Are you having as much fun with the Holiday Stashdown Crochet-a-Long 2015 as I am? (If you’re just learning about it now, there’s still plenty of time to join in. You can find more details about the CAL here.) I’m shining a spotlight on each of our generous giveaway sponsors with a dedicated post over the coming weeks.
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Interview with Katy Westcott from katrinkles
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you learn to crochet?
Katy: After college I worked in a goldsmith’s shop in New York City. A coworker noticed me drawing these intricate, lacy patterns on our lunch break and decided I should learn how to crochet. Once I got the hang of it I started making doilies that looked like those drawings. It was a great activity for my subway commute. Eventually I learned how to read crochet patterns and that led to making scarves and hats and sweaters. I especially love when you get to the stage of a crochet project where you have memorized your motif. You can pick it up anywhere and just go, eventually combining them into something awesome.
UC: What inspired you to start katrinkles? Can you tell us about your Etsy shop?
Katy: By trade I’m a jeweler, so I took a laser cutting workshop thinking it would be an interesting thing to incorporate into my metal work. We have an amazing non-profit community arts center in Providence called AS220, which has a laser cutter in their lab. I was already knitting and crocheting at that point, so once I learned how to laser cut I instantly thought of making buttons. Since buttons are the intersection of knitting and jewelry it made sense that I would be making them.
Years before this, my first product was double pointed needle holders made of rubber and elastic to hold my WIPs. I started making and selling those long before I thought of it as a business, but it was my buttons and knitting needle gauges that really got katrinkles started. Having a booth at local fiber events and a shop online was a hobby at first while I worked full time in the Jewelry Industry, but early this year I finally left my last part time job to be able to focus exclusively on katrinkles.
UC: You’re multicraftual. Do you have a favorite “go-to” craft or does it depend on your mood or time of year?
Katy: I’ve come to realize that it depends on time of year. As soon as it starts getting springy outside I get an itch to start crocheting lacy tops out of cotton thread and knitting cotton dish cloths. In the middle of the summer I become engrossed with sewing tops and dresses. Then, in the fall, I get back to knitting socks and sweaters and spinning wool.
UC: What is your favorite crafty book in your collection?
Katy: Oh man, this is a tough one! I’ve narrowed it down to three:
- I’ve knit a lot of the sweaters in the New England Knits book, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre, and there are still more in my queue. The sweaters are timeless and most are also great for showcasing buttons. Plus I’m a New Englander through and through.
- Denyse Schmidt Quilts is full of amazing things! Someday I hope to sew a quilt. I pretty much want to make all of the quilts in this book. She’s a fellow RISD alum and I discovered her book at RISD Works, which is a shop on campus which sells only the work of RISD alumni.
- I can’t not include a jewelry book: Calder Jewelry, with photographs by Maria Robledo and Edited by Alexander S.C. Rower, is a huge exhibition catalog I picked up at the Calder show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Calder’s playful use of line and interesting cold connections are infinitely inspiring to me. I could thumb through this book for hours.
Katy: I love Ravelry, of course, it is the best! Aside from that, my community and inspiration are mostly on Instagram these days. Instead of following each of the individual crafty blogs I used to read I now follow their Instagram feeds.
UC: Tell us about the katrinkles prize for the Holiday Stashdown CAL. What can one lucky winner expect to win from your shop?
Katy: I started crocheting before I took up knitting so it’s always been important to me to have tools and buttons for crocheters as well as knitters. I have a few crochet hook gauge designs now but the one with the granny square was my first and it’s my favorite. There’s something so satisfying about the simplicity of a granny square, it’s fun to make and they can be so beautiful. The granny square crochet hook gauge is made out of bamboo.
UC: Besides Etsy, where else can people find katrinkles in the coming months?
Katy: I will be at the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield, MA the weekend of November 7th, 2015. (I will be sharing a booth with Maybe Tomorrow Farm.) I will also vending the Knitting Weekend at Historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI the weekend of January 17th 2016. Lots of interesting classes and events connected with this even in addition to the marketplace, which is free.