I can’t remember when I first met Lisa but with an Instagram handle like, @icrochetsohard how could you not follow the account!? Lisa has become much more than an account I follow on Instagram. She’s become a small part of my crochet community on the gram.
Not only is Lisa a sister in my crochet community, she’s also a sister in Christ. Her life verse is Psalm 116:1 and she lives that verse through her posts and crochet patterns.
Okay, without feather ado, let’s read our conversation and get to know Lisa! Don’t miss her FREE Crochet Pattern at the end!
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When did you learn to crochet? Who taught you?
I learned to crochet in the Girl Scouts when I was 10. I didn’t learn to read a pattern, however, until 28 years later in 2020!
What difference has crochet had on your life?
Crochet has allowed me a creative outlet, which is very important and necessary for me. I find that if I am not taking part in some kind of creative process in my life during a period of time, I don’t fully feel like myself. Being creative is just part of who I am made to be. I also LOVE giving handmade gifts. It’s just something I really, really enjoy. Crochet also brings relief of stress and anxiety, which was much needed over the last 2+ years. Crochet allowed me to find a community of makers to connect with, which has been so fun and meaningful!
What is your most favorite item to crochet?
I think blankets might be my favorite, but really, it’s anything practical. That’s where my desire to design kicks in. I need or want something; I figure out how to make it.
What was your very 1st crochet design? Could you share the inspiration behind the design?
My very first design was the Meredith Purse. I just had an idea in my head to create a cute purse with two of my favorite techniques/stitches. I envisioned a picot edging on a delicate strap and then Herringbone Half Double Crochet for the body of the purse. The construction was a bit harder to imagine and took some trial and error because it was my first design.
Can you describe your design process?
This one is hard – sometimes I have an idea for a design first and sometimes it comes from seeing or making something else. Practicing a new stitch and thinking about how pretty it would be on a certain item or seeing something made of fabric but thinking how pretty it would be incorporated in a crochet design. Some of those designs are coming in the future. But I can only engage fully in the design process if I have time alone – as an introvert, my creative side and energy is renewed by those times in solitude (which are few and far between!).
What is your favorite stitch?
I love lemon peel/griddle stitch. I’d say that’s on the top of my list and one of my most used stitches. Also, the HHDC is another favorite (Herringbone Half Double Crochet).
What are your favorite hook brands? Favorite yarn?
I’m a basic girl here – I LOVE my Boye Ergonomic hook set in rainbow colors. I can’t live without it. Favorite yarns include Dishie, Brava Tweed, and anything Lion Brand, but especially The Hue + Me and Color Theory lines – they have some of my absolute favorite colors. I also adore using hand-dyed yarn when I can justify the expense 🙂
Could you share with us about your love of buttons?
I don’t know when I started loving buttons, but it might have been when I was about 4 and played with my grandma’s button collection. I think the main thing is the same concept I love with yarn colors, fabrics, ribbon, paint colors for a house – it’s pairing colors and textures together. I love choosing and arranging buttons!
What inspired you to start designing crochet patterns?
I was inspired to design after learning how to read patterns in 2020. I had created so many things to use around the house and to wear over the years, but I had never used a pattern or tried to write my ideas down. I just used the skills I had to create things. After I learned to read patterns, I applied to pattern tests and got some experience there with how the whole process works and how to put my designs into written form. When I had my first design idea, I knew it was time to put things in motion and see if I could write a pattern. I loved the process so much that I decided to keep on writing patterns!
As a pattern designer what advice would you have for an aspiring crochet designer?
I would say one thing is to pattern test for a while – it helped me learn so much about the process and I appreciate my pattern testers so much, having been one myself. Also, don’t be afraid if your designs are simple. I think most of my crochet designs are simple, even minimalistic and I love them and other people like them too.
Share your funniest or most memorable crochet moments?
I was so embarrassed during a pattern test when I made two shoulders that had shaping in the same direction instead of opposite directions (they looked identical instead of mirror images) and I shared a pic to the thread before I realized my mistake. And once, I made a middle school boyfriend a really ugly blanket. He wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t the right choice for a 13-year-old boy, but I hadn’t thought it through all the way… Oops. And it was really ugly, the edges were wonky, and I didn’t have the skills to add a border. He liked the Oregon Ducks, so it was bright yellow.
Do any of your children crochet? If so, did you teach them?
I have taught both my daughters (16 & 13) to crochet but my 13-year-old has really invested in learning and has created some really nice projects. Her favorite project was making a baby blanket for her youth group leader’s baby who was born in September. I taught her to swatch so she could practice the stitches and see what size hook she needed, and she took off and completed the project on her own with very little help from me. She is now working on a Star Wars amigurumi project and is getting really good at following the instructions. I don’t have the patience for amigurumi so props to all those ami lovers out there! My daughter and I have had some sweet moments together on the couch, talking about life, yarn, and crochet. It’s really helped us have another connection point, which is great as a parent of teens. My son (10) tried to learn when he was about 8 but he didn’t quite have the fine motor skills or patience to see it through. He says he wants to try it again someday though.
