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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!

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!

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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 double filet crochet evangelist, Barbara Mann (also known as mulenga)

Underground Crafter's Crochet Specialty of the Month: January 2015 intermeshing crochet
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 my last interview in this month’s series on intermeshing crochet. Barbara Mann, also known as mulenga, is a designer, teacher, and all around advocate for double filet. (Nickerjac, a fellow member of the East London Crochet Group, shares her thoughts on the difference between double filet and intermeshing crochet in this interview.)

Barbara lives in London and can be found online as mulenga on Ravelry, or via the Double Filet website of the East London Crochet Group. Images are copyright Barbara Mann and are used with permission.

Barbara Mann in a double filet crochet serape and hat.

Barbara Mann in a double filet crochet serape and hat of her own design.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?
Barbara: My Dad learned to crochet while a prisoner of war, and taught my Mum and me after his release, when I was about 7. I remember knitting the body of my school cardigan while my Mum knitted the sleeves. My motto through the years has been Each one teach one, and my two daughters are competent knitters, crocheters and designers – and teachers.

These double filet crochet designs are based on the Berlin Ware theme. Designs by (clockwise from top left) carolserena, nickerjac, mrspammy, and mulenga.

These double filet crochet designs by the East London Crochet Group design team are based on the Berlin Ware theme. Designs by (clockwise from top left) carolserena, nickerjac, mrspammy, and Barbara Mann.

UC: How did you become involved with the East London Crochet Group?
Barbara: It started around our kitchen table with a group of friends exploring Double Filet crochet! We decided to put on a workshop in our local church hall, which became a regular three-monthly fixture. We called ourselves the East London Crochet Group because that’s where most of us came from to start with, but people started coming from all over London and further afield, one even from Scotland. Several years on, from 2003 we added a 3-day residential workshop. We are affiliated to the Knitting and Crochet Guild, some of our contacts came that way, others through SkipNorth, others in manners lost in the mists of history.

In this double filet design, Barbara used elements of  Central Asian carpet design in a shape known as "elephant’s foot."

In this double filet design, Barbara used elements of Central Asian carpet design in a shape known as “elephant’s foot.”

UC: Your group seems to have developed a strong interest in intermeshing crochet, or double filet. How did you learn this technique and what do you enjoy about it?
Barbara: I attended a free-form crochet course in 1991 with Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. James showed us an experimental sample of Double Filet crochet (similar to the first sample here – ironically about as far from free-form crochet as you can get). I was hooked, and knew immediately where my next twenty years were going! What do I enjoy about it? Creativity, colour, texture, practical results (dramatic capes and afghans), designing …

Barbara combined bullions with a double filet frame in this design.

Barbara combined bullions with a double filet frame in this design.

UC: Do you design your own projects or do you mostly work from patterns?
Barbara: I rarely work from patterns unless from one our design team! Between workshops a group of close colleagues meet round our kitchen table twice a month to plan the next workshop, and we normally come up with a dozen or so pages of ideas and drawings suitable for different levels of experience, or to encourage folk to design their own. Each year we pick a different region as a source of inspiration (the Celtic world, the Mediterranean, Russia, Africa …), developing designs from all manner of crafts.

A double filet afghan designed by Barbara.

A double filet afghan designed by Barbara.

UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?
Barbara: [Laughs]. Barbara Walker‘s Mosaic Knitting. Not crochet, but adaptable. Our crochet Bible is the Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches compiled by James Walters and Sylvia Cosh. But usually we have a pile of books around our theme, e.g., for Japan: some 10 books on traditional gardens, embroidery (sashiko), kimonos, amigurumi, Japanese prints, bonsai, heraldic motifs …

Barbara created the sample for this Icelandic cushion front design was adapted by carolserena from a needlepoint pattern by Jóna Sparey.

Barbara created the sample for this Icelandic cushion front design was adapted by carolserena from a needlepoint pattern by Jóna Sparey.

UC: Do you have any crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Barbara: I am beginning to be more computer literate, and am thoroughly enjoying Ravelry. No doubt this blog is one that I should start to follow!

Barbara's double filet design was influenced by a 12th century jewelled reliquary from Cologne.

Barbara’s double filet design was influenced by a 12th century jewelled reliquary from Cologne.

Thanks so much for sharing your time with us, Barbara, and for your kind words about my blog!

Interview with Nickerjac, double filet crochet designer and teacher

Underground Crafter's Crochet Specialty of the Month: January 2015 intermeshing crochet

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.

As I was researching intermeshing online, I discovered the work of a talented crochet teacher and designer, Nickerjac. She was kind enough to agree to an interview, which I’m excited to share with you today.

