Nicolle -Mama Designer of Cute Baby Blankets

Nicolle is a fellow mama designer and has designed some amazing crochet baby blankets. One thing I love about her work is that it is always so neat! Her focus is on DIY with a simple and timeless touch.

Nicolle is a fellow mama designer and has designed some amazing crochet baby blankets. One thing I love about her work is that it is always so neat! Her focus is on DIY with a simple and timeless touch.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.

On the mom side of things, I have 2 kids (1.5 and almost 3). I am a veteran and my husband is still in the AF, so we move around a lot. It’s a challenge to parent without family around. So that’s a big part of things too. I’m a meteorologist by trade, and kind of as a tangent to that I’m a huge Earth lover and maybe a little bit of a tree hugger. I just started blogging regularly this past year, mostly crochet inspiration & patterns but also some other DIY things (I’m kinda big on holistic stuff). Baby blankets are my jam though! My patterns are available in my Etsy/Ravelry shops, but I don’t sell finished products because I don’t have the time! However I do have a life goal of doing a craft fair.

How many years have you been knitting/crocheting for?

I’ve been crocheting for a little over 20 years, which makes me sound really old, ha! When I was 11 years old, I learned from my grandfather’s wife. I made a blanket for my baby cousin, which I actually saw in recent years and and let me tell you it’s pretty horrific! But I’m honored that she kept it. She’s in college now. My friend taught me to knit a few years ago, but I haven’t explored that too much yet.

What are your current WIPs?

Always so many – I’ve been working on All About Ami’s Granite Cape for almost 3 years now! It’s almost done :). I mostly like to come up with my own stuff though. I’m working on a new baby blanket, a blanket for a friend’s May baby, and a temperature blanket that will represent my daughter’s first year of life. Clearly my fave thing is making baby blankets!. There is also a half finished throw blanket that honestly I probably won’t pick up again until Fall.

What is your favorite thing to design and why (Spoiler alert: it’s baby blankets)?

Blankets are really my jam. I especially love baby blankets, because I love trying to incorporate the receiver’s nursery theme and personality, etc. Since blankets are just simple rectangles, they are like a blank canvas and a challenge for making something interesting and worthy.

What are your goals for this year?

I want to put out 10 new crochet patterns. I’m working furiously on creating the projects now before I get more busy with the kids. So far I’ve put out 2, have 4 in progress and 4 more planned out. Most are blankets 🙂 I hope I can get to them all!

How do you balance mom-life and making?

This is a huge challenge and the reason I’ve been working on my Granite Cape for almost 3 years. My son is almost 3…coincidence? lol. There are a few things I’ve realized recently though. First, if you want something bad enough you will make time for it. Maybe “find” time is the better answer. I literally carry my project bag around the house with me, and the moment my kids are playing self sufficiently (and not wrestling each other) I pull it out and make some progress. It also helps when I bring it with me everywhere I go because car naps are a real thing with my 1 yr old.

Also, I know I need to be intentional with my time and not go down the rabbit hole on Instagram or get caught up with the TV. That’s time that can be used effectively to get things done. It’s also important to have intentional rest time. I’m a huge introvert and I neeeeed to rest. I’m also 30 weeks pregnant – yikes. What I still need to work on is balance. Balance is a big one for me. Trying to balance the “work at home thing” and dedicating time to work while trying to be an attentive parent is challenging . Mom life comes with so much guilt, so I try to make sure I’m not taking away from my job being a stay at home mom. Some days I just don’t get to do what I want but that’s life (preaching to myself here!).

One piece of advice for fellow mama makers?

Just be understanding of your limits. It’s true that you can make this work, but maybe you won’t grow quite as fast as you want to, or maybe you’ll have a lot of setbacks. But that’s okay. Your priority is your family. Don’t make excuses for not reaching goals, but give yourself some grace because momming isn’t easy and you’re doing the best you can.

Here is one of Nicolle’s beautiful baby blankets. This is called the “Sweet Georgia” baby blanket, which she made for a Georgia girl. It’s an infinite granny square with a scalloped border and ribbon/bow, and definitely has an heirloom quality to it. She loves the intricacy of it while still having a timeless feel to it. This was the first baby blanket she made after taking a long hiatus moving to Germany and having kids, and it’s extra special to her because the mama she made it for had tried long and hard for her baby girl. You can find this pattern on her blog and in her Etsy shop.

