n the past year, I have had several opportunities to use and design with Naturally Caron Country and Spa. I was thrilled when I saw these yarns because I have always loved to design with smaller weight yarns and was excited to try them out. Lighter weight yarns give me the ability to truly explore many more different aspects of a design and give me more freedom in the design process.
With NaturallyCaron Country, I was immediately drawn to the selection of colors. I’ve used it in both knit and crochet designs and I find it to be a wonderfully lightweight blend with beautiful stitch definition. I have turned to it for many new designs.
After stitching several designs with Country, I had an opportunity to work with NaturallyCaron Spa. I really hadn’t worked with a bamboo blend before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Upon receiving the Spa, I was amazed at the softness. It's the kind of yarn that just begs you to touch it. And, although it sounds hard to believe, the yarn actually feels cool to the touch! I immediately had visions of lace in my head! Even more unexpected were the finished projects. They were so light they seemed to float on the air.
I’m a stay-at-home mother of three: Derek, 22; Brianna, 18; and Christian, 4. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have found a career which allows me to stay at home with Christian. Being a crochet and knit pattern designer is a fun, exciting and sometimes stressful career! It is extremely satisfying to be in a position where I can stay home with Christian and still have a career that I love.
I’ve been crocheting since my grandmother taught me to make my first granny square when I was 8 years’ old. After learning the granny square from my grandmother, I found myself designing immediately, sometimes not even sure what I was actually doing in crochet, but knowing that I loved it.
My first real design was a thread doily which I believe I made when I was 10. I was so happy to be able to show my grandmother my new accomplishment. But, when she asked me where I got the pattern, I had no idea what she meant until many years' later. My biggest designing disappointment is that I was unable to show my grandmother my first published pattern book, which coincidentally was also in thread crochet.
Over the years, I find that I am most happy in my designing when I challenge myself which is why I have focused for years on special crochet techniques like Tunisian crochet. Due to my interest in Tunisian crochet, I’ve designed many patterns and have had 6 pattern books published on my behalf in Tunisian crochet by Annie’s Attic. Take at look at my website here: http://www.kimanedesigns.net
Another major challenge of mine is garments. I find myself most intrigued by garment construction rather than a stitch pattern. I most enjoy taking a very simple stitch pattern and turning it into something extraordinary through construction. I have recently taken on the challenge of designing in the top-down, seamless style of construction and I now understand the appeal of this type of design! It's really fun to be able to try it on as you go!
Before I begin designing something, I like to browse through different magazines and catalogs. I have vintage sewing books I love to browse through. I also love looking at European fashion magazines, especially from Italy and Spain. Photographs of pottery have been an endless source of inspiration for me. I’ve found inspiration in the most unlikely of places, even my bathroom tile!
I work best when I allow the yarn to tell me what it wants to be, as strange as that sounds. Doesn’t everyone’s yarn speak to them?
When I’m not settled on a particular design, I may have around 20 or 30 skeins of different yarns in different colors piled up all around me. I may simply “play with yarn” for up to 3 days. And, in that time, I may come up with the beginnings of a dozen or more designs. Once I’ve settled on a design, all the piles of yarn go into a box and I get started on one.
I am most happy when I am crocheting or knitting, so I will usually just get started on the design right away. I stitch pretty quickly, so even if it doesn’t turn out the way I intended, I usually have time to try it again. Or, perhaps there may have been a time when little Christian spilled a can of soda on one of my projects? Oh, yes! That has definitely happened! You can’t be shy about re-stitching something when you are a designer.
When I am stitching up a project, I am an avid movie watcher. I love the Sci Fi Channel. Stargate SG-1 will always remain one of my favorite programs. And, in the last several months, I have spent many an hour catching up on the series 24 with Kiefer Sutherland. Many times, while stitching up a project, I will re-watch something I've seen before so that I have some noise in the background, but it's not overly distracting. I am completely useless without background noise.
I’m not especially comfortable working anywhere except my “spot” on the couch. Everything is handy, right where I need it. After all, looking for a different crochet hook or knitting needle, or my scissors, or the tape measurement, would waste precious stitching time!