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National Crochet Month:
Julie Yeager, Julie Yeager Designs
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Julie Yeager with us today, March 10th, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
Three Truths and a Lie:
Take a guess as to which of the following statements isn’t true. We’ll let you know which statement is “The Lie” somewhere in this post, so keep reading to learn the truth!
- Julie is a Registered Nurse.
- Julie has three knitting machines.
- Julie won a contest and had her crochet square patterns published in Interweave Crochet magazine.
- Julie just learned to crochet in 2010.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Julie’s designs with you.
Modern Blanket of Flowers, available for $3.99 on Ravelry.
“This is a modern and elegant hexagon motif to make excellent use of your favorite self-striping yarn. Three rounds in a self-striping yarn and one round in a coordinating solid and you will quickly complete your motifs. Join using Join-As-You-Go or slip stitch the motifs together for a beautiful and luxurious throw.”
Stained Glass Afghan Square, available for $2.99 on Ravelry.
Also available in the 6-pattern e-book, Julie Yeager Afghan Block, for $6.99 on Ravelry.
“This 12-inch afghan square is fast, fun and deceptively easy to crochet. Use black as your outline for a stained glass effect, or go with a bright or muted palette. You can’t go wrong, and I’ll bet you can’t make just one.”
Julie has designed an impressive array of beautiful, colorful, texture-rich afghan squares. She likes to use aran or worsted weight yarn and a large hook for large-scale designs. She finds inspiration in textile design and she gets color ideas in home decorating and furnishing trends.
Learning to Crochet
Julie has been crocheting and knitting for over 30 years. She recalls, “My mother taught me to knit when I was about 8. She learned to knit as a child in school in Ireland, where the children would knit gloves and socks for charity as a school assignment. I learned to crochet at about the same time from my dear Godmother, a stern spinster. My mother could crochet but she never worked from patterns. You should have seen the things she came up with! (This is not a compliment.) She was an expert knitter, however, and would fix the errors for her little knitting group.”
When Julie was about 11 years old, she would carry her books to school in a cream-colored granny square tote bag. She remembers, “It was not a traditional granny but more of a solid square. I think I got the pattern from a Woman’s Day or Family Circle magazine.” She also crocheted clothes like halter tops and miniskirts for her Barbies using crochet thread and a steel hook.
On Becoming a Designer
Julie relates, “I followed patterns for years, both crochet and knit, but I always improvised and tweaked patterns to my own taste. One of my first projects when I joined Ravelry was an afghan square swap group, and I got very familiar with different afghan square patterns from many great designers. In 2010, I submitted some designs for a contest in Interweave Crochet Magazine called the Chain Reaction Afghan Project whereby ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ designers would collaborate on a charity afghan design. Three of my designs were chosen and I realized my ideas were worthy! With Ravelry, self-publishing is realistic and life-changing!”
On Creating a Square
“After I decide what I want my square to look like, I use my hook as a sculpting tool to get the shape I need. After so many years with a hook in hand, I think in crochet. I work through each square an average of a dozen times to get each round just right. I like to keep the pattern fun with symmetrical repeats. Too much ‘referring back to the pattern’ takes the fun out of it for me, and I think my customers appreciate that.”
It’s About the Customer
Julie has seen her sales and popularity increase every year since she jumped into designing and self-publishing a few years ago. She says, “I like to keep most of my designs accessible to the new and intermediate crocheter. I pride myself on clear and readable instructions, and stand behind my work with pattern support via email and on my Ravelry board. I offer a money-back guarantee – if you are not satisfied with the clarity and effectiveness of my instructions, I will refund your money. So far no takers. :)”
Julie admits, “I have been knitting for years and was heavily into machine knitting for a few years, but now my three knitting machines are collecting dust as I obsess over crocheted blankets. I still love to knit hats and my favorite type of knitting is stranded-knitted sweaters.”
Julie shares, “I have been offering a free Mystery’Ghan on Ravelry annually for the past four years. Clues are distributed over six to eight weeks and we discuss the clues and progress on my Ravelry board. In 2014 we had over 1000 participants. Look for Mystery’Ghan 2015 coming up in late summer/fall of 2015.”
Advice for New Crocheters:
“Practice makes perfect and so many new techniques can be explored using afghan squares.”
Advice for New Designers:
“There is much to learn about the business end of a crochet business, but I think the most important thing is that you have to actually have creativity and the talent to keep coming up with new designs.”
Some of Julie’s Favorites:
Favorite Hooks: “I LOVE the bamboo-handled Susan Bates hook. Makes my crochet fly! And I never have hand pain.”
Favorite Yarn: “I like to do my designs with Vanna’s Choice, an aran weight acrylic with a lofty smoothness that feels wonderful on my fingers. I love how the colors coordinate and I credit the look of my portfolio on the awesome Vanna colors.”
Visit Julie’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Julie’s blog post today! She is offering a coupon code for a free afghan square pattern from her Ravelry store, good during this March only.
Find Julie Online:
Ravelry: ravelry.com/people/JulieAnny (must be logged in to view profile)
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/julie-yeager
If you’ve finished reading our post about Julie, you know the truth by now because Julie gave us clues for every one of the “three truths and a lie.” The truth is that Julie is an experienced crocheter who has been crocheting for over 30 years!