In the beginning of 2018, we welcomed the wonderful crafters who design with us to New York City for a Blogger Bash! One of those in attendance was the inspiring Jessica Potasz of Mama in a Stitch, the creative force behind some of your favorite Lion Brand kits. Knit, crochet, and other artsy things, Mama in a Stitch can do it all! Read on to get to know Jessica and learn about her crafting journey.
Jessica has loved crafting since she could remember. From the coloring books of her childhood, to painting and sewing as an adult, it has always been a source of joy. Four years ago, after the birth of her daughter, she became infatuated with yarn. She’d taught Special Education, and was looking for a creative hobby to add to mommyhood, and yarn-crafting was a perfect fit. She began making cute items for her little girl and friends, setting her down the path for Mama in a Stitch to be born.
Jessica’s all-time favorite yarn? Wool-Ease Thick & Quick!
Jessica’s first knit and crochet teacher? YouTube! She laughs, sharing how she almost threw in her needles when she tried to pick up knitting from a book. Thank goodness she found a ‘How to Crochet’ video. After the lucky stroke of that YouTube search, she’s been crafting ever since. “I’m totally obsessed,” she says, “obviously.”
After trying 1 or 2 written patterns, Jessica became curious about making her own. She wanted to make fingerless gloves for her brother for Christmas, and just couldn’t find a pattern that was right. She wanted to knit flat, and realized she’d have to create the design herself! To her surprise, it worked, and the mittens turned out great. She began designing whatever ideas came to mind, creating the patterns as she went.
Most of the time Jessica likes to be spontaneous. She gets an idea in her head, pops over to the craft store for supplies, and has something worked up within a week or two. She says, “my mind is constantly thinking about what I’d like to create next!” Occasionally, she does plan projects in advance. In those cases, she’s thinking about what color and style will be on trend for a few months from now.
Mama in a Stitch is most inspired by the natural world around her, describing herself as ‘a total nature nerd’. Stating, “I find color inspiration from my outdoor surroundings.” She also draws on timeless fashion ideas, opting for elements that are always in style. She might see a sweater in a store, for example, but imagine using the stitch on a blanket instead. Jessica also keeps an eye on what’s popular online and in stores, as well.
While it’s rare, Jessica has encountered ‘pattern-writer’s block’ before. The design process is a whirlwind of fun, but when it’s time to sit down and write it out things get a bit tricky. Calculating yarn amounts and sizing takes concentration – for this part, Jessica needs total silence. Her happy place is the floor of her yarn room, surrounded by skeins, in “cozy clothes and slippers of course!” She daydreams of patterns magically writing themselves.
For Jessica, the biggest dream was for other crafters to work up her projects. “The best part about what I do,” she writes, “is seeing folks make something for themselves or others from something I created.” As for creating kits with Lion Brand? “Beyond my wildest dreams!” Next on her bucket list: having Oprah craft one of her projects. We haven’t heard if Oprah’s knitting or crocheting these days, but one can hope! Jessica interviewed Katherine Heigl about her knitting, and would love to see Katherine or another celeb share a photo of one of her designs.
Included in Jessica’s all-time favorite patterns is one of her first: a Knit Bunny Hat she made her daughter. You can find the pattern on her website. Another favorite is her Cascading Kimono Cardigan. (This design is available as a Lion Brand crochet kit.) The variety of stitches are surprisingly easy to achieve, and this is a great transitional piece for your wardrobe.
The Driftwood Over-Sized Hooded Poncho (Crochet Kit) (also pictured earlier in the blog), can be seen here with its cozy hood. A perfect design for a day of traipsing outdoors in cooler weather. The Light Alpaca Poncho Pattern is another crochet kit, using our Touch of Alpaca Bonus Bundle. That detail around the hemline!
Jessica’s Icelandic Chunky Crochet Lapghan Kit is a cozy project for a cold day. It’s worked up in her favorite yarn, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The Light Frost Easy Blanket Sweater is a crochet kit using our ever-popular Scarfie in Cream/Silver. The Big Knit Half Fisherman Rib Scarf (Knit Kit) is another chunky vanilla creation, and another Wool-Ease Thick & Quick project! She wasn’t kidding when she said it was her favorite.
Cast on or crochet with Jessica! All her kits with Lion Brand can be found on her designer page. If you’ve worked one of her patterns before, let us know in the comments what you made, and what you loved about it. You can find Jessica on Instagram as @mamainastitch; follow along with her to catch all the crafty fun.
Written with Jessica Potasz of Mama in a Stitch.