Tag Archives: etsy

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!

2014 Crocheter’s Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks (and Handles)

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about gifts for others – and for ourselves – so I’m sharing a series of gift guides for crocheters. I’ve shared 10 yarn clubs and community supported agriculture projects that are accepting new members/shareholders for 2015, 11 handmade crochet stitch markers sets, and 10 awesome crochet books (and 2 subscriptions). Today, I’m sharing 10 unique crochet hooks (and crochet hook handles).

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

I think every crocheter knows you can never have enough hooks. Your favorite size may be partway through a project at any given moment. These hooks, available for sale on Etsy, have the added benefit of being interesting conversation pieces, guaranteed to create a buzz at your next crochet meet up!

Images are copyright the respective shop owners. Prices are listed in US dollars and all items ship from US shops.

Set of 6 crochet hook handles by Crafty Lady Quilt Lady

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This set of 6 crochet hook handles are fit over Susan Bates hooks in sizes F through K. The handles are made from colored, polished wood. Price: $59.95.

Hip Hop Hottie by Katherine Kowalski

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This hook is part of the Party Girl series. It is made of hand-turned hardwood with polymer clay decorated handle and a Czech bead “necklace.” Price: $65.

Steampunk crochet hook set by Dynamic Alley

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This set of 3 polymer clay, Steampunk style crochet hook handles cover Boye hooks in sizes G, H, and I. Price: $18.

Custom Hook Handle by Hammond Homemade

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This custom hook handle/grip is created from up to 4 colors using Wonder Loom bands. Price: $5.

Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handle by KnotYourGrandma

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

 This size G Boye crochet hook is covered with a sealed, one of a kind, polymer clay handle. Price: $10. 

Custom set of 10 Love Handles by Madly Made by Me

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This set of Love Handles include hook sizes C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K & N in either Boye or Susan Bates. Choose one or more polymer clay patterns for the handles, and choose from pencil or knife grip. Price: $155.

Clenched Fist crochet hook by Phoenix Custom Primitives

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

Delight your favorite political activist with this size H hook carved from Virginia cedar. Price: $50.

Made-to-order crochet hook by Quinn Handmade

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This wooden crochet hook is made-to-order in your choice of size, color, and stain. Price: $30.

Lucky Cat crochet hook by RParishWoodWorks

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

The lucky cat, symbolizing good fortune, adorns this hand-turned hardwood crochet hook in size E. Price: $25.99.

Tapered crochet hook by Sistermaide

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter

This tapered crochet hook is handmade from mulberry wood in size K. I love my set of Sistermaide tapered hooks, and they are wonderful for bullion stitches and other dimensional crochet stitches. Price: $11.

In addition to these awesome hooks, I found two other goodies that would make a great addition to any crocheter’s tool bag:

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter, and a crochet gauge check!

Katrinkles has a granny square inspired crochet gauge check made from bamboo. Price: $14.

2014 Crocheter's Gift Guide: Unique Crochet Hooks and Handles on Underground Crafter, and some polymer clay covered yarn snips!

In addition to her Love Handles, Madly Made by Me sells these great yarn snips with polymer clay handles. Price: $20.

What’s your favorite unique crochet hook?

NaBloPoMo

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

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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.

Visit Craftsy’s 5 Million Member Flash Sale!

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!

Interview with Letty Giron (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

HHM Letty Giron

I’m continuing my Hispanic Heritage Month series today with an interview with fellow New Yorker and Etsy seller, Letty Giron. Letty is a Guatemalan-American crocheter and maker sells her creations as Simply Baby by Letty. Letty can also be found on Instagram as SimplyBabyByLetty.

 

All images are copyright Letty Giron and are used with permission. Click on the image to be brought to the listing in Letty’s Etsy shop.

This post contains affiliate links.

Letty Giron.

Letty Giron.

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

Letty: As a young girl, I always saw my mother with a crochet hook in hand doing little dresses and sweaters for babies in pastel colors and I remember thinking that they looked like cotton candy, because she used to hang them in a line.  They were beautiful and she made them all herself after going to craft classes.

Then, as a teenager, my older sister taught me the basic stitches. As my mother had so many magazines, all of them about doilies and tablecloths, I started to read them and learned more about stitches, and I started to follow the instructions. So in the beginning I only learned how to make doilies. Not major items. But that’s how I began and slowly it grew from there.

A dress combining a sewn cotton skirt with a crocheted, mercerized cotton top. (Size 6-12 months.)

A dress combining a sewn cotton skirt with a crocheted, mercerized cotton top. (Size 6-12 months.)

