Lori Harrison discovered Tunisian Crochet and found her medium for creating. When she couldn’t find enough patterns for her passion, she took to creating her own designs. She has now published her first book that has projects and instructions for both beginners and advanced Tunisian crocheters.
How did you get started with Tunisian Crochet? Why did you choose that medium?
I came across Tunisian crochet on a trip to my LYS (local yarn store). One of the staff was showing another customer a Tunisian Crochet scarf and I was intrigued by the texture. I left with my first Tunisian Crochet hook and was working on my first project later that day.
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I fell in love with the textures and versatility. When I ran out of interesting patterns to make (back in 2017 there was not a lot out there), I started designing my own and have never looked back.
Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?
I feel like I kinda fell into it. I learned to crochet as a child but never felt much of a pull. I tried to learn to knit a few times and it never stuck.
However, when I found Tunisian Crochet, I just fell in love with it.
What is the most important takeaway you want readers to gain from your new book Exploring Tunisian Crochet?
I want readers to come away feeling confident in their Tunisian Crochet knowledge so they can tackle any pattern.
Tunisian Crochet has exploded in the last few years but resources are still lacking. Other books on the market only cover the basics.
Exploring Tunisian Crochet covers stitches and techniques for all levels of Tunisian crocheters from absolute beginner to advanced.
Never done Tunisian Crochet? This book will get you started.
Already familiar with Tunisian Crochet but want to do more of the fun stuff? This book covers everything from cables to lace and more.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal? How does that help your work develop?
I have an iPad with pencil that I have on me all the time to jot down any ideas that I come up with. You never know what will inspire a design, anything from nature to an interesting tile pattern.
I do a lot of sketching on it to figure out shaping and colors and to just figure out if what is in my head translates into something real. I also write down design related notes as I’m making my samples.
How often do you start a new project? Do you work actively on more than one project at a time?
I am definitely part of the multiple WIP crew.
I like having at least 2 projects at any given time. At least one needs to be for when I just want to relax and doesn’t require a lot of thinking. I usually also have at least one that requires concentration.
Projects often have sections that are easy and other sections that require concentration. I don’t like having more than a 4-5 projects though because that stresses me out.
Can you tell us about the inspiration and process of one of your works? How does a new work come about?
My process usually starts with sketching out the design and then swatching to find the right texture/yarn combination.
Once I have the swatch, I start planning. I calculate size and shaping and estimate how much yarn I need.
I also do a first draft of the pattern before I start my sample. As I am creating my sample, I edit the pattern as needed to reflect how I actually end up making my sample.
Lastly the pattern is tech edited and tested before release because what might be totally clear to me could be ambiguous or confusing to others.
Which part of the design process is your favorite? Which part is a challenge for you?
I love the math and geometry part of designing. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to turn a sketch into reality.
I spend a lot of time planning my designs before I start making them. I want my designs to be enjoyable to make so if I can figure out how to do something with an easy to remember repeat that’s always better than unique instructions for every row.
What plays in the background while you work? Silence? Music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies? If so, what kind?
This depends on what I’m doing.
If I need to concentrate, like when I’m grading or trying to figure out something complicated, I need silence.
But when I’m making my samples, I love to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. My favorite podcast is “Hidden Brain” and I usually enjoy non-fiction books.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
I don’t force anything. If I don’t feel like working on a particular project, I go work on something else or just take a break.
I plan out designs as much as a year in advance but I include gaps to allow for when inspiration strikes and I just have to start on an idea right now.
Do you think that creativity is part of human nature or is it something that must be nurtured and learned?
Yes! I feel that creativity is part of our nature but it can flourish if encouraged or wither if neglected. So if you’re not feeling creative, you can nurture it back.
Do you do anything special to get your “creative juices” flowing? Please explain.
Having time with no goals other than to explore really helps me to get in a creative mindset. I love spending an entire day just swatching and playing with various textures and colors and shaping.
Tell us about your blog and/or website. What do you hope people will gain by visiting?
Akloridesigns.com has everything from Tunisian Crochet video tutorials to tips & tricks. Folks can find their next Tunisian Crochet project and all the information they need to make it.
Interview posted September 2023
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