Tag Archives: crochet

Interview with crochet designer, Kim from Lakeside Loops

Underground Crafter Crochet Specialty of the Month Tapestry February 2015

Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

Today, I’m sharing an interview with Kim from Lakeside Loops. Kim is an emerging crochet designer who specializes in tapestry crochet, so I thought she would be the perfect interview to finish out this month’s series.

This post contains affiliate links.

You can find Kim online on the Lakeside Loops website, and on Craftsy, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, and Ravelry (as LakesideLoops and on her designer page). Images are copyright Lakeside Loops and used with permission.

Interview with Lakeside Loops, crochet designer, on Underground Crafter
Kim from Lakeside Loops.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Kim: My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about 10 years old.  I hadn’t crocheted for a many years when I suddenly found myself on bed rest while pregnant with my first daughter and needed something to keep me busy.  I found my grandmothers old hooks and my husband bought me some yarn . . Three baby blankets later, I was ‘hooked’ again.

Cooper Chevron Cowl, crochet pattern by Lakeside Loops for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

Cooper Chevron Cowl, tapestry crochet pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Kim: I have always created my own crochet patterns, but it wasn’t until I was home caring for our two wonderful daughters full time that I had the motivation to finally try and sell my designs.  My family inspires me to not only create pieces but to try and earn from those designs.

I was very nervous to launch my first pattern (what if no one was interested, what if I made a mistake, etc.), but a few months and 350+ combined Etsy & Ravelry sales later, I love what I’m doing.  It’s become my passion and I feel so blessed to be providing for my family in a small way from this.

Dylan Deer Silhouette by Lakeside Loops, tapestry crochet pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy

Dylan Deer Silhouette, tapestry crochet pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

UC: Many of your patterns use the tapestry crochet technique. How were you introduced to tapestry crochet, and what do you enjoy about designing with it?

Kim: My grandmother taught me how to change colors when crocheting.  I am inspired by knit designs that have silhouettes/patterns in them.  My first tapestry crochet piece was the Dylan Deer Silhouette Hat; I must have tried 20 or more versions of that pattern before I got the silhouette just right (or right to me anyway) and it was so satisfying.

Crochet Hats and Wraps for Baby

Tapestry crochet opens up a whole new world of design for me . . Suddenly it’s not just about shape but also pattern (chevron, polka dots, silhouettes, etc.).

Carter Cable Cowl, crochet pattern by Lakeside Loops for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

Carter Cable Crochet Cowl pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

UC: What are your favorite projects to design?

Kim: Obviously I love designing pieces for my girls.  They get so excited when I make them a new hat or scarf.  I’m also really inspired by knit pieces . . . I love trying to make crochet pieces that typically would only be possible to create with knitting needles (cables, silhouettes, etc).

Camdyn Cable Cowl, crochet pattern by Lakeside Loops for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

Camdyn Cable Cowl, crochet pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

UC: In a little over 9 months, your Etsy shop has had more than 250 sales. What tips for success can you share for designers considering opening an Etsy shop?

Kim: I am so very grateful for the sales I’ve had so far.  I did a lot or research before listing my first pattern and the best tip I found was to use high quality pictures that really showcase your work from various angles.  Social media has also played a huge role in my success so far. I have been fortunate enough to make a lot of friends on Instagram (@LakesideLoops has 2500+ followers), and I’m working on connecting on Facebook and other social media channels as well.  Having friends/followers means that when I post a new pattern I can get the word out to potential buyers right away . . I don’t have to wait for them to stumble upon my design on Etsy.  I am also grateful for the wonderful reviews, reposts, and kind shares Lakeside Loops has had.  It obviously helps build confidence for potential buyers when they see others have liked my crochet patterns.

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

Kim:  I’m ashamed to say I only own one crochet book: Itty Bitty Animals by Sheila Leslie. It has designs for small stuffed animals.  My girls have a whole collection of little creatures now.  I do enjoy buying patterns from other designers on Etsy, though.

Aspen Animal Leg Warmers/Boot Cuffs, crochet pattern by Lakeside Loops for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

Aspen Animal Leg Warmers/Boot Cuffs, tapestry crochet pattern for sale on Ravelry and Etsy.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Kim: Instagram is a favorite of mine, I follow a lot of wonderful artists and up and coming shops that inspire me.  Etsy and Ravelry have also been great places to connect with other designers and crocheters.

UC: What are your plans for future designs? 

Kim: I will have crochet patterns for more leg warmers, scarfs, head warmers, and mittens listed very soon.  I am also planning crochet patterns for modern household and children’s pieces (like pillows, ottomans, place-mats, and rugs) for Spring.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story, Kim!