UC: What inspired you to open an Etsy shop?

Letty: I’ve always made baby clothes for friends and family who are expecting and sometimes they would ask me to make something for their friends.  Also, I’ve been working with children for four years and it helped me learn the different sizes of babies as they grow.  Someone suggested that I open an Etsy shop and just see if these little things I make might be of interest to other people.  Although I’ve only just started, I’ve already had some success and I imagine more is to come.

A unisex, crocheted sweater and hat set, featuring moon and star buttons. (Size 3-9 months)

A unisex, crocheted sweater and hat set, featuring moon and star buttons. (Size 3-9 months.)

UC: Your shop focuses on crochet for baby. What do you enjoy about baby projects?

Letty: I really do enjoy all kind of projects for babies, but I’m more focused on sweaters, hats, and dresses that I combine with fabric, because I love prints – specifically floral, animals, and galaxy print – but really all kinds in general.

UC: What was the yarn craft scene like in your community when you where growing up?

Letty: I grew up in a small town outside of the city in Guatemala, and as a child I can remember my maternal grandma baking all kind of bread and cakes and different kind of food. She really enjoyed her kitchen.

Since she used a lot of eggs for her baking, I remember when she broke the eggs she did it very carefully, breaking them only on one side because she used to decorate the shells with so many different colors and fill them up with confetti. Then all the kids in our neighborhood used them for a celebration that we call Carnaval and also for Easter time which in Spanish we call Semana Santa. It was a great activity for the children to be involved in the creative process of decorating them.

We didn’t have so much yarn around in my family before my mother began her crochet classes, though my maternal grandma often sewed shirts for all the boys in the family.

A crocheted brown and pink set including a hat, booties, and a cardigan. (Size 3-9 months.)

A crocheted brown and pink set including a hat, booties, and a cardigan. (Size 3-9 months.)

UC: How does that compare with the current scene in your neighborhood in New York?

Letty: When I came to New York at age 21, I knew very little English. I was interested in continuing my crochet skills but could not find any magazines in Spanish so I started to buy in English and with a dictionary in hand I could read and translate all the abbreviation into Spanish and that is how I managed to continue doing it. Similarly, in the beginning I did not know where to find yarn. Now it is possible and easy to find stores with many magazines, yarn brands, fibers, and some of them even offer courses for sewing, crochet, and knitting.

Additionally, the internet makes the whole community much wider and easier to find.  Today the scope and reach of crafters is truly global – I have followers on Instagram from all over and we share our projects and tips. 

A crocheted hat and sweater set. (Size 3-9 months.)

A crocheted hat and sweater set. (Size 3-9 months.)

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

Letty: Yes, as when I was young I had an aunt who had a sewing machine, a very old machine.  I used to sit on her chair and pretend to sew. But mostly I think I was influence by my maternal grandma, she really had very good hands – baking all kinds of goods, sewing by hand, and also embroidering. And of course, by my mom and my sister.  As crafting and working with one’s hands was such a large part of my heritage, I have continued that relationship with physical objects.  We didn’t buy new things and continuously throw them away – we made our treasured items, put our time and effort into them, so they were special and unique.  It meant that we took care of them as they have a history.  Family is so important to me and my community so we also pass on objects that were important to one family member – we cherish these things as reminders of them – so we like to make things that will last.


As time passed by I have learn to crochet so many things, like scarf, hats, for adult and young ones.  Then I started to crochet blankets, sweater, hats, booties, to give as a gift. By now I can crochet all kind of items and I don’t have to follow a magazine but design it myself.
Knitting I know very little, but what I most love and enjoy is doing crochet and work with fabric. All handmade, special items.

Crochet receiving blanket.

Crochet receiving blanket.

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

Letty:

Crocheted striped sweater set. (Size: 3 to 9 months.)

Crocheted striped sweater set. (Size: 3 to 9 months.)

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

Letty: I mostly like to check Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, and I also like to watch the cooking channels, particularly the baking shows – the colors and the softness of the confectionary items seem so much like a pile of soft yarn.

Dover Books

UC: What are you working on now?

Letty: I’m currently working on adding new items to my Etsy shop and experimenting with different shapes – I’ve done a lot of narrow sleeves for the baby sweaters but I’d like to try some variations.  I’m also adding new receiving blankets as these are great baby shower gifts.  All of my items are customizable, so someone could add a special fabric, color or print to the back of any of the blankets.

Thank you for sharing your time, Letty! Good luck with your Etsy shop!