Over the next few months Bela Crochets will be featuring a series of fantastic crocheters. I have interviewed these wonderful makers to help you find new people to follow and to get in touch with other crocheters like yourself.
For week one I have interviewed myself!
Crocheter: Bela Crochets
(Written by my fantastic boyfriend)
Bethany has pursued her artistic interests from a very early age. No matter the interest her creative soul shines through in her efforts to bring into being something for all to enjoy. About five years ago Bethany was recovering from a foot surgery limiting her world and activities. During this time she began to teach herself how to crochet. As her skill grew she began to alter and design her own patterns. She always had a love for stuffed animals and the joy they can bring others, which is why designing a new cute friend is one of her favorite projects.
Thank goodness for my gem of a boyfriend for writing that for me!
What is your name? How did you come up with your business name?
My name is Bethany. I have dabbled in various artistic endeavors but never wanted to attach my last name to my work. I knew/hoped that my last name would change some day and wanted to avoid confusion. For this reason a friend of mine helped me come up with the name Bela which takes the first two letters of my first and middle name. As an added bonus, ‘La’ is also the beginning of my long term boyfriend’s last name so it will serve as a twofer some day when I get a ring 😉
What inspired you to start crocheting?
I have always been a crafty person. I used to frequent a website called Instructables where I kept coming across a post for amigurumi cupcakes. I thought they were so adorable! I googled ‘amigurumi’ several times over several months before it finally stuck and before I was able to put together that amigurumi was crochet. I taught myself to crochet JUST so I could make those cupcakes. (I never did) There was no pattern!
How long have you been crocheting?
I have been crocheting for a little over five years. As you read in my bio, I taught myself while recovering from a foot surgery that kept me in the house all winter.
What was the first thing you ever crocheted? Do you have a picture?
Once I learned how to crochet a few even rows I decided to tackle my first project. I remember finding a pattern and googling what each stitch or abbreviation was. My first project was an elephant. I messed up on the nose and it turned out to be rather large so my boyfriend decided to name him Gonzo. As this was my first project I hadn’t thought about stuffing but I can be impatient and I wanted to finish my project right away so rather than going to the store to purchase some stuffing I ended up stuffing him with tissues!
What is your favorite thing to crochet?
Amigurumi is definitely my favorite. I have always had a strong affinity for stuffed animals. I had a good quantity as a child, always carrying my favorite with me wherever I went. As an adult I still have far too many stuffed animals, not even including the ones I design! Given my long time love of stuffies it is not surprising to me that amigurumi has become a passion of mine. I also very much enjoy designing sweaters, though I am not very good at completing them. I get distracted by other projects, usually a cute seasonal stuffed animal 😉
How long have you had a crochet business?
I actually began selling my crocheting pretty much as soon as I started. The projects quickly improved after Gonzo and I began selling crafts to pay for the physical therapy for my foot. I spent some time marketing myself as Bethany’s Simple Stitches. I later began an etsy account called Borgin and Blotts which was for Harry Potter merchandise centering around house stuffed animals that I made which sold internationally. (These were actually the very first patterns I ever designed.) Unfortunately I was asked by Warner Bros to take my product down but Borgin and Blotts still serves as a Harry Potter meme source on Facebook. After closing Borgin and Blotts I began preparing to open an LGBT themed shop called Pride Panoply. Before launching that I realized my passion was in design so while recovering from an entirely separate surgery in August of 2018 I created Bela Crochets. I still plan to make Pride Panoply happen some day!
What are the main focuses of your crochet business?
Unlike when I began and was focussed on selling finished products, my current focus is on pattern design. Running Borgin and Blotts taught me that product fulfillment is definitely not a passion of mine. It felt really great to make a sale but when you have to make twenty badgers all at once it can get a little tedious.
What are your ultimate goals as a crocheter?
To be completely honest with you, the ultimate goal/DREAM is to make enough as a crocheter that I can be a stay at home mom some day. I am far from both aspects of that dream and I don’t know if I will ever reach that point as a crocheter. In the meantime my goal is just to make cute things that make people smile and to uplift other crocheters in the process.
Do you have any must-have accessories when crafting?
I recently became a hook snob so now I have to have my Clover crochet hooks! I also have a specific pair of scissors that I use just for yarn. Lastly, 99% of my work is made with Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn.
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Do you do any other fiber crafts?
I began teaching myself to knit a few months ago, again while recovering from surgery. I guess you have a lot of time to learn new things when you are stuck in bed 😉 Other than that I have always been very interested in embroidery but have yet to give it a try. I always loved the idea of weaving however it seemed so complicated. I recently began a job at Harrisville Designs which makes and sells their own floor looms and I am hoping to take my first weaving class very soon! Harrisville Designs also has a spinning mill where they spin their own wool as well as a line of children’s products to get kids interested in crafting. I listen to customers telling me about the various crafts they do and it has been inspiring me to want to learn all the crafts.
Do you have any non-fiber related hobbies?
My main non-crochet hobby is napping, if that counts. Otherwise I haven’t spent enough time on other project types to necessarily call them hobbies at the moment. I have been trying to make more time for art and playing the guitar. Both are things I did a lot of as a kid but have lost touch with as an adult. I have been trying to dedicate at least an hour of my weekend to either hobby.
What are you doing when you’re not crocheting?
If I am home and I am not crocheting it is 99% of the time because I am either eating, sleeping, or too exhausted to do anything besides lay around waiting for bedtime. This is usually accompanied by Food Network programs.
Are there any crafters you would like to send a shout out to?
There are a lot of crafters that I want to give shout outs to. You can learn all about them in my future features!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I will be spending the next few months working on a very exciting project. I am not ready to share the details yet but this project is why you won’t be seeing any new patterns from me for a while. I hope that you will continue to follow me as I introduce you to other crocheters and hopefully offer some round ups to fill in the gaps until I am ready to share the details of my project.
You can find Bela Crochets by clicking the following hyperlinks: