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National Crochet Month
Marty Miller, The Crochet Doctor
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Marty Miller, also known as The Crochet Doctor, with us today, March 3, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
Marty’s grandmother Tillie taught her to crochet when she was only 5 years old, and she hasn’t stopped since! In 8th grade, Marty was in an accelerated class where all the students were finishing their classwork very quickly. To keep the students out of trouble, the teacher taught them all how to make granny squares, which were assembled into afghans for donation to veterans.
She says her first crochet project was probably a blanket for one of her dolls. She still has the first big blanket that she crocheted for her new baby boy, quite a few years later. Her son’s blanket was made with a ripple stitch pattern and had a few minor problems. The chain foundation was extremely tight, and the rows kept getting a little looser and a little more looser, until the final row was extremely loose. Marty now uses that blanket for teaching purposes to demonstrate the benefit of using foundation stitches. (Not familiar with foundation stitches? Be sure to visit Marty’s blog later to learn more.)
Marty is well-known in crochet circles for quite a few things:
- Her designs using foundation crochet stitches and stitch patterns, instead of using a chain and then working all the stitches of the first row or round into that chain. With foundation stitches, you work one chain, then work the stitch that goes into it. Then your work the next chain and the stitch that goes into it, and so on.
- Her frequent use of granny squares (and other granny motifs) in her designs for garments, accessories, and home goods.
- Her designs for wearable sweaters that utilize simple construction and shapes, resulting in patterns that are easy to follow.
If you’ve ever seen any of Marty’s patterns, you’ll have noticed that they are usually easy to crochet. Marty keeps the number of rows to repeat in a stitch pattern to a minimum so the pattern repeat is easy to remember. She loves making it so you don’t have to keep looking at the written pattern to try to find your next step! Many of her garment designs are more of a blueprint than a pattern, allowing you to use many different types and weights of yarn in your projects. Marty understands how many of us find a favorite sweater design that we feel is really flattering, and wish we could have that sweater in many different colors. Her sweater designs will give you the freedom to create an entire wardrobe of sweaters that look so different from each other that most people won’t guess you used the same pattern (or blueprint) to make them.
In addition to crochet, Marty has enjoyed knitting, weaving, cross stitch, needlepoint, and making silver jewelry over the years. But crochet has always been her first love and is what she spends her time on now.
Marty has accomplished quite a lot in the crochet industry. She’s a well-known instructor, teaching in-person classes across the country at Chain Link (CGOA conference), TNNA, and Stitches South as well as online classes at Craftsy. She has published two books (one of which is out of print) and countless patterns in various crochet magazines. Marty all served on the Board of Directors of the Crochet Guild of America for four years, and as president of the organization in 2010.
While these accomplishments are quite exemplary, Marty may be the proudest of the fact that her granddaughter, whom she taught to finger crochet when she was 6 years old, had a finger crochet pattern published in Crochet! magazine when she was 11.
Advice for New Designers:
Take some classes on designing – like how to size garments, and how to write patterns.Learn about why you need a tech editor for your patterns if you are going to self-publish. (And learn the difference between a tech editor and a pattern tester.) Also, learn about copyright and professionalism.If you want to teach, and you’ve never taught before, take some classes on teaching, or observe good teachers in action by taking their classes. And then practice, at your local yarn shop, for a small group of students, or even one-on-one.
Some of Marty’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Reference Books: Stitch dictionaries
- Favorite Hook: In-line hooks
- Favorite Yarn: DK or heavier
- Favorite Fiber: Whatever she’s working with that meets the needs of the project
- Favorite Thing to Crochet: Sweaters, afghans, scarves, totes, baskets, shawls, rugs, and just about everything else
What Marty Has to Say about Her Design Process:
My grandmother didn’t read English, so she couldn’t read patterns. She taught me how to figure things out without patterns, and that was my introduction to designing.
Visit Marty’s Blog: NatCroMo Sneak Peek
Find Marty Online:
Crochet Doctor blog: http://thecrochetdoctor.blogspot.com
Not Your Granny’s Crochet blog: http://notyourgrannyscrochet-marty.blogspot.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/marty-miller
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/marty miller
Bluprint (formerly Craftsy): Marty Miller, Instructor Profile