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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: Ann Mancini-Williams, Glamour4You | Dana Bincer and Deborah Bagley, Yarnovations | Daily Giveaway | Halos of Hope Hat Collection | Complete Designer Schedule
Dana Bincer and Deborah Bagley, Yarnovations
Crochetville is very proud to have designers Dana Bincer and Deborah Bagley with us today, March 9, as two 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!
- We share the same initials before and after getting married.
- We never dated each other’s boyfriends.
- Though twins, we were born around midnight so we have two different birth dates.
- We love mountain biking but hate hiking.
Dana and Deborah’s Designs:
If you’re not familiar with their work already, we’d like to share two of Dana and Deborah’s designs with you.
Panda Set, available for $9.99 on Yarnovations.
“Go Panda! This adorable set is delightful for a child’s room. And there are hats to fit everyone in the family!”
Panda Set Includes:
- Bean Bag Chair
- Hats: 6 sizes (newborn to adult men)
- Pants / Diaper Covers: 4 sizes (newborn to 12 mos)
- Stuffed Animal
- Bamboo Blanket
Talk Like a Pirate Day Cozy & Lemonade, FREE pattern and recipe on Yarnovations.
“Avast ye scallywags, it’s time to grab yer crochet hooks before we make ye walk the plank! We’ll be drinkin’ this lemon booty from mason jars and crocheting with Vanna’s Choice Yarn. Though this be a great stash busting project, Vanna’s rich and vibrant colors are a treasure to be sure.”
About Dana and Deborah:
The twins’ style is quirky and fun. Their designs tend to come in sets, as you can see in their Panda Set pictured above.
They often make impressive 3D items like a 7-foot palm tree (It’s a Jungle Set). Or a “working” blasting box with a handle that actually moves up and down (Hard Hat and Mining Set). Although these 3D items may appear complicated, the underlying structure is easy for anyone to make using plastic, cardboard, and other household items.
The Early Years
Dana and Deborah grew up making lots of crafts with their mother. While vacationing with their grandmother, they were very curious about crochet. She was hesitant to teach them, not knowing if they were genuinely interested. They were quick learners and wanted to know advanced stitches right away. Their grandmother made them each create swatches in single crochet to prove they had mastered the first stitch before she would teach them more.
First Big Projects
Their first projects were chevron afghans in single crochet. Deborah’s was cream, peach, and green. Dana’s was cream, purple, and pink. Although the blankets weren’t quite symmetrical, they turned out surprisingly good for first big projects. Encouraged by that success, they purchased a pattern for a blanket with 64 different stitches. They hated it! Why? First, they had to learn how to read a pattern. Then they needed to learn about gauge. None of their squares ended up being the same sizes. They never did finish that blanket!
As Time Went By
Deborah crocheted off and on through the years while Dana switched to paper crafting. Each one tried to convince the other to switch to her craft of choice. In 2010 Deborah crocheted a ton of fun stuffed animals for her nieces nephews. Then she started designing some patterns of her own and blogging about them. Dana was eventually won over after seeing that crochet had evolved over the years and that there was a thriving online community. Dana’s web development and marketing experience made it easy to turn a love crochet from hobby to business.
In the CGOA 2014 Design Competiton, Deborah’s 3D wreath, A Soldier’s Christmas, won third prize in the category Afghans and Home Decor (sponsored by Red Heart).
In the CGOA 2013 Design Competition, Deborah’s designs won three prizes. Her granny square afghan, Granny’s Tree of Love, won an honorable mention in the category Afghans and Home Decor (sponsored by Red Heart). Her children’s costume, Meeting Mr. Tummus by the Lamp in Narnia, won an honorable mention in the category Artistic Expressions (sponsored by Jenny King Designs). Her bean bag chair, Owl Sit with You, won third prize in the category Artistic Expressions (also sponsored by Jenny King Designs).
Fun Story About Crochet:
The “Right” Way to Hold a Hook
Dana and Deborah recall, “When our grandmother taught us to crochet, she told us there was a right and wrong way to hold the crochet hook. We both distinctly remember her telling us that. Yet, we each hold our hooks differently, Deborah with an over hand grip like a knife and Dana with and under hand grip like a pencil. Our mother also learned to crochet at the same time we did. So you’d think her grip would indicate which is right and which is wrong. Not so. She starts the first part of every stitch with a pencil hold and ends each stitch with a knife hold! Oh, well. After 25+ years, we’re no longer concerned with which is the ‘right’ way to crochet.”
Advice for New Crocheters:
“Find a crochet group,” Dana and Deborah suggest. “They are usually quite friendly and knowledgeable and can help you improve yours skills. Libraries and yarn shops often have groups or can refer to you some in your area.”
Advice for New Designers:
“Decide if you are designing for business or pleasure,” recommend Dana and Deborah. “If for business, a good marketing strategy is to figure out what sells well and make that. If for pleasure, then design what makes you happy. But always, whatever you design, do the best job that you can even if it means making ten million prototypes until you get it just right. Ok, perhaps we exaggerate on the number of prototypes.”
Some of Dana and Deborah’s Favorites:
Favorite Crochet Reference Books: Dana and Deborah’s #1 favorite reference is Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell. They also really enjoy Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet and The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda Schapper. For books of edging, they enjoy flipping through Crochet Edgings & Trims by Kate Haxell and Crochet on the Edge by Nicky Epstein.
