Tag Archives: design

Interview with crochet designer, Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah

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

As I was researching tapestry online, I discovered the work of an emerging crochet designer, Leah Feild. She was kind enough to agree to an interview, which I’m excited to share with you today.

Leah started sharing her patterns last March, and since then, she has released 99 designs! She has several patterns that feature tapestry crochet. You can find Leah online on her blog, Creative Threads by Leah, as well as on Facebook, G+PinterestTwitter, and Ravelry (as ThreadsLF and on her designer page). She is also a contributor on Cre8tion Crochet.

All images are copyright Creative Threads by Leah and are used with Leah’s permission.

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Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah.

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

Leah: I grew up watching my Memaw crochet. Some of my earliest memories are of her with a hook and yarn in hand. When I decided I wanted to learn, we didn’t live close enough for her to teach me. So, I took my allowance one month and got the Boye I Taught Myself Crochet book. I sat down and figured it out and have been teaching myself ever since. I still love learning new stitches, methods, anything that is crochet related.

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Capricorn Drink Sleeve, a graphed tapestry or Tunisian crochet pattern by Leah Feild.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Leah: I had been making up patterns for myself from the time I started crocheting even though I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. In the last couple years, I got to know and work with several designers who started encouraging me to write down what I was doing. From that came my first released pattern in March of 2014.

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Caffeinate! Drink Sleeve crochet pattern by Leah Feild.

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?

Leah: My first introduction to tapestry crochet was from Kelli with Sick ‘Lil Monkeys. I test patterns for her, and she started doing graphed sack hats. I think the thing that I enjoy most about tapestry crochet is the versatility and endless possibilities. I love the process of graphing out a design (I hand plot all my grids) and seeing where it takes me. I also really enjoy that I can do this in Tunisian.

Creative Video Workshops on Creativebug.com

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Bowties or Bows Drink Sleeve, a tapestry or Tunisian crochet pattern by Leah Feild.

UC: What are your favorite projects to design?

Leah: My favorite projects are accessories but I am starting to branch out to clothing and am finding that I love doing that as well. Part of my plans for this year are to expand my horizons and try new things in crochet. I cannot wait to see what this year holds.

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Interlocking Chains Scarf, free crochet pattern by Leah Feild on Cre8tion Crochet.

UC: What is your favorite thing about designing?

Leah: I think that the thing I have come to enjoy most about designing is the community that I am in with other designers. So many people outside of designing seem to think that we are all rivals but that isn’t true. Some of the people that I most consider to be my friends I have never met face to face and are fellow designers. Our love of creating pulls us together. I wouldn’t be where I am without the wonderful friendships that I have made along this journey.

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Pamala Buttoned Slouch, free crochet pattern by Leah Feild on Cre8tion Crochet.

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

Leah: My favorite books in my collection are my books that are just full of stitches. My current favorites are Crochet Stitch Dictionary, The Big Book of Crochet Stitches, and Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia. (UC comment: Check out my review of Crochet Stitch Dictionary on the CGOA blog here, and of the VISUAL Encyclopedia here.)

Interview with Leah Feild from Creative Threads by Leah on Underground Crafter

Nautilus Baby Beanie, free crochet pattern by Leah Feild on Cre8tion Crochet.

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

Leah: Oh my goodness, the list could go on and on! Cre8tion Crochet and ELK Studio are 2 of the biggest ones that I visit regularly. (UC comment: If you’re also a fan of Cre8tion Crochet and ELK Studio, you may want to check out my interview with Lorene Eppolite and Kathy Lashley on the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show podcast here.) And, of course, Pinterest is always a source of inspiration for me. I love to take knit ideas and transform them to something similar in crochet. I also get inspiration from items that aren’t knit or crochet. Some other crafty blogs that I enjoy are Repeat Crafter Me, Moogly, Crochet Ever After, and KT and the Squid.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Leah!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

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Today, I’m really excited to share an interview with Stefanie Bold, a German crochet and knitting designer.  Like me, Stefanie is participating in the 2014 Indie Design Gift-a-Long, a virtual extravaganza running through December 31st here on Ravelry. In addition to her self-published works, her designs have appeared in knit.wear and Knitty.

Stefanie can be found online on Ravelry (as stebo79 and on her designer page) and on her German-language blog, Steffis Hobbyatelier.

All photos are (c) Stefanie Bold (except where noted) and are used with Stefanie’s permission.  Click on the pictures to link to the pattern page.
Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Stefanie Bold.

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

Stefanie: I was about the age of 8 and I asked my mom to show me how she is knitting all these sweaters for me. She also taught me how to crochet. I was proud to know these techniques already as we had handicraft lessons in elementary school!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Kylie Hat, a free Tunisian crochet pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Stefanie: Quite soon in my knitting career I adapted patterns to my own needs and finally came up with my own ideas. One day I decided that others might be interested in knitting my “designs” and started to write them up. A friend of mine encouraged me to send one of my patterns to Knitty and it was accepted! But without Ravelry, I wouldn’t be self-publishing that many patterns. It is a great platform for crafty people!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Berlin, a knit sock pattern by Stefanie Bold. Image (c) Tangled online magazine.

UC: Many of your patterns are for socks. What do you enjoy about these types of projects?

Stefanie: A sock WIP (work in progress) is very portable and can accompany me while running around. Also, there are endless possibilities how to add patterns and play with gusset decreases.

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Allegra, a free Tunisian crochet pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: Most of your patterns are self-published. What do you enjoy about self-publishing?

Stefanie: I can make my own timeline and don’t get stressed when life interferes.

UC: What’s your favorite knitting book in your collection?

Stefanie: The one I mostly use is the one with lots of knitting patterns. Thumbing through it can be very inspiring!

Interview with (mostly) knitting designer, Stefanie Bold, on Underground Crafter

Xandra, a knit shawl pattern by Stefanie Bold.

UC: Tell me about a designer you discovered through participation in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long. What attracted you that designer’s work?

Stefanie: That’s a hard one as there are so many great designers… I’ll pick two: Sue Lazenby designs shawls that feature textured patterns, a contrast to the usual lace shawls. Cynthia Levy designs socks with heavy cabling, something that I also like to design, knit, and wear.

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Stefanie!

To find more designers participating in the Indie Design Gift-a-Long, visit this forum thread on Ravelry.

NaBloPoMo

I’m participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Post Month (also known as NaBloPoMo) by blogging daily through November, 2014.

New knitting patterns!

I’m really excited to share two new knitting patterns today. Both patterns are 50% off through Tuesday, November 4, 2014 with coupon code pioneers!

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Both are inspired by pioneer women of aviation, and I had a great time taking pictures up at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodome.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodome on Underground Crafter blog

It’s a great aviation museum just about 90 minutes outside of New York City.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodome on Underground Crafter blogAlthough it rained most of the day and we didn’t get to see the famous air show, I’m still glad we visited. My friend, JS, modeled for both of these patterns.

The first pattern is the Alaskan Moonrise Scarf.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The inspiration behind this pattern was pioneering aviatrix, Marvel Crosson, who had a wonderful, flirty sense of style.

Marvel Crosson. Image via San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive on Flickr.

Marvel Crosson. Image via San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive on Flickr.

(You can see more pictures of Marvel here on my Marvel Crosson Pinterest board.) Marvel was the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in Alaska and was posthumously inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

I love this leather jacket, which was loaned to us for the day by a phenomenal local artisan, Carla Dawn Behrle. Carla makes stunning custom-made leather clothing from her studio in New York City, but you can shop in her virtual store from anywhere!

Like many early aviation pioneers, Marvel’s life was cut tragically short. She died in a mysterious crash in Arizona during the first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 when she was 25.

The combination of the semi-circle formed by the stitch pattern and the stunning and icy blue of the Miss Babs hand-dyed yarn (in the Faded colorway) remind me of an Alaskan moonrise, something Marvel might have seen up close during one of her afternoon flights.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

By the way, with the jumbo Miss Babs Yowza! Whatta Skein!, this is a one-skein project, even though it measures 69” (175 cm) x 6.5” (17 cm) after blocking. (There’s even enough yarn left to make something small, like a pair of fingerless mitts.)

