All images are used with permission and are © Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.
|Blueberry Hill, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
Pia: My mom taught me when I was very little. I think I was about 4 or 5 years old. At first she taught me to make chains by hand. For a while, I just made dozens of very long chains and then braided them together to make jump ropes. It was probably another year or so before I started actually crocheting with a hook.
|Crocodile Stitch Pixie Hat, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: When did you start designing?
Pia: In 2013, I published what I consider my first real pattern, my Crocodile Pixie Hat. To this day it’s still one of my most popular ones!
|Hugging Tree, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: How long have you been a member of the CGOA? What’s your favorite thing about being a member?
Pia: I joined the CGOA in 2014, and I’m so glad I did! I can’t really tell you my favorite part, because there are so many good things that have come from my membership. I found a local guild chapter which is very active with monthly meetings, workshops, fun activities, and an annual retreat. I went to the Knit and Crochet Show last year, and found that the discounts on classes and events more than paid for my annual dues. I also completed the Master’s program – which I’ll tell you about next.
|Round the Mulberry Bush, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: You completed the CGOA Master's program. Can you tell us about your experience?
Pia: When I was looking into the Knit and Crochet Show, I learned that they have a little ceremony each year where Masters graduates receive their pins. I decided right then that I would get my pin at my first show and it would be awesome (and I did, and it was!) The instructions seemed deceptively easy, but I soon found out the reviewers really are looking for perfection, and I had to redo a few of the swatches. The hardest part of the whole process was waiting for the reviews. Somehow, I ended up a lot more emotionally invested in it than I thought I would be, and it was torture waiting to hear back. The review notes were very thorough, and I did learn a LOT about my strengths and the areas where I need to take more care. The Masters committee is made up of really friendly, encouraging people who do actually want you to pass, and are happy to help you get there. As nerve wracking as the process was, the satisfaction and pride in completing it feels amazing. I wrote a little more about my experience here.
|Simple Crochet Balls, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: Last year, you wrote a great post about attending the Knit and Crochet Show for the first time. How has going to the conference impacted your work as a designer and blogger?
Pia: I was lucky enough to have some on-line designer friends who helped me with what to expect and what to bring with me to make the trip successful from a business standpoint. Getting to meet some of them in person was one of the best parts of the trip. I made some great contacts, and I feel like I came away with a better overall understanding of how the different aspects of the fiber industry (like yarn companies, publishers, and designers) all work together. I learned some of the “who’s who” of different companies, and put some faces to the names. I also spent some time just watching what the veteran designers were doing and who they were talking to. It wasn’t all business though, I had a lot of fun and made some new friends. It was such a great trip that I plan to go back every year if I can. I feel like the more I go back, the more valuable the experience will be each time.
|Pacific Sunset Mitts, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for relaxing?
Pia: I like working with sport or DK weight yarn. A relaxing project for me would be something made all in one piece, without a lot of ends, preferably in a stitch pattern I don’t have to concentrate on too much as I’m usually watching tv at the same time.
|Dew Drop Necklace, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for challenging yourself?
Pia: Thread or complicated lace is challenging for me, but I also don’t particularly enjoy it. My favorite challenge is actually working out a new design. Figuring out how to make the yarn do what’s in my head, preferably in a way that’s easy for someone else to follow, is a little like solving a puzzle…and I love puzzles!
|Ribbed Fingerless Mitts, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to give as gifts?
Pia: Non-size specific items. These stretchy, Ribbed Fingerless Mitts are one of my favorites because they fit everyone. Shawls and scarves are another go to. Hats can be ok if there’s enough stretch that they can fit a variety of sizes.
|Twilight Reverie, free crochet pattern by Pia Thadani/Stitches'N'Scraps.|
UC: What are you working on in 2016? What's next for you?
Pia: A little bit of everything, really. It feels like 2016 was already filled by the first week! I’m excited to have lots of opportunities to work with other designers and groups this year, including a contribution or two on this blog. I’ll also be designing a pattern for the Holiday Stashdown CAL, and one for the Moogly Afghan CAL. I would like to work on getting some patterns published in print publications as well if possible. Other than that, I plan to focus this year on developing and sticking to a more regular blogging schedule, including writing more patterns. I found I didn’t have a lot of summery handmades to wear at the show last year, so some of those new patterns are likely to be wearables as I try to build my personal wardrobe a bit.
Thank you so much for sharing your love of crochet with us, Pia!