Hooking With: Woodland Stitchcraft
Hooking With: Woodland Stitchcraft
This week on Hooking With, we are getting to know Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft! I found her answers to our questions to be very interesting. Read on…
Hi there! I’m Bonnie and I am the crochet designer behind my pattern shop, Woodland Stitchcraft! I am a wife and work at home mom of three. I have 12 year old twin boys, Cole and Luke, and a soon to be four year old little girl named Autumn.
We live in the beautiful foothills of California surrounded by mountains and the Stanislaus National Forest. This forest is what inspired the “woodland” part of my business name!
Crochet design and motherhood take up most of my time. However, I also enjoy hiking, swimming, listening to true crime podcasts, and drinking ALL the coffee. Though I don’t get to it often enough, I also like to dabble in drawing.
I have a love for nature and vintage fashion, and you’ll find most of my designs reflect these passions. I strive to create children’s garment and accessory patterns that leave you with an item that is beautiful, timeless, and can become an heirloom. You can find most of my designs on Etsy and Ravelry. I also have a small blog where I have free patterns so that anyone can try out my designs and style of pattern writing.
Designing crochet is so much fun and I hope my patterns bring a little creative joy to everyone that makes from them.
When did you start designing?
I started designing about 3 years ago. I wanted to make a bonnet for my daughter, Autumn, and couldn’t find a pattern that I liked. So I designed my own!
Once I realized that I could create my own designs, I fell in love with it.
Do you have a blog? If so, when did you start that up?
Yes, I do! I just started it last year and it’s still pretty new. However, I am still learning a lot about how they work so it’s a small blog right now. I have free patterns up there and am still exploring what other type of content I want to share.
What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
When I first started designing, I had no plans to do it full time. In the beginning I really wanted to create items I could sell, and would just do the patterns from those items on the side.
The longer I designed though, the more time I spent on it and the more I really started to love it. Finding that I was more enthusiastic about designing made me realize it’s where I should go with my business. Eventually, I began to move my focus towards that and leave the finished items behind.
Once I transitioned entirely into pattern writing, I decided that a blog would be a good addition to that.
How have your designs and designing process evolved?
It took me a while to find my style. Starting out with random designs, I had beanies, cowls, backpacks, stuffed animals, and décor.
I was doing anything I could think of. I think I really started to focus after I wrote out that first bonnet pattern finally and published it. Looking at bonnets and bonnet styling ideas took me down a bit of a rabbit hole of vintage styles, and I fell in love.
After the bonnet I did a suspender skirt. That took me even more into that rabbit hole, and I just have kept going. I now find my inspiration for designs almost exclusively within that vintage aesthetic.
What designs do you specialize in?
I specialize in children’s designs. I do lots of garments and find myself going that way more often these days. However, I also do some accessories because I LOVE bonnets. Additionally, I have several patterns for bonnets but I have also done faux collars and legwarmers. Everything is designed for children.
I do have a couple of my designs that go up to adult sizes.
Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
I try and find new ones to use. Hunting for stitches to use in an idea is something I actually think is a lot of fun.
I do have some favorites though. V-stitches and shell stitches have been in a lot of my designs. I think my favorite of all time is post stitches. There is so much you can do with front and back post stitches as far as textures and designs go. Just those two stitches can make so many different unique looks just depending on how you put them together.
When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?
I find yarn to fit the idea for sure. Most of the time, I draw or list out my ideas and then I’ll order yarn for that design when I get to it on my list.
I am also usually making the item for my daughter Autumn, so I like to order the yarn after deciding on the design. I’ll pick a color that I think will go with some of the other items I might use in the outfit.
When did you start crocheting?
I started crocheting about 5 years ago.
I had a nephew on the way and found a hat on Pinterest that I thought would be perfect for him. It was a crochet pattern, so not something I could buy. Having a close friend who I knew could crochet, I asked her if she would teach me how to make this hat and she did!
I had a lot of fun with it and stuck to it, even after giving that present. I try to crochet every baby that comes along something.
What made you decide to become a designer?
