I am very excited to introduce you to Anna from The Knotty Boss today. Anna is a very talented maker that designs and crochets the cutest amigurumi cacti. And her talent doesn’t stop there! Anna is also a talented graphic designer who makes some seriously awesome templates for crafters to take their projects to the next level. If you haven’t already seen her Instagram account, you need to check it out. Read below to learn more about Anna and The Knotty Boss.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Anna. I’m the maker behind @theknottyboss. I currently reside in the Philadelphia area, although I’m originally from Ukraine. As much as I would love for The Knotty Boss to be my main bread-n-butter, it’s currently a part time gig. Professionally, I’m a graphic designer, and have been doing design [as my full time job] for the past 14 years.
How long have you been crocheting?
I’ve been crocheting for a little over 2 years
Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing?
Yes, I’m a craft hoarder. I love knitting, sewing, painting, paper crafts… the list goes on. Unfortunately, with work and crochet taking up most of my time, it doesn’t leave room for any other crafts at the moment
How did you learn to crochet?
From good old YouTube
How did you get started making cacti?
I’m a habitual plant murderer, so I wanted to make a plant for my desk that wouldn’t die after a month. I searched for ideas on pinterest until i stumbled onto a world of amigurumi cacti. That’s what made me want to learn crochet. I had to make a cactus!!!
What is your favourite project that you have designed to date?
That’s a hard one. It’s like picking your favorite child [not that I know what that’s like, since I’m not a mom] I think my Frida and Rosie inspired cacti are my favorite. They were so fun to design, and people seem to like them.
When did you start pursuing a business as a maker and why?
I think it was mainly peer-pressure, haha. Whenever people found out I made stuff, next question was always “do you have an Etsy store?” After a few months of crocheting I decided to open one. Although, until this year I only used Etsy for custom listings, so my store was empty.
What are your aspirations for your business?
I ask myself this question from time to time, but I seriously haven’t come up with a good answer yet. I obviously want to be successful, but doing what, I’m still not 100% sure of. Lately, design has been creeping into my crocheting world, and I’ve been working with different makers on their branding and packaging, which I LOVE TO DO! I would love to do more of that, in addition to crocheting.
How do you organize yourself and stick to your goals?
The only thing that I do to keep myself organized is make to-do lists. Other than that, I’m pretty all over the place. I know this might be shocking to hear, but I don’t really set any crazy goals for myself [when it comes to The Knotty Boss] I keep things very organic, and do what I feel like and when [unless i promise something specific to someone] Is that bad?
What are your biggest struggles as a maker?
Trying to achieve perfection, procrastination, inability to work on one thing at a time. Should I continue? haha.
Where does your inspiration come from?
From anywhere and everywhere. Friends and other makers, social media and also my customers. A lot of my cacti ideas came from customers with specific requests. For example, my first Frida cactus was a custom order.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to start out with a maker business?
I would be the worst person to give any business advice. However, as a designer, I can give some design advice… It’s important to know the difference between a professional logo and one designed with free apps with pre-made graphics. Good logos aren’t cheap, and cheap logos aren’t good [most of the time] Also, stay consistent with your branding fonts and colors.
What’s your favourite yarn/fibre to work with?
I love cotton yarns, but I also haven’t worked with that much yarn variety yet. I’m still learning and finding new fibers to work with.
Who inspires you? Who are your favourite makers?
There are so many makers that inspire me, I wouldn’t know where to start, plus I don’t want to leave anyone out.
If time and money were not an issue, what would your dream project be?
I would love to make a huge cactus with one of those giant yarns [the ones you can just hand crochet with]
Anything else you’d like to tell us about? (i.e. exciting future projects, fun tidbits, etc.)
Just some random-ness:
I love cheese, chocolate and sauv blanc. I’m a dog person [sorry, cats] I’m obsessed with typography and fonts. Recently I’ve been on a Judge Judy kick [can’t get enough of her sassy courtroom antics… and yes, it’s currently on in the background, as I type this]
Want to know where to find this talented maker? You can find Anna and The Knotty Boss at the links below:
This week I want to show you how to do a foundation double crochet (FDC). You may have heard some buzz about foundation stitches (aka chainless foundation stitches) lately and there is a good reason why – Foundation stitches create your base chain and your first row of stitches for your project at the same time. The foundation double crochet stitch is a real time saver and it isn’t as tedious as working into chains to create your first row.
