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National Crochet Month:
Welcome to Crochetville’s third annual Designer Blog Tour, taking place all throughout March 2015 in celebration of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Each day on our blog, you will find 1) in-depth profile posts for two crochet designers, with a link to their blogs so you can see what specials (free patterns, discount coupon codes, tutorials, etc.) they may be offering for NatCroMo, 2) a daily giveaway post with entries open from 8:00 AM CST to 8:00 AM CST the following day, and 3) during the last week of the month, daily posts from a Crochet Guild of America board member. Join us each day for a new surprise!
Today’s Posts: Andee Graves, M2H Designs | Kathy Lashley, ELK Studio | Susan Sullivan, CGOA President | Daily Giveaway | Halos of Hope Hat Collection | Complete Designer Schedule
Kathy Lashley, ELK Studio
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Kathy Lashley with us today, March 25th, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Kathy is a member of The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA).
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Kathy’s designs with you.
Three Truths and a Lie:
- Kathy graduated from Auburn University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management at the age of 43.
- Kathy has one grandchild.
- Kathy has seven grandchildren with another one on the way.
- The ELK in her business name stands for initials and not the animal that lives in the forest.
Learning to Crochet
Kathy has been crocheting for 33 years. She remembers, “I had an ‘enrichment’ class when I was in the 7th grade where Mrs. Johnston taught me how to crochet a granny square. I ran into her the other day and hadn’t seen her since I was 12. I told her about my crochet business and that she was the inspiration behind it all since she was the one who taught me. It was a wonderful reunion. She is still crocheting too.”
Kathy says, “My first real project to speak of was a baby blanket that I made at the age of 18. It was a simple V-Stitch blanket, using Red Heart in pink and white.”
Becoming a Designer
Kathy shares with us, “I had always loved to crochet but never had time to dedicate to it like I needed because I was raising children and working as a sonographer full-time. My children are now grown, and I’m only working part-time which leaves me a lot of time to crochet. I really started getting serious about the designing part in 2012. It was more fun than I had imagined to take a skein of yarn and sit down to create something of my very own. There was a lot of pride in that for me and when other people started noticing and wanted my creations….I was hooked (pun intended).”
Creating a Design
Kathy says, “I will go to my local yarn shop and see all the beautiful colors and types of yarn to choose from and just buy what I think is pretty and will fit my style of crochet. If I see a beautiful cotton yarn, I know that I’ll probably design a shawl or maybe a hat that would be great for chemo patients. A great wool hat would also be perfect to keep the hubby warm in the winter too!”
She continues, “Once I get home, I just start playing with the yarn trying out different stitches because some projects require great stitch definition, so I try to pay attention to the small details. I will write out my design as I go most of the time but there are times that I’ll finish the entire project and have to reverse engineer to write it out.”
Kathy says her heart and soul goes into every project. She aspires to create elegant pieces that are practical and easy to crochet. She says, “My tag line for ELK Studio is ‘Look Elegant, Feel Elegant,’ so that’s what I try to do every time I design something. I want a woman to crochet my shawls or summer beach hats and feel beautiful when she’s wearing it. I want her to have a sense of elegance and to just look in the mirror and smile.”
Kathy also designs functional hats for men. She says, “My husband loves to wear my crochet hats and he’s definitely what I would call a man’s man, so I try to use stitches and colors that fit him and all the other men out there too!”
Kathy loves using textured stitches in her hat designs, and she says, “I try hard to come up with something that is eye-catching to my fans yet easy once they sit down and try to actually crochet the project. On a few of my projects, I’ve been able to show 3 to 4 different looks by just changing the color scheme of one pattern!”
For design inspiration, Kathy looks to magazines, fashion shows, and just browsing accessories and clothing at the shopping mall. But sometimes she just sits down and starts crocheting an surprises herself at some of the pieces she creates.
Kathy is proud to that her Wrapped in Warmth shawl won the Best Wrap Design for the first quarter in The Crochet Awards. She says, “The competition was unbelievable and to have won was incredible.”
Kathy also believes having a solid fan base is a big accomplishment. She says, “I recognize so many of the people that comment on my Facebook page or blog,” and that is important to her. She continues, “I love the interaction and wouldn’t be where I am without them!”
Advice for New Crocheters:
“Don’t give up,” Kathy encourages. “Learning how to hold your hook and the tension of your yarn that’s comfortable to you is key. The simple stitches will come but what will make you happy is when an entire row of double crochet stitches all look the same in size and shape.
Advice for New Designers:
Kathy recommends developing your brand by finding your own niche and sticking with it. She says, “I love adult accessories and that’s what makes me happy when I’m crocheting.” So that’s what she designs.
Kathy also advises that if you’ve never designed, study how patterns are written. She says, “Join a group of other up and coming pattern designers or maybe even form your own to have someone that can provide feedback and guidance.”
In addition, Kathy advises, “Realize that starting a crochet business isn’t just about crochet. You need to have some business savvy about yourself and learn how to work social media and how each type of social media can draw in different crowds. What are the successful businesses doing? You don’t have to necessarily mimic everything they do but they are successful for some reason right?”
Next Big Trend in Crochet
Kathy says staying on top of trends can be like forecasting the stock market; it can be hard to know at times. But she suggests, “I think elegance is finding it’s way back into crochet in clothing, wraps, shawls and scarves. Fun, cute and quick is certainly there. but I’m finding that even the larger more tedious projects are popular!”
