CraftSanity Podcast Episode 198: A conversation with cool mom and crochet designer Alessandra Hayden

* All photos in this post are courtesy of Alessandra Hayden and Interweave.

Through the years, I’ve interviewed plenty of bloggers who eventually get book deals, but recording this podcast episode was especially fun because my talented guest is finally getting her long-deserved day in the sun and I’m so happy for her.

Alessandra Hayden, who grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil is the bright light behind the Just Be Happy Crochet pattern line. The Gig Harbor, Washington resident has been crocheting since her grandmother taught her when she was 8 years old. Her first project was to make a hanger cozy with a tiny hook and silk thread. Hayden recalls that the project was “tricky” but she stuck with it and has developed into a top-notch crochet designer roughly three decades later.

I first connected with Hayden many years ago after I shared the story of my challenging road to motherhood on the podcast. I lost my first baby to miscarriage and the loss devastated me. Soon after that, Hayden wrote to me to tell me that had just learned she was facing a similar circumstance. Her letter broke my heart and I’ve been cheering for her ever since.

On this episode of the podcast, Hayden shares the story behind her impressive new book, “Modern Tapestry Crochet: Techniques, Projects, Adventure.” (Her publisher found her on Instagram.) She’ll also tell us about what it’s like to be a busy, work-at-home mom to her son and daughter.

Whether you crochet or not, Hayden’s outlook on life is inspiring because she doesn’t let the harshness of the world corrode her experience. (You can read her blog here and read a Q&A I did with her in 2011 after she self-published a crochet book here.) She just keeps crocheting and finding ways to “just be happy” and I really admire that. And if you do crochet, Hayden’s new book will inspire you to take your stitching to the next level. Tapestry crochet looks seriously complex, but Hayden breaks it all down for her readers and guides them through 20 projects ranging from scarves and shawls to hats to socks and mittens, headbands, bags and throws.

Courtesy photo

At the time of this post, I’m on the first color change of the Point A Slouch Hat pattern on p. 53 and loving it. I love slouchy hats and this pattern jumped off the page at me. (Here is a photo of the colors I’m using.) Tapestry crochet looks complicated at first, but it’s actually a pretty simple process that accomplishes impressive results. I was able to follow the instructions Hayden provides in her book and get up and stitching very quickly. Now I want to drop everything and finish my hat, but I have to post this podcast first. : )

The book is scheduled to hit bookstores by early August, but you can preorder online if you want to be among the first check it out. Check out this “Provisions Tote” that is featured on p. 82. Love it!

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