Kelly Baum-Sehon’s The Sundae Tank: Crochet Designer Interview

Intro – Today we’re talking to crochet designer Kelly Baum-Sehon, who contributed The Sundae Tank crochet pattern featured in our March 2024 issue.

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

I’ve wanted to design a tank top for some time, but I knew I didn’t want it to just be plain. However, I knew doing something like cables or a heavily textured stitch wouldn’t make for a very good lightweight summer tank. Instead I decided to go more colorwork with a breathable stitch, and as I drew out some sketches, I thought about the idea of enjoying some cold ice cream on a hot day. I pictured a bowl of vanilla ice cream smothered in hot fudge or strawberry toppings and how it would drip down, and I had that eureka moment that that was what I wanted to capture in this pattern. Thus, the Sundae Tank was born!

What’s your favorite aspect of this piece?

I think the spike stitches, which are what create the dripping effect, make this piece really stand out. While I provide a repeat pattern, what I love is once you figure out how the spike stitches are created, you can actually change the repeat pattern – or abandon a repeat altogether and just place different sizes randomly – to make it a unique tank top.

What sort of customizations are you hoping creators will make when they crochet this piece?

Oh, my favorite thing about this is that just like ice cream, I want people to really play around with the “flavors” they can create (i.e., the colors). The one I designed for the magazine looks a lot like vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping, but I’d love to see a peanut butter cup version (with like a cream speckled with shades of brown) topped with a rich, dark chocolate fudge color.

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks?

I love techniques that really polish up the look of crochet, so I love doing alternatives to things like turning chains and increasing/decreasing techniques. I’ve dabbled a bit in amigurumi, though it’s not my strong suit at all, but what I’ve learned from it are all kinds of ways to hide and blend things like increase and decrease stitches and joins. I’ve used quite a few of them in my crochet clothing designs now, and I love how they really improve the look.

Do you crochet more for yourself or for others?

That’s an interesting question because the answer is technically for others, but it’s not like a gift-giving sort of way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve given crocheted items as gifts, but typically I want to keep all of my makes. However, because I’m designing clothing and want to show a variety of body types beyond just my own, I often make things for people who model for me – which typically includes a lot of friends, so I guess it still counts as gift-giving in a way!

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever made?

Maybe not necessarily weird, but definitely not usual. I was on a kick once making these sack socks (those stretchy sack things that you stuff with plastic bags in the top and then pull out of the bottom like tissue). Well, I had some friends who were really into Star Wars, so I decided to make them one, but I wanted to see if I could make it look like R2-D2, the little astromech droid. I worked out the math for how to do the dome at the top of the sack sock, and I was really proud of how it turned out – and they freaking loved it so much! Definitely not something you’d see just hanging in everybody’s house.

How often do you crochet?

It would probably be easier to say how often I DON’T crochet. You can typically find me crocheting any time I have a free moment, and even when I’m not doing it, my mind is usually thinking about the projects I’m working on and looking forward to when I get to have another free moment to work on it.

What is your crochet super power?

I am hella good at anything math-related in crochet! When I design wearables, one of my favorite parts is filling in my spreadsheet and seeing the calculations essentially generate my pattern for me. If I’m making someone else’s pattern, I oddly love the challenge of actually not meeting gauge yet somehow calculating out how to achieve the same fit based on my gauge and using proportions. I know, it’s weird, but I’ve been able to use this “superpower” to also help fellow crochet friends adjust their own projects for a pattern, including for my own!

How can our readers find you on social media?

My primary social media account is Instagram, where you can find me with my handle @cocky_crocheter. You can also follow me on my Facebook page, where I share a lot of what I share on Instagram. I also have a YouTube channel where I post all my tutorial and unboxing videos.

Don’t forget to pick up the March 2024 issue of Crochet Foundry to get the Daisy Festival Top pattern.

Are you a crochet designer who wants to contribute to Crochet Foundry Magazine? We work 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 Calls be notified of design opportunities.

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