Book Review and Giveaway: Tapestry Crochet by Renate Kirkpatrick

Underground Crafter Crochet Specialty of the Month Tapestry February 2015

Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Today, I’m excited to share a review of Australian crochet designer and teacher Renate Kirkpatrick‘s Tapestry Crochet: 64 Playful Patterns for Children (Milner Craft Series) as well as a giveaway for a copy of the book, courtesy of Sterling Publishing.

Tapestry Crochet by Renate Kirkpatrick

I’m a big fan of Renate’s work. I had the pleasure of interviewing her back in 2011 here, and I’ve also included her Crochet Techniques (Milner Craft Series) on my list of Must-Have Beginner Crochet Books. So it’s perhaps no surprise that I also enjoyed Tapestry Crochet.

Renate’s purpose with this booklet is to introduce her readers (and students) to a new technique through a sampler rug (that’s a blanket to U.S. readers). She opens the booklet by describing 3 different crochet colorwork techniques – intarsia, tapestry, and jacquard. Interestingly, she describes jacquard as what we call tapestry crochet in the States – where the unused color is worked over.

Renate then shares an 5-page Crochet Fundamentals section which includes tips for changing colors, maintaining tension with frequent color changes, reading grids, finishing, and blocking. A 6-page How to Work the Squares section includes general instructions for the squares and edging, tips for joining, and illustrated instructions for double crochet (U.S. single crochet) and crab stitch.

The rest of the booklet includes 64 full-color charts for squares. Each chart also includes a photograph of the finished square. Renate includes a handful of numbers and letters (1, 2, 3, and A, B, C), but most of the charts are more detailed graphics including signs, people, transportation, food, household items, and animals. Most charts include multiple colors. Each chart includes a full count of rows and stitches, directional arrows to remind you of how to read the chart for alternating rows, and numbered counts for each group of colors within a row – basically, everything you need to keep track of your color changes ;).

This is a great booklet for a crocheter interested in trying out color changes using tapestry crochet or other colorwork methods. It’s also a great book for a crocheter who enjoys making blankets or gifts for children, since the patterns come together to make a great baby blanket. Because each square includes the same number of stitches, the squares are easy to mix and match with each other, or with your own designs.

The booklet is shorter than some of Renate’s previous books, and it doesn’t include as much detail. However, since tapestry crochet (and other methods of changing colors using single crochet stitches) is much more straightforward than the topics covered in her other books, I think the length is appropriate. As with other (mostly) pattern books, your enjoyment will be increased if you like the included patterns. Unfortunately, the square patterns are not listed on Renate’s Ravelry page, but she does share images of 24 of the squares on her website here.

I would recommend this booklet to a beginner crocheter who wants to start experimenting with color, or a more advanced crocheter who enjoys tapestry crochet and/or making blankets.

I’m pleased to offer a giveaway for a copy of Tapestry Crochet: 64 Playful Patterns for Children (Milner Craft Series) today, courtesy of Sterling Publishing. The giveaway is open to U.S. readers only. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 for your chance to win.

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Review disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review and an additional free giveaway copy. While I accept free items for review, I do not accept additional compensation for positive reviews.  Additionally, when accepting a review sample, I do not guarantee a positive review to the company.  My reviews are entirely based on my honest opinions and I always indicate whether I’m reviewing something I received for free.

Interview with crochet designer, Liz McQueen, from Playin’ Hooky Designs

Underground Crafter Crochet Specialty of the Month Tapestry February 2015

Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Today, I’m sharing an interview with Liz McQueen, the crochet designer from Playin’ Hooky Designs. Liz focuses on hats for an active lifestyle, and she also has a series of graphed tapestry crochet designs. I thought she’d be a great person to interview about tapestry crochet!

You can find Liz online on the Playin’ Hooky Designs website and blog, on CraftsyEtsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry (as PlayinHooky and on her designer page), and Twitter. You can sign up for her newsletter here. All images are copyright Liz McQueen and used with permission.

Interview with crochet designer Liz McQueen with pattern roundup on Underground Crafter

Liz McQueen, owner of Playin’ Hooky Designs.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Liz: My sister-in-law introduced me to crochet during Thanksgiving break, 2006. I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and doing my best to avoid scraping the sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce off all the dirty dishes.

Technically she taught me to knit first but my mind wouldn’t wrap around the whole “two needles” thing. So I picked up one of her hooks. I mastered a few basic stitches and literally didn’t put down my little yellow swatch for the rest of the weekend.

