Jul 14, 2018

Interview with a designer Marie Segares (Underground Crafter)

Lion pocket by Underground Crafter 
Marie Segares (Underground Crafter) is a fellow designer participating in the Ami-a-long 2018.
 I had the privilege to interview her and this is the interview. I love her whimsical and adorable designs and if given the time and opportunity I would attempt to crochet any of her amigurumi designs.

What inspires you to design?
I grew up within a very creative family and making things has always been a big part of my life. The inspiration for each design varies, but generally I’m inspired by yarn, stitch dictionaries, and what I see during my subway commute.

If you could knit/ crochet one thing - anything in the world what would that be?
I like variety, so I’d rather be able to crochet and knit different things. I tend to crochet granny squares when I’m relaxing, so that’s one pattern I go back to a lot.

Describe your ideal day as a designer, what would you do and what would you prefer not to do?
I’m not a full time designer, so my design fits into other parts of my life. The things I enjoy are crocheting and knitting a sample, swatching up different stitches from stitch dictionaries, and writing. The things I enjoy less are bookkeeping, blog maintenance, writing follow up emails, and marketing.

How do you start a project, with yarn, pattern, idea or what?
It really depends on the pattern. For softies, I usually start with the idea and then pick out the yarn. I try to write out patterns (or at least the first part) before I pick up the hook or needles and test out my idea as I work.

What inspires you to pick up needles and start on the project?
Right now, I only make projects that I plan to publish as designs. My main motivators are creative expression and earning a side income.

What do you enjoy the most about the designing and what you dislike the most?
I enjoy most parts of designing. I wish I was better at photography, but I don’t dislike it. I do get sad when people leave rude or nasty comments on my work, but unfortunately, that’s part of life on the internet.

Are there any particular techniques you find challenging or impossible to work with?
Not really. I’ve been crocheting since 1984 and I think most things can be mastered with some effort. I’m not as strong of a knitter but I’ve been able to learn most of the techniques I want to, like cables.

What is on your needles now?
I’m not knitting anything at the moment, but I have a crochet pillow in the works as my “main” project.

Do you work on multiple projects at the same time or single project?
I usually have about 5-10 projects going at once. One will be my main project that I work on while commuting, others will be designs that I started and am not finishing yet because of deadlines, others will be too big so I only work on them at home.
Where to find Marie Segares (Underground Crafter)

Marie Segares on Ravelry

Undergroundcrafter.com/blog/

Etsy shop

Underground Crafter on Facebook

Instagram.com/ucrafter/

Pinterest.com/ucrafter/

Twitter.com/ucrafter

Youtube.com/c/mariesegaresundergroundcrafter

Jul 7, 2018

The Owl Gang

The owl gang
It was summer of 2012 when I bought one skein of yarn. I truly didn't know what I wanted to make from it, I just loved the colors. At one point I made an owl from it, based on Miranda my first owl pattern. When I created my second owl pattern, Ollie, the owlet I knitted one owlet from the same skein of yarn. Then Helga and Otto joined the knitted owl family.

Helga, Ollie, Miranda, and Otto

 I took a picture of them and posted it on my FB page. Two of my friends asked if I could knit them an owl, and they picked Miranda. So I knitted them and took another picture. And there was still yarn left from that one skein of yarn.
Owls 
 It was at this point that I have decided to continue knitting another owl just to see if I can finish another one.
WIP Ollie, seventh owl
While on vacation I finished her and gave her away to another friend. I still had leftover yarn, so I started eight owlet.
Ollie, the owlet and another WIP Ollie

I finished the eight owlet, and there is still small amount of yarn left. I will somehow incorporate the remnants with another yarn together to make another owl. I have also combined all of the four knitted patterns that I have published previously and created a knitting pattern for The owl gang.

It's available in my Ravelry store or you may purchase it by clicking on this button:



The owl gang
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Jun 21, 2018

Summer...and Ami-a-long

It's official, summer is here now.

Treasure Island
When I was a little girl I dreamed of living by the ocean. As an adult I know that not every dream we have as children comes true... can you imagine the world filled with superheroes and pirates, and what about all of the horses that little girls dream of having....In my History of New York City class I just learned about the manure issues the New York City was dealing with in the time when horses were the only other option for transportation.
But I have come pretty close to fulfilling my dream of  living by the ocean. I can drive there and visit and return back home all in one day.
I did such a trip few days ago, and managed to visit the treasure island as well. The island is accessible via sandbar during the low tide and when I arrived to the ocean I could walk to the island and back.
A story has it that a pirate buried some treasure on this island, therefore there is a chance that someone will one day stumble across this treasure. Every time I visit I think it's a treasure just to be able to walk to the island and back. I also found few heart shaped stones along the walk.

Heart shaped stone
I always take my knitting with me, and while I was waiting for my friends to come, I managed to knit few stitches and snapped a picture of my knitting project. It will be a small owl when finished.

