Friday 26 September 2014

Crafty Ladies: Meet Stacey Trock

Time to meet another awesome Crafty Lady... say hello to Stacey from FreshStitches!

Stacey is a prolific crochet designer who sells adorable amigurumi patterns and kits, teaches online workshops and blogs about her work and personal projects. She's also the author of three books: Cuddly Crochet, Crocheted Softies and Modern Baby Crochet.

Hi there!

I’m Stacey and I’m the girl behind FreshStitches Amigurumi Crochet. I design the patterns, run the website, write the blog posts and package & ship the kits. I also teach knitting and crochet at national events and on Craftsy as well as write books.

I live in Minneapolis, MN with my sweet hubby, and we’ll have a baby girl in January! I’m really passionate about urban self-sufficiency. I love cooking, baking, canning, sewing, knitting... you name it! I also enjoy running and yoga.

Recently I’ve been making…

Since we’re expecting a baby girl (our first!), I’ve been devoting my crafting time to baby things. I just love knitting little baby sweaters... they’re small, so it’s easy to feel very accomplished! I’m not sure I’d ever take on a fully-cabled sweater for myself, but it seems not so daunting in a miniature version.

I do a little sewing, but it’s usually a summer activity for me. I just finished a faux elephant taxidermy head (designed by Abby Glassenberg) that I’m just totally in love with!

Since winter is quickly knocking at our door (it comes fast and cold here in Minnesota!), I’ll probably squeeze in some hats and socks (knitted). I love wearing hand-knit socks. They’re so warm and they always put a smile on my face.

I’ve been working on…

I just finished designing a mummy for Halloween.

I always try to design a few seasonal items each year... and just recently, I was struck with the perfect technique to do for this mummy! Basically, you crochet the base of the mummy, and then do a type of surface stitch to make his little wraps... I’m really pleased with it!

I’ve been blogging about…

I’ve been blogging at FreshStitches for over 5 years now! Whoa! For the past few years, my focus has been on daily posts, updating folks on what I’m doing and such.

However, recently, I feel that the nature of blogging has changed. I think twitter and instagram are filling the niche of ‘telling us what’s happening now’, and blogs are becoming more like archives of great information. So, I’ve shifted to blogging more tutorials and substantive posts. Ones I hope that will be reference points for years to come.

I’m not only interested in blogging crochet tutorials, but also advice for small craft businesses and also advice for time management. Even if you’re not terribly crafty, I think we all feel that managing our work, family and hobbies is a delicate practice!

I’ve been reading…

I know it sounds non-crafty, but I really enjoy reading Apartment Therapy. I don’t live in an apartment, but they have some great DIY tutorials and someone who writes there has a real eye for crafty stuff. I also really enjoy Abby’s blog and podcast, Mollie’s blog and MochiMochiLand

While I craft, I’ve been watching…

I’m addicted to documentaries and the History Channel! Or news. I don’t watch much fiction (in fact, it’s so bad that I usually don’t even know the names of the shows that my friends are talking about), but I’ll watch a show about the borders of the American States over and over again.

Since I’m usually crafting, it has to be something that I don’t really need to pay attention to!

Stacey’s 3 Top Tips for Making Business Work with Life

1. Set an end time. You need to get off of work. Seriously. Schedule something at that time, if you have to. I typically hit an end-of-day yoga class.

2. Eat the frog (that is, do the hardest thing first). It means that at the end of the week, all the must-dos will really be done, and you’re not likely to have wasted hours putzing on the internet.

3. Schedule by the week, not day. Each week, I pick a few key things I need to do. Scheduling my week means that I still give myself flexibility, which is much better than feeling really bad on a Tuesday because things didn’t go as planned.


Click here to visit Stacey's website where you'll find her blog and online shop. You'll also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Ravelry.

Click here to read more posts in my Crafty Ladies series.

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.