IN THIS ISSUE >>> Page 2 | Whatâ€™s New: Notes From Founder, Salena Baca Page 3 | Pro Panel, Guest Challenger Application! Page 4 | New Vote Structure! Page 5 | DW4 Yarn Pick! Page 6-19 | Challenger Line Up! Page 20 | Giveaways! Page 21 | Fan Contributions! Page 22-24 | Sponsors! 24 July, 2013
Welcome back! Design Wars 4 officially begins with this newsletter, and I am proud to say that weâ€™ve made a lot of progress and have 3 major updates to share: There are better opportunities for more designers to apply and participate in future rounds of DW (p3), I have formed a Pro-Panel of designers (p3), and our voting process will now be structured by category (p4)! Iâ€™m adamantly knocking on a lot of virtual doors too, and working to partner with commercial forums to give Design Wars some positive notice! We received just that with a mention from Bust Magazine, and a possible interview with my crochet hero (Bust co-founder and Happy Hooker author) Debbie Stoller! I nearly fainted when I heard that last bit, what a dream come true! Design Wars Challengers also received a gracious twopart spread with Where Women Create that provided a peek into our workspaces, and what inspires us. Finally, Iâ€™m networking with a few of my favorite crochet forums, like Crochet Today Magazine and Inside Crochet magazine, to provide in depth articles about our Design Wars venture! Publication dates for each will be available shortly. - Peace, love, light, and great yarn for all! Salena 2
Design Wars Pro-Panel
Diversity, in pursuit of excellence. That is what I am striving for with each Design Wars challenge! However, I cannot forget the credibility that my founding challengers provided to this forum, even for the sake of diversity, so Iâ€™ve decided that a pro-panel should be formed with my most trusted, loyal, and talented crochet group. And, with this premise, here is how Design Wars will commence: Pro Panel: Including myself, there are 9 members of the Design Wars Pro-Panel. In future challenges we will take turns in one of two roles: half will compete as a DW challenger, and the other half will help to promote, administer, and moderate the challenge. Guest Challengers: Each member of the DW Pro-Panel will choose 1 new challenger from our application pool. This list will be posted as a poll for our public to vote on, and the 5 applicants who receive the most votes will be invited to join the next round of Design Wars as a Guest Challenger. There you have it; diversity in pursuit of excellence, and variety in balance with my most trustworthy group of professionals! We will be considering new guest challengers based on the pool of applications we receive, and you can read more about that process and find the application right here.
Design Wars was way too diverse for only one winner, and after 4 successful seasons we finally decided on a great new option for fans to vote for their favorite new designs among our challengers! After the final reveal of our DW4 designs we will ask our fans to vote for the design that best fits one of 5 given categories: Best use of yarn, Best use of Color, Most Original Design, Best new Gift Idea, and Best New Design to Wear. All designs will be available in each category, and fans can vote to choose which design best represents each. One additional category that is not listed will be the design that receives the most votes overall; the designer who receives this honor will be named our overall DW4 Challenge winner. Brush up on our new categories, and be ready to cast your vote for the best new design in each â€“ weâ€™ll be counting on you! 4
Voting Categories 1. Best Use of Yarn Design that best embodied the yarn
2. Best Use of Color Design that best used colors from line
3.Most Original Design Design that is most unique
4.Best new Gift Idea Design that you are most likely to give
5. Best New Design to Wear Design that you are most likely to wear
Anne Geddes Baby Yarn is a brand new line from Red Heart, and is a soft, colorful range that is perfect for making beautiful baby goodies! Inspired by the iconic images of Anne’s portfolio, this yarn comes in a lovely blend of acrylic and nylon, and is available in a pleasing range of pastel, primary, and variegated colors. When I asked our DW4 challengers to pick 2 favorite yarn lines to be considered in this segment, this one was mentioned more than any other, and it’s no wonder: It’s a weight 3 (light) yarn, with 340 yards per solid skein (290 for multi), is perfect for wearable designs, is machine washable and dryable (gently), and is available in 19 colors! If you’d like to follow along with our Design Wars 4 challengers, you can order your lot of Anne Geddes Baby Yarn from most major craft retailers, or straight from the Red Heart Yarn! Enjoy!
ABOUT | SHOP
Meet our Design Wars 4 Guest Challenger Alessandra Hayden, owner of Just Be Happy! Alessandra was invited to join this round by our DW3 Challenge Winner Danyel Pink (CrazySocks Designs), and we are all quite thrilled to have her! She is a fun, energetic, positive lady, and Iâ€™m proud to present her to you with some Q&A. Enjoy!