If you could have a craft party, what three people (living or dead, real or fictional) would you invite?
Oooh great question… I would love to party with Kaitlyn from @sass.and.stitch because we both like The Office, she has really fun design ideas, and she’s a delightful person. Also, Sutton Foster! I love following her on Instagram and seeing all her projects and I’d love to hear all about her career and life experiences. Also, my great-grandmother Eva on my dad’s side of the family. She made a ton of crochet Afghans, some that are still in the family – she died when I was fairly young, and I didn’t ever get to share those moments with her. She was such a wonderful lady and I’d love to spend time with her again.
What’s your favorite quote, bible verse, or saying?
- Galatians 6:9 – Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are the top 5 things you want to accomplish?
One of my bucket list items is to see the Northern Lights. I have visited Alaska, but it was the wrong time of year to see them. And every time the newscasters say they can be viewed from where we live in Oregon, it’s been too cloudy to see a thing, which is really typical of our weather. Another bucket list item is to be a foster parent and/or adopt.
What’s your all-time favorite movie? Book? T.V. Series? Podcast?
All-time favorite TV series is The Office. I also really like the show Cold Justice, I’ve seen every episode at least once. I love podcasts about all kinds of things, and I love listening to them while I crochet or do housework. It really makes the housework more fun 🙂 My favorite is probably Kelly Minter’s podcast called Cultivate. As for books, I love them all except the really bad ones. I read nonfiction and fiction.
If you could travel anywhere in the world (all expenses paid), where would it be?
I’d love to visit Ireland and Australia.
To find out more about Lisa or to follow her on social media, please click the links below!
WEBSITE (find all her free patterns here): https://www.icrochetsohard.com/
Who’s ready for a Free Crochet Pattern?
Lisa designed this FREE crochet pattern exclusively for all Sweet Bird Crochet readers and this is what she’s saying about it!
If you’ve been searching for the perfect crochet gift item, this washcloth fits the bill! I made several sets for gifting and have used them myself – they are truly wonderful. The border gives the dishcloth the structure it needs to keep its shape better than other knit and crochet cloths. My favorite part was picking out three coordinating colors to use from the Dishie line. It’s my absolute favorite worsted cotton yarn! It’s super soft and easy on your hands.
The Arcadia Dishcloth | Free Crochet Pattern
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Dishie Cotton (100% Cotton; 190 yds [174 m]; 3.5 oz [100 g]); 1 Skeins
US G (4.25 mm) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge
14.5 SC by 12.5 Rows = 4” [10cm] square. Worked in Stitch Pattern.
7.5 in (19 cm) square lightly blocked
dc: double crochet
sc: single crochet
sl st: slip stitch
yo: yarn over
LDC = insert hook through the horizontal bar in the center of previous double crochet, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert hook into next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through first two loops, yarn over and pull through remaining two loops on hook.
Written in US terms and Imperial Measurements
ch 1 does not count as stitch
Row 1: sc in the back bump of 2nd ch from hook, dc in next ch, *sc in next ch, dc in next ch, repeat from * across. You should end the row with a dc in last ch, ch 1, turn. (24 sts)
Row 2: sc in first st, dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st, repeat from * across, ch 1, turn.
Row 3-19: Repeat row 2
Row 20: sc in first st, dc in next st, *sc in next st, dc in next st, repeat from * across, ch 2, DO NOT turn.
Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, yo and pull up a loop, insert hook into last st made from row 20, yo and pull up a loop, yo, pull through two loops, yo and pull through last two loops on hook (first LDC made), LDC 2 in last st made from row 20 (corner made).
LDC evenly down the side of fabric, LDC 3 in last st (corner made), LDC across bottom of fabric, LDC 3 in last st (corner made), LDC across top of fabric until you reach the 1st LDC made.
Insert hook into the horizontal bar of the last st made, yo and pull up a loop, insert hook into the horizontal bar of the 1st LDC, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook, sl st to 1st LDC.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Pin dishcloth squarely onto a foam board and lightly spray with cold water or steam block. Let dry.
I recommend blocking if you are gifting these beautiful dishcloths.
Please post your projects on social media using #arcadiadishcloth and tag @icrochetsohard on Instagram and Facebook!
Thank you, Lisa, for this beautiful free pattern and I loved having you as a guest on the Sweet Bird Crochet Blog!
Please post pictures of your arcadia dishcloths in the comments so we can see the colors you chose!