I wanted to create some really specific styles, and just wasn’t finding patterns out there that were what I wanted. So it was really out of filling a need for myself as a product maker.
Once I got a taste for it, I just kept going and found that I actually liked it more than selling finished pieces. I did both for the first couple years. Then after the last Christmas season, I took down all my finished pieces and have made the switch fully into designing.
Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
I have lots of designers that I love but I’ll just name a couple.
Mon Petit Violin patterns are some of my favorites, especially her little dresses and rompers. She has beautiful designs and I have made lots of them.
Another designer that I love is The Velvet Acorn. Her designs are so great and I think they can really be made to fit into any wardrobe. Plus she takes some really beautiful pictures in gorgeous outdoor settings that I just love.
Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
I got pregnant with my daughter shortly after learning to crochet. Which I think really inspired me to keep going when I was new to it because I wanted to make her stuff.
She has become the full inspiration now and still continues to be. Almost everything I design comes from a place of wanting to make her cute things to wear. We also have a lot of fun going out to places to get the pictures of the items. She loves getting dressed up and when I finish items she knows they are for her and gets really excited.
I think it’s really become not only something I just like to do because I need a creative outlet, but also something that I bond with Autumn over.
Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?
This is a hard question for me! I am always really excited about whatever my current design is so usually it’s that one.
I am really excited for one I am working on now that isn’t done yet. I’ve learned that you can make little pictures with post stitches. There is a tunic design I have that I am working on which uses this technique. I am having so much fun with it and can’t wait to get it out there, so that’s probably the one I’m the most excited about.
If I am choosing from ones that are already out there, I would go with my Willow Skirt pattern. I love those long skirts with buttons and so now that I have a crochet version, I am even more in love with that style.
Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
Tunisian crochet is something I would like to get more into. I have made a few things with it and have a small bow pattern that uses it but would like to try some more out. I have a bonnet design that I want to do with Tunisian here soon. So I am going to be spending some more time learning about that and practicing that skill set this year.
Of course there are always more stitches and I can never get enough of trying new ones out. I think that’s why crochet is such a fun craft! Because there really are SO many possibilities with it, that you’ll never get bored.
What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
My biggest challenge is focus. I tend to get really distracted by the next shiny new idea or project and then take a lot longer to finish designs than I should. I have that curse of the creative mind, so the creation of the thing is my favorite part. When it comes to sitting down and doing the math and writing out all the steps, I am not as enthusiastic.
Working on making sure I follow through with the pattern process entirely before I move on to the next design is one focus. Making plans and release commitments that I can stick to is another focus right now. I’m still a work in progress when it comes to all that but I am getting better about it.
Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome it?
I have! I kind of just forced myself to keep crocheting. So I found projects that I had been excited about when I bought or saved the pattern and would work on those.
Making sure the things you are making are things you love is really important. The times I have not wanted to crochet were when I made commitments to crochet things that I wasn’t excited about. So I really try to stick to things I am passionate about.
What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
Well, I think that last question had a good tip. Crochet things you love! You are going to have much more fun and grow your creativity when you are excited about the things you are making.
Next tip would be to dive into the crochet community. There are AMAZING people out there. Nothing is more fun than sharing something you are passionate about with other people. It will inspire you, teach you and I bet you will make some awesome friends. I have!
My last tip would be to never stop learning! Crochet is truly an amazing form of art. My hope is people don’t just stop at the surface of it, because the possibilities are endless!
I am offering my Lil’ Sprout Shorts pattern free for today only! Grab it HERE.
Use the code, SUNFLOWERFRIENDS (just copy and paste!) at the Ravelry check-out to get it!
Thank you Bonnie of Woodland Stitchcraft, for taking the time to answer all our Hooking With questions, which our readers help us choose. We love to learn from each other and this is a great way to get to know others that share our passion for crocheting and designing.
If you missed our last Hooking With feature, check it out here.
Don’t forget, if you sign up for our newsletter, you get access to an exclusive code to use that will give you a percentage off all of our patterns!
Next time on Hooking With… We are featuring Creations by Courtney. Hope to see you there!