Hooking With …. Joey Baird
Today in our Hooking With feature I am thrilled to be introducing you to Joey Baird of Jo’s Crafty Hook! Joey and I have ‘known’ each other for a couple of years (as much as you can ‘know’ anyone over the internet!) and have tested each others patterns on occasion. She is a lady with a big heart. You may recognise her if you are part of our Community group on Facebook as she is also a member there. Jo has also contributed patterns in several events, including our first Preemie Crochet Challenge in August!
Let’s find out more about her!
My name is Joey (Jo) Lea Baird and I live in a small town in NE Ohio. I am happily married and have a grown son and daughter. My family always came first for me and when my kids were adults I went through the ‘empty nest syndrome’ for years. I didn’t have any idea on how to fill my time. But 4 years later, in 2016, I picked up my LOVE of crochet to fill my empty nest and haven’t turned back since. That’s when Jo’s Crafty Hook was created.
For years my family, especially my daughter, who was my guinea pig for the new things I wanted to try kept telling me I should open an Etsy Shop. So for 2 years, 2016-2018 I crocheted enough items to fill up a shop. In January of 2018 I opened an Etsy Shop JosCraftyHook
When did you start designing?
I started designing in May of 2018.
Do you have a blog? If so when did that start?
Yes I have a blog. I started my blog in May of 2018. But it wasn’t until 2019 that I really found my niche.
What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
My initial plan with my blog was to share my story about my struggles with Scoliosis and to share my love of crochet. My crochet designs didn’t really come into the picture until I decided I didn’t want to share sob stories about my life with Scoliosis.
How have your designs and designing process evolved?
My designs started out being Hats and Scarves. I still design those but not as frequently. My designing evolved after I started testing women’s garments. I fell in LOVE with creating something beautiful for others to wear with simple stitches and string. My sister, who supported me from the beginning, once sent me a GIF telling me I practiced witchcraft. lol
What designs do you specialize in?
The designs I now specialize in are womens’ garments. Tops, Sweaters, Ponchos, Shawls, etc.
Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
Oh Boy! My favorite stitches change about every couple of months. When testing patterns for other designers, if I learn a new stitch my mind fills with SO many ideas. When I learned the N Stitch while testing for you I designed the N’ybody Beanie , the Nellie Summer Tee and the Nellie Poncho.
Right now my favorites stitches are the Argyle Shell Stitch and the Wrapped Double Crochet. I have designed about 5 or 6 designs this year using the Argyle Shell Stitch. I am currently designing 2 pocket shawls using both the Wrapped Double Crochet and the Argyle Shell Stitch. I am hoping to release an eBook at the end of the year with all of my Argyle Shell Stitch designs.
When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?
When I come up with an idea I find the yarn to fit the idea. Like my Diamonds Summer Tee, I came up with the idea and bought a lightweight yarn to use. With it being summer time I didn’t want to use worsted weight, I wanted something that women could wear with out the tee weighing them down.
When did you start crocheting?
I started crocheting when I was a child but it was only the basics. I could only crochet the chain and single crochet. I had some REALLY long chains. lol
It wasn’t until both of my children were in school that I started making a real effort to learn how to crochet. My mom would come over every week for over a year and sit with me and teach me how to crochet and follow a pattern.
What made you decide to become a designer?
In 2018 with my Etsy Shop opening I would advertise the designs that others had published. When a friend asked me to customize a sweater for her it set off a spark inside me. I wanted to be able to create something of my own.
Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
There are SO many patterns by other designers that I love! I LOVE the pattern you just released on your website, the Mermaid Dreams Cowl! I really loved how the different colors made the design pop. I also love ChristaCoDesigns’ patterns and Rachy Newin’s shawls.
Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
My Gram is the one who inspired me. She passed away a few years ago. She inspired me by creating beautiful dolls, afghans, and home decor items. She was never afraid to try something new. That is what really inspired me. I LOVE trying new things. I LOVE the challenge it brings into my life because it then causes a deep desire for me to try and design something similar or new.
Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?
Out of all my patterns my Tulip Sweater Vest is my favorite. The vest was my very first pattern I designed. At that time I was SO in love with the Tulip Stitch that I had so many different ideas running through my head. I do look back through my first patterns from time to time and I see the changes from where I was then to where I am today.
Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
There are so many amazing stitches and techniques out there that catch my eye, but I really want to learn how to design my own triangle shawl. I see so many of them and all the different stitches people use to create them and I get SO jealous because I have no idea how to begin or what stitches to use.
What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
My biggest crochet challenges are adding bundles and eBooks with my designs to Ravelry, LoveCraft, and Etsy. I plan on overcoming this by trial and error mostly. lol I just have to sit myself down, without any distractions and research how to create them. Once things slow down after the new year, 2021 that is one of my main goals.
Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?
Yes, there have been a couple of times that I have lost my crojo. I lost it and I had NO idea why I was feeling so distant from crocheting. I just put everything aside, I didn’t test for any other designers and I just tried to forget about anything that had to do with crochet. Then one day I asked myself why would I forbid myself to do something that made me happy and content? I overcame it by focusing on only what I got out of crocheting. I didn’t compare my designs to others, I didn’t say theirs is way better than mine, I just picked it back up to make myself happy.
What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
Three tips that I can offer to other crocheters….
- Don’t be afraid to try new things
- Don’t compare yourself or your work to others
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
As crocheters we see so many beautiful and wonderful things that people crochet or design. We tell ourselves “I can’t make that!” “There is no way I can do that!” Everyone has had to start somewhere. Even designers who have a lot of patterns make mistakes. You just have to keep putting yourself out there and go at your own pace. Crochet has SO many wonderful benefits. Enjoy yourself while you do it.
Try her patterns!
Joey has provided the link to her free Nellie’s Poncho pattern here.
You can also find other free patterns she has available on her blog here.