Often mistaken for knitting, crocheting is a centuries old needlework technique of interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. “It can be a slow process sometimes, but I learn something new with each design I make,” said Bonnie O’Leary of small shop Woodland Stitchcraft. “That is one of the things about crafting that makes it so fun. There is always something new to make or techniques to master. I have been crocheting for five years and have yet to get bored!”
Launched in 2015, Woodland Stitchcraft handcrafts crocheted apparel and accessories, including rompers, dresses, beanies, bonnets, knot turbans, scarves and handbags. I personally love the stitched classic collars, a la Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s iconic dissent collar. “The time it takes to make something depends on a lot of factors, the type of yarn and size of the project. I can make a toddler bonnet in a couple hours and then making something like a toddler romper can take more like five,” O’Leary explained. Wondering what got O’Leary “hooked” on crocheting? “When I found out my nephew was going to be named Maverick, I really wanted to find a gift that was aviation inspired,” she recalled. “I found a picture of a little crochet hat and goggles. It led me to a crochet pattern so I called up my best friend who crocheted and asked her to help me make it and I haven’t stopped crocheting since then.” The shop takes its name from O’Leary’s home in California. “I am located in the Sierras so I have grown up surrounded by forest and exploring the outdoors. Wanting to have a fun way to include the idea of our items being handmade, Stitchcraft seemed like just the thing.”
O’Leary’s daughter Autumn inspires many of the Woodland Stitchcraft creations. “I love crocheting pieces for her to wear,” O’Leary said. “A lot of my designs come from seeing fashion that I think will be cute on her and wanting to see if I can create a crochet version.” O’Leary also injects her own personal style into her designs. “I love vintage. I think that rolls over into Woodland Stitchcraft a lot and I tend to create pieces like bonnets and suspender skirts. I don’t think there is anything cuter than a toddler in a bonnet!”
The shop has grown leaps and bounds over the last four years. “I was making everything and anything in the beginning and was focusing on doing markets. Since shifting to focus online and growing social media, I have found my happy place creatively and in the type of shop I want to be,” O’Leary shared. “I really enjoy creating fashion pieces geared towards children. As a stay at home mom, I spend my days focused on kids so I guess it is a bit of ‘crochet what you know!’”
Are you ready to take up crocheting? Beyond the precious finished pieces, O’Leary also sells crochet patterns. “If you ever think, ‘I wish I could make that.’ Well, you can!” Check out all the Woodland Stitchcraft masterpieces in O’Leary’s Etsy shop and Facebook page, and use the code “SMALLSHOPDROP” to save 25% off your next purchase. Thanks Bonnie!