About the De­signer

Kris­ten Stoltz­fus Clay

Crochet World - - Designer Spotlight -

A fourth gen­er­a­tion cro­cheter, I have lots of crafty folks in my fam­ily. My grandma taught me my first cro­chet stitch when I was six years old. I picked it up again in my teen years, mostly teach­ing my­self the ba­sic stitches from back copies of old cro­chet mag­a­zines, and sold my first de­sign when I was 19. Since then I’ve been de­sign­ing steadily for many pub­li­ca­tions and yarn com­pa­nies, even while the years brought a 2,300 mile move across the coun­try, a mar­riage and an in­fant son. There is never enough time in the day to work up my ideas! In­spi­ra­tion is every­where.

It was very im­por­tant to me to be able to work from home, and de­sign­ing be­came both a cre­ative outlet for a hobby I was al­ready pas­sion­ate about, and the per­fect way to work at home at my own pace. Plus, I love the process—it’s fun to see an in­tan­gi­ble idea in my head take shape un­der my fin­gers and be­come some­thing oth­ers can use and du­pli­cate. My fa­vorite kind of projects to de­sign are jew­elry and ver­sa­tile women’s ac­ces­sories, but I do ev­ery­thing from gar­ments, to home decor, to kids’ wear­ables. I en­joy adding new tech­niques to my ar­se­nal and us­ing other el­e­ments such as beads in my cro­chet, but I also love play­ing around with com­bi­na­tions of the ba­sics in count­less ways. Just with color alone there are a dozen vari­a­tions to ev­ery project, and the same piece can have a whole new mood! I also love read­ing, writ­ing, ex­plor­ing and pho­tograph­ing my beloved Idaho, col­lect­ing old movies and music, ranch life with my fam­ily, cook­ing, jew­elry mak­ing and de­sign­ing, vin­tage fash­ion, and sewing my clothes from vin­tage pat­terns. I blog about some of my in­ter­ests at www.ver­i­tyv­in­tages­tu­dio.type­pad.com.

I’ve dab­bled with felt­ing cro­chet a few times, and af­ter notic­ing how peren­ni­ally pop­u­lar clas­sic felt berets are, I had to try mak­ing my own ver­sion. This one is fin­ished af­ter felt­ing with one last round of sin­gle cro­chet, which gives you more lee­way with the felt­ing process since you can draw it in to fit your head size in­stead of de­pend­ing on the felt­ing shrink­age. I added em­broi­dery to make the petal mo­tif more no­tice­able (why make some­thing plain when you can dress it up?), and love the vis­ual ap­peal it adds—it’s so fun to com­bine sev­eral fiber arts in one wearable piece!

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