All right, all right, I’m “featuring” me. I know! But I thought it would be good for me to answer all of the questions that I asked the other designers to answer, too. I suppose it’s only fair. 😉 You’ll be seeing these questions a lot over the next few days.
The first pattern I’ve added to the challenge this year is the Sailor Hat in newborn size. This is actually one of my sweet babies getting newborn portraits, so it’s obviously one of my favorites! I picked this as the first pattern in the challenge because it’s a great beginner pattern — even a very newbie stitcher can pull this one off. You’ll see another of my patterns at the end of the challenge with a more complicated stitch pattern, but it’s important that the challenge be accessible!
This is my blog, so you’ve obviously found my site. I have a pattern shop here on the blog. You can also find me on Etsy, Ravelry, and Facebook. Throughout the challenge, I’m offering a 50% off code for your pattern purchase from my shop here on the blog or on Etsy. Use the code NICU2014 to get the discount.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Utah, and I’m still here with my little family. We love it here!!
Tell us a little bit about your family.
My husband and I have been married for nine years. (It’s even our anniversary this week!) We have five little ones, two boys and three girls, ranging from age 1 to age 7 (and no twins, either). I am so lucky to be a wife and mom. That is truly what brings me joy!
Who taught you to crochet?
Mostly my mom, although my grandmother really wanted me to change the way I held my hook….and my yarn. I was very little when my mom taught me to make double-crochet hotpads and dishcloths. I even remember crocheting in the bathtub once. (It was forest green yarn. Such a vivid memory!) Perhaps wet yarn is the reason why, but I truly HATED to crochet. That changed in high school. I had several teachers whom I adored who were either pregnant or had toddlers, and I wanted to make things for them. One of the little boys had a crocheted blanket that was so ratty and worn out, I simply had to figure out how to make him a new one. As I got into giving through crochet, I found that I really enjoyed it. Ever since then, I’ve been crocheting for fun.
What is your favorite thing you’ve ever made or designed?
When it comes to crochet, probably my daughter’s beaded baby blessing dress. It took forever. I think I probably had 50 hours into that project before it was done. But it was so gorgeous!! Other than that, I love my kids’ quilts. I make one for each of them every year as a Christmas Eve present (they get new jammies, a new book, and a new quilt). It’s one of our most memorable Christmas traditions. We curl up by the fire and read our Christmas stories, and then turn on a Christmas movie to get everyone to sleep.
What got you started writing patterns?
I think I’ve been writing patterns ever since I started crocheting. Because my mom taught me whatever stitches that struck her at the moment, I was always improvising. I bought a few pattern books when I was in high school and college, but rarely found just what I was looking for, so I’d create my own as I went anyway. A friend suggested that I write out what I made as I went, and that’s how I got started with selling my patterns.
Do you have a favorite yarn/hook/other supply?
I love Sublime yarn for DK. It is seriously the softest ever yarn. For my worsted and bulky weights, I probably use Berrocco Vintage the very most. I love working with it! My go-to hook is my Clover Amour, usually a size J. I use those all. the. time. because they don’t make my hands or fingers hurt. And finally, I absolutely adore my gingher embroidery scissors. I got my first pair of ginghers for sewing, but decided to invest in them for crochet, too. They are amazing! My children also know they’re under threat of permanent grounding if they so much as touch Mommy’s special scissors!
Do you crochet to background noise? If so, what song/artist/tv show/movie is your favorite?
I usually crochet to whatever my husband is watching. That means I’ve watched a lot of Community, Lost, and Burn Notice while I’ve created! If I get the choice, I’ll crochet to a chick-flick every time. There’s nothing better than crocheting to Return to Me while curled up in my chair with a big cup of ice water!
Where do you like to crochet?
I usually end up crocheting in my recliner or sitting on my bed. (Can I blame my bad posture on hunching over some yarn in the dark and trying to crochet while trying to balance on my bed?) But I often have it with me so I can crochet in the car while waiting for kids at lessons or at doctors’ offices.
Why are you participating in the challenge?
I suppose my answer to this one is a little different than everyone else’s. I started the challenge, so of course I’m participating!
But more seriously, I started the challenge because of my own experiences as a NICU mom. Three of my little ones needed a lot of help when they arrived, and they are here because of the care they received from dedicated doctors and nurses. The NICU will always be a tender place for me. During my first NICU experience, I remember the horror and fear that I felt as they whisked my baby out of the delivery room. I remember aching to see her, and sobbing in my hospital bed until my legs were un-numbed enough from the spinal that I could walk down and see her. I remember walking into that unit and seeing so many wires and tubes attached to my tiny little baby, and being so, so afraid. I felt so guilty, as if it was my fault that she was in this terrible place. It was awful. I remember two days later when they let her wear a little hat for the first time. It was one that someone else had donated. It meant so much to me when I walked into the NICU that morning and she looked like a little girl. Words simply cannot express what that meant. And then, with two of my other children, I had the experience again of praying with all my heart for my baby to be well and finding a gift of love from an anonymous stranger making such an impact.
Now, I host this challenge each year to honor those strangers. I do it to show love for those who have been through a NICU experience, and have only the little hats and other mementos to remember their little ones. I do it because I know that it makes a profound difference, especially to a mom, but to an entire family. And I’ve learned, personally, that such a simple little gift is truly powerful for both the giver and the receiver. I hope to share that with all of you!