Hooking With: Crystal of ChristaCo Design
Hooking With: Crystal Marin of ChristaCo Design
Welcome back to Hooking With! This week, we interviewed Crystal of ChristaCo Design. I (Sara) have my own experience with this lovely lady. I had tested a couple of her patterns before I became a designer and I just loved them!
Hi I’m Crystal, the designer and blogger at ChristaCoDesign.com I enjoy creating crochet and knit patterns that are simple to make and easy to love. I share free patterns on my blog. The affordable, ad-free pdf versions are available in my Etsy, Ravelry + LoveCrafts shops. I often include photo + video tutorials, so I also have a YouTube channel.
When did you start desiging?
I started designing in 2017.
Do you have a blog? If so, when did you start that up?
I also started my blog in 2017.
What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
My initial plan was for more of a craft blog to include sewing and kids crafts. As I got into it, I realized my crochet patterns did best, so I began to focus more on those.
How have your designs and your design process evolved?
At first I would just make what I wanted for baby showers, or gifts for family and friends. Over time, I’ve learned what types of patterns do better, developed my style, and learned a lot about what it takes to design a pattern. I’ve also since learned to knit and have added beginner knitting patterns to my blog.
What designs do you specialize in?
I design a little of everything: accessories, blankets, cardigans. But I love designing garments.
Do you have a favorite few stitches you always like to use, or do you always try to use new ones?
I actually prefer the basic stitches. I like combining stitches that are eye-catching or create texture, but don’t require the crocheter to learn a complicated stitch technique. There is beauty in simplicity.
When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn, or do you find yarn to fit the idea?
I have yarn sitting on my shelf that I know exactly what I want to make with it, I just need to find the time to do it. I also might decide on a project first-say a coaster for summer crocheting. I will then choose the yarn based on the features I want in that project.
When did you start crocheting?
I first learned to crochet about 8 years ago now. Like many people I was pregnant with my 2nd son and made a little wobbly yellow (we didn’t know the gender) baby blanket.
What made you decide to become a designer?
I stopped teaching to stay home with our four kids. Once my youngest was a year old I started to think about what type of work I could do part time while at home. By this time I had been crocheting and sewing for 5 years and was really in love with creating.
Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
I adore all of Sarah’s patterns at Repeat Crafter Me. I used to make all the cute hats for my kids. I bought her C2C book and made a raccoon blanket with that square.
Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
I’m inspired by all the other crochet bloggers out there. There are too many to name, but I love the supportive community you can build and the constant creativity.
Of your patterns, which is your favorite, and why?
My favorite so far is my most recent cardigan pattern, the Sera Cardigan. I love how simple the design is, but lovely. I love that the only seams are at the shoulders. It’s also the best fitting design I’ve created.
Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
I still have plenty to learn as far as crochet techniques. I need to learn the crochet i-cord, I just haven’t done it yet.
What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
I suffer from repetitive strain injury. For the last year and a half I have been dealing with pain in my arms-wrists, elbows. I have a whole stretching regimen that I have to maintain to be mostly pain free. So I’m constantly managing how much computer work, crocheting and everyday tasks can I juggle without hurting myself. It’s a balance.
Have you ever lost your crojo, and how did you overcome that?
Usually I just take a break, and I think that’s ok. My body usually forces me to anyway. But starting a new project is always fun. Sometimes just looking at a crocheted piece gives me the urge to have the hook in my hand, to stop what I’m doing and grab my yarn.
What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
1. Practice. even if it’s just 10 mins on a blanket a day.
2. Maintain good posture/stretch/take breaks-see “biggest crochet challenges”.
3. Don’t be afraid to frog it. Take a break, come back to it and if you’re still not happy, frog it.
Crystal has provided a link to her Sera Cardigan, here. Check out her other patterns while you’re there!
Thank you Crystal for taking the time to answer all our questions!
In Case You Missed It….
Last time, we interviewed Ashley of Through The Loop Yarn Crafts, be sure to read all about her, here.