1. How did you decide on your shop name; what's the significance? I opened my shop (etsy) after a great loss; I had a stillborn baby and some times needed to keep my hands and mind busy and my husband once told me “just be happy, no matter where you are or what you do, choose to just be happy” and that stuck with me. 2.Which of your crochet pieces do you feel best represent you as an artist? This is a hard question, because I don’t feel like there is just one piece that can represent me, but right at this moment I am enjoying working with some soft lace weight mohair yarn to make very airy and delicate bonnets, like the new Lucile. 3.What are the best words of wisdom you can provide to hopeful crochet shop owners? Have your work photographed by professional photographers, don’t look at it as giving something away, but investing in advertisement. A good photograph goes a long way. 4.What are the 5 most fantastic things you've found on pinterest (for crochet)?
4.What are the 5 most fantastic things you've found on pinterest (for crochet)? Crochet Clock - I love adding random pieces of crochet work to my house. Gift Wrap Embellishment - I have added crochet embellishments to a couple of gifts and for Christmas I intend to add embellishments to all my Christmas gifts this year, perhaps snowflakes, stars and little Christmas trees? Yarn bomb - It inspired me to yarn bomb my mailbox. Color Stripe Generator - I haven’t used it yet, but I will give it a try when I make my next afghan. Crochet Tire Cover - I swear I want a “car” with the spare tire outside just so I can crochet a cover for it! LOL 5.Do you wear your own crochet goods? Which pieces? Yes, I certainly do! I have to *make* the time to crochet things for myself, but I take pride wearing things I make.
Meet our Design Wars 4 Guest Challenger Wink, owner of A Creative Being! Wink was invited to join this round by Charissa Ragsdale (Mad Mad me), and won our public poll as top choice for our final DW4 invitation! She is quite creative, with a fantastic blog, and I’m proud to present her to you with some Q&A. Enjoy!
1. What are the best words of wisdom you can provide to hopeful crochet shop owners? Find a niche, and be really good at what you do. This sounds simple and kind of lame, but it is definitely true. There are simply too many shops that sell exactly the same thing, like crochet cell phone sleeves, or hair accessories for little girls. Those products are totally cute, but they're everywhere! Your job is to stand out from the crowd. So just making cell phone sleeves won’t cut it, unless you are really good at it and provide an original product. Try to find your own voice, even if it takes a while. People are much more interested in buying something original, than just another copy of something else. Photography is also really important, and something you absolutely need to come across as professional. If your product is amazing but your photos are crappy, you’re not going to sell anything. Invest in a good camera and teach yourself the ropes, or hire a photographer to do it for you. Look at Etsy, Craftsy, and Ravelry shops that you admire; what do their photos look like? And again, try to find your own voice here; inspiration is great, but nobody wants to be copied!
2. What is your most recent accomplishment? I'm now officially a business! I registered A Creative Being last month, and am now officially eligible to pay taxes, haha. It was something that I never thought would happen to my little blog, but now that it has, I couldn't be more proud. I've only been blogging two years, and designing my own patterns since 6 months or so; so this is not something that I take for granted. This is the greatest accomplishment this blog has seen, so far; I cannot wait to see where it'll go from here! 3. Do you wear your own crochet goods? Which pieces? I've made some shawls this year that are in constant rotation. One of them is even a knitted one; my first Stripe Study Shawl. It took me 6 months to finish (I'm an extremely fast crocheter, and I guess to pay for that I'm an extremely slow knitter, haha) but I'm so proud that I was able to finish it! Of course I recently made a lovely rainbow Festival Shawl, which is still the biggest eye catcher of all my projects; and just last weekend I completed a South Bay Shawlette, in lovely pastel colours. It's definitely the warmest of all three shawls, and gets a lot of wear in those chilly summer nights.
4. What crochet design do you wish you thought of first? Are there any that blow your mind? I love all the designs that Felted Button makes, but when I first saw her Puffy Patch Quilt pattern I had a serious case of 'Man, how come I didn't think of that!â€™ It's a blanket made up from squares, nothing new there; but she stuffs the squares as if it was a quilted piece, and then joins them with another round of crochet! It's so clever and different, and the final product is just amazing. It's one of those patterns that I love for its simplicity and ingenuity, and I hope to make one someday. 5. Which of your crochet pieces do you feel best represent you as an artist? Definitely my mandalas. I've made a bunch of them already exclusively for Simply Crochet magazine; I sell a mandala pattern in my shop; and I've become quite wellknown for my 'weekly mandala' project at the beginning of this year. They're just simple circles, but to me they are a neverending source of inspiration and they provide me with a creative outlet. They also function as colour studies; something I find highly useful! I love seeing how each colour responds to other colours, and it is always so cool to see how the look of a crochet piece can totally change by what colour the last round was done in.
