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Bethany Dearden of Whistle & Ivy
November is always an extremely busy month for Whistle & Ivy but Bethany found time to grace me with her presence! In this virtual interview Bethany spills some "tea" about all things plaid!
Bethany is a crochet blogger, YouTuber, and crafting social media sensation! Scroll down to read our interview and learn about her annual Paid Week!
How did you get into crocheting? Why did you start your blog?
When I was a kid around 8 years old, we had a program called 4-H, and we could take any after school class that they offered. They had quite a few options, but I chose cake decorating and crochet! My first project was a granny square baby blanket. I made it in pastel peach yarn and I won a blue ribbon in the county fair. I liked it, but I didn’t pick up a hook again until I was pregnant with my first child about 15 years later. It was NOT like riding a bike, I needed to relearn everything except how to hold my yarn, but it came back quick and I learned to love it again.
You have a unique design style. How did you come up with your iconic plaid hat? Any specific inspiration behind it?
I had the idea of doing plaid the previous summer before I released the hat. I tried working with two yarns together to create the “mid” color. The result was a bulky, tight fabric that I didn’t like for a hat and the colors didn’t quite work unless you stood back really far and squinted. I put it on the back burner for a few months. When fall came I bought myself a cute plaid coat. This coat was buffalo plaid, but the cross block didn’t have the stripe mixture of red and black, it was a beautiful shade of burgundy! I knew how I was going to make plaid with crochet. Even when I was making the hat, I didn’t realize how popular it would be! It was pretty cool.
Speaking of plaid, can you tell me about Plaid week 2018? It's a pretty big endeavor!
After I released my hat, I was floored with how popular it was! The requests started pouring in, and I decided to jump in with both feet and design as many patterns as I could before Christmas, doing a whole week of patterns and even doing some designs afterward. Everyone loved it, so I did it again in 2017. It’s become a yearly tradition. I got started early this year, so it’s been fun to see it come together. I hope to do Plaid Week for the foreseeable future, but I hope I don’t run out of ideas before everyone gets tired of plaid!
You also have a YouTube channel? Do you prefer the blog over YouTube? How do you juggle it all without getting burnt out!
Yes, I do! I definitely prefer my blog over YouTube, although I do wish I had more time to devote to it. Burnout is a real problem, so I try to focus on my blog and FB group followers. I feel like we connect there better, and the personal connection is one of my favorite things about blogging. People is what matters in life and I try to focus on the connections, friendships and the motivation I get from communicating with authentic people. Video is always on the top of my list, so I am definitely planning some big stuff there.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn crochet?
I think sometimes it’s hard to go back and remember what it was like starting out. However, I have had a few people ask me to teach crochet one on one, and from these few experiences I have learned that practice is the most important thing! People try to tell me I am talented, and I have to argue. Crochet is a skill that anyone can have if they try hard enough. You just need to put in an honest effort and keep trying. So, my advice is to practice, practice and make sure to choose patterns that empower you to achieve and aren’t so difficult that you get frustrated and quit. If feels SO good when you finish your first washcloth!
Can you drop any hints about what 2019 holds for Whistle and Ivy?
I have a few things coming down the pipe! But expect more videos and some fun crochet projects during the fall/holiday season (Yep, I’m already planning next Christmas!). Crochet Season in 2019 on Whistle and Ivy will be the best yet!
Be sure to check out all of Bethany's social media that has been linked above! I personally love seeing her pop up in my Instagram feed! It was a thrill to work with Bethany to bring you this Feature!
What designer would you like to see featured next? Drop a comment and let me know!
-Osage Count Crochet<3
I am the sole designer behind Osage County Crochet!