Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Emma Lamb and I work from my home studio in the centre of the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Although I grew up on the North East coast of England, where the stony beaches hold a special fondness for me, Edinburgh is my home, it is such an inspirational city with a vibrant creative community. My favourite thing to do it to take long walks with my dog Spanner, a floppy-eared English Cocker Spaniel, around the historic streets and wonderful green spaces. Calton Hill has become one of our regular haunts lately, from there you can see the whole city. It has an exceptional view of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags, Princes Street to the Castle with the best possible view of the Old Town architecture lining the Royal Mile, then on the opposite side an incredible panoramic view out over the Firth of Forth to Fife and beyond. It’s such a great place for people watching too as there are always crowds of tourists admiring the sights!
Tell us a bit about the book?
I am so excited to share my ‘Crochet Home’ with everyone! It is my first book of crochet patterns featuring many designs people will already know and love such as my potholders and patchwork cushions plus a few that have been given a fresh twist such as the Flower Garlands, Paper Flower Charms and Scarborough Rock Floor Throw. There are also a few new gems to tantalise everyone’s crochet hooks, my personal favourites being the luxury alpaca Daisy Dot Lap Blanket, which was a pure joy to crochet, and the epic Granny Chic Pinwheel Blanket which takes the idea of the humble granny square and gives it a fun new twist that I hope everyone will love as much as I do?!
Of course all twenty of the patterns follow my signature design style and are as colourful and pretty as you might expect. One of my favourite elements of this book was being able to explore a gorgeous range of yarns within the collection. I’ve chosen fibres such as alpaca, wool, silk and organic cotton alongside more interesting yarns such as Paperhine’s unique paper twine (www.paperphine.com), luxury cashmere from the Italian yarn company Gomitoli’s (www.gomitolis.com), linen from Yarn Stories (www.yarnstories.etsy.com) and some very special custom hand-dyed yarns from one of my favourite independent dyers, the Skein Queen (www.skeinqueenyarns.co.uk).
What was the inspiration behind it?
Writing my own book has been on my wish list for a long time now and when the opportunity for Crochet Home came along I was excited at the thought of sharing my designs with all those lovely people who have supported my work and blog throughout my crochet career. I knew this first book would be a gathering of all my favourite designs so far as I wanted to bring them together in one beautiful book as a memento of my crochet career so far. To say I am proud of my Crochet Home is an understatement, I absolutely love it! Of course I am a little biased! I’m also really proud of all the hard work that everyone put into it and I want to say a special thanks to Anna, Jason and Kang for their incredible work and dedication, they are an amazing team who helped me realise my vision for this book.
Which is your favourite project?
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!
What is your craft space like?
I work from my home studio here in Edinburgh, it is my Aladdin’s Cave of pretty things and gorgeous colours! Drawers, shelves and walls are full to bursting with crochet samples, fabrics, vintage tins and boxes filled with vintage notions, printed papers, beach treasures, books, lots of photography props and of course yarn. So much yarn! Most of the time it looks chaotic as I’m pretty bad at keeping my crochet wips organised, almost every surface is strewn with two or three samples and swatches in various stages of completion as well as groupings of yarns for those wips that are still waiting to be realised. So many wips!
Have you always been creative?
For as long as I can remember I have always been creative in some way, I have always made, drawn, stitched, knit, painted or crochet. Even as a very small child I remember being obsessed with colouring books and the painting easel at nursery school! Being creative has always been an inherent part of who I am.
When did you first start crafting?
Knitting and crochet were the first crafty skills I learned as a little girl, my Mam taught me both of them when I was around five or six years old, however I do have more memories of crochet. I remember that we would sit in the kitchen and crochet little granny squares while my Mam was baking pies for us to eat through the week. I hadn’t learned how to make the foundation ring at that time so my Mam would do that part for me before I would crochet round and round to make my colourful little squares. We would then join them together to make blankets for our beds and even back then I loved to play with the squares to find the perfect colour arrangement. It makes me very nostalgic to think about those blankets and I wish I still had one today.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Right now I love Holly Becker at decor8 (http://decor8blog.com), her 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.
As for my heroes there are so many incredible women within the crafting community who inspire me with their passion, creativity, motivation and dedication to their craft. I wish I could name them all here but three that I think are particularly worth noting are women such as Marna Lunt (http://www.littleadesigns.co.uk/) who is an incredibly talented and prolific textile /embroidery artist; Sonia Cantie at Cozy Memories (http://cozymemories.bigcartel.com/) who champions natural dyeing and using eco-friendly materials throughout her elegant line of handmade homewares and accessories; and Lydia Tresselt at Lalylala (http://www.lalylala.com/) who designs the most amazing amigurumi style dolls I have ever seen!
Where do you find inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere! 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's next for you?
Right now I am very much focussed 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!
Transform your home with this collection of beautiful crocheted homewares by talented crochet designer and blogger Emma Lamb.
Choose from 20 retro-chic patterns to prettify your home such as quick to stitch gorgeous flower garlands, vintage inspired blankets and throws, and delightful doilies and cushions.
Whether you are new to crochet or an experienced stitcher looking for wonderful new project ideas, this book is sure to appeal. Emma's technique for combining colors and subtle but stunning designs makes these projects stand out from other crochet titles.
Includes techniques and crochet charts as well crochet patterns.