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National Crochet Month:
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Kathy Kelly with us today, March 11th, 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!
- I love to wake up early and get an early start on the day.
- My favorite vegetable is the artichoke.
- I love gardening.
- I am a jazz musician and composer.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Kathy’s designs with you.
About Kathy’s Lively Infinity Scarf: “Here’s a stylish and pretty infinity scarf to show off your favorite self-striping yarn. Instructions for using either DK or bulky weight yarn are included. This is a quick pattern to make, especially if you use bulky weight yarn.”
Starry Evening Shawl, available for $5.00 on Ravelry.
About Kathy’s Starry Evening Shawl: “Perfect to wear on a cool summer evening, this shawl uses a single skein of fingering weight yarn and a large hook to create an exploded lace shawl with beautiful drape, It is lovely made with a sparkle yarn such as Dream in Color Starry or Red Heart Stardust.”
Kathy is not only a crochet designer but also a jazz musician and composer. You can learn more about her music at Kathy Kelly Vibes.
Kathy is excited to be teaching classes at YarnCon, Chicago’s Indie Fiber Fair. Her classes will be on Tunisian crochet and Tunisian crochet in the round. YarnCon is April 18-19, 2015.
When Kathy was in junior high school, she learned to crochet from a book with the help of her mom. She remembers, “We tried to figure it out together. The book just had illustrations, no photos, so it was an adventure to put it all together. We got some of it right and winged the rest. The instructions were to work in the back loop only of the stitches, unlike the current convention of working stitches into both loops.”
“One of my first projects was a small throw,” Kathy recalls, “I made squares of various colors using double crochet and sewed them together. I used a ‘new’ yarn, Caron Dazzleaire, 100% acrylic and I was excited about it. I still use the throw and it has held up really well!”
On Becoming a Designer
Kathy was first inspired to design by a desire to give back to the community. She wanted to offer a free pattern on Ravelry in thanks for all the free patterns she had used. She also began teaching crochet and, in order to help her students learn basic techniques, she wrote patterns. Her first published pattern was a commission for the Chicago Yarn Crawl.
While continuing to teach, Kathy began to publish some of the patterns she wrote for classes. She also designed a second pattern for the Chicago Yarn Crawl. She says, “As I saw my patterns sell on Ravelry I started to focus more on designing patterns for the general crochet community. I’m still in the early stages of my career and hope to continue making patterns as an indie designer.”
The Design Process and Inspiration
When Kathy creates a design, she says, “I like to mull things over, so I usually knock an idea around in my head for awhile before even picking up a hook and yarn. I might start with some swatches or draw a chart, then take some time to consider them, maybe make a few changes before starting a first prototype.”
Kathy gets a lot of inspiration from nature. She observes, “Birds, plants, the colors of sky and land, even the shapes of animals and flowers can be food for thought.”
Kathy’s Advice for New Crocheters:
- “Jump in and try stuff.”
- “Stop and look at your work frequently. You will learn to read your stitches and catch mistakes before you have gone too far.”
- “Get up. Don’t sit too long at one time, stretch, get a glass of water. This can help prevent repetitive stress injuries.”
- “Don’t forget to have fun with it!”
Predictions for the Next Big Crochet Trend
Kathy suggests, “I think textural stitches and color work on wearable items will increase in popularity.”
Some of Kathy’s Favorites:
Below, Kathy Kelly tells us about some of her favorite books.
- “The New Tunisian Crochet by Dora Ohrenstein is a great source of information and also offers great Tunisian stitch patterns that can be used for various crochet designs.”
- “Couture Crocet Workshop by Lily Chin has a lot of useful information on shaping.”
- “Crochet Inspiration by Sasha Kagen has beautiful stitches and motifs that really are inspirational and are good building blocks for designs.”
- “Connect the Shapes, Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman shows interesting ways to combine and connect motifs, another good source of inspiration.”
Favorite Hooks: Kathy shares with us, “I love Clover Amour and Clover Soft Touch hooks as well as Susan Bates aluminum hooks. And for Tunisian crochet with a smaller number of stitches I love the Clover Takumi bamboo hooks.”
Favorite Designers: “I love Doris Chan’s designs, they are elegant and I find the lacy stitch patterns very appealing. Carol Ventura makes beautiful designs using the tapestry crochet technique. She has a wonderful website, Tapestry Crochet, that features how-to videos and patterns for tapestry crochet. She also has a blog where she features interviews with various tapestry crochet artists as well as her own patterns. Carol always seems to be doing something interesting and inspiring.”
Favorite Yarn: Wool and alpaca.
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “I love making shawls but also like variety, so whatever I’m working on at the moment is usually my favorite thing. Except when a project isn’t going well.”
Visit Kathy’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Kathy’s blog post today! We can’t tell you what it is and we don’t have a sneak peek today because Kathy says, “It’s a secret!” So you’ll have to visit her blog to find out!
Find Kathy Online:
Crochetville: crochetville.com/community/user/31056-vibeskat (must be logged in to view profile)
Ravelry: ravelry.com/people/vibeskat (must be logged in to view profile)
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/kathy-kelly
Kath’s Music Website: kathykellyvibes.com
Well, there weren’t quite enough clues in our post about Kathy to figure out for sure which one was the lie, but the truth is that Kathy does not like to wake up early. Sounds like Kathy is a night owl!