An indie crochet designer and self-confessed yarnaholic, Toni Lipsey has created an online crafting community that is impossible to resist!
I learnt to crochet when I was 13 years old. My mom taught me over the summer vacation. I was really bored and probably driving her crazy, so she started a granny square for me, showed me what to do and encouraged me to keep going. I remember being really proud of myself because it was the first time that I had explored my crafty side. I started TL Yarn Crafts back in 2013 and when I quit my day job in 2017, I launched my blog the very next day. After crocheting for so many years, I finally feel like I have this wealth of information to share with people.
The Sedona Sweater was made using leftover yarn from my 2019 temperature blanket. When pulling the colours for the blanket, I decided to go with my absolute favourites – bright pinks and oranges, deep rusty browns and cheerful yellows. I feel like those are the colours of TL Yarn Crafts, as they are the shades that I gravitate to on a regular basis. As soon as I finished the blanket I realised that I still had so much yarn to spare and I wanted to do something special with it. I just let the process happen and the leftover yarn turned into a really pretty sweater.
The Bright Side Blanket is a project that I started working on about a month or so into quarantine. Along with the virus, there was a lot happening surrounding race relations and it was a very difficult time. I was inspired to create a blanket that reflected my feelings. The bright and festive border is representative of the thought that after we have finished trudging through the greyness, things will eventually get better. I can always look back at a project and know what kind of mood I was in or if there were any special milestones taking place.
I used Lion Brand Color Made Easy to create the Bradley Afghan that is so loved by my cat Sir Peanut Butter. I had been avoiding this yarn for the better part of the year because it was released just after a fibre I really liked was discontinued. It seemed like it was supposed to be a substitute and I was convinced that it just wasn’t good enough. However, this project called for a chunky yarn with vibrant solid colours, so I had to get out of my own way for the sake of the design. I’m really glad I did, as it turned out perfectly and is actually one of my favourites.
I try to get most of my patterns tested, as I think it is a really great way to polish and perfect a design. I was pleasantly surprised with my tester group for the Party Punch Shawl because they took the project far beyond anything I expected. They really encouraged our online community to get excited about the pattern release. In addition to getting my patterns tested, it’s also very important to me that they are available for free, as I don’t want there to be any barriers when it comes to people learning this craft from me.
The Loveland Shawl was a Crochet Along I ran using my online platforms. I’ve got another one launching in the fall that I’m really excited about. More than anything I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of what my audience wants from me and ensuring I continue to create that good content they have come to expect.