Foundation stitches have more stretch than working into chains and tend to look tidier because it is easier to maintain tension throughout your first row. My favourite part? No more counting chains! You just make as many stitches as you need. What’s not to love?
Step 1: Ch 3.
Step 2: Yarn over and insert your hook into the 3rd chain from hook.
Step 3: Yarn over and pull up a loop. You should have 3 loops on your hook. Next, you’ll yarn over and pull through 1 loop on your hook. This creates the “chain”.
Step 4: Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on your hook. You should have 2 loops left on your hook.
Step 5: Yarn over and pull through all the loops on your hook. This creates your first foundation double crochet stitch.
Step 6: For the next stitch (and subsequent stitches), yarn over and insert your hook under the 2 loops of the “chain” of the last stitch and pull up a loop. You should have 3 loops on your hook again.
Step 7: Yarn over and draw through 1 loop on your hook. This leaves 3 loops on your hook.
Step 8: Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on your hook. This leaves 2 loops on your hook.
Step 9: Yarn over and draw through all the remaining loops on your hook. This creates your foundation double crochet stitch.
Repeat steps 6 to 9 until you have the number of stitches required for your project.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Please don’t forget to pin and share this post.
I am so excited to finally be able to share this with you! After some thought about what I want The Loopy Lamb blog to be and how I can give back to the crochet community, I came up with my Featured Maker Program.
As a believer in community over competition, my goal with the Featured Maker Program is to help lift other makers up. I want to provide a platform to showcase the talent of other makers and to help my readers get to know some of the incredibly talented and passionate makers that are out there.
I’m looking for positive creators that can work in a collaborative manner and have the organizational skills to meet deadlines.
If you are a maker and are interested in being featured, check out this link to get the full details and the application. I can’t wait to collaborate with you!
This week marks my 6th month as a crochet blogger and I have been doing a lot of reflection on my time as a blogger and sharing my designs. There have been a lot of ups and downs in this short period and I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned in this adventure so far.
It is A LOT of work.
Well, I guess I can’t say that I was overly surprised by this, I knew it would be a lot of work to do the designing, marketing and upkeep of my own blog (and Etsy shop) but it is even more work than I thought. On the personal side, working a stressful part-time job while having my 2 year old at home with me all day and having a 4 year old, there is a lot of juggling involved. When you’re thinking of jumping into blogging, you may think that it’s just sharing your designs, posting a few pictures and you’re set. It is much MUCH more than that. There are hours of work that go into each post: photoshoots, research, testing, crocheting/designing, editing the post and the patterns, marketing, search engine optimization, creating special images for the different social media platforms, creating and sending emails to your email list, etc, etc, etc. Don’t get met wrong here, I’m not complaining. I love doing it but it is definitely more work than I thought it would be.
It Can Be A Lot Of Fun
I have had the opportunity to chat with some of you about how you got started crocheting, what you love about it (and hate about it), what kind of projects you like to do and more. It has been wonderful getting to know some of you and seeing your masterpieces. I love getting to share your work on my Instagram and getting to know more of you.
It is also a lot of fun designing and seeing my ideas come to life through yarn and sharing it with the world. Getting to create my own designs is very rewarding to me, a ton of fun, as well as a great stress reliever. And believe me, with two crazy little ones, I need to crochet a lot.
It Can Be Rewarding
As I touched on before, the challenge of creating my own designs is rewarding. I get a lot of enjoyment from the process of designing as well as helping others. I love being able to help people when they have contacted me with questions or for advice. When someone tells me they have tackled something they have struggled with because I was able to help them, that just makes my day.
