Tag: Hooking with

Hooking With: Christine Longe of Lakeview Cottage Kids

Hooking With: Christine Longe of Lakeview Cottage Kids

Hooking With Lakeview Cottage Kids Welcome back to Hooking with!  This week, we interviewed Christine Longe of Lakeview Cottage Kids.  She has some great things to say! Introduction My name is Christine Longe and I am the owner and designer/maker at “Lakeview Cottage Kids”. I…

Hooking With Ambassador Crochet

Hooking With Ambassador Crochet

Hooking With: Kristine Mullen of Ambassador Crochet This week, we interviewed Kristine Mullen of Ambassador Crochet.  Sorry it’s a little late…it IS 2020 afterall… Introduction Hi! I’m Kristine Mullen, designer and technical editor at Ambassador Crochet. I love designing patterns that are perfect for gift…

Hooking With: High Desert Yarn

Hooking With: High Desert Yarn

Hooking With: High Desert Yarn

This week, we interviewed Joanna Robinson of High Desert Yarn.  I have seen a lot of pretty Instagram pictures of hers and actually started following her before Sunflower Cottage Crochet was a “thing”.  Read on!

Introduction

My name is Joanna Robinson, the owner and designer at High Desert Yarn. My mom taught me to crochet as a teenager, but my love for crochet didn’t grow until 2013 when I made my first baby blanket for my first nephew. At the time, my husband and I were living in Everglades National Park, Florida with zero internet and extremely poor cell service. I drove 45 minutes to the nearest coffee shop to research patterns and yarn. Back at our travel trailer, if I had a problem with a stitch, I had to drive all the way back to civilization to research the internet.

After making this blanket, the idea of wrapping a new baby in a handmade item grabbed my heart, and I started to dream of building a business. My husband and I moved back to Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona and I started a little blog about my finished products, and sharing stories of living in a National Park. Within a few years I gathered enough courage to open an Etsy Shop.

It’s official…

High Desert Yarn officially launched in Fall 2017 with handmade blankets and home décor pieces. After two years of crocheting everyone else’s patterns, I decided to try my hand at designing. The Cliffrose Headband Crochet Pattern, my first published pattern, released early in 2019. Since its release, I’ve added more modern and fun crochet patterns for adventurous mamas and their wild babies.

Currently, my family and I live in Sulphur, OK. My husband still works for the National Park Service in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Our two kids, Owen (5) and Emma (1), keep us forever entertained. We spend our days gardening, woodworking, hiking, camping, reading, and running. As with crochet, I am always looking for the next beautiful pattern, or the next great adventure.

When did you start designing?

January 2019

Do you have a blog?  If so, when did you start that up?

Yes! I started it in Fall 2017, but made it an official website in January 2019 when I started designing crochet patterns.

What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?

I started my blog in 2017 as a space to share my crocheting process (how I physically made an item, and why I made a specific item), and showcase my handmade items through story telling. In 2019, I switched the focus of my blog to share free crochet patterns for women and children accessories.

How have your designs and designing process evolved?

When I first started designing, I’d think of an idea and stick with it. Now, I’m continually thinking of ideas, and I carefully consider what idea deserves my time. Also, I keep the user in mind with my more recent designs than trying to solve my own problems.

What designs do you specialize in?

Modern and fun accessories for women and children.

Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?

The more texture the better! I love trying new stitches, and using a handful of stitches in my designs. The Dandelion Beanie is the perfect blend of stitches for me. However, I keep coming back to the Berry Stitch.

When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?

It depends. I *try* to use up my stash with most designs, but sometimes you need a specific yarn for an idea. With the Crochet Blossom Wall Hanging pattern, I had a braid of Caron X Pantone sitting in my stash for a while. That’s when I wanted to design a pattern that would use EXACTLY one braid of Caron X Pantone. Voila! The Crochet Blossom Wall Hanging was born!

home decor

When did you start crocheting?

When I was 17 years old.

What made you decide to become a designer?

Honestly, I got pretty frustrated trying to find a super bulky winter hat that I could quickly work up for craft fairs. Every pattern I tried didn’t include a gauge, or modeled pictures, so every pattern turned out too big, or too slouchy. I started designing because I wanted free patterns to provide ALL the information, not just the bare minimum. I try to convey in my patterns everything you need to know, plus some helpful tips.

Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?

The Anna Lucia Shawl by Wilmade is my favorite pattern.

Who/what inspired you?  Does this still inspire you?  Why?

My Grandma has always been an inspiration for me. She’s delightful, spunky, and glamorous; and she’s the perfect mix of unique artist, and composed woman; she’s a painter and LOVES bright colors. I love how she puts all the colors of the rainbow together in her art. I want to create that same cohesive feeling in my designs, but with stitches. Her love of colors is also why I’m so drawn to nature as an inspiration, too. All those textures and colors out there! My hope is to bring those aspects to life in my designs.

Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?

My favorite pattern is the Dandelion Beanie. I love that every row is unique and different. It’s designed with my daughter as the inspiration—always fun, joyful, and different. I wanted to create a hat that was just as bouncy and fun.

Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?

Colorwork—I’ve always been intrigued by the beautiful designs of intarsia crochet. I’d love to get better at this type of crochet.

What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?

It all comes back to time, like most of us. It’s hard to balance being a stay at home mom to two young kids, and working this business in the margins of my life. I often talk myself out of crocheting or working because my business is small, or I only have 15 minutes to stitch. This summer I’ve made a point to let nap time be flexible between sitting & resting, doing a chore, or crocheting. So far it’s helped me with the balance of it all, and I feel like I’m making healthy strides in all areas.

Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?

Yes, several times! It usually happens when there’s a lot more added stress in my life from unforeseen events (here’s to you COVID), or hustling during craft fair season, or after a big deadline. The last time I lost my crojo was this spring due to social distancing.

The whole world seemed to change overnight and I couldn’t stick to the same schedule as per-COVID. I unintentionally took a whole month off from crocheting, and social media. At some point, I felt ready to pick up my hook again, but this time it was for a “Me” project—a very simple cardigan made with hand dyed yarn.

The biggest lesson I learned was to let my body and mind rest, to adjust to my family’s new normal, and let everything else be. Moving forward, I’m considering taking a sabbatical every year.

What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?

1 Gauge!!! ALWAYS create a gauge. Even if it’s not a garment pattern, or if the designer specifically states that “gauge isn’t important”. The worst, besides miscounting stitches, is finishing a project and realizing it’s the wrong size.

2 If you usually crochet while watching TV or listening to something, I want to challenge you to try to crochet in silence. Some of my best creative ideas emerge while I’m crocheting in quiet, or I’ll figure out a solution to a gnawing problem.

3 Keep crocheting fun. We’ve all had that project that feels more draining, and less enjoyable. Learn from those projects and figure out how to keep your craft a joy! Don’t be afraid to take a crochet break if it stops being fun.

Free Pattern

Here’s the link to the free crochet pattern: Dandelion Beanie

We hope you enjoyed this segment of Hooking With!  In case you missed it, last time we interviewed CristaCo.  Read all about her, here.

Hooking With: Crystal of ChristaCo Design

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…

Hooking With: Through The Loop Yarn Crafts

Hooking With: Through The Loop Yarn Crafts

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…

Hooking With: Creations by Courtney

Hooking With: Creations by Courtney

Meet Courtney, at Creations by Courtney

This week on Hooking With, we are meeting Courtney, of Creations by Courtney.  We asked her your questions and she responded!

About Courtney

Creations By Courtney is your destination for discovering crochet garment and accessory patterns for curating a handmade closet.

I am the owner and designer of Creations By Courtney. I had a dream to be a fashion designer, which didn’t happen, but I have always been a creative person.