I used two different shawl pins from Michelle’s Assortment in the photos. I love her wire work. You may remember that I had the chance to meet her at Vogue Knitting Live in New York earlier this year.

If you like the pattern, please show the Alaskan Moonrise Scarf some love on Ravelry here!

The next pattern is Thaden’s Ridged Shawlette.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This asymmetrical shawlette is inspired by a different pioneering aviatrix, Louise Thaden.

Louise Thaden. Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Flickr stream.

Louise Thaden. Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Flickr stream.

Thaden also had a wonderful sense of style and frequently wore neckwear. (You can see some great pictures of her on my Louise Thaden Pinterest board here.)

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This picture includes another shawl pin from Michelle’s Assortment.

Thaden won the first Women’s Air Derby in 1929, and was the first woman to win the Bendix Trophy (in 1936, the first year women could compete against men).

She wrote an amazing biography, High, Wide, and FrightenedI had the opportunity to skim through a first edition copy (held together by lace!) via interlibrary loan.

Thaden book

Thaden’s story is fascinating. Essentially, she was playing hooky from work by hanging around air fields, dreaming of learning to fly. Eventually, Walter Beech noticed her and worked out a sort of trade with her boss. Beech negotiated an entry level job for Thaden – at reduced pay – which included flight lessons. She was also able to use Beech Aircraft Company planes for many of her flights, which helped her defray the costs that became so challenging to other early pilots.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This mostly stockinette shawlette features asymmetry in the garter ridged “stripes” and in the asymmetrical picot bind off.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The design is perfect for the hand dyed yarn I used, Mountain Colors Twizzle, because the stitch pattern is subtle enough to let the yarn shine. This is also a one-skein project.

If you like the pattern, please show the Thaden’s Ridged Shawlette some love on Ravelry here! And, don’t forget: both patterns are 50% off through Tuesday, November 4, 2014 with coupon code pioneers!

Interview with Susana from Creaciones Susana (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

I’m excited to share an interview with emerging Chilean knitting designer, Susana from Creaciones Susana. Susana is also a maker who sells her finished knit projects in her Etsy shop. You can find Susana online on her (Spanish-language) blogFacebook, FlickrPinterest, Ravelry (as CreacioneSusana, in the Creaciones Susana group, or on her designer page), and Twitter. All images are copyright Susana and are used with permission. Click on the design images to link to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Susana from Creaciones Susana.

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

Susana: Initially, I learned to knit crochet with my grandmother. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember I started with a circle in various colors, which she surprising transformed into a small bag. At 13 years old, I started to knit with two needles. My first great work was a sock for my younger brother when he was born, it had a nice yellow color and was too big.

UC: What inspired you to start selling your projects on Etsy?

Susana: I always liked to design clothes. I designed for my sisters and friends when I was young. Esty is a great platform to sell your work, allowing you to reach many countries. Also, I thought they understood the process of handmade creation and crafting, and that encouraged me to participate. When I started Etsy didn’t work in Spanish, and I can proudly say that I was part of the many artisans who urged that great change. (UC comment: You can read about Etsy in Spanish! here.)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Wishes Shawlette, a knitting pattern available in Spanish.

UC: What led you to start designing knitting patterns for sale? Do you think you will eventually sell crochet patterns, too?

Susana: I have always knitted my designs. My first pattern for sale I made about two years ago. I concentrated on the shawls, which are my favorites. I try to make easy, simple language, making something different on the design, in general employing the techniques looking for elegant and feminine results. I like to knit seamless, start up or down, with short-rows, shining colors and contrasts.

Expand Your Knitting Skills

About crochet designs, I have some patterns, but I need a crochet tool to make the stitch patterns. I hope to sell it very soon.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Whisper Shawl, a knit pattern available in English and Spanish.

UC: Some of your patterns are available in both English and Spanish. Why did you decide on a bilingual format and what are some of the challenges and benefits of being a bilingual designer?

Susana: It was interesting this aspect. I started in English because it is a more accessible market. The knitters love to find new designs on the internet. Often they have read and used patterns more than the Latin-Americans knitters. In this moment, I have some bilingual patterns; I hope to have them available next month for sale.

