Tag Archives: interview

Blog tour: Interview with Alla Koval and Imagical Seasons giveaway

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!

This post contains affiliate links.

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 can be found online at My Little City Girl or Alla Koval Designs, as well as on Facebook, Ravelry, and Twitter.

Interview

Interview with #crochet & #knitting designer Alla Koval about her crochet pattern books of children's couture, Imagical Seaons, on @ucrafterUnderground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?

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.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

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. 

Interview with #crochet & #knitting designer Alla Koval about her crochet pattern books of children's couture, Imagical Seaons, on @ucrafter. Giveaway for Imagical Seasons Volume 1 & 2; enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on August 27, 2015 for your chance to win!

Millefiori Apron Top, crochet pattern by Alla Koval from Imagical Seasons: Summer, vol. 02.

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.

Interweave StoreUC: Your new books, Imagical Seasons Spring and Imagical Seasons Summer, were self-published a few weeks ago. What was the development process like for these books?

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!

UC: You have over 3,600 sales in your Etsy shop. What tips do you have for new Etsy sellers?

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.

Interview with #crochet & #knitting designer Alla Koval about her crochet pattern books of children's couture, Imagical Seaons, on @ucrafter. Giveaway for Imagical Seasons Volume 1 & 2; enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on August 27, 2015 for your chance to win!

Sakura Top, crochet pattern by Alla Koval from Imagical Seasons: Spring, vol. 01.

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, FGDesignsStitch StoryStyled 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.

Giveaway

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.

Interview with #crochet & #knitting designer Alla Koval about her crochet pattern books of children's couture, Imagical Seaons, on @ucrafter. Giveaway for Imagical Seasons Volume 1 & 2; enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on August 27, 2015 for your chance to win!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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Jessica Silverman Bryan from Project Night Night

I recently started writing a charity crochet guest post series on Oombawka Design Crochet. Each month, I share a free pattern and highlight a charity that accepts crocheted and knit donations. This month, I shared a free blanket pattern designed for Project Night Night’s “Night Night Packages,” which you can find here.

Project Night Night is an organization that distributes their own brand of care packages to homeless children around the United States. I actually used to work at an organization that operated two family shelters, so this cause is one that is close to my heart. My free crochet pattern, the Rectangular Sampler Blanket, was also designed as a donation to Project Night Night.

I had the chance to interview Jessica Silverman Bryan, the Deputy Director of Project Night Night to find out more about this charity. You can find Project Night Night at their website here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. All images are copyright Project Night Night and are used with permission.

This post contains affiliate links.

Interview with Jessica Silverman Bryan from Project Night Night, a #charity that accepts #handmade blanket donations for homeless children, on @ucrafter

Underground Crafter: Can you tell us about Project Night Night and your Night Night Packages?

Jessica: Celebrating our 10th anniversary, Project Night Night’s mission is to provide free Night Night Packages to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during this time of  upheaval.  Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. Project Night Night works with tens of thousands of individuals each year who volunteer their time and talents to make our world a better place.

Interview with Jessica Silverman Bryan from Project Night Night, a #charity that accepts #handmade blanket donations for homeless children, on @ucrafter

UC: What other programs and services does Project Night Night coordinate?

Jessica: Project Night Night’s main focus is on the distribution of our Night Night Packages. Our Adopt a Night Night Package program is our flagship volunteer involvement which results in the distribution of Night Night Packages. Furthermore, we offer a turn-key hands-on community service option for companies after seeing an increase in desire for philanthropic options at corporate events. Although that 95% of the children we service are in shelters, we do respond to natural disasters, American Red Cross response teams, and distribute to police and fire departments when requested.

CraftsyUC: Not all charities working with homeless families accept handmade blanket donations. How does Project Night Night use handmade gifts? Do you accept other types of handmade items besides blankets?

Jessica: Our staff has always believed that there nothing more special than a handmade gift. We are proud to harness the countless volunteers, with amazing talent, to help fill our Night Night Packages. Handmade blankets and stuffed animals are always accepted.

Interview with Jessica Silverman Bryan from Project Night Night, a #charity that accepts #handmade blanket donations for homeless children, on @ucrafter

UC: Project Night Night is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Do you have any anniversary special plans that Project Night Night fans can help support?

Jessica: We at Project Night Night have been helping homeless children for 10 years.  In that time we have visited hundreds of shelters, heard heartbreaking stories, and distributed over 250,000 Night Night Package to little ones who had no comfort items to call their own.  We look back with pride, but we look forward with concern.  Did you know that 1 in 30 children will be homeless at some point this year? One in thirty! To us, celebrating our milestone birthday challenges us to meet another milestone….50,000 Night Night Packages in 2015. We are encouraging people to consider taking our 10 kid challenge. $25 sponsors 1 child.   $250 supports 10 children.