Dear Design Wars Community, It seems like time has flown by since DW3 ended! I still can't believe my Pretty Little Apron design won!! Since then, I have been working on updating my patterns, organizing my shops, cleaning up my home office, and doing a few home improvement projects with my husband. He just put together a new IKEA shelf for me & I need to organize my yarn stash badly! We also recently took a 10-day trip to Chicago to visit family. We had a fabulous time swimming, boating, eating at our favorite restaurants, playing with our 3 kids, and relaxing. Now that we're back home, I'm really looking forward to receiving my yarn shipment from RHY so I can get busy on my DW4 project! I have 2 really great ideas! DW4 comes to an end right around my birthday, and I'm excited to see how everything turns out!
Danyel Pink CrazySocks Designs: DW 1, 2, 3 Challenger, DW3 Winner.
craftsy | ravelry | .com 12
Best wishes, :) Danyel
Hey everyone! I’ve been asked to tell you what I’ve been up to since the last round of Design Wars. At first I thought, “That’s going to be a short article,” but looking back made me realize I was much busier than I thought I was! My favorite project revolved around the biggest and oldest whitewater festival in the US, hosted by little Colorado mountain town. And, it was the perfect time for a yarn bomb! My friend and I went covert ops for this secret mission (and even took our kids). There’s much more to the story including theft and a Bigfoot impersonator; read all about it in my blog post. I’ve been busy behind the scenes too: streamlining my listings and photography, overhauling my blog, creating new banners and logo flair, new packaging for my Discs, finalizing a core group of pattern testers, and holding a t-shirt sale. I also passed a pretty huge milestone on Facebook – I now have over 8,000 fans! I can hardly believe it and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your support and I look forward to the upcoming round of Design Wars! - Liz
Liz McQueen Playin’ Hooky Designs: DW 3 Challenger.
etsy | ravelry | .com 13
Hi ya! I’m so excited about another round of DW. Every time one ends, I’m ready for the next….we couldn’t make these wars a monthly thing, could we? Daily life has been keeping me very busy. Juggling cleaning time, family time, husband time, me time, friend time, cooking time and crochet time is something I’ve never been good at…I’m in a constant state of trying to get better at life. I always seem to come to the conclusion that the days just need to get longer. We’ve been getting a lot of awesome family time in this summer which is so so great! Our family is a hockey family, my husband loves to play, my son has been playing since he was 3 and I played my first year of Woman’s hockey last year (so fun!). Our new home came with a butt load of pavement so our family has been out playing street hockey and loving it. * So thankful for our new pavement* I’m pretty sure I know what I’m making for DW4 and if it all works out, it’s going to BLOW YOUR MIND!...Just kidding….but I am very excited about my design idea and I can’t wait to show you! Shine on! Tara
Tara Murray Mamachee: DW 1, 2, 3 Challenger, DW1 Winner
Dear Diary, As I look down at my hands perched on the keyboard, it dawns on me how old they look. Where did all those wrinkles and spots come from? And when did they make their grand entrance? I think that feasting on the youthfulness of my children has focused my gaze away from myself, so when I'm forced to consider my own 'progress' in life, I'm often surprised to see such changes. Lately though, since I'm making so many plans and deciding how to pursue different creative ventures, I've realized that I really do have to focus my efforts, give up some dreams to pursue the few that are within the grasp of these weathered hands. Being a part of DW3 was a great adventure! I was not expecting it. I was surprised to find myself there, among so much talent and drive. It was an opportunity to expand my own dream of promoting and supporting creative people that dare to throw their hearts out there and hope that their work rings a chord in the hearts of others. That is my current, full time pursuit since DW3 and I'm sure it will be my pursuit for years to come. Currently, I'm working with an amazing group of folk artists in our own elite network called the Mad Mad Makers. We are putting together a genuine online craft fair named The Lemonade Stand. Each Mad Maker has big dreams and hopes wrapped up with their talents and skills. It's so hard to compete with chain stores and mass production, so we are not focused on even trying. We are committed to making high quality, genuinely original works of arts and crafts that are functional and lovely with many heirloom items and styles in the mix. I really believe that we can enrich the world, making things with our own hands is important to "The â€œculture and to our own family cultures and environments. Have you ever seen a child watch someone crochet or cook? Have you ever watched a child try their own hand at it without even asking for help? It's in our nature! We are creative beings, and more and more the outlets for our creativity are being taken away. I want to see the folks arts live on, I want to be a part of a revival and a revolution. And what a worthy revolution it will be! (You can visit the Mad
