Crochet Month Designer Interview Series: Get to know Brett Bara!


Brett Bara is an author, designer, blogger and television host specializing in modern crafts and the DIY lifestyle. She is the author of Sewing in a Straight Line (Potter Craft, 2011), host of the PBS television series Knit and Crochet Now, a DIY contributor to Design Sponge, and a crafty blogger - check out her blog here! She lives in New York City with her world-famous cat, Fifi.

Brett's also the founder of Brooklyn Craft Camp, a one-day crafts extravaganza taking place on Saturday, March 16 in Brooklyn, NY. Attendees will craft, eat, meet and greet -- taking classes on knitting, crochet, embroidery, terrariums, jewelry, paper crafts and more while eating good food, meeting friends, listening to music, and drinking cocktails. It's a DIY party, all day long!

Want to get Brett's crochet tips and tricks? Check out our Q&A session with her below!

BY (Bernat Yarns): What's your favorite type of crocheted item to design and why?

BB (Brett Bara): My favorite things to design are amigurumi, granny square projects, chevron blankets--all easy things! I'm really not much of a technical crochet designer so I love to create easy projects. To me that's one of the things that can be so great about crochet--even with simple skills you can make really cute, fun projects. 

BY: What's your favorite piece of crochet advice?

BB. Just have fun with it! One of the great things about crochet is that it's quick and it's so easy to undo mistakes, so there's no reason not to experiment and try new things. 

BY: What's your favorite Bernat yarn?

BB:  Sheep(ish), of course! Not just because it was created by my friend Vickie, but because it's a great yarn that's a nice weight for crochet and I LOVE all the bright, modern, happy colors. 

Feeling inspired to get hooking? We've got something to help you get started on your next crochet project! One lucky commenter will score a copy of Clever Crocheted Accessories from Brett Bara herself! Entering is easy - just comment on this blog post and let us know what your favorite projects to crochet are! The contest is on until Friday, March 15, so make sure to get your comments in now!  We'll be announcing our winner on March 18th.

Want to see Brett's work in action? Check out this great Stripey Snake that Brett crocheted in Sheep(ish) by Vickie Howell! It's great as a body pillow for kids.

Stripey Snake
Designed by Brett Bara

Measurements Approx 15½”/39.5 cm around x 70”/178 cm long

Materials Needed
Bernat
Sheep(ish) by Vickie Howell (85 g/3 oz; 153 m/167 yds)
Robin Egg(ish) (00018) 2 balls
Magenta(ish)
(00006) 1 ball
Yellow(ish)
(00012) 1 ball
Hot Pink(ish)
(00007) 1 ball
Chartreuse(ish)
(00020) 1 ball
Turquoise(ish)
(00017) 1 ball
Pink(ish)
(00008) 2 balls
Red(ish)
(00015) 1 ball
Lime(ish)
(00021) 1 ball
Coral(ish)
(00014) 1 ball

Size 5.5 mm (U.S. I/9) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge. Stuffing. Small amount of black sport-weight yarn for embroidery. 2 black beads for eyes.

Gauge
12 hdc and 14 rnds =4”/10cm with 2 strands of yarn.

STRIPE PATTERN
With Magenta(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Yellow(ish), work 7 rnds.
With Hot Pink(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Chartreuse(ish), work 1 rnd.
With Turquoise(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Pink(ish), work 6 rnds.
With Red(ish), work 4 rnds.
With Lime(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Coral(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Magenta(ish), work 7 rnds.
With Yellow(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Hot Pink(ish), work 1 rnd.
With Chartreuse(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Turquoise(ish), work 6 rnds.
With Pink(ish), work 4 rnds.
With Red(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Lime(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Coral(ish), work 7 rnds.
With Magenta(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Yellow(ish), work 1 rnd.
With Hot Pink(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Chartreuse(ish), work 6 rnds.
With Turquoise(ish), work 4 rnds.
With Pink(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Red(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Lime(ish), work 7 rnds.
With Coral(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Magenta(ish), work 1 rnd.
With Yellow(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Hot Pink(ish), work 6 rnd.
With Chartreuse(ish), work 4 rnds.
With Turquoise(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Pink(ish), work 3 rnds.
With Red(ish), work 7 rnds.
With Lime(ish), work 2 rnds.
With Coral(ish), work 1 rnd.
These 125 rnds form Stripe Pattern.

Note: Entire Snake is worked in continuous spiral using 2 strands of yarn throughout. Do not join at end of rnds.

