Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Featured Artist Jen's Tangle Threads

jen's tangled threads, featured artist, artist, feature, etsy, daily, on sale, crochet, rubs, hats, scarves, booties, crochet artist,

1. Jen, can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I'm a single mom, a dance mom, and a crafter. I'm a paralegal in my day job. I'm also the booster club president and class mom for one of my son's dance lines.

I crochet and this year I've learned how to rhinestone and knit. I also cross-stitch on the side.

I went to college, then joined the Army to earn money for law school. I ended up getting married, had a wonderful little boy, and divorced. I moved back to Minnesota and I live in a small apartment with not enough storage space.  

Pink Magenta and Gray Ruffle Scarf - Fashion Scarf

2. How did you get started crocheting?

When I moved back to MN, I lived with my mom while I saved enough money to get an apartment. My mom is one of the most crafty women I've ever met. She sews, she cross-stitches, is a wiz with a grommet gun and hot glue gun. So, when she is home from work, she crafts while watching tv.

I've never been able to sit still and watch tv. I guess I have a little ADD and OCD. I learned how to cross stitch at a very young age, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to make my own patterns, but I am not an artist by any means.

I read a lot. One of my favorite series is The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. The women in this series wear elaborately embroidered shawls. I wanted one. But, I don't sew and I don't know the first thing about embroidery. My mom sews, but just short of having her read the books, she will never understand what I want. I figured the only way I would get what I wanted was to make a lace shawl. So I taught myself to crochet.

I jumped right in. I didn't start with a scarf or a washcloth. I practiced the basics, then learned how to make lace. And I've never looked back. I constantly challenge myself with new patterns. I have my favorites, and more patterns in my library than I could ever try. 

Crochet Slippers Flip Flops Womens Footwear House Slippers Dorm Slippers Indoor Comfortable Shoes with Eyelash Yarn

3. What made you decide to start a store on Etsy?

Back when I was making my lace shawls, I made them for friends on a fan site. I was the only one making the shawls like this. I searched for websites and found Etsy. Now, I didn't sell any of my shawls on Etsy - they only appealed to a specific clientele and they weren't going to pay $200 for a shawl. Hey, it took me the better part of 2 months to make one. So, I left Etsy for awhile until I had my great idea. 

As I said, my son is a dancer. He is in his 5th year competing. One thing I've noticed is that the girls will walk around these competition venues in half ballet shoes or bare feet. Which makes me cringe. So, I decided I was going to make a pair of slippers for the girls on my son's dance line to wear. Thus, the Flip-Fur was born. It is a fun slipper, furry and girlie, and completely customizable. One of the moms suggested I sell them online, so in April 2012, I re-opened my shop on Etsy.

4. What do you find most difficult with crocheting?

Going through a pattern for the first time is hard. But probably the most difficult part of crocheting is that I can't do it fast enough!  And it hurts my hands. I have fibromyalgia and mild arthritis. I crochet very tightly, so when I make lace, I have to wear a bandaid on my wrap finger to prevent yarn burn. I have spent weekends where I crochet for over 12 hours a day, and I pay for it. After 8 hours of typing at work, I usually spend at least 3 hours crocheting at night.
Dr. Who inspired scarf - multi-colored - 4th Doctor

5. What part of crocheting makes it worth it to you? (i.e relaxing, fun, enjoyable, all, etc.)

I love crocheting. I love taking a pattern and making it my own. One of my next endeavors is to learn how to write doily patterns. 

Crocheting not only relaxes my eyes after staring at a computer screen (except for when I'm making lace), helps me burn more calories while watching tv, but it is also a stress reliever. I am a perfectionist, so when I make a mistake, I will rip out my project no matter how far into it I am until I find the mistake. This usually happens when I make lace. And, usually, I end up with a knot of thread or yarn. So then I will spend hours untangling that knot. 

I know, it is a bit backwards, but it works for me.

6. What is your favorite piece you have created?

That's easy. I love this shawl. This is one of those lace shawls I was talking about. I designed it myself based on a flag in The Wheel of Time. 

7. Do you have any advice for newbie crocheters out there?

I don't know how good of advice I can give. I went about learning how to crochet completely backwards. I found what I wanted to make, then learned the stitches I needed in order to make it. 

But, I would say practice, practice, practice the basic stitches. Invest in good crochet hooks. Start by making something useful and small. Finishing a project is a wonderful high.

Find Jen's Tangled Threads Outside of this Post: 

Etsy               Facebook                   Twitter           Blog

Interested in Becoming a Featured Artist? E-mail us at: (Subject Line: Featured Artist Spot- Chapman Design Addiction)

Your Feature Could be next!


  1. Hi Ashley,
    Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. I'm so happy to have you here. Great post. Have a great week.

  2. Thanks so much Debi, I changed the link not thinking so I relinked up. Silly me today. I love sharing and helping others. Going through the list one by one and following them to help them out as well. :D

  3. Wonderful post! And i LOVE that first scarf!!!

  4. Thank you very much! I believe everyone should have the chance to see new talents from around the world especially with the new pioneer of handcrafted and vintage. :D All items are for sale at the Etsy Shop listed at the bottom of the post as well.

  5. What a wonderful feature of a fascinating woman. I am impressed at anyone that can dedicate 3 hours doing something they love and that they do so well. And, I had to smile at how the fur slippers came about. How sweet.

    1. Amy I love featuring anyone that has a great talent (whether new or old talent) featuring people that are strong and able to keep going even when there is little to go on is the best thing to give people hope of a tomorrow. I know I work tireless hours that most would think I'm insane or have no life but really I'm a workaholic and my husband is okay with it. If you would like to be featured go on over to the Be Apart of Design Addiction and e-mail me. I would be happy to give you a feature. These are of course free.

  6. Love that shawl!!! I crochet, but not lace! Just hopping through with the blog hop. Check me out @ when you have time. Thanks:)

    1. Thank you Nicky for stopping in. I stopped in on your blog and followed it. I crochet but lace to me is more difficult to do so I do not attempt it. I have web design and blog designs I prefer to do. I am completely addicted to blog designs right now.

  7. I understand why the shawl is your favorite. It is beautiful.

    Stopping by from Linking with my Ladies.

    1. Thank you Betty for stopping in. I absolutely love seeing everyone here. It really is a pleasure to have you stop by. I went over to your blog and followed it. Hope to see you back real soon!

  8. You have a wonderful talent.

    Stopping by from the Friday Hop to say hello.
    Have a great weekend!