It’s time for another installment Behind the Skeins and this time with Veronika of Blue Star Crochet! In this interview style segment of this blog, we chat with other crochet business owners to get a little look in on their life. I love getting to know other crochet designers and makers, and I love sharing what I learn with all of you!
Today we are chatting with Veronika of Blue Star Crochet. Chatting with Veronika for this interview has been such a pleasure. I can’t thank her enough for taking the time to do this with me.
Behind the Skeins interviews will be posted monthly on the 15th and will feature a new designer every month. If you want to get notifications when new Behind the Skeins go live, make sure to sign up for my newsletter.
Okay, you guys… I have to say it. Veronika was definitely one of “those” designers that totally inspired and intimidated me when I came into the crochet community. I mean, look at her work! It’s absolutely gorgeous.
I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Veronika over the last year and it’s been so lovely. Veronika is so much fun to work with and has such a loving, approachable personality that it’s really hard to not love her. (Not that I’ve tried, I’m just assuming).
Let’s kick off this Behind the Skeins interview so you can find out all of the reasons I love having Veronika in my circle and why you should, too.
I have always been a rebel….
Hi Veronika! Let’s start this Behind the Skeins interview off easy – Tell me a little bit about who you are as a person, not as just a crocheter/crochet designer.
“I was originally born in Slovakia- the tiny dot on the map in central Europe. I moved to UK in 2006 where I met my now husband Darren. We have 2 beautiful boys Jacob, who I can’t believe is going to be 6 years old and Cole who has just turned one!“
When did you learn to crochet? Did someone teach you or are you self-taught?
“I was taught to crochet by my dear mum when I was a little girl, around 10 years old. My mum has always been very crafty, and she is a brilliant knitter too. She has tried to teach me to knit so many times, but it just doesn’t come as easy as crochet. Good job my sister has picked up knitting to carry on with the tradition.“
Are you a righty or a lefty?
“Full on righty.”
What inspired your business name?
“I was really struggling to come up with something! The more articles I read on how to come up with a good business name, the more overwhelmed I felt! Until one comment I read to just randomly look at an object near you and use 2 words to describe it… So, I looked at Jacob (who was just over 1 year old at the time) and he was wearing pyjamas with blue stars on it. And that’s how Blue Star Crochet was born!”
When did you start your blog? What do you offer?
“I started Blue Star Crochet Blog in May 2020 so recently. I offer weekly free crochet patterns for garments, accessories and some homeware designs. These are very often accompanied with video tutorials, so they are accessible for everyone.”
When did you decide to change from crocheting for fun to crocheting as a business? What inspired you?
“I have always been a rebel and never actually followed a crochet pattern! I have always made adjustments and tweaks to create exactly what I had envisioned. When I was pregnant with Jacob, I set out onto crocheting marathon of baby makes. That’s when I discovered Tunisian crochet and fell in love! The lack of nice clothes for boys in shops has inspired me to make my own. I made a Tunisian crochet cardigan and decided to make some notes about starting chains and stitch counts. I actually took a really rubbish picture of this cardigan and emailed an editor of one of the biggest crochet magazines here in UK. She loved the design so much that she decided to print the pattern in the magazine! So, Jacob’s Cardigan was my first published pattern in a national magazine! Since then I have had my designs published in all major UK crochet magazines and worked with many yarn companies.”
What style or level of knowledge do you specialize in?
“I really enjoy creating women’s crochet garments. Sweaters and cardigans that fit well and look modern and timeless. I grade my patterns from XS size to 5XL and give extensive notes on size adjusting for even larger/smaller sizes. The size grading maths is a killer, but I strangely enjoy it!“
What makes you happiest in terms of your business?
“I absolutely love when people share their makes using one of my patterns! The fact they trusted my knowledge to guide them through making an actual item they are going to wear and use is priceless. Especially with so many other great designers out there!”
Do you have a certain stitch that crops up in your designs more than others? A favorite stitch?
“There isn’t a particular stitch that is my favourite, but I love lacy stitches and subtle textures. Just a group of simple stitches that create stunning openwork.“
We all have to start somewhere…
Which yarn and hooks are your favorites?