Beg at Head, with 2 strands of Robin Egg(ish), ch 2.
Rnd 1: Work 6 hdc in 2nd ch from hook and working in continuous spiral throughtout,
Rnd 2: (2 hdc in next hdc) 6 times,
Rnd 3: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc; repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 4: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 2 hdc: repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 5: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 6: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 7: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 5 hdc, repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 8: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc, repeat from * 5 times more,
Rnd 9: *2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc, repeat from * 5 times more, (54 hdc)
Rnds 10 – 15: 1 hdc in each hdc around,
Rnd 16: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more, (48 hdc)
Rnd 17: 1 hdc in each hdc around,
Rnd 18: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more, (42 hdc)
Rnd 19: Repeat Rnd 17,
Rnd 20: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 5 hdc, repeat from * 5 times more, (36 hdc)
Rnds 21 – 25: Repeat Rnd 17 (36 hdc). Break Robin Egg(ish).

Body of Snake
Proceed in Stripe Pattern until full length of Snake reaches 5 feet/4.7 m long, stuffing Snake as you work (taking care not to over-stuff). Begin decreasing as follows (keeping continuity of Stripe Pattern):
Next Rnd: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more (30 hdc),
Next 2 Rnds: 1 hdc in each hdc around,
Next Rnd: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 3 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more (24 hdc),
Next 2 Rnds: 1 hdc in each hdc around,
Next Rnd: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in each of next 2 hdc; repeat from * 5 times more (18 hdc)
Next 2 Rnds: 1 hdc in each hdc around,
Next Rnd: *Hdc2tog, 1 hdc in next hdc; repeat from * 5 times more (12 hdc)
Next Rnd: *Hdc2tog; repeat from * 5 times more (6 hdc). Fasten off, leaving a long tail. Thread tail through 6 remaining hdc. Pull tightly to close and fasten securely.

Tongue
Using Red(ish), smaller hook and 1 strand of yarn only, ch 10.
Row 1: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each ch to end, turn ( 9 sc).
Row 2: Ch 1, 1sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, turn.
Row 3: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc. Fasten off

With sport weight black yarn, embroider mouth with stem stitch. Sew Tongue in position. Sew beads for eyes as shown in picture.

Comments

I love making hats and scarves! They are quick to make, functional, and I can give them as gifts.

My favorite things to crochet are baby things! and would love to add this book to my collection.

Slippers are my number 1 favorite followed by afghans and dishcloths.

I'd love to have a good pattern for slippers that can be adapted for different sizes, but I usually end up making lots of character hats. The person I give them to usually is so pleased to get one and I love to see their faces.

i love to crochet scarves and baby blankets and hats, quick and easy is what i reach for when I crochet I think partly because I am a knitter of sweaters and shawls, and I love to have lots of WIP's going

My favorite thing to crochet is blankets. Baby blankets are my favorite because they are small enough that you can try new things but you don't get board before they are finished. Thanks for the chance to win!

I'm a scarf, afghan and jewelry crocheter generally, but I'll try anything once...or twice!

I love to crochet hats and baby blankets!

I love to crochet blankets for my grandkids. I try to make them a little larger so they'll keep them as they grow. Also I make them in colors that they'll like as adults.

It is great to "meet" someone like Brett who loves crochet so much and has similar tastes in yarn and products as I do. I recently worked with Sheepish and loved it! I love all crochet projects (and can't wait to try the snake), but at the moment I am finding myself making a lot of fingerless gloves and baby hats. I love to look at patterns and pictures for inspiration and then come up with my own designs and yarn choices!

Sorry, I meant Sheep(ish)!

Thank you for sharing your story! After I had crocheted afghans and more afghans for family and friends, I switched to smaller pieces, vests, scarves, children’s clothes. I am currently making matching scarves for my 6-year old grandsons. I let them pick the yarn color, and sometimes let them help, a little.

Love your little snake. I have wanted to pick up a copy of the Crochet Accessories, so would LOVE to win this!!

I also love to make granny squares and they are easy to carry around with you. I put teal(ish) and turquoise(ish) together (my two favoirte colors) to make a new wonderful color.

I absolutely love this snake, so cute and I can't wait to make one. I usually stick to making baby afghans or ponchos.

Great pattern, thanks.

I am very new to crochet (have been knitting for years). I am interested in trying this snake. It is really cute. And what a great way to use up stash yarn. Thanks for sharing

Although I have not picked up a hook in years, and until recently, never made anything other than an afghan, I have really been enjoying rediscovering crocheting again, and really having fun trying new things!! Recently been making things for my young grandchildren (hats, purses, headbands, booties) and excited to try my hand at Amigurumi. I love watching Brett Bara on TV, she makes everything easy to understand and keeps my interest peaked!!

This book looks fab! My favorite items to crochet are definitely accessories, with shawls being dearest to my heart.

I love to crochet afghans, scarves and baby/toddler clothes. Going wild with colors & color combinations is a must.

