Hooking With … Becca of Mayhem and Majesty
In this edition of Hooking With … we are finding out more about the very lovely Becca from Mayhem and Majesty!
Becca is a designer that I have not had the opportunity to work with … yet. I’m hoping our paths will cross some more in the not too distant future!
Let’s find out more about Becca
Hi, I’m Becca from Mayhem & Majesty. My three favorite things are Jesus, crochet, and wine. When I’m not working my dream job as a crochet designer, you can find me keeping alive and homeschooling six small humans. Well, sort of small humans – my 11 year old is only 6 inches shorter than me. SIX INCHES. I’m 5’ 7” and he’s going to pass me up any day now.
Having teens and preteens is a wild stage! Our oldest is 13 and struggles with the challenges of autism (one of the major reasons we began homeschooling 9 years ago). The other kids actually ARE small humans – only ages 7, 6 , 6 (yes twins) and 3. It’s never quiet at my house – unless people are getting into trouble! I truly wouldn’t be able to own a business without my partner in crime, my husband of 17 years – he really comes along side me in parenting to allow me time to work and grow my business.
I grew up on the west coast of the United States (California, Oregon, and Washington). I met and married my husband in Minnesota and then we moved to Spokane, Washington and lived their until two and a half years ago – when we moved BACK to Minnesota. I still wonder why I was so willing to move here: I hate winter….and winter in Minnesota is long, cold, and snowy. And did I say COLD? You know it’s bad when you go out side and 17 degrees (Fahrenheit) feels “warm.” I honestly hate it. But the move was worth it because we were able to get a bigger house and I finally got a craft room. I need to remind myself of this fact every winter!
My hubby and I have been married for 16 years (16.5 to be exact). We have 6 kids ages 13, 11, 7, 6, 6, and 3. The first 3 are boys, the last three are girls. The 7 year old and the twins are only 11 months apart. No, I don’t remember the first 2 years of the twins’ lives. Thank the Lord for camera phones! To top all that mayhem off, we added a couple cats to the mix after we moved to Minnesota. We are also in our 8th year of homeschooling – so like life is super full. And loud. 3 boys, 3 girls, and 2 cats is not what can be called a quiet household.
When did you start designing?
Not long after I began crocheting I started to explore designing my own patterns. I have a hard time “following directions” and usually end up changing or modifying SOMETHING in most patterns I follow. I started out designing hats, but I never sold my designs – I just designed for my own handmade business. I did that for about 8 years. I loved selling at art shows and festivals. But it became too difficult to keep up with once I had kids 4 & 5 – who came as twins!
I slowly began exploring selling patterns. Funny enough, I never wrote up any of my hats, but did small stuffed toys and a few granny square and motif designs. Nothing that really took off until I discover filet crochet via Stitched Up by Emma and her Stitched Up Jigsaw Blanket. That got me exploring what other things I could make on a rectangular graph, and so I designed a little car, found a few friends (Emma being one of them) to test it out, listed it on Etsy. And so began my real beginning into designing “officially.”
Do you have a blog? If so, when did you start that up?
I do have a blog. I utilize it for posting up my yearly CALS and other free patterns. Eventually I may explore other things I can “do” with it – but for now it’s strictly pattern freebies.
What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
Plan? I secretly dream of being a crochet queen. You know, like the designers we all admire and wish we could be, haha. With free yarn deals form companies and millions of followers. I’m a 3 on the Enneagram – what can I say? LOL
But, initially (and more realistically) I wanted a place to host free designs so I could gather a customer base while I had an Etsy shop for paid designs. Then after realizing how insanely expensive actually selling on Etsy was – I decided to open my own self-hosted shop. Having a site where I already had free patterns made that a pretty easy expansion.
How have your designs and designing process evolved?
My designs have come a long way – so much so that I have a list of early designs I plan to redo or revamp in some way because I’m no longer happy with them. Another evolution has been in how I conduct testing for my designs and the publication process. I’ve worked up a step-by-step checklist I follow, and I have curated a fabulous group of testers to work with.
What designs do you specialize in?
I mainly design & release filet crochet blanket designs. Though I have a few other things as well.
Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
With filet it’s all dc and chains! Perfect for beginners. Sometimes I go fancy for a border, but I usually keep it nice and simple. I love seeing the creative borders people have come up with to put on my blanket designs!
When you come up with an idea, does is come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?
Collecting yarn is a “hobby” (addiction?) of mine. Usually design based on current trends or follower requests – because yarn is something I have a lot of in a whole rainbow of colors!
A lot of the time I just want to try and see if I can make a specific picture on a rectangle filet grid – which is WAY harder than you would think. Getting a round shape is difficult with rectangles. But I love a challenge!
When did you start crocheting?
My mother-in-law taught me right after I got married. I had ALWAYS wanted to learn to make a granny square, but never knew anyone who crocheted to teach me. I was so excited to find out she crocheted! Once I learned, it was my obsession, hobby, and business. I’ve been married almost 17 years now – so I have been crocheting a long time. She passed away five years ago and it feels even more special now that I was able to learn from her. She gave me so much in the simple act of showing me how to make a granny square.
