It’s fascinating to see the thousands of different skills people add to SkillPages every day. Our interest is especially piqued when we see the more unique skills such as Free Runner, Stuntman, Fire-Eater and Graffiti Artist to name a few. Recently we came across Kelly’s crocheted Angry Birds and fell in love with them. With over 3,200 crocheters registered on SkillPages, we were interested to find out more about the skill.
We caught up with Kelly Vanfossen to find out where her passion came from.
How and when did you start crocheting?
When I was about 6 I used to go visit my grandmother every weekend for a 2 day visit. One weekend we were in her sewing room, and I noticed for the first time this basket with hooks and all these beautiful colors of “string”. After she caught me staring at it, my grandmother began her journey of teaching me how to crochet.
Is crochet your full time job or more of a hobby?
Actually I work as a care giver for an elderly lady. While I make no money from my ‘real job’ it allows me the freedom, both time wise and financially ,to pursue my crocheting. Crocheting would be my second full time job. I don’t however consider it work even though that is where 100% of my income comes from.
Tell me, how has your skill developed over the years?
I have been crocheting for over 40 years now and my skills have changed drastically over that time period. From a simple chain stitch at age 6 to crocodile stitches at age 46, there is not a pattern that I will not at least try!
What are your favourite pieces to make and why?
My favorite things to make are afghans. I have custom designed an afghan of three dolphins swimming in bubbles that I let the purchaser buy for instant coffee! I am a coffee lover and she is a dolphin lover, so it worked out great for both of us!! In my opinion it’s not all about making money. Developing relationships is very important. Knowing you have made someone smile, even for just a moment, is worth gold in my book.
Your passion is admirable, where did your inspiration come from for your ‘Angry Bird’ characters?
My sister loves the Angry Birds game, and although I’m a Farmville person myself I thought the birds were just too cute not to try to crochet. At the time I was making a lot of stuffed bears and decided that the birds would not be that different.
What creations do you get most enjoyment from?
It has to be my ‘Angry Birds’. It just warms my heart where I get a message back from a parent who tells me how much their child’s birthday was enriched by my stuffed Angry Birds. Even though the birds are Angry, they make me very happy, and I know somewhere my grandmother is smiling with me also.
You have a fantastic portfolio on SkillPages, is most of your business generated online or is it more word of mouth?
I have had to go online to get my skill out there and get more work. As I’m a full time care giver the only way that I can make money is to showcase my skills online. Featuring my products and patterns on SkillPages is great for me! The best way to see my work is to visit my portfolio on SkillPages or my website.
Truthfully, featuring my work like this has given me great opportunities. One of the garments I made has even been sent as far away as Australia!
Thanks Kelly for sharing your story!
Crocheting Around The World
A sample of more crocheters on SkillPages, click the links to view their great portfolios:
Bekah Kay from Wales, designs one of a kind mini crochet film icons. Caroline Wheeler from England, makes unique baby booties, hats and blankets for all special events. Jen Ballard from New York, specialises in designing baby items, toys and has her own collection called ‘The Ari Collection’. Deborah Waltenbury from Ohio, crochets with all types of yarn but specialises in free form design to create usable fiber art.
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