Hi Crocheters! Today we are having a Meet and Greet with the Crochet Designer behind the blog Banana Moon Studio.
Read on below to learn about April Garwood and her designs before scrolling to the end of this post for a selection of free crochet patterns available from Banana Moon Studio.
This post includes just a small sampling of all the wonderful patterns, tutorials and projects she has available for you online. Be sure to check out her social media channels for even more goodies!
Crochet Designer Feature:
Banana Moon Studio
Question: Who are you? Tell me about yourself.
Hi there! I’m April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio. My favorite things to crochet and knit are wearable accessories and tops, but I do a lot of home decor pieces as well. I like a mixture of fun, classic elegant, colorful, down to earth, calming, and contemporary. What can I say? I have eclectic tastes.
I started out designing patterns for magazines and yarn companies. My first design was published in Interweave Crochet. I’ve published over 50 designs for publishers. Through those projects, I gained wonderful professional experience which I apply to writing and self-publishing patterns for you today. If you are comfortable with patterns you find in magazines and books, then my writing style will feel very familiar.
My blog and business name, Banana Moon Studio is based on a memory of my oldest as toddler pointing at a yellow crescent moon and calling it a banana. That cherished memory symbolized family and love for me, and those are things that will always be at the center of me and what I do.
Though I moved a lot as a child, Oklahoma is home. I share our home on a wooded acreage with my husband, four children, two dogs, and one cranky cat.
I grew up with a family tradition of women creating beautiful needle arts pieces. My loft studio today has cross stitch pictures made by my grandma, myself, my mom, and my sister. I have two antique quilts hanging over the banister. I have doilies crocheted by my grandma, and many other loved handmade treasures.
In addition to crochet and knitting, I love to spin yarn, hike, kayak, and listen to audiobooks.
Question: How did you learn how to crochet? How long have you been crocheting?
I learned to crochet at about age 10 when my oldest sister taught me. That was over 30 years ago now. My oldest sister and I usually fought horribly as kids, so it’s nice to have the positive experience in our past. We are very close now, and our shared love of yarn-crafting is part of what brings us together.
Question: Do you have any tips for new crocheters? Any guidance to make them successful at a new hobby?
I had the benefit of learning to crochet as a child, when I wasn’t prone to judge or compare myself. I made a lot of things that “only a mother could love” back then, but I felt pleased and proud just to have completed it. I encourage those just learning to have that same attitude about their own work. It’s just fine to make things that don’t look amazing when you are a beginner. Be pleased with your accomplishments no matter how they look. With continued practice and learning, you will be making things that look great before you know it!
Question: What do you enjoy crocheting the most?
Most of all I enjoy crocheting cozy things to wear like cowls, scarves, hats, and sweaters.
Question: What else are you passionate about (other than crochet)?
I knit and spin. I also love to do things outdoors like hiking and kayaking. And nothing beats a day when you can crochet for hours while listening to a good audiobook!
Question: What prompted you to start designing?
In about 2008 I visited a Barnes and Noble book store and there saw an issue of Interweave Crochet for the first time. There was a gorgeous lavender lace top on the cover with a mandarin style collar. I had never before seen a crochet top that I would want to wear. I was blown away. I did not know until then that people were crocheting things like that, let alone writing patterns for them. I subscribed to the magazine, and then began following the designers I found there on their blogs. A few months later I needed to make a blessing day dress for my youngest, who was due in a few months. I decided to crochet it, but couldn’t find a pattern that I liked. So I determined to write my own. And the rest is history, as they say.
Question: How long have you been designing and where do you publish your patterns?
My first published design was that blessing dress for my baby. It was published in Interweave Crochet in 2010. I designed almost exclusively for magazines and yarn companies for years. Today the vast majority of my designs are published on my blog or in my Ravelry and Etsy shops. You can find out more about my designs on my website https://bananamoonstudio.com. You can also see ALL my published patterns on my Ravelry designer page here: https://ravelry.com/designers/april-garwood.
Question: What drives you to create? Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I’m not really sure why, but I don’t think I could live without creating. It seems to be a need. I am usually inspired by the yarn itself and by color. I really prefer to have the yarn first and come up with the design from there.
Question: What do you enjoy designing the most?
I love designing accessories and tops. Designing tops is challenging, but when I finish a design and know it’s well done, it feels amazing!
Question: What tips would you give to someone interested in designing and blogging?
Learn from others. Take a class. Get a mentor or coach. When you write your first several patterns, hire a qualified technical editor to edit them for you. Ask them for feedback and learn from them. Before you set up a website, learn from others. It will be worth it!
Question: What goals have you set for yourself for the future?
I love how yarn-crafting can bring people together from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures! One thing I really hope to accomplish with Banana Moon Studio is bringing people together. I will be hosting more virtual events in the future and hope to travel to yarn-crafting events as my children get a little older.
Question: Who are your favorite makers? How have they inspired you?
When I came across that first issue of Interweave Crochet, and the next several, I was very inspired by Robyn Chachula, Ellen Gormley, and Doris Chan (who designed that lavender top that wowed me). These designers and others showed me that crochet could be fashionable and wearable.
