Saturday, October 18, 2008

Designer Profile: Jill Hanratty

Look out world, here she comes! Jill Hanratty is just one of the fabulous designers I'm going to profile. Jill burst onto the crochet scene when I met her in line to meet editors at the 2006 Chain Link conference. She was wearing one of her crocheted dresses and wow, she can do great things with hook and yarn. You've started to see a few of her designs since then, she's been published in Annie's Hooked on Crochet, Crochet! and Interweave Crochet. Her talent is second only to her charm and generous personality.

1. What’s your name and website/Ravelry name, etc.
Jill Hanratty. No website or blog (yet?). My Ravelry name is scorpiocrochet; unfortunately, all I have done on Ravelry is choose the name! (Time management is a foreign concept to me, so I cannot find enough time to do all I should do!)

2. When did you learn how to crochet and who taught you?
I learned to crochet (and knit) when I was about 10 years old (give or take--I don’t remember exactly). My mother tried to teach me, but gave up when I wasn’t getting it. My grandmother stepped in and hung tough with me until I finally caught on!

3. When/How did you become a professional?
In 2006, I joined CGOA and attended my first conference (where I met you!). I brought along my portfolio, which consisted of photos of completed items and sketches of items yet to be created, and showed it to the magazine editors at the "Meet and Greet" portion of the conference. When I got home from the conference, I began submitting designs to magazines. Prior to that, I sold finished items.

4. What’s your favorite thing to crochet?
I love making clothes. I also sew, but crocheting clothing feels like an extra treat, since I can sit still and do it--not to mention carrying the crochet along wherever I go. (Can’t carry a sewing machine around and use it!)

5. When you design, do you start with a plan first, or do you start with hook and yarn and see what happens?
Both. I sometimes have a design in mind and set out to find the right yarn and stitch combination to accomplish it. More often, though, I find yarn that I love (we all know that feeling!) and swatch with it until I find a stitch pattern that looks best to me; then I decide what type of garment it will best suit.

6. What are you most proud of in terms of crochet?
This is tricky! I’m sure you know the feeling: It’s great to have designs published, and I’m proud of each design that has been published. It’s also great to have people react with amazement to things I’ve created.

7. Do you have any advice to crocheters who want to be designers?
If possible, go to the National Chain Link Conference and attend Professional Development Day. There is a wealth of information passed along by designers, editors, publishers and yarn company representatives--it is an invaluable experience. Whether or not it is possible to attend the conference, submit ideas to editors! CGOA also offers a mentoring program, which is very helpful. AND, I’ve noticed that your blog is chock-full of great information! Thanks, Jill!

8. Anything else you want to say?
I wish there were more hours in the day. It’s difficult to keep up with everything I would like to design and crochet! (See #1, time management problem, ha!)

Thanks Jill for giving us a little insight into you!

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