You can find Nicolle on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog. Find her patterns in her Etsy and Ravelry shops!

You can find a recording of the Live that I did with Nicolle here!

If you are a mama designer and/or a poc designer and would like to join me for a Live interview and be featured, you can fill out the form here.

Knitting and Crochet Pattern Designing as POC and Moms

I think my biggest struggle as a POC  knitting and crochet pattern designer and mom is the level of effort I have to put in for my work to be seen. So I'm planning an Instagram Live series where us POCs and moms can talk about real-life making! Fill out the form if you're interested! I can't wait to hear from you!
Here I am sporting the Tunisian Knit Cardi designed by Kelsey of @Happily.Yarn.After over an awesome graphic tee designed by Saiqa of @SewChickhybySai

Happy Valentines Day to all my fellow knitting and crochet pattern designers!

This Valentines Day I want to share what’s been in my heart and mind for the past few weeks. I know there is a discussion happening around racism within our maker community. I feel for fellow POC knitting and crochet pattern designers who directly and indirectly had to deal with injustice. My heart goes out to you. That being said, I’ve been very fortunate and have been treated very nicely by fellow makers regardless of race. Ever since I started this journey on Instagram, I’ve felt such a strong sense of community. Everyone has always been kind and helpful. However, I experience issues daily because I am a POC and mom in this community of knitting and crochet designers.

Knitting and Crochet Pattern Designing as a POC

As a POC knitting and crochet pattern designer, I have to show up more on social media to be seen. I have to work twice as hard to be noticed by large companies. My own voice has to be louder because many bloggers in this community do not look or sound like me.

Knitting and Crochet Pattern Designing as a Mom

As a mom, I also struggle to keep up with pattern designing. It’s hard to find a balance since real-life duties take priority. Adulting usually involves cooking, laundry, cleaning, and dealing with my temperamental toddler and all his growing needs. Often my crochet and knitting designs take an entire month or two to become a reality. Yes, even the simple accessories. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way!

Here’s my solution for helping all of us gain more visibility and have a powerful voice in the maker community. I want to have a Sip’N’Stitch type Instagram Live every week with a fellow POC knitting or crochet designer. Knitting moms and crochet moms (regardless of background) are also invited for these Live series. We can discuss all things knitting and crochet pattern designing as moms and/or POC.

Benefits of doing this Live series

  • More eyes on our content: My followers will get to know you and see your content and your followers will get to know me and see my content.
  • Increase our chance of collaboration while fostering a sense of community and togetherness.
  • Make more friends in the maker community – this is one of my main inspirations for starting this series, it gets lonely especially as a mom!
  • A chance for us to share knowledge, resources, and our experiences so we can grow our businesses/brands.

My intention is to be inclusive and inspire fellow POC and mom knitting and crochet designers. One way to do this is by having real-time conversations about real-life making.

If you’re interested you can fill out the form below so I can get a better idea of who you are and what your brand is all about! I can’t wait to hear from you!

POC Makers/ Mama Makers Live Series Form

If you have any questions about this series please e-mail me at [email protected]

If you’re looking for a new wip, you can enjoy my free Tunisian Sweetheart Scarf Pattern here.

Knit and crochet patterns for children – Why I want to design

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – The Journey 

I initially opened up shop to sell my finished knitted and crocheted pieces (read more about that here) but never really thought about where it would take me. Over the course of this past year, I have learned so much about the Fiber Arts industry/community. I have learned even more about myself and what my true passion is when it comes to working with all things yarn. My heart is in creating unique knit and crochet patterns for children. 

My contribution to last year's Little Hats Big Hearts Campaing held by the American Heart Association. These hats were made using free knit and crochet patterns.
Here’s my contribution to last year’s Little Hats Big Hearts Campaign held by the American Heart Association!

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – The Heart of the Matter

I want to capture all that childhood brings with it and put it out into the world as knit and crochet patterns! I want to be the source of inspiration for other mama-makers to make cute things for her little ones. Something that is fun and exciting for her and will end in a finished piece that she can wrap her little ones in with cozy handmade love. I want this to be true whether she has infants, toddlers, or older children.

Most importantly, as a mom, I know how hard it can be to convince ourselves to take pictures. Matching with my toddler gives me a big reason to smile and get in front of the camera. I want to be that reason for my fellow mama-makers to proudly get in the frame with their little ones!

