An interview with Mollie of WhiteOwlCrochetCo
Posted on December 20, 2019
As I mentioned in this post I’ve got a special treat this week! Recently I’ve tested a few patterns for the amazing Mollie of whiteowlcrochetco, and I have been so impressed with her patterns and business as whole! Today we are digging a little deeper into her fiber story, her design process, and how she rocks it as a yarny boss lady. Make sure to follow the links over to Mollie’s pages and give her some love!
In as few or as many words as you’d like, tell me your “fiber story!” How did you become the yarn-ing Queen you are today!?
Oh goodness! You’re sweet. I first learned to crochet in 2014, during exam season! The classic “I’m going to youtube how to crochet a blanket for my mom instead of study for this Physics exam!”. I made that dang blanket the entire month, out of Lion Brand Yarn homespun – I know some of you are groaning reading that! I lost so many stitches, but thanks to the nature of that fluffy yarn, nobody could tell! Then I made a few headbands, as we all do… Then I had the “unique” idea to start my own headband business, and then my own Instagram. I definitely fell down that rabbit hole, discovering @Ozetta, @Crochet.Gallery (Now @Caidree), and @Knitbrooks (HI KELLY XOXO). It really just took off from there.
Did you learn to knit or crochet first? Do you have a preference?
My mom taught me to knit when I was 4 years old! As mentioned, I taught myself to crochet later in life during University! I think they both have their moment to shine – I like to have one of each WIP on the go! Once I get bored with one, I switch to the other so I can always be productive!
Favorite yarn weight to work with? Least fave?
I honestly love them all, but I think my overall favorite is DK. It’s big enough to get garments made quickly, but also small enough that the final garment isn’t too heavy. But I’ve recently discovered my love for fingering weight – uh oh! I find bulky weights lovely to work with, but dang my wrists get a work-out!
Your stash: is there more hand dyed or box store?
Oh man – box store 100%! I don’t know if you’ve ever seen my yarn wall, but it’s filled with
Paintbox Yarns, Lionbrand Yarn, and We Are Knitters! I LOVE hitting up a good sale – I stock
up during black Friday and boxing day for markets to really make the most of my profit margins!
That being said, I’m very grateful to have a small stash of indie hand-dyed yarn.
Your Instagram feed has a super cohesive feel and consistent color scheme. Do you ever go rogue and make something like hot pink or outside your normal neutrals/mustards combo?
It is! This is mostly because this is how I dress in my real life – neutrals with a pop of butterscotch. I enjoy making things I enjoy wearing! I think the most rogue I’ve gone is pukey olive green – I love a good olive green. Basically the uglier the better.
When did you start designing? Do you have a favorite (&/or most popular) design?
Hmm… I think the very first design ever was a bralette, still on my Etsy! Then the Newport
Hoodie! The Newport hoodie was very popular in the beginning – I’m sure it would have been an even bigger success if I had known how to grade at the time! It’s honestly still only available as one size (probably about a 38-40” bust size) but it’s on my to-do list to make a greater size range for it! My most popular pattern is DEFINITELY hands down the Daisy Scrunchie, with
over 5k copies sold across etsy, ravelry, and my own website! I’d say my most favorite design currently is the SIC blanket wrap or the Geometric Shawl – I just love working with different
colours and textures.
I know you have a lot going on besides the creative hustle of designing and selling your makes! (I feel like you sew too?!) & An astrophysics job? Classes? A life? How do you balance it all, girl?!
As busy as it is now, it’s actually the most chill it’s been in the last 5 years! I finished my Astrophysics Master’s degree last year, and then took some time off to explore my love for pattern design. Now I’m searching for a career in my field, which is proving to feel like a full-time job in itself. Balance… hmm. Basically just don’t sleep. Haha, just kidding. Half kidding. Each day when I open my eyes I think “What day is it? What is the most important thing I have to do today? How long will that take me? Then what?” I essentially write a to-do list in a journal before I go to bed, then I wake up and re-evaluate that to-do list. For me, the best way to manage everything without bringing on a panic or anxiety attack is to take everything one day at a time! It mostly works.
What bit of advice would you give to someone looking to dive into the knit/crochet design world? I’m sure you’ve learned a lot!
Take the time to learn how to grade a full size-range properly before you publish your first pattern. You’ll set yourself up with a reputation for being size-inclusive, and we need more that! There are some amazing, amazing resources out there for beginners. For example, check out this book on Amazon (affiliate link). @tricotedit on Instagram, an amazing tech editor, also has a great list of resources on her blog! She’s currently amongst the teachers of a grading course as well!
If I can say one thing about grading: neck size does NOT increase with bust size. Even though I knew this golden rule, I made this mistake and it set a test back a whole month! Whoops! Learn from my mistakes, friends.
On that note – use testers, and consider using a tech editor. With my mathematical background, I’m able to grade and edit my own patterns, but it still helps to have a second (third, fourth…thirtieth) set of eyes! If people are paying money for your pattern, you better make sure it’s worth it! Otherwise, a whoooollleee lotta stress will come your way. Isn’t it just way easier to make sure it’s good to go before release? Additionally, not only does skipping steps hurt you and your pattern writing reputation, it isn’t fair to your fellow designers who put in the time, energy, and money to make sure all the boxes are checked.
You’re also a top notch market sellin’ maven. Your set up always looks amazing! Any advice for a successful craft show/market season?
I can think of a few! 1.) Ask the organizer of your event how many vendors are selling items similar to yours. If it’s only you, or you and 1 other, that’s ideal! If it’s more like 7 or 8, you will likely still make money, but the competition is way steeper! You want to make sure you’re still making great profit after paying for your table fee. 2.) Pricing – are you paying yourself what you deserve? Knitatude has an amazing blog post on this! 3.) Add height! Not only does it give you extra room for product, it draws the shopper eye!
Anything I missed?!
Bahah I dislike talking about myself, so if there’s anything else you wanna know, shoot me a
I hope you enjoyed this little interview with Mollie! (and Mollie, thanks for “being” here!) Make sure to keep an eye out for the release of the Vantis Peplum (see the review and my version of the pattern here!)
What other maker’s would you like me to try and hunt down for interviews? I don’t know about you, but I love looking behind the scene’s of other people’s processes! I find it so inspiring to keep up the creative process and encouraging that we are all in the same fiber lovin’, maker hustlin’, pattern designin’ boat!
Hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and the happiest of New Years!!! We will be talking 2020 goals soon!