So the postman brought us a exciting package today all the way from Maine, USA!!! It was my prize from a competition I had the good fortune to win run by the most fabulous Open Skye Creations who, almost other wonderful crafted creations does the most wonderful graphghans.
My prize was a custom made graphghan which I decided I wanted to gift to my daughter. As she has an unusual name I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have something personalised especially for her. April, the friendly owner and guru of all things graphghan, and I chatted about different options and finally settled on a simple cat design (one of Little G’s favourite animals) for the blanket in plain colours (so it would match anywhere) and of course with her name on top (in her favourite colour)! It’s an amazing blanket and Little G absolutely loves it and her ‘special kitty blanket’ is getting lots of use for downtime snuggling on the sofa and for playing hide and seek!
Heather: Why are you called Open Skye Creations?
April: April in Latin means ‘to open’ and the reason I started my business is because a good friend of mine named Skye encouraged me to so. Hence ‘Open’ and ‘Skye’. But then I knew I wasn’t just going to crochet, I do all sorts of crafts, so to be versatile I went with creations!
Heather: I know you as a graphghan expert but how did you get into making graphghans?
April: I remember when I was seven, my childhood wasn’t great – but my great grandma was there for me and she taught me how to crochet to handle it all. She was the first person I ever saw making a graphghan. She used old school graphing paper and was making an ocean scene with a dolphin for a little girl. I immediately wanted to have my own. To which she replied – not until you learn the basics. It took me four years! Four years of learning how to crochet before I was allowed to try to make a graphghan – and when I did try to make one, it was terrible! I never finished it and I gave up in frustration. Then when I was a senior in high school I tried again. It worked! And I was hooked. But I wasn’t savvy enough to take pictures or post them on facebook. That happened after my son was born and I had nothing to do but play with him and crochet all day! So I guess you could say that I’ve always loved graphghans.
Heather: I just look at a graphghan and think it would take a hundred years for me to make something like that – how long does it take you on average to make a small graphghan blanket?
April: To put it simply on a graph that is 100 stitches wide, I can do a row every 2-3 minutes (with a bunch of colour changes). I average about 20 rows an hour and can finish a blanket in one sitting if I have nothing else going on. Unfortunately we always have stuff going on! Even so I can finish a blanket within a week.
Heather: Where do you get your inspirations from for your graphghans? Or is usually through customer requests that the ‘image’ is formed?
April: I stalk people! In a nice way! Take the graphghan that you have. I take a mix of what I know you want and then I add some flare. I make it unique so that even others that have the same graph would have something completely unique. To find out what they like I ask questions that are inappropriate or intrusive for a stranger to ask but I do it. It gives me a sense of who the blanket it for – and it works! I love getting to do what I do. Every graphghan I make has a little bit of skill and a whole lot of love. When I’m crocheting I only think good thoughts, putting hopes and positive thoughts in the front of my mind because I believe in karma. I believe that what you put out into the world comes back to you. And I only want good things out there!
Heather: Thank you so much for answering my questions! What’s the best advice you can offer someone that wants to try a graphghan?
April: The best advice I could possibly give someone who wants to make a graphghan is to not give up. Seriously- it doesn’t matter if it takes you a year to finish your first one just have a go! And if you need help I make myself available to anyone wanting to learn; you can send me an email, facebook message, fill out the contact form on my website, snail mail me or whatever. I am open to answering any question – and there are NO stupid questions when it comes to crochet!!
It was great to learn more about April and Open Skye Creations and if you want to have a go at graphghan’s then check out Open Skye Creations website where there are lots of free graphs to try!