Here is the official transcript from Crochetville’s live chat with crochet designer Tammy Hildebrand that took place on our Facebook page on Friday, October 18. Questions are organized alphabetically by the name of the person who posted them.
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 Tammy Hildebrand
Crochetville: It’s time for our official live chat with crochet designer Tammy Hildebrand. The chat will take place here in this discussion thread. Feel free to post your questions for Tammy at any time.
Tammy Hildebrand: Hi everyone!
Crochetville: Here’s a link to all the patterns Tammy has available for sale in Crochetville’s digital pattern store.
Crochetville: If you’re a member of Ravelry, here’s a link to a search for all of Tammy’s patterns.
Crochetville: Tammy, thank you for being the first crochet designer in our new live chat series. We’re so glad you’re here with us this morning.
Tammy Hildebrand: Thank you for having me.
Donna Hulka: Hi, Tammy! Thank you for being here!
Tammy Hildebrand: Thank you for having me!
Crochetville: Tammy, to help people get to know you a bit better, can you tell us how you learned to crochet?
Tammy Hildebrand: My second grade teacher taught me. We’re friends on FB so I was hoping she would stop by.
Alissa B: No questions here, just wanted to say, I love your hair, the style & the color…
Tammy Hildebrand: Well thank you very much Alissa!
BeLinda C: Hi Tammy!
Tammy Hildebrand: Hi Belinda! Give CeeCee a hug from me!
BeLinda C: I will. She experiments with crochet some….wants to learn but we haven’t managed much yet.
Crafts & Things: Hi Tammy! As a beginning designer, I’d like to know where you get your inspiration for all of your designs and a little about your design process.
Tammy Hildebrand: I am inspired by everything! I see a bathroom tile and envision it as an afghan motif. Or maybe a wallpaper pattern I can see a great cardigan pattern. Be aware of your surroundings looking at colors and shapes, flow and movement. And just experiment to find your style.
Crafts & Things: I’m trying to find my “design style”- I haven’t designed garments yet, mostly home décor and holiday things. I have lots of ideas but find the actual writing of patterns to go slower than I’d like.
Crafts & Things: I have a lot of ideas and rough drafts of patterns; pattern writing takes me long and I don’t even do designs that need to be done in multiple sizes. Any suggestions on how to get noticed by magazines, publishers, etc- my designs are all self published.
Tammy Hildebrand: I highly recommend joining CGOA (the Crochet Guild of America) and taking advantage of their wonderful mentoring program. You apply for associate professional status and request a mentor. You will be placed with an established professional to work with for 2 years and it’s no additional cost! You can find all the information at the link below. http://www.crochet.org/
Denise G: I love your beautiful seafoam green top!
Tammy Hildebrand: Thank you Denise!
Denise G: I have been seeing so many ads for different hooks. Do you use an ergonomic hook or just a regular one?
Jill K: What is the name of the pattern for the top you are wearing on this thread? Love it…
Tammy Hildebrand: I am actually wearing a shawl in the photo. It’s called “Waiting for Willow”. I designed it while I was waiting for my granddaughter Willow to be born. It’s in my new book “Crochet Wraps Every Which Way” coming out in January. It’s available for preorder on
Tammy Hildebrand: I use a lot of different hooks Denise. If you’re looking for a great ergonomic I really like https://www.facebook.com/furlscrochet
Denise G:Yes, I have asked Santa to please get one – they look divine! Currently I use hooks with bamboo handles and I also have a Boye ergonomic handle that fits regular hooks of all (most) sizes. I like to switch it up when I am on a crocheting “jag.”
Diana R: Hi Tammy, where is the best place to sale crocheted items and other craftd5? My Grandmother taught me to crochet the ds5y after I got married. That was 38 years ago October 11 . I have sold my stuff before mostly to family. Is there a place online that is good to sell items?
Crochetville: Diana, Tammy doesn’t sell finished items, so she may not have a good answer to this question.
Pam D: Diana – I sell finished items (as well as patterns) online. If you want to message me I’d be glad to chat with you (so we don’t hijack Tammy’s thread)Erin R: do you ever get an expensive, beautiful skein of yarn and then not know what to make with it? How do you decide whether its a hat, or scarf, or whatnot?
Tammy Hildebrand: Let the yarn speak to you and tell you what it WANTS to be! I have a gorgeous skein of silk I bought about 8 years ago. It has to be created into something amazing and I’m just not sure what that is yet so I will just enjoy looking at it until it’s time!
Erin R: I was wondering if you ever had formal training, like a college course or classes from yarn makers, that teach about the different types of material that can be crocheted with, or do you just experiment with textures?
Tammy Hildebrand: No, I never had any formal training. I just learn as I go along. Experiment, have fun, try different things. There is no “wrong” way if you are enjoying it and are pleased with your end result.
