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National Crochet Month
Stacy Vaka, Crochet Kitten
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Stacy Vaka with us today, March 2, 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!
- As a kid, I once pretended I was sick so I could stay home and crochet.
- My husband has wild fantasies of learning how to crochet so he can create creepy clown amigurumis.
- My daughter is sometimes jealous of my crocheting.
- My friend is an avid fisher who uses crochet nets instead of a fishing pole.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Stacy’s designs with you.
Layla, available for $3.00 on Ravelry
Our Layla Belly Dancer is the perfect gift for the belly dance enthusiast in your life! We chose a soft acrylic/nylon blend which makes her just right for cuddles. With her safety cat eyes, she is even appropriate for the littlest belly dancer.
Dolled Up Blouse, available for $6.00 on Ravelry
This pattern is worked seamlessly in one piece, because who wants to be bothered with sewing at the end? And it also includes simple bust dart shaping for an enhanced fit, plus suggestions on how to modify the pattern to make it just perfect for you!
Stacy learned how to crochet from her aunt, a home ec teacher who taught Stacy when she was 12 years old. Stacy no longer has the scarves which were her first crochet projects, but she remembers that pretty much all of them were wider at one end because she still learning to keep her stitch count consistent in one row. When you make a mistake like that, what do you? You call it a design feature!
When Stacy first started her Crochet Kitten blog, she was really known for her kitten amigurumis. She has one series based on signs of the Zodiac and another series of belly dancer kittens. As she’s concentrated more on trying to find her niche, she’s begun to focus more on jewelry and belly dance patterns. Stacy loves belly dancing! While she’s met quite a few belly dancers who crochet, there’s a distinct lack of patterns for belly dance costume pieces. The American Tribal Style of belly dancing really lends itself to crocheted pieces, so lately Stacy has been focusing on creating patterns that could be incorporated into a belly dance costume.
Stacy is another designer who really tries to make her patterns accessible to everyone. If she can’t grade (size) a pattern from X-small to 5X, she’ll tweak her design until she can. She also makes a point of sizing her children’s patterns from toddler all the way up to teen as well. Children grow at such different rates, she doesn’t think it’s fair that a child who is at the top of the growth chart for his or her age should be sized out of a pattern that was designed for their age group.
Starting her Crochet Kitten business is what Stacy feels is her greatest crochet accomplishment to date. She believes it is a great creative outlet that constantly inspires her to further her skills. She says, ”
Prediction for the Next Big Crochet Trend:
I think it’s about time doilies made a comeback. Lace is really big in fashion right now, and doilies are the quintessential use of lace. I think they’ll be given a modern twist by applying them to fashions instead of being used as place settings.
Advice for New Designers:
For designing, I say just jump right in! If you spend too much time thinking about it, you’ll never make anything. Just make sure to take copious notes as you go to make writing the pattern easier. If you want to turn it into a business, I would highly suggest looking into the laws for a home business before you start. You’ll need a business license if you want to attend trade shows (and this is easy to obtain), and you may need a sales tax certificate before you start selling things. I know that all sounds like a buzz kill, but if you end up being the next hottest thing in crochet, you’ll be thankful for having set things up properly first.
Fun Story from the Crochet Industry:
I remember the time I tried cro-hooking for the first time… My soon-to-be mother-in-law walked and said, “What’s that you’re doing again? Crotch hooking?” …Not quite.
Some of Stacy’s Favorites:
- Favorite Crochet Reference Books: Any book with stitch patterns or crochet motifs
- Favorite Designers: Pioneers of the craft such as Lily Chin for making crochet fashionable, artist Olek for making it noticeable, and Kathryn Vercillo for making it newsworthy
- Favorite Hook: She loves Clover hooks in particular, but any bamboo or wood hook will work
- Favorite Yarn: Wool for its warmth, cotton for its breatheability, silk for its luxuriousness, and acrylic for those with fiber allergies or for chemo patients with sensitive skin
What Stacy Has to Say about Her Design Process:
I began designing because I could never seem to find the exact perfect pattern for whatever I wanted, and it started to seem easier to create it myself than to keep looking for it. Everything I design is something I want for myself (or for a gift for someone), and this is what I think keeps my patterns in demand. I figure if it’s something *I* want, then someone else would probably want it as well.
Spreadsheets and gauge squares are my best friends. I always have an idea of what I want to make, but it’s not until I select a stitch pattern, make a gauge square, and plug the measurements into my spreadsheet that I know how to proceed. Once I have all my calculations, the pattern practically writes itself.
Visit Stacy’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Stacy’s blog post today! She’ll be offering two special coupon codes for you that will be valid for the rest of the month of March.
- A code to BUY 1 pattern, GET 1 FREE in her Ravelry pattern store.
- A code to get her Outdoor Accessories in Thermal Stitch pattern for FREE in her Ravelry shop.
Find Stacy Online:
Crochet Kitten website: http://www.crochetkitten.com
Crochet Kitten blog: http://crochetkitten.blogspot.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/crochet-kitten
We didn’t really address any of the comments in our post about Stacy, but the truth is that while she does have a friend who is an avid fisher, this person goes fishing about every weekend, he uses a standard fishing pole, and not crocheted nets. A crocheted net is an interesting idea, though!