Today, I’m sharing an interview with Alla Koval along with a giveaway as part of the blog tour for her new books. Read on for details!
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Alla is a crochet and knitting designer specializing in children’s clothing. Her patterns have appeared in Crochet! magazine and Crochetscene. She also self-published patterns as My Little City Girl. Her first books, part of the Imagical Seasons crochet pattern book series, can be found on the Imagical Seasons website, as well as on Amazon, Craftsy, Etsy, and Ravelry.
Alla: The actual learning part happened in the early years of school, mostly during afterschool day care hours – but you can imaging complexities of these “projects” :). Му very first garment I designed and made by myself was a sweater for my daddy which I knitted when I was about 11 years old. I was so proud from the fact that my dad loved it and wore that sweater until it practically started to break apart. Since then I enjoined knitting and crocheting garments and accessories for gifts or by request from my friends and family.
Alla: I was designing as far as I remember myself. From early childhood I was involved into the joy of creating my own garments. My mom is a professional seamstress and amazing knitter and crocheter and she preferred to hand make most of dresses for me and my sister. As far as we all remember, I participated every single time – as a trouble maker when I was too small and as artist and designer once I got older.
UC: You have a lot of variety in your patterns, but you definitely have a lot of patterns for children’s garments. What do you enjoy about designing these projects?
Alla: Yes, you are perfectly right and for now most of my designs are for children, actually for girls, 2-12 years old. I definitely would love to design more for boys and creating a boy’s line is one of the exciting projects I have in mind! It’s just a matter of timing, but first blanket for boys is done already and the pattern will be available August, 24th if not earlier!
I also enjoy creating accessories for ladies—scarves, hats, wraps, necklaces, pins, etc., which appeared in several magazines, including Crochet!, Interweave Crochet, and Crochetscene. Also, my accessories patterns can be found at My Little City Girl and in the Imagical Seasons book series.
Alla: I like to quote Guy Kawasaki here:
If you thought starting a book was hard, wait until you try to finish one. As I said, writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s a marathon without people handing you cold water and cheering you on. – Guy Kawasaki, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book.
Sure everyone’s experience will be different and there are multiple ways to publish. From my own experience I would share what I am proud about:
- I had to learn Adobe Illustrator to realize one of my biggest dreams in pattern development – to be able to draw stitch diagram of any level of complexity and size for any pattern;
- I learned how to manage large books in Adobe InDesign;
- I watched hours of video lessons and collected a library of books related to photography;
- I conquered half of the house and converted that to photo studio and storage
I can continue this list at any time, just ask!
Alla: First, I would recommend to offer the best customers service you can: prompt responses to questions customers may have. Nice presentations and clear product descriptions also help… And don’t forget to add some time and patience to be noticed and get first customers!
Also, Etsy’s treasuries – it’s such a great marketing tool to promote your own listings and help to promote listings of another sellers.
UC: What are your favorite crochet and knitting books – besides yours! – in your collection?
Alla: I love most Interweave magazines for their inventive, stylish projects and styling; Japanese books for their neat and fantastic stitch charts, schematic and presentation. I love stitch dictionaries, of course! I also really enjoy books that focus on specific techniques.
UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Alla: There are a lot of talented knit and crochet designers I admire! Some of many favorite blogs I follow are Magic with hook and needles, FGDesigns, Stitch Story, Styled by Kristin… just to name a few.
Thanks for stopping by, Alla! We look forward to seeing the rest of the books in this series.
I’m hope you enjoyed the interview with Alla! If you like crocheting for girls, you will definitely want to check out her new books.
You can preview all the designs in the books on Ravelry. Imagical Seasons Volume 1 (Spring) is here, and Imagical Seasons Volume 2 (Summer) is here. My favorite patterns are the Sakura Top and Millefiori Aprgon Top, both shown above. What are yours?
Alla has been kind enough to offer up a copy of each book in a giveaway. Enter through Thursday, August 77, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern using the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. Two winners will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget, and each will win one Imagical Seasons book. Winners in U.S. or Canada will receive a print copy. International winners will receive a digital copy. Good luck!