Some of Kathy’s Favorites:
Favorite Books: “I have several but probably my favorite is The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda Schapper.”
Favorite Hooks: Clover Soft Touch
Favorite Yarn: “I have certain yarns for certain projects. I love using Red Heart Soft for my beanies, Sinfonia for my summer hats, Malabrigo merino wool for my winter shawls and Cascade Ultra Pima cotton for my summer shawls. I am trying out the Berroco Captiva yarn for a summer hat and loving the look so far!”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “Definitely adult accessories but really love designing a triangular shawl. It doesn’t seem so monotonous and just looks beautiful when it’s finished.”
Favorite Designers: “I admire Kim Guzman with her expertise and knowledge in the crochet industry. I truly believe she makes a true difference and is willing to help even the beginner.”
“Tamara from Moogly is incredible and her work ethic is admirable.”
“Elena from Beatrice Ryan Designs has a wonderful passion for cancer patients and has done incredible work with her Amazing Grace line.”
“I work with Lorene from Cre8tion Crochet on a small project called Crochet Business Chat Live where we talk with anyone that’s interested in growing their hobby into a business. Lorene has great advice and isn’t afraid to give her honest opinion.”
Visit Kathy’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Kathy’s blog post today!
- She will be offering a free beanie that she designed using Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton.
- She will also offer the Wrapped in Warmth Shawl at a 50% discount using a code.
Find Kathy Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/kathy-lashley
Ravelry Profile: ravelry.com/people/klashley (must be logged in to view profile)
The truth is that Kathy does not have just one grandchild, but seven with another one on the way.
Additional Blog Tour Information:
Links to All the Info
42 thoughts on “NatCroMo 2015, March 25: Kathy Lashley”
The truth is that Kathy does not have just one grandchild, but seven with another one on the way. Wrapped in Warmth is a cool pattern.
Kathy’s designs are lovely, and the Wrapped in Warmth Shawl looks so chic yet cozy!
Love your designs!
Thanks for explaining “ELK” – I wondered about that! Your designs are fantastic. I’m working on your “Wrapped In Warmth” shawl now as one of the CAL’s in the CSW Ravelry group.
So now I know about “ELK” thanks! I follow you and you’re an inspiration!
I can just saw wow… 🙂
Wrapped in Warmth is an amazing looking shawl! Love your designs.
Congrats Kathy! on getting in on crochetvilles NatCroMo and also for how many more lovely patterns you’ve been coming out with. almost time for me to get my southern and sassy (western skies) sun hat out for the summer
I’m kinda looking forward to grandchildren! just so I can dress them up in crocheted hats and booties. I’m already making toys!
I’ve got hopefully at least 6 years – but hopefully longer to build my stash of fun.
Absolutely one of my favorite designers!
Definitely taking advantage of the discount on the Wrapped in Warmth shawl – I have been eyeing that pattern for some time 🙂
I found out about ELK studio through a crochet group on Facebook. I love the beanies and other items for men. Those seem so hard to find and I can’t wait to make something for my husband using one of these patterns 🙂
Thank you for your patterns, They are fresh and beautiful.
Thanks for the tip re beginners. I’m still working on what is comfortable in my hands re tension–hasn’t come about just yet!
Kathy has some beautiful designs and is very generous with sharing so many for free! That cotton beanie is just what I need to use up some extra left over stashed yarn.
Love the Blog!!
Beautiful work, beautiful designs, great designer! I love #natCroMo! I will be visiting the blogs today! Great giveaway! Fingers Crossed, I need the yarn! Thanks for sharing!
Can’t wait to try the Wrapped in Warmth shawl!
Love your designs Kathy!! I am a nana to 3 awesome kids and enjoy making items for them. Some of your patterns have got me enticed to make something for myself. Now I just have to decide on which of your shawls to make for myself. Looking forward to more of your beautiful patterns 🙂
Love your designs!! I made your Pumpkin Spice hat and LOVE it!
I like the Southern and Sassy Hat pattern. When my daughter was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer I made all of her hats using cotton thread. Cotton provides warmth and is gentle on the skin .
Love the ELK designs!
I have like the Elk Studio for sometime on Facebook and have enjoyed it! Thank you so much!
Her sun hat is too cute!!!
Thank you for the free beanie pattern!
I love the wrapped in warmth shawl and the ocean splash wrap!
Have always loved Kathy’s designs. Being a Southerner, I especially like the Southern and Sassy hat.
Loved the story about your teacher teaching you how to crochet!
Kathy is a great inspiration and selflessly offers assistance and encouragement to new designers. She makes me feel proud to say I am a part of the crochet community.
I love the mountain mist hat! <3
I love your designs!
I have followed you for quite a while, and I especially appreciate your shawl patterns, since I make prayer shawls.
I love making adult accessories too, nothing better than being able to wear what I make!
I like the design of the Southern and Sassy hat & the Wrapped in Warmth shawl. I may have to put the shawl on my pattern wish list.
I’m with Kathy on accessories being my favorite things to crochet!
I love the hat. My sister has been asking me for one just like that. Thank you for your generosity.
I love Elk Studio Designs, especially the sunhats! Thanks for participating in the giveaway!
I love her designs, been an avid fan for a good while.