In the World of Cro­chet

Crochet World - - Contents - For more in­for­ma­tion go to An­niesCraftS­tore.com.

Ex­cit­ing news! Get your cro­chet hooks ready for sea­son eight of Knit and Cro­chet Now! Each week is packed with projects, tips, tech­niques and free pat­terns. Thir­teen brand-new episodes will air on lo­cal PBS sta­tions be­gin­ning mid-Septem­ber. Each episode will fea­ture new cro­chet and knit projects—that’s 26 new pat­terns! We thought it would be fun to spend some time with Lena Sk­vager­son, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, and learn a bit more about her and the TV show.

Cro­chet World (CW): Lena, we love to hear per­sonal sto­ries about cro­cheters. I know you were born in Swe­den; did you grow up in a “crafty home”? Who taught you how to knit and cro­chet?

Lena: Nei­ther my mom nor grand­mother were crafty, but my teach­ers at school loved work­ing with yarn and crafts and taught me.

CW: When did you move to the United States?

Lena: I moved here in 2007. My dad and sev­eral rel­a­tives on his side of the fam­ily live in Cal­i­for­nia, and for a long time I wished I could move closer to them. When there was an op­por­tu­nity to work re­motely, we took a leap of faith.

CW: Have you al­ways worked in the yarn in­dus­try?

Lena: Pretty much. I got my first job with a Scan­di­na­vian yarn com­pany at the age of 24. I started out work­ing in sales for DROPS Garn­stu­dio. As the com­pany grew I be­came the of­fice man­ager for the Swedish branch of­fice. Over time I got more in­volved with prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, as well as de­sign. In the early 1990s, I de­vel­oped the com­pany’s first web­site, and a whole new in­ter­net ad­ven­ture was started. The web­site gave us the op­por­tu­nity to en­ter a larger Euro­pean mar­ket, and with that I was put in charge of 16 ladies tasked with trans­lat­ing DROPS pat­terns into dif­fer­ent lan­guages. I also had a ma­jor role in tech edit­ing, as num­bers al­ways have been a strong suit for me. When mov­ing to the United States, I re­motely de­vel­oped the first 200-plus tu­to­rial videos for DROPS. So over the 25 years I worked for DROPS, I was able to grow with the com­pany, which even­tu­ally be­came the mar­ket leader in the Euro­pean yarn in­dus­try.

CW: What brought you to An­nie’s?

Lena: For five years I con­trib­uted to An­nie’s publi­ca­tions as a free­lance knitwear de­signer. In 2014, An­nie’s of­fered me a job work­ing part time as the co­pro­ducer of the Knit and Cro­chet Now! TV show, with my re­main­ing time as the in-house de­signer for the An­nie’s Sig­na­ture De­signs col­lec­tion.

CW: Wow! Sounds like you jumped right into your new role as co­pro­ducer.

Lena: Yes, I joined right be­fore sea­son six. I was part of the plan­ning as well as the pro­duc­tion of the show. I also made my first ap­pear­ance as an ex­pert on the show that year as well.

CW: Give us a be­hind-the-scenes glimpse. How do you get ready for the show?

Lena: Work on a new sea­son starts long be­fore we start tap­ing. Months be­fore, we start plan­ning the projects, writ­ing pat­terns, stitch­ing the sam­ple projects and cre­at­ing all the step-outs! That is a full­time job all by it­self. Each project has to be made in stages, so when we tape, we can move from one step to an­other quickly. When we tape the show, we ar­rive very early in the morn­ing at the stu­dio. The cro­chet and knit ex­perts who will ap­pear on cam­era meet up in the back room to ar­range the projects and make sure we know all tech­niques in­volved. We then get our makeup and hair done by pro­fes­sional makeup artists that work their magic to make us look our best!

CW: Do you tape one show a week?

Lena: Oh no, we tape the whole sea­son in just a few days. Sev­eral episodes are taped each day. We take a short break for lunch, and of­ten­times end up stay­ing late if we need to do re­takes—the pace is in­tense, but fun!

CW: What is your fa­vorite part about tap­ing the show?

Lena: I love in­ter­act­ing with the pro­duc­tion team. In my role as pro­ducer, I’m in­volved with all the dif­fer­ent as­pects of the day—shar­ing ideas with the creative de­sign­ers, work­ing with the cam­era crew to get the best shots, as well as con­stantly check­ing in with the pro­duc­tion team.

CW: What is your least fa­vorite part?

Lena: With­out a doubt, that would be the stress of not get­ting things as per­fect as I would like.

CW: Do you de­sign projects for the show?

Lena: Sure do. If I am not de­sign­ing spe­cific projects, I am one of the key per­sons se­lect­ing the projects for each episode.

CW: past What sea­son? was your fa­vorite project from a

Lena: Slip­pers.I wouldI loved have how to theysay it’s turnedmy Walk­out, andof FameI had such a Norville.great time The tap­ing pat­tern that has seg­ment­been very with pop­u­lar Deb­o­rah since it aired, which makes me happy.

CW: I am sure tap­ing all day can be ex­haust­ing, which can set the stage for some comic re­lief. I am sure you have lots of fun too!

Lena: Yes, there are plenty of funny mo­ments in the midst of all the se­ri­ous work of tap­ing a whole sea­son. We keep each other go­ing with laugh­ter which helps lower the stress.

CW: You have a new role for the 2017 sea­son. Tell us about your new job and what that in­volves.

Lena: I am now the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer over­see­ing the ma­jor stages of the Knit and Cro­chet Now! TV show, from the be­gin­ning plan­ning stages all the way to the fi­nal pro­duc­tion. This in­cludes com­ing up with the themes and the projects, work­ing with the yarn com­pa­nies, se­lect­ing the guests, de­sign­ing the stu­dio set and other nu­mer­ous tasks—too many to even men­tion!

CW: Will you still be on cam­era?

Lena: Yes, this sea­son I look for­ward to show­ing new and in­ter­est­ing tech­niques that we haven’t shared be­fore. I love be­ing able to demon­strate new tips and tricks for our view­ers.

CW: What types of projects and top­ics will be cov­ered this sea­son?

Lena: The show is di­vided into knit and cro­chet projects, and we’ll also share a new tech­nique each episode. We will talk about a wide va­ri­ety of projects; ev­ery­thing from baby blan­kets, to cardi­gans, shawls, toys, slip­pers, hats and more. Some of the tech­niques we’ll cover in­clude how to work with var­ie­gated yarns to cre­ate un­usual color de­signs, us­ing a color wheel, get­ting gauge and more. CW: Thanks, Lena! Can’t wait to watch this sea­son! Don’t miss a sin­gle episode. Sign up for an all-ac­cess mem­ber­ship and you’ll get 24/7 ac­cess any­time, any­where, on any de­vice to ev­ery episode and ev­ery pat­tern. Watch all 104 episodes and down­load all 277 pat­terns from ev­ery sea­son in­clud­ing sea­son eight.

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