Donna Childs, Featured Crochet Designer

Welcome to our blog tour! Here at Crochetville, we celebrate National Crochet Month with our NatCroMo Blog Tour. This year, we’re interviewing crochet designers, teachers, and hobbyists throughout March and our theme is crochet memories. You can browse all of this year’s blog tour content on our page NatCroMo Blog Tour 2020.

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About Donna Childs

Please allow me to introduce our featured designer of the day, Donna Childs of Donna Childs Crochets. Donna’s favorite things to design are amigurumi dolls, but she also like to design totes and afghans. You can explore her published patterns on her Ravelry portfolio and purchase her self-published patterns in her Ravelry store. Today Donna will share some of her crochet memories with us and we’ll showcase three of her crochet designs.

Donna’s Special for Our Readers

As a special treat for the NatCroMo Blog Tour, Donna is offering a free crocheted flower pattern, perfect for making a colorful spring corsage! To get the free pattern, keep reading below (under Colorful Flower Pins) or visit Donna’s blog post here: Crochet in Color–and a free pattern!

Donna’s Crochet Memories

Would you share with us one of your earliest memories of crochet?

My upstairs neighbor, Barbara, who was like an aunt to me, taught me to crochet when I was nine or ten. I loved it right away! I couldn’t understand patterns, so I began making doll clothes of my own design. As a teenaged hippie, I made some off-beat dolls and puppets, as well as hats and garments for myself and friends. I have maybe 100 crochet hooks of different materials and sizes, but my some of my favorites are the ones I bought for myself when I was ten.

Would you share with us one of your memories of becoming a crochet designer?

I saw an article about Japanese crocheted dolls called amigurumis in Knit.1 magazine back in 2006. Amigurumis were new to us in the US, and I searched the internet for patterns — the only patterns I could find were in Japanese.

Before I could allow any doubts about it, I decided to email the magazine and offer my skills as a designer of some amigurumi dolls. I swear it wasn’t 15 minutes before I got a reply asking for samples. “Honey,” I called out to my husband, “I’m going to be busy all weekend!”

I made up several dolls, and shipped them out that Monday. To my amazement and delight, they bought four of those designs. This might be the very first English language amigurumi pattern published in the US!

At the time, Knit.1, Knit Simple, Crochet Today, and Vogue Knitting were all under the same roof, and editors of some of the other magazines who saw my work asked if I could design something for them. After having some success, I explored more markets, and sold designs to other places like Interweave Crochet and some yarn companies. Sadly, some of the other magazines are no longer being published.

I want to encourage other crocheters to try getting their original designs out there — we need new designs to keep crocheters interested in crocheting!

Would you share with us one of your most memorable experiences as a crochet designer?

I always try to figure out strategies on how to get my designs to stand out among all the others. When Vogue On the Go books asked for submissions for their Felted Crochet book, I came up with some ideas, but then figured they weren’t anything special. “What might be surprising?,” I asked myself.

At the time, there weren’t many Tunisian crochet pattern being published, so I decided to design a felted Tunisian crochet messenger bag. When I made up a 2-color swatch, I was stunned to see the result after felting — one side looked like a twill weave pattern, and the other side had a wide stripe. I was really pleased with the results — until I started crocheting the actual piece. I’m a pretty fast crocheter, but Tunisian is a different story — it took a lot longer than I had anticipated, and I just barely made the deadline.

See my designs on my Ravelry Designer Portfolio: Donna Childs.

Showcase: Crochet Designs by Donna Childs

Colorful Flower Pins

Get the pattern: See: Split Complimentary Pins (on Ravelry), FREE for National Crochet Month — see details below.

About the pattern: Email me at donna.childs.crochets (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will send you a digital copy of the pattern at the end of the month. The samples are made in thread, but they would make a beautiful flower accent in any size yarn. I pin a bunch of them to my cardigan, jacket, hat, or tote, any time I need a bit of color. The pattern includes a short lesson in color theory.

Amigurumi Cat

Get the pattern: Amigurumi Cat (on Ravelry)

About the pattern: He’s small enough to fit into your pocket!

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Get the pattern: See: Baby You Can Drive My Car (on Ravelry) — Coming soon, see below

About the pattern: I will be making an e-book of patterns for these and more — email me at donna.childs.crochets at gmail dot com for updates.

Follow Donna Online

Here’s where you can connect with Donna online to be sure you don’t miss any of her new designs!

Donna says…

I am working on a couple of e-books, and I’ll be offering some free content to crocheters on my email list. Email me at donna.childs.crochets (at) gmail (dot) com to be added to my list.

Thank you for taking this blog tour with me — I am thrilled with the opportunity to participate and to see what my fellow crocheters are sharing!

Above: Crochet designer Donna Childs

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