I hope you've all enjoyed the last two posts in the Designer Spotlight series (if you missed them, you can find them here and here). My favorite thing about this series has been not only celebrating talented fiber artists, but also learning more about these designers's motivations and inspirations; everyone has a story. Today's feature shines the spotlight on Andrea of Wooden Anchor Creations. Not only is Andrea a designer, but she's also a cancer survivor who has found awesome ways to give back with her crochet. So learn more about her from her interview, take a look at some of her projects, and maybe find some inspiration to give back with your own work.
How long have you been crocheting?
I started to crochet when I was pregnant with my daughter, she's 24 now.
How did you learn to crochet?
I taught myself the basic single crochet and then with the invention of YouTube, I challenge myself to try a new stitch every time I made something new. Took me almost a year before I could read a pattern and I still don't have the concept of diagrams down.
What’s something you wish you had known when you’d first started crocheting?
I wish I had known how therapeutic it was, just the movement of the hook and having to sit still.
What is your favorite thing about crocheting?
I love that something I've made has been someone's gift, that they are so excited to see it and use it. Even if I don't get to personally see this, I love that my work makes people happy.
Is there a certain type of pattern you love to design the most? Why?
I make chemo hats. I use different patterns and have designed my own for these hats. I love that something so simple gives back in so many ways.
(Note from The Cookie Snob: Andrea has made over 300 chemo hats!!! Incredible!)
When you’re creating new designs, is there something that inspires you? What’s your muse?
I am inspired by people and moods. I like to try to visualize the person who might wear one of my hats. I want to help lighten their mood but to also let them maintain a sense of self.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of designing?
The most challenging aspect is color, I let other people pick color combinations otherwise all my hats would be colors that I love, that's not very enlightened when it comes to making hats for unknown people.
I’m sure it’s impossible to pick just one, but is there one project that you’re particularly proud of?
I started a local learn to crochet project a couple years ago. I taught anyone who wanted to learn, for free. I just wanted anyone who had even an ounce of curiosity to be able to learn something new.
What advice would you pass along to other crocheters?
My advice to others would be to never forget we all were beginners and to look at any other person’s items with new eyes. See the beauty, realize the task and don't forget to compliment! Encourage each other!
Thank you, Andrea, for sharing your story and for the great advice! I hope that this spotlight inspires you all in your own knitting and crocheting! And if you're interested in giving back by donating chemo hats like Andrea, here are a few charities who are currently accepting donations of handmade hats (there are lots, so I just chose a few, but feel free to look for others). Each page has guidelines to help you get started.:
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!