As an avid crocheter with a passion for garments, I am inspired to offer crochet designs to help you curate your own handmade closet.  Tops, cardigans, bottoms, dresses, and stylish, practical accessories that will withstand any current and future fashion trends.

The garment crochet patterns are offered in sizes Small to 5X. Each pattern has been tech edited and/or tested to ensure accuracy of numbers and writing. If a pattern doesn’t specify all of the plus sizes, instructions are given on how to customize the final dimensions to fit your unique body.

Inspiration is found from runways, department stores and often nature. I tend to offer several designs with a fun stitch, so it’s great for mastering the stitches as you create multiple Creations By Courtney designs.

I don’t like seaming multiple pieces together like many other crocheters, so I strive to create seamless or mostly seamless crochet designs. My desire is to help you increase your crochet skill through the use of foundation stitches in other ways than just the first row.  I use extended stitches, crossing stitches and more.

Besides increasing your skill, I hope that you’ll gain confidence and feel proud while wearing or gifting the completed items. And if you’ve pondered making more colorful projects, you’ll love these crochet patterns even more.

When did you start designing?

I started designing in January 2017 after unsuccessfully attempting to sell finished items.

Do you have a blog?  If so, when did you start that up?

I do have a blog! I started blogging around the same time in 2017 by posting the X Bangle, which I originally designed in 2015.

What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?

My initial plan was to consistently publish garment and accessory designs to my blog with an option to purchase the patterns through my own shop on the blog.

How have your designs and designing process evolved?

OMG! My designing process has definitely changed!

Occasionally, I cringe when I look at my first written patterns, as my format is much more consistent now and based on the Craft Yarn Council standards. My designing process involves A LOT MORE math than I ever thought would be involved in a fiber art.

I took a class with the amazing Kim Guzman years before I began designing to learn how to make a garment. I learned how to use math to create patterns in different sizes with simple stitches and stitch repeats!

It seemed so tough in the beginning, and now I typically start with the math for up to 9 sizes after making a gauge swatch when I design a garment. For any sized accessories, I may make one size first and then do some math to determine the other sizes.

What designs do you specialize in?

I specialize in creating size inclusive garments and stylish accessories.

Courtney’s Las Olas Hat is featured in week 4 of the Summer Stitch Along

 

Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?

I definitely love stitches that create texture! Additionally, I have designed a few projects with the X-stitch and lemon peel stitch. I do enjoy finding new stitches to turn in new crochet patterns.

When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?

Most of the time, I have an idea of what I would like to design and then will find the yarn. On rare occasions, the yarn finds me and tells me what to make with it.

When did you start crocheting?

I started crocheting when I was about 8 years old. My mom taught me crochet and knit. It didn’t stick then, but I tried to make a blanket for my little brother to be. I did not finish that oddly shaped object, but have made him several hates after returning to crochet during my freshman year of college.

What made you decide to become a designer?

I decided to become a designer after reading a blog post by a crochet designer that said that you are a designer if you create anything without a pattern. This was a light bulb moment for me since I had created several crochet accessories without patterns for custom orders! It’s amazing how this little moment changed my mindset to what is possible.

Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?

One pattern that I have made and just love is the Portofino Sweater by Sophie and Me Patterns! It was my first project made with all slip stitches! It sounds scary but worked up quickly with a large hook. It’s the coziest cardigan I have and I love to wear it any chance I can.

Who/what inspired you?  Does this still inspire you?  Why?

Prior to officially starting my crochet business, I was inspired by the funky style of the Double Stitch Twins and Knotty Loop.

I didn’t know that you could make clothing and other wearable items with yarn that captured my energetic personality, since many garments used to be  granny square jackets or boxy jumpers.

I am also inspired by fashion and I have always loved fashion. It’s fun to scroll Instagram to see what’s coming down the catwalks of the world. Most often, I’m inspired by everyday moments and thinking of ways to create something with crochet to capture one’s style of comfort and sophistication.

Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?

My favorite pattern is the X-capade Cardigan! This idea started with having a triangle shape, and completely transformed into what it is now. It’s my favorite because this design challenged my writing and math skills the most to date. I’m so thankful for having worked with a Tech Editor and amazing pattern testers to create a final pattern that other could understand.

 

The X-Capade Cardigan

Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?

I’m determined to learn join as you go, where you join the motifs in the last round and the seamless method by Kristin Omdahl. I don’t like seaming so I haven’t made many motif projects.

What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?

My biggest crochet challenge is learning to create better tailored garments that are size-inclusive with shaped sleeves. Shaped sleeves are such a mystery to me! I plan to learn how to read sewing patterns and talk with my sewing friends to demystify the sleeve in crochet.

Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?

I lost my crojo during my last pregnancy. I was carrying my twin daughters.  Many tasks became a challenge and I only had the energy to focus on the simplest daily tasks for my household after each work day. I was able to overcome the loss crojo once we had established a new routine with the twins, and starting with quick accessory patterns.

What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?

Three tips for anyone that crochet is:

  1. Learn how to read crochet patterns and stitch diagrams to have limitless options for making crochet projects.
  2. Invest in crochet hooks that you love to take care of your hands so you can crochet for many years.
  3. Don’t skip the gauge swatch.

Free Pattern

Thank you Courtney for your interview!  You make me want to learn a lot more about designing clothing!  It’s the math that gets to me though.

Courtney has provided a link to a free pattern of hers for you to try out!  Click here!

If you missed the last Hooking With interview, check it out, here.

 

Hooking With: Woodland Stitchcraft

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…   Introduction Hi there! I’m Bonnie and I am the crochet designer behind my…

Hooking With … Susanna Biaye of Fosbas Designs

Hooking With … Susanna Biaye of Fosbas Designs

Susanna Biaye is the designer behind @crochet_fosbas and lives in the UK with her husband and son and has been crocheting for about 20 years but started designing her own patterns about 4 years ago even though it was started off as a means to…

Hooking With … Mary Beth

Hooking With … Mary Beth

Mary Beth is a designer I came across about a year ago now. She is the lady behind Crochet with Mary Beth and is such a sweet lady who likes to crochet fashion! I also like that she has some book reviews on her blog. Anyway, less from me, let’s hear from Mary Beth!

Welcome Mary Beth! Tell us a little about yourself …

Hi there.  I’m the crochet designer and illustrator behind the blog Crochet with Mary Beth.

I design on-trend yet unique crochet patterns of garments and fashion accessories for women.

My journey to crochet design has been a fun and crazy one.  Crafting was my main hobby as a child and there was no question art would be my profession someday.  Consequently I went to Syracuse University where I majored in Illustration.  After that I landed a fun job as a full-time toy designer.  A handful of years later I went on my own.  I was a full-time freelancer for many, many years illustrating everything from greeting cards, to books, to party goods to jewelry and everything in between.  During that time I wrote and illustrated 17 published paper crafting books.

Two years ago I started designing my own crochet designs and just recently I’ve started illustrating crochet themed coloring pages.  So keep a look out for those coming soon.

Along the way I got married and had a really cool kid.  Crazy right?!  But pretty fun for sure!

When did you start designing?

I started designing crochet patterns two years ago.

Do you have a blog?If so, when did you start that up?

I have a blog crochetwithmarybeth.com . The blog was birthed at the same time as my first pattern two years ago.

What was your initial plan with your blog and designs?

At first I had a totally different idea for the blog. It was going to be called “crochet reviews.”  I bought the .com and everything.  I was going to follow crochet patterns from books and review the books on my blog.  My Dad laughed when I told him the idea.  He said, “You’re going to review other people’s pattern designs?  You?  Mary Beth Cryan?  Ha-ha.  You’re a designer at heart.  You can’t NOT design.” And he was right.  He’s always right and he always beats me at miniature golf too.  About 2 months later I started designing my own patterns and changed the name of the blog.  I’ve started but never completed another designer’s pattern since.  But you can see the remnants of that old blog if you go way back to the beginning of my current blog.

How have your designs and designing process evolved?

My design process has evolved over time.  At first I would crochet the whole garment freehand.  Then I would go back and write the pattern.  That process involved A LOT of frogging and a LOT of forgetting what I had done.  So now I sketch the pattern first, figure out all the measurements, outline the pattern instructions, and then crochet the garment to see if my notes are correct.  A lot of revising happens along the way but I am very careful to write everything down. This saves a lot of time and sanity.

What designs do you specialize in?

I specialize in garments and fashion accessories for women.

Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?

There are so many different stitches to try I always have a hard time picking one out for my newest project. This is usually the longest part of the design process for me.  The silhouette, concept, and color all come to me easily and seem just right the first time I think of them.  It’s the stinkin’ stitch pattern that I’m always overthinking.

When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the idea?

My ideas always come from fresh fashion trends. I see fringe and want to make something with fringe.  I see a million cool ponchos at Target and I want to make a poncho.  Then I figure out a new unique design that I’m going to put fringe on and go figure out what yarn to buy.  I like using the newest trendiest yarns that come out too.  I’m a bit of a sucker for the newest shiniest object.

When did you start crocheting?

I started knitting really a long time ago. Like, I taught myself from a book, long ago.  Crochet I picked up in 2017.

What made you decide to become a designer?

I’ve been a designer/illustrator of other things for work since 2000. I tried NOT to start designing crochet patterns.  But eventually I was like, “Hmm.  Wouldn’t that be cool if this bag was like this and made out of this yarn and had bobbles on it and… shoot, Dad was right.”

Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?

I love every design that Alexandra Tavel comes up with. That chick is amazing.  I wish I could push myself to be as outrageous as Katie Jones.  But I suspect I’m just not as zany as her in my core.

Who/what inspired you?Does this still inspire you?  Why?

I’m inspired by anything new and fresh. A new color combo, a new silhouette, a new embellishment, anything new sends my heart pitter pattering.   I love trends.  I know the word trend has a bad connotation for some people.  But a trend is just the newest consumer buying habit.  Why did everyone want to buy owls in 2014 and now llamas in 2020?  I don’t know.  But isn’t it fascinating?  And what will be next?  I can’t WAIT to find out.

Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?

My favorite pattern is always the last one I completed.

Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?

I really want to learn more about making garments, actually everything about making garments.

two-tone Tee with ties

 

What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?

My biggest crochet challenge is that it takes me a while to put out new patterns. I can’t figure out how other designers are getting new patterns out so quickly.  I’m still investigating this.

Have you ever lost your crojo and how did you overcome that?

I don’t think I’ve ever lost my crojo. Why?  Did you find it somewhere it’s not supposed to be? 😉

What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?

  1. Don’t worry if you make a mistake. No one is going to notice.
  2. Keep going!  If you stop a project it won’t get finished.  If you never stop it will eventually get finished.
  3. Use a million awesome colors in your makes and then tag me on Instagram @crochetwithmarybeth so I can see them!!  I love color!

Thank You Mary Beth!

I love learning about what makes other designers tick and I know that lots of you enjoy these interviews too!

Mary Beth has given me the link to her newest free pattern to share with you. Check it out here.

 I love the simplicity of this pattern! Sometimes its not about how much texture you can get into a pattern, but its simplicity can make it stand out and look fabulous!

 

Hooking With …. Jenna Maverick

Hooking With …. Jenna Maverick

This edition is Hooking With features Jenna Maverick. Jenna is the designer behind The Yarn That Binds Us. Without further ado, shall we find out more about her? Let’s hear from Jenna… I’m Jenna Maverick crochet blogger and designer behind The Yarn that Binds Us.…