UC: What are some other ways that people can get involved with supporting Project Night Night?

Jessica: Our website is the best resource for ways to get involved with Project Night Night.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing Project Night Night’s story, Jessica, and for all the work you do on behalf of homeless children.

What charities or causes do you contribute your handmade projects to?

Blog tour: Interview with Heather Walpole and Scarves in the Round giveaway!

I’m excited to share an interview with Heather Walpole today, along with a giveaway as part of the blog tour for her new book. Read on for details!

This post contains affiliate links.

Heather is a knitting designer, former yarn shop owner, and the founder and owner of Ewe Ewe Yarns, a boutique yarn company specializing in Merino wool. Her patterns have appeared in One+One Wraps, Cowls, and Capelets, One+One Hats, and Creative Knitting magazine. Her first book, Scarves in the Round: 25 Knitted Infinity Scarves, Neck Warmers, Cowls, and Double-Warm Tube Scarves, was recently published by Stackpole Books.

Heather can be found online through the Ewe Ewe website and on Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, and Twitter. All images are used with permission and are copyright Heather Walpole unless otherwise noted.

Interview

Heather Walpole.

Heather Walpole.

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

Heather: My sister taught me when I was in my early 20s. I wasn’t very good at first and kept twisting my stitches. I finally got straightened out and really started enjoying it!

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Seaside Lace Capelet, kntting pattern by Heather Walpole from Scarves in the Round.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Heather: I am a graphic designer by training so merging my love of design with knitting was a no-brainer for me! Once I figured out how the stitches worked with one another I couldn’t help by try knitwear design for myself.

UC: You also crochet. Do you have a favorite craft or does it depend on the project or season?

Heather: It really depends on my mood! Sometimes I love the freeform nature or speed of crochet but then other days I love thecalmness of a big swath of stockinette stitch. There’s something so soothing about knitting.

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Entrelac Effect Neck Warmer, knitting pattern by Heather Walpole from Scarves in the Round.

UC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you definitely have a lot of cowls! What do you enjoy about designing neckwear?

Heather: I love to make scarves and cowls because everybody needs them! Whether you live on the East Coast and have harsh winters or just want a little warmth in the evening on the West Coast, a cowl can be used anywhere all year long. It’s one of the simplest gifts to give and it’s always well-received.

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Color Block Scarf, knitting pattern by Heather Walpole from Scarves in the Round.

UC: What was the development process like for your book Scarves in the Round?

Heather: I think knitting should be fun and relaxing and I wanted that to be a big part of my book. I focused on having projects for beginners where you just knit in the round or maybe add a few purl stitches. I also included a bunch of little design touches to help beginners or intermediate have the opportunity to try new techniques that they may not have seen other places. I want knitters to enjoy what they’re working on, be able to finish and be proud of what they had just knit! There’s tons of tips and tricks in the back of the book to help if you’re not sure of a stitch.

Interweave StoreUC: What are your favorite knitting books in your collection (besides your own, of course)?

Heather: I’ve come to the point in my knitting life where resource books are my go-to. I can’t live without Wendy Bernard‘s Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary and I also really love The Knowledgeable Knitter by Margaret Radcliffe. If I need a stitch idea or have a specialized question then those are where I turn!

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Pixel Perfect, knitting pattern by Heather Walpole from Scarves in the Round.

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

Heather: My favorite knitting blogs are The Unapologetic Knitter and Hands Occupied. Meaghan Schmaltz at The Unapologetic Knitter tries some of the craziest knitting techniques that I’ve ever seen. She is fearless when it comes to knits! And, Heidi Gustad has a great inspirational blog with a weekly Things to Knit post and a cool video show called YarnTalk.

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.

Popcorn and Purls, kntting pattern by Heather Walpole from Scarves in the Round.

UC: You’re also the founder of Ewe Ewe Yarns, which specializes in Merino wool. What do you love about working with Merino?

Heather: Merino yarn is just the best! It’s the softest wool available and here at Ewe Ewe we make it washable! The long fibers of merino sheep means there’s less ends to poke the skin. Plus, our yarns have a special twist that makes them really bouncy and a pleasure to knit. All of our yarns are bright and happy, too!

Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

Expand Your Knitting SkillsGiveaway

Interview with #knitting designer Heather Walpole and #giveaway for Scarves in the Round on @ucrafter. Enter through August 17, 2015 for your chance to win a copy of the book.Now that you’ve had a chance to get to know Heather, I know you’re ready to check out her new book, Scarves in the Round! You can preview all 25 patterns included in the book on its Ravelry source page here. There are a lot of great designs included, but I think my two favorites are the Color Block Scarf and Pixel Perfect.

The nice folks at Stackpole Books have offered up a copy of the book to one reader. Enter through Monday, August 17, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern using the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway