I first fell in love with the beautiful colorful crochet work of Marianne Dekkers-Roos on Instagram and was then thrilled when the Netherlands-based crafter contributed to the Mandalas for Marinke project. I was so happy for her (and the world of crochet) when I learned that she was releasing her first book, Colorful Crochet, this year. I’m excited to bring this book to you today along with an interview where Marianne shares more.
About Colorful Crochet
Colorful Crochet is a beautiful book of 20+ crochet projects that has just been released in three languages: English, Dutch and Turkish. You can tell right away that this collection is not just a set of projects but truly a work that comes from the heart. Marianne shares her story about making her very first crochet poncho – and she shares an updated version of the pattern in this book! Each project in the book begins with a story about it that makes you feel closer to the designer.
Many of the crochet projects in this book naturally have Marianne’s beautiful colorful style, which is the feature that first drew me to her Instagram and it’s so fun to see that celebrated in these projects. What I appreciate, though, is that each crochet project is that some of the projects are shown in just a single color, which means that they are adaptable designs for people who like to work boldly as well as those who like to make more neutral items. It’s nice to see how the designs translate into these different styles.
And in fact, the best example is the first one in the book – a crochet doily design that is offered in three different sizes and can be worked as a wall hanging or as a circle bag. Photos are shown in the book of both a neutral design with just a few colors in the cream / tan family as well as very colorful versions and then one that is just worked in a single solid blue. The design works equally well in all formats. I made the design myself using a variegated thick-and-thin yarn and was happy with the results:
Each crochet pattern has detailed instructions, including pattern notes, designer’s tips and info on special stitches where needed. Finishing and assembly instructions are detailed and easy to understand. Plus there are colorful symbol charts for those who prefer to work from visual instructions. So you get solid instructions for fun projects and a lot of the personal touch from the designer as well. Let’s hear more from her in the following interview:
Interview with Crochet Designer Marianne Dekkers-Roos
What inspired you to take the leap and write your first crochet book?
The confidence that my wonderful publisher Tuva Publishing had in me! They contacted me via email, saying they loved my work and would like to make a crochet book with me. For a split second I thought “this is a joke, or spam”, but I very quickly found out how serious their offer was. Them giving me all sorts of creative room to play, as well as the possibility to publish internationally, was just too fantastic to pass up on. And I’m happy to say that I have not regretted my decision to work with Tuva for one bit; being able to write this book was (and still is) an awesome adventure that I’m enjoying very much.
Photo via FrankieLovesCrochet who says, “The book has so many inspiring projects to choose from! I really liked the texture of the puff stitch blanket (‘wendi’) so I decided to make this and as the book is all about colour I had to choose my favourite colour to make it with!” This project can also be a scarf, see Cherry Heart’s post for additional info on that.
What were some of the challenges you experienced in writing this book?
Having to come up with 20 new crochet projects was something that I thought would be tough, but strangely enough, once I started designing it felt as if a can filled with ideas opened up in my head, and the ideas kept coming out – such a cool surprise!
Some of the challenges were (not having enough) time, and translating the idea in my head into a pattern, plus writing all of the patterns down in such a way that they would be easy to follow for everyone.
Hexagon Blanket Inez, photo via draad & praat
What is your own favorite project in this book?
Oh, that’s a hard question….. along the lines of “who is your favorite child”, haha! I guess I love the patterns that have texture like “Hexagon Blanket Inez”, “Hexagon Shawl Ursula” and “Sunshine Blanket Quinn” just a tiny bit more.
But, to tell you the truth, I really like how “Blanket Lotte” turned out a lot as well. Come to think of it this pattern was kind of a challenge! It was not easy getting the two techniques used in these squares right, and I’m actually proud it worked out in the end.
Image of the Giant Granny Blanket via Annaboo’s House who shares, “The patterns themselves are varied and are a mix of projects for your home and accessories to wear. They also range in difficulty from beginner-friendly to something more challenging, too.”
Your signature is working with lots of great color. Where do you get your color inspiration?
Basically from anything…. haha! Color combinations I might see in a magazine, or some fabric, or a few skeins of yarn that lay on my desk in a particular color scheme. Vibrant and bright colors have the tendency to make me happy, hence why I love working with them. Then again, I adore beautiful neutrals and pastels also!
What tips can you offer to crocheters who are a little afraid of working with color?
Let go off your fear! The worst thing that can happen is you not liking the colors you’ve chosen, but you can always frog and start anew! Playing with color is absolutely fun to do!
What do you hope people get out of this book?
I hope they’ll see how versatile crochet is, an aspect I so love of it myself! One pattern, crocheted with a different yarn/ weight and playing with colors will give you an almost totally different looking project!
Photo of Ribbed Tartan Cushion via Miss Neriss who says, “I love that this is fast (you know I love fast projects) and simple and so beautiful. The surface crochet is so effective and this cushion will look great on my couch in a few days when it’s finished.”
Many of the projects use an eco-friendly yarn … why is that important to you?
If there is a chance to work with materials that are good, or at least better, for the environment, then that’s a great thing, I think. It is a small step in making this planet more sustainable, but no matter how small, improvement is what counts. Besides, the yarn I crocheted a lot of the projects with – DMC Natura – is so wonderful to work with, soft, and I really like the colors, too, so it’s a good yarn choice anyway and the fact that it’s eco-friendly is an important bonus.
How was the decision made to launch the book in three languages at first?
As I understand Tuva Publishing releases its books always in Turkish (they’re based in Istanbul/Turkey) and in English. During the book making process they decided they wanted a Dutch version as well, which only added to my excitement!
In what ways has crochet been a benefit in your life?
I’m tempted to say: in every way possible! I have a chronic illness that prevents me from having a regular job, and to tell you the truth, I’ve felt sad and frustrated about that for a while. That is, until I rediscovered my creative side. When I started crocheting again in 2010, I fell in love with it right away. I loved it when a pattern required me to concentrate, but I liked the repetitiveness in easier patterns just as much – crochet very quickly became my ‘meditation‘. And then seeing I created things I thought looked beautiful, in all kinds of happy colors, made ME very happy. To realize I had found my true passion in crochet, was a great experience, and it has made dealing with my debilitating weekly migraines a little easier.
Photo via Little Things Blogged who says, “What I love most about the book is that it is really made in Marianne’s style; using all those bright and happy shades of colors – hence the title! Marianne herself also appears in the book as a model adding a really personalized touch to the whole venture!”
Anything else we should know?
Well….. I think I’m a good example of how following your passion and doing what really makes you happy can bring you a whole lot of – unexpected – joy! “Do more of what makes you happy” is good advice for everybody, I think!
Visit Marianne Dekkers-Roos on her blog and on Instagram. Visit the other crafters on this blog tour; all of the photos shared in this post are from those who already posted on their part of the tour – follow the links to read their posts, too. Buy the English version of Colorful Crochet here.