Saturday, April 30, 2011

Say hello to TheOldHooker, ElevenHandmade, twistedplanet, and RemarkableCreations

Hooray for the next round of team interviews! Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter the April “New Techniques” challenge. Please be sure to post your challenge entry in the thread before midnight tonight!

Well this next team member is Betty aka theoldhooker and I was so excited to learn that Betty lives in my own hometown of Sacramento California but is from Texas. I live in Texas now but am from California. There is always so much I learn from these interviews but most importantly, I learned that Betty and I both love the same ice-cream shop in California, I do hope you will eat some Gunthers for me Betty!

What was the inspiration for your challenge item?
I find inspiration in conversations I hear or read. My challenge item came from reading the Spring Challenge.


What is your favorite hand crafted item of all time?
A quilt my grandmother pieced and set up on a frame for me to do the hand quilting on when I was nine.

Crushable Crochet Raffia Hat
What type of crochet do you particularly enjoy?
I love crocheting hats! Everything else seems like a chore to me.

Crochet Swirled Back Slouchy Tam, in Bittersweet

ElevenHandmade entered the challenge with this radiant braided Bon Bon necklace, and rainbow infinity cowl, here is what she had to say about what inspired her to make them:


I have always loved bright and fun colors, hippies, flowers etc. - they usually are my biggest inspiration.

Do you look for any trends when deciding what to crochet, and do you have any favorite sources where you get your inspiration from?
I am a crochet designer and my inspiration comes from inside of my head. I get inspired by everything around me. I don't look for trends, I prefer to create something that would reflect someone's style/lifestyle. Trends come and go, style stays ;)

Smell the Coffee - Transformer 4 in 1 - Cowl Hood Sleeves Scarf - Made to order
How did your interest in crochet first begin?
I learnt to crochet in school and I already liked it way back then. I have always liked crochet better than knitting.

Crochet pattern PDF file - Lace Top with High Collar - sizes Extra Small to Large

Twistedplanet is known for her very unique, one of a kind crochet dolls and this flower child is no exception. Each one of her creations is so full of personality, they look like they just might spring to life and plant a big kiss right on your cheek!

What was the inspiration for your challenge item?
My inspiration for my challenge piece was flowers. I am so tired of snow and the darkness outside. I found this awesome cotton candy colored yarn and immediately I thought about the 60's and I wanted to do a flower child, something bright and happy. I was in a stuffed animal creation process, so everything I was making for the last 2 months had to be stuffed :)

Crocheted Mr Big Lips
Do you have a favorite handmade gif that you have received? A few years ago my boss at work knitted and felted a wool beret for me. It is bright orange with red stripes. Possibly the brightest thing you have ever seen. I was having a hard time at work and completely hating my job and my decision to move to the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. She just surprised me one day with the hat (she knew I am a hat person, I wear like a few times a week). It was such a nice gesture and I think about her every time I wear the hat, which is mainly in winter because wooohhaa is a felted wool hat super warm. Anyways, I stayed at the job for a few years because of the people. I'm at a new place but I still think about that boss and how kind she is.

Crocheted Owl
What type of crochet do you particularly enjoy? I really classify myself as a beginner. Self taught by reading a book. My mom tried to teach me when I was younger, but I was either not interested, or she completely confused me, so I didn't really pick it up until studying apparel design in college.
I can't read patterns, something that I am working on. But for now, I really love making hats and stuffed animals. Everything is just in single crochet, as that is what I'm most comfortable with. Every piece is different since I just make it up as a go. It yields some interesting results sometimes. Right now I'm trying to learn some new stitches. My challenge piece for April has 2 new stitches in it and I am really excited with how it's turning out.

Like twistedplant, RemarkableCreations is another self taught crocheter. Her challenge entry was these adorable booties.


She wanted to be able to make nice things for her babies as they came and she’s been crocheting ever since. This is what RemarkableCreations had to say about her love of crochet: I love to make little things for little people and that bootie pattern is one of my favorites. I also try to make useful things like the plarn tote bags I'm making now from plastic bags. Keeps them out of the landfill and from blowing all over the landscape.

Patio Set inc. Patio, Table, Chairs, Umbrella & Flowers Dollhouse Miniature

I can never decide what is my favorite yarn or thread, I crochet with everything from sewing thread making doilies for doll houses to heavy yarn making a rug. I just have this need to crochet something all the time. I'm glad for a place like Etsy to be able to share what I make.

Crocheted Cowboy Cowgirl Boots Navy Blue/White Baby Size 5

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello Teamies, how do you do?

There were so many wonderful entries for the Spring team challenge that rather than have one winner we thought it would be fun to have mini-interviews with all of the contestants. What better way to get to know our teamies! Every couple days I’ll be posting some mini-interviews with all of the shops who entered an item in the challenge so be sure to check back often!


Alix from ALTernativeCreations‏ entered this lovely granny square ring.