Hilda M: Hi Tammy i no how to crochet but how do I begin to crochet a rippled afghan?
Tammy Hildebrand: Hi Hilda! You’re going to want to visit Mikey over at the Crochet Crowd. He makes wonderful tutorial videos and I was just watching one yesterday about ripples! https://www.facebook.com/…/116482731742088
Jill R: I taught myself to crochet, so I don’t know a lot. I want to make a tapestry afghan and don’t know where to start in making my pattern. Any tips?
Crochetville: Suggestion: Study other tapestry crochet patterns and see how they are written. Make a graph/chart of your design.
Tammy Hildebrand: Take advantage of all the wonderful resources online. Check out the Crochet Guild of America, The Crochet Crowd, join groups and network with others. Crocheters are very friendly, giving people and love to help one another.
Kari O: Hi Tammy, any tips for beginners?
Tammy Hildebrand: Hi Kari, If you look at my response to Jill above, same answer to you! There are so many great resources available now as well as online classes, attending conferences if you are able and taking advantage of their classes as well as interacting with others that share your interests.
Kathryn W: Hi Tammy, You know you are an inspiration to a lot of people. You have a real gift for clothing design.
Tammy Hildebrand: Aw..thanks Kathryn. That means so much! And right back at ya! You do amazing work yourself which I am in awe of!
Kathryn W: Just wanted people to know they were chatting with a real talent.
Kelly P-B: Hi Tammy, I make a lot of scrunchi’s, headbands, scarves, mitten scarves, wristies, etc… my trip-up is hats…lol They always come out with a poof on top… How do I avoid that from happening?
Tammy Hildebrand: If you’re creating a “poof” your stitches are too tight. Try using a larger hook and or loosening your tension just for the first couple of rounds. That should take care of the problem.
Kim Y: How come they don’t ever have any crochet events in Lacrosse, Wisconsin?
Crochetville: Kim, the organizations create the crochet/knit shows have to consider all sorts of things when selecting a location: whether that location has an appropriate meeting facility (not too big, not too small, at the right price), whether enough people that support the organization will attend, whether enough people from the local population will attend, and so on.
Kimberly M: Just stopping in for a quick minute to wish you Tammy an amazing Chat!! xoxo your CW
Tammy Hildebrand: Thank you Dollie
Crochetville: And she actually thought for half a second: “What will we do if nobody shows up?” That’s obviously not a problem. Instead, she has more questions than she can find and answer!
Tammy Hildebrand: lol That’s a good problem to have!
Kimberly M: I had to leave for a bit (darn work!!) I know she was worried! I’m glad it was so successful!
Kristine M: I didn’t get a reply. Should I repost the question?
Crochetville: We’ll get caught up to you.
Tammy Hildebrand: Did I answer your question Kristine? If I didn’t could you please post it here? Thanks!
Kristine M:No, but that’s ok. This thread is BUSY! Here it is again. I would love to know your favorite stitch/combo or technique? What is your favorite part of designing?
Tammy Hildebrand: I love using open, lacy stitches. They create such a beautiful fabric and they work up so quickly. My favorite technique is join-as-you-go again for the same reasons. I love absolutely everything about designing! Pattern writing, not so much. Sizing, even less. Ha, Ha!
Laura K: Tammy, you have a great sense of color in your designs. What inspires you to put certain colors together? Do you have advice you can share on how to put together colors that work?
Tammy Hildebrand: I just use colors that I like. My favorites are bright, bold colors. Put a few colors together to see how you like them. If it works, go for it. If not, swap a color or two out and try something else.
Lisa A: As an aspiring designer with a couple of patterns – how do I go about getting a copyright?
Crochetville: Copyright is automatic with creation of your work. If you want to register the copyright (so you can sue in federal court for infringement), you can do so on the US Copyright Office website: www.copyright.gov. I believe the fee is $35 to file.
Lisa A: Thank you.
Marcee E: Do you have any tips for starting a crochet business and marketing crocheted items? I’m selling a few things on popular websites, but would like to be selling more and getting more notice. Ideas please.
Tammy Hildebrand: If you are a member of the Crochet Guild of America we have a wonderful mentoring program. We place you with an established professional for 2 years to help you get started. If you’re not a member you can find the info here http://www.crochet.org/
Marcee E:I recently joined CGOA and heard that they have a mentoring program. How do I find that area of their website and get paired up with a mentor?
Crochetville: Log on to crochet.org. Click the Learn tab —–> Crochet Professionals —–> Become
Marcee E: Thank you!
Deidre E: Once you become an Associate Pro and apply for a mentor, they will send your application to me and I will look for a mentor for you. I have just taken over from Renee’ Rodgers as Mentor Coordinator.
