IN THIS ISSUE >>> Page 2 | whatâ€™s NEW? Page 3 | DW4 Winner Interview Page 4 | Red Heart SOFT Yarn Page 5-10 | Sneak Peek II Page 11-15| 2013 Craftsy Blog Winners Interviewed! Page 16 | GIVEAWAYS Page 17| CAL Challenge! Page 18-20 | Sponsors
6 November 1
One solid year, and counting! One year ago this week I launched the Design Wars Challenge, and it has made more progress than I dreamed it would! With progress comes adjustment and new goals, so that we can continue to evolve and grow our ideas into a thriving and successful community, and I think we have made excellent progress! Some adjustments I’d like to mention are: Application to join: I’ve created a better outline of expectations and qualifications for applicants! I’m hoping to find even more untapped crochet talent to feature, and I look forward to seeing some brand new, original design ideas in our future challenges! Sponsorship opportunities: I support handmade, “Mom-preneuers”, and small business. That’s why my advertisement opportunities are modestly priced with great exposure options; because we’re in this together! Let’s continue working together for another great year of crochet excellence, opportunity, and small business! 2
Salena Baca (SB), on behalf of Design Wars: Has DW changed Alessandraâ€™s Stool Cover patterns were such a clever idea for our yarn in Design Wars 4! Fans loved these, and the design was chosen for our Inside Crochet magazine feature last month! Beak Beak, Moo Moo, and Mud Mud the stool covers were voted Most Original Design in our 4th challenge, and we could not be more proud of them! Congratulations Alessandra!
artist/designer? Alessandra Hayden (HA), Just Be Happy Patterns: In a way yes, it has taught me to work with whatever yarn is given to me and to think on my feet, because sometimes your idea just doesn't work and there is a deadline that needs to be met and you just have to be able to come up with something new. SB: What are you working now? AH: At the moment I am working on my Design Wars 5 project. What's exciting in my shop? I just released a new pattern, my Lucile Bonnet! SB: What pattern do you think we should feature as our next CAL on the blog? Why? AH: I think Katie Hanken's blanket, because winter is just around the corner and it will be nice to snuggle with and we can always use something pretty around the house, too!
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For this challenge, I was inspired by combining primary colors with neutrals. I used red blue and yellow with charcoal and light grey heather for an awesome stripy yoke. The pattern is called Button Tab Pullover. The sample I made is for boys but it is a unisex pattern that would look awesome in girly colors too! The pattern will be available in sizes newborn to childrenâ€™s size 10, plenty of sizes for all the cool kids in your life. This is so very easy to make! The stitch used is a very simple variation of hdc and comes out looking like alternating rows of knit and purl for a fabulous faux knit look. 6
For my design I opted to go gender neutral. Canvas shoes are all the rage these days, so my crochet version is modeled closely after this popular style. Now for the practical features. Intentionally thick stitching around the perimeter guards against protruding toes. This is also a no-sew project. And for the fiscally savvy, the pattern includes directions for boots! An optional color work cuff adds an extra dose of character to the shoes. This color work portion takes full advantage of the array of colors available in the Red Heart Soft line. When selecting yarn for this project I chose seasonal colors; muted for autumn and bright for winter. So start picking out your yarn now; the pattern will be released shortly, and will come in sizes baby to adult!
This pattern is bound to be a favorite for many. All it takes is one skein of Red Heart Soft and a couple of hours to whip up these super easy mittens or slouch. It is one of those patterns that you can pick up in the middle and get right to it - no counting of rows necessary. A super easy beginner pattern that gives a wonderful and useful result. One of my design goals is to only make patterns that I myself really want to make and use for myself or my loved ones - good "basics" in any wardrobe. I love this set and can't wait to make them in many variations. This stitch is so easy but it might be tough for even crochet enthusiasts to see what stitch it is! It is in fact the wrong side of a common stitch - the sc in blo - which also makes these reversible. Both the mittens and slouch are made in the round with no sewing, joining or stitch counts. Just simple measurements and decreases. Simple and fabulous mittens and slouch!
I am blanket obsessed lately. But, hey, tis the season for snuggling, right?! What could be better than getting cozy under a warm blanket that reminds you of the charming flowers of warmer weather?! So let me introduce the Mariposa Throw. I named it this because of the single stemmed 3-petaled Mariposa Lily that grows on rocky slopes of the mountains of the West. Add a rainbow of colors and it cheers any space, but you could easily work it in shades that match your decor and suit your style. The rectangles might look challenging, but they are actually quite simple to construct, and the abundance of texture makes the flowers pop up like they have bloomed. The chevron-like arrangement of the motifs is pretty nifty, too! Color, texture, options, unique. Iâ€™m happy. 9
Crochet this adorable princess quilt for your little princess! Perfect for afternoon naps, or works perfectly as a take-a-long play mat. Your little one will love snuggling under it or sitting on top of it. Sample quilt was made using Red Heart Soft aran weight yarn and crochet hook size I (5.5 mm).You'll also need a yarn needle for some assembly. Princess dress features a ruffled flounce and puffed sleeves. Pattern includes instructions to make everything shown in the photo, including...- sunshine- cloud- flowers, stems, leaves the quilt is finished with a simple shell edging. 10
Salena Baca (SB), on behalf of Design Wars:: What are you working on right now? Anything exciting you want fans to look for? Tamara Kelly (TK), Moogly: With the holidays on the horizon, my designs are going to be mostly quick projects that make great gifts. I have a couple of patterns I'm working on that will "complete the set" and turn stand-alone designs into the perfect present. I also am in the planning stages for my first adult women's garment - stretching my design skills for sure! I've also got some AMAZING giveaways lined up for November - it's going to be a fantastic month, with opportunities to win yarn, hooks, and more!
