that has my heart at the moment is "Pretty Little Felts".

  38. Barefootin'Mama

    I can't even tell you the name of my fave! It's big, old and blue, the cover is long gone and the writing has worn off…but it has (now) vintage patterns for applique patterns and instructions.

  39. Elora

    The Happy Hooker taught me to crochet, but I love the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework my grandmother gave me. It is indispensable craft book!

  40. Adrienne

    I have so many wonderful knitting & crochet books, but I have to say that Loop-D-Loop by Teva Durham really inspired me to be more daring and adventurous in my fiberwork.

  41. Michelle (mla1111)

    I am new to crafting and just found your blog. I dont have a favorit crafting book yet but I am interested in learning fabulous crochet techniques, patterns & ideas so I would love to win a copy of this book…it looks great! Thanks for the chance.

  42. Early Bird Special

    For me, my favorite craft books have been anything and everything by Jenny Hart. I'm a full time embroidery junkie, so go figure.

    Although I am also fond of books with a variety of craft projects like Sew Darn Cute, Bend the Rules, Sewing Green, and Naughty Secretary Club. <3

  43. Sarah

    I love older books because the projects are so kitschy–even though there are always the projects that make you scratch your head as to why anyone would make them!
    My books are mostly sewing, quilting,knitting and crochet. Fave quilting books are the Georgia Bonesteel lap-quilting books because I learned how to put a quilt together in pieces instead of just having a pretty (unquilted) top!

  44. Lindsay

    I'm not crazy about craft books, i'm much more interested in playing around and trying to make (small, non clothing item) things myself!
    There was a bookmaking book I had as a child that I loved, but The Happy Hooker is so helpful that I can't help but say it's one of my favorites!

  45. DoilyMaker

    My favorite book this week (changes every week!) is The Complete Book of Stumpwork Embroidery by Jane Nicholas.


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