October 2023 Cover Designer Interview: Mary Ann Gebhardt’s Zinnia Shawl

by Heather Mann

Crochet Foundry October 2023 Issue Cover

Crochet Foundry wouldn’t be anything without all the talented crochet designers we work with in each issue! This month, we’re chatting with Mary Ann Gebhardt, the designer of our cover garment, the Zinnia Shawl (shown in Sunflower variant).

Crochet Designer Mary Ann Gebhardt and her Zinnia Shawl Design

Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?
I am inspired by nature, and my love for flowers. Shawls are for all seasons, I especially enjoy drawing in the colors of the seasons, in nature everything matches. Crochet is the perfect way to bring in textures and colors in a design.

As a yoga instructor and meditation teacher, I always have a shawl to drape on my shawls. It’s the perfect way to pop color to an outfit. Plus it’s a comfort and a hug around my shoulders. The inspiration for my designs is for pure function, the accessory that completes.

Zinnia Shawl Crochet Pattern

This flower motif can be used with different colors, and the background join can be green or darker colors. The challenge for me joining the flowers and weaving in all the ends, I use the waving in ends as a mindful practice. The “get done” feeling at the end of a project, I weave with every effort to sit quietly and make it relaxing. I create an opportunity to use as a mindful practice. Reminding myself it’s part of the process.

What is your favorite crochet stitch or technique?
My favorite crochet stitch or technique is creating a motif or granny square that shows off color and texture. From that one granny square or motif the possibilities are endless from creating a shawl, sweater or blanket.

Zinnia Shawl Pattern

What is your preferred crochet hook?
Whenever I hold a crochet hook, I immediately begin to relax. I look forward to the point in my day when I can sit and create. As such, I use many different crochet hooks. Recently, my friend and fellow maker introduced me to the Furls Crochet Hook. The wood is lightweight and the wider bottom feels comfortable in my hands. The tip of the head has a great point to get into small stitches. I love the teak wood hooks.

What are a couple of fun facts about you?

A few fun facts about me include, I designed a line of miniature teddy bears for Ganz Cottage Collectibles, I began knitting at a young age and I enjoy growing my own flowers from seed on my deck, including sunflowers and zinnias.

One more very important fact about me is crochet and knitting are my relaxation practices and my time to connect with the rhythm of the hook or needs and the movement of each stitch. I hope you can find mindfulness and joy in creating this fall pattern!
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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