Offshore Beanie Liz McQueen

Offshore Beanie (Kids version), a for sale crochet pattern. There’s an adult version for sale here.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Liz: When I first started, I stuck to flat things, scarves and blankets mostly. But I got bored. I latched onto hats pretty early. They’re versatile, fun, and most importantly (for those of us with kids) they don’t take a month to finish! Within the year I was designing my own patterns. Originally I started making and selling hats for babies and kids. I came to realize there was a gap in the market for fun, ski-inspired beanies for grown-ups and kids. I knew I could have a LOT of fun, and it turns out I was right!

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I wanted to create a brand that would stand out. The name “Playin’ Hooky Designs” came to me as I was playing around with crochet-type words (for you non-yarnies, crocheters use one hook, while knitters use two needles). As soon as I said it to myself I knew it was perfect. The skull and cross hooks followed as a way to represent my exciting, edgy style.

Snowflake Color Grid Hat Liz McQueen

Snowflake Color Grid, a charted pattern for sale to use with the Graph Beanie pattern.

UC: Several of your hat designs are graphed and use the tapestry crochet technique. How were you introduced to graphs and tapestry crochet, and why did you start designing with these methods?

Liz: I’ve always had fun playing with color and different texture. My first tapestry crochet endeavor was my Old School Beanie. But I’ve fallen in love with it through my Graph Beanie. Kimberly Ragsdale from Oikos Handmade and I teamed up to write the pattern and then separately create our own color graphs for every occasion. I love being able to create a new graph for a totally different look to the hat. I’ve also played with using tapestry crochet on my Playin’ Hooky Discs (Frisbees).

Playin Hooky Disc Liz McQueen

Playin Hooky Disc, a for sale crochet frisbee pattern.

UC: Most of your designs are for hats. What do you enjoy about designing hats?

Liz: It all comes down to attention span, haha. My first real project was a baby blanket for my daughter. Finishing it made me realize that I have a bad case of crochet ADD. I like too many different textures and colors to spend more than a day or two on a single item. I’m also too organized (some call it OCD) to have more than one WIP at a time. So I stick to my hats, headbands, and the occasional cowl. And as much as I hate to admit it, I actually really like figuring out the math of patterns in the round.

Old School Beanie Liz McQueen

Old School Beanie (adult version), a for sale crochet pattern. The kids version is available for sale here.

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

Liz: My favorite books are Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller – the one that made me fall in love with crochet – and Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain – something I love seeing and wish I had more time to do.

Along Came a Spider Beanie Liz McQueen

Along Came a Spider Beanie, a for sale crochet pattern.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Liz: I have a few that stand out like Moogly and Repeat Crafter Me, but mostly I’d rather cruise on Pinterest and find individual projects or ideas that I love.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story with us, Liz!

Free Tapestry Crochet Pattern Roundup

Tapestry crochet roundup of 15 free patterns by Underground Crafter
Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Today I’m sharing a roundup of 15 great free tapestry crochet patterns. If you’re new to tapestry crochet, don’t forget to check out my roundup of free beginner tapestry crochet tutorials here. All photos are used with permission and are copyright the respective designer.

A Perrrrfectly Wonderful Tapestry Crochet Kitty Bag by Carol Ventura on Tapestry Crochet. (Check out my interview with Carol here!)

Barbie Colorblock Mod Sheath Dress by Dez Alyxander on Hub Pages.

Crochet Yoga Bag by Hanri Shaw on Yoga Hound.

Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts by Yarnspirations.

Heart Sampler Baby Afghan by Amy Solovay on About.com.

Heart-Throb Tote by Wolf Crochet - free tapestry crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter

Heart-Throb Tote by Carol Wolf at Wolf Crochet. (Please note Carol has stopped blogging and is no longer providing pattern support.)

Rainbow Burst Tote by Lion Brand Yarn.

Learn to Knook

Spiraling into Spring March Mystery 9″/12″ Afghan Block Square by Margaret MacInnis.

Tapestry Crochet Small Triangles by De Estraperlo, roundup of 15 free tapestry crochet patterns on Underground Crafter

Tapestry Crochet Small Triangles by De Estraperlo (in English and Spanish, with a color chart).

There are also many really great paid tapestry crochet patterns available. Some of my favorites are by Liz McQueen and Kim from Lakeside Loops. (Spoiler alert: I’ll be sharing interviews with both of these ladies on the blog next week!)

The Graph Beanie by Liz McQueen of Playin' Hooky Designs, roundup of tapestry crochet patterns on Underground Crafter

The Graph Beanie by Liz McQueen of Playin’ Hooky Designs. This paid pattern comes with a tutorial and 1 free graph of your choice.

Dylan Deer Silhouette by Lakeside Loops, tapestry crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter

Dylan Deer Silhouette Hat, a paid tapestry crochet pattern by Kim from Lakeside Loops.

