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Crochet Designer Interview: Kelly Baum-Sehon, Cocky Crocheter

One of the best things about Crochet Foundry is that we get to collaborate with so many brilliant crochet designers! We love our designers, so we are going to start showcasing them a bit more. In this Designer Interview series, we'll get to know some of our June issue designers, starting with Kelly Baum-Sehon, whose design graced the cover of our June 2023 issue.

Crochet Designer Kelly Baum-Sehon wearing the Royal Regatta Sweater Vest
What's your name and brand?
Kelly Baum-Sehon, Cocky Crocheter 

What is your design for this month, and can you tell us a little bit about what inspired it?
The Royal Regatta Sweater Vest. Since this was going to be a warm-weather piece, I figured a vest made of a fingering-weight cotton would be a light-weight, breathable garment perfect for spring and summer. I also knew I wanted to create something that reminded me of people having fun at yacht parties or seaside summer barbecues, and the vests and sweaters often feature beautiful cables. I found the perfect-looking cable [and] I thought it perfectly captured the essence of those fancy summer parties I envisioned.

How did you feel when you learned your design would be on the June 2023 cover?