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National Crochet Month:
Justyna Kacprzak, Cute and Kaboodle
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Justyna Kacprzak of Cute and Kaboodle with us today, March 7, 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!
- Justyna learned to knit before she learned to crochet.
- Her favorite size hook is a 3 mm hook, which is right in between US C and D hooks.
- She doesn’t have a craft room.
- She has lived abroad (outside her native Poland) for some time.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Justyna’s designs with you.
Owl Help You Project Bag, available for $5.00 on Ravelry
This cute owl will be happy to guard any of your projects and she’ll even hold the hook for you! Finished bag is about 9.5” (24cm) high and 7.5” (19cm) wide. You can make it bigger or smaller by choosing different yarn weight.
House Gnome, available for $5.00 on Ravelry
Justyna says, “When I was a little girl I really believed gnomes lived in the forests I was walking through, and I was also hoping that there’s a little house gnome around, too. Maybe that’s why I still think nothing turns a house into a home better than a house gnome himself!”
Justyna was determined to learn to crochet when she saw all the great things others were making with their hooks. When she was in high school, she made several attempts to learn to crochet. She finally got it, thanks to her aunt who was a great crocheter.
Justyna’s first project was a doily that turned out really wavy and oh so wrong all the way around. It really wasn’t a good project choice for a beginner. Her second project was a simple bag that she loved and still has. It was also her first design, although she’s never actually written the pattern down. She didn’t think then that she’d become a real designer!
Because she wanted to crochet amigurumi for sale but wasn’t familiar with copyright laws regarding the use of patterns designed by others, Justyna designed her own pattern for a bear. She thought she might as well try to sell the pattern in her Etsy store along with her crocheted bears. The pattern sold well, encouraging her to try writing another. She got totally hooked on creating her own amigurumi designs. Justyna is now very well known for her TINY amigurumi, some of which are only 1″ tall when made with fingering yarn.
Justyna’s amigurumi are full of expression: each one has its own personality, despite the fact they are so small. Justyna attributes that to the effort she puts into shaping and construction. She tries to use different shaping for different animals. In most cases, a cat pattern will not simply be a bear pattern with pointy ears instead of rounded ears. She does have some patterns that use the same general base designer, but in that case, she makes it available as a single pattern with two options, such as her Bunny and Bear Buddies.
Justyna said what she thinks of as her greatest crochet accomplishment changes frequently. Some of her greatest accomplishments to date include having her first design published, having her first repeat customer, creating her own Ravelry group with a number of fans, and self-publishing her own book. What she’s most excited about right now is recently having a book proposal accepted by an independent publisher!
About Her Design Process:
I constantly write down new ideas and keep a list of the things I’d like to design. When I know I’m ready to start working on a certain pattern I just grab my hook and crochet. I don’t sketch or plan a lot. And making the toy is my favorite part of designing, although frogging is a big part of it 😉 I often undo my project to get the desired shaping. It is frustrating, but customers’ comments about clever construction usually make up for it quickly!
Some of Justyna’s Favorites:
Favorite book: A Polish book that belonged to the aunt who taught her to crochet
Favorite designers: Amy Depew, Linda Skuja, Tanja Osswald, and plenty of others
Favorite hook: Simple, basic, no-handle, n0-fancy-stuff hooks
Favorite Yarn: Merino and alpaca, but acrylics and cotton blends for amigurumi
Favorite Thing to Crochet: Depending on her mood, it could be anything from amigurumi to blankets or sweaters
Visit Justyna’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Justyna‘s blog post today! At the time we’re writing this blog post, Justyna isn’t quite sure what she’ll be doing for National Crochet Month. She is planning a special sale of at least 30% on some (or maybe all) of her patterns and possibly a giveaway of her own.
Justyna still lives in her native Poland.
Find Justyna Online:
Cute and Kaboodle blog: http://www.cuteandkaboodle.com
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/justyna-kacprzak
Additional Blog Tour Information: