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.
As part of this month’s focus on broomstick lace, I’m sharing an interview today with Crystal Bucholz, the crochet designer and maker behind Crystalized Designs. Crystal has competed in Design Wars and also co-hosts the FAN-tastic Hook Up link party with Maria Bittner from Pattern Paradise. Crystal has designed several broomstick lace patterns, so I wanted to talk with her more about her love for this technique. I’m also sharing a roundup of my favorite free and for sale crochet patterns from Crystal’s collection.
This post contains affiliate links.
You can find Crystal online on the Crystalized Designs website and blog, and on Craftsy, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter. All images are copyright Crystalized Designs and are used with permission.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?
Crystal: Five years ago while pregnant with my youngest son, I was put on bed rest for complications and needed something to fill my time. I knew I wanted newborn photos done of him when he arrived so I decided to try knitting. Knitting eventually became crocheting and I was immediately hooked (pun intended)! I really thought that it would just be a time filler for the last trimester of my pregnancy. I never intended it to become a passion. I never imagined it would become a successful business with amazing followers!
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Crystal: I loved creating things from other’s patterns, I still do that to this day but part of me wanted to start putting my ideas on paper. It started with easy patterns but as I advanced in my skill, I wanted to create things using the unique stitches I love. I also have to say a few friends, even ones I’ve never met in person, have inspired me to follow my dreams, to create what I love.
UC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you definitely have designed quite a few hat patterns. What do you enjoy about designing and making hats?
Crystal: Hats hold a special place in my heart… yes, that sounds silly but it’s true. I never used to be a hat person. I refused to wear one even when it was below zero in the heart of winter. Once I learned to crochet, I mainly made things for others. Once I started designing, I started making things for myself. I fell in love with wearing hats and they are still so much fun to design. But my true passion is designing garments! You’ll be seeing more and more of those. Unfortunately, those take a bit more work so new releases are stretched out a bit more.
UC: You have several patterns using the broomstick lace technique. How did you learn about broomstick lace and what do you enjoy about designing with it?
Crystal: I love the lacy look the Broomstick Lace technique gives. One of my crochet stitch books had a tutorial on it and I set myself to learning it. I immediately fell in love with the uniqueness of the stitch. Once I learned how to work the stitch well, I knew I had to create a pattern using it. Once the first was created, I knew I had to create more. I was worried that others would be intimidated by the stitch, I know I was at first, so I created a tutorial with a free pattern to help others realize it’s not a hard stitch at all. And there are a few new patterns using this stitch coming in the future as well!
UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
Crystal: Everywhere! My inspiration comes from many things. Yarn, the color or colors of something random, a stitch book, my children, my siblings, the season… it all depends. I can’t say there is really one thing that helps me create. I can say that when I don’t feel it, I just can’t design. But when I do feel it, it flows!
UC: Can you talk about FAN-tastic Hook Ups, the link party you co-host with Pattern Paradise? How did you get started and how can people participate?
Crystal: Ahh, the FAN-tastic Hook Ups!! Well, Pattern Paradise and I were doing separate project sharing parties. Hers was FAN-tastic Friday, mine was Crochet Hook Up. She contacted me asking if I wanted to join together and it’s been great! I love sharing the FAN-tastic Hook Up with her and getting to know her. Every Friday, we each post the linky party on our blogs. It’s virtually the same post on each of our sites. Anyone can post pictures of their work and it shows up on both of our sites. It really is easy and I encourage anyone wanting to participate but unsure of how to go about doing it, to contact either one of us. We’d be more than happy to help anyone with uploading. Also, each week we have featured projects of the most clicked links from the previous party. So even if someone doesn’t want to upload, checking out the links is fun as well!
UC: What is your favorite crochet book in your collection?
Crystal: Yikes! That’s a tough one! My favorite crochet stitch book is The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns by Linda P. Schapper.
My favorite crochet pattern book actually a booklet by Annie’s Attic. I love creating angels so Crochet Angels Around The World is my favorite pattern book. One day I hope to design an angel.
UC: Do you have any crochet/crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Crystal: Moogly! I love Moogly! I also love It’s Always Autumn but she writes more about other crafty things, not crochet. I have many blogs that I sporadically peek at but those are the two that I don’t stray from. I wish I could say there are many more but with designing, two small children, a husband, a day job, and the dreaded household chores, time for multiple blog reading is limited. I do participate in a group called The Blog Stalkers though. We just started at the beginning of this year. There are 3 of us that search for fun posts that relate to interests of ours, not just crochet, then put together one post to share what we have found. You can find that on my blog at the end of the month.
Crystal, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your love of crochet (and broomstick lace) with us!