As I catch up on orders and start thinking about the holiday season, I thought it might be fun to do something a little different as a blog, and have a chance to answer some of the questions that people have asked me at various times. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's Q&A.
How Did You Start to Crochet?
This actually has two answers.
The first is when I was about 6 or 7, my mother taught me the basics of crochet. However, we didn't know anything about amigurumi, and there was no You Tube (shocking, I know), so the only thing we tried to make was afghans. Now the issue with me is I don't have a long attention span. I like to see progress and I like to know that what I am working on can come together and I can get that sense of accomplishment quickly, so I never really had the follow through to keep up with it.
I would pick it up on and off throughout my teenage years,but once I was done with college, I was done with crochet.
That brings me to the second. My mother passed away, sort of unexpectedly, in 2016, and when she did, I had a void in my heart and life and needed something to fill the time. In mid-2017, a good friend was doing a crochet demonstration for a group of friends, and I decided to go, and - pardon the pun - I got hooked. When I realized I could do scarves and hats, smaller projects that could be finished quickly that motivated me. Then from looking at You Tube for tutorials (yay for You Tube) I started to learn about stuffed animals and amigurumi, and I was obsessed, and I haven't looked back.
What Yarn Do You Use?
It depends on what my favorite type is at the moment. I always thought that I would find that one brand and it would be my one and only - I have a big love of loyalty - however, the reality of it is there are different types that I find and I like, but then I return to others (see my blog post "Everything Old is New Again").
In general, I tend toward premium acrylic, sometimes cotton-acrylic blends but usually always acrylic.
Why acrylic? Why choose something synthetic and man-made? A couple reasons.
One is crocheting comfort. I personally am allergic to most wool (aside from superwash), so I tend to avoid that because I break out. I also tend to stay away from cotton because for me it is too scratchy when I work with it, and I don't like how it feels in the finished project - I feel it is too stiff and not the comfy cuddly Luvvie that I want. For me, by finding premium acrylic or good acrylic, I can keep comfortable crocheting and I think it leads to a comfy Luvvie.
Second is allergies. Because I know myself that I have allergies when it comes to a lot of wool, I know other people do as well. And there are some cottons that can be made with milk, which I know also can be allergens to people. So after a lot of discussion and research and thought, I decided on acrylic because I thought that would be the best option with the lowest possible allergen influence to myself or to my customers.
What kind of hook do you use?
I have a ton of crochet hooks. There is a meme that I have seen on some crochet groups that talks about "I have 472 crochet hooks, buy 10 new hooks, uses same trusty hook over and over again," and that is pretty accurate. I usually use a Tulip Etimo Gold crochet hook that is 3.5 mm large.
For me, this gives me the best control and fluidity and holds up well for long crochet sessions.
I have more expensive hooks. I have less expensive hooks. However, 99.9% of the time, this is the hook that I'm going to be working with.
How Long Does it Take to Finish a Luvvie?
It varies depending upon how large the project is, and how complex it is. It also changes depending on my mood (lol).
If I am not in a rush to finish something and am just making it for fun, I tend to take my time more, take more breaks - whereas if I am making something for a specific reason I might try to focus more and not take as many breaks.
All that said, I am not a particularly fast crocheter, so it does take me longer to finish something perhaps that a peer. On average though, for small Luvvies, it takes me about four hours to finish a project. For larger works it can tak anywhere from eight to 12 hours. And usually that is spread over two to three nights. It usually is spread over a couple nights because I do have a full time job in addition to making Luvvies, so I usually only make the Luvvies after I have logged off from that job and have finished dinner with the family (and on weekends).
Do You Have a Favorite Pattern?
That's a tough one, it's almost like asking if I have a favorite child. There are a lot of patterns that - to borrow a phrase from my daughter - are my "go to" patterns. I enjoy making the voodoo dolls, moose, and the "F" bombs. But I also enjoy trying new patterns.
Right now I am going through a phase where I am trying to branch out and try some new designers, so I am experimenting with more new patterns than I have in the past few months. I know these will yield mixed results, but I do like to try new things because there might be a new favorite waiting out there for me.
Where do you Get Your Patterns?
This is actually something that I try to talk about regularly. I do not design patterns. I don't have that gift. I have learned to read the heck out of a pattern, but to come up with the unique design behind it, nope. I'm clueless.
With that in mind, I do shop for patterns a lot. And, I am conscious when I buy a pattern to read to make sure that designer says in the pattern that the finished product can be sold. And, I always try to give credit to the designer wherever I can - especially when I am posting finished pictures on Instagram: To give the love and thanks back to them.
The large majority of my patterns are purchased from designers on Etsy, with a few of them coming from Ravlery or other sites.
Picking designers sometimes is a crap shoot. You can try to judge based on the pictures you see, but until you purchase and try the pattern, it can be difficult to tell for sure. I have bought patterns that I thought would be beautiful and they were so poorly written that I had to give up. I've bought some patterns that say they are for beginner or intermediate crocheters that just are beyond my comprehension and my abilties so I have had to quit.
That said, there are a lot of designers that I absolutely adore. Sweet Oddity Art, One and Two Company, JuliHMToys, Blue Rabbit Toys, Sarah Dee Crochet, Super Cute Designs, Theresa's Crochet Shop, The Friendly Red Fox, etc. These individuals all have patterns that I have made that I absolutely adore, and I usually find myself stalking their sites to get any and all patterns they release because I know whatever it is I'm going to like and the quality of the pattern is going to be good, so the outcome of the project most likely will be good.
Those are usually the most common questions I hear. If I missed anything, or you have a question, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
Hugs and cuddles,