This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of interviews with crochet designers (and perhaps designers of other crafts as well).
I first encountered Robyn Chachula‘s designs at the Crochet Me site. Robyn is a structural engineer, and that comes through both in the style of her designs and in her work process. I’ve especially enjoyed posts at her blog about a pattern booklet she’s been writing. She has several posts there about her design process, as well, all worth reading. You can find Robyn at her website, crochet by faye. (Faye is her dog.)
You’ll find as you read these interviews that I’m using the same questions most of the time. It’s because I know they’ll all have different answers.
How long have you been crocheting?
Only 6 years. I decided to pick it up while I was caring for my newborn niece and sister. I would crochet while they were napping.
What motivated you to learn to crochet?
Who knows. I call it my crochet clock. Some people have baby clocks, I have a craft clock. And it struck crochet and I never stopped. I think it was really with how quickly I could finish a project that originally kept me coming back. Now its the crazy beautiful lace you can make with crochet that I love.
What is your favorite of your published designs and why?
That’s a hard question, b/c I get super into whatever I am currently working on. But if I had to pick one project, it would probably be the Comfy Cardi from the CrochetMe book. Its the only project that I am actually crocheting again. I am pretty terrible when it comes to project retention. I always have at least a dozen going on at once. But this cardi, I actually designed with me in mind; and I couldn’t be happier with how cute it is.
What is your favorite fiber to work with?
Good question. I’d say merino superwash wool- dk weight. I am a simple girl at heart. I like my stitches to do the talking- not my yarn.
Do you have a favorite crochet hook? If so, please describe it.
My favorite is the Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks. They are easy on my hands with their big grips. And I love their hook. I seem to go the fastest with the aluminum too.
Please give us a quick overview of your design process, from idea to finished object.
Let’s see… Where do I start? My start is in the inspiration phase. I get inspiration from everywhere whether its and old movie or a magazine or day dreaming in the shower- a design just seems pop into my head. I then go sketch it down and start thinking about yarns and stitches. My favorite part is in swatching. Sometimes I can swatch for days picking out my favorite yarn and stitch, which usually inspires another 10 projects. Once I have the yarn, style, and stitch all figured out- I go to my calculator. I usually plan my entire pattern out before I even pick up my hook, down even to drawing the schematics and diagrams. Once I have most of the hard stuff figured out, I start crocheting. I like having a plan in mind before I crochet, it seems to me to be easier to make changes; like if I figure out a better increase or something like that. The every last thing I do is pick out the buttons and buckles. This sometimes can take longer then the entire design process, I tend to get very picky when it comes to buttons.
Thank you, Robyn, for doing this interview and for always providing excellent insight into your design process!