It Can Also Be Lonely and Isolating at Times
I’m going to be straight with you here: if you are thinking of starting your own crochet blog, you need to be prepared to deal with a lot of rejection, criticism and straight up being ignored. There is a lot more competition in blogging than I initially realized and it is surprisingly hard to get a response from other bloggers when you’re just starting out. I get it, though. They’re busy, they probably get a ton of emails/messages, etc. but understandably, a lot just look at a new blogger like me as potential competition because their blogs are their businesses. So in my attempt to build relationships with other bloggers/designers, my messages have either mostly gone ignored or I’ve received unfriendly messages in return.
When I participated in the 30 Days of Cozy Project a few months ago, I was blessed to meet another designer involved in the program and we became fast friends. I love that we don’t hesitate to share what we’ve learned with eachother and are supportive of eachother while we try to figure things out. If you’re ever wanting to start blogging, I hope you find that friend to support you. There have been times I have to remind myself why I decided to start blogging in the first place and it has been nice to have that friend to talk to that understands.
You’ve Gotta Do You
I’ve realized that this journey I’m on is meaningless unless I do what makes me happy. Worrying about whether my design is going to be liked or criticized can really make it hard to be creative. I was recently working on a design and kept putting it aside because I let that little voice inside my head tell me that it wasn’t good enough. I perservered and put it out there and it has been one of my most popular designs to date! I have to stop doubting myself and just do me.
Overall, I have enjoyed my experience as a blogger and the opportunities it has brought me to meet those of you that follow me. Your support has meant so much to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months will have in store. Below is a list of the designs I have released in my first 6 months of blogging:
The Ava Cowl
Twisted Shells Ear Warmer
Once in a Blue Moon Triangle Scarf
Striped Thicket Stitch Blanket
Saint Prickolaus Cactus Cuddler
Randy the Cactus Reindeer
Mommy’s Go-To Fingerless Gloves
Saint Prickolaus – Available free on Crochetpreneur.com and coming soon to The Loopy Lamb
Stanley The Cactus Snowman – Available free on Crochetpreneur.com and coming soon to The Loopy Lamb
Super Quick Chunky Cowl
Tiny Pebbles Ear Warmer
The Polar Puff Messy Bun Hat
Sloth Cup Cozy
The Arctic Gem Beanie
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
This post may contain affiliate links.
This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own.
This has been a crazy week! Last week, my Stanley the Cactus Snowman pattern was featured on Crochetpreneur.com. You can see the free pattern here. Thank you for all of the love you have given to Stanley so far! Your kind words have meant so much to me! An ad-free version of Stanley the Cactus Snowman’s pattern can be purchased HERE for a small fee.
This has been such an exciting adventure to be a part of this program. It has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with some other designers as well as share some of their beautiful work with you all. Follow me on Instagram to see all content from the bundle I’ve been sharing!
On November 10th, I will be featured as a guest designer for a second time on Crochetpreneur.com. This time it will be my pattern for Saint Prickolaus that will be featured. This cute little guy decided that it was time to take a Christmas vacation this year so he bundled up in his holiday finest for his trip.
I sometimes struggle trying to come up with a name for my patterns so I enlisted the help of my family to come up with something for this guy. We had a lot of fun trying to come up with something fun and punny. Since Saint Prickolaus wears a Santa hat and Saint Nickolaus is another name for Santa, we decided to go with Saint Prickolaus!
The awesome thing about being a guest designer in this program is that
You can get an ad-free version of the Saint Prickolaus pattern for a small fee from my Etsy shop HERE.
Have you checked out the 30 Days of Cozy Pattern Bundle? Every day for the month of November, Pam Grice of Crochetpreneur.com will feature a different pattern from up and coming designers for free. She has bundled all of these patterns and a TON of extras into a bundle. There are 30+ patterns in the bundle for only $10 USD! The bundle is only available until the end of the month so don’t wait too long before checking it out. You can check the bundle out here: HERE.
This post may contain affiliate links.
Want to purchase the 30 Days of Cozy bundle? Click this link. I earn a small commission on sales made through this link at no cost to you.
I have a secret! Well….I had a secret. I was just too excited to keep it to myself that I spilled the beans on Instagram and Facebook earlier this week. I have been working on a top secret project for a while and I am finally allowed to tell everyone about it. So, hear ye! Hear ye! My official blog announcement!
