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National Crochet Month:
Sonya Blackstone, Blackstone Designs
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Sonya Blackstone with us today, March 8, 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!
- Sonya was born and raised in Maine.
- Sonya’s favorite color is purple.
- Sonya loves to do housework.
- Sonya’s favorite stitch is the half double crochet.
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Sonya’s designs with you.
Knit Illusions Skully, available for $4.99 on Ravelry.
“The Knit Illusions Skully is a tight fitting beanie with three different stitch patterns that all resemble knit fabric, but they’re actually crochet stitches!”
Floating Hearts Convertible Beanie, available for $4.99 on Ravelry.
“This Floating Hearts Convertible Beanie can be worn in multiple ways. It can be worn as a traditional beanie or you could leave the drawstring loose and wear it as a pony tail hat. You could also leave the drawstring open all the way and create a bandana look or it can also be worn as a cowl.”
Beginning Her Crochet Journey
Sonya learned to crochet 15 years ago, but wasn’t “hooked” until ten years later. She’s come a long way and is now an Associate Professional member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Although Sonya comes from a long line of crocheters, she taught herself from a learn-to-crochet kit (and a lot of “Help!” phone calls to mom). Her first crochet project (aside from a long, long chain) was a dishcloth.
Becoming a Designer
In 2012, she started a custom-order craft business and found herself struggling to get through a lot of orders. Most of those orders were for crochet items that she would crochet free-form. Because of repeat orders, she started writing down her patterns. After a few months, Sonya realized, “I was the happiest when I was designing something new.” And so she followed her heart. She remembers, “I started listing patterns on Ravelry and that first sale sealed the deal. At the beginning of 2014 I changed my business name and began designing full time.”
Inspiration to Soar
One accomplishment that holds a special place in Sonya’s heart is winning 3rd place in the My Mountain Hat Design Contest in 2013. At that time, Sonya didn’t see herself as a designer, and she reveals, “It was very intimidating for me and with all the people I went up against, I was shocked to even make it to the semi-finals, but when the end came and I was 3rd overall, it was an enormous encouragement for me.” She says it gave her the wings to keep trying for more.
Often Sonya dreams of designs, seeing the colors and the stitches. She relates, “Other times it’s me sitting down with a sketch pad and drawing out ideas and thinking up what stitches would look good for this piece.”
It may sound cliche, but Sonya makes each design with love. She shares, “I pour myself into everything I make, from the little projects to the big ones.”
Some of Sonya’s Favorites:
Favorite Crochet Reference Books: Out of quite a few favorites, Sonya top books are her autographed copy of Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula as well as 300 Crochet Stitches (Harmony Guides).
Favorite Hooks: “Last year I was turned on to Clover Amour hooks and they are amazing. I do not get the hand fatigue and cramping like I do with other hooks. And they’re so pretty!”
Favorite Yarn: DK/Light/#3, especially cotton or bamboo, but Sonya uses all kinds of yarn!
Favorite Thing to Crochet: Clothing and accessories. Sonya mentions, “I especially love making clothes for my daughter.”
Designers That Inspire Sonya: (Early Influences) Tammy Hildebrand and Kim Guzman, (Can’t Stop Watching) Dora Ohrenstein and Doris Chan
Advice for New Crocheters:
“Practice makes perfect,” Sonya emphasizes. “Do research, watch YouTube videos, buy books and just keep trying. Before you know it, you will be fluent in crochet and there won’t be any stitch you can’t conquer.”
Advice for New Designers:
“Don’t give up,” Sonya cautions. “The process of being a designer or any business owner can be trying sometimes, but the end result is an awesome feeling.”
Predictions for the Next Big Trend in Crochet:
I think we will see a rise in vintage crochet. Maybe more lacy designs with neutral colors. I think we will see a lot of those designs our grandmas use to make, but in a modern way.
Visit Sonya’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Sonya’s blog post today! She is offering a one-week 50% off coupon code. She is also having a pattern giveaway: one person will win 3 patterns of choice.
Find Sonya Online:
Crochetville: crochetville.com/community/user/72412-blackstonedesigns/ (must be logged in to view profile
Ravelry: ravelry.com/people/BlackstoneDesigns (must be logged in to view profile)
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/sonya-blackstone
The truth is that Sonya doesn’t like to do housework. She says, “Who has time?” If you read this post earlier, we’ve corrected our mistake… Sonya’s favorite color is indeed purple! And, of course, that is why it is the main color in her Blackstone Designs logo, which you can see in the image above about the NatCroMo giveaway on her blog.