For awhile now, we’ve been posting Knitter Profiles on the blog, and they’re loads of fun. It’s great to hear about other artists and crafty types who want to share their love of JP and yarny goodness with the rest of us.
The name, however, leaves something to be desired, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s just so plain. Plus it leaves out people who carry JP bags that wouldn’t perhaps call themselves knitters. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a crochet profile?
Well, the opportunity has come, and we’ve got a crocheter in the wings for our profile. We figured it’d be a perfect time to unveil the new name as well. Meet Kathryn Vercillo, the newest of our Fiber Fashionistas!
JP: When do you enjoying crocheting most?
I crochet almost every day. The most common scenario is for me to put on a documentary or TV crime drama and crochet while half-watching it. However, my very favorite time to crochet is with I’m with my mom and/or sister and we can craft together, talking about stuff and creating new things. Bonus points if there’s a fireplace around.
JP: How did you find out about JP?
The JP team actually found out about me first and contacted me to request a review of one of their bags.
JP: What was your reaction?
I was really happy about that. So many of the totes for crafters that are out there are really unstylish and my crochet blog readers are always looking for trendier options that are not only functional but also make them feel sexy. JP’s bags offer that and I was glad to have an opportunity to tell them about that.
JP: If you could eat or drink anything with no consequences, what would it be?
I generally believe that it’s okay to eat/drink anything as long as you’re doing it in moderation. That said, I’d probably more frequently have loads of mashed potatoes soaked in butter, sour cream and cheese!
JP: What projects are you working on right now?
I just finished spending thirty days crafting scarves using the patterns in Sharon Silverman’s new book called Crochet Scarves. (I kept a 30-day diary of the experience.) It gave me the chance to challenge myself with some new techniques and I discovered that I really love broomstick lace so I’m thinking that the next project I start may use that technique.
JP: What’s the one crocheting project you’ve always wanted to try but just haven’t gotten around to it, or you’re just a little intimidated by?
Broomstick lace was the main one. It sounded like it was going to be really tedious so I was holding off even though I really love the look of it. I feel like I achieved a major accomplishment having now tackled that. I think the next challenge might be Tunisian crochet.
JP: How many JP bags have you bought over the years?
So far I only have The Rio. I am very much someone who finds a single bag and uses it all of the time until it’s completely and thoroughly worn out.
But I have been considering getting The Crafter’s Tool Butler (in the Eggplant Purple color). It seems like a great way to organize your craft tools in one easy place.
JP: Do you have any favorite quotes or sayings?
Favorite general quote:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. – Martha Graham
Favorite crochet quote:
“I think it’s time to set my sights on new goals and higher aspirations in crochet as an art form. It is time to infect the internet and the world with global domination of the versatility, practicality and coolness of crochet. I seek a cro-pocalypse. A veritable domain of the hook, with zombie-like contagion and cult indoctrination – only without the blood, flesh craving and Kool-aid.” – Aberrant Crochet
JP: Any advice for new crocheters?
Trust your own sense of creativity. There is no wrong way to do crochet!
JP: What’s the best (audio) book or podcast you’ve read or heard lately?
I’m really loving Stacey Trock’s Crochet Chat podcast. It’s relatively new and is the only crochet-focused podcast that exists right now. Stacey’s really personable and does a great job with her chat. I also really enjoy the CraftyPod podcast, which has great tips and information for crafty solopreneurs and business owners.
JP: What kind of music gets you in the crafty mood?
I like really cheesy, campy music – the stuff you’d hear on 80’s night in a dive-y dance club, or accompanying a drag queen on stage or sung at karaoke. I also love Christmas music although I am sane enough to only listen to it around the holidays. If my crafting requires more focused attention, though, then I’m more likely to put on indie folk music (Dar Williams, Indigo Girls, Susan Werner).
JP: Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Always coffee. Actually, I’ve learned to like tea a lot more in recent years, especially after doing some of the tea tastings in Chinatown here, but I’m still mostly a coffee girl at heart.
JP: What inspires you?
What doesn’t?! No, honestly, I’m most inspired by people’s stories – my own, people around me, people who have written books. I love learning and I love hearing first person experiences of all sorts. Sometimes this inspires the specifics of my crafting. It often inspires my writing. But more than that, it just inspires me to go live life and living it creates my own experiences that inspire my creativity.
JP: How did you learn to crochet?
I originally learned the basic chain from my mom when I was a kid, but I didn’t really do anything with it. I re-taught myself a few years back mostly using kids’ crochet books. I did look at a few YouTube videos as well but I’m really not a visual learner; I learn better with words so books worked better for me.
JP: What was your first crochet project?
My very first was just this long yellow crochet chain that I wound up on a rolling pin and kept going forever and ever. I have no idea whatever happened to that, though, since that was the one from childhood.
My first new project was a scarf. It was from one of those kids’ crochet books and I didn’t really take into consideration that it would be kid-sized. Nevertheless, I really loved it because it was the first thing I’d made. Crochet had really saved my life, helping me get out of depression, so that first product was special to me. I still have it and even still occasionally wear it even though it’s a little ridiculous.
JP: It’s the zombie apocolypse. What’s your weapon of choice?
Kill ‘em with kindness.
JP: What’s one of the strangest things you’ve put in your JP bag?
I actually probably haven’t put anything strange into mine. I am really a minimalist when packing whether for the day or for a vacation. I walk almost everywhere I can so I tend to keep it as light as possible!
JP: What’s the last movie you really enjoyed, whether you were crocheting or not?
My Week with Marilyn. My sister and I saw it in an indie theater here last year. It was a really good movie that portrayed Marilyn Monroe in an interesting light, the cinematography was well done and I had good company.
JP: What’s one of your favorite outdoor activities?
Hiking. I don’t enjoy a lot of “sports” and I hate running but I could hike every day.
I tend to like really simple projects that don’t have complicated stitch techniques. That’s because I really enjoy the meditative aspects of crochet that allow for relaxation. The repetition also releases serotonin, which acts as a natural anti-depressant so that’s a bonus. So I tend to make a lot of really large granny square blankets as well as large sculptural pieces of hyperbolic crochet.
JP: Do you do any other sorts of crafty stuff?
Crochet is what I do most. But I also do a lot of collage art. I used to do a lot of scrapbooking but now I only do it once or twice a year to keep my personal albums up to date. I eventually want to get into spinning and dyeing yarn.
JP: Do you prefer to crochet alone or with friends?
Usually alone because that’s where I really feel the benefits of the craft. However, I have enjoyed some craft nights with friends and I always enjoying crocheting with my sister.
JP: If time and money were no object, what would you be doing?
Writing my next book. Next to a beach that is far warmer than the beach here in the San Francisco Bay Area!
JP: Aside from your blog, where can we find you online?
JP: Anything else you want to tell me?
Crafting is important. It isn’t just a leisure hobby. It’s a form of self-expression, a tool for relaxation, an opening to social connections, a way to give back to others and a skill.
Thanks so much for sharing your stories and photos Kathryn! And thank you for helping us open our arms to more folks out there who love fashion and fiber. We’re thrilled!
If you’d like to be featured in Fiber Fashionistas, we’d love to hear from you! Email or leave your info in the comments and we’ll make it happen! Don’t worry, you don’t have to submit photos of yourself if you’re not into that (but we do want to see your projects and your bags for sure).