Marcee E:Thank you, Tammy, Crochetville, and Deidre!
Pam D: Just wanted to say Hi Tammy – and I hope your fingers are ready for a workout this morning. <sitting back now to read>
Tammy Hildebrand: Ha, Ha! It was so great getting to spend some time with you at the conference. I love my wonderful stitch markers!
Rebecca B: Hi Tammy. You are such a prolific designer! What are some of the inspirations for your designs?
Tammy Hildebrand: LOL! There is absolutely nothing typical in my life so….I design here and there tucked in with real life. I have a 10 month old granddaughter that I watch a lot and that has changed things up a bit. The designing part comes very easy to me and it doesn’t take long (usually). The pattern writing is not my favorite part and I do a lot of procrastinating. My answer is about as clear as mud but I really have no “normal”. I just keep moving forward with whatever the day has presented and somehow it all gets done.
Rebecca B: Thanks!
Tammy Hildebrand: I forgot to mention in May I was working on a new baby crochet book that will be released next June. I was starting to panic with deadlines so I packed up and spent the weekend in a local motel for a crochet marathon to get caught up. I didn’t tell anyone where I was so I could work uninterrupted. Oh and it was my birthday. LOL. You do whatever it takes to get the job done!
Rebecca B: I wouldn’t mind spending my birthday like that! But I’m sure our family and firends made it up to you later.
Pam D: I totally do that too!! I take off for a week somewhere all by myself. I’ve made it happen 3 times in the last 2.5 years – LOVE it.
Rose A: Do you have to ask about the mentoring program with CGoA? I started a business and have not been able to sell things.
Crochetville: Rose, you need to apply to be an associate professional. Then you can request a mentor. Have you applied for associate professional status yet?
Rose A: not yet I just became a renewed member of CGoA at the comference in concord.
Deidre E: Once you become an Associate Pro, you can ask for a mentor and they will send your request to me. I have just taken over from Renee’ Rodgers as Mentor Coordinator.
Cristin B: The Mentor program is fantastic! I recently graduated! My Mentor was great! Informative and supportive.
Rose A: is there any tips you can give on changing colors? I always end up cutting and knotting.
Tammy Hildebrand: Hi Rose – to change colors: work last stitch of old color to last yarn over. Yarn over with new color and draw through all loops on hook to complete the stitch. Proceed with new color. Fasten off old color or carry color not in use up the wrong side of the piece until needed again. When you are completely finished, fasten off all colors leaving about a 4″ length. Weave the tail in back and forth through the stitches to secure and trim off.
Crochetville: I have one last question for Tammy. If anybody’s been following your personal page lately, they know you’ve been using a program that has resulted in dramatic weight loss, but even more importantly, has eliminated a lot of the symptoms you’ve suffered from chronic Lyme disease. Would you like to share any information about that?
Tammy Hildebrand: I began a nutritional cleansing program on July 26. I have never felt better in my whole life! It has been incredible. All of my symptoms are gone, I am healthy and full of energy! As an added bonus, I’ve lost 37 1/2 pounds! If anyone would like information about the program, please send me a private message! I would LOVE for everyone to feel this amazing
Crochetville: I can testify to the benefits of the program. I was able to lose about 8 pounds in a month and look good in the Star Trek dress I made for the recent crochet conference.
Quite a few of our designer friends are also using this nutritional cleansing program and are experiencing weight loss and health benefits.
You might be able to achieve similar results without this program, but it provides you with structure (built-in self-discipline!) and high-quality organic, natural products without a lot of processed ingredients. You also get a built-in support group for encouragement and support.
Cristin B: Thank you Tammy and Amy what a great chat!
Tammy Hildebrand: Thank you so much for coming Cristin
Crochetville: Chatters, I’d like to say a big THANK YOU for attending our first chat today. It’s been frantic, frenetic, and I hope you’ve managed to have as much fun as I’ve had.
Donna Hulka: Yes, thank you to everybody who joined us for this chat! And thank you, Amy, for organizing this and moderating!
Tammy Hildebrand: Amy and Donna – thank you so much for inviting me here today! This was a lot of fun! And thank you to everyone that joined us! You all know where to find me on FB and I am available to answer questions anytime! Have a fantastic weekend!!!
Crochetville: Tammy, thank you for being the first designer to brave this new idea! You were such a good sport keeping up with the huge volume of questions. I’m very glad you’re a fast typist!
Donna Hulka: Thank you for being here, Tammy, and answering so many questions! It was a fun, active chat! I echo your thanks to everyone who joined us!
About Tammy Hildebrand
Tammy Hildebrand has been professionally designing crochet for almost 18 years and currently serves as the vice president for the Crochet Guild of America. She has two books coming out next year. Crochet Wraps Every Which Way will be released January 2014 and is currently available for pre-order on