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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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).
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.
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!