This is Bonnie, the amazing artist behind Woodland Stitchcraft. I came across her profile when I was browsing the hashtag for crochet for children. Instantly, I fell in love with her timeless and classic patterns. I couldn’t stop browsing her feed because along with the great baby and kid’s crochet patterns, she is a mama-maker like myself.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m Bonnie. A 33-year-old mother of three: Cole and Luke, my 11-year-old twin boys and my three-year-old daughter, Autumn. We live in the foothills of California, near my home town.
Tell me a little about your business.
The Stanislaus National Forest was the backdrop of my childhood and is the “woodland” that inspired my shop name. Woodland Stitchcraft really began as a way to filter my hobby because I had all these things I made just taking up room so I started selling it. Having an online shop has been a great way to support myself in doing something I love and is growing into a way to contribute to the support of our family also.
How many years have you been crocheting for?
I began crocheting about five years ago. My nephew Maverick was about to be born and I wanted to make him a gift. I found a little aviator hat pattern on Pinterest and wanted to make it for him. My good friend Sarah was the only person I knew that could knit and crochet and so I asked her to teach me. She taught me how to read a pattern and begin a hat in the magic circle and once I finished that hat I just kept crocheting. I started designing crochet patterns for babies about two years ago. November 10th will actually be the 2 year anniversary of my first pattern release! More recently I have also designed a few crochet baby clothes.
What are your current WIPs?
I am always working on a million things at once. I have about three patterns in various stages of being written that I am jumping around between. The Crossing Paths Bonnet pattern is finished and being released on the 17th. I have a pattern with testers right now and as far as crocheting goes I have a Halloween costume to finish and a couple of cowls that need to be finished. I am sure I will just keep adding to that list too.
What is your favorite thing to design and why?
I love to design crochet baby clothes. I have a lot of fun with finding an outfit or a look I want to create with crochet for my daughter. It’s important for me to put a piece of crochet into every outfit she wears. One of my favorite ways to do this is bonnets. Crocheting hats is what I started with and I made every kind of hat you could when I was learning to crochet and bonnets just always were my favorite.
Currently, I am in the process of designing my fourth and fifth bonnet patterns actually. I made Autumn her first bonnet in February 2017 and have made so many over the past couple of years. I also started buying her handmade fabric bonnets too. She has more bonnets than any other accessory or piece of clothing. It’s just become a favorite part of her wardrobe for me. I also love a good crochet baby dress pattern and have designed a couple of pieces that pair well with dresses including the Wildflower Pinafore, Flouncy Halter, and the Farmhouse Pinafore!
What are your goals for this year?
My goal for the coming year is just to design more crochet patterns for babies as much as I can! I have really fallen in love with pattern writing and am just going to keep doing it until I run out of ideas. And I want to branch out into more patterns for moms and home décor. There is so much you can do with crochet that I haven’t even tried and I love learning more about this craft and then using that to continue creating designs for everyone else to make as well!
How do you balance mom-life and making?
Lots of coffee and podcasts. I honestly lucked out with a husband who worked really hard to make it possible for me to stay home and I started my business when my boys were about 7 so I have built-in help. They were and are at an age where chores and self-care have become apart of their routine so they take care of themselves and I delegate a portion of household tasks to them.
My toddler is another story, she is a bit harder to work with but you just find ways. Autumn loves to craft so I do like to set her up with a project and then I’ll sit with her with some rows to finish up or ends to weave in and we can just be creative together. It’s a great way to finish up those easier tasks that don’t require too much attention because I can still engage with her on her activity. This is a system that works for us. It’s just fitting all the stuff into your life where you can!
One piece of advice for fellow mama makers?
This is a hard question! I’m still learning how to do all this stuff myself. I think the best advice I can give is what I try to practice myself, which is don’t give up. Whatever it is you want to do in motherhood or making or business, just keep doing your best and you’ll get there. I’m one of those people that love quotes and one of my favorites is, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” You can become stronger, you can always learn more but only if you show up day after day to work towards what you want. This is the mindset I personally thrive in.
Crochet Baby Clothes – Lil Sprouts Shorts pattern
This is the Lil’ Sprout Shorts Pattern, a gender-neutral crochet pattern for babies! These are so cute for layering in the cold months! Great over tights and under cardigans for boys and girls. Grab this pattern on Etsy or Ravelry.
You can find all of Bonnie’s patterns over in her Ravelry shop. You can also shop the patterns as well as her finished products from her Etsy shop. Get all of her updates and inspiration over on her Instagram and Blog. Read about her experience doing the Live interview over here.
You can check out the full recorded Live video conversation over on my YouTube Channel here.