It’s time for December’s Designer Showcase! Once a month I have one of my favorite designers share a bit about themselves, and then I follow it up by sharing my 5 favorite free patterns that they’ve designed! This month I’m excited to share some things from the amazing and enterprising Marly Bird - the brilliance behind The Yarn Thing Podcast, MarlyBird.com, and so much more, I'll have to let her tell you all about it!
Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link.
Marly has been a well known designer and podcaster for a long time now - and her work is always amazing! Let's hear from the expert:
I learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was a junior in college. Back then I only made blankets. Never did I even imagine that I could do a garment. When I graduated 2 years later and got married, had a baby and began a career in finance I found that I didn’t really make time for my crochet.
Little did I realize then that I NEEDED crochet to keep myself balanced and happy. After 5 years in the finance industry I decided that I wanted to do something in the yarn industry. I had NO CLUE what that would be I only knew that I loved to crochet and knit so much that I had to be a part of it some how. It was my podcast, The Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird that really launched my career and gave me the opportunities I had dreamed of having.
Little known fact, I was the first crochet podcast on iTunes and I am still the only podcast that caters to both crochet and knitting. The podcast evolved into a show where I interview publishers, yarn companies, and designers live on air twice a week. There is always a prize for the listeners to win…some call me the Oprah of the yarn world. It is a LOAD of fun as I get to chat with people in the industry that I respect and admire about a subject that we both love.
Designing is something that I didn’t even realize I could do way back in the beginning. When I had it pointed out to me by some friends that I could and did in fact design blankets I figured maybe that was something I should try. But, the true credit has to go to my friend Jill Wright who really gave me the big nudge to jump in the designing pool. True story, my very first sweater I EVER made was also my very first sweater I EVER designed. I had submitted a sketch and swatch to a yarn company and figured that if they chose that design I could figure out how to make a sweater and that is what I did…with the help of Jill and a wonderful tech editor. One of my publishers calls me fearless. I don’t think there are any limitations to what you can accomplish with a little faith.
I LOVE to teach people how to knit and crochet. So much so that many of my friends all learned how to do one or the other from me! When I began to teach at my LYS it was a dream come true. At the yarn shop I had a personal identity again, an identity that I felt like I had lost as a stay at home mom to 3 demanding kids. When I went to the yarn shop I felt like Norm walking into Cheers!
Anyway, I worked at the LYS for 4 years and only left because I started to travel more to teach and I couldn’t dedicate enough time to the shop as needed. I now teach at all the STITCHES Expos across the nation as well as various wool festivals and workshops at a variety of yarn stores. I was also honored to have been asked to step in as the Crochet Expert on the 5th season of the Knit and Crochet Now TV show for Robyn Chachula who was on maternity leave. So much fun to be able to teach people while on TV!
I know many crafters are not able to venture to craft shows to take classes taught by me so I’ve recently started my own YouTube Channel dedicated to crochet! I travel to TX at least 4 times a year to film up to 40 videos in a 3-4 day period. In the future you will be able to find knitting there as well but for now I am focused on teaching THE WORLD how to crochet! On the Marly Bird YouTubeChannel there are videos for basic crochet, crochet techniques, crochet tutorials, crochet projects and as time goes on crochet reviews. There is something for the beginner to the experienced crocheter.
If more interactive online learning is you thing you can also find three of my classes at Craftsy.com. On Craftsy.com I teach Curvy Crochet, Curvy Knits and Mittens and Gloves Galore. I love everything about Craftsy and think that if you have not have the pleasure of taking a Craftsy course you really should. You will NOT be disappointed!
Yep, there are several ways for you to have me as a teacher, but The Knit Knack yarn store in Olde Town Arvada holds a special place in my heart and I would go back and teach there in a minute! My designs have been published in most of the top magazines in the world for both knitting and crochet, I’ve had 4 leaflets (5th on it’s way) published with Leisure Arts, I have contributed patterns to several books, I was the author of the 3rd ed of Knitting for Dummies, I’m in the process of writing a book with Interweave Press, I am creative director at Bijou Basin Ranch (the company that purchased my first sweater), I teach classes around the country, on cruise ships, online via the MarlyBird YouTube channel and at Craftsy.com, I have my own pattern line and my podcast is thriving. I think it is safe to say that my life changed that night I picked up my Boye hook and Red Heart Super Saver yarn for the first time.
Marly is an unstoppable crochet force, who's always ready to try something new - love that lady! It was a real treat when I was on her podcast earlier this year! Here are 5 of her fantastic free crochet patterns - but be sure to check out all her paid crochet and knit patterns too! UPDATE: I've also reviewed Marly's Craftsy class, Curvy Crochet - read my review of it HERE!
5 Free Crochet Patterns Marly Bird
Click on the name of the patterns you like to go to their pattern pages!
- Amimono Kimono (hosted on Classic Elite Yarns): So pretty, and flattering too! Available all the way up to 3X!
- More Than Just an Infinity Cowl: Super versatile and very fun!
- Holiday Barrette: So quick and cute! Change up the colors for every holiday, or use your school colors, favorite sports team... etc!
- Jilly Bean Cowl: This is a fantastic beginner pattern - there's even a video tutorial!
- Spike Stitch Coffee Cozy: A fab quick project - and great gift idea!
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MaDelyn Van Kooten
I love the Knit Knack shop in Olde Town Arvada and its so great that that was a starting place for you and your crocheting. It's a small world!
Thanks for doing this guest post moogly,