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National Crochet Month:
Kim Guzman, Crochet Kim
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Kim Guzman of Crochet Kim with us today, March 24, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Kim is a long-time professional member of the Crochet Guild of America. She is currently volunteering as CGOA’s Chain Link newsletter editor and as an editor of CGOA’s blog.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Kim’s designs with you.
This gorgeous cabled sweater is made with Tunisian crochet.
Getting Off to a Good Start
Kim’s grandmother taught her how to make a granny square when she was eight years old. After that, Kim is completely self-taught. She remembers making granny squares for quite a long time before moving on to other projects. Kim thinks her mother probably still has the granny square afghan she made when she was little.
A Design Career Is Begun
Kim says, “I started designing solely because I wasn’t aware of patterns. It just seemed natural to make up my own. It wasn’t until 1997, when I first got on the internet, that I started writing out my designs.”
Kim is known for a lot of things in the crochet world, but she’s probably best known for her extensive work with Tunisian crochet, although Tunisian probably comprises only about 25% of her designs. The last time she looked, she has the most published Tunisian crochet patterns of anyone in the world.
Kim also enjoys exploring different techniques that aren’t seen very often. Some are so unique that she’s never seen anything like them before.
Sources of Inspiration
Kim says her inspiration always comes from the yarn itself.
Kim is most proud of her Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide. She says, ” I had never done a stitch dictionary like this before. Tunisian crochet stitch patterns just seem to fall out of my ears so, unlike most stitch pattern dictionaries, this one includes many completely unique and never-before-seen stitch patterns.”
The Wider World of Fiber Arts
Kim is also a knitter, and has had about a dozen knitting patterns published.
Prediction for the Next Big Crochet Trend
Kim thinks the next big trend will be ponchos in more contemporary styles. They may even be given a new name to spark interest and improve marketability.
Online Class–Pattern Grading:
Kim has taught online crochet classes on Crochetville’s social community site/forum since 2007. One of her most popular classes is a class targeted to crochet designers but that is useful for anyone who wants to learn more about making and designing patterns in multiple sizes: Pattern Grading.
In this class, I will have a prepared garment spreadsheet. I will walk you through making the changes to size it up to the different sizes required for professional publishing. Although we will focus on YarnStandards sizing, this information will allow you to also size up other garments you may find in magazines or books, as long as a schematic is provided.
The primary goal in this class is learning to use digital spreadsheets for grading patterns. You can use Excel or Open Office (free download). The class will not focus on writing a pattern. It will be solely for garment grading with a spreadsheet.
Grading patterns is a very precise skill. It is not hard. It is simply very time-consuming. You can expect to spend a lot of time concentrating on your spreadsheet and plugging in numbers. You may feel like you’ve been doing accounting all day long. But I assure you that it is much easier than a paper and pencil. And, the benefit is that you will be able to retain the spreadsheets of your designs on your computer. It makes it easy to check your pattern against your spreadsheet. And, it helps to have that spreadsheet available when customers contact you with questions!
About Her Design Process:
I don’t really have a process. Everything starts off with the yarn. I may stitch it up in half a dozen different stitch patterns before I finally find a stitch pattern I like and then the yarn tells me what it wants to be.
Advice for New Designers:
Try very hard not to let it take away your fun. Even if you find yourself designing and writing patterns frequently, every once in awhile, do something fun in crochet without plans of writing down a pattern. I know how easy it is to get too absorbed but, if you take away the fun, your heart won’t be in it. Give yourself some time to enjoy and then you can come back refreshed.
Advice for New Crocheters:
Please don’t give up on yourself! We’ve all been there and you just need to practice and count.
Some of Kim’s Favorites:
- Designers: Kristin Omdahl, Drew Emborsky, Tamara Kelly
- Favorite Hook: Clover plain aluminum (not the padded ones)
- Favorite Yarn: Kim loves all yarn. Her favorite weight and type of yarn seems to vary from project to project.
- Favorite Thing to Crochet: Anything lace, especially with some dreamy laceweight yarn.
Visit Kim’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Kim’s blog post today! She is releasing a very special FREE pattern for you!
Find Kim Online:
Crochetville: crochetkim (must be logged in to see profile)
Ravelry: crochetkim (must be logged in to see profile)
Crochet Kim Website: http://www.crochetkim.com
WIPs ‘N Chains Blog: http://www.kimguzman.com/blog/
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kim-guzman
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