Kristi Simpson is probably most well known for the super cute crochet designs on her website, RAKJpatterns, but she also runs Inspired Crochet Magazine. And like that wasn't impressive enough, she's also got a brand new book of patterns out: "Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet"! Moogly has joined her blog tour, and today I've got an interview with this busy, creative lady!
What does RAKJ mean and how did you get started?
Some people try to actually pronounce 'RAKJ' and I often hear sneeze-like sounds such as 'Rak-J' or "Ra-k-jah' or a mumbling of who-knows-what...but it's very simple: R=Ryan, A=Allison, K=Kristi and Kimberly, J=Jason, Jacob and James....its our family initials! RAKJpatterns has our family initials at the beginning of our business name so that we always keep family first, and remember where we started.....
My youngest daughter had received a gift for Christmas....a 'Crochet A Scarf' box with 1 small skein of yarn, a plastic hook and a small piece of paper with 3 basic instructions: Chain, Slip Stitch and Single Crochet. I had to teach myself to crochet so that I could teach her, and as I did---I was 'hooked'! And the rest is history! I started making items and then switched to a pattern-only business in Feb 2010 and it just took off from there!
What inspired you to write "Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet"?
I have always enjoyed crocheting baby items because the options are just endless! Accessories, clothing, toys-- it was very difficult to narrow my designs to just 35! I really enjoy quick patterns such as hats, but I have also included a sweater, 2 blankets, clothing and more to keep you inspired!
What sets your book apart from the other crochet baby pattern books out there?
"Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet"...the name says it all! It has sweet designs, made in sizes from newborn to 12 months, and the designs are for beginners to more advanced crocheters. It even has a full photo tutorial on how to create all of the stitches used in the book....so if you want to learn how to crochet, it's all in one place for you!
Is this book meant for beginners, intermediate crocheters, or did you have a more expert level crocheter in mind?
This book is for beginners to the pro. I used basic stitches to create fresh and modern patterns that would be easy enough for a beginner, yet it will have a finish that even a pro will be proud of! And if you are not sure of how to complete a special technique stitch, I have photos to help you!
Photo Courtesy of Stackpole Books
What is your favorite design from "Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet," and why?
If I can't say 'ALL' of them...then I would have to narrow it down to the Old School Jacob Vest. It's so unique and the tie cracks me up. If you asked me tomorrow or the next day what my favorite design is...I would definitely change my mind each time! They're all Sweet! Take a look at all of the projects here and pick out YOUR favorite HERE!
What's the process of publishing a pattern book like? How did you get started?
I have an amazing publishing team, and I must give them the credit for how smooth the process has been!
Yes, I was very nervous at first and even a little intimidated at the process, as this is my first book....but my manager kindly lead me through the process. I had to learn a new wording format, and all the technical goodies--but I am almost finished with Book #2 (to be released in May 2014) and it has been much easier this time around!
What advice would you give to other designers who are interested in writing a pattern book?
The number one thing is, you need to have a passion for what you are creating--it will show not only in the patterns but photos! And you must be able to prioritize your time between your business, book and family. It is a tricky balance, but if you're dedicated--you're good to go!
Ready to buy your own copy? Click the links below!
You can also join me on RAKJ on Facebook, with over 17,000 fans!
Get ready for more fun this week from Kristi and RAKJ, including my own review of "Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet" and a special surprise for Moogly readers! Get Moogly on your favorite social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest and Tumblr, and sign up for the Newsletter so you don't miss a thing! TamaraKelly@mooglyblog.com