Favorite Hooks: These twins prefer inline crochet hooks like Susan Bates. They explain, “The head is the same height as the barrel making it easier to crochet…even on yarns that tend to split.”
Favorite Yarn: Dana and Deborah ponder, “Seriously…can you have just one favorite?” But they’re willing to share a few with us. They say, “If you visit our site, you’ll notice we have used Vanna’s Choice quite a bit. It’s a great acrylic for 3D items like toys. For warm winter accessories that will be near your skin, we love Merino 6 by Trendsetter Yarns. For beautiful draping fabric we adore Milky Whey by Kollage Yarns.”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “We are drawn to projects that invoke a response in people,” Dana and Deborah reveal. “It could be a baby outfit that make people ooh and aah. It could be a texture that surprises people because it looks knitted but it’s not. It could be a large item that’s impresses because of its shape or size. We enjoy pushing the boundaries of what crochet can be and do.”
Favorite Designers: “We were fortunate to meet Doris Chan and Margaret Hubbert at a Knit and Crochet Show. Not only are they lovely people, they are fabulous designers. We also adore the designs of Greta Tulner, Heidi May, Ira Rott and Caroline Guzman.”
Visit Dana and Deborah’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Dana and Deborah’s blog post today! They’re posting a free pattern for a gift card holder. They’ll also suggest some alternate uses of the flower that’s on the gift card holder.
Find Dana and Deborah Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/yarn-twins
Although there weren’t many clues in today’s post, the truth is that twins Dana and Deborah were not born around midnight, so they actually do share the same birthday.
Additional Blog Tour Information:
Links to All the Info
55 thoughts on “NatCroMo 2015, March 9: Dana Bincer and Deborah Bagley”
Love the story on how to hold a crochet hook. I always find it so interesting to watch you tube videos of different crocheters and seeing all the variations in technique!
The gift card holder is so pretty…and I look forward to seeing the results of their crochet-off!
I wondered about that. I thought, that’s really neat but it was the lie! Lol I am loving NatCroMo! I am learning about new and old (to me) crochet designers and their work. Great giveaways, and great posts. Thanks for sharing!
I loooove the panda set!! I love that you get so much in it!! Awesome!!
Those two are awesome!
i’ve never concerned myself with right or wrong way to hold a hook but what gives me consistency and is comfortable.
I love the panda set. I will be making my 3 year old great grandson and my great granddaughter (due in June) items from this pattern.
Such a lovely style those two designers have! It’s playful, colorful and so happy! I fell in love with the pumpkin halloween outfit and the astonishing tree of love blanket <3
Having fun with NatCroMo and I love the Panda set.
The Panda stuff is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
Loved reading about you two!! And that hard hat and mining set?! Amazingly adorable!!
I love this!!!
Your panda is so huge and adorable !! No one would be a “sad” panda with that cutie around !!
Cute pirate cosies!
I will be checking out kollage yarns, thanks for the tip!
My son would love the cup cozy design.
I hold my hook with a knife hold also. I have tried the pencil hold but can never get my tension right! To each their own I guess!
I love the beanbag “cozies”. I think my two year old grandson needs one.
The Panda set is SO cute!!
I love your work, especially the Panda and the Bamboo Rug. Are you selling the patterns?
The link to the pattern is under the photo. It’s a pattern set with lots of different patterns available for $9.99.
I love the Pirate cozys !!!!!!
Thanks for the story behind Yarnovations.
The Panda Set is adorable!!
I think Pork Chop is my favorite pattern I saw on their blog but I also like the turtles and that way cool palm tree.
Great advice for marketing strategies. You guys are so talented!
I am just learning how to crochet – so thank you.
The panda set is adorable!
Nice to meet the brilliant minds behind Yarnovations! I receive your newsletter but have never had the pleasure of meeting you two.
Thanks Crochetville for the great giveaways. Good luck everyone.
Love your blog
Looks like I have ago to place, when I want something to make for my niece or grandniece,
I’d love if my little sister was remotely interested in crochet! LOL!
I could use a card holder how did you know. I also like your other designs, Talk Like a Pirate Day Cozy & Lemonade, i can see these all over the place.
I think it’s interesting the after finding separate hobbies, both sisters ended up at crochet. 🙂
Love the pandas!
I am so going to buy that panda set pattern!
I love the Panda Set. I may have to add this to the queue.
Their designs are indeed quirky and fun!
I LOVE THE PANDA HAT!!
Oh wow. That bamboo blanket (and all the panda stuff) is AMAZING! Wow!
Love the cozies! I know exactly who to make those for as a gift!
I have twins, and I can’t picture them ever collaborating so nicely with each other. lol.
My grandmother taught me how to crochet.
Thanks for introducing me to Deborah and Dana’s work!! I have really enjoyed looking at their creations and I appreciate the free pattern!
I enjoyed meeting these two creative ladies.
This is such a wonderful idea to “meet” some amazing crochet designers. Those “talk like a pirate” cup cosys are adorable!!
How cool to have a twin and get to share something you both enjoy, even if it took a while to get there. 😉
The panda set is soo cute! I love the right/wrong way to crochet story! I have had trouble with people telling me I hold my hook wrongly, or that I teach wrongly!
I’ve never seen their work before, but I am in love w/ the Panda set and I love how it includes the whole family for such an affordable price.
Pandas and Pirates! It doesn’t get much better than this. Those are some awesome designs!
That has got to be the cutest cozy j have ever seen!!