The owner of Two Hands Healing and Creative Arts, Andee Graves/Mamas2Hands is a crochet designer, writer, artist and teacher.
She combines a life-long passion for crocheting, sewing, and crafting with a strong interest in mathematics. Andee also teaches and writes about crochet techniques, designing, and healthy crafting practices for her blog and other online publications.
She launched her independent pattern line M2H Designs in Fall 2010. Andee lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family and an evolving menagerie of 4-legged friends.
Background and Training
Her design work is grounded in years of experimenting with crochet techniques and stitch patterns combined with an understanding of fabrics and garment construction gleaned from her extensive sewing experience. Her love of mathematics helps her in calculating yardage requirements, shaping, and garment sizing.
For example, applying geometric principles led to her mobius design, “Lace with a Twist Wrap,” published in Crochet! Magazine, March/April 2010.
Andee retired in 2010 after 10+ years as a licensed massage therapist to devote more time to her design and writing activities. She is a freelance health and wellness writer focusing on injury prevention, stress reduction and fertility. With 8+ years of experience in marketing and advertising for commercial and residential real estate firms, she utilizes her strong technical writing skills in developing and presenting clear and readable patterns.
Design Philosophy and Interests
As a crochet designer, Andee is drawn to seamless and fluid construction to create “Grow as you Go” garments. These designs incorporate the finishing touches into the fabric as it is worked, instead of first completing the main body of the project and then going back to work the edgings.
A facet of this design element is “small start” projects, with an average of 4-30 stitches for the foundation, then growing the piece organically from that center into the finished garment.
In toy design, Andee uses integral shaping for amigurumi designs (i.e. crocheting the ears or nose into the head as you go along) to reduce the number of pieces that have to be sewn together. She looks for design elements that make the construction process as enjoyable as the finished product.
One of her strengths as a designer is the ability to “read” yarns and to use that understanding to create designs that capitalize on the fiber content and colorways; whether it is working with variegated yarns that have long runs of graduating colors, or using a specific stitch with a yarn, like front loop only single crochet to create a thin stretchy fabric.
Her understanding of three-dimensional work is informed by her training in art and design, including coursework in drafting. These skills are also displayed in her other artistic endeavors: painting, printmaking, and sculpture (wood, ceramics, plastic, stone) as well free-form crochet creations and other multi-media projects.
Andee finds crochet to be an exciting and diverse fiberart for exploring both sculptural and wearable designs. She is endlessly intrigued by the “magic” of creating fabric or an object from nothing but hook and string.