Here is the official transcript from Crochetville’s live chat with crochet designer Kim Guzman that took place on our Facebook page on Friday, October 25. Questions are in no particular order. We had so many questions that I’ve had to divide this blog post up into multiple parts. Links to all the parts will be included soon.
(Note: Text appears as it was entered during the live chat.)
We hope you’ll join us on our Facebook page for future chats with more of your favorite crochet designers.
Transcript of Live Chat with Crochet Designer Kim Guzman, Part 3 of __
Evalyn: Hi Kim its a pleasure to chat with you here. My question is how do you make a pattern in plus sizes from just a regular size adult pattern. Sweaters, Cowls etc.
Kim Guzman: Sizing up patterns is not going to be a simple answer. I could teach you for three hours and still not cover everything. The bare minimum is that I use the measurements at YarnStandards.com and my swatch in order to extrapolate the numbers for the larger sizes.
Evalyn: Thanks so much Kim I will go there today. Blessings to you
Tammy Hildebrand: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards.html
Evalyn: Thanks so much tammy
Tammy Hildebrand: You’re very welcome!
Shonie: Kim how can I learn how to write my own patterns?
Kim Guzman: Yes, absolutely! It is simply technical writing. You can study patterns available. I also write knit patterns, but I’m not as well versed in it. I will pull out knit patterns with similar techniques and study how it is written so that I can apply it to my design.
Shonie: Thanks to for help are there any class free classes out there that can teach you how to write like a designer?
Kim Guzman: I’m not aware of any. I’ve seen a couple of classes in the past, but they have been more on the expensive side because it is a professional fee.
Shonie: chatting with you has been amazing for me you have been lots of help to me I have always wanted to talk to a crochet designer so it is a dream come true
Cyndye: Kim is always so helpful and accessible.
Amy Roberts Shelton: I will second Kim’s response that there will be a professional-level fee attached to any classes on how to write patterns. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the class materials, plus the time involved in actually teaching the class. You can’t really expect designers to do all that work for free, as it takes time away from their other income-producing activities. Teaching a class is work, and most people aren’t able to work for free, unless they’re independently wealthy. And I can assure all of you, that’s not the case with any crochet designer I know.
Lorene Eppolite: I have to second that Kim has always been helpful and accessible to me as well. She knows how much I appreciate her help!!!
Rebecca: I took a paid pattern writing class with Charles Voth on Dora Ohrenstein’s Crochet Insider website (http://crochetinsider.com/). It was worth every penny! I don’t know when the class will be offered again, but if enough people ask maybe they will.
Another suggestion I have would be to test patterns for other designers. That way you are exposed to different styles of writing patterns and you experience first hand what works and what doesn’t.
Laurinda Reddig: I took the same class Rebecca mentioned when I first started writing for publication.
Amy Roberts Shelton: Another suggestion is to study patterns from as many different designers as you can. Study the designer guidelines published by the different magazines: these suggest their preferred ways for writing and explaining certain things.
Laurinda Reddig: Yes, what Amy said. I was also going to suggest if you want to write for a particular magazine, just pull out the latest issue to see what their particular style is.
Lorene Eppolite: I never purchased a crochet magazine or book for that matter, until I decided to get into publishing (to do what Laurinda and Amy suggested). I’ve published free crochet patterns on my blog for a year now.. It was great experience. I would actually recommend it as a good place to start
Mary: Kim, how did you get attention for your work in the beginning. I see that you started on a website. Did you do a lot of advertising, join many crochet/craft groups, word of mouth? How did you get from there… to here?
Susan: Good question. I’m finding it hard to get my work noticed online.
Kim Guzman: I was very lucky in getting three book deals straight out of the box. Since then, I’ve had a lot of success selling my books. But, it started because I was in the right place at the right time. I have always participated in crochet email groups, though. And, I’ve been hanging around since 1997.
I think that participating in crochet help groups is really essential. Helping someone is always the best way to get to know those people who may also be interested in your patterns.
Amy Roberts Shelton: While Kim is busy formulating replies, I’ll offer some input to this question. Many crochet designers/businesses got started in the 2004/2005 timeframe, when crochet designers were just starting to create their own blogs and websites. Many of those who were lucky enough to be around back then found that their sites grew organically, as everybody linked to everybody else, connected with each other on message boards like Crochetville. Nobody had to pay for advertising back then, as everyone was easy to find. Now that the internet has exploded and hundreds if not thousands of crochet designers have their own websites, blogs, Etsy pages, Ravelry and Crochetville pattern sales, and so on, it’s harder to get noticed.
