A Crochet Story with Northern Lights

Have you ever wondered how stories in magazines come to be? Take Northern Lights, for instance; this is a story in Love of Crochet Winter 2016 of five projects stitched in rich saturated colors of blues, greens and pinks. The story as it appears in the magazine is quite different than the story we pitched to our designers. Let’s take a look at how stories like this come to be.

Pitching the Idea

The crochet team at Interweave meets quarterly to discuss story ideas we think our readers will love. Every member of the team participates including the editor, project editor, assistant editor and magazine designers. We pull inspiration from color, nature, fashion, the internet, etc and present it at the meeting. There are no limits to where we find inspiration and all ideas are given a voice.

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Bobbled Knot Bag

The editor will mix and match the ideas from the team to create a formal Call for Submissions which usually contains three distinct story ideas. This call is a written request that we email to designers and place on our website (if you would like to be added to our Call for Submission email list, drop us a line at [email protected]). We invite crochet designers from all over the world to send us their best ideas that match these themes.

For Love of Crochet Winter 2016, the story ideas in the call included “Scandinavian Dreams”, “His Sweater”, and “Embellishments”. As you can see, Northern Lights was nowhere to be found in the call.

 Selecting Designs

Crochet designers mail us their ideas with a description, sketch and swatch of fabric. Some of our story ideas are very popular with designers and those stories move forward to the next step. But sometimes we receive submission ideas that don’t match the call we posted, but instead, other story ideas emerge.

northern lights

Zaffre Sweater

We select the designs we think our readers will enjoy the most, contract with the designers, group projects into stories and select yarn for the projects. We choose a color palette, consider fiber type and weight and select yarn for each pattern.

It’s at this stage that Northern Lights was selected for one of the stories in Love of Crochet Winter 2016. The other story ideas were changed later, but Northern Lights was a keeper. Marcy Smith, the editor for the Winter 2016 issue, went to the internet and performed a google search for “Northern Lights” and was inspired by the bold vibrant colors she found there. She worked together with Susanna Tobias, the project editor, to select the yarn you see in the magazine today.

Making a Magazine
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Plaid Scarf

Project designers are given several weeks to stitch their designs. Once we receive them at our office, we prepare for the photoshoot. The magazine designer and editor work closely with a stylist and beautician to create a beautiful backdrop to showcase the crochet projects. The obvious things to consider include hiring of models and a photographer and finding a location to take pictures. But what is less obvious is the challenge of dealing with weather and daylight hours since we are taking pictures five to six months prior to the magazine hitting the newsstand. It can be tricky to take pictures because we’re photographing the summer issue in the middle of winter and winter in the middle of summer. Models freeze in the winter as they model summer tees and tank tops and swelter in the summer modeling long sleeve sweaters, hats and scarves!

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Basketweave Shawl

After photography, the editor takes one last look at the projects and creates final names for stories and patterns. Sometimes the stories stay the same, as was the case with Northern Lights, but more often than not, stories and patterns are given new names. The shoot location, the way garments are modeled and even the other patterns in the story will inspire a new story idea that we couldn’t anticipate.

Final content is written, the magazine is designed, then we edit and proof the heck out of it.

Creating Inspiration

When it’s all said and done, we do what we do to create inspiration for our fellow crocheters. We love this craft and endeavor to provide you with a collection of fun and engaging projects that you can’t wait to sink your hooks into.

northern lights

Aurora Pullover

With the Northern Lights story, we chose color as our inspiration early on. But the interesting thing isn’t just the colorful palette, it’s that each pattern uses different crochet techniques, providing you with oodles of stitching fun. The Aurora Pullover is worked in linked double crochet, making it nice and warm for the season. The Zaffre Sweater is crocheted with the cluster stitch, making it a lovely option for layering with your wardrobe. The Basketweave Shawl is a cozy option for wrapping yourself in crochet. The Bobbled Knot Bag is a unique design that incorporates bobbles and stripes for fun splashes of color. And the Plaid Scarf incorporates surface slip-stitching to create a one of a kind scarf that looks a lot like sleeves on a sweater.

As you flip through your issue of Love of Crochet, Winter 2016, see if you can spot where the stories matched our call for designs and where new stories surfaced. And whether you stitch the patterns in the yarn shown or select a new color or fiber all together, we trust the final stories inspire you to pick up your hook and yarn and enjoy another fun season of crochet.


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