Tag Archives: etsy

Holiday Stashdown Challenge 2015 Sponsor Spotlight: katrinkles

Are you having as much fun with the Holiday Stashdown Crochet-a-Long 2015 as I am? (If you’re just learning about it now, there’s still plenty of time to join in. You can find more details about the CAL here.) I’m shining a spotlight on each of our generous giveaway sponsors with a dedicated post over the coming weeks.

Today’s featured sponsor katrinkles. Show your support by following katrinkles on Facebook.

All images are copyright katrinkles and used with permission.

This post cointains affiliate links.

Sponsor Spotlight

Interview with Katy Westcott from katrinkles

A crochet gauge ruler designed by katrinkles.

A crochet gauge ruler designed by katrinkles.

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

Katy: After college I worked in a goldsmith’s shop in New York City.  A coworker noticed me drawing these intricate, lacy patterns on our lunch break and decided I should learn how to crochet.  Once I got the hang of it I started making doilies that looked like those drawings.  It was a great activity for my subway commute.  Eventually I learned how to read crochet patterns and that led to making scarves and hats and sweaters.  I especially love when you get to the stage of a crochet project where you have memorized your motif.  You can pick it up anywhere and just go, eventually combining them into something awesome.

UC: What inspired you to start katrinkles? Can you tell us about your Etsy shop?

Katy: By trade I’m a jeweler, so I took a laser cutting workshop thinking it would be an interesting thing to incorporate into my metal work.  We have an amazing non-profit community arts center in Providence called AS220, which has a laser cutter in their lab.  I was already knitting and crocheting at that point, so once I learned how to laser cut I instantly thought of making buttons.  Since buttons are the intersection of knitting and jewelry it made sense that I would be making them.

Years before this, my first product was double pointed needle holders made of rubber and elastic to hold my WIPs.  I started making and selling those long before I thought of it as a business, but it was my buttons and knitting needle gauges that really got katrinkles started.  Having a booth at local fiber events and a shop online was a hobby at first while I worked full time in the Jewelry Industry, but early this year I finally left my last part time job to be able to focus exclusively on katrinkles.

Gauge ruler and buttons by katrinkles.

Gauge ruler and buttons by katrinkles.

UC: You’re multicraftual. Do you have a favorite “go-to” craft or does it depend on your mood or time of year?

Katy: I’ve come to realize that it depends on time of year.  As soon as it starts getting springy outside I get an itch to start crocheting lacy tops out of cotton thread and knitting cotton dish cloths. In the middle of the summer I become engrossed with sewing tops and dresses.  Then, in the fall, I get back to knitting socks and sweaters and spinning wool.

Katy's favorite craft books.

Katy’s favorite craft books.

UC: What is your favorite crafty book in your collection? 

Katy: Oh man, this is a tough one!  I’ve narrowed it down to three:

  1. I’ve knit a lot of the sweaters in the New England Knits book, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre, and there are still more in my queue.  The sweaters are timeless and most are also great for showcasing buttons.  Plus I’m a New Englander through and through.
  2. Denyse Schmidt Quilts is full of amazing things! Someday I hope to sew a quilt. I pretty much want to make all of the quilts in this book. She’s a fellow RISD alum and I discovered her book at RISD Works, which is a shop on campus which sells only the work of RISD alumni.
  3. I can’t not include a jewelry book:  Calder Jewelry, with photographs by Maria Robledo and Edited by Alexander S.C. Rower, is a huge exhibition catalog I picked up at the Calder show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Calder’s playful use of line and interesting cold connections are infinitely inspiring to me.  I could thumb through this book for hours.

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

Katy: I love Ravelry, of course, it is the best!  Aside from that, my community and inspiration are mostly on Instagram these days.  Instead of following each of the individual crafty blogs I used to read I now follow their Instagram feeds.

A granny square hook gauge by katrinkles.

A granny square hook gauge by katrinkles.

UC: Tell us about the katrinkles prize for the Holiday Stashdown CAL. What can one lucky winner expect to win from your shop?

