The first of hopefully many installments of a Featured Artist series here on Hooked by Kati features Chelsea Smith and her Stormtrooper Graphghan.
Every person who crochets is an artist. Amazing work comes from the fingers (and hooks) of very talented crafters, and I love seeing these amazing works of art. The work of others is inspiring, energizing, and encouraging to all other artists. That “WOW!” moment is what drives us to create again and again.
That being said, I decided to start showcasing some of these awesome projects and artists by having a monthly Featured Artist. Whether they have completed a Hooked by Kati pattern or any other amazing pattern, I know everyone loves to see the incredible work of other crochet artists. As an added bonus, I ask my featured artist a few questions about their awesome project and about their craft.
Featured Artist: Chelsea Smith
Project: Stormtrooper Graphghan
Q: First of all, how long have you been crocheting?
A: I have been crocheting since March 2018.
Q: What made you want to learn this art form?
A: I am artsy and crafty by nature, and a friend suggested that I learn to crochet as a way to make my own clothes, as I often struggle to find the right style or fit.
Q: Who taught you?
A: My Grandmother had originally tried to teach me as a young girl, but I could not grasp the chain and eventually gave up. When I picked up the hook in March, I picked it up in my left hand this time and, through memory, created the chain near perfectly. I taught myself how to crochet through trial and error, videos, books, and patterns.
Q: This one is rather existential. Why do you crochet?
A: I crochet because I am determined to make my own clothes one day and because I can crochet, so why not? I love handmade items and their value.
Q: Now, about the project. What made you want to do this pattern?
A: My friend is working on a graphghan for her son, and curiously, I asked questions and began searching patterns, and this pattern just spoke to me. My family is big into superheroes and Disney, and I personally love the fanciness of the design, so it was perfect. Ultimately I did this project so that I can say I can do it.
Q: Where did you get the pattern, or did you create it yourself?
A: I purchased the pattern from StitchLine’s Etsy shop.
Q: What yarn did you use, and what did you think of it?
A: I used Phentex Worsted Weight 100% acrylic yarn. I bought the yarn because it’s sourced locally in Ontario, and I got 792m balls for $10 at Michael’s. The quality is pretty good for an acrylic blend; not very scratchy. The only downfall is I found that the thickness of the yarn fluctuated.
Q: How long did it take you to complete?
A: I worked on this project over several months in the last year, but given that I just did over half of the blanket in 3 weeks, I could tackle this project in about 2 months.
Q: Where will this work of art end up? Is it a keeper, an order, or a gift?
A: This blanket is a keeper and will end up on my bed as a gift to myself.
Q: What was the hardest part of this project? What was the easiest?
A: I would prefer to call the tedious parts of the project, but they were the 60+ bobbins, repetitive colour changes, weaving ends, and storing the project. The easiest part of the project was picking the pattern.
Q: What, if anything, did you listen to or watch while you worked on this project?
A: I don’t always have something on, but I generally listen to music while working and sometimes movies with the kids, although I often make mistakes this way.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to tackle a project like this, what would it be?
A: Pick a pattern that speaks to you and go for it. you will never know if you can do it, if you don’t try. Do what scares you and challenge yourself, because with challenge comes growth.
Q: And last but not least, What will be on your hook next?
A: I am currently making hexagon granny squares to utilize my leftover yarn stash, which will, in turn, be made into baby blankets for hospital donations, while I also work on a summer top pattern of my own design.
Chelsea also owns and operates a small business, Custom Made Stuff. Her Facebook page can be found here.
Would you like to have your amazing project featured next? Please post pictures of your work in the Hookers and Crafters Facebook Group, or you can email me at email@example.com. I will send you the Q and A form and request two pictures; one of your work and one of you posing with it.
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.