It's a new Design Wars Challenge!!!
I can't believe that this is my fourth Design Wars that I have participated in. The last one was the Back to School Challenge in which my Marek Vest was voted Favorite Design! Thank you again for all who voted! It was so much fun!!!
This time around we are once again sponsored by the incredible Red Heart Yarns. We are working with a brand new line called Heads Up. This yarn feels like a cloud in your hands. The feel is yummy, the colors are vibrant and the items created with it have a texture that you can't get from most other yarns. There are a couple things to note when choosing this yarn for a project. Even though the yarn itself is classified as a #5 Bulky, it does work up and feel more like a heavy #4. Almost like Read Heart With Love so make sure you check your gauge before starting a project! Also, the way the fibres are spun causes it to split more easily, so you do have to be careful when working with it. But please, don't let that stop you! In fact, I enjoyed working with this yarn on my Design Wars project so much, I already have a companion piece ready for release and something else in the works!
If you are looking for a new yarn to try for the cooler seasons ahead, I really encourage you to grab a skein or two and have fun! This one doesn't disappoint! And with 8 designers competing in this Challenge, there will be no shortage of stunning designs for you to test it out on. Want to know who the Challengers are? You can read all about it here.
Happy Hugs and Yarny Dreams!
As you may or may not know, I am an extremely proud member of the Design Wars Family :) This Christmas will mark my one year anniversary with this group. I have completed 3 Challenges so far and am currently in my 4th (more on that soon!). Yesterday I was part of an incredibly fun Live Google Chat with Salena Baca of Baca Creations, Design Wars and now Happily Hooked Magazine! She is an insanely busy lady so I am so thrilled that she had some time to chat with me!
Last week on my Facebook page I had asked if anyone had any questions that they would like for me to answer on air. We only had time to answer one live, but I have a little time now to answer a few more for you here!
Q: How much time do you spend working and reworking a pattern before it comes together like you envisioned?
A: It really depends on the pattern. The patterns that have taken me the longest to work out are the Butterfly Breeze Poncho, The Marek Vest and now my current Design Wars Project. It is usually because I am working on a style that I am not familiar with. For example, the Poncho was the first one I had ever made!! I had no measurements or frame of reference to really work with so the whole project was trial and error until I got the right measurements for each of the sizes. Same for the Marek Vest. For the most part, when I need to rework something it's due to a fit/sizing issue. The easiest patterns I have made work up in one day. The Rigby Scarf was designed and written in an hour! The Poncho and Marek Vest took over a month before they were ready for testing. The Madison Vest did not come out how I envisioned but I was so happy with my "accident" that I just kept going!
Q: Where do you find the time to work on your business yet focus on your family?
A: Like most parents, my day is really hectic and full. I get up at 6am, check emails and posts, check in with my testers and schedule some posts for the day. Daycare opens at 7:30 and closes at 5pm. On an easy day, they nap and I have an hour or so to check in and work on a design. Then it's clean up, errands and dinner. My little guy goes to bed by 8pm. Then I get to decide between working my business or hanging out with hubby. I'm very thankful for Baseball season haha! Some days things feel like they have all fallen into place. Others feel like a big mess. I wish I had some special formula to give to you, but most days I fly by the seat of my pants!
Q: Where do you get ideas for your patterns?
A: I get ideas from everywhere! I like to see what my friends and family are wearing, TV, movies, celebrities and Pinterest. Sometimes it's the yarn and sometimes it's a new stitch. My main concern is trying to either put a new spin on something that's been around (ie a hat) or to try and think of something that you really haven't seen around before. It's a lot of research and time spent looking around. It's extremely difficult in this business to really be unique and make a brand for yourself.
Q: What has made your business so successful?
A: To be honest, I don't really know. What I tried to do was to have fun and design things that I really loved. When starting out I had a very clear idea of who my target customer was. I designed for her, too. I stumbled many times along the way. I have had designs that really flopped, but I kept going. My mind spins all day long with all of these ideas that I have. I have notebooks full of sketches and notes! I think what makes me successful is the fact that I don't stop, I appreciate every fan I have, every question asked and every friend I make along the way. I truly love each comment on a post, each time something is shared, and I have teared up more than I would like to admit when people take the time to send me an email or message and share their photos. That's why I do this and I think that's why there are people who want me to continue.
Q: Who is your favorite designer?
A: I have so many!!! Mamachee for footwear, A Crocheted Simplicity for pattern collections, Felted Button for blankets, One and Two Company for amis, Abigailology for tops, Luz Patterns for accessories, Crystalized Designs and Crochetrend for winter wear... I could go on!
Q: How did you get started? Selling items? On Facebook or etsy or ravelry?
A: I got started almost 3 years ago out of boredom. I moved across the country to a new town while on maternity leave with my 6 month old and husband. He delicately suggested I get a hobby ;) I picked crochet. I started selling items to friends and family to pay for yarn and get experience. Shortly after I opened a Facebook Page and Etsy shop and dove into Designing after testing for some incredible designers! I know sell only patterns on Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.
I hope this answered a few of your questions, but please don't hesitate to keep on asking! As you might have noticed, I love talking and it's nice to know that someone is having the conversation with me ;)
Happy Hugs and Yarny Dreams!
I'm not sure where I first saw this technique. It was when I had first started crocheting so it became such a habit of mine for so long that I actually forgot that there was another way! I change colors a little differently than most people, and it's definitely not the way we are taught when first learning. The great thing about this way is that your changes are a lot tighter. I find with the traditional method of changing colors, on the last part of your last stitch, can create a loose stitch and I'm not a fan. This keeps things clean. Make sure to let me know what you think! Something you want to try? Or do you prefer a different way? I would love to hear about it!
Ready? Here we go!
1: This photo shows the join at the end of my third Round. You would normally join to the first stitch (or chain) with the new color to start your color change. In this method you do not.
2: Pull up slightly on the loop that is on your hook, pull the new color through.
3: Pull down firmly on the working yarn of the old color.
4: Chain and begin the next Round/Row/Stitch with your new color.
5: Shows a completed Round.
6: Here you can see what it looks like when I change colors in the middle of the Round. See how nice and clean it is?!?!
Bottom photo is a close up to show you what it looks like from the top.
(c) 2014 Sincerely Pam
The time has finally come! I'm ready to post my first ever blog post.
I planned on publishing my first post January 1st of this year. New Year, New Blog! Sounds perfect! However, that never became a reality. On Christmas Day 2013, I received an email from the incredibly lovely Salena of Design Wars inviting me to become a Challenger. Everything else was pushed aside as I dove right in!! I couldn't belive it!! I felt like it was a mistake and they would say "Hey! How did she slip through the cracks?" ! I was a newbie among some of the most incredible Crochet talent I have ever met!!! You can see how starting a Blog may have been the furthest thing from my mind at this point ;)
Once I got my bearings, I was able to design the Butterfly Breeze Poncho. My first attempt at something that wasn't a hat or scarf. I was so happy with the design.
From there life snowballed. Designing new patterns, 2 more Design Wars competitions and a basement renovation took up most of my Spring and Summer.
Phew!!! Now I'm ready for a break. Except, I have already agreed to the newest DW Challenge (see a pattern here?) and I can't go another year without hitting my resolution of starting my Blog! So!!! Here I am and here it is!
I hope you have fun with me here and enjoy seeing a more behind-the-scenes approach to my designing as well as learning more about my life away from the hook.
And like the title of this post says, Here We Go!!!
My name is Pam! I'm a 30-something WAHM of two amazing children! I live in beautiful Northern Ontario with my husband, kids and our feisty Westie, Rigby.