“I have a full set of Addi Swing hooks that are super comfortable, but I have just started my Furls crochet hook collection because they are just the most stunning hooks and I love them for their length! I hate short handled hooks that dig into my palm. I don’t have a particular favourite yarn, but I can tell you that I do not like cotton! I find it hard to work with and “sticky” on the hook.”
Is there anyone special who inspires you, not just with crochet but perhaps in style or imagination?
“I love Eva Green- the actress. She is a total style icon in my eyes and I love her dark “gothic” side she often portrays in her roles!”
Are you an online yarn purchaser or do you prefer to purchase your yarn in store?
“I mostly shop online for yarn. I know I will get what I need in a quantity I want. But there is nothing better than having a squish in the shop of yarns I have not used before.”
Do you have a stash you like to work from or do you prefer to purchase yarn as a project presents itself?
“I like to mix it up. If a specific idea pops up in my head, I check my stash for suitable yarn but will most likely end up buying more. I have some precious skeins of yarn in my stash that are waiting for the right project to showcase them. I actually get overwhelmed if my stash gets out of control, so I very often do a destash sale.”
What’s one challenge you’ve had in crocheting and how did you overcome it?
“Learning to write a quality pattern for the magazine as my very first design was published in print. It was a steep learning curve but with the guidance from the editor and tech editor I managed it and learnt a great deal.“
Which of your patterns would you say is your fan favorite?
“Without a doubt, it’s my Adelaide Lace Sweater. It is by far my best selling pattern with many finished sweaters by so many makers and I love every single one of them.”
Which of your patterns is YOUR favorite?
“I must admit, it is one of my favourite patterns too, but to mix it up I really love my Sideways Jumper!“
Do you take your crochet WIPs with you when you travel or do you give yourself a break?
“I am not one to crochet in public to be honest. I like to sit on my comfy sofa at home with a steaming hot cup of coffee and really relax while working on a project.”
Are there any patterns from other designers you love?
“The list is endless! There is some super talented garment designers- Linda Skuja of Eleven Handmade, The Crochet Project, Toni from TLYarncrafts, Ashleigh from Sewrella to name just a few!”
What do you like to do while you crochet? (TV in background, read, podcasts, etc)
“It depends on the time of the day. I normally grab a few minutes of crochet while the little one naps in the daytime. That’s when I put my earphones in and listen to a crochet podcast or some music. When I crochet in the evening, I “listen” to TV series or films.”
What advice would you give to a brand new crocheter? Any tips?
“Enjoy the learning process and don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle! We all have to start somewhere and if you start comparing yourself to others it can get a bit discouraging.“
The spirit of “community over competition” really shines through.
Where is your favorite place to crochet?
“I normally sit in my comfy armchair by the window where there is lots of light. And it’s not too far from the snacks in the kitchen!”
What other hobbies do you have that bring you joy?
“I have recently picked up knitting and I love the fact that I can be totally rubbish at it! I like dusting off my sewing machine too from time to time. I love how quickly you can finish a sewing project.”
Any exciting things coming up in your business? Or going on now?
“I really love being part of the crochet blogging community. I have made some real friends through blogging. There is always something going on and that’s what I love- blog hops, round ups, giveaways and other events where the spirit of “community over competition” really shines through. I do share all the latest events on my Instagram or in my weekly newsletter so it’s really worth following or signing up…. Just sayin’.”
Anything else we didn’t cover that you’d like our audience to know?
“I think these were great in-depth questions and thank you Shannon for the opportunity to share a little about me and my crochet journey.”
I’d love to give a BIG “thank you!” to Veronika for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with me for this Behind the Skeins interview. I’ve really enjoyed chatting with Veronika and getting to know more about her and her business.
One of my favorite things about the crochet community is that you aren’t competing or working against the other designers or makers. We are all here in this together and I have never been a part of a better community. It is always such a joy to get to know the other designers a little more intimately and I hope you enjoyed learning more about Veronika today.
Did you learn something exciting about Veronika today? Let us know in the comments!
Places you can find Blue Star Crochet
All pictures (except from the intro Behind the Scenes picture and my signature photo) are copyright of Blue Star Crochet and are used with permission for the purposes of this interview. Please do not redistribute these pictures as your own under any circumstance.
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