Mary: I feel like the key is to find a niche that stands out, although I’m really more interested in sharing inspiration and connecting. I find the Irish Crochet very appealing. I’ve traditionally been a “pattern follower” of afghans mostly but very intrigued by the pattern MAKING aspect.
Roxanne: I have met a lady from Peru she has tons of fabulous designs her name is Mary Aleman the problem is all the patterns are in a different language! Where can you go to translate them? Also they have beautiful yarns over there
Kim Guzman: I really don’t know how to get translations on Spanish crochet patterns. I speak Spanish pretty decently. But, I don’t speak “crochet Spanish”.
Karen McKenna: I’ve used the google translate for patterns, I’m sure there are tutorials if you need help
Laurinda Reddig: Hire Charles Voth to translate! Only native Spanish speaker TE I know.
JoAnn: How long did it take you to start designing with Tunisian crochet? i.e. From learning to designing.
Kim Guzman: I learned Tunisian crochet in 1998 and sold three books in the technique within three months of learning.
Laurinda Reddig: Yikes
Patricia: Wow! Talent + timing!
Kim Guzman: It was definitely luck. I was in the right place at the right time.
Ann: Some of your video’s have helped me learn Tunisian crochet, thanks for making them.
Kim Guzman: You are very welcome.
Cyndye: I know you have been publishing for a long time. Are you going to post some of your older patterns on your website for those of us that missed them way back when?
Kim Guzman: If I own the copyright to them, I will try to republish them. I’ve just recently republished two of them on my website.
Judy: Can you give us the URL for your website, please!
Trisha: hi, love ur work!! I was wondering if u have a pattern or know where I can get one for a crochet handbag/purse. I haven’t found one I like
Kim Guzman: Trisha, you might try a search on Ravelry.com Lots of bags there.
Kathryn White: So again I ask Kim, do you ever sleep? You seem like you are on the go all the time. Between your gardening, canning and your designing you can’t have too many hours left in the day.
Kim Guzman: I sleep when I’m sleepy. I’m like a toddler.
Kathryn White: Well it seems to work for you Kim. You are a wonderful designer and I am in awe of you and your work.
Cristin Berrafato: Kim, when you start a design…. The planning stages… Do you have a sketch you go by or is it all in your head? Make a swatch and “wing” it?
Kim Guzman: I have reached a point where I make a swatch and wing it. I can usually eyeball exactly how big I want to make my sample because I always make the same size and I’ve gotten pretty good at looking at something and seeing the size without measuring.
Cristin Berrafato: Wow! That is great! I hope to make it to that point. I’m a new designer and have the idea, sketch, swatch and usually the item made before I even submit.
Kim Guzman: It’s good to do that. I still have to do that when the publisher asks for a different size. But, if it’s size small, I’m good to go.
Cristin Berrafato: Are you going to be in person anywhere soon? Stitches? Perhaps come to Chainlink in July, Manchester?
Valerie: I would love to make a hat with fancy stitches but can’t figure out whether I need to start with 10 or 12 dc stitches to make it work. I’d hate to wing it just to rip it. Any advice?
Amy Roberts Shelton: Valerie, ripping is a huge part of designing! The number of stitches you need to start with will vary based on the fancy stitch pattern you’re using. Just experiment until you find what works.
Roxanne: Kim I’m Native American. I can never find many Afghans or sweaters using a native design or tops or skirts so, I have beading patterns that are on the grid paper can one use that design in a crochet pattern say for a Afghan?
Amy Roberts Shelton: Beading patterns may be considered artwork, in which it would be copyright infringement to use the exact same design in a crochet pattern. However, many Native American patterns are traditional, and therefore public domain. It would be better to find a source for traditional patterns that are truly public domain and create your own charts. You could also always contact the designer of the beading pattern and ask for permission to use his/her chart in a crochet pattern.
Links to Other Parts of Chat Transcript:
About Kim Guzman
Kim Guzman has been designing crochet patterns for over 30 years. She’s had a major online presence since she created her first website in 1998: CrochetKim.com. She’s had designs published in many of the major crochet magazines including Crochet!, Crochet World, and Interweave Crochet. Kim has also had a number of popular leaflets published by Aleene’s Creative Living, Annie’s, and Leisure Arts. You can find her self-published designs on her Kimane Designs website. For more information on all her designs, including a listing of all her published books, please visit her main website. You can also keep up with Kim on Facebook on her crochet designer page.