Independent Designer Interview - Donna Gleason

Meet the Crocheting Costumer!

Donna Gleason is a participant in our independent designer program. She used Perfection Worsted and Perfection Worsted Lights to make an amazing crocheted cape pattern for us! Her published designs on Ravelry focus on innovative costuming for kids with active imaginations. We asked Donna to write a short piece for us on her crochet background and design process. Here is what she had to say!

Hello, my name is Donna Gleason. My business name is Dbnicegirl Designs. I am single, homeschooling mom of three. I love to craft, garden, cook, read and learn new things. Basically, if I'm creating or learning, I'm happy!

I have been crocheting for about 6 years. I think it is so satisfying to make something with your own hands, and I am very glad that I finally learned. In addition to crocheting I also like to sew and do embroidery. I love ribbon embroidery, but I am not very good at it yet. I do hand embroider names on things for people sometimes, and I feel that I'm pretty good at it. I also would really love to learn to knit. I have not found the time yet, but I will soon. I love how knitted lace looks, and I am really yearning to create some beautiful lace projects. 

I always have several projects going at any given time. It saves my sanity. I have easy projects to take with me to appointments and to visit friends and more complex projects for when I can focus at home. If I get frustrated with a project, I put it aside and work on another. When I come back to it later, it usually goes much more smoothly. However, I have a hard time switching gears if the project is going well. When I'm in the middle of a project I usually do not want to do anything else until it is done. And like most crocheters, I have that box in the back of the closet with the projects that I just can't bring myself to finish.

Actually how I learned to crochet is kind of funny to me. At one point, I thought I would never learn how! I have several older sisters who all learned how to crochet when we were kids. I was only 7 when they tried to teach me, and I never caught on. One of my sisters tried to teach me again as an adult, but I still could not get the hang of it.  I finally decided that I was going to learn how to crochet no matter what.  I checked out books from the library and watched YouTube videos. I tried and tried until I finally got the hang of it. My first projects were a little scary, but I actually caught on pretty fast. I sold the 5th project I ever made, and I’ve been selling my creations ever since. 

It did not take me long to figure out that I could design patterns. I had been designing the finished creations that I had for sale in my shop for a couple of years when I finally decided to publish my patterns for sale. A friend encouraged me to sell my patterns for about a year before I decided to give it a try. I'm a perfectionist, so I thought that my patterns were never quite good enough to sell to someone else. I finally gave in when someone saw one of my finished mermaids I had for sale, and she asked if I would sell her the pattern. That ended up being the first pattern that I published. I was so nervous, but she loved it! I love to teach others, so selling my patterns has been very rewarding. Every time someone asks me a question about something in one of my patterns, it gives me the chance to learn with them and to improve how I do things. Every time someone sends me a picture of what they made from my directions, it makes my day!   

If I could give some words of wisdom to budding designers, it would be to believe in yourself. Publish that pattern even if it is not perfect yet. It will never be 100% perfect. You can always update the pattern later and answer people's questions if they do not understand something. You might be surprised at how good people actually think the pattern is. Other people might think it is perfect, even if you’re not satisfied yet. If you are not sure if it is good enough, ask someone to try out the pattern for you and give you honest feedback. 

Thanks very much, Donna! Do you have a blog or website where people can follow your work? 

Starting a blog is on my to do list, but I have not gotten to it yet. (my perfectionism holding me back again?)

I have started making videos to help teach people to crochet and to help with how to do different parts of my patterns. My channel can be found here.

I have a website with my patterns that can be found here.

I also have my patterns listed on Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy.

And I'm on Facebook.

Please have a look at all of her great work, and consider buying one (or more!) of her patterns!

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