Meet Katie Hanken! She is the owner / designer at Design by Katie Hanken (formerly known as Optimistic By Nature), and has a fresh, modern line that deserves a gander!
I first “met” Katie in early 2012 when she wrote to let me know she enjoyed my Favorite Slouch hat. I facebook stalked her, like I do with anyone who gives me a compliment, and was really honored to see that she was an accomplished crochet designer, who happened to enjoy my work!
Her designs are natural, original, elegant, and have a timeless quality about them that I adore! She has a few bunting patterns that are quite clever and worth a go if you have a baby in your life! But, my favorites are the Bonnet Balaclava, Ribbed Lopi Mittens, and – last but not least – the Glitter Wave Shrug.
She’s an accomplished lady, in more aspects than just crochet, and I hope you enjoy her work as much I have. Let’s see what she had to say to our Design Wars readers
Salena Baca (SB): Define success; What do you hope to accomplish?
Katie Hanken (KH): Success for me with crochet is keeping it fun; that is why I started to crochet. It was a really simple and true motivation. I felt like making something cute. As long as I keep that as my motivation than I am succeeding at crochet. Certainly, it is really fun for me that others enjoy my designs and I love when interest in my patterns grows. Making inspired designs, creating easy and well-written patterns, taking beautiful photos, incorporating nature as my inspiration… these are my “goals”, I think. But accomplishing these things will not define my success. The only goal that matters to me is to keep it fun and to let crochet teach me how to enjoy my life. Because I love designing with crochet. If I could transfer the good-feeling creation process that I have with crochet design to all of the other endeavors in my life I would be one happy camper!
SB: What are the best words of wisdom you can provide to hopeful designers?
KH: I guess the same advice I would give anyone about anything. Do it for the joy. Keep it light and keep it fun and inspiration and success will come to you easily. My professional training is in classical music and being a person who has pursued many creative endeavors this idea is the only thing that has given me success. Struggle and stress really do destroy creative pursuits. Don’t force it! (I’ve tried that, too, and it doesn’t work out well.)
SB: Is there something about crochet that you’ve always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask?
KH: Oh my gosh, yes. I have only been crocheting a couple of years so I learn new things all the time! Thank goodness for google. And youtube. I guess I can’t think of anything specific but I definately haven’t mastered the art yet. Although, I am not afraid to ask when confused, I have learned things along the road that I felt like I should have known at the time. But I think designing is actually a fun way to learn and to invent new solutions!
SB: What is your most recent accomplishment?
KH: I have invented a new stitch! Ok, not really. But, I have found a really cool way of mixing up some common stitches to create a look that I have not seen anywhere yet. I am working on some design ideas to utilize it and hope to have something to show off soon! It looks cool!!
SB: If you could meet anyone in the crochet world, who would it be? Why?
KH: I have “met” so many cool people through crochet! I would love to meet the other designers in this competition over a cup of coffee! From Tara in Alaska to Lisa in New Zealand and me in Norway…. we are pretty far from each other geographically. If we lived closer I would definately invite them all over for dinner! Basically, I really appreciate all designers who are doing their own thing and have their own style.
If you are a brand new fan to Design by Katie Hanken you can check out her design work on ravelry or her new .com shop. If you are a fan and would like to root for Design by Katie Hanken in DWII, get your Team Badge and be sure to enter for your chance at our Red Heart Yarns prize pack (valued at $150)!
Got your own questions for Katie / Design by Katie Hanken? Post it in a comment below and she may answer you!