1. How did you start crocheting?
My mom taught me to crochet when I was about 6 years old. She crocheted (and still does) every minute that she was watching TV, so I naturally wanted to learn what she was up to. I spent a while making REALLY long chains (I had a preliminary goal of making the longest chain in the world), but I got a little bored with that, so I moved on to actually crocheting. My mom taught me to make flowers (basically ruffles), which taught me the concept of increasing… and away I went!
2. What are your favorite fibers to work with and why?
I’m a sucker for anything soft that’s not too slippery. About the exact type of yarn… it depends what type of project I’m doing. I really love merino, it’s so soft and warm. I also like a lot of the organic cottons that are out on the market, and the cotton/soy/bamboo blends that are coming out for summer.
When I’m making my animals, I have to consider a lot of factors when choosing a yarn. Usually, it’s a toy that’s going to be played with by little ones, so it needs to be durable, soft and not too pricey. I’ve found that a good 100% wool yarn (like Ella Rae Classic or Plymouth Galway) is my favorite amigurumi yarn.
3. Where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve always liked circles. That probably sounds strange, but it’s true. So, I think of my amigurumi as just being animals that I turned into lots of circles! I like to go to the or the zoo (in DC) to check out all of the different animals that are out there… but sometimes those animals are difficult to translate into stuffed animal form. So, when I’m brainstorming about the actual design, I look around at cartoons, drawings and clip art to see what the basic shapes of the animal are. From there, I identify the shapes that are important to the animal (usually circles!), and I start sketching.
4. Do you have any other hobbies?
Oh, do I! I like to think that all that I do is hobbies… I’m lucky enough to have a job that’s one of my hobbies! In addition to crochet, I do lots of other crafts: I knit (mostly clothing), I sew some of my clothing (I love making dresses!), I’ve dabbled in beading (I have an affinity for French beaded flowers) and I quilt. I really love making things in general: I make soap, I make all of our bread and yogurt, and I’ve also made cheese and tofu. Aside from making stuff, I read a lot and run. Really, I don’t have enough time in the day!
5. What are your favorite things to make besides amigurumi?
Well, I guess I gave you a hint in my last answer… I dream of having a closet full of clothes made by me. So, most of what I knit/crochet is clothing. I make socks and sweaters and hats and things… but I suppose that my current favorite is tank tops for summer! Tank tops (since they’re small, without sleeves) end up being pretty quick to make, and since they’re for summer, you can add lots of fun lacy patterns to them. I like how adding different patterns makes it interesting, but not too complicated.
I encourage you to take a look at Stacey's blog, she really has awesome content that I think you will love. You can find it at: www.freshstitches.com/wordpress
Stacey has generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of her new book to one lucky Octopi Crafts reader! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by April 30th, and I will pick a winner randomly on May 1st.
All photos courtesy of Martingale Publications.