Katy: I started crocheting before I took up knitting so it’s always been important to me to have tools and buttons for crocheters as well as knitters.  I have a few crochet hook gauge designs now but the one with the granny square was my first and it’s my favorite.  There’s something so satisfying about the simplicity of a granny square, it’s fun to make and they can be so beautiful.  The granny square crochet hook gauge is made out of bamboo.

UC: Besides Etsy, where else can people find katrinkles in the coming months?

Katy: I will be at the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield, MA the weekend of November 7th, 2015. (I will be sharing a booth with Maybe Tomorrow Farm.) I will also vending the Knitting Weekend at Historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI the weekend of January 17th 2016. Lots of interesting classes and events connected with this even in addition to the marketplace, which is free.

Thank you, katrinkles, for sponsoring the crochet-a-long.

Which crochet accessory in the katrinkles Etsy shop do you like the best?

Don’t forget to show your support of today’s featured sponsor by following katrinkles on Facebook.

Interview with crochet designer, Olivia Silva, and free crochet pattern roundup

Interview with Olivia Silva from Pitusas y Petetes and #crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter | #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHMI’m sharing the fourth interview in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month series with Olivia Silva from Pitusas y Petetes. Olivia is a Galician crochet designer. I’ll also be including a roundup of my 5 favorite free crochet patterns from Olivia’s collection!

This post contains affiliate links.

Olivia can be found online on her website and blog, as well as on Etsy (where she sells patterns, purse frames, and yarn), Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Ravelry. All images are used with permission and are copyright Pitusas y Petetes. Please note this interview was translated from Spanish to English.

Little Lucas, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with detailed progress photos by Pitusas y Petetes.

Little Lucas, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with detailed progress photos by Pitusas y Petetes.

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

Olivia: During my childhood, I remember my mother was always teaching me the things she learned to do, specially crocheting, knitting and sewing.

I come from a modest family and I only had one doll to play with, so I made her clothes. I would make her pretty dresses with fabric and would knit and crochet her sweaters and hats… She was the prettiest and best dressed in the world. 😉

From there, I grew fond of any type of craft as I grew up. I’m a self-educated person and I’m in constant learning, and I have been adapting my knowledge and experience to contemporary designs.

Social CrochetingUC: What inspired you to start designing?

Olivia: It never occurred to me to make my own designs, I always took designs from the web, blogs, magazines… and, I would have millions of ideas in my head, until one day I started creating my own designs. By starting from the same base and modifying specific stitches, you can create a variety of original designs… You just have to be a Little creative and visualize what you want to do before doing it, aside from knowing many stitches.

I recommend to every person that starts doing crochet that they shouldn’t settle for the basic stitches, that they dare to experiment and create with more elaborate stitches. More possibilities will arise and from a simple design, they will be able to make something amazing.

Manta de Apego (Security Blanket), free crochet pattern in Spanish by Pitusas y Petetes.

Manta de Apego (Security Blanket), free crochet pattern in Spanish by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Although you have variety in your patterns, you definitely have a lot of coin purse patterns. What do you enjoy about designing coin purses?

Olivia: I started crafting simple purses and I would only change the color or the clasp. Little by little, I started combining new stitches, from simple ones to more elaborate ones, trying types of threads, and doing pretty decorations… From my notes, I went on to do my own graphics and I thought it would be a good idea to share my designs with others since there were no original designs in the internet. That’s how my presence on Etsy started. That’s where you can find the patterns. I also share some free designs on the blog, which I invite you to visit.

I feel very proud knowing that in some part of the world, someone is making a purse with one of my patterns.

ILC October 2015 squareUC: Do you plan to add knitting patterns in the future?

Olivia: Although I’m more focused in crochet, I really like knitting. For now, I haven’t got the time to make my own designs but, little by little I hope to be able to get more into this task and share it with my followers.

