Crochet Designer Interview, Betty Fay Wallace
I had the pleasure to interview Betty Fay Wallace for this week’s designer interview. I discovered her last year during the 2014 Gift-A-Long when I made one of her beautiful hats, the La Villa Lace Brim Slouch hat, as part of my 2014 Stash Bust Challenge. And this year she was one of my assigned designers for my part of the GAL pinning. (The last two years I have been on the Pinterest team helping to create beautiful boards of the GAL featured patterns.) Her designs are beautiful and lacy making those of us without a little girl to crochet for very, very jealous!
Let’s get know Betty!
I am retired with two grown children, a grown granddaughter (and an any-minute-now great-granddaughter) and two young grandchildren, and my sweet dog Jake. I have also been blessed with a large extended family and many friends.
How long have you been crocheting and how did you first learn?
At least a hundred years…sometimes I exaggerate. I just saw a Facebook post that said “I thought it would take longer to get this old”! Anyway, my grandmother and aunts taught me to crochet and knit at a very young age. And that was many years ago.
How long have you been designing and what led you to design?
After I retired, I decided to enjoy my hobbies of knitting and crochet. Soon the house, dogs and grandkids were all covered in my projects! So I decided to sell some of my items on Etsy. I couldn’t imagine anyone actually buying them but it wasn’t long until I could not keep up with the orders. The aches and pains – not to mention pounds – soon added up. So I decided to write-up my patterns. It’s a perfect solution. I get to play with my hooks, needles and yarn but at a more leisurely pace and still occasionally get in a little exercise.
What is your favorite crochet tool?
My favorite tool is the Wood Yarn/Thread Holder handmade by willysman on Etsy. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and the most useful item I possess. I had tried every yarn holder and gimmick I could find but had not found anything that worked very well for me. These are pricey and I hesitated before spending this much. But I am so glad I did. The yarn flows smoothly and effortlessly without tangling.
It is such a well made and beautiful item that I know it will be one of the things I pass on to my granddaughters as one of my treasures. He makes them in a variety of woods. The price is determined by the wood used. I also purchased the “thingy” – a separate attachment that keeps the yarn centered. I haven’t tried it without that piece so I’m not sure it is absolutely necessary.
I am not affiliated with him in any way. I just love this gadget so much I tell everyone about it.
What other crafts do you enjoy?
I love to sew, garden, play with grandkids, reading – anything fun and not too strenuous.
What challenges do you face when designing and how do you overcome them?
Designing is easy! Putting it down on paper in that foreign language of crochet, formatting a word document, photographing and editing pictures, and keeping up with all the computer knowledge necessary to accomplish all of this is the hard part. Makes my head hurt! I also try to include charts with all my patterns. I can work from a chart much easier than written instructions. But creating the crochet charts is also a very time-consuming, brain fogging procedure. But I love the challenge.
I make use of every online resource available, such as, Craft Yarn Council, all the forums on Ravelry, the pattern testers on Ravelry and other Ravelry designers. The testers and other designers are always so generous with their help and support. It is a fantastic community!
What was the last thing you crocheted/knit for yourself?
I just finished a beautiful shawl – Rosewater by Janina Kallio. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Duffay/rosewater
When you aren’t crocheting, what are you doing?
Where can we find you?
I didn’t really plan any of this so I didn’t coordinate the names of my sites very well. I can be found on Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy. Annie’s Catalog also carries some of my patterns.
My names include Betty Fay Wallace Designs, Maison de Terre Handmade Gifts and Cielo’sCloset.
And on Facebook.
I LOVE the Nacogdoches Night Scarf, above, and I asked Betty about the name. She said it was designed for her granddaughter’s homecoming football game at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. And the Lucy Lane sweater is named for her soon-to-arrive great granddaughter! How sweet!!