Welcome to Day 2 in my 31 Days of Crochet Giveaways! Today I am happy to have a chance to do a giveaway of a crochet pattern by Anastacia Knits. It’s a great pattern and in addition to the giveaway I’ve got an interview with the designer today.
About the Prize
This is a crochet pattern by Anastacia Knits. The pattern is for the Anika Vest, a great beginner crocheter’s vest pattern. It is written for vests in six different sizes, so you can make this for yourself or just about anyone else. The pattern is written for Spud and Chloe Sweater Yarn, which is a worsted weight yarn, and worked with an H hook. The pattern includes a schematic. You can buy this pattern for $6 from AnastaciaKnits.
Interview with Anastacia Knits
Now let’s meet the designer behind this great pattern. Hi Anastacia!
First things first, can you share the story behind your blog name (since I happen to know that you do many more yarn-y things than just knitting!)
When I first joined Ravelry, I was mainly knitting; I actually hadn’t crocheted much more then a dishcloth in 3 or 4 years. I can never come up with screen names & used to use zorrosmommy a lot in those days (Zorro was our cat), but wanted something yarn related for Ravelry, so I came up with anastaciaknits – original, huh? I started using it all over the net as my screen name, so when I needed a name for my website, that’s what I decided to use. I really debating about changing it to anastaciacrochets, since I mainly design crochet, but I figured everyone already knew me under one name so why confuse it.
Makes sense to me. So then you did learn to crochet when you were younger even though you hadn’t done it in a few years, right?
I learned to crochet as a kid. I’m lucky to come from crafty families on both sides. My mom crocheted a lot when I was younger, & my dad even made a crocheted afghan, using green & orange yarn, that I now own. Both grandmothers knitted & crocheted, though one mainly crocheted & the other mainly knit, & some of my aunts are quite crafty, too. My mom taught me to read my first pattern, a granny square, & my dad’s mom started giving me some of her older patterns & magazines – Workbaskets, mainly, and that’s how I started collecting patterns. I learned to knit from a church friend as a teen, though it didn’t really stick, & ended up self teaching myself from youtube videos years later. I started spinning & dying after I joined Ravelry over 3 years ago.
So then how long have you been designing crochet and knitwear?
I actually always designed crochet stuff, I was designing stuff before I knew the term or understood that not everyone was a designer. Mainly dishcloths, square patterns, tons of scrunchies & barrettes – I always changed up patterns if I used one, changed the gauge, or the yarn or the stitch, or the construction. I started writing patterns in 2005 and was published for the first time in the Crochet Page a Day calendar in 2006. I began putting patterns up on my blog that same year. My first knitting pattern wasn’t until 3 years later. It was a toe up, worsted weight sock pattern.
Do you have a favorite item that you’ve designed? Or one with a great story behind it?
All of them are my favorite!! Really, it’s so much work putting out a great, well written design. So much of your heart and soul goes into even the simplest of designs that you end up falling in love with all of them. One of my favorites is also my most popular paid pattern, Dudley Do Wright. I couldn’t come up with a name for the shawl (as always) & hubby kept naming local landmarks & he thought of a flea market we often go to called Dudley Do Right, so that’s what I started calling it. One of my testers happened to mention in passing the cartoon character of the same name (I had no idea) so I changed the spelling of the 3rd name just to protect myself from possible name infringements.
What can you tell us about your design process? How does a design begin in your mind and then how does it come to fruition as a full design?
I think I design totally differently than the other designers I work with. I really do twice the amount of work, but it works for me. I pretty much design on the hook, ripping as need be. Sometimes I swatch, too, but I usually just play as I go. I will often have 3 or 4 samples going (usually using a cheaper yarn such as acrylic), each with slightly different shaping or stitches. For example, Dudley Do Wright was a half circle shawl instead of a triangle shape for quite a while. Once I get a sample that I really like, I start over again, with a nicer yarn, & write the pattern up as I crochet the second sample, using the first sample as my example, or use my first sample to ask for yarn support, submit to a magazine, etc.
That makes sense to me. I think everyone designs in their own way and you have to find what works for you. I also “draft” in acrylic although I write the pattern as I go the first time so my patterns have a lot of scratching out and stuff that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me until I get it to the computer.
What types of things inspire you in your yarn-y work?
Quilts, definitely. I’m obsessed with quilts, even though I don’t really sew & definitely don’t quilt. I designed the Coins Quilt scrap afghan pattern based upon the Coins Quilt pattern you often see on quilting blogs/websites. I also have a knitted afghan design I’ve been working off and on for over a year that’s based upon a log cabin variant.
You are very generous in allowing crafters to use your designs to make items for charity, raffles, free lessons to other crafters and even craft shows. Can you explain what limitations you do have on how people use your designs and why you’ve put those policies in place?
I really haven’t had to put any limitations, other then gently reminding people that even my free patterns are still copyrighted – that means you can’t just put up a copy of my pattern on your website & claim it as your own. I don’t believe I own the rights to your hard work, so that’s why I put that on all of my patterns, that you can sell your stuff pretty much anywhere, to make it clear for people. I do ask if you are going to sell my stuff online that you ask me first, but that’s mainly because I want to make sure you’ll credit me as a designer.
That seems more than fair ! What is your favorite thing about being part of the online crochet and knitting community?
The endless inspiration & friends!
Amen! If you could only use one social network, which one would you choose and why?
Definitely Ravelry. As wonderful as all of the other networks are, Ravelry changed my life & made me into a serious designer. My crafting “grew up”, I’ve met wonderful friends, & I can’t imagine life without it. I go weeks at a time forgetting about the other social networks, but I never forget about Ravelry.
What can we expect from you in 2012?
That’s my little secret, isn’t it? LOL Seriously, I’m hoping to get brave and get published instead of continuing to self publish. I’m a bit afraid of the process, even though I have been published in a book before, because I’m not very organized.
It can definitely be intimidating. I think there is a lot of value in self-publishing, though. I’m excited to see what you do next!
What else would you like to make sure that we know about you, your crochet and / or crocheting in general?
Please, please – if you like any of my free patterns, please consider either making something for a local charity, or donating money to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at http://www.alzfdn.org/. My family, like so many others, is affected by that horrible disease & I hope they find a cure sooner as compared to later.
Thanks for visiting! Okay, now on to the giveaway …
How to Enter
This giveaway is only open until midnight tonight. The winner will be announced tomorrow on Twitter and Google Plus as well as in a roundup post of winners on Sunday. Items will be shipped by December 9th.