Emily’s Interview with Lena of Annie’s!


Each year our friends over at Annie’s Crafts share with us their new collections for Annie’s Signature Designs. Lena, the lead designer, has a fabulous eye for classic, stylish patterns in gorgeous colors that will become staples in your closet. She gave me my choice of any pattern in the new collection to crochet and I chose the Bloom Cocoon. It was a fabulous design and so fun to work up!

My favorite types of patterns to crochet are those where you can establish the design for a few rows or rounds, and then easily memorize it. Those are relaxing tome and I especially enjoy them in the evenings when I settle down with my hubby to binge-watch some Netflix. The Bloom Cocoon begins with a unique floral motif and continues with a nod to the granny square, yet with a fresh, new feel. King Cole Vogue DK yarn and an I hook gave this shrug beautiful drape as well. It hangs so nicely. King Cole is a retailer in the UK so it was a new-to-me yarn. The Vogue line is an 100% cotton DK yarn which comes in gorgeous stone-washed colors. Some cottons can be a little rough on the hands, but this was so nice to work with, soft and smooth and since it is cotton, the stitch definition showed off the center motif very nicely.

I got to talk to Lena a little bit about her inspiration for the rest of the new designs and ask her about the designing process.

Would you tell us about your experience working on the new Spring Collection for Annie’s Signature Designs?

Back in September, I met up with my talented colleague Connie Ellison to begin the process of creating a spring collection of crochet patterns. We spent several creative, exciting days looking at the hot trends in fashion, yarn, fiber, and colors. This beginning phase of the creation process is so exciting, as we start with a blank page, and with our combined vision, we can see how things start to take shape. We also reach out to a group of like minded designers and invite them to contribute to the collection. Through my own experience and personal sense of style, I gather inspiration from all that I see around me with a goal of making on-trend designs that are practical for every day wear. The designers I worked with did an amazing job interpreting my thoughts in the creative process. Their designs feel as close to my heart as my own designs.


Do you have any favorites in the collection?

Such a tricky question ! It’s like choosing between your children, haha. I have a close relation to every single piece in the collection. If you make me chose though, I would have to say the Seashell Cardi, as that one fits so well into my personal everyday style. It’s just such a great basic cardi, that looks good with anything. But then there is the Anemone Shawl, that I also just love in every single way, the colors, the tassels, the fun little motifs…. Oh and then the Coral Reef Flipflops, who doesn’t want to spice up their old flipflops with a feminine cute crochet lacy cover? And then those snuggly afghans and cool baskets in the home section of the collection. See… I just can’t chose!


How did you choose the color palette and the yarns for the Collection?

People who know me know that I’m usually into basic, neutral colors. However, when I thought about this coming season, something inside me was craving happy colors. Maybe I have picked up influences and trends here and there, maybe I was inspired by the clear, blue dock out in Los Osos where I wanted the photoshoot to take place. Coral, blues, and turquoise felt like perfect colors to bring my thoughts to summer, ocean, flowers, and lazy days on the beach. As far as yarn selections go, natural fibers will always be number one on my list, as they provide the best quality, look, and feel. The vibrant colors and textures stay crisp and the garments will breath and keep you cool. You’ll see, though, that we provide you with a great variety of yarn choices. I’ve carefully paired these with each garment, hoping you’ll fondly reach for these gorgeous creations in your closet for years to come. For the home part of the collection working in pure cotton is perfect for making sturdy baskets and easy to care for table items.

What do you think?