What made you decided to become a designer?
I have always had a desire to create. And not just create by following someone else’s rules – even when I make a pattern that isn’t mine…I have a hard time not doing something, however small, differently. I like things a certain way, and sometimes the only way is to do it yourself – so I guess the need to having a pattern “just so” is what inspired me to try making up my own patterns all those years ago.
Are there any patterns, not your own, that you just love?
I am a collector of amigurumi and other fun toy type patterns. I especially love Bunnies & Yarn and 3 AM Grace Designs.
Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
Honestly, I feel God has blessed me with the ability and creatively to design. He’s given me a deep-seated desire to create and I know that is a desire I need to honor. I also have a pretty awesome husband who supports me and then some. Not only is he a programer (free website man and tech support!) but he supports my dreams of building up this business by giving me Saturdays to spend 100% devoted to working. Him taking on all six kids alone for a whole day (from the time they wake up to the time the littlest ones go to bed) is really one of the biggest reasons I have been able to design so many things so fast and grow so quickly. As a result, designing has become a true small business for me – not just a side hustle. My business actually helps our family financially. It’s been an amazing (and humbling) journey.
Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
I’d really like to take a stab at interlocking crochet. It looks kind of like filet – only there’s two colors. Instead of holes, you see the second color in the “hole” space. I think it would allow me to expand my design options a ton – so I’d like to check it out!
Non-work related, I’d REALLY Like to take the time to learn Tunisian crochet. I keep telling myself I will learn but I haven’t made the time!
What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming them?
One of the biggest challenges for me is taking good pictures! I don’t have a good space or lighting set up and photographing filet so the design is shown off well can be hard! Another challenge is the huge surge in video tutorials and patterns – many people have asked me for this, but making videos is not something I feel confident in doing. I don’t even know where to begin! That said, it’s something I’ve been considering and trying to work up the courage to try.
Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?
When I don’t feel like crocheting ( which happens more often than you might think – especially since it’s now a business) I like to emerge myself in other crafty hobbies. I love Blackwork Embroidery (especially Peppermint Purple’s designs).
Sometimes just dropping the hooks for a few days or even weeks – is really what I need to feel refreshed and inspired to start designing something new. It’s taken the last year of owning a business for me to get over the fear that if I’m not constantly pushing out new designs I will fail. Sure, when ther’e nothing new, my income is less – but there’s a point where you have to stop worrying about making money or gaining followers and just ENJOY life. Sometimes that means taking a time out! I find God provides the income when it’s needed. Even if I’m not pinning and posting and “working” as hard as I think I should be.
What tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
One: Practice really DOES make perfect in the case of something like crocheting. It takes time to find your groove. Do one super simple thing until you are really good at it. Then move to something harder.
Two: Hooks matter. One thing I have found is that a 5mm isn’t always a 5mm. Stick with the exact hook you started with for a project. The brand, shape and also the handle size really change your tension.
What would be your biggest tip to share with a new crafter?
To a new crafter? Practice really DOES make perfect in the case of something like crocheting or knitting – or any art form. It takes time to find your groove. Do one super simple thing until you are really good at it. Then move to something harder.
To an aspiring designer? Don’t get caught up comparing yourself to another designer! Admiring others is great – but usually those we admire have been doing it so much longer and so it LOOKS easy for them to design and sell and gather a following. It’s not, trust me! You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. – I don’t know who first coined that phrase – but it is invaluable advice!
What are some of your other hobbies?
Well…until November really, crochet was my one and only. Then I discovered blackwork embroidery (shout out to Peppermint Purple, the designer who’s amazing work sucked me into the world of embroidery). I feel like my yarn is becoming jealous! It is SO much fun and such a nice break from crochet. In this last year crochet has become a lot more like a “real job” than I expected. At least a lot faster than I expected! Not that this is a bad thing – I am so thankful – but it has been very exciting to find another hobby I enjoy and can unwind with. And it still involves fiber…embroidery floss is just like a really, REALLY, mini yarn skein! And I only just learned this – but you can buy hand dyed floss! So much fun.
What does a typical Saturday morning look like for you?
Saturdays are my dedicated work days! Or so they have been for the last 12 months. But I begin my Saturday (all my days!) with coffee and Jesus. Then it’s either work at the computer designing (which is super fun). Or now days I have to spend a lot more time doing all the boring WORKish stuff to make my business grow. I more like it when I start up an audio book and just sit and crochet – that’s always the most fun!
You can find Mayhem and Majesty at:
Business website: https://mayhemandmajesty.com
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/mayhemandmajesty/
Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/mayhemandmajesty/
Pinterest Link: https://www.pinterest.com/mayhemandmajesty/
Other Social Media: Mayhem & Majesty Makers (a FB Group) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/mayhemandmajestymakers
Current FREE CAL – 2021 Emoji Filet CAL – https://mayhemandmajesty.com/2021-filet-cal-details/
Just for you!
Becca has set up a special coupon code for you! Get 20% off all non-sale items, using SUNFLOWER20 – and this code never expires!!
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Becca of Mayhem and Majesty as much as I have! Thank you for sharing our little corner of the crochet world!