Friday, March 5, 2010

Some Questions Answered

I have received quite a few emails over the past 2 years since I began  offering *free* patterns and tips on my blog - this has only increased recently.  Wow, I am truly flattered that people want to know these things.

Q:  You have such wonderful ideas and creations.  How did you start and why do you just give them away for free?
A: I have been crocheting for a lot of years.  I was taught how to hook when I was very young by my Nona - then hit teen years and put the hook down - only to pick it up again in my 30's.  Lord oh Lord, how hookin' had changed.  
It was no longer just a 'granny' hobby - people of all ages were picking up their hooks and creating the most interesting pieces.  From stunning afghans that were anything but 'Granny' to detailed and life-like people and animals.  Many of my favorite crochet artist happen to be of Asian decent (to which my first experience with was the Hub's Mother who is Thai).  Then a few years ago I found etsy.
Now I had long been doing my own thing to Annie's Attic patterns - changing up the eyes, adding eyelids, eyelashes, toes, taking a bear pattern and adding enough so it looked like a dragon or cat.. whatever - but the people on etsy had taken it to a whole other world with their creations.  I simply never had the confidence to show my creations to 'the world'.  It's easy with Family, they pretty much will say everything is great... but people you don't know - man they tell it like it is!
Then I met a community of people who all crocheted.  I began showing off my finished items to see what THEY thought.  After all, if you can impress a fellow hooker, then you must be doing something right.  As the accolades came, my confidence grew.  As my confidence grew, I started to feel more comfortable with creating my own projects - not just derivative works.

As far as why I give them away 'free'.  Most of what I have given away are very simple projects.  They are also exercises for my patterns which I am selling on etsy.  For instance, working with chains (more than just sc in ea chain) or crocheting very small, like a 4 or 5 sc in a round.  It also shows the reader (and potential buyer) how I write up my patterns - are they clear and easy to understand.. are they detailed?  
Also, I love watching - I get no greater satisfaction than seeing one of MY designs done by another's hand.  Especially when it is made to resemble something/one in that person's life that is important to them.  Yes, I am corny - but it's what makes me tic.

Q:  How come your things are not round?
A:  Amigurumi is the art of working in a continuous spiral, with simple stitches and then sewn together to create anthropomorphic (humanistic like) creatures... I've never read anywhere it says that everything has to be a ball/round :)
I just like a little character with my creations.. a triangle head instead of a circle one - or some elongated feet instead of tiny ones.  
All of my patterns consist of  at least 95% single crochet only stitches - but they are not simple (sc in X amount of stitches, Inc) x amount of time.  To create character you may need to sc in 10 sts in 1 rnd, and 15 in another before increasing or decreasing...
it's all about the visual cuteness and making that cuteness as easily attainable as possible.

Q:  Do you still buy patterns?
A:  Yup, when the designer isn't too insecure to think I am going to better their designs.  (It became an issue recently - which saddened me and then later angered me, that I had been so insulted!)  
I love to design, but I also love to just follow directions - sort of.  I have never fully followed a purchased pattern.  Whether it was something as simple as a color or hook size change or something drastic like completely changing the features - but I love and support MANY of my fellow designers - there's no reason not to.  Lately, however, I've been so busy trying to fill obligations and get my own ideas out on paper - that I've not had time to work on anything for my own 'relaxation'.  
But, yes - I would/and do purchase patterns from my fellow designers.

Q:  Who does your testing?  Can I test patterns for you?
A:  I have 4 skilled, fellow designers who test out/proof read my patterns for me.  I am not into name dropping.  Currently, I am not in need of testers.  If there ever becomes a time where I would need 'testers', I would ask people who've already purchased patterns and completed works from my designs.  As they would already have shown a vested interest in my work and I could be assured of getting the feedback in an expedient manner - so that I could release the publication quickly.

Q: What are you designing next?  Are you going to make ___fill in the blank___?
A:  I dunno... that is the long and short of it.  
My latest design, Cluny the St Paddy's Day Cow was originally going to be a Leprechaun.  However, my children - who are the supervisors/bosses/inspirations said that 'leprechauns are short little trolls' (hey, their words, not mine). So there went that idea.. but I liked the concept of the outfit (which was inspired by the Grinch). 
Lu was created after walking in my local WalMart and my youngest playing with a Valentine's Day Plush Devil who's pitchfork spun in circles, announcing in LED lights it loved ya all the while singing "Hot Blooded".  Layla was inspired from the Littlest Pet Shop line of toys and Maximus.. hello, my name is KATT (and yes, that is really what people call me on a personal basis).
It is really a mesh of how my children see things - mixed with my own slightly warped sense of humor, but you can rest assured, sooner or later, there will be CATS on the menu. :)
Currently, I have 2 products in the testing phase and 2 that are in the designing phase... think Spring :)

Okay, that was some of the questions which I had either gotten multiple times or that bare relevance on recent events.  I ALWAYS take time to read my emails and I do watch for finished items on Ravelry - Your feedback and questions are always appreciated, if I did not answer your question today (or in a return email), I will try to answer soon.  I consider all my readers, buyers and onlookers important and I really do VALUE your thoughts.