Design Notes: Pencil and Mushroom Latch Hook Kits

by | Aug 30, 2021 | Design Notes | 0 comments

Welcome to the blog! I love reading and learning about all the influences and decisions that go into someone’s work, so in my first post, I’m going to talk about how I arrived at our designs for the pencil and mushroom kits.

The Big Pencil

This kit was initially conceived of as a Loch Ness monster, believe it or not.  The squares we cut for our zodiac kits leave us with skinny little strips of mesh leftover that initially, seemed like they might be destined for the trash. I’d had an idea for a weebly wobbly Loch Nessie design and played around with that at first.

Unfortunately, at a finished size of only 5 inches wide, there wasn’t enough space to weave the monster back and forth how I’d envisioned it. Plus, finishing the narrow, curving sides was going to be a real pain. I downgraded to a straight snake design but there wasn’t any spark left in it. What to do? 

One afternoon, Tess suggested a big pencil and I ran with it. We already had all the colors in stock for a basic no. 2, and we had begun accumulating bags of vintage pre-cut yarn as well. Since we don’t often get huge quantities of these vintage colors, it was nice to have a kit that was small enough to utilize them. 

This seemed like a great fit for going back to school – this kit is fast and easy, and is a perfect first latch hook project for kids and adults. The design is printed directly on the canvas and all our yarn is pre-cut so you can get started right away.

Mushrooms

The idea of using mushrooms in a latch hook design is not exactly new or fresh. Since the latch hook heyday coincided with the psychedelic revolution, many vintage kits feature a trippy shroom or two.

The thing is, people still love mushrooms! From legalizing the mind-expanding ones to the new ubiquity of edible mushroom growing kits, it’s fair to say this motif isn’t going anywhere.

We got a request for a mushroom design (did you know we do custom designs?) and I started sketching some different shapes and styles, inspired by Takashi Murakami’s paintings of mushrooms with personalities, some of which strike me as quite Seussian:

The initial plan was the layer a few different mushrooms in a forest-y scene, but as I was dragging my illustrations around I really liked the graphic, modern look of a mushroom line-up against a plain color.

The last thing to do was to select some properly earth toned yarn to bundle with the kit. I may have abandoned the forest background, but I kept the spirit alive with a forest green. Ultimately the result is more mid-century modern than seventies groovy, but I can still dig it!

Hope you enjoyed this little peek behind the scenes. Next we are going to have a design of a very local, very famous landmark coming out, for all the fellow St. Louisians. Betcha can’t geuss which one. Check back soon!

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