Question: Do you have a favorite yarn you like to use when you are crocheting? What colors and fibers do you gravitate toward when choosing your yarn?
I design quite a lot with Cascade Yarns (@cascadeyarns on IG) and Ancient Arts Yarn (@ancientartsyarn on IG). I love their yarn, but I also love their people, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and industry shows. I love, love, love wool! It’s lightweight, squishy, and cozy. I like a lot of colors, but I tend to design in light to medium colors just because dark colors make it difficult to see the details in photos.
Question: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us?
Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/thestudiobunch
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/bananamoonstudio
Free digital gift when you subscribe to my newsletter here: https://bananamoonstudio.com/newsletter-sign-up
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Free Crochet Patterns from Banana Moon Studio
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Free Patterns from Banana Moon Studio
Details and Links:
Stroud Swim Cover is a beautiful v-neck tunic in Arcade stitch. You'll love it for wearing over your swimsuit at the pool or even over a sundress.
Available Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL, 2X, 3X/4X, 5X
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Hampton (70% Pima Cotton, 30% Linen; 273 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 3/light): #21 Elm 4[5, 6, 7, 7, 8] skeins
Crochet Hook: H/8 (5 mm)
Tropic Top is an easy spider lace top with a wide boat neck and cap sleeves. Wear it over a tee or tank while you're out soaking up the sun!
Available Sizes: XS, S/M, L/XL, 2X/3X, 4X, 5X
Yarn: We Crochet Shine Sport (60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal; 110 yds; 50 g; yarn weight category 2/fine): #25344 Cosmopolitan 6 [7, 7, 9, 11, 12] skeins.
Crochet Hook: H/8 (5 mm)
You can crochet the Sayre Scarf for anyone as it's texture and appearance are very gender-neutral, but you will probably want to keep it all for yourself!
Finished Measurements: 7 1/2 x 70 inches
Yarn: We Crochet City Tweed DK (55% Merino Wool, 25% Superfine Alpaca, 20% Donegal Tweed; 123 yds; 50 g; yarn weight category 3/light): #25521 Coastal 4 balls.
Crochet Hook: H/8 (5 mm)
Finished Measurements: 7 1/2 x 68 inches
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Merino (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 220 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 3/light): #01 Cream, 3 skeins; #22 Raspberry, 1 skein; #83 Cadmium Yellow, 1 skein; #32 Medium Blue, 1 skein.
Crochet Hook: J/10 (6 mm)
Did you know that you can use the C2C stitch to make wearables?! You can! Chandler Cowl is a lovely C2C cowl with a geometric pattern to it.
Finished Measurements: About 10 1/2 inches wide x 30 inches around.
Yarn: Ancient Arts Yarn Revival Worsted (49% Wool, 34% Mohair, 11% Nylon, 4% Acrylic, 2% Silk; 198 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 3/light): A Midnight Clear 1 skein, Embers and Ashes 1 skein.
Crochet Hook: I/9 (5.5 mm)
Take that collection of plastic grocery bags you have and turn it into useful, lightweight baskets! This pattern walks you through how to prepare your plarn and how to customize the size of your basket.
Finished Measurements: Custom
Yarn: Plarn made from plastic grocery bags. The pattern includes written instructions and there is a tutorial video for this process here: https://youtu.be/-11YUsIIFU0
Crochet Hook: Q (16 mm), or any size close to this.
My customers love the Idabel Shawl! It uses the easy, but interesting wattle stitch in stripes of coordinating colors to make an easy triangle shawl with great drape!
Finished Measurements: 66 inches wide x 28 inches tall
Yarn: Ancient Arts Yarn Nettle Soft DK (68% Superwash Fine Merino, 32% Nettle; 263 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 3/light): Lapis Lazuli 2 skeins, Forget Me Not 1 skein, Nothing But Blue Skies 1 skein.
Crochet Hook: I/9 (5.5 mm)
Ada Shrug is a super cozy, soft, fuzzy blanket shrug that you are going to want this fall and winter! Are you a beginner? No problem. This is a very easy pattern!
Finished Measurements: About 36 inches from sleeve to sleeve and 36 inches from neck to hem.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Aereo (47 % Merino Wool, 31% Baby Alpaca, 22% Nylon; 240 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category: 4/medium): #12 Westpoint Blue Heather, 4 skeins.
Crochet Hook: M/13 (9 mm).
Sonoran Sunset Wrap is a gorgeous rectangular showstopper! It's crocheted with two contrasting colors of color-shifting sock yarn.
Finished Measurements: About 72 inches long and 16 inches wide.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave (75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon; 437 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 1/super fine): #502 Solar 4 skeins, #508 Tropical 1 skein.
Crochet Hook: F/5 (3.75 mm)
Decorate your home or surprise your Valentine with the Valentine Garland! 3D crochet hearts attached as you go to a crochet chain makes for an easy and fun seasonal project.
Finished Measurements: Each heart is about 3 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches wide. The garland length is up to you.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Anthem (100% Acrylic; 186 yds; 100 g; yarn weight category 4/medium): #03 Red 1 skein, #09 Pink 1 skein, #38 Lemon 1 skein, #08 White 1 skein.
Crochet Hook: H/8 (5 mm)