Ollie WIP
This knitted toy fits with an announcement I have.
I am participating again with other fabulous designers in annual Ami-a-long event.
Between June 25th and July 8th a 25% discount for all eligible patterns by participating designers of  Ami-a-long event kicks off the annual Ami-along extravaganza that everyone can participate.
This even takes place on Ravelry in group called Ami-along. There you can join and post your projects and win some fabulous prices.

Have fun knitting.

Eligible Patterns for 2018

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Jun 13, 2018

Knitting Pattern for Mosaico

Mosaico
A while back I had one of my submissions accepted into a book collection. I was working on the sample during the winter months of last year, and the book took a bit longer than anticipated to be published, but finally it is available to purchase.  The collection is just amazing. Check it out and see for yourself.

You may purchase the individual pattern here:

Mosaico

or you can purchase the entire book here:

Malabrigo Heritage

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May 31, 2018

Life....

After storm
Life can bring unexpected twists and turns at a whim. On Tuesday May 15th I went for our regular afternoon hike with the puppy into the woods. I was with a friend and her dogs. Suddenly the weather changed and fast approaching storm caught us in the middle of the woods. We made it back to our cars just in time to avoid the large hail. Then we tried to get back home. Our usual 10 minutes journey turned into a chaotic search for a way out from being trapped on a road between fallen trees. We were not the only one trying to find our way home. There were many other people trapped who were searching for their way home. In the end we parked our cars and walked home. We had to walk around fallen trees, downed wires and sometimes walk around an impassable sections of the roads. It took me about two hours, while my friend had to walk an extra hour to reach her home. I guess our dogs got quite an exercise that evening.  
The storm lasted about seven minutes or something like that, according to the weather channels and news reports, but the destruction it left behind will take months to recover.
For us personally, we were without electricity for a week, without Internet for two weeks, and we are still to this day without phone. We were lucky that our home didn't get damaged, while so many other homes in the area were damaged by fallen trees.
In the time after the storm I have experienced compassion and kindness. People were helping each other, neighbors pitched in and helped those who couldn't do much due to their age or health. It was wonderful to see this kind of collaboration and help among the view of destruction the storm left behind.
Life is slowly returning to normalcy, though there is still a lot of work to be done.
In the quiet moments in the past few weeks I have tried to find a sense of tranquility and peace by taking up the knitting needles and knit. I cannot share the pictures of the knitting projects that kept me calm during those weeks yet. I will do that when the patterns are released by the yarn companies.
In this collage picture I have a sneak peak at one of the projects I was working on, and few of the heart shaped images I saw during those days when I went on the walks with the puppy.
 
May 2018
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May 5, 2018

Work in progress II

Owls

Somehow it seems to me that the past few months just run by without me noticing. One morning I woke up and it was winter, the next day the calendar said it's May 1st. I guess the only way I can see the time slipping by is in the things that I have managed to knit.
A few years ago I picked this one skein of yarn, from our local yarn shop. It's Cascade Yarn Heritage Paints, a fingering weight yarn with 473 yards (400 meters) on a single skein. I didn't know what I wanted to knit from the yarn, I bought it because I liked the color. At some point, I knitted an owl from the yarn.
It was Miranda. When I created another owl pattern, I knit Ollie, the owlet from the same skein of yarn as well. Then in January I had the toy mystery KAL for Otto, and I knitted him in the same yarn as well. In the previous year I had another toy mystery KAL for Helga, and I just had to knit here in the same yarn as well. After I posted a picture of the four owls on my FB page, two of my friends asked if I can knit them two Miranda owls. So I did, and there is still some leftover yarn on this one skein of yarn. Therefore I will try to knit another owl from it. All of the owls posed for a picture with the remnants of the yarn. I am curious if there is enough yarn left to finish another owl.


After receiving a box with this beautiful yarn from Cascade Yarn Company I started to swatch for the new and upcoming pattern for my Voyager sweater. I finished my yarn swatch and started to work on the sample.  I hope to have the sample done for a photoshoot in June. Then it's all about writing the pattern, editing, and test knitting. I hope that the whole process will be finished sometime in late August or early September, so the pattern is available for early fall release.

Yarn
Voyager Sweater WIP I.
Voyager Sweater WIP II.

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Apr 25, 2018

Knitting Pattern for Ralph, the rabbit

Ralph, the rabbit
Ralph, the rabbit was a special request from my local children library. They wanted to have a rabbit as one of the prizes to win in the next fun contest for children. The display is as always eye catching and children are very happy to participate in the contest to win one of these two toys.

Ralph, and Grace

The knitting pattern for Ralph, the rabbit is available now in my Ravelry store or you can purchase the pattern by clicking on this button:



T-Bone and Ralph
Before I gave away Ralph and Grace to the library I snapped a picture of our 15 months old puppy and the rabbit. T-Bone has been a wonderful addition to our family, since we adopted him from animal shelter last year in April. Somehow I did not imagine that the tiny puppy we brought home would grow up so much.....
T-Bone
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