I thought it would be fun for you to meet a few of my crochet designer friends. So I interviewed a few of them. Today is Deidre Eyles! Hi Deidre! Thanks for answering my questions.
1. What’s your name and website/Ravelry name, etc I’m Deidre Eyles, my blog is Crochet A la Carte and on Ravelry you can find me as CreativelyMe. I don’t have a web site yet, but hope to one day.
2. When did you learn how to crochet and who taught you? My Maternal Grandma taught me when I was about 5 yrs old. (My first project was a very lumpy Mexican Hat pot holder, which I still have. It is turquoise blue with bright red trim!)
3. When/How did you become a professional? I don’t know if I’d call myself a Professional yet, I’ve only had 2 designs published so far, but I’m working on it.
My very first published pattern was “Spring Flower” baby afghan for Leisure Arts book #4422 Afghans for All Reasons & All Seasons Nov 2007. I submitted the pattern to a magazine and was rejected. Just as I was trying to decide where to submit it next, I saw a call on the CGOA list from Jean Leinhauser. Her and Rita Weiss were doing a book for Leisure Arts and needed afghan patterns ASAP! Any color, yarn, size, ANYthing, FAST! Since I already had the afghan finished and the pattern written up, I sent an email with a pic of the afghan. They said they would make instant decisions, and they DID! Before I knew it, I was mailing them the afghan for photography and being thanked for my design! Lol!
4. What’s your favorite thing to crochet? That’s a tough question as I like to crochet a lot of things. If I had to pick I’d say probably purses and totes. They are quick and usually easy and they give you a LOT of room for creativity!
5.When you design, do you start with a plan first, or do you start with hook and yarn and see what happens? I usually get an idea for a design in my head first. I see the design in my mind’s eye, then try to work on creating it. Although, on occasion I have found a yarn that I couldn’t resist, bought it and let the yarn tell me what it wanted to be.
6. What are you most proud of in terms of crochet? For designs, that would have to be my Tranquil Ocean free form afghan that won People’s Choice at the Conference this summer. It was my very first attempt at free form and it turned out even better than I could have hoped! I get so many wonderful comments on it when I show it or pictures of it to people.
For crochet in general, that would be to be able to design things and have them published in crochet books and magazines. 2 or 3 years ago I wouldn’t have even dreamed that this was possible! (I still have to pinch myself!)
Do you have any advice to crocheters who want to be designers? Yes. Never think that you can’t do it! Even if you are scared to death, submit that design anyway, because you never know until you try. (wise words from my very good friend, Thank you, Ellen) If you do get rejected, don’t take it personally. They just might not have had room for it. Dust yourself off and submit it else where.
Never think a design isn’t “good enough” or that people will think it’s silly. I thought that about my Tranquil Ocean afghan and it won People’s Choice! You just never know.
And finally, join the Crochet Guild of America and get a Mentor. They help you polish your skills, they teach you the ins and outs of submitting, they can be an invaluable source of information, and best of all, they can be your friend and cheer you on!
8. Anything else you want to say? Yes. Dream big and be open to finding inspiration and opportunities ANYwhere! They can happen when you least expect it. I’ve had opportunities come out of nowhere with perfect timing, and I’ve found inspiration in the most unlikely places. You just have to keep an open mind.
Thank you so much Deidre!