I get many requests to crochet a cute pattern I found for a sleeping puppy. I usually use Bernat Softee Baby yarn when crocheting baby items. I also crochet prayer shawls for my church's prayer shawl ministry.

I love to crochet and was taught when I was about 10 years old. I am now retired & have all the time in world to be creative with my crochet projects. I love to make little crochet purses for my granddaughters to keep their cell phones in. Also, I've made a bunch of cozy cowls and lacy scarves that my friends are crazy about!

this little snake is super cute and I have a 6 month old boy who would probably love it!

I have been crocheting for a very long and like Brett I like easy projects.

Love to crochet shawls or amigurumi. I am working on my first tunisian crochet project this month, Pax by Aoibhe Ni.

My favorite item to crochet is "The Best Ever Potholder" using the double crochet stitch.

I'm a beginner and have tried everything from rugs to gecko bookmarks!! I have saved or pinned so many patterns that i'll need 2 lifetimes lol, but I'll keep trying!!

That is such a cute snake. I love to crochet baby afghans and lace edgings.

I typically make blankets, scarves, hats, and amigurumi because they are fast and easy. I'm always on the look out for a new crochet book! :)

I've just recently gotten back into crocheting after several years. I like to crochet baby things and blankets. I learned to crochet slippers in home economics when I was in the 8th grade and my grandmother taught me how to do granny squares and doll dresses. I'm currently trying to make new things like hats and sweaters.

My favorite things to crochet are doilies.

My favorite thing to crochet is doilies using crochet cotton. They look great under everything around the house and make great gifts--so many of my friends say they can't crochet with the thinner cotton. I love that doilies are portable enough to take to the drs office or work on while I am riding in a car.

That snake looks soooo cute; however, I think it would be safer, if for a child, to embroider the eyes, and not use beads... as we know, some children love to chew on teddy bear eyes, etc. and could choke on one. Just a suggestion for super safety? Can't wait to show this to my friends who crochet. Thank you.

What a cute snake. Reminds me of the fun-fur 1 my Grammy made me when I was a youngster. My favourite item to crochet is Cross Bookmarks. The picots r a challenge but the finished project is really nice. Gave many away as gifts & sold some 2.

The snake looks so friendly. I'm only just teaching myself to crochet, so don't have any favourites, yet!

I love to crochet baby hats and baby blankets! I'm a brand-new mom, and I love the pictures of my adorable son in his little elf hat I crocheted for him!

My favorite things to crochet is baby items blankets and little girls dresses.

I love the snakey and I can't wait to make him for my son! I love making baby blankets and Bernat Softee Baby is my favorite baby yarn so far. Looking forward to trying Sheepish :)

I started crocheting again just before Christmas and I am "hooked" totally!!! So far I've loved making hats, slippers and quick easy projects. My favorites though, and this might well be because the grandchildren have so much fun with them, is amigurumi. This book looks like it would be great for more project ideas.

I love to crochet hats, cowls and fingerless mitts. Also headbands and baby stuff!

I love to crochet everything!Mostly nowadays I make tops for my grandaughters.

I seem to do best with ripple afghans and blankets. I love the look of blocks, but I'm terrible at joining.

So far, I've mostly done baby things, edgings and shrugs for myself. A little amigurumi. I'm pretty much an adventurous beginner in crochet but it is so fun! I'll be taking a more advanced class and the project calls for Bernat yarns! Cute snake pillow pattern - thanks.

I love knitting hats, scarves, slippers but especially baby blankets. I usually give them to my nieces & nephews when they have babies, and anything else I give to the NICU ward at the local hospital.

I have just discovered that I love to crochet. I recently completed Vickie Howell's beginner class at Craftsy. So far, I have attempted small projects like tech cozies, scarves and a bag. Now, completing my very first afghan. Brett Bara's Stripey Snake is so cute and I am most certainly going to try it out.

After taking Vickie Howell's beginner class with Craftsy, I have discovered I love to crochet! So far, it has been small projects like tech cozies, scarves and fingerless gloves. My very first afghan is nearing completion. Can't wait to finish and start on another project and learn something new along the way. I know, Brett Bara's Stripey Snake!

I'm already in love with the red hat on the cover of your book, and would love getting to make the hat. Hats are one of my favorite things to crochet, and have been working on different ones lately. Thank you for the chance to win your great looking book!

I enjoy making all different projects...amigurumi, baby stuff, afghans, hats, flowers, ponchos, sweaters, etc...I love to challenge myself!

I love to crochet bags!

I watch Knit and Crochet Now and enjoy it a lot. I love to crochet toys and have a favorite afghan pattern which I make and give to everyone in sight. Prefer crochet to knit because it is faster and you can see it grow and shape as you go along.

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