Hello, I was surprised when Ann asked if she could interview me for her blog; how hard can it be to talk about myself, right? Not as easy as I thought! I guess the place to start would be the beginning...my name is Vikki Hooks. It describes me pretty well....
As a young child I saw the women in my family---my mom, and great grandma come to mind--having hooks and thread in their hands. If it wasn't in their hands, the ball of thread would be seen sitting on the table with a hook jabbed through it...just waiting for someone to pick it up. I must have been five or so; I wasn't in school yet. I picked up that ball with the hook in it and went and hid in a closet. I remember my great grandma looking for me and I knew I was going to be in trouble when she found me. So as that closet door opened and she looked down at me, I saw a small smile. Instead of scolding me, for touching something that wasn't mine, she sat down beside me, and we made my first chain! I don't know how long we were in the closet together on the floor playing with thread, but it was just enough to light the fire. I think about her from time to time when I pick up my hook. I have one of her doilies, and her hook, and a pair of scissors in a shadow box on my craft room wall.
I am married to a wonderful man that supports me and this crazy addiction. We have three daughters, none who share my love of crochet, and 7 grandchildren, 2 girls and 5 boys. Only one of my grandkids shows any interest in learning to move the hook and that is my 13 year old grandson. I have learned I do not have as much patience as my great grandma. It doesn't help that he wants to do it all and not start out with a chain..
Like I said my husband is my biggest fan. If it weren't for him I wouldn't have jumped through the red tape in order to be able to offer DMC Cebelia thread in my Etsy shop. I came home upset from spending hours looking for DMC Cebelia at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and Michael's and whatever other shops I hit. I learned that most of those stores were not going to sell it on their shelves because shelf space was too expensive, the thread price went through the roof to $6.99 a ball, and it didn't move fast enough. So that is why I started selling the thread, to put it into as many hands that want it at a reasonable cost. I do not make much on the sale of thread, but that is ok because I am an addict and I am protecting my supply!
Asked why I would recommend DMC, the answer is really simple; it is dye fast, has an awesome sheen, launders up well, it is a tight thread, and doesn't fray or get that swollen and frumpy look after being washed. It just gives super results. I just think it is the best thread available to make heirloom quality doilies. Lizbeth threads are nice and have lots of colors to choose from, I have used it, and will use it if a customer sends it to me, but to be honest--I know I am going to get in trouble here, but it is made in China and I try not to buy Chinese goods.
I opened my shop with the encouragement of my daughters. I think they were wondering what they would do with all the doilies if something happened to me. I do one craft show a year and do really well. I was asked how I price my doilies—pricing them is hard. I won't get rich making doilies, or selling thread; it is just a means to keep my supply at hand, and my hands moving at a hobby I enjoy. When I stop enjoying what I do, I will stop making doilies and playing with thread. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
I like textured doilies--that way people know which way is the right side and wrong side. It is a pet peeve of mine to see a doily upside down. As for favorite designers, Patricia Kristoffersen is one. I have all her pattern books and am truly excited when she publishes a new one. I like Kathryn White, but I have to be in the mood for her doilies as she does a lot of piece work and I am not a fan of piece work. And I like Ann's potholders and revamped vintage patterns. But if I like the look of the pattern it doesn't matter who designs it. I have found that I really like some of the Japanese patterns, and find myself becoming a hoarder of those. It is a relatively new obsession.
I have a blog. I try to blog once a week. I have found some wonderful people who share my passion for thread and crochet:http://byhooks4u.blogspot.com
My store can be found here:
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Vikki! I can't wait to see your next creation!
All photos are used courtesy of Vikki Hooks.