This post was originally published in 2011. It is being republished to share with those who might have missed it the first time around.
This interview is with San Francisco Bay Area Etsy shop owner Nita of Lilena. Nita explains in her profile that she’s the grandmother to girls named Lila and Helena and that’s where she got the inspiration for the name of her Etsy store.
CROCHETBLOGGER: If you remember, what was the first thing that you ever crocheted?
A friend tried to teach me how to crochet when I was in my early 20s (eons ago). She gave up because she said I was all thumbs and would never learn. I love a challenge, so I bought a book (no internet back then), taught myself to crochet, and made a long single crochet scarf of purple, turquoise and orange variegated yarn, complete with fringe.
CROCHETBLOGGER: That sounds like a ridiculously fun first project! I think it’s important to note that almost anyone can learn crochet if they’re willing to put in just a little bit of effort. I think it’s great now that there are videos online to teach people to crochet but it’s also possible to learn from books, other people, etc. – however you learn best!
CROCHETBLOGGER: What is your favorite crochet item that you have made?
The second project I tackled was a large fringed shawl (everything was fringed back then), which I still have. I wrap myself up in it for warmth and comfort when I’m crocheting or reading.
CROCHETBLOGGER: I especially love your wine bag gift cozies. How long does it usually take you to make one of those?
The crocheting of the bag takes less than an hour and then the fun begins. The time it takes to decorate the cozy varies depending on the embellishment, which is often crocheted. My granddaughter tells people I make fashions for bottles.
CROCHETBLOGGER: That’s a great description of what you do! What is your favorite yarn to work with? Where do you get your yarn?
I am amazed at the variety of yarn available and love to experiment with all of it. But before I start hoarding more, I have to use up the roomful of yarn I inherited from a friend. What a gift!
CROCHETBLOGGER: I’ll say! What made you decide to start an Etsy store for your work?
I’ve always thought it would be lovely to own a gift shop, but I’m shy and cash registers intimidate me. Etsy is the perfect venue for selling handmade items and it’s an exciting, ongoing learning experience of marketing, computer skills, photography, writing, accounting, creating!
CROCHETBLOGGER: Are there any particular items in your store right now that you’d like me to highlight on the blog?
My wine bottle gift bags are a favorite of mine because they are unique and fun, reusable and eco-friendly. Because I am an organizer, I also like and use in my own home my crocheted baskets and bowls. A place for everything and everything in its place!
CROCHETBLOGGER: What is one thing about crochet that you want other people to know?
Hooks and yarn should come with warning labels: Crocheting can become very addictive!