I’m so excited to be taking part in Alla Koval’s blog tour to promote her new books, Imagical Seasons /Spring and Summer – Vol. 1 & 2!! I’ve got lots of fun planned for you today with a sneak peek inside the first 2 volumes, an interview with designer Alla Koval, a special kickoff promotion, and a giveaway!!
Imagical Seasons /Spring and Summer – Vol. 1 & 2 are the first volumes in a set of 4 books featuring whimsical designs inspired by nature and the changing seasons. Each volume offers unique stitch diagrams, detailed easy-to-follow written instructions, and stunning full-color photos. And best of all the sizes range from 2–12 years, and even include a couple of items for adults too!
Want a sneak peek inside to see the projects?
The Spring volume is filled with frilly fun and includes 38 designs that will swing you into a new season with simple and versatile ruffled patterns with lots of variety and creative options.
The Summer volume is all about color and fun with 38 designs will swing you into the warmest time of the year!
Get to Know Alla Koval …
How old were you when your first learned to crochet and who taught you? Do you knit also?
I knit and crochet for a long time. Actual learning part happened in the early years of school, mostly during after school day care hours – but you can imaging complexities of these “projects” 🙂
Му very first garment I designed and made by myself, was a sweater for my daddy which I knitted when I was about 11 years old. I was so proud from the fact that my dad loved it and wore that sweater until it practically started to break apart. Since then I enjoined knitting garments and accessories for gifts or by request from my friends and family.
Surprisingly, but I do not remember exactly when I started to crochet on “regular base” and what was my first crochet project… But, Russian and Ukrainian languages have no word for determining crochet apart from knitting. We say “knit with needles” and “knit with hook”. Back in Ukraine I was mostly knitting with needles, but always had a bunch of crochet hooks just to fix something or to crochet embellishment, finishing edging and so on.
Crochet gives you easy textures and flexibilities and works just ideal for the purpose of my books – to show “imagical” way 🙂 That’s why I decided to start my first books with crochet but I do have a plan to release a book where both techniques would be used. I have to finish books #3 and #4 – Fall and Winter books of Imagical Seasons around New Year and then I will be able to talk about future plans more freely 🙂
What are some of your favorite projects to work on (e.g., scarves, afghans, hats, etc)?
I like many types of projects and don’t really distinguish them that way (unless I want to watch a long movies, then I’d prefer to work on something bigger like a blanket). The most interesting part for me is to translate what I see or what I want into crochet project and pattern or to combine different stich patterns in one project.
Do you have a favorite design from the book? Which design are you most proud of and why?
Does book design itself can be counted? ;o)
I like all designs which I included into my books – or I would not include them. Which one is the most reader’s favorite – I hope to know that in a year from reader’s responses. I have an interesting section You made this! on one of my sites with pictures of finished projects from my customers – it is very interesting to see how it grows, year after year, not to mention how happy and honored I am each time I receive an evidence that my designs are loved by other people.
What inspired you to start designing?
I was designing as far as I remember myself. From early childhood I was involved into the joy of creating my own garments. My mom is a professional seamstress and amazing knitter and crocheter and she preferred to handmade most of dresses for me and my sister. As far as we all remember, I participated every single time – as a trouble maker when I was too small and as artist and designer once I got older.
Then during my teens and studentship I been knitting and crocheting , but rarely created any children’s items – just did not have much motivation. But when I got my own daughter, I started imagining all the cute things Kristin could wear and this is how I started designing children’s clothes… And then I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do in my life.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process? Where do you find inspiration?
Sometimes, the idea for a design just comes into my head and I don’t know from where. I just visualize it clearly and then somehow make the mental images into something real.
Other times, I find inspiration in paintings and photographs—Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration and eye-candy. I look at things and try to understand if I can see something special what has to be noticed.
Often I start by looking for unusual stitch patterns, and start building my ideas from them. It’s so interesting to see how a stitch pattern evolves when you start modifying it, especially when combining with other patterns!
But most of my inspiration comes from colors of nature and changing of seasons. It’s no secret that I am endlessly inspired by beautiful colors, you just have to take a peek at my portfolio (http://allakovaldesigns.com/) to see that most my designs are thoroughly and obsessively color co-ordinated.
One of a brightest memories from my childhood was my very first set of 48 color markers. I was super excited to experiment with the colors, and my mom paid attention to how I used them. Later she told me that when she asked why I combined the colors that way, I explained – “They felt happy together.” Well, I still have that excitement about colors, and l am always on the lookout for new color combinations to work with.
What’s on your hook right now?
I work on last project for Winter book and book will be finished, yay!
What are some of your favorite crochet resources … books, blogs, magazines?
I love most Interweave magazines for their inventive, stylish projects and styling; Japanese books for their neat and fantastic stitch charts, schematic and presentation. I love stitch dictionaries, of course! I also really enjoy books that focus on specific techniques.
When you are not crocheting, where can we find you? What are some of your other passions and interests?
I may be cooking in the kitchen, reading and knitting (yes, I learned how it do it in the same time), or walking local trails or distant hikes. If you are lucky, you can find me in the early morning fitness or hot yoga classes 🙂
When are you most happy?
I am most happy when I awake and think of the possibilities; when I do the things I love, the things I desire and doing what I am passionate about. I am most happiest every day with my family, see our friends, or even when I cook, read or walk with our adorable Chihuahua girl.
As a special promotion, Alla is offering all P2P readers who purchase the print edition of the book to get get the digital edition for free! The special will be available on the Imagical Seasons website and Etsy and Amazon and will run through August 1st. Use promo code IMAGICAL to receive the promotion.
One lucky P2P reader will get the chance to win a copy of both volumes, Imagical Seasons /Spring and Summer – Vol. 1 & 2. Print copies will be offered to winners in the U.S. and Canada; International winners will receive digital downloads. Giveaway will run now through 11:59 pm on July 24, 2015 and winner will be announced by July 25, 2015. You can be entered to win by simply providing your email address in the first option in the Rafflecopter form so I can contact you if you win. For additional entries you can follow the social media options included as well. And be sure to follow along on my social media outlets so you know when the winner is announced. Good luck!
And don’t forget to stop by and visit the other bloggers on the blog tour …
July 13: Knitting and Crochet – Amy Solovay
July 17: Petals to Picots – Kara Gunza
July 18: Stylish Knits – Simona Dest Merchant
July 19: Craft Gossip – Sarah E. White
July 20: Positively Crochet – Mary Jane Hall
July 22: Cute Crochet – Jocelyn Sass
Interested in buying the books?
You can also help support my blog by purchasing through the affiliate links below …