We had the great pleasure of meeting and chatting with Kim Guzman. She has a Facebook group with over 100k members that primarily focuses on free patterns for crocheters and helping educate the masses on crochet. Her blog CrochetKim is fantastic and is on the top of our read list, it helps us stay relevant and current. She also has two free pattern sites one for crochet called MakeItCrochet and one for knitting called MakeItKnit. She is spreading the beauty of yarn crafts one post at a time. This fantastic woman took the time to answer some questions we had, we love getting to know others in the craft world.
MMB: Who taught you to crochet?
KG: When I was 8, my grandmother taught me to make a granny square. She didn’t teach me anything else. I immediately started designing things by seeing other things she had made and trying to duplicate them. About 10 years later, I discovered a book of stitch patterns. I taught myself to read the patterns and produce the different stitches necessary to create all of the stitch patterns. Everything other than the granny square was self-taught. I learned to knit from a book as well.
MMB: What was the first thing you made?
KG: I only knew how to make a granny square, so each time I got an allowance, I would go to the store and purchase three coordinating colors of yarn. I crocheted those three colors into a large granny square that ended up being about 15 to 18 inches. When I had a lot of them, I joined them with black and produced the most hideous thing I’ve ever made and I think my mother still has it in her closet to use for bribery, when necessary.
MMB: What is your favorite thing you have made?
KG: I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but it took me the longest and it’s a prized possession as well as family heirloom. It took me six months to complete. It is called ‘Rosebuds in the Snow’.
MMB: What is your favorite pattern?
KG: I don’t have a favorite pattern, to be honest. I rarely use a pattern since I didn’t know about the existence of patterns until about 10 years after I first learned to crochet. Even when I try to make something from my own pattern, I end up changing it and making something different mid-stream.
MMB: Who or what is your inspiration?
KG: The yarn is usually my inspiration. I also love looking at knit garments for crochet inspiration.
MMB: What is your thought process when designing?
KG: Definitely writing the pattern is the most difficult part. I have been designing since I first started crocheting. Most people do, in fact. People design all the time without realizing that they’re doing it. It’s writing a concise, well-written pattern that takes the most time and requires the most patience.
MMB: Who puts in the most requests for handmade items?
KG: Well, that’s easy. Definitely my mother.
MMB: Vintage is always coming back into style, what are some of your favorite vintage designs?
KG: I don’t have any specific favorites. I just wish there would be a renewed interest in thread work! I love the versatility and detail I can produce with thread. You don’t see many North America Patterns in thread anymore.
MMB: What is your first experience with Mary Maxim?
KG: Looking thru catalogs I receive in the mail.
MMB: What is your favorite yarn that we offer?
MMB: What is your favorite yarn in general? DK? Chunky? Worsted? Acrylic? Wool? Blends?
KG: It really depends on the project I’m making. For garments, I prefer DK or lighter. I really enjoy textured and/or self-striping yarns for cowls, scarves, and hats, in any yarn weight. I also like to explore as many different fibers as possible. For nearly a decade I designed almost exclusively for yarn companies and once I started focusing more on my own website, I had a strong desire to try out as many different fibers as I could.
MMB: Do you teach other family members or others to craft?
KG: I’ve taught my kids here and there, but they don’t seem to have much of an interest yet. I’ve taught hundreds of people all over the world with my online videos and classes, though.
MMB: Do you craft for charity?
KG: Yes, I usually have a lot of hats and scarves which are donated. I design a lot and there are only so many heads that need covering in my family. I also donate a lot of yarn to nursing homes.
MMB: What do you want other crafters’ to know about designers and the designing process?
KG: Never look at patterns as written in stone. Feel free to venture in your own direction the same way you would use a recipe. You may find a way that makes it easier or quicker to complete the project. Or, you may find a way in which you don’t have to cut off, so you have less ends to weave in. Trust me when I say that the designer knew these ways as well. It just may not have made for an easily-understandable written pattern. The designer may not have been able to use these “tricks”, but it doesn’t mean that the crocheter can’t.
We are so thankful that Kim took the time to talk with us and share about her love for crafting! We always love to talk to those who help shape the crafting community. One of our goals for 2017 is to reach out and work with more independent designers and crafters; if you are interested in more information please comment below.
Kim G shared a few current patterns that she loves.