Crochet Designer Interview: Kelly Baum-Sehon’s Vinland Pullover

by Heather Mann

Here at Crochet Foundry, we LOVE working with all the talented crochet designers that we have the privilege to showcase in our magazine. In this Designer Interview series, we’ll get to know some of this month’s issue’s designers. Today we’re talking to crochet designer Kelly Baum-Sehon, who contributed the Vinland Pullover crochet pattern in our November 2023 issue.

Crochet Designer Kelly Baum-Sehon and the Vinland Pullover crochet pattern

Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?

There was so much that led to this design. I love texture and cables in knitting, and I want to bring that elevated style to crochet garments. I also really enjoy organic, nature-inspired patterns, and I wanted something that looked like you captured nature in your crochet. When I saw this vine cable in a cable book, I knew it was the perfect way for me to accomplish both of those things in a sweater. Rather than just a regular repeat, however, I wanted it to look like random vines cascading down your body, so I opted for an asymmetrical placement to give it that more natural look.

The final piece to the inspiration – the name – is that I reeeeeally love wine. I also love Norse myth and history. Vinland was the name of the North American Viking settlement, and one of the theories for the name is that the settlers discovered these berries that made a delicious wine. It didn’t take much imagination to connect the vines of the pattern and the wine berries growing in Vinland, and thus the name was born!

Fun fact: This was actually my second ever sweater pattern, but when I wore it at the CGOA Chainlink Conference last summer, the Furls people fell madly in love with it, so I’ve had to keep it a secret this whole time!

Vinland Pullover by Kelly Baum-Sehon

What were some challenges about designing this piece?

Oh goodness, sooo many! The math alone nearly broke me trying to figure out how to increase for all the sizes, make the asymmetrical look, and write instructions that would make sense all while trying to ensure that no matter what size you chose, the abundance of the vines would remain the same.

Vinland Pullover Detail of Cabling - Crochet Pattern by Kelly Baum-Sehon for Crochet Foundry magazine

How did you learn to crochet?

My mother always crocheted when I was a child, and I wanted to learn. She attempted to teach me when I was about 10 or 11, but it didn’t work out. I asked again when I was 18, and it finally clicked! Since then, she’s been my biggest fan on this journey to design, and now she’s even asking me questions about things she didn’t know about crochet!

What is your favorite crochet technique or stitch pattern?

I love so many, but I think my favorite has to be any Front Post stitch. I love how a simple change in placement creates that pop of texture on the crocheted fabric. You can use them to make all kinds of designs without having to do colorwork or filet crochet.

How do you hold your crochet hook?

Knife hold. I’ve tried pencil because I think it looks elegant, but I look like an awkward toddler when I attempt it!

Vinland Pullover Crochet Pattern

What are a couple of fun facts about you?

In high school I scored a perfect score on the National Latin Exam two years in a row.

I never played any sports, but this summer I decided to join a social volleyball league, and it turns out I’m actually pretty good at serving! If only I’d discovered this hidden talent years ago. Ha ha!

I love reading random Wikipedia articles for fun. And I mean random. Anything from medieval dining habits to an obscure battle during the Finnish Civil War, and even once about the history of paper. My husband still likes to make fun of me for that.

Oh, and I am only about 50 pounds away from maxing out on the hip abduction machine at the gym! It’s truly a proud accomplishment for me.

Are you a crochet designer (or would you like to be)? Crochet Foundry works with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Email list to be notified of design opportunities.

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