Makers at MadMadMakers.com) - Charissa
Charissa Ragsdale Mad Mad me: DW 3 Challenger
Hello again good people! This summer, so far, has been filled with family time and I wouldn't have it any other way. Since my boys have gotten older we are having a lot of fun just hanging out, playing games, and if I let them they would live in the pool. We were also able to go camping recently as a family with a bunch of friends from church. It was a blast and I didn't take any yarn with me!! Also this summer my husband and I celebrated 10yrs of marriage on July 5th. I love him more today than the day we wed! This summer so far has taught me exactly what I love most about having my own business. I can set it aside when I need or want to. So to be able to design and write patterns on my own terms has been amazing! I am truly blessed. I'm REALLY looking forward to this round of Design Wars and can't wait to see what everyone creates.....uh-um....even me! ;) Yours truly! Jonna
Jonna Ventura Frayed Knot: DW 1, 2, 3 Challenger, DW 2 Winner
I’m so incredibly excited! First, Design Wars has never looked better; I’ve got an amazing group of gals that work tirelessly to make sure our forums looks their best. I couldn’t ask for a better team of crochet socialites, and they always make work seem like fun! I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve connected with quite a few infamous forums and crochet celebrities to spark interest in Design Wars: we’ve partnered with magazines like Bust, Crochet Today, Where Women Create, and Inside Crochet to help feature Design Wars, and I’ve snagged interviews with icons like Vita Apala (Mon Petit Violon), Twinkie Chan, and Sarah Zimmerman (Repeat Crafter Me)! My proudest moment since DW3 however, is a pending interview with my crochet idol Debbie Stoller! Yes, the Stitch Nation Guru, the Happy Hooker herself, Ms. Stoller. I will hardly be able to contain myself as that’s confirmed, so you’ll have all the details as soon as I do! Finally, my Baca Creations fan page is nearly at 4,000 strong, and that’s an accomplishment that I’m quite pleased with! Nothing but good news here, and I intend to keep it that way! - Salena
Salena Baca Baca Creations: DW 1, 2, 3 Challenger
Dear Design Wars Community, Summer is here, and the heat and sun is flooding everything it touches with lots of inspiring of summertime colors. My little daughter has finished school and is now running around me all day. She is very excited about her new baby sister, who will be born in November. I keep thinking about lots of new patterns I can create. I have lots of ideas for new blankets and brand new designs.I think I have almost decided my project for Design Wars 4. I'm looking forward to receiving the new yarn for our challenged so that I can start working. It's one of the best moments of the process. I think this year I will have a short holiday :) Sincerely,
Dear Design Wars Community, Over the past few months I have been taking a much needed break from everything and have just been focusing on spending time with family and running my busy household.
This July is my 5 year anniversary on Etsy, so I will be planning a big sale and a few other surprises very soon to celebrate. My eldest, Holland, has just started school and is now enjoying 2 weeks of school holidays. We have been keeping busy with walks the local park and library...and an occasional stop at the wool shop! Kind regards, Lisa van Klaveren
.com | etsy | ravelry 19
Our Design Wars 4 challengers have banded together to provide 1 huge giveaway every week that will go to 3 lucky and adoring fans! Each DW4 Challenger will be donating 1 pattern from their shop, so 10 patterns will be provided to 3 fans every week! Weâ€™ll post a rafflecopter entry form on the release date of each newsletter, and 3 winners will be chosen near the end of that same week. The first giveaway begins today, 24 July, and will conclude on Sunday, 28 July! Love our patterns? Click on over to enter!
Red Heart Yarn Prize Pack!
Red Heart yarn is giving a massive prize to 1 of our fans! Entries for this pack will be taken during voting week, details to come: 1 ball of each color Anne Geddes Yarn (19 balls), 1 set size 8 Susan Bates Tipping points Knitting Needles, 1 Susan Bates Bamboo Crochet Hook, 1 Red Heart Thread Cutter Pendant, 1 Crochet Today Magazine, and 1 Red Heart Tote Bag.
*RHY to render prize pack, photo may not represent actual prize.
The Perfect Bag Rachel Brock (of Silly Stitches) shared this picture of the Perfect Bag she worked up (Bottom). This is a garment from our Design Wars 3 round, a pattern by Jonna Ventura, of Frayed Knot (Left).
Pretty Little Apron Alessandra Hayden (of Just Be Happy) shared this picture of the Pretty Little Apron that she worked up (Bottom). This is a garment from our Design Wars 3 round, the winning design from Danyel Pink of CrazySocks Designs.
If you have completed a Design Wars Pattern, or used one of our past yarn picks that you would like to share with us, please e-mail>>> your submission for consideration to: DesignWarsChallenge@yahoo.com
WHAT’S NEXT? ISSUE 7: JULY 31
If you have completed a Design Wars Pattern, or used one of our past yarn picks that you would like to share with us, please e-
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