CGOA Member Spotlight: Jessie Rayot

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I'm Marie Segares from Underground Crafter and this is the third post in a monthly series for CGOA Now! where I shine a spotlight on a CGOA member and share a bit of her story with an interview.

In this month's post, I'm talking with Jessie Rayot from Jessie At Home. Jessie is a crochet and knitting designer, blogger, and YouTuber. Jessie has a background in costume design and studio art which influences her design process. I had the pleasure of meeting Jessie in real life at Stitch N' Pitch last year, and since then we've become pals. We even co-host a monthly knitting (gasp!) link party together. (If you also knit, check it out here.) Jessie can be found online on Craftsy, Etsy, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, Twitter, and YouTube.

All images are used with permission and are © Jessie Rayot/Jessie At Home unless otherwise noted.
Jessie Rayot wearing her Emily's Super Slouchy Hat, a free knitting pattern. Jessie also has a free crochet pattern version

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?
Jessie: I first started to crochet when I was 8 or 9. My great grandmother taught me. I wrote about it a few years ago for NatCroMo. You can read the whole story here.

Amalthea, a free crochet shawl pattern by Jessie Rayot.

UC: When did you start designing?
Jessie: I started designing costumes in high school. I went on to earn a BFA in Costume Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. I worked as a costume designer and costume shop manager until I was 28. I had always kept my love of crochet with me, and I very rarely used patterns, I just improvised. Shortly after my twins were born, I started my blog, Jessie At Home, as a way to keep my family up to date on the girls. Eventually I started adding crafty posts, and in October of 2009, I posted my first written pattern.

Retro Ornament Throw, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot for Red Heart. Image © Jessie At Home.

UC: How long have you been a member of the CGOA? What’s your favorite thing about being a member?
Jessie: I joined CGOA in 2013. I love so much about it. I think my favorite thing about the CGOA is the opportunities it has opened up for me thanks to the comradery it fosters. It’s wonderful to be part of an organization that encourages working together, and helping each other!

Flight Hat, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot.

UC: How do you celebrate National Crochet Month?
Jessie: I usually try to find something fun to do on my blog. This year I'm planning on LOTS of product reviews. Most of the reviews will be for products that will be included in the 2016 Yarn and Wine Tasting next month. 

Joseph's Puff Stitch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot.

UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for relaxing?
Jessie: Something that is easy to memorize, but not so simple it becomes tedious. My Skylark in Wonderland pattern is an easy to memorize 4 row repeat, and I found it quite relaxing to make!

Skylark in Wonderland, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot.
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for challenging yourself?
Jessie: Something with new or difficult stitches, learning new skills. Tamara's Kismet Square is one of my most challenging patterns, which is why it includes videos and photo to help you along.

Tamara's Kismet Square, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot. 

UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to give as gifts?
Jessie: Cowls, hats, scarves… things most people will actually use. Several years ago I designed a set of winter patterns that I used to make nearly all of my Christmas gifts. If I can figure out something that is perfect for the person I’m gifting it too, that’s even better! Basically, I love giving what will make the recipient happy. 

Eli, Ali & Leo Winter Set, 6 free crochet patterns by Jessie Rayot.

UC: What are you working on in 2016? What's next for you?
Jessie: Everything!! Total Crochet World Domination! :)

I’m really excited about the Yarn and Wine tasting I'm running at a friend's vineyard next month, and about all the conferences and trade shows I'm attending.

Thanks so much, Jessie, for sharing your love of crochet with us.

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