Tamara Kelly started out as a mommy blogger, evolved into a crochet designer and is now launching Made It Myself TV! She has been crocheting for over 20 years and loves all aspects of the craft. Her tip for success in crocheting? Actually use stitch markers!
What inspires you? What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
One of the many things I love about crochet is that it’s a constantly growing craft! It’s pretty young, compared to most of the fiber arts, so techniques and stitches are constantly being invented, improved, and re-invented again.
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I have been crocheting for over 20 years and over ten years professionally. I love that there is always something new for me to learn! Some people like to become a master of a specific technique, really focusing on that particular aspect of crochet. But for me, crochet is too exciting and joyful – I want to explore it all!
How do you manage your creative time? Do you schedule start and stop times? Or work only when inspired?
Running Moogly keeps me busy, so I have to budget time to sit and create. Like far too many, emails try to eat the day away. And working from home means you never really leave the office.
The reason I started Moogly was to be able to be home with my family and to be able to set my own schedule. Over the years, I’ve developed a daily schedule that allows me to make the most of my time – and usually leaves a bit of time at the end of the day to actually crochet.
And while inspiration can and does occur everywhere, it doesn’t always happen on schedule. So I have an app on my phone to record my ideas as they come. I take many pictures – from a sweater at the store with a unique sleeve construction to a lovely tile design in an old bank. I jot down every idea I can as soon as I have it. Now, I have dozens of ideas waiting for me, and I can just pick the one I want to make next from the list and get to work.
Do you have a dedicated space for creating? If so, what does it look like?
When I started Moogly, I had a laptop and a small plastic bin for my yarn collection. YouTube videos were made at the dining room table, with borrowed equipment, after the kids were all asleep.
Ten years later, our entire basement has been converted to office, craft, and recording spaces. And I have a lot more yarn, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, we suffered a flood in part of the basement a couple of summers ago, so that section is still being remodeled. I’m hoping to turn it into a dedicated photography space as soon as it has walls and flooring again…
What is your favorite lesser-known tool for your trade? Have you taken something designed for another use and repurposed it for your work?
A tape measure is essential for any crocheter, but they have a knack for running away. So I found some masking tape with accurate inch measurements printed on it. I have 12″ of that tape right on the edge of my desk for quick and easy measurements without having to go searching!
Do you use a sketchbook or journal? How does that help your work develop?
A few years ago, I switched to using dot grid notebooks exclusively for designing my patterns. They are also great for sketching, pattern writing, and crochet charting. I buy them in bulk and jot the date inside the front cover every time I start a new one. Most designers I know write their patterns on the computer, but I’m a paper girl through and through. When I’m in the creative zone, I need to be able to scribble and play. When the pattern is finished, I sit down at the computer to type it all out.
When you travel, do you create while on planes and in waiting areas? What is in your creative travel kit?
It’s so great to travel again, and I’ve got some crafty travel lined up for this year! I love crocheting on planes (when the elbow space allows), although the fear of having a ball of yarn run away under the seats adds extra excitement. I have met such wonderful people crocheting in public and had some fascinating conversations about crafting with fellow travelers.
While most of my notions, all the “extra” yarns, and about three other projects are in the checked baggage, I always keep a few essentials in my carry-on! I found out the hard way not to bring hooks made of pewter – apparently, they look quite shocking on x-rays – so I always bring aluminum or wooden hooks. A notebook to jot down any notes and changes in the pattern is important – and you can stick some masking tape with the marked measurements right on the front cover. The sneakiest bit of the kit is actually in my small toiletries bag – the tiny blade on a dental floss container is perfect as a yarn cutter!
How often do you start a new project? Do you work actively on more than one project at a time?
I try to work on only one project at a time, but there are often one or two projects in “time out” waiting to get my attention again. Depending on the time of year, I may design several new projects a week or just a few a month – I’m hoping to even it out a little bit going forward.
I dabble in crocheting. What are some tips to improve my techniques?
My best tip for any crocheter is to invest in stitch markers. I was stubborn when I was learning and refused to – I don’t know why so many of us are like that? Rebels like to crochet, I think. But they really do make crochet easier and more enjoyable. They aren’t a crutch; they’re a tool!
Tell us about your show on Made It Myself TV. What can people expect?
Crochet With Moogly explores the fantastic and exciting world of crochet! I’ve been working in the crochet industry for over a decade and have years of teaching experience. I love discovering new things in crochet and sharing them with others! On the show, I’ll be talking about trends, techniques, and everything that’s happening in this amazing craft space. We hope to show people all the amazing things crochet can do – and the people that do it!
Where can people find you and your patterns?
I’ve designed over 600 patterns so far, most of which are on Mooglyblog.com! We also have a large YouTube Channel and are all over social media at @mooglyblog.
Who should watch Made It Myself TV?
Made It Myself TV is for ALL kinds of crafters! From beginners wanting to sit and learn to those who just love to watch and be inspired, I hope this channel brings a spirit of creativity, inspiration, and relaxation to everyone who watches.
What will people really like about Made It Myself TV?
Made It Myself TV features a wide range of content, including DIY tutorials, crochet and knitting, sewing, woodworking, jewelry making, and so much more.
The platform is designed to celebrate and highlight the authenticity of its creators. Each show is unique and showcases the creators’ love for their craft in an original way, so Made It Myself TV is not only a great hub for learning crafts but a place for people to get inspired.
Many of the shows on the app are hosted by experts, so viewers can see their favorite crafts done by the pros! Made It Myself TV has something for everyone.
Interview posted March 2023
Browse through more inspiring crochet projects and stories on Create Whimsy.