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National Crochet Month:
Pam Dajczak, Sincerely Pam
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Pam Dajczak with us today, March 17th, 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!
- Pam has never tried Nutella, and doesn’t want to. (Oh, goodness, I hope this is the lie!)
- Pam studied theater in high school but went to university for science.
- Pam used to play bass in a band called Gypsy Moon.
- Pam moved in with the man who is now her husband after knowing him for just six weeks and was shocked and confused that no one tried to stop her.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Pam’s designs with you.
“This cowl is an adorable way to keep your head and neck warm during those cold winter days!”
Ally Scarf, available or Ravelry for $5.00
“The Ally Scarf is the first in a Collection of patterns inspired by my popular Ally Cap pattern! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the beautiful (and addictive!) diamond pattern in this scarf will be no different! The Ally Scarf is a standout piece. We have found SEVEN different ways to wear this scarf making it one of the most versatile accessories in your wardrobe. Make yourself something unique, eye-catching and a little bit romantic this spring (or any time of year!).”
Learning to Crochet
Pam has fond memories of her grandmother teaching her to knit and purl when she was a little girl. She took it up again four years ago after her son was born. Shortly after that, in February 2012, Pam decided to try crochet. She says, “I have trouble wielding two knitting needles in a way that doesn’t scare everyone watching, so a single crochet hook was very tempting. I was also new in town and my son was napping regularly so I had time on my hands. I crocheted my first (terrible) dishcloth, and the rest is history!”
Like many designers, Pam started crocheting as hobby. She remembers, “I made hats for my infant, then family and friends began asking me to make things for them as well. With a little encouragement, I opened a shop on Etsy and began selling finished items. Once I began testing patterns for other designers, the designing bug bit and I was hooked! I have been designing since April 2013 and I have not looked back!”
Pam has a relatively simple design process. She tells us, “An idea comes to mind which I sketch out. From there I choose a yarn that I feel best matches the type of item I am designing. Then I start trying out swatches to pick out a stitch or stitch pattern that best gives me the look and feel of the finished item I want. Then I start hooking and pray for the best!”
Pam’s designs are all unique to her. She says, “I try really hard to ensure that even if I’m putting my own spin on something that has been done before, such as my Fox Pillow, I do it in a way that makes it completely unlike any other fox pillow on the market. Otherwise, what’s the point?” And I must say, Pam’s Felix the Fox Pillow Cover is indeed unique, and the cutest crocheted fox pillow I have seen!
Pam shares with us, “My inspiration used to come from a practical place. If my son needed a hat, I would design a hat. Living in the frigid north meant that I was designing A LOT of winter accessories. Lately, I find myself wanting to work more with current fashion trends or designs I haven’t seen anywhere else. This year you will see several new designs that are like nothing else in my shop and that really excites me!”
On Work and Life
Pam says, “The biggest challenge for me has been balancing a full-time day job, raising a preschooler, maintaining some sort of relationship with my husband, staying active in social media and finding the time in to create new designs. My biggest accomplishment, somehow, has been being able to manage all of that; not perfectly, but things get done. I’m also really proud to have been voted Favorite Design in back-to-back Design Wars Challenges and that my Butterfly Breeze Poncho was voted the Top Crochet Pattern Design of 2014 by Craftsy users.”
Advice for New Crocheters:
Pam recommends, “If you aren’t ‘getting it’ don’t give up!!! There are so many incredible resources available to you! I tried to learn from You-Tube videos when I taught myself and was getting so frustrated. Nothing clicked. Then I bought myself a book called Crocheting for Dummies, or something like that, and it made a world of difference! I really did need to see that stitches drawn out to be able to picture what was being said in the videos. There are also so many different kinds of teachers, different ways to hold your hook and the yarn. Keep trying until you get it. It is such a relaxing hobby once it makes sense. You won’t regret it!”
Advice for New Designers:
Pam cautions, “My advice would be to decide if you are ready for everything that goes in to a business. It is so much more than just having a great idea for a pattern. It’s a lot of long hours and sacrfice. The amount of hours that go into designing, working out the pattern, photography, testing, releasing and the marketing of each individual pattern is a process that can take weeks or even months depending on the complexity and amount of time you are able to invest daily. And that is with just one pattern. There is also the social media, blogging, networking, researching, bookeeping, taxes, messages, emails, questions, interviews, and anything else that can come up in a day! It is hard and sometimes exhausting, but amazingly gratifying and so much fun!!!”
Some of Pam’s Favorites:
Favorite Yarn: “I don’t have a favorite yarn. You can tell from my patterns that I really enjoy different weights and brands since they all make such beautiful and unique fabrics! The only thing I shy away from is anything that feels too scratchy when I’m crocheting. I know some of the less expensive yarns soften when washed, but my poor hands don’t like to be raw by the time I have finished making something!”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “Hats. They are so quick and easy to make! I love that in just one sitting I can mindlessly whip up something that I can then wear out of the house!”
Favorite Designers: Pam has many favorite designers for many different reasons. First, there is her circle of support she counts on every day: Crystal from Crystalized Designs, Jennifer Pionk from A Crocheted Simplicity, and everyone in her tester group. Also, the Design Wars team, especially Salena Baca, who knows and understands Pam, pushes her to be better and cheers her on. In addition, Charissa Ragsdale from Mad Mad me, who has a passion for all things handmade, is an energizing inspiration for Pam. She adds, “And there are so many more. Crafty people in general seem to make up such an amazing community of inspiration, passion, fun and camaraderie.”
Visit Pam’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Pam’s blog post today! She will be offering:
- A new free pattern: the Snowflake Beanie in newborn size will be available on her blog for the first time.
- She will have a pattern giveaway. One winner will receive a copy of every pattern in her Ravelry store.
- She will also be offering 50% off the single patterns in her Ravelry store until March 21st at 11:59pm PST.
Find Pam Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/sincerely-pam
Ravelry Profile: ravelry.com/people/SincerelyPam (must be logged in to view profile)
The truth is that Pam did not play bass in a band called Gypsy Moon. In addition, she and her husband are going on 10 years of marriage now and Pam says, “So I guess everyone else was right!”