Tag Archives: blogger

Interview with Lindsey Stephens of Poetry in Yarn

Every Monday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be interviewing crocheters.  Today’s interview is with Lindsey Stephens, a crochet designer and blogger.

I can’t remember how exactly I first came across Lindsey Stephens’ Poetry in Yarn blog, but I do know it’s been a staple in my Google Reader for quite a while.  Lindsey’s blog, unlike many crochet blogs that I follow, is primarily text based.  Lindsey is still able to capture my (relatively short) attention with her posts, and I hope you’ll check her out if she’s a new-to-you blogger.  Lindsey is also a crochet designer and can be found online on her website, on Ravelry (as Leebah and on her designer page), on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.

All pictures in this post are used with Lindsey’s permission and link back to the pattern page on Ravelry.

This post contains affiliate links

Lindsey Stephens.

Lindsey Stephens.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?

Lindsey: I had tried to teach myself to knit, and it was a huge failure. I couldn’t handle all those loops (although really it had more to do with trying to learn with a fuzzy boucle).  Anyway, my step-niece was visiting me and she was crocheting- she never had more than 3 loops on the hook at a time. I was like “I gotta try this!”

Though Lindsey is primarily a crochet designer, she does have some knit patterns like the Learn It, Love It, Knit It Lace Scarf.

Though Lindsey is primarily a crochet designer, she does have some knit patterns like the Learn It, Love It, Knit It Lace Scarf.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Lindsey: You know, I don’t think any one thing inspired me. I just like to mess around with stuff and see what I can do. Just kind of “I wonder what would happen if I try this…” And then I discovered that other people were interested in what I was making.

UC: You have a mix of self-published designs and designs published by yarn companies, magazines, and book publishers.  Do you have a preference for self-publishing or traditional publishing?  What motivates you to seek one form of publishing over another?

Lindsey: Each method of publishing has its own merits. I like self-publishing because I get to work with so many other facets of the production process like layout and editing.  Getting to work one on one with a technical editor is a great learning experience for anyone interested in designing. It’s also great to be able to have an idea and run with it- no approval or submissions needed.

“Traditional” publishing is a trade off. You can’t always keep rights to your designs, but you may get slightly more publicity depending on the company, as well as more money up front. (Up front is a relative term. I just received a check in the mail for a design I did for a publisher 17 months ago.) A self-published pattern might make me more money in the long run, but the funds only come in one purchase at a time.

One of Lindsey's designs from Crochet 1-2-3, the Chanukah Candle Pillow.  (c) Valu-Publishing.

One of Lindsey’s designs from Crochet 1-2-3, the Chanukah Candle Pillow. (c) Valu-Publishing.

UC: Your Poetry in Yarn blog is one of the few crafty blogs I read regularly that doesn’t rely heavily on visuals, and yet you have such interesting content all the time!  How did you get started blogging and how do you keep it fresh?  Why did you decide to primarily use text-based, rather than photo-heavy, blogging? 

Lindsey: I’ve been involved in public speaking through debate, acting, and my work as a teacher for years. I am a talker. It just seemed natural to me to “talk” to people by posting on a blog. And also, I’m lazy. I can easily type out a post while lying in bed. For photos I would actually have to get up.  (UC comment: You make excellent points, Lindsey.  I will try to remember them on the mornings when I’m leaving my apartment early to take pictures of projects for my blog before work!)

Blackberry Blanket, from Lindsey's self-published e-book, At the Bakery.

Blackberry Blanket, from Lindsey’s self-published e-book, At the Bakery.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?

Lindsey: *Looking down at my bookshelf*

The The Crochet Answer Book by Edie Eckman was HUGE for me when I was first learning to crochet. Couture Crochet Workshop by Lily Chin opened my eyes for looking at how to increase and decrease in more complex pattern stitches. Cool Stuff : Teach Me to Crochet is the book that I used when I was learning how to crochet. 

Aureate Vest, (c) Susan Pittard, published in Curvy Girl Crochet.

Aureate Vest, (c) Susan Pittard, published in Curvy Girl Crochet.

UC: You’re both a Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) and The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) member.  What do you see as benefits of membership for aspiring crochet designers?

Lindsey: A CGOA membership can be beneficial regardless of whether or not you aspire to designing. You get a magazine as part of your membership as well as discounts with various companies. You also get discounts at the Knit and Crochet Shows. If you are interested in designing, CGOA has a mentoring program that can help.  

On the other hand, TNNA is purely a professional organization. That’s not to say we don’t have fun at trade shows, but we really go there to work. At a typical trade show I’m meeting with yarn companies, publishers, and other designers to discuss possible business opportunities.

Baby Bobbles Blanket from Leisure Arts #5267, Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Collection, Book 3.  (c) Universal Yarn.

Baby Bobbles Blanket from Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Collection, Book 3. (c) Universal Yarn.

