You’ve arrived at the annual NatCroMo Designer Blog Tour 2022! It’s a virtual celebration of National Crochet Month with new blog content daily throughout March, including featured crochet designers, pattern showcases, free patterns, coupons, discounts, giveaways, and more. This year’s theme is Pawprints on Our Hearts, so we’ll talk about our pets – furry, feathered, and scaly!
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Today’s featured designer on our NatCroMo Designer Blog Tour 2022 is Donna Childs of Donna Childs Crochets.
We appreciate our NatCroMo designers so much! They’ve so graciously shared their time (and often a special goodie) with us, let’s show some love! Some ways to do that are to like, follow, and shop! ❤️
Donna’s patterns have been published in nearly every crochet magazine in the past 15 years. One of her most popular patterns, a bunny called “Sir Stephen,” was published in The Best of Interweave Crochet (2011).
Crochet is more than a hobby for me–it has been good for me in good times, and especially in dark times. During the height of the pandemic quarantine/lock-down, a friend and I agreed that we were lucky to have a creative outlet. The process of making something useful out of the simplest materials and tools can be soothing and cheering; it inspired me to offer a free amigurumi pattern during the pandemic, something that could be a gift or made as a project of self-care.
Out of this grew an idea for a whole series, a collection of amigurumi patterns that are aimed at different stages of human emotion. Feeling a bit stressed? There’s an amigurumi to work that out. Or maybe you know someone else who’s needs a boost before a big move–there’s an amigurumi you can make for them. I plan on launching the whole collection in the next few months. Mindfully crocheting is not about just making toys–it’s a way to work things out, to bring something lovely into the world, to communicate with others. The act of crochet is a gift. To yourself and to others.
When I’m not crocheting, I’m walking on the beach or local rail trails with my husband, identifying seashells and wildflowers, or taking cooking classes, including chocolate making.
Favorite Crochet Reference
What is one of your favorite crochet reference books or websites that is one of your go-to sources for crochet information?
Whenever I visit the San Francisco area, I pop into the Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown and stock up on some of their Japanese crochet stitch pattern books. Reading charts enables us to follow patterns published anywhere in the world, and the Japanese have published some amazing pattern collections. Japantown may not be as well-known as Chinatown, but it is just as steeped in history, and filled with charming shops and restaurants–worth a visit!
Russian crochet magazines are also quite inspiring, with incredibly bold designs and bright colors, though their charting symbols can be slightly different than we are used to. I don’t know how current events will affect their local crochet businesses and publishers; I bought some magazines online a few years ago.
Party Animals Get Out of Crazy Town
Pattern name: Party Animals Get Out of Crazy Town
About the pattern: I know I’m not the only one who’s found the current events…um, challenging. And not the only one who turned to crochet to keep myself sane. So I grabbed a bag of random yarn from my needlework guild’s junque table–I dubbed the color palette “Prom 1968.” I came up with the colorful amigurumi over the weekend of 9-11, exactly 20 years later, and coincidentally, 11 individual critters. They’re designed to be fun, easy, quick, and colorful, appropriate for almost any weight yarn, and perfect for cheering yourself up, or for giving to a friend.
Halloween Friends: Cat and Pumpkin
Pattern name: Halloween Friends: Cat and Pumpkin
About the pattern: Halloween is my favorite holiday. Our only obligations are to dress up in an outrageous outfit, put up tacky decorations, and give out and/or recieve chocolate. I often spend the month of October reading Tarot cards in Salem, Massachusetts, a really wild place to spend Halloween. I especially love antique Halloween illustrations, so I had fun designing these folk-art inspired dolls, with my signature style of using vintage buttons and jointed limbs.
Pattern name: Rainbow Bear
Get the pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-bear-2
About the pattern: During the first unsettling days of Covid and lock-down restrictions, we couldn’t even count on our local craft shops to be open so we could have something to do to keep busy and calm our minds. People were putting rainbows and teddy bears in their windows as a way of greeting their neighbors. I set out to design a project that would combine all these factors, a quick and colorful little teddy bear, easy enough for a confident beginner, one that would require very few materials, only those commonly found in a crocheters supplies: a small amount of yarn, a tiny bit of stuffing, a few buttons. I decided to make the pattern free as a gift to the world of crocheters.
In the works: a collection of patterns I’m calling “Creature Comforts,” a collection that acknowledges that adults can benefit from making and/or owning stuffed animals. I’m combining what I’ve learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Chakras, art history, antique toys, color theory, passages of adult life, art therapy–so many topics! The “Creature Comforts” collection will consist of seven separate and distinct groups of stuffed animal patterns. I hope to have this collection available in the next few months–for more info, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donna’s NatCroMo Special
Anyone who sends their email address to email@example.com will receive a free original amigurumi pattern at the end of the blog tour, on April 1, 2022.
Follow Donna Online
Here’s where you can connect with Donna online to be sure you don’t miss any of her new designs, sales, events, or other good stuff!
- Blog: donnachilds.blogspot.com
- Ravelry: ravelry.com/people/donnachilds
- Newsletter: Email Donna to sign up for her newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you again tomorrow on the NatCroMo Designer Blog Tour 2022!