Ana-Maria Babanica’s Daisy Festival Top: Crochet Designer Interview

Intro – Today we’re talking to crochet designer Ana-Maria Babanica, who contributed the Daisy Festival Top crochet pattern featured in our March 2024 issue. This pattern was featured on the cover of the issue!

Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired your design for this month?

Everyone loves a fun granny square project! They’re so entertaining to work up, and there’s a certain sense of accomplishment and gratification each time you complete a new square! And the daisy is one of my favorite flowers, so the idea came naturally! The long, flowy fringe and textured straps seemed like the perfect fit for that boho-chic look.

What were some challenges about designing this piece?

The pattern is fairly easy to follow along, but where I feel like I went above and beyond is the part about joining the squares together.

I wanted the process to be easily understood by folks who have never joined together granny squares before, so I decided to make a video tutorial to better illustrate the process. The biggest challenge with it was the voiceover for the tutorial. I’m a fairly introverted person, English is not my native language, and I don’t often speak on camera. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone, but oh, hearing your own voice play back on camera is WEIRD!

How do you manage to find so many fantastic testers?

I am so grateful to have so many people interested in taking part of my tests. I’m always on the lookout for new testers (particularly for the bigger sizes)! I have an application form that is always open on my website, and I regularly go through new applications before sending out a new tester call.

I do my best to foster a friendly and welcoming environment in my testing groups, I make a point of responding to tester questions as soon as possible, and I insist on having adequate testing periods so that my testers don’t feel rushed.

I like to work with the same people again and again, but I also love to have new testers on board of each test. This is because I want to give everyone a chance to test, but also because a fresh set of eyes is always a good thing – someone who is not already accustomed to my writing style will be more likely to spot something in the pattern that they find confusing. Which, in turn, is a great opportunity for me to improve the pattern and make it more accessible to a wider audience. It’s not an uncommon thing for me to implement new ways of explaining things based on tester feedback.

How did you learn to crochet?

I taught myself to crochet back in the early days of YouTube, circa 2008. Pretty much everything I’ve learned since has been through trial and error, researching in books, and on the internet. It’s amazing how much you can learn on the internet these days!

What is your favorite crochet technique or stitch pattern?

This is always a tricky question because for me, the beauty of crochet lies precisely in the fact that there are so many techniques and stitch patterns to be explored. Right now, I’m obsessed with interlocking (also called interwoven or intermeshed) crochet!

How do you hold your crochet hook?

The knife grip. Always have, always will. Any other type of grip just feels wrong for me!

What are a couple of fun facts about you?

I have an inquisitive, energetic, and yarn obsessed pigeon named Gigi. My husband and I got married on a boat on international waters. When I was younger, I used to dye my hair blue (and these days, I’m starting to miss that!).

Anything else you’d like to add?

I hope you check out all the designs in the March issue of Crochet Foundry – my fellow designers did such an amazing job! If you want to see what crochet designs I’m cooking up next, follow me on Instagram @crochethighway!

Don’t forget to pick up the March 2024 issue of Crochet Foundry to get the Daisy Festival Top pattern.

Are you a crochet designer who wants to contribute to Crochet Foundry Magazine? We work with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Calls be notified of design opportunities.

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