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National Crochet Month
Tammy Hildebrand, Hot Lava Crochet
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Tammy Hildebrand with us today, March 2, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
Tammy is one of my best friends in the crochet industry, so may find a few humorous, personal anecdotes and comments sprinkled throughout today’s post.
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!
- Tammy loves to design with neutral colors and muted tones.
- Tammy always wanted to be a truck driver when she was growing up. She got her commercial license after going to truck driving school.
- Tammy owned a brick laying company with her husband and took classes to learn how to lay brick herself.
- Tammy has always wanted to learn to play the banjo. It’s still on her bucket list!
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Tammy’s designs with you.
Once Upon a Dream Shawl, Open Weave Fashions, published by Annie’s.
I love the riot of color in the Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock yarn Tammy used for the shawl.
Scarlet Beetle Tank Top and Hat, Crochet for Baby All Year, published by Stackpole Publishing
According to Tammy, she’s been crocheting for hundreds of years! Since our birthdays are actually only a year apart, I can definitely assure you she’s nowhere near that old. But like me, she has been crocheting since she was quite young.
Tammy’s second-grade teacher, Mrs. Crooks, taught her how to crochet after school. Tammy thinks it’s really cool that they are now Facebook friends. She really enjoys seeing her former crochet instructor commenting on all her published designs. To express her appreciation for being the start of her design career, Tammy sent Mrs. Crooks an autographed copy of her first book! Tammy says her first project, a floppy, purple, “hippy” hat is still packed away safe and sound somewhere.
(My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Moyers, taught me how to crochet during recess, along with all the other girls in our class. I really wish Tammy was a year younger and not a year older than me, as that would mean we learned to crochet the very same year!)
Fast-forwarding quite a few years to the time when Tammy’s daughters were just two years and six weeks old, her family moved to North Carolina from Niagara Falls. Tammy was looking for a way to stay home with her little ones, and she found an ad for crocheters in the newspaper. This first foray into the world of contract crocheting led Tammy to realize she could actually begin designing for herself. The rest, shall we say, is history!
Tammy is now very well-known for her fabulous work with lacy motifs assembled with a join-as-you-go technique. She hates to sew, which is the original reason she started putting her designs together this way. Then she came to love the resulting look and the way the motifs seamlessly flow together.
Keep your eyes out for a new design from Tammy that is scheduled to be published this summer. She says this project was a challenge and is totally unlike anything she’s ever done before. She can’t say anything more about it right now, so we’ll just have to wait patiently until the design is released. Tammy knows I have a HUGE sense of curiosity (just like a cat!), so I told her it was very mean of her to tease me with something like this!
Advice for New Crocheters:
You are never too young to learn and you are never too old to learn! My 2-year-old granddaughter is fascinated with crochet and will crawl up in my lap to “help”. I hold her hand beneath mine and let her make stitches with me. And as we get older, it is awesome to learn new things. I joined a gym for the first time last year and I absolutely love it! We need to keep trying new things! Just keep trying and don’t get discouraged.
Fun Story from the Crochet Industry:
About 5 or 6 years ago, I was buried in deadlines, but it was such a nice day out that I just didn’t want to be stuck in the house. I grabbed my yarn and threw it in a plastic tote and hopped in my swimming pool. I floated around crocheting while my yarn stayed dry in the tote. My daughter snapped a picture of me, and I posted it on Facebook. Well every year since then, I know when people are getting ready for Summer because it starts popping up all over the Internet. I call it “Aquatic Crochet.”
Some of Tammy’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Reference Books: Harmony Stitch Guides and Japanese stitch books
- Favorite Yarn: DK weight rayon, bamboo
- Favorite Thing to Crochet: Lacy motifs, garments, afghans
What Tammy Has to Say about Her Design Process:
I am very blessed that it comes so easy to me. It is my gift from God. I frequently just grab a hook and a ball of yarn and create with no gameplan in mind. This, of course, is not always the case, but it is my favorite way to design.
[I get inspiration for my designs from] everywhere. There is nothing I look at that I don’t interpret in my mind in crochet. Some things are very obvious like floor tiles, wall paper, anything with detail. Nature and colors also provide inspiration.
Visit Tammy’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Tammy’s blog post today! She’s created a special FREE hat pattern that she hopes you will use to make a hat to donate to Halos of Hope.
Tammy and I spent several years together traveling to STITCHES shows around the country. While at the shows, we got to know and love Pam Haschke, the founder of Halos. We are both thrilled that we’re collecting hats for Halos all month long.
Find Tammy Online:
Hot Lava Crochet blog: http://hotlavacrochet.blogspot.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/tammy-hildebrand
Health and Wellness Site: https://www.facebook.com/Healthybeginswithyou
If the pictures of her designs weren’t enough to clue you in, the lie is that Tammy likes to design with neutral colors and muted tones.
Additional Blog Tour Information: