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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Featured Designer - Renee' Rodgers

This week I am featuring a very special designer friend. I met her when I became her mentor through the CGOA mentoring program a few years ago. Renee' is a very kind and talented person. To thank me for mentoring her, she sent me some very special yarn she spinned herself. It was a combination of hair from her Angora rabbit and Alpaca. I decided I'd submit a design using her yarn for the book Luxury Yarn - One Skein Wonders. My scarf design was accepted and when I received my complimentary copy I was excited to see that Renee' had a baby hat design on the front of the same book!

Renee' Rodgers has been designing for crochet since 2008. Her first design appeared in Crochet! magazine, the Vintage and Velvet scarf. Since that time, she has had designs in multiple crochet books and magazines, as well as winning the Grand Prize in the 2009 CGOA design contest, with her Crochet Confections strapless evening gown. She can be found blogging at www.crochetrenee.blogspot.com and her website is www.crochetrenee.com.

Renee' says "I am a fiber artist, living in the beautiful Ozark Mountains! The beauty of the Ozarks often inspires me to create...the colors of spring, summer and fall, the color of an Ozark Mountain sunrise or sunset...the list is never ending. I love to spin and dye my own yarn as well as design crochet and knit items. Visit my designs page on Ravelry here to see my virtual studio!"

1. How long have you been crocheting and when did you start designing professionally?
I first learned the basics of crochet at my Mother's knee at about the age of 12 or so, but I never really "got it" until I was about 18, when I found a book that had both right and left handed instructions. Since I am left handed, it really helped me get comfortable with the skill, and I have been stitching ever since!

Free pattern - My favorite!
2. What do you specialize in? What is your niche, so to speak? 
I specialize in wearables and accessories, though I have done design work for babies and several afghans.

3. Where have your designs been published and what is the publication or design you are most proud of?
My work has been included in several issues of Crochet World, Crochet! Magazine, the One Skein Wonder books, Interweave Crochet, Leisure Arts publications, Go Crafty! publications, Crochet 1-2-3, Caron Yarns, International, and several self-published patterns under my own Crochet Renee' Designs label.

4. Do you work at designing full time? How do you do everything you do, and have you ever felt burned out?
Unfortunately, I do not currently design full time. I have a full-time job as a physical therapist. Time management is critical in order to get anything accomplished. I feel burned out sometimes, but not burned out on designing, just on trying to juggle everything!

Free Pattern at Caron International
5. Where can we see your designs?
I have a page on my website where I post pictures of most of my designs, at www.crochetrenee.com

6. Are you a member of Ravelry and if so, what's your Ravelry ID? I'm sure crocheters and knitters will want to connect with you.
Yes, I have been a member of Ravelry since it was in Beta testing! My Rav name is, predictably, Crochet Renee'

7. Can you say in a nutshell why you think crocheters and knitters should go there and check it out?
Why, to check out my designs, of course! Especially my "12 Shawls in 2012" shawl series.

8. What are your interests other than crochet or knitting? (hobbies, what you did before you became a designer. etc)
I have done a little bit of everything, including woodworking, wood-turning, drawing, painting, pastels, spinning yarn, weaving, sewing, embroidery, cross stitch, decoupage, reading, horseback riding, hiking, camping and cooking. Whew!

9. Do you have a website or blog you can share with everyone?
My website is www.crochetrenee.com; my blog is www.crochetrenee.blogspot.com  

From Crochet! Magazine -Web
10. In a sentence, what is a word of advice you could give aspiring young crocheters who may have a dream of designing professionally? 
In a sentence? Set some goals, get organized and always meet your deadlines!

Renee's Ravelry Store - I love the lace!
11. Is there anything else you'd like to add concerning your life, your family or your designing career?
I love designing for crochet. I have done some knitting designs, and would like to expand upon that in the coming year. It is my desire to design full time at some point in the future. I also have several new goals for the coming new year, but I am keeping them under wraps for now, so you'll just have to follow my blog or find me on Facebook to stay updated on what's going on!
Knit Scarf

I want to thank Renee' for the interview and especially for her beautiful designs! I can't wait to see what else she comes up with. To see more of her designs visit her page on Ravelry here.