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…
Tag: crochet blogger
Hooking With Ashley Edmonds of Through The Loop Yarn Crafts Welcome back to Hooking With! This week we interviewed Ashley Edmonds of Trough the Loop Yarn Crafts: Introduction: Hello! I’m Ashley Edmonds the creator and yarn artist at Through The Loop Yarn Craft. My life…
Welcome Back To Hooking With… This week, we interviewed Pam Grice of Made With A Twist and The Crochetpreneur.
Helen and I both know Pam from her Crochetpreneur Business Academy, where we have learned a lot about crochet blogging and pattern writing. It only seemed natural to interview Pam and spread the word of this lovely woman! She truly has inspired many and she has overcome much.
Pam Grice is a psychotherapist, the crochet maker and designer behind Made With A Twist, and crochet business coach at Crochetpreneur. She has been serving crocheters since 2013, destining profit-optimized crochet patterns especially for crochet sellers.
In 2019, she retired her private counseling practice to focus more time on helping crochet business owners to grow profitable businesses through her Crochetpreneur Business Academy.
Pam lives in Colorado with her husband, Kevin, and enjoys RVing around the US, playing with her grand baby, and riding all the roller coasters she can find!
Q: When did you start designing?
A: I began designing for myself in 2012 and took a year or so before I became confident enough to put my ideas on paper and begin to sell them.
Q: Do You Have a Blog?
A: Yes, I have two blogs. One site, Made With a Twist, features both free and premium patterns that are specially designed for sellers…but, of course, can be used by any crocheter. And the other, Crochetpreneur, hosts my tips and resources for crochet business owners.
Q: When did you start your blogs?
A: I started Crochetpreneur as an all-around crochet blog in 2017 and moved the patterns from that blog over to the Made With a Twist blog in 2019. So all told, I’ve been blogging for 3 years.
Q: What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?
A: When I initially started blogging, I knew I would focus my articles and designs on helping crochet business owners and sellers. I thought I would just need one blog to house all of my ideas and designs. After some time, though, I realized that many of the hobby crocheters that were enjoying my patterns didn’t want to hear about the business side of things. So, I split the blogs into two different websites.
Q: How have your designs and designing process evolved?
A: In the past, I would just design whatever I felt like, I’d make up a few prototypes, and write up the pattern quickly and get it out on the blog. Over the years, I’ve developed more of a strategy and process for designing and I prefer to design entire product lines that all work together to create mix-and-match pieces that can be used to create an ensemble.
Once all the pieces were designed, I get the patterns written up, off to testing and tech editing, and I’ll arrange to take photos. The process has become more involved, certainly, but I think the product and quality of the final pattern is much better and much more useful for my readers.
Q: What designs do you specialize in?
A: I specialize in designing products that are quick and inexpensive to make, perfect for beginners, but which allow for an excellent profit margin so they work great for product sellers as well. I prefer to work in the realm of accessories but I enjoy blankets and occasional designs for home decor as well.
Q: Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
A: I have my favorites. For some reason, the hdc, the bobble, and the cross-stitch are my go-tos. I just love the texture they give and the versatility they offer.
Q: When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find the yarn to fit the idea?
A: I usually get an idea for one product. Then, I brainstorm an entire range of matching products. Finally, I’ll find the yarn that fits the project. That seems to be what best works for me.
Q: When did you start crocheting?
A: I began crocheting when I was 10 years old. Growing up, I saw my grandmother and mom crocheting all the time and I wanted to try. I was stubborn, though, and refused to let them teach me. So, I grabbed some yarn and a hook and a Leisure Arts booklet. I taught myself to read patterns based on those booklets and their illustrated stitch tutorials…and I haven’t put my hook down since.
Q: What made you decide to become a designer?
A: I originally started selling finished products and realized that there weren’t a lot of patterns available that would actually be profitable for sellers. So, I began creating my own. Eventually, I decided to start selling them in hopes of helping other sellers make a profit from their sales, too, instead of just making back enough money to buy more yarn.
