A-Glamping We Will Go: 5th Annual National Crochet Month Blog Tour
Want to Chat about the Tour?
Part of the fun of glamping is the daily round-up around the campfire, chatting and stitching with friends. We hope you’ll join us in our NatCroMo Facebook group, where we’ll be sharing daily camping recipes, campfire songs about crochet, and so much more! We’d also love to hear about your favorite things you’ve discovered on the tour and see photos of your current crochet projects. You’re invited to join us daily for virtual cocktails/appetizers and dinner. (We’ll be sharing links to some fabulous recipes!)
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Liz McQueen, Playin’ Hooky Designs
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Liz McQueen of Playin’ Hooky Designs with us today, March 11, as one of the featured designers on our 2017 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
I learned to crochet on Thanksgiving Day, 2006. I was pregnant with my oldest girl, Bryn. My sister-in-law had just learned to knit and crochet to pass the time between curtain calls and had her yarn with her. In an effort to avoid doing the post-feast dishes – actually I was mesmerized watching her, the cleaning thing was a bonus – I asked her to teach me. Later that night we went to a friend’s house where I worked on my swatch, all the while thinking that a slip stitch was actually a single crochet. It was the ugliest, wonkiest, brightest little yellow swatch, but I was seriously proud – That was just the beginning.
I started Playin’ Hooky Designs in 2009 out of necessity. I didn’t want to stop learning and making beanies, so I had to start selling them to pay for my yarn habit. Very quickly I realized that I had designs in my head that I couldn’t find patterns for, so I start creating my styles. I like creating designs for men, women, and kids alike; beanies that can be worn by everyone whether they spend every day in the mountains, or just want to look like they do.
Playin’ Hooky is my business and my passion. I work from home in the mountains of Colorado . . . when my kids let me. Come to think about it, that’s probably why I mostly specialize in beanies . . . they’re small, relatively quick, and crochADD-proof. 😉
Do you crochet in public? If so, when and where?
I crochet at the park, I crochet in the dark, I crochet in my car, I crochet near and far, I crochet here and there, I crochet EVERYWHERE! Okay, I’ve obviously been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss lately. But really, I love crocheting in public and sparking new conversations with people passing by. My favorite place is definitely my local coffee shop with all the noises and conversations around me. Also, it gives me the chance to casually people watch without looking like a creeper, ha ha.
Do you have a special place at home where you crochet? Tell us about it.
Usually I stick to my desk or my couch. I have a dinosaur of a desktop computer so when I’m working on a pattern I need to stay in my little work nook to edit the pattern while I crochet. At night I’ll bring out my yarn and hooks while we’re watching tv, which may be why I constantly have to ask my husband, “Wait, what just happened?!”
Share the story of your favorite thing you’ve ever crocheted or designed.
The one item that stands out is something that will forever hold a place in my heart. If you don’t know my story, I lost my daughter Bryn almost 5 years ago, just after her 5th birthday and only days after her last day of preschool. That fall, my son started his first year at that very same school. With the encouragement of the teachers, I created a yarn bomb for her favorite playground toy – a merry-go-round. Not only did it brighten the playground and bring joy to the students, but it also helped me smile and keep my Bryn close during the hardest time of my life. <3
Tell us about any other fiber-related hobbies you enjoy.
I know how to knit, but I’m still so slowwww – I can’t say I’ve reached the point that I truly enjoy it, but maybe one day!
How do you decide what to name your patterns?
Most of my designs are inspired by the Rocky Mountains that I call home, so I give them names to reflect that culture.
Tell us about your most popular pattern.
That would have to be my free Brain Waves Beanie. It’s one of my earliest designs and it’s become my most iconic. When it first came out in 2010, there seemed to be a gap in the market for gender-neutral designs and the response I got was overwhelming. Plus it’s free… bonus! People occasionally send me their stories of Playin’ Hooky sightings, and it almost always involves a Brain Waves Beanie. I’ve even seen someone wearing one (that I didn’t make) in my tiny little town!
Tell us about your favorite camping location.
We are lucky to live where people come on vacation. About 30 minutes from my house, there’s a spot at O’Haver Lake where we go every summer to camp, kayak, fish, and paddle board.
Tell us about any crochet items you take to “glam up” your camping experience.
I always make sure my whole family is outfitted with our beanies – even in the summer, Colorado gets cold at night. I’ll also usually bring my yarn bag so I have something to work on in between trips out on the lake.
Visit Liz’s SIte: NatCroMo Specials
During National Crochet Month, every pattern in my Ravelry shop comes with a 10% automatic discount! I’ll be announcing more pop-up promotions on my Facebook page! I’m also offering an exclusive run of my “Looky Looky, I Got Hooky” gear and coffee mugs.
If you’re not familiar with my work already, I’d like to share three of my designs with you.
1. Vale Beanie, $4.50
vale – /vāl/, n. a valley (used in place names or as a poetic term)
Vale Beanie – It’s warm, cozy, and on-trend with a herringbone texture. Perfect for this winter. Wear it on the slopes, in the lodge, or on the town. The Vale Beanie will take you from daytime skiing to the nightlife and everything in between.
Pattern comes with 2 full page photo tutorials and detailed stitch descriptions.
2. Outfitter’s Braided Headband, $4.50
Whether you’re boho, preppy, geek chic, après ski, vintage, or anything in between, this is the headband to fit your style. Quick and fun to work up, you’ll keep going back to make more!
3 ways to braid
2 styles of closures
New to Tunisian? Don’t let that stop you! I included over 100 photo tutorials, detailed notes, and written st and pattern instructions to help you. Plus an all new Tunisian Crochet Video Tutorial Series.
3. Sierra Beanie, $4.50
In memory my daughter, Sierra Bryn.
This is an incredibly versatile beanie. You can make it in any color combo for a girl or a guy. The pattern comes with instructions to make both classic beanie and slouchy styles for any time of the year.
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