Right now I am immersed in my own amigurumi designs. It is one of my passions. Since I made the first one, it has been impossible for me to stop. I also translate patterns from other languages… I just love challenges. (*^^*)

Basic Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Basic Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Most of your patterns are available in English and Spanish. What do you see as the benefits of writing bilingual patterns?

Olivia: I think it is amazing, I am Spanish and my level of English is kind of bad but it is not necessary to dominate it to be able to understand the explanations and graphics in another language.

Symbols are the same in both languages and abbreviations are very simple to understand, so it hasn’t been difficult for me to translate my patterns to English and, at the same time, other patterns from English to Spanish. And it has been a wise move since I have been able to reach the entire world thanks to this language. Otherwise it would’ve been impossible.

UC: Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Olivia: Inspiration is anywhere: old magazines, the streets, nature, even in dreams, yes! When I sleep I come up with a lot of things. 😉

Also pn blogs, Pinterest, and pn social networks there is a lot of inspiration, and in my favorite app, Instagram, where I have been able to find people that make amazing works.

Vintage Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Vintage Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: What was the crochet scene like in Galicia when you were growing up? How does that compare to the yarn crafts scene in Galicia today? Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Olivia: In the past, crochet was very simple. Housewives and grandmothers did it, and basically they made rugs, blankets, curtains, towel stitches, cloths, etc… it was all very basic for daily life use in any household.

Some time ago, they stopped doing this craft since it was seen as something from the past, it was related to traditions of village people, and it was even despised. Because of that, many young generations haven’t been lucky to learn this beautiful craft from their mothers or grandmothers.

Recently, it has been coming back into fashion. It’s even well looked upon that you know how to do these crafts, there are groups who share experiences, there are blogs and web pages about this topic, there is a great variety of products for crochet, and it grows more and more every day.

It is also true that thanks to technology many young people have become interested in learning crochet, and today you can find people crocheting in any geographical place… it’s amazing and it makes me very happy.

Crochet Bracelet, free crochet pattern in Spanish with photo tutorial and international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Crochet Bracelet, free crochet pattern in Spanish with photo tutorial and international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Which is your favorite book in your crochet collection?

Olivia: I have to confess I don’t have a specific book about crochet. I know there are many good books about it, but I’ve already confirmed that there are others which are very bad and hard to understand (specially for beginners) and of very bad taste (with horrible designs I would never make myself).

However, I am a big crocheting magazine consumer; I have a great collection of both Spanish and Portuguese magazines.

For people who want to start in this world of crochet, this is a good way to start. They can learn to form the basics to more elaborate stitches, patterns are usually well explained, and also the price of the magazines is very affordable.

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

Olivia: There are very good and creative blogs in Spanish but I usually look over to foreign blogs, in any language, from Americans to Russians. There is much activity in this world. For that I really like to use Pinterest. From a photo, I start to look for information about it, where it comes from, whose is it, if it has a blog… and if the place seems interesting, I stay and become a faithful follower.

Another interesting site is Ravelry. It has all types of projects and you can interact with people that have your same interests. Etsy is also a great source of inspiration. There are amazing designers, and it’s also a great to collaborate with your designers so they continue to make great things. That’s one of my guilty pleasures every now and then. Instead of buying me two coffees, I buy a pattern and make a designer happy.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Olivia, and sharing your work with us! What’s your favorite pattern by Olivia? You can find the her designs on Etsy.

Interview with Katy from KT and the Squid

Interview with crochet designer Katy from KT and the Squid

I’m sharing another post as part of my series interviewing crochet designers for (Inter)National Crochet Month! Today, I’m interviewing Katy, the crochet designer behind KT and the Squid. Katy has over 6,900 sales in her Etsy shop, where she started out selling custom crochet hats and where she now sells digital patterns.

This post contains affiliate links.

Katy can be found online on the KT and the Squid website, and on Etsy, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, RavelryTwitter, and YouTube. All images are copyright KT and the Squid and are used with permission.

Interview with crochet designer Katy from KT and the Squid on Underground Crafter

Katy from KT and the Squid.

