Hooking With… Sweet Potato 3
Welcome back to Hooking With…
In this week’s Hooking With, we interviewed Christine Naugle of Sweet Potato 3. Helen and I have had the pleasure of working with Christine in the recent past, for a Crochet Cancer Challenge, when we featured our Samantha’s Hope Beanie.
We really enjoyed getting to know Christine! Here’s her interview, below:
Hey everyone, Christine, here! I am the designer behind Sweet Potato 3 crochet patterns.
Everyone has their own story about learning to crochet and each one makes it a fun and meaningful craft. For me, the love was passed down from my Great Grandmother. She was amazing and I will never forget how her hands would work with the yarn and thread to create amazing pieces of art that are still treasured by all those that were fortunate enough to receive one of her masterpieces.
I began designing my own patterns in 2011 and haven’t looked back and I keep plugging along whenever I can work in a few minutes from my “real” job. I am fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom and have 3 energetic, busy, fun and loving kids and a supportive husband that I cherish. They are my pride and joy and will always be my top priority in life.
Here are a few other tidbits about me:
1. I grew up on a potato farm in Easter Idaho and currently live in the largest city in Idaho.
2. I have my bachelors degree in Social Science and Public Affairs.
3. Before being a stay-at-home mom I was a manager in the corporate world.
4. I have received multiple awards for providing customer service, including a trip to company headquarters to snooze with CEO’s.
5. My family spends the weekends camping, hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, or downhill skiing.
6. I transport and cheer on my kids at baseball/softball games, orchestra/band/piano concerts and track meets, girls count events, golf tournaments, ski races, and the list goes on!
7. I love crocheting, but what I love most, is designing.
Q: When did you start designing?
A: my first pattern was released in 2012, but I started officially designing as a business in 2013.
Q: Do you have a blog? If so, when did you start that up?
A: My blog, Sweet Potato 3, began in 2014.
Q: What were your initial plans with your blog and designs?
A: I initially started designing newborn photography props and children’s hats, this was the stage of life I was in with my own family so it was a natural beginning.
Q: How have your designs and designing process evolved?
A: As my children have grown, my designs have grown as well. I focus a little bit on everything. I feel like I design for the “crochet patterns for lovers of all-th-things!”
Q: What designs do you specialize in?
A: Lately, I feel like my focus has been on hats, blankets, scarves, wraps, and such.
Q: Do you have a favorite few stitches you like to use or do you always try to do new ones?
A: I love texture, so you will usually find some new stitch or tutorial for something unique in most of my pattern releases.
Q: When you come up with an idea, does it come first from yarn you have or do you find yarn to fit the ideas?
A: I generally find yarn that fits my idea. I have so many ideas in my mind and when I see a new yarn released, I am excited because I know it will work for a specific design.
Q: When did you start crocheting?
A: I am not sure how old I was when I learned to crochet, I believe I was in later elementary or early junior high. The love of crochet was passed down to me from my Great Grandmother. She was amazing and I will never forget how her hands would work with the yarn and thread to create masterpieces that were treasured by her family that received them.
Q: What made you decide to become a designer?
A: I had a photographer request a soccer ball hat and couldn’t find a design I liked. So I sat down and figured out a crochet pattern, it turned out super cute. When the photographer shared her image, I received so many requests about where I found the pattern. I decided to write it up and received amazing feedback so I decided this was the direction I would take my business.
Q: Are there any patterns not your own that you just love?
A: I love Briana K designs, her unique style and love of what she does shows through in everything she releases (plus she’s super sweet and nice and from my home state of Idaho). I think my favorite of hers is the Gaudi Sidewalk Blanket, it is a true masterpiece.
Q: Who/what inspired you? Does this still inspire you? Why?
A: Nature inspires me a lot, the colors and textures in nature gives me many of my ideas. My children inspire me as well with their loving and caring personalities. And of course, my Crochet & Conversations group on facebook inspires me a ton, they let me know what they love and what they struggle with, what they wish they could do better or what they would like to learn.
Q: Of your patterns, which is your favorite and why?
A: The Deerly Beloved Blanket. This pattern was designed in a short timeframe and I worked really hard to meet a deadline. When a group of designers saw the photos, the reaction was overwhelming. It made me realize that I can do this, I can design and people will like what I come up with. The Deerly Beloved Blanket has been a top seller for over 3 years and I am really proud of it.
Q: Are there any crochet techniques/stitches you wish to learn this year?
A: Funny you ask, I am organizing designers that have skills that I do not have, to come and talk to my facebook group this year to help us ALL learn and broaden our crochet skills. The few of the topics that will be covered are: Tunisian crochet, crochet garments, crocheting jewelry, Amigurumi tips, hairpin lace and broomstick lace, and planned pooling. So the list is long!
Q: What are your biggest crochet challenges and how do you plan on overcoming that?
A: My biggest challenge is finding the time to crochet. Raising 3 kids who are all really involved in extra curricular activities makes my time limited. But, this year I have invested in a great planner and am working hard to schedule my time well and be as productive as I can be. When Momma is happy (AKA crocheting), everyone is happy!
Q: Have you ever lost your “crojo” and how did you overcome that?
A: I think everyone loses their crojo occasionally, especially when it is your “job”. But, all I have to do is sit down and do some computer work and within about 5 minutes, I am longing for my yarn and hook again.
Q: What three tips can you offer to anyone that crochets?
A: 1. Enjoy your time crocheting, if you aren’t enjoying a project, set it down but make sure to come back to it within a week or it will never get done. 2. Mix in a small project between big ones. Finishing a project will encourage you to get back to the big ones. 3. Crochet for Charity. Find something that allows you to crochet and give back, it is the most rewarding thing you can make. If you need some inspiration, check into the Crochet Cancer Challenge I host every October—it really is the most rewarding month and everyone’s hard work inspires me to do more.
Christine, thank you so much for doing this interview! It was a pleasure getting to know you a little more.
Christine has provided a video tutorial for How To Make a Twist Headband.
Sweet Potato 3 has provided a 30% off discount in their Etsy and Ravelry shops with code “Sunflower” through the end of February (2/29/20)
We have so many wonderful designers lined up so stay tuned as we will feature two each month!