Pam Grice of The Crochetpreneur (www.thecrochetpreneur.com) gathered together a group of up and coming crochet designers to be part of a design project called 30 Days of Cozy. When I got the invitation from Pam I thought I was seeing things. I was so excited about the opportunity to work with Pam and the other designers that the only option for me was to say yes. Pam asked me to create some amigurumi designs for the package and of course, I was thrilled to do that.
So, stay tuned folks. I have two designs submitted to the project and they will be available for FREE. That’s right, you read FREE on Pam’s blog, crochepreneur.com on November 4th and November 10th.
My contributions to this bundle are my Saint Prickolaus and Stanley the Cactus Snowman patterns.
When I created Saint Prickolaus, I was thinking about what if there was a cactus that had always wondered what snow was like since they were in the desert. I know, a weird and random thought but I went with it and Saint Prickolaus was born. My weirdness has a use…sometimes.
Stanley the Cactus Snowman was also born of that same weird train of thought. What if a barrel cactus was in someone’s window, warm and cozy but looking out on a winter wonderland was jealous of a snowman? I know, the dark places that I go for inspirations, right? But, I like to think the result is adorable.
There are a lot of other wonderful patterns available in the 30 days of cozy bundle by some incredibly talented designers. There will be a free pattern featured for free from the bundle, everyday of November on Pam’s blog.
Purchasing the bundle helps support designers that provide their patterns for free. So if you’re interested in purchasing, please click this link here. Again, I earn a small commission from purchases made through this link, which helps support me and helps me continue to provide my patterns for free on my blog. Ad-free versions of each pattern are also available to purchase on my Etsy page:
Know someone that may enjoy one of these patterns or loves a good deal? Please share this post/link with them.
This pattern and its images are copyright protected and the sole property of Ashley Parker of The Loopy Lamb. Please do not resell, distribute, duplicate, or share this pattern in any printed or digital form, claiming this pattern as your own original design. Please do not use my photos when selling your finished items.
Feel free to sell the finished item created with this pattern but please provide pattern credit to The Loopy Lamb when posting online and provide a link to my blog: www.theloopylamb.com.
If you encounter any difficulties or have questions about the pattern, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com . I’ll do whatever I can to help.
I’d love to see your finished items! Please share your finished makes by tagging the pattern on Ravelry, save it on Pinterest, sharing it to our Facebook page or Instagram!
This post may contain affiliate links.
This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own.
As much as I hate to admit this, fall is upon us. That means crocheters are busily trying to get ready for the holiday giving season. Some of us are not just getting ready for the holidays, we’re prepping for craft shows or stocking Etsy shops. Needless to say, it’s a very busy time of year for most of us. I’ve created a Holiday Gift Project Tracker that may help all of us be a little less stressed during this busy time of year.
Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of what you’re planning to make for everyone on your gift list. I know that if I don’t write things down, I either don’t remember what I wanted to make or I change my mind a hundred times. One year was particularly stressful. I was completely disorganized, bought WAY more yarn than I needed and ended up crocheting gifts until the last possible minute. Crocheting every second I could, having two small kids and hosting a large family dinner? I was pulling my hair out. After that, I vowed to be more prepared from then on.
Now, around this time every year, I create my list of what I want to make everyone. This helps me get an idea of a timeline needed to make sure I complete everything with time to spare. Once I’ve made my decisions on what to make people, I take inventory of my yarn stock, and head out to buy my supplies. I don’t let myself change my mind on what to make someone unless I’m ahead of schedule and it’s within budget.
To keep myself organized, I created this simple document which I’ve called the Holiday Gift Crochet Project List. It’s nothing fancy but it’s enough to organize my thoughts and keep me on track. Each page has enough space to document projects for 4 different people. Just print out as many pages as you need, fill them out and get to work crocheting those beautiful gifts for your loved ones to treasure. Keep the pages until next year so you can remember what you made everyone this year to avoid repeats!
Get your FREE Holiday Gift Project Tracker by clicking on the link below:
What projects are you planning on giving as gifts this year? Let me know in the comments below!