The inspiration for her challenge item was "spring is on my finger ring". The design was actually the typical granny square. But was also, watching tv and saw a girl wearing an oversized cocktail ring on her finger. So Alix thought... "hey! i could make a granny square oversized ring with thread!" She gave it a try and vwala! it was born.

Alix said if i were to crochet something for herself it would be a lacey blouse. (she is actually am working on that right now!)

Funnest Ring Ever
One piece she is the most proud of was a shawl that she made for her best friend for her graduation which was a bunch of flowers sewn together. It simply is stunningly gorgeous. Alix is also very proud of her mousie – Myrtle, but she is proud of everything in her shop as we all should be!  Myrtle the Mousie

Angela from entered these adorable hats!


What was the inspiration for your challenge item?
My inspiration was simplicity. I chose to make a simple white baby beanie (because what baby doesn't look good in white?!) and added a lovely hot pink flower. I love pink and Spring is the perfect season to embellish baby items with big pink flowers! Plus, I think my daughter is adorable and I love looking at her sweet face in the pictures I took for that hat! =)

Crochet Toddler Owl Beanie Hat
What was the first thing you made after learning to crochet?
The very first thing I made after I learned how to crochet was a pink and white striped beanie. My Aunt taught me how to crochet when I was 6 years old, so this was a pretty adventurous project! But, it turned out pretty good and I still have it today! In fact, I have passed it on to my oldest daughter (who is almost 5 years old) and she LOVES it! She is very eager to learn how to crochet, or to "hook" as she puts it, and I can't wait to teach her! Its going to be very special to spend that time with my children and pass on something that I love doing! Maybe my shop can morph into a family business when my children get older.

Child (ages 2-6) Black Panda Earflap Hat w/ Buttons
What is your favorite hand crafted item of all time?
Its so hard to choose only one item! I love everything that I create because I wouldn't make it if I didn't love it. But, if I absolutely HAD to choose something, it would either be the set of backpacks (4 of them in coordinating colors, each with a matching hat) that I made for my niece and nephews for Christmas a few years ago, or a baby blanket I made for my son when he was born. The blanket isn't anything special, in fact it isn't even all that good looking, but I love it because of its special meaning to me. He's almost 3 years old now and he still loves using his special blanket that his mommy made for him. Every time I see him with it, it reminds me of the love I felt for him when I made it while I was pregnant! Its going to be a very sad day for me when he finally outgrows his special blanket!


Julie from….. 


To see how Julie made this blanket, check out her blog here.

What was the inspiration for your challenge item?
I made a dress from a pattern and it was worked from the top down. I liked it a lot, but i thought, "wouldn't it be cool if I could do one like a rainbow"! But I didn't want the rainbow in a horizontal fashion, I wanted vertical stripes. So, I worked the bodice and ended off. Then I joined the yarn at the side seam and chained a certain amt. of stitches and worked my way back up to the top. But I Wanted it to flair out at the bottom so I devised a pattern that started with longer stitches, getting smaller and smaller as I got closer to the top. Once I established a pattern that worked, I just continued around the bottom of the bodice and changed colors to give it the rainbow effect. I loved it when I was done.

Girl's Bright Circles Multi-Colored Poncho and Hat Set
Do you have any advice for aspiring crochet designers?
Write everything down! Even if it ends up that you tear out stitches, you can go back and erase and modify what you've done. Too many times I thought I would remember, only to set the work aside for some reason, come back to it later.....and I can't remember what I had done.
How do you promote your work?
I promote on etsy, in etsy groups, facebook, to my friends, emails, flickr....wherever and however I can.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keeping Spring around a bit longer


Our talented team member Pam, of MagdaleneKnits and MagdaleneJewels has been a winner of several past challenges with her one of a kind creations. Pam has given some wonderful artist interviews to the Blog which you can read here and here. Pam is again a winner is a couple of categories for the spring challenge and rather than give another interview she decided to keep Spring around a bit longer and write her own article featuring some of the challenge entries.

CreateCrochet Spring Challenge – By Pamela Baker leaf

As we are finally beginning to see the first signs of Springs, crocuses popping up, birds chirping, buds on the trees, I would be totally remiss if I did not mention a few of the beautiful Spring entries in our March Challenge. The Challenge was our team’s way of welcoming Spring with different categories: Spring – rebirth, babies, flowers, etc. - Easter – bunnies, chicks, eggs, chocolates, etc. - Artist – take any artists' painting/work as your muse and use similar color palettes or interpret their design in your work.

So starting with our first group, Spring: Courtney's creation from her shop: submitted this colorful “Fleur Baroque Blanket" with its crocheted border truly caught my eye with it deep pink color and design. As Courtney says, she absolutely loves to crochet, – which is evident when viewing the many items in her shop featuring one of a kind hand-crocheted designs and patterns inspired by her own artistic interests.


What woman wouldn’t look stunning and sophisticated wearing this Hand Crocheted Rayon Raffia Woman’s Hat by (love this name)! I would love wearing any of the fashionable hats that are sold in this shop. How many of use throw away old sweaters or blankets; well this is one designer who has saved and recycled the yarns to crochet these very different and unique hats. As Betty says, “not another person on earth will ever have a hat, sweater, cowl or scarf like the one I just made!”


I have long been a fan of DesertCrochet’s patterns, each photographed with a beautiful little infant, which only enhances the finished product of her patterns. If you haven’t visited Rebecca’s shop yet, I highly recommend any crocheter to visit this shop:, Her entry, “Princess Coming Home” - a lilac cocoon with a little hat would welcome any newborn home. I had to add this picture of my grandson and his little cousin wearing their “Monkey Hats” which Rebecca crocheted especially for them!



This adorable little crocheted headband with its hand crocheted flowers would make any young girl smile on a beautiful Spring day!
The shop: is filled with a treasury of patterns for your little ones. As Tricia goes about her very busy day as a mom, she is continually thinking of new designs which she writes with a new crocheter in mind. Her patterns are written with easy to understand instructions, and is glad to offer any help needed with her patterns.


Even with Spring’s sun bursting forth, we still have a few cool days left. Julie’s “Spring Garden” baby Blanket is perfect to wrap your around your little one. Julie’s shop besides her adorable blankets, is filled with precious children’s little dresses, sweater, and hats. Crocheting for over 40 years, she is never without her yarn and crochet hook. As a breast cancer survivor, she gives special praises to God for her many blessings.You can even see step-by-step how Julie made her blanket on her blog here.


Of course we could not think of Spring without it little bunnies bursting forth and hopping into our hearts. I couldn’t resist smiling when I saw “Yarnabee’s” two little bunnies, both a perfect size for those your little one to find in their baskets on Easter morning. Her shop: is a treasure trove of the cutest crocheted animals. Her love of crocheting is found in her own words: “My hope is when I create my items that they will be given to someone that will cherish it and keep it as a family Heirloom to be passed on like those cherished Teddy Bears my sons have had for years. I create every item with love and joy and hope that's what they will bring to you.”


Who couldn’t resist this precious little Easter “Chickie” Hat from the shop
Each adorable item in this shop are custom made by Alessandra, a stay-at-home mom who found a way to supplement her income with her crochet skills which she learned from her Grandma when growing up in Brazil.


I also loved this little bunny “Silver” with his carrot, from the shop of Mamta:
Mamta, which mean’s “mother’s love”, who although she lives in Mumbai, India, has taken on the task of being our CreateCrochet team leader. She recently upgraded her shop from her very colorful crocheted flowers, to creating patterns for all of us to enjoy. Her work is exactly as she describes herself, “colorful, vibrant, unconventional, enthusiastic, and full of energy & variety!”

Although we are all artists, we come to the last part of our Spring Challenge which was to create something inspired by a favorite painting or artist.

Inspired by the impressionist painter, Monet’s “Morning on the Seine”, this absolutely beautiful shawl (poncho) is the creation by Sheila, whose shop, I can't even begin to describe how beautiful this is. Button it and it's a poncho, wear it open and it's a shawl! Working with many different textures and colors, Sheila has created some beautiful pieces; and now as a stay-at-home mom, she is able to indulge her passion of creating most her own designs while experimenting with some very unique art fibers.


Since I have been very young, admiring a print of my Great Grandmother’s by the artist, William Bouguereau (which I now own), I became a passionate follower of his artwork. Many prints of which one will find hanging on my walls. My inspiration for this Victorian Scarflette, was Bouguereau’s painting “LaTricoteuse” (The knitter). My shop:, is a mixture of baby items, scarf’s, neck warmers, and infant Maryjane’s, all of which reflect my passion for all that is feminine and antique. I love using a pattern and then redesigning it to my own personal interpretation.


Finally, I wish to mention this very unique idea called a “Ponshawl”. The inspiration for this Lilac Ponshawl is Marianne of The versatility of this shawl is its ability to become a cover for a mother-to-be. Marianne hopes to soon incorporate shawls which will make it possible for a mother to breast feed very discretely. A perfect gift for a Baby Shower for the mother. A visit to Marianne’s shop one will find some beautifully crocheted items such as scarf’s, hats, fingerless gloves, and more shawls. Why the name “daisyadaycrochet”? Well, you will have to read her profile to find a beautiful love story behind the title!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Challenge entries for March


The March Challenge was the teams way of welcoming Spring with open arms. The colors, sights, and sounds that go along with the changing of the season were the inspiration behind this challenge. The categories were:

1. Spring – rebirth, babies, flowers, etc.

2. Easter – bunnies, chicks, eggs, chocolates, etc.

3. Artist – take any artist’s painting/work as your muse and use similar color palettes or interpret their design in your work.

When voting, please make sure to vote for your favorite entry in each of the three categories. The voting will be taken down on April 12th.


Spring category










































Sweet Spring Garden Baby Blanket




Easter Category






























Artist category