Today we meet designer, Kathleen Stuart. With over 80 designs to her credit, Kathleen is the type of designer who is always coming up with fun and fresh, and often playful ideas. We are excited to introduce her and learn more about her design career.
Crochet World: Kathleen, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kathleen: I grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah in a loving, supportive family. I went to Utah State University and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering (yes, I actually like math!). I met my husband in a choir at the university. We moved to San Jose, California in 1988 and have four wonderful children. I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom. I volunteered at the different schools my children attended as a room mother, art vista volunteer and band uniform mom, to name a few. With my children grown, I still volunteer my time with my church and in my community. I now have five grandchildren, whom I love to spoil, just a little anyways.
CW: When did you learn to crochet?
I learned to crochet when I was about 10 years old in an activity youth group at church. Later, I had 2 wonderful neighbors that showed me different techniques like granny squares and hairpin lace.
CW: How did you become a designer? What was the first design you sold?
Like most crocheters, I became a designer just after I learned to crochet. I didn’t have any patterns (and there was no internet back then), so I played around to make a bag for my jacks, doll clothes and my first attempts at afghans. My first pattern that I published was “Dishtowel Dolly” in Hooked on Crochet in 1992. I read in that magazine a call for designs and thought I would try and they published the first thing I sent in.
CW: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration in many places! I get ideas from nature, toys, quilts, and things that just pop into my head. I really enjoy creating fun, whimsical things for children. My children and my grandchildren have been the inspiration for many of my designs.
CW: What is your favorite part of the design process?
I believe that everyone has the desire to create beautiful, useful items, so my favorite part of the design process is the crocheting and seeing an idea come to life.
CW: You have many published patterns to your credit, and you have designed all sorts of projects from toys to afghans, what is your favorite project to design?
My favorite project to design is probably the afghans that I made for my children when they earned either Eagle Scout (for my sons) or the Young Women Recognition Award (a church award that my daughters earned). I drew the different blocks out on graph paper and they were a labor of love. A close second and related idea is the doll house afghan I just made for my 5 year old granddaughter. These patterns are unique and really too long to publish in a book or magazine, yet they are my favorite! For magazines, I love crocheting toys!
CW: I love your Down on the Farm blanket from the April issue of Crochet World. Can you share with our readers a few tips or hints to remember as they crochet the blanket?
I made each basic block first and then sewed on the details, like the eyes, ears and noses. The extras are what give the afghan its life, so it is okay to place those items as you see fit. I also really suggest blocking this afghan. It tends to not be “square”. I blocked it after it was done, because the blocks are joined as you go. Don’t be afraid to change colors of the animals to fit your needs.
CW: Do you have a favorite stitch or technique?
It is hard to name a favorite stitch. I really like to try most crochet techniques.
CW: When I have the time, I want to learn more about___________.
I would like to learn more about thread crochet. I have only done a little bit of it and I would love to make some beautiful doilies.
CW: If I had all the time in the world I would crochet_______________.
Great thoughtful question! I would crochet more toys, afghans, baby booties as gifts and donations to charity.
CW: Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kathleen. We look forward to more of your wonderful designs in the pages of Crochet World in the future.
To see more of Kathleen’s designs, take a look at her Ravelry page.