UC: Since it is NatCroMo, can you share a favorite crochet memory with us?

Lindsey: My grandmother made lots and lots of crochet flower bookmarks that she would give away. She tried to show me how to make them once. First she showed me how to chain stitch, and I got the hang of that fairly quckly. Then she said, “watch this.” Well, the yarn moved and the hooked moved and all the sudden there was a flower on the end. She didn’t use terms like “double crochet” or anything like that. She just did it.  

UC: What are your favorite websites for crochet-related content and community? 

Lindsey: Hmm… I really enjoy Ravelry, but I find it slightly more knitting centered. Crochetville was the first crochet website I got hooked on. It’s great for crochet-centric information and groups. And I love the Crochet Liberation Front.

 

Thanks, Lindsey, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!  Just a reminder that Lindsey’s blog, Poetry in Yarn, is one of tomorrow’s stops on Crochetville’s mega blog tour, A Tour Through Crochet Country.

Sharing the crochet blog love

Confession time: I never read blogs until I started blogging.  I would occasionally Google something and find a blog post that answered my question, but that was about it.  I never subscribed or returned or remembered which blog I had read.  The main barrier for me was my (irrational) fear of blog readers – the descriptions always seemed overwhelming, and with no place to organize the blogs I was interested in, I couldn’t really keep track of any.  (I eventually started using Google Reader, which is much less overwhelming than it seemed to me when I read about it!)

This is my second year participating in Blogtoberfest, and I want to spread the blog love today by sharing five crochet blogs I started following this year.  For me, this was easier than trying to pick from the larger group of blogs I’ve been following since last year :).  These aren’t necessarily blogs that are participating in Blogtoberfest, by the way.  If you’d like to check out any of the 300+ blogs that are participating, stop by I Saw You Dancing.

alottastitches

This blog is written by Linda74, who is a prolific ripple crocheter.  Although I only learned about this blog a few weeks ago, I actually dove into the archives and found some really cool posts!  Linda74 does a lot of charity crochet, and common posting topics are finished objects, yarn hauls, and information about upcycled crafts.

Some of my favorite posts:

Lanas & Hilos

I’m a big fan of this bilingual blog.  (I even interviewed Ana as part of my Hispanic Heritage Month series.)  Ana is participating in the motif challenge along with Barbara from Made in K-Town, and you can find her finished motifs here.

Crochet Boulevard

And speaking of Made in K-Town (which I’ve been following since last year), Crochet Boulevard is my new favorite crochet link party.  I always find awesome new blogs there.  Unlike many of the other blogs I follow, Barbara seems to have a very international following.  You can find bloggers from all of the world posting on her link parties.  The current theme is Free Topic, so why not stop by and link up one of your favorite projects?

Stitch Story

I’m not quite sure how I originally came across Shelby Allaho‘s blog, but her designs are wonderful and I love how she shares her inspiration for different projects.  Some of my recent favorite posts are her reveal of the Natalie Cowl design and A Dozen Ways to Wear the Ruffles Scarf.  (I’m sort of styling challenged, so I love when people show me how to wear things!)

Crochet Nirvana

Robin is one of the bloggers who joined in the Year of Projects this year.  She is a librarian and often shares research in her posts, which I find really interesting.  She also really engages her readers with posts and questions.  Some of my recent favorite posts are Robin’s tips for stiffening crochet lace and her explorations of the granny square.

 

If you aren’t already following these blogs, I recommend that you check them out!

Have you found any new (or new-to-you) crochet blogs recently?

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Interview Series Roundup

Today is the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month and also the end of my interview series.  Here’s a recap in case you missed some of the interviews.  All photos are used with permission.  (Click on the photos to link to the interview.)

Angele Lumiere

Spanish crochet designer and bilingual (Spanish/French) blogger at Le flux de la creativite

Vanessa Laven

Cuban-American (mostly knitting) blogger at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts

 Juanita Quinones

Puerto Rican crochet tech editor, known as BoricuaCrochet on Ravelry

Ana Contreras

Guatemalan crochet and knitting designer and bilingual (Spanish/English) blogger at Lanas & Hilos

Paola Navarro

Argentine crochet designer, also known as Delicious Crochet

Sara Palacios

Argentine crochet designer, also known as Arrorro en Colores/Colorful Lullabies

Nuria Pastor

Spanish ex-pat crochet and knitting designer and bilingual (Spanish/English) blogger at Bezencilla

Charles Voth

Colombian ex-pat crochet and knitting designer and tech editor, also known as StitchStud

Maru Minetto

Peruvian crochet designer and bilingual (Spanish/English) blogger at Marumin Crochet

Thanks to everyone who shared an interview, especially since my requests were made at the eleventh hour.  I learned a lot about crocheting and knitting in Latin American and Europe, as well as about how these different needle artists view the impact of their culture on their own work.  I shared my own inspiration for this series here.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.