Time for another designer spotlight! I hope you've all been enjoying this feature; I've been loving it, not just because it helps build more yarn positivity, but also because it's been an awesome way to discover new designers. I had never heard of Featherby & Friends before I started looking for designers to feature, and I was seriously missing out! Alicia is an extremely talented designer who makes the most adorable crochet creations. I can't help but smile when I look at her work! So take a peek at this interview with Alicia, learn about her, and admire her lovely designs (and just try not to smile—I dare you).
How long have you been crocheting?
I learned how to crochet in February of 2014, so just over 3 years ago. I had about 15 years knitting experience already & I feel like that really helped.
How did you learn to crochet?
I took a class at Michael’s! Nobody else showed up so I had a private lesson with a great teacher! I learned chaining, sc, hdc & dc in my first 2 hour lesson. I was pretty excited!
What’s something you wish you had known when you’d first started crocheting?
I wish I had known what a great resource YouTube is! After my first lesson I learned from books, many of which were great, with illustrations & step by step directions. Even so there were plenty of times it would have been a lot easier if I could have just seen it done.
What is your favorite thing about crocheting?
There is a special kind of magic in turning a strand of yarn into something that people can use & even love. I’d say my favorite thing is that moment when a project starts to take shape & what you visualized in your head is suddenly there in real life. A lot of time that moment happens when I add the faces to my creations. It’s pretty fun!
Is there a certain type of pattern you love to design the most? Why?
I love designing dolls & stuffed animals. One of my cherished toys as a child was a little knitted doll & my first design (it was knitted!) was an attempt to recreate that same doll. Once I learned to crochet I was really excited by the versatility of it. My designs have become more varied but my goal is still to create something that will be cherished.
When you’re creating new designs, is there something that inspires you? What’s your muse?
One of the best ways for me to get ideas is simply to walk down the yarn aisle. Different colors, weights & fibers can make ideas pop into my head, especially when there is new yarn available! Once I have an idea, I spend a lot of time writing & sketching in my notebook to help it evolve into a feasible pattern. I also get a lot of inspiration from the children I know. Learning what they really love, the features that are their favorites, the way they use their toys, all of that goes into my designs.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of designing?
The moment of pressing the button to send a new pattern out into the world is always a little scary! I put my heart into my designs & there’s always a little bit of fear of rejection. But overall responses are so positive & encouraging it really is quite wonderful! When I do come across something negative I have to remind myself that everyone has their own tastes & I can’t take it personally.
I’m sure it’s impossible to pick just one, but is there one project that you’re particularly proud of?
Actually this is an easy one! I love all my designs but the one I am most proud of is my Mix & Match Monsters. It isn’t even my most popular pattern but it is just so different & I was so excited when I was designing it. It took a long time to get all of the elements to work the way I wanted but in the end I think it is my best pattern & my most creative idea.
What advice would you pass along to other crocheters?
Take your time! I feel like it’s easy to rush everything these days & I certainly catch myself looking more toward the finished product than the process sometimes. But I think it’s important to slow down & enjoy it. It’s also a good way to make sure you don’t make mistakes. I take notes, highlight, draw diagrams, use stitch markers & tallies, whatever I need to do. The faster I try to go, the more mistakes I make & the more time it ends up taking in the end. So, take your time & enjoy the process!
Thanks, Alicia, for sharing your work with us! If you want to see more of her work, you can find her patterns on Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy, or check out her blog. And Alicia was kind enough to make a special Ravelry code for all of you, so you can get 25% off your entire pattern purchase! Just use the code TCS25 (expires October 20th, 2017). Happy Hooking!
Thank you for stopping by to visit my own personal corner of the web! Feel free to take a look around and check out what I've been crafting, crocheting, or baking. Hopefully you'll find something to inspire your own creativity!