Meet Jen of AG Handmades
I love getting to visit AG Handmades and looking at her site and what she’s been up to lately. Jen, the owner, is extremely talented, full of knowledge, compassionate, generous, honest, and always a joy to talk too. She is an amazing friend, helpful, always willing to share her knowledge with others, helps me when needed, shares other crochet designer’s projects, and much more.
Tell me a little something about your personal life ~ kids, family, pets, etc.
I am 56 years old. I have three children, all grown up now, and 3 grandchildren. I love making things for all of them.
How long have you been crocheting?
I got my first taste of yarn work as a small child, around 50 years ago. When we visited my grandma on the weekend, she would always, after dinner, bring out her hanks of yarn and have me sit in front of her on a little stool, holding my arms out as wide as I could, tilting them in turn so that she could wind the hanks into balls. Then she would bring out her bag of goodies, and sit making granny blankets and baby clothes. I used to sit next to her watching her every move. I was hooked even then! Later she and my mother gave me some yarn to play around with and showed me the beginning of a granny square. I took that little granny square and worked around and around with different colours until it was pretty big! I used it as my blanket on top of my bed for many years. And that is where it all began!
What are your favorite items to make?
I like baby items best. I am not very patient when it comes to crochet, or any project for that matter. I like things that are finished quickly and easily. I am trying out some more complicated things, after seeing much of the fantastic work done by other designers, but I still go back to the baby items when I want to just relax.
How long have you been blogging? Why did you start blogging?
I only started blogging a year or so ago, at the encouragement of a friend. I was simply making crocheted items to sell, and had begun writing patterns. Then I decided to give blogging a try and here I am today, still blogging away! It’s a great way to get people to see your work and to show some free and easy patterns so that others can learn the art also.
What is your favorite thing about crocheting and/or blogging?
Oh, seeing other people encouraged to try for themselves! I love it! So often I get people telling me that they love my patterns because they are easy to follow and then showing me their work. Sometimes my pattern is the first thing they ever made and I am delighted. I hope they will continue on and start producing patterns of their own!
What are your favorite yarns (brands or types to work with?
I like to work with worsted weight yarn the most (#4). You can make so many things with this simple unassuming yarn, and it works up well and quickly. Of all the UK brands, I like Stylecraft Special the best. Out of the US brands, I love Red Heart Soft Baby Steps and Vanna’s Choice.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Many places. Sometimes I see someone wearing an item and I think, “I could make something like that, but I would make it with…. whatever” and then I go home and start drawing pictures. Sometimes I know a certain holiday is coming up and I brainstorm, writing down as many things as I can to do with that holiday, and then choose something to design. Other times, I see a new stitch that I want to try out, and then it occurs to me that this stitch would look great on say, a blanket, or a hat, or a purse. Then I start drawing pictures again! Additionally, the imaginations of other designers sometimes leaves me in awe of their ability. I never copy patterns or ideas, but seeing what other people make triggers ideas in my own mind about new projects I could come up with.
What is your favorite item on your blog at the moment?
You know what? I love the Diamond Baby Blanket!
I saw something like it while I was on vacation recently, and I got bitten by the bug of drawing up charts to design your own textured fabric. This really was my first attempt at doing that, and I am very pleased with the result! It’s something you can use for so many projects.
What would be the one piece of advice you would give to a person setting up their own blog?
Relax! There is no rush to blog every day. When you come up with something you feel sure would be interesting to others, then blog away! Keep your spelling in check, and when it comes to pictures, try to make them easy on the eyes and clear, so that the reader can see the details you want them to see. Keep the pictures on the smaller rather than the larger size, or the blog will take too long to load and the reader will lose interest. Above all, be yourself and try to be as professional as possible while still being your lovely self.
How do fellow bloggers get their patterns featured on your sites?
That is a good question! Since I am fairly new to blogging, up to now it has been a case of me thinking something is interesting and would be to others, and then including that in my blog. But if anyone wants to be featured, do let me know!
You can also find Jen on:
Thank you Jen for being part of our Featured Blogger Series! Be sure to check out AG Handmades for more fabulous crochet patterns.
Christmas Granny Square The Aiden V-neck Vest The Easy Granny Baby Hat
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