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National Crochet Month:
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.
“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
“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 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 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