Knit and Crochet Patterns for Children – Are you Ready to Join Me?

So fellow mama-makers, are you ready to make all the cute things for your lil’ bug(s)?!

Here are Amy and Josie sporting their Mommy and Me set of Butterflies Fluttering by Ear Warmers! How adorable do they look?! Get the PDF pattern on Ravelry or Etsy

Amy and Josie posing with their matching mommy and me set of Butterflies Fluttering By Ear Warmers. Follow along for more Knit and crochet patterns.
Amy and Josie looking adorable in my first published knitting pattern: The Butterflies Fluttering By Ear Warmer pattern available on Etsy and Ravelry!

Mompreneur life – How it all came together

Mompreneur Who? – Craft as Therapy

I learned how to knit in 2010, around the time my father passed away. When I think back, I realize that it was a big part of my healing process. I am so grateful I had my aunt there to teach me the basics. I found it so peaceful knitting row after row and somewhere in between I accepted that my dad was in a better place. At this point, knitting was for healing and I never thought I would become a mompreneur.

As time passed, I honed in on these skills by watching a LOT of YouTube videos! I also tried my hand at crochet. Although it requires just 1 hook, I found crochet to be more difficult. I took a break but never entirely gave up. When I came back to it, I got the hang of it and improved over time!

Mompreneur Life – My First Design

Fast forward a few years and I got awesome news: I was going to have Bubs! This meant I could finally make something for my own tiny baby! Being a Spring baby, he became my June Bug and I decided to make a bug-themed blanket for him. I designed the caterpillar applique because I didn’t like any of the designs online. When I was done, I loved how he turned out! I know there are a ton of mistakes which show up here. For instance, my circles were messy as I hadn’t perfected the magic circle technique. Also, I could have done a better job in sewing on the applique. Despite all that, I loved that I was able to take something that was in my mind and make it a reality. It was a one-of-a-kind caterpillar made for my June Bug to come!

This little guy, #noorsknitapillar is what inspired me to become a mompreneur! He's the very first thing I designed for my own June bug!
My caterpillar applique, my first ever design made for my lil‘ June Bug to come! Here, I used Lion Brand’s Pound of Love in Honeybee, Antique White, and Bluebell and used Lily Sugar’N Cream in Warm Brown 

This is when I knew I wanted to share my talent with the world beyond making gifts for my loved ones! It worked out perfectly because I wanted to stay home with Bubs for the first couple of years. I opened up my Etsy shop in October of 2017, just a few months after Bubs turned one!

Mompreneur Life – Growing with My Business

After almost a year of having my business and learning from the maker community, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to focus exclusively on design. Read more here about why I chose children’s pieces as my design focus! With this shift in my business, I really wanted my story to show in a way that people would know my why as soon as they saw my logo. That’s where my Knit-A-Pillar and Hooker-Fly come in. The Knit-a-pillar represents the caterpillar applique which was my first design and the crochet hook butterfly adds to my focus on clothes and accessories for lil‘ bugs till they become butterflies!

Mompreneur Life – Noor’s Knit-a-Pillar

In honor of my blog launch, I created a free pattern for this little guy. You can find the free pattern below or head to my Ravelry store for the pdf. The PDF includes written instructions and a full video tutorial for how to make the caterpillar applique and how to sew it onto a finished project! You can access this pattern and video tutorial on Ravelry by clicking here! If you end up making it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #noorsknitapillar and link back to my blog! I can’t wait to see which projects he’ll be cutely crawling into!

Noor’s Knit-A-Pillar Applique Pattern:

With Color A, make a magic circle and dc 12 into the circle, sl st into the top of the first ch 2. Pull tight and close the circle. Leave a 15 in. tail and cut. Repeat once.
With Color B, make a magic circle and dc 12 into the circle, sl st into the top of the first ch 2. Pull tight and close the circle. Leave a 15 in. tail and cut. Repeat once.

Sew on the 4 circles to your finished knitted or crocheted piece by aligning them as shown in the pictures above.

With Color C, add the antennae, eyes, nose, mouth, and legs as shown in the photos above.

If you would like the inexpensive printable PDF with the full video tutorial, head to the pattern on Ravelry.

If you’re a mama and/or POC knit or crochet designer – I would love to feature you on my blog! Head over here to find out more!