Q: Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
A: Wow, that’s a great question! Honestly, because I spend the majority of my time working on my business and designing for my readers, I don’t have a lot of time to work on other designers patterns. I do enjoy them on Instagram, though, and see hundreds of gorgeous designs every day. There are so many talented designers out there! Maybe when I retire, I’ll have time to make some of those for myself.
Q: Who/what inspired you?
A: I was inspired to crochet by the women in my life who made such beautiful things as gifts each holiday.
Q: Does this still inspire you?
A: Today, my inspiration comes from the women I see who are working so hard to make their dreams come true by turning their hobby into a business. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t “been there” understands how hard it is to build a handmade business. The hours and hours of making, designing, blogging take their toll when women have so many other responsibilities. But they’re doing it. Each day, they get up and make the decision to keep plugging away even when it feels like their work isn’t appreciated or that it takes so much time to grow a following. I love serving them and helping them to be able to provide for their families.
Q: Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?
A: I think my favorite is my Chevy Pull-Through Scarf. I designed this scarf several years ago and it remains one of my best sellers at local craft fairs. It’s so easy to make and my customers love it so much they’ll buy one in every color.
It’s been a hit for my readers as well. So, that just makes it all that much sweeter. Check at the bottom of the post for the link to this scarf!
Q: Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
A: I’ve been dreaming of really stepping outside my comfort zone when I have a few minutes to play with yarn on my own and I’d like to explore freestyle crochet. It just seems like it would be such a great way to ease stress and let the creative juices flow.
Q: What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
A: My biggest challenge is time. All of the moving pieces that are required for running a full-time crochet business make the time available to do the crocheting so minimal. I’ve been carving out a few hours each week to work with yarn, but I’d love it to be more.
As I get settled into running the Crochetpreneur Business Academy and the Crochet Business Retreat wraps up and the end of June, I’ll be setting up some systems and growing my Crochetpreneur team to include an assistant. Hopefully that will give me some more time to sit and enjoy the craft that I love so much.
Q: Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?
I definitely have. In early 2017, after my bun hat went viral and I had to manage the making of over 2000 hats, I was simply exhausted. It took almost six months for me to overcome that aversion to making.
Since then, my crojo waxes and wanes based on how busy the business is and what the demands are of my “real life”. I think the best way for a professional crocheter to regain her crojo is to take away and re-frame the feeling of “have to” with the notion of “get to”.
So often, when we feel “I have to crochet,” it feels like so much pressure. By playing with yarn, just for fun, and taking that pressure off, the creativity and love for the craft returns pretty quickly.
Q: What three tips can you offer anyone that crochets?
A: I think in this age of YouTube video tutorials, new crochet ears become reliant on the medium to learn how to make things. This really limits one’s opportunities to engage with the art form. I’d really encourage crocheters to learn to read both written patterns and charts and not be so tied to video tutorials.
Second, let go of perfection and enjoy yourself. I’ve seen so many makers begin a project, realize they made a mistake, tear out the project, and never return to it. It’s such a shame when that happens. It’s important to remember that every mistake is an opportunity to learn, to grow, or to be proactive accepting your own humanity. Please don’t let those things discourage you from picking up the hook again.
Finally, check your gauge. I know, it feels like such a waste of time but designers give you the gauge because they want you to have a successful piece. By creating a small gauge swatch, you can go into a project with confidence in both the stitches and your tension. And you’ll end up much happier with your finished piece.
Oh, one more thing, if you’re thinking of starting a crochet business, please check out both of my blogs. I’d love to help you make a profit from your crochet skills. Whether you want to do this full-time or you just want some extra spending cash, it’s all possible if you have a plan. I’d love to help!
The Wrap Up
Thank you Pam for all your time and great answers to our questions. We enjoy reading the responses and creating the blog post for everyone to read.
You can join Pam’s Crochetpreneur free group on Facebook here
We hope you enjoyed reading all about Pam and her successes. We have two interviews per month for most of the year already planned out. This is a regular thing now!
Be sure to join the Sunflower Cottage Crochet Community group on Facebook if you haven’t already and sign up for the newsletter as we will be offering coupons to those that sign up!
Keep up-t0-date on all of our crochet patterns by visiting our store, which has a great list!
Happy Hooking all!