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Colourful Crochet Design with Sandra Gutierrez

The Fibre Co. is proud to present our first crochet collection By Hook. We are pleased to have collaborated with a group of very talented designers for this collection, and to share their design stories with you here on the blog.

A Life in Craft

Sandra Gutierrez is a Mexican knit and crochet designer and author, known online as Nomad Stitches. Her colourful garments are something of a signature and her Paradise Cardigan is a real highlight in the By Hook crochet collection. We spoke with Sandra to learn more about her creative journey.

“I learned to crochet and knit when I was very young – my mom taught me. The first ever project I made was a crochet beanie that I improvised. I was so proud and my mom was very impressed. I still have it and I can’t believe it’s lasted me so many years!”

“When I was in college I didn’t know there was such a thing as patterns, so I just did my own thing and knitted and crocheted beanies and scarves, as well as some bikini tops. It was one of the latter that a friend saw and motivated me to make to sell at the beach when I was living in Valencia, Spain. Eventually, the making and selling of original designs turned into selling patterns and I never looked back! My favourite crochet project to make has to be a top-down pullover, or any garment, really. I find it incredibly satisfying to wear something that I made myself!”

It’s amazing to hear where freestyle beginnings have taken Sandra!

Paradise Cardigan

Sandra’s contribution to the By Hook collection is the Paradise Cardigan, which all started with the yarn too.

“The colours in the Luma yarn just scream summer to me, so the sun motif was born out of my desire to be in the sun! I also wanted it to be something easy and comfortable to wear during chilly summer nights after a day out. The motif is made with mosaic crochet. It is easy to learn and so effective for making striking motifs! I think it’s my favourite technique. I love working with colour and with fine yarn to make wearable crochet garments. But even I have to recognize that changing colours constantly like in tapestry crochet can get to be too much, especially when working with fingering weight yarn.”

“But with mosaic you only use one colour at a time, there is no carrying yarn or constant changing of colour. And the motifs are so beautiful!”

Crochet Inspiration

When we learn what influences her designs, the Nomad Stitches name comes into its own.

“What inspires me the most is my love for travelling and my experiences around the world. So many of my designs are inspired by specific places I’ve lived in or visited. But nature, TV, and other designers and brands can also be a source of inspiration.”

Bringing Inspiration to Life

How does she turn the inspiration into a pattern?

“Most of the time it starts with an idea – either a specific motif or a more general picture. Then I think about the texture and the fibre I would like to use. Lots of swatching happens, then lots of maths come into place to make sure that I will be able to grade an idea and make it fit many sizes. And then, finally, the easy and most fun part starts and I get to crochet.”

The Importance of Yarn

“The yarn influences it greatly! So many times I’ve had a design in mind that simply didn’t suit the yarn I got. It is frustrating, but there are so many qualities of yarn that can make a difference. For example how it drapes, if it’s feltable or washable, if it has memory to be stretched and come back to place.”

“When it comes to colourwork, some fibres work much better than others. Yarn that is pure cotton can sometimes leave too many gaps in between stitches, while wool fills in those gaps to make a better image. It all matters!”

By Hook

By Hook, a first for The Fibre Co, is a summer crochet collection featuring laidback layers and pretty-yet-practical accessories from top designers. All five beginner-friendly designs were inspired by wildflowers, picnics, and the magical light of golden hour. Think long, lazy afternoons spent outdoors in the sunshine.

The chosen palette of Meadow and Luma yarns includes sky blues, botanical greens and pops of warm bright tones like flashes of meadow flowers in long, swishing grass. Lighter natural fibres and airy stitch patterns result in a collection of easy-to-wear complementary crochet pieces perfect for sunnier days. These patterns are suitable for crocheters looking for a new adventure, and knitters who may be new to the craft. 

Paradise Cardigan

The pattern is part of our By Hook Crochet Collection and is also available as a kit that includes the PDF pattern, 13-21 hanks of The Fibre Co. Luma yarn and a free project bag.

If you are crocheting the Paradise Cardigan, we would love to see it! Please tag us @thefibrecompany on Instagram and @thefibreco on Facebook so we can admire your beautiful project!

New to crochet? Interested in receiving FREE CAL tutorials, tips and tricks straight to your inbox?

Join the Cloudspotter Tee crochet-along with Lindsey Newns, which is running throughout July and August 2022.

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