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

Katy: I taught myself to crochet with one of those generic instructional books in high school. My grandmother crocheted (even after she lost her sight), but she passed before she could teach me, so I like to think it’s in my genes.

Woodland Hooded Vest, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Woodland Hooded Vest, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: What inspired you to start designing? 

Katy: Designing was always just a fun thing for me and I didn’t realize I was doing it until years later. When I taught myself to crochet, I never really followed many patterns or if I did, I always tweaked. Not because there was anything wrong with them but I always found myself asking, “Well, what if I do this instead…” I ended up with a LOT of hats that would never fit a human head but it was the process of creating something that really intrigued me. Years later, I discovered I could share my designs with people and actually make a living doing it what fueled my fire even more.

Spiky Man Blanket, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Spiky Man Blanket, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you have recently been focusing on garments more regularly. What do you enjoy about designing garments?

Katy: Back in 2009 when I really started to get into crochet I experimented with garments. I then started an Etsy shop where I became known for my finished hats. I enjoyed making the hats but they became a distraction from what I really wanted to do which was clothing. Last year, I decided to stop selling finished hats and took on designing full time and I’m loving it.

It’s hard to pinpoint (or put into words) what it is I enjoy about designing garments. It’s funny because not too long ago they intimidated me. In my mind it was like a huge puzzle. All the increases and decreases, going around shoulders and arms and making neck openings… it was scary! But today I really enjoy putting that puzzle together. I loved puzzles as a kid, lol.

Katy modeling her My Favorite Crochet Pullover pattern.

Katy modeling her My Favorite Crochet Pullover pattern.

UC: On your site, you share the links to makers who sell your finished items. Can you tell us how you started these partnerships?

Katy: The KT and the Squid Makers are a group of ladies that test my patterns for me. I get a lot of people asking me to make items from my patterns for them. It not something I have the time (or desire) to do so rather than just sending them on their way, I like to have a list of ladies I can send them to that are familiar with my patterns.

Lily Tunic, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Lily Tunic, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: All of your patterns are self-published. What do you enjoy about self-publishing? What do you see as the challenges?

Katy: It’s funny you ask this now because it’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit recently. I have only self-published up until now so I have nothing to compare it to, but there are benefits that I see. Just to name a few, I can get my designs out to my customers fairly quickly and I retain the rights to my patterns… I’m sure a challenge would be getting my work out there for everyone to see but with sites like Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy it’s made it easier. Very recently I have started communicating with some publishers so we’ll see where that takes me.

Kayla Sweater, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Kayla Sweater, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

Katy: I get a massive amount of inspiration from fashion trends I see in stores. I could spend HOURS shopping, looking at clothes (or anything) and not buy a thing. With three little kiddos I can’t always get out to go shopping, so I might browses like Pinterest online.

Chunky Crunchy Newsboy Hat, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Chunky Crunchy Newsboy Hat, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: How would you describe your style?

Katy: I’d say my style is simple and practical. When I’m designing I want all the elements to come together neatly for pattern writing purposes but I also want my designs to be practical so you can actually wear them when you’re done. I also love little details. Things like little buttons, simple trims…things that put a design just over the edge but not too over the top.

Braided Section Infinity Scarf, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Braided Section Infinity Scarf, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: What is your favorite crochet book in your collection?

Katy: I love Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula(UC comment: You can check out my review of the book here.)

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

Katy: I really don’t visit too many sites regularly. I do spend a lot of time in Facebook groups. If I’m looking for inspiration online I’m more likely to visit a fashion site than a crochet/ crafty site…Like I said before I like to browse Pinterest. I usually do a general fashion search just to see what trends are out there.

Bancroft Top, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

Bancroft Top, crochet pattern by KT and the Squid.

UC: How are you celebrating NatCroMo this year?

Katy: I decided this year I will finally make (or at least start) an afghan for myself. I’ve made one for everyone in my family so I need one now.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Katy! An afghan for yourself sounds like a very worthy project for NatCroMo!