Nickerjac lives in the U.K. and she specializes in the double filet technique as a teacher and as a designer. You can find her online on her blog, Nickerjac, or on Pinterest, Ravelry (as nickerjac, as moderator of the Double Filet Interlocking Crochet group, and on the Nickerjac designs designer page), and Twitter.

Interview with double filet/intermeshing crochet/interlocking crochet designer Nickerjac on Underground Crafter

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

Nickerjac: I can’t tell you exactly when I learnt but have very clear memories of being about 4 and sitting in my Nan’s kitchen crocheting chain whilst she was preparing dinner. She was definitely the one who taught me. I was very blessed as both of my grandmothers were very skilled in all types of textiles and both had the patience to teach me and let me experiment even at a young age.

Interview with double filet/intermeshing crochet/interlocking crochet designer Nickerjac on Underground Crafter

Double Filet Mobius Scarf/Cowl, free crochet pattern by Nickerjac.

UC: What inspired you to start designing and teaching?

Nickerjac: I kind of fell into both. I worked with a lot of young people in summer schemes and youth clubs and I seemed to have a natural flair for the art and craft activities so would often lead groups in different crafts that I had discovered, everything from puppet making to felt making. So when I started work in a Local Yarn Store, it was a natural progression that when we had customers coming in with queries about their knitting and crochet that I would end up teaching them as well. You learn fast, especially the skill to read peoples work. I then volunteered to help out the UK Hand Knitting Association in their teaching areas at the big knitting and stitching show in London, which led me to working a number of the shows, becoming more and more involved in the knitting community especially with the evolution of knitting blogs and then Ravelry, which eventually led to me teaching in Stash in Putney.

Interview with double filet/intermeshing crochet/interlocking crochet designer Nickerjac on Underground Crafter

Double Filet Bubbles, free crochet pattern by Nickerjac.

UC: You do a lot of designing and teaching with intermeshing crochet, or double filet. How did you learn this technique and what do you enjoy about it?

Nickerjac: Again I came across this technique quite by chance. I had recently moved to a completely new area of London and had joined the local library’s knitting group so I could meet people and someone mentioned that this lady (which turned out to be Barbara Mann) taught this specialised crochet technique. This was seven years ago now and there has been no looking back.

After just two lessons, Barbara very kindly asked me to join the design team for the East London Crochet Group who I still meet with every fortnight.

I love double filet because of its graphic nature, it is the closest I can come to painting in crochet, also there is so many possibilities yet to explore as there are not that many of us that practice this type of crochet.

UC: What do you feel are differences between double filet and intermeshing crochet?

Nickerjac: I believe that they have both obviously had the same starting point and are the same in many ways. Obviously, I have limited access to the US literature on intermeshing, but I have noticed that our starting and finishing are slightly different. Double filet it is not always reversible, especially if the design includes colour changing. The only other difference I have seen is that we produce our patterns as a chart rather than written instructions. I actually embrace the differences as we can always learn new things from each other.

UC: What are your favorite projects to design?

Nickerjac: If you look at the collection of work from the East London Crochet Group, you can see that we each have our own very distinct styles and in our quarterly pattern pack, you can usually work out whose is whose very easily. Mine has a tendency to be very flowing. I love circles and curves – quite organic shapes which can then be applied to many different projects.

So to answer the question, it is always my latest project. At the moment, I am experimenting with more 3D work, which is looking great but turning out to be quite difficult to put on paper.

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

Nickerjac: My all time favourite book to go to for reference is Crochet Workshop by James Walters. It’s not just the content, it’s the whole feel of the book. I just feel like I am being let in on crochet secrets when I read it. (UC comment: I agree! I’ve talked about my vintage copy of the book here before, and it’s now available as a Dover reprint.) 

Dover Books

I also love Jan Eaton’s 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns. There is nothing more relaxing than making a ripple blanket and you can’t help but be inspired by these patterns.

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

Nickerjac: Besides obviously Ravelry and Pinterest I still read a number of blogs. My friend Lixie at Lixie Makes It is always up to something interesting, especially with her moving to Japan last year. I think we craft in similar ways. Neither of us are happy just doing one craft when you can be doing ten. Also, recently after being lucky enough to do a taster workshop with her, I have started to follow Kim Thittichai‘s blog, Kim’s Hot Textiles, as I find her use of colour and texture really inspiring.

UC: Where do you teach double filet?

Nickerjac: I help at the quarterly ELCG meet ups in Essex, we always do a little session at Skipnorth every year, plus I have a couple of private students who come and see me, but I am willing to teach anyone, pretty much anywhere, if I can fit it around my son who is only seven at the moment. I just want to share this skill.

Thanks so much for sharing your love of double filet with us, Nickerjac.