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Category Archives: Design Wars!

What is Design Wars? ~ A contest in which some of my favorite crochet designers come together to battle it out and see who can create the most popular new design! Only one type of yarn can be used, and all designs are kept secret throughout the duration of the contest. Designs will be unveiled at the same time, and a vote will take place; the designer who receives the most votes wins, has bragging rights over the contest, will hand pick 2 designers AND the yarn to use for the next segment of Design Warsr!

How does Design Wars work? ~ There are three parts to this contest: Selecting artists to participate and the yarn to use, providing time to design (hints and sneak peaks will be given!), and the unveiling of all designs for a vote! I choose participants based on their skill and resume of designs, so if you would like to be considered for future contests please contact me directly:

Design Wars has a new home!

Design Wars has a new home!

Design Wars Logo

Are you a Design Wars fan? Good news! We’ve gained enough popularity for the event that it’s now officially a quarterly crochet challenge!  We’re prepping for Design Wars 3 right now (to begin on 24 April), and you can follow our progress on facebook and our new web page! Finally, we will be offering our challenges in a few FREE newsletter installments so that you can better follow our progress by knowing exactly what’s going to happen, and when. Thank you for your interest in Design Wars, I hope you enjoy our progress!

Salena Baca


Design Wars II Winner!

Design Wars II Winner!

Congratulations Frayed Knot! Your design received the most votes, and you are hereby crowned the challenge winner of Design Wars II. Enjoy the fame, glory, and new title, CHAMPION, it is well deserved!

Much applause goes to all of our Design Wars II challengers, because every design here is already a success!

Thanks to everyone who followed and participated in our DWII challenge, and for the nearly 3,000 of you who voted for your favorite garment! You have helped to make this a fun an exciting event, and we appreciate your support!

Finally,  from the bottom of my heart, thanks to Red Heart Yarns for their continued interest and support in this endeavor, for sponsoring DWII with yarn for our contestants, and for providing a prize pack that is one of the best I’ve ever seen!

Please continue to follow our amazing Design Wars challengers, because they are a wonderfully creative, genuine, and superb group who have an honest love for their work, fans, and of crochet.

DW II Winner AD

Poll Results 2 2.25.2013

Design Wars II – REVEAL & VOTE!

Design Wars II – REVEAL & VOTE!

Here they are; the long awaited, anticipated garments from our Design Wars II Challengers! Please review each of the submissions, then vote to let us know who you think should be crowned the Design Wars II Challenge Winner!

Voting is open until February 24th (MST), and the Design Wars II Challenger with the most votes will be named on February 25th! You can cast your vote once every 12 hours, so set your watch and get your vote on!

Entries will also be taken for our Red Heart Yarns $150 Prize Pack until February 24th, so don’t miss out on that opportunity!

Thanks to everyone for the love, support, and dedication! We hope you have enjoyed following our progress!

Baca Creations Reveal CrazySocks Reveal design by katie hanken Reveal Frayed Knot Reveal Holland Designs Reveal Mamachee Reveal One & Two Reveal
Unravel Me Reveal

CSD03 design by katie hanken (1) Frock 8 Jonna 1 Lisa (2) oneandtwocompany_dw2_final_01mamachee reveal photoUnravel Me (3)

Design Wars II: Sneak Peek Week (Hint #2!!!)

Design Wars II: Sneak Peek Week (Hint #2!!!)

The wait is nearly over – in just under a weeks time we will be revealing our Design Wars II garments for your vote! That’s right, mark your calendars and stalk your favorite designer for updates because February 21, 2013 will be our final reveal for this round, and your vote will determine who used the yarn best!

These hints today are meant to confuse you –  we don’t really WANT to reveal what we’ve been up to, however, we do want you to have a vague idea so you can play along in our fan page challenge. After this blog post is released, our DWII challengers will be sharing and pinning it to the tops of their respective fan pages, and they want YOU to place your guess there. So, if you think you know what your favorite designer has made for DWII, click on over to their fan page to let them know! Every fan who participates in the designated area will be eligible for a chance to win a special prize from that designer (prize details will be available directly from your favorite designer…).

Finally, this is the last week you will be able to participate for your chance to win our Red Heart Yarns $150 prize pack! Be sure to enter before the deadline – it’s a prize you won’t want to pass up!

2 Jonna2 Theresa

2 Tara
2 Lisa 2 Katie 2 Danyel2 Carolina

2 Baca

DWII: Sneak Peek Week!!!

DWII: Sneak Peek Week!!!

Hey, HEY! I’ts Sneak Peek Week!

I have to say that I could not be happier with the way DWII has been going, and it’s all thanks to these amazingly talented, friendly, and supportive ladies who I have had the absolute pleasure of working with! Behind the scenes, us DWII participants have been encouraging and pep-talking each other for months. Honestly! While this is a “war” by name, it’s a friendship and network that I have come to treasure. Thanks for the smooth ride ladies!

Of course, this would be nowhere and nothing without our fans, and so, from the bottom of my yarn basket, I thank you all for your continued interest and support in our work and progress! Every single like, share, comment, and pin matters to us, and it’s the fuel that keeps a smile on our faces, and a skip in our step. Thank you – really, and truly!

And, last but never least, a huge shout out to our wonderful supporters at Red Heart Yarns! Thank you for taking Design Wars under your sponsorship wings, and for offering up an amazing prize pack to help get some drive behind our event – it’s a dream come true, and I hope this is the beginning of a long and lasting relationship!

Well folks, here it is – Sneak Peek Week!  Enjoy the teaser tags, obscure photos, and pages directly from our personal diaries that dove directly into our psyche! If you’ve got a good guess and would like to decipher a design, be sure to share, comment, and pin to your hearts delight – enjoy!
SPW Carolina SPW Danyel SPW Jonna SPW Katie SPW Lisa SPW Salena SPW Tara SPW Theresa

Designer Spotlight: Baca Creations

Designer Spotlight: Baca Creations

SalenaThat’s right folks, this is Salena Baca (owner / designer of Baca Creations), and I’m preparing my own Design Wars Spotlight! That means I’ll be telling you how wonderful I am, while omitting all of my bad traits! Really…

Since grade school, crochet has been a hobby of mine and has provided a certain solace that gave me an identity; who the heck would I be, if I wasn’t always the chick who crocheted? It’s been a constant in my life, and a very good friend to me. I wish to always, always crochet. Always.

If you are already a fan of my work, you may know that I began Baca Creations as a made-to-order crochet business back in mid 2009. A few of my most successful designs were the Sleepy Eye Owl Hat, Favorite Newsboy, Stars N Stripes Newborn Set, and I think I’ve made about 75 Blue Bird Hats in my career. From hats to leg warmers, diaper covers to blankets, I’ve probably made over 1,000 crochet goods since Baca Creations began. In fact, before I slowed down the production side of my business to promote my patterns, I had a constant 6 to 8 week wait period for any type of order (and that was making 1 to 2 items per day, 7 days per week. Honestly).

The pattern side of crochet has really fulfilled me creatively; I’ve always designed my own garments, but actually publishing them and seeing what others do with my designs – it’s a thrill! At any given time, I have about 10 decent pattern ideas in my design book, and I randomly complete them when I get the inspiration to do so. 

I’m quite proud to be working with some of the best crochet talent for this round of Design Wars, and am absolutely thrilled that I was able to convince Red Heart Yarns to promote, sponsor, and donate to support our endeavor. Here’s my bit, enjoy!

Define success; What do you hope to accomplish? 

In all of my studying and doing, I feel I have a lot to offer to the crochet community. I feel that my methods of working and designing are unique, and I have developed a knack for teaching them that has proven to be very effective. Therefore, I define my success by how well I teach others, and their ability to master crochet. I feel a sense of accomplishment when following my students and seeing their work, which, with practice, becomes just as good as mine.  

If you could meet anyone in the crochet world, who would it be? Why?

Before I left England this past summer I visited an exhibit in London made for the Olympic games. It was a trio of gigantic crochet lions called The Lionheart Project, and it was made entirely of free form single crochet. I was so enchanted with the exhibit that I asked my favorite editor at Stitch Craft Create magazine if I could compile a special interest piece about it. She agreed! I went about my research in a variety of forms, and contacted the designer (Shauna Richardson) to congratulate her, and ask her a few questions for my article. To my utter delight, she responded with what became to be a quite friendly and mutually appreciative relationship. If I were still in England today, I would have sought her out. We would meet for tea, get matching tattoos, and talk about yarn. One day, I do hope to meet her in person! 

What is your most recent accomplishment?

Push ups! I’m up to 10 “for real” ones every day! It’s crochet related, because now I can work twice as fierce as I did with girly-push ups 🙂

Other than your own designs, do you have a favorite pattern?

My favorite pattern is one I have yet to make. I hope that counts! The Sidewalk Shawl has been on my list of garments to create for myself for years now, and I hope to make time for it before the fall of 2013. It’s the most gorgeous shawl, and was designed specifically for my favorite line of yarn (Stitch Nation)!

Which of your designs do you feel best represents you as an artist?

My Snail Shell Cover! While I always strive to be different and original in my design work, this is the one garment that I constructed without having a model concept. There are millions of slouchy hats, fingerless gloves, diaper covers and cowls, but at the time of it’s conception the Snail Shell Cover was born in my brain. While I don’t consider myself a designer specifically for newborn props, I feel this best represents me as an artist because it’s my very own organic concept. 

Salena Baca SpotlightIf you are a brand new fan of my work you can check out some of my designs (including free patterns!) on ravelry and craftsy. Follow me on facebook to see what kind of trouble I’m in, or special order garments directly from my shop!

If you are a fan and would like to root for Baca Creations in DWII, get yourTeam Badge and be sure to enter for your chance at our Red Heart Yarns prize pack (valued at $150)!

Got your own questions for me? Post them in a comment below and I just may answer you!

Designer Spotlight – Design by Katie Hanken

Designer Spotlight – Design by Katie Hanken

Katie 6Meet 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.

Katie (2)Katie (5)design by katie hanken Spotlight

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!

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