â€œMy real joy comes in sharing knowledge and patterns with other crafters, and I hope to keep spreading the love of handcrafts throughout the world.â€?
SB: Define success. What do you hope to accomplish?
Craftsy recently held their first ever blogger awards, and after more than 3,000 nominations were submitted only two winners were selected in the crochet categories; Tamara was one of them! Moogly is a bright, cheery blog filled with excellent crochet tutorials and a growing list of free crochet patterns! I had a few questions for this winner, and she was happy to share!
TK: I think success is extremely individual. For me, if I can do what I love and earn enough to help support my family, that's success. Moogly is the truest combination of my passion and drive and talents - and it's what allows me to be a work at home mom. We live a very humble life, but I feel very successful, and extraordinarily lucky. As for what I hope to accomplish in the future? Well, the Moogly tagline is "Crochet, Knitting, World Domination" - so there's always number 3 to go! But in all seriousness, Moogly has already grown beyond my wildest dreams, so I'm constantly setting new goals! I love the independence of being an indie designer and working for myself, but I also enjoy collaborating with others, and hope to do more of that in the future. My real joy comes in sharing knowledge and patterns with other crafters, and I hope to keep spreading the love of handcrafts throughout the world. World domination of yarn!
SB: What is different / special about your blog? What can people expect to find there? Tamara Kelly (TK), of Moogly: I think one thing that really sets Moogly apart from a lot of one person craft blogs is consistency. Unless it's a holiday, I post something new to the blog at least 5 days a week - so there's always something new to read, watch, or make! I read every comment and do my best to answer every question that comes in. For me blogging and crafting aren't just a hobby and aren't just a business - I'm passionate about what I do and I think that comes through to the readers! Every week at Moogly you'll see at least one roundup of free patterns on a special theme - everything from owls to legwarmers to unusual stitch patterns. I also do weekly HD video tutorials, with the help of my husband/camera person/editor Geoff - he deserves half that Craftsy Best Tutorials award for sure! And the real highlight of the week (at least in my opinion!) is on Fridays, when I share my own design for an original free pattern - usually crochet, but occasionally knit as well! I pour my heart into everything I post, but the patterns are like my babies. Every week I worry a little as I send it off into the world, hoping it'll make friends and do well! There are a couple of other regular events at Moogly that keep things interesting. I've recently started being able to offer giveaways to my readers with a variety of amazing sponsors, from indie designers to published authors to big yarn companies and hook makers! And every two weeks I co-host a link party, Hookin On Hump Day, with Sara from My Merry Messy Life, which is open to all fiber arts bloggers, and a great way to "meet" other people doing the same thing you are it's SO great to be able to network and get to know other crocheters and crafters and be able to build each other up. I'm a firm believer in the idea that it doesn't have to be a competition. Craft bloggers can work together and build each other up, and pool our knowledge for better success for all.
Congrats Tamara Kelly for another Moogly Milestone!
Salena Baca (SB), on behalf of Design Wars: What is different / special about your blog? What can people expect to find there?
”I strive to make my blog a friendly and welcoming place where people can find beautiful crochet inspiration…”
Kara M. Gunza (KG), Petals to Picots: I strive to make my blog a friendly and welcoming place where people can find beautiful crochet inspiration, fun and unique patterns, and to become a trusted resource for the crochet community. My main focus is always to write patterns that are as user friendly as possible and are in an easy to understand format. SB: What are you working on right now? Anything exciting you want fans to look for?
The Craftsy Blogger Award for Best Crochet Photography went to Kara Gunza of Petals to Picots! In addition to hosting some really lovely images on her blog, Kara offers an array of free patterns, teaching reasources, and a yarn shop! I just love when crochet is recognized in major arenas (like this blogger award!), and was thrilled that Kara chatted with me after her big win!
KG: Right now I am working on some new Christmas crochet patterns for the blog. I am also working on a cozy knit afghan for my son. As far as what fans can keep an eye out for, I am very excited about what I have in store this week ... A series entitled "Learn to Crochet in a Week." Every day I will have a new Tunisian lesson, followed up with a handy sampler stitch washcloth pattern at the end so everyone can practice their new stitches. I think readers will really enjoy it!
SB: Define success. What do you hope to accomplish? KG: Great question! There are many layers to how I define success both on a personal and professional level. On a professional level, my definition of success being able to make a living being creative and doing what I love. I hope to continue to grow my blog readership, add more new pattern designs to my shops, and continue to grow relationships with other amazingly talented bloggers and designers.
Thank you Kara Gunza for giving crochet a beautiful place in the neighborhood!
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WHAT’S NEXT? ISSUE 14: November 13 >>>
Final Reveals! VOTING! Enter to win our Red Heart Yarns Prize Pack! Lovely Sponsors!
Sneak Peek Week II, interview with our DW4 challenge winner, interviews with the 2013 Craftsy Blogger winners, Giveaways, our next Crochet A...