I’m excited to continue my series of (Inter)National Crochet Month interviews with Canadian crochet designer, Pam Dajczak from Sincerely, Pam. You may also know Pam as a crochet blogger or Design Wars competitor. She’s also been nominated for four Flamie Crochet Awards for the first quarter of 2015 (for the Butterfly Breeze Poncho, the Madison Vest, the Marek Puffy Vest, and the Warm Hug Shrug). If you have a moment, please vote for her here (by March 9, 2015).
Pam can be found online at the Sincerely, Pam website, and on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry (as SincerelyPam and on her designer page), and Twitter. You can also find all the posts featuring her on the Design Wars website here. All images are copyright Sincerely, Pam and used with permission.
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Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?
Pam: I have fond memories of my Grandmother teaching me to knit and purl when I was a little girl. I took it back up 4 years ago after my son was born and shortly after that, in February 2012, I decided to try crochet. I have trouble wielding 2 knitting needles in a way that doesn’t scare everyone watching, so a single crochet hook was very tempting. I was also new in town and my son was napping regularly so I had time on my hands. I crocheted my first (terrible) dishcloth, and the rest is history!
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Pam: A book my Mom bought me. It didn’t take long after I had started to crochet that I started to play around with stitches and come up with my own combos that I liked. I began testing for other designers and loved the whole process!
While I still was focused on making finished items I added the Hillary Scarf to my shop and people were asking where I got the pattern from. I was shocked and excited that people liked it enough to want to make their own! All it took was releasing that first pattern to realize that I didn’t want to do anything else!
UC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you definitely have quite a few accessories. What do you enjoy about designing hats, cowls, and the like?
Pam: Oh my goodness! One look out my window right now will show that it is more out of neccessity than anything else haha! Being in Northern Ontario, in the Snow Belt, the accessories are something that there is high demand for! Also, it was what I was familiar with and knew the ins and outs of. I am now branching out into designing garments which is a whole new world for me and I couldn’t be more excited!
UC: You’ve participated in Design Wars. Tell us all about it! How did you join up and what is the experience like?
Pam: I joined Design Wars in January, 2014. I had been a HUGE fan of the competition since it started and applied a few times before I was accepted into the Challenge. I honestly can not say enough about that entire experience! Although the whole idea behind it is a competition, it feels like a family. Everyone is so sweet and helpful. We learn a lot from each other and really help one another build our businesses.
The Challenges themselves are really fun and pretty intense! The most difficult part is the schedule. Everything is set out ahead of time so you have to make sure you are on track to complete with everyone else. For me, that is part of the fun! You don’t just compete against each other, you are really pushing yourself as well!
UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
Pam: My inspiration used to come from a practical place. If my son needed a hat, I would design a hat. Living in the frigid north meant that I was designing A LOT of winter accessories. Lately, I find myself wanting to work more with current fashion trends or designs I haven’t seen anywhere else. This year you will see several new designs that are like nothing else in my shop and that really excites me!
UC: What is your favorite crochet book in your collection?
Pam: I only have 2 books! Not much of a collection. I have the book that taught me how to crochet called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting, and the book my Mom bought me that taught me new stitches called The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.
UC: You have over 1,600 sales on Etsy. Do you have any tips for new Etsy sellers?
Pam: Amazing photos!! The best photos that you can take! Learn about lighting and composition. Invest in a decent camera (no cell phone pics, no selfies). If you can’t do that, find a local photographer that you can work with. The photo sells the pattern. It doesn’t matter how well written the pattern is, or how much time went in to creating it if no one will buy it.
UC: Do you have any crochet/crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Pam: I have some favourites that I wish I could spend more time on. At the moment I work 12-14 hours a day with my day job so I’m not doing too much except sleeping! The few blogs that I do love to browse through are Moogly, Stitch 11, My Hobby is Crochet, HodgePodge Crochet, and Design Wars.
UC: How are you celebrating NatCroMo this year?
Pam: I have started celebrating a Pattern of the Week on my Facebook page, Flash Sales, and I’m continuing to plug away at my WIPS!
Thanks so much for joining us, Pam, and good luck in the Flamies voting!