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Mary Jane's Crochet: My Bio

My Bio

I'd like to tell you a little about myself and how I got started in crochet. I taught myself to crochet when I was 18 years old and in college. I have been crocheting for 37 years, but in Jan. 2005 I became a professional crochet designer. It all happened when the girls in the church where I attend, kept asking me to have a crochet class. They wanted to learn how to make the pretty crochet clothing they were seeing in the stores. They also wanted to make things for themselves, as well as gifts for Christmas. We started the class in Oct. 2004 and around 30 people were involved. Their ages ranged from 7-60, but more than half were teenagers or women in their 20's. Ponchos were just starting to come back in style, so I set out to find easy patterns for these eager young girls. I looked in books and on the internet, but had a hard time finding what we were looking for. I had never made my own crochet patterns before, but thought I'd give it a try.

By January 2005, I had created 14 original patterns for ponchos, capelets, hats and scarves. Since there was a shortage of easy, trendy patterns, I decided to contact some companies to see if they were looking for new designs. I contacted Kooler Designs in CA, and after they saw photos of my crochet items, they told me that they, along with Leisure Arts (who is their publisher) wanted to do, not one, but 2 booklets of my designs! I can't tell you how excited I was! I was on cloud 9, and thought that maybe this was a one time thing. But they gave me encouragement, so after I mailed them all my designs, I immediately started creating more patterns. By June, I contacted "Crochet!" magazine, who also publishes other magazines and books. After seeing 12 of my designs by email, the editor, Carol Alexander, asked me to send in 11 items for their review in July. I was thrilled when she wrote me and told me they had chosen all 11 of my designs for 4 different publications, which included 2 magazines, a softcover book, and a hardback book. I also had an idea to contact 5th Ave. fashion magazine, geared for young women. They loved my idea of having a DIY section for crochet patterns, so they chose a Newsboy cap, and a barrel bag/purse to feature in their magazine, which which came out in Sept. of 2005. I continue to design, and love it! In fact, if you talked to my family they would say I am obsessed with it! In one and half years of designing I have had 150 designs accepted for publication. Some of those designs are in my first book called Positively Crochet!, published by Krause Publications (a division of F & W Publications) which was released in Aug. 07'. It has sold very well and has received many 5 star reviews. I recently turned in a manuscript for another crochet book which will be released in the summer of 08'. I'm very excited about this new book and wish I could tell you about it, but I can't. You'll just have to wait:)

I want to say thanks to all the people who have bought my book. I have really enjoyed receiving emails from you saying how much you love the book. You just don't know what that means to me. I want to keep in touch with you all and love to see photos of the things you have made from the book. The past two years have been fun and exciting. Maybe you can take a tip from me and hopefully my story will inspire you to do the same. Each publication has guidelines to follow if you are interested in submitting any of your original patterns. Please contact me if you have any questions.