UC: How did you learn to crochet?
Tamara: I learned from my Grandma, who taught me to make chains when I was about 10 years of age and I learned to read patterns by myself from old 1940s leaflets when I was about 16.
(UC comment: I also learned from my grandmother, at about 9 years old, and am a self-taught pattern reader!)
UC: How did you get started blogging?
Tamara: I first started blogging when I was voted in as President of my local chapter of the CGOA, KS (Kiss) My Stitch. The officers and I were looking for a way to get the word out about our local chapter and we decided to start a blog. (UC comment: The blog started on June 18, 2007.) One of our members created the blog and I had just purchased a digital camera and started taking pictures of the members’ show and share pieces. So I taught myself how to get on the blog and started posting pictures and writing a little bit about what we did at our meetings.
Then in 2008, I was helping my sister at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, where she was a vendor showing off her new line of fabric. Plus I was teaching crochet during the Festival. I know it doesn’t sound right at a quilt show, but they asked and of course I couldn’t say no to spreading the love of crochet to quilters or whoever wanted to learn.
Anyway, Susan Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief of Leisure Arts, just happened to see some of my crochet pieces in my sister’s booth and liked what she saw. She contacted me after the show and asked if I would be interested in blogging for their brand new website devoted to crochet. Apparently, they had read all of my blog entries from KS My Stitch and liked what they saw there too. So for a year and a half, I was the voice of crochet on Crochet Soiree. Tamara’s Take was the name of the blog. After the year and a half, Leisure Arts decided to combine all of their websites under one and no longer needed my services, so the rest is history. (UC comment: While the Crochet Soiree website is no longer available, you can still check out the YouTube channel.) I created my own blog on WordPress in July, 2010, and have been blogging there ever since. (UC comment: You can check out Tamara’s first post on her own blog here.)
UC: Do you have any tips for a newbie blogger?
Tamara: I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give any tips for a successful blog, since I’m still in the learning process (UC comment: ! What does this mean for the rest of us who have been blogging for less than four years?!?!) but I would encourage anyone who wants to start a blog to go for it. But just make sure you keep up with it and keep it updated. I have blogged on Blogger and I still post photos on ksmystitch.blogspot.com. I am now set up with my own blog on WordPress.com and I really like all the cool features.
UC: You have some great photos on your blog. (I particularly love the Candy Kaleidoscope.) Please share some of your tips for photo success.
Tamara: I’m just an amateur photographer and I’m still learning with this, too. I would recommend trying different background colors to see which one works best with whatever you are trying to take a picture of. Sometimes, I even have to switch the settings and try with the flash or without the flash, inside or outside. My favorite setting right now is the close-up setting. Then I take the camera to the computer and download the photos to see if they look ok. If not, it’s back to the drawing board and changing out the background.
UC: Where do you find your inspiration?
Tamara: I find my inspiration from vintage crochet books (’30s and ’40s), magazines, Anthropologie catalogs, clothing ads, other people’s projects, flowers, and I’ve even been inspired by a floor tile, or just my imagination .
UC: What are your favorite projects to make?
Tamara: I like making doilies, hats, or pretty much anything that strikes my fancy at the time. Right now I’m in love with making the little kimono sweater I found on CrochetMe. I have changed it up some and made the sweater not wrap, no sleeves, a tab front, short sleeves, etc. I have such a hard time leaving things the way they are written.
UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?
Tamara: There are really so many that it’s really hard to choose just a few, but here goes.
My Japanese crochet doily and lace books, Magic Crochet magazines, and A Living Mystery: The International Art and History of Crochet by Annie Potter. Maybe I should mention the Crochet Prayer Shawls book that one of my patterns is featured in, too. I really adore all my vintage books that have been handed down from my Grandma and I cherish the ones that have her name (Vada) on them.
Thanks, Tamara, for stopping by for an interview!
If you haven’t yet visited Crochet with Tamara, head over and check it out. There are several great things about this blog. Tamara updates it several times a week. She also actively engages her readers in conversation. There are many comments and responses on most posts. And, she has lots of great crochet projects going all the time! Tamara is a very prolific crocheter, so you get to see a range of projects including her own designs and modifications from existing patterns. Actually, my favorite thing about the blog is the pictures. Tamara has many images in each post. Crochet with Tamara isn’t exclusively about crochet though – Tamara includes some info about her personal life as well. (But not too much info! In other words, she strikes a balance.) So stop by and check out Crochet with Tamara if you aren’t already a steady reader.
There are 28 more days in the Hookin’ Up! project, so check out this link to visit the other featured blogs.