One of the challenges is, the language in the patterns and instructions when I use English. The symbols and names are very different in Spanish. And one of the benefits is, my English patterns have more views and sales.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Cuello Hojas de Primavera, a knit pattern in Spanish.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Chile when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?

Susana: The crafting world started with grandmothers. They trained their daughters and granddaughters. At that time, nobody was thinking about design. In my case, when I was a teenager, I designed and sold informally in a small environment, however, it was exceptional.

Actually, the handmade world is very important and appreciated. It is considered like an ancestral art and interesting commercial activity. There is much exchange between English trends and fashion influences in the general public and lovers of handmade through internet tools.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Blue Deep Shawl knitting pattern.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Susana: It has influenced me very little. My style is a combination of techniques, several forms and materials for knitting that are very different to the textile scene in Chile.

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

Susana: I do not have favorite books; I used few in my self-education. I have used electronic information, magazines, tips and techniques shared friend knitters. The favorite books that I have are really recent; these are two examples:

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Chaqueta Carmencita, a knit pattern available in Spanish.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Susana: I visit daily several pages that I love so much:

Spanish:

English:

Dover Books

UC: What are you working on now?

Susana: In this moment, I’m working on new patterns for the spring and summer season (in the Southern Hemisphere). I’m focused on natural elements, soft color, and new textures for my designs. Also I’m teaching new and expert knitters.

Thank you for stopping by, Susana!

Interview with Sol Maldonado (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Today I’m interviewing Argentine multi-craftual designer, Sol Maldonado. Sol creates crochet and knitting patterns as well as sewing patterns and tutorials. Sol can be found on her website, Craftsy (in the bySol and Soles shops), Etsy (in bySol, her crochet & knitting pattern shop, and in Soles, her fabric doll/flower/toy/pattern/tutorial shop) , Facebook, Pinterest, and Ravelry (as soles and on her designer page). All images are copyright Sol Maldonado and are used with permission. Click the design images to be brought to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Floral Yummy 3d Flower Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?
Sol: My mother, grandmother and aunts used to knit and crochet after lunch on Sunday visits during my childhood, so I learned with them.

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UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Sol: I started designing my own sweaters because I never liked what was available in shops!
In Argentina there were not many options, designs or colors in the past… but from long ago we have wonderful yarns, so I thought that making my own stuff would be easier and better.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Cape Geometric Neckwarmer, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: You’re multi-craftual. Do you have a favorite craft or does that depend on the project or season?
Sol: I love them all, but yeah depends on climate a lot!!
These days, it’s so cold now here, I prefer to knit and crochet warm pieces, and as the summer trends start to pop up in magazines and all around, I start planning next summer projects.

UC: You’ve had over 4,000 sales in your Etsy shop. Wow! What tips do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Sol: Sell what you love most and this will guarantee your success.

My pleasure is to make new things always, so my job is to plan-make-publish and design something new again. Because of this, I’m always excited about what I’m doing…if you get bothered about your daily work it will be a loss of energy.

Be aware of what you are best in and go for it!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Tribe Tapestry Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Argentina when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?
Sol: In Argentina the yarn scene is high quality since forever….lots of products, colors and textures, and not very expensive.

Here winter is very cold, and knit and crochet are popular practices, like traditional craft.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Bubble Zoe Purse, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?
Sol: Yeah, it influences a lot! As a third world country there are not enough tools or books available ever!!! So, to make something you will have to figure out and work on it with the basic tools, minimize resources as much as possible because tools here are very expensive!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Clamshell and Pinwheel Geometric Pillows, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: What are your favorite knitting and crochet books in your collection?
Sol: I do not have any collection, since I search for instructions online.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Sol: I’m totally in love with Pinterest, regular people pinning and building trends is the most exciting thing ever to happen in design!

I find inspiration and delight with wonderful photos and trends.

I think that image is everything, Spanish or English – with Google translate tool, it doesn’t matter anymore, and frankly I don’t have much time to read any post, I look only at photos!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your patterns with us, Sol!