There’s nothing that can make up for the loss of a child, but when Laurinda Reddig lost her baby daughter, Rowan, she used crochet to help cope with her grief. Inspired by a blanket she had received while her daughter was in hospital, Laurinda designed her first crochet sampler afghan and started a NICU blanket project in Rowan’s memory. In addition to donating her own crochet blankets, Laurinda encourages others to do the same by sharing her designs and crochet techniques.
Laurinda’s Learn Reversible Intarsia Sampler is one of ten totally reversible crochet afghans in her new book, Reversible Color Crochet. The sampler features nine different pattern blocks designed to teach all of the techniques used throughout the book. The squares mix half double and double crochet stitches and help you to gradually master colorwork – starting with just two colors of Berroco Comfort and working up to as many as seven. When it’s finished you’ll have a beautiful blanket and a whole new set of skills!
How did you come up with this design?
My first sampler was designed in memory of my daughter Rowan. When I designed the Learn Reversible Intarsia Sampler, I had the same idea in mind – to encourage crocheters to make afghans to donate while learning new skills. Although I did not end up naming this design after her, I hope that crocheters will consider using their “practice” squares to make blankets to donate. Even if they are learning the technique and do not think their squares are “perfect”, anyone who receives a blanket when they have a child in the hospital or have lost a baby will treasure it and be comforted.
How did you decide on the yarn?
I chose Berroco Comfort because I wanted to use only washable yarns for a book of afghans, and because I had found it available at both smaller yarn stores and some larger craft stores, as well. Since I used Comfort for all of the 28 individual square samples in the book, it made sense to stick with the same colors for the first afghan project.
Any disaster stories?
In college my sister asked me to crochet her a dress, like something she had seen in a magazine. With my limited knowledge and resources, I crocheted her this rather hideous creation from leftover balls of worsted weight acrylic yarns. It was sort of a tube of stripes of double crochet with flat straps at the shoulders and I’m pretty sure there were some crazy ruffles as the bottom.
If you could crochet something for anyone in the world what would it be?
I’m torn between The Hogwarts Crest in my reversible intarsia for J.K. Rowling or The Royal Coat of Arms for the next royal baby (and I’m not even British). I did get the chance to meet one of my favorite actresses, Alyson Hannigan, I told her Buffy was the only show I actually watched instead of crocheting through and gave her a little gift bag with some scrunchies I had crocheted (it was the late ‘90s).
What’s your favorite thing about knitting/crochet?
Whether it is flat intarsia or three dimensional toys for my kids, I love seeing something I imagined in my head become real with just a hook and some yarn. I also love sharing what I have learned with others, and get the greatest feeling when I see students have that “aha” moment.