Interweave Press Publishes Martha Stewart-Inspired "Freedom Poncho" Pattern

Loveland, Colo., March 10, 2005: Ever since Martha Stewart walked out of prison wearing a hand-crocheted poncho, crocheters and knitters across the country have been clamoring to find a pattern to make it their own. Colo.-based Interweave Press, one of the leading publishers of books and magazines about knitting and crochet, will post a free "Freedom Poncho" pattern, inspired by Stewart's original, on their web site Monday, March 14. The pattern was created by knitwear designer Lily Chin, author of Knit and Crochet with Beads (Interweave Press) and the reigning official fastest crocheter in the world.

"Hooray for Martha and her friend for bringing the poncho back in vogue," said Chin, who has designed knitwear for Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Isaac Mizrahi. "The poncho craze came in so quickly last fall and was just beginning to wane. This should give the poncho the shot in the arm it needed." The poncho pattern from Chin and Interweave Press is inspired by Stewart's original, which was handmade for Stewart as a going away present from a fellow inmate who crochets with yarn from the prison commissary in Alderson, W. Va.

The Interweave Press "Freedom Poncho" pattern will be made in a blend of Red Heart Casual Cotton and Symphony brand yarns from Coats & Clark, the Charlotte, N.C- based manufacturer of sewing and needlecraft products for more than 190 years. Coats & Clark supplies craft products to prison commissaries across the U.S., including Alderson, although a company spokesperson was unable to verify whether Coats & Clark brand yarns were used in Stewart's original poncho.

"Crochet is experiencing a revival in crafting circles and in the fashion industry, and I'm thrilled that we can offer a pattern to meet this new demand," said Pam Allen, editor-in-chief of Interweave Knits magazine and co-author of the forthcoming book, Wrap Style (Interweave Press, September 2005). "Crocheters and knitters alike have been flooding the online chatrooms to dissect and discuss the poncho's design." In fact, Yahoo reports that crochet was near the top of the Yahoo! Buzz index this week. If the poncho is not your taste, the Interweave Press web site offers free patterns for a range of garments and accessories for advanced and novice knitters and crocheters. Interweave Press is donating a complimentary subscription of Interweave Knits and a variety of knitting and crochet books to the inmates at the Alderson prison.

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