And, if you’re interested in tapestry crochet graphghan design, check out these free blog posts!

Meet Sarah Chapman, a Graphghan Expert, and learn about tapestry crochet by Crochet Chiq.

 

If you enjoyed these patterns, check out my Tapestry Crochet board on Pinterest!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Tapestry Crochet on Pinterest.

Interview with crochet designer, Rebeckah Ferger

Welcome to my themed blog series, Crochet Specialty of the Month! Each month in 2015, I’ll feature a specialized crochet technique, stitch pattern, or project type through several posts.

Underground Crafter Crochet Specialty of the Month Tapestry February 2015

I’m happy to share an interview with Rebeckah Ferger from Rebeckah’s Treasures today. Rebeckah is a Canadian/Norwegian crochet designer and blogger who was born in Sweden and now lives in Panama. She likes to dabble in tapestry crochet.

Rebeckah can be found online on her blog, Rebeckah’s Treasures, as well as on Craftsy, Facebook, G+PinterestTwitter, YarnBox, YouTube, and Ravelry (as RebeckahTreasures and on her designer page).

All images are copyright Rebeckah Ferger and are used with permission.

This post contains affiliate links.

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

Rebecca Ferger.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Rebeckah: My momma got me some red yarn and two sets of crochet hooks for my 10th birthday, and then sat me down to learn the basics.

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

Happily Ever After crochet pattern for fashion dolls by Rebeckah Ferger.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Rebeckah: I wanted to make clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was little, so I came up with ideas and just went for them.

However, what inspired me to start designing crochet patterns was the enormous support from fans who wanted to crochet the chess set I designed for my father. That’s when I got to thinking, this could be really fun!

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

Crochet Chess Set pattern by Rebeckah Ferger.

UC: Many of your patterns use the tapestry crochet technique. How were you introduced to tapestry crochet, and what do you enjoy about designing with it?

Rebeckah: I can’t remember exactly what I was looking for, but several years ago, I came across it whilst looking at new crochet techniques on Google Images. That search led me to Carol Ventura’s website, where I fell in love with tapestry crochet right away. I watched her video tutorials and also came across a great pdf with written instructions and started to practice with it. (UC comment: I was introduced to tapestry crochet by Carol Ventura, too! I interviewed her here and included her site in my roundup of free beginner tapestry crochet tutorials.)

When I use tapestry crochet for my project, I know exactly how I am going to crochet it before I pick up my hook because I use Carol’s special graph paper to design it. But what is really fun is seeing what I coloured on paper come to life in my hands. I also love how easy it is to switch between colours and come up with all sorts of designs.

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

Rebeckah Ferger’s Design Your Own Tapestry Crochet Bags, a free tutorial.

UC: Most of your collections are crochet designs for dolls. What do you enjoy about doll projects?

Rebeckah: I love how quickly I can crochet doll things and how easy it is to add all sorts of fun details to them. When I make a doll set, it includes every little thing I can possibly think of to give it that extra touch and that is what I really enjoy about creating them. Plus, I get to be a little girl again, and who doesn’t wish they could do that?

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

8 in 1 Crochet Barbie Clothes pattern by Rebeckah Ferger.

UC: What crochet projects are you most excited to work on this year?

I really want to finish my “Under the Sea” doll collection this year. It will include Mermaid and Merman Outfits for as many of the fashion doll sizes I can get my hands on, several different mini sea creatures and more…

Crochet Hats and Wraps for Baby

I started working on the mermaids on and off about a year and half ago (other projects kept trumping it). However, I am determined to complete them this year. So, it has been made my top priority, and I am working really hard to keep myself from starting anything else beforehand (which is really hard and if your anything like me where you like to switch between projects too, you’ll totally get it… lol).

Once I have completed it, I would really like to finish my tapestry crochet ABC blocks and maybe design another tapestry crochet project.

Interview with crochet designer and blogger Rebeckah Ferger on Underground Crafter

Tapestry Crochet Bag Swirls, crochet pattern by Rebeckah Ferger.

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

I don’t presently have any crochet books apart from a little booklet on scarves a friend got me 10 years ago and another mini instructional booklet I got from another friend.

However, one of these days I would really love to get my hands on Annie’s The Go-To Book for Irish Crochet Motifs by Kathryn White and Amamani Puzzle Balls by Dedri Uys. Plus, it would be really great to get one that has all sorts of stitches and other fun crochet techniques too!

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

I have several! I don’t get to visit them as often as I would like, but I really enjoy Moogly, Cre8tion Crochet, Yarn Obsession, Crochet Memories, The Crochet Lounge and Look At What I Made. I have many more that I visit too, but those are my favourites.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Rebeckah, and sharing your love of crochet with us!