NatCroMo 2015, March 18: Abbey Swanson

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National Crochet Month:

Welcome to Crochetville’s third annual Designer Blog Tour, taking place all throughout March 2015 in celebration of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Each day on our blog, you will find 1) in-depth profile posts for two crochet designers, with a link to their blogs so you can see what specials (free patterns, discount coupon codes, tutorials, etc.) they may be offering for NatCroMo, 2) a daily giveaway post with entries open from 8:00 AM CST to 8:00 AM CST the following day, and 3) during the last week of the month, daily posts from a Crochet Guild of America board member. Join us each day for a new surprise!

Today’s Posts: Sara Leighton, Illuminate Crochet | Abbey Swanson, The Firefly Hook | Daily Giveaway | Halos of Hope Hat Collection | Complete Designer Schedule

Abbey Swanson, The Firefly Hook

Crochetville is very proud to have designer Abbey Swanson with us today, March 18th, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).

Photo of Abbey Swanson

Abbey’s Designs:

If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Abbey’s designs with you.

Photo of Textured Beanie with Peony

Textured Beanie with Peony, pattern available on Esty for $5.50

 

Photo of Super Bulky Beanie

Super Bulky Beanie, pattern available on Etsy for $4.50

 

About Abbey:

Learning to Crochet

Abbey’s mom taught her to crochet when she was eight. Her first crochet project was a blanket, and she says it was a disaster. Abbey remembers, “It very quickly turned into a trapezoid and I cried. I remember my mom working on the ends of the rows as I watched in amazement as it began to be even again.”

Becoming a Designer

Abbey remembers, “I started making hats of all kinds for people and selling items I designed at craft fairs. Since everything I made was a design I created and memorized, I realized that if I learned how to write patterns I could be a designer! I am one blessed girl: two of my very dear friends are on my team. They edit my patterns, photograph my designs, and do my PDF layouts (computers make me cry). I couldn’t do this without them! (Special shout out to Monika and Abigail.)”

Teaching Crochet

Abbey tells us, “I teach crochet classes at our local yarn shop, the Dancing Sheep Yarn & Fiber, here in Casper, WY. I think most people are surprised how easy my designs are to crochet. They may look tricky, but when they take my class they can see how simple the construction is. My favorite and most popular class is our Super Bulky Beanie. First time crocheters leave with a hat on their head 2 hours into our 3 hour workshop. It’s incredibly rewarding for them (and for me as their instructor!).”

When asked to share a funny story, Abbey admits, “I could tell you about the first time I taught a beginner lefty… and didn’t realize she was a lefty until halfway through the class. Poor thing. But I’ll leave it at that. (Just know I learned my lesson!)”

Abbey also teaches beginner drop spindle classes at Dancing Sheep Yarn & Fiber. She says, “I love spinning my yarn. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves yarn (and it’s the perfect gift for someone with a giant stash: they won’t have anything like it!).”

Creating Designs

Cover photo of the Wyoming CollectionAbout her designs, Abbey says, “Each design becomes a part of me. Just like a painter is reflected in his work, so am I with my designs.”

Abbey is inspired to create designs for her students. She says, “I love designing lovely pieces that will give them the confidence to keep building their skills. I also love working up collections. We just finished one that’s all inspired by my new home state: Wyoming.”

About her design process, Abbey shares with us, “I would like to say I execute my designs exactly as they are planned… but that’s not true. I have a plan, I choose the yarn and hook but sometimes I just have to ‘go with it’. I may need a different yarn/hook combo to achieve the drape I need, or the yarn might be all wrong. There’s a lot of experimenting. It’s also important to me that my designs for beginners are truly simple to work up but still look elegant.”

 

Advice for New Crocheters:

“If videos haven’t done the trick, take a class,” Abbey recommends. “Just one class with an instructor sitting next to you giving you immediate feedback will seriously give you the confidence you need to keep growing in your skills on your own. I always say to my students, ‘Just keep swimming.’ Meaning: keep working, you’re doing great!”

 Advice for New Designers:

“Don’t give up and don’t stress out!” Abbey advises. “Start small and keep working at it. Make goals that you can achieve, then once you achieve them, make bigger goals.”

Next Big Trend in Crochet

Abbey believes that crocheting doesn’t have to look old-fashioned. She says, “[Crochet] can accomplish what knitting has accomplished in fashion. Pick great yarn and work up a fashion-forward design!”

Some of Abbey’s Favorites:

Photo of Addi hook

Favorite Hooks: Addi

Favorite Yarn: “Malabrigo Arroyo, hands down.”

Favorite Thing to Crochet: “Right now: big, dramatic cowls.”

 

 

Visit Abbey’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek

Photo of Nesting Bowls

You will definitely want to visit Abbey’s blog post today! She will be giving away one free pattern PDF for one week (March 18 – 25).

Button to visit Abbey's Blog | The Firefly Hook

 

Find Abbey Online:

Website: thefireflyhook.wordpress.com

Blog: thefireflyhook.wordpress.com

Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/the-firefly-hook

Ravelry Profileravelry.com/people/thefireflyhook (must be logged in to view profile)

Facebook: facebook.com/TheFireflyHook

Twitter: twitter.com/TheFireflyHook

Craftsy: craftsy.com/user/2350114/pattern-store

Etsy: etsy.com/shop/TheFireflyHook

 

Additional Blog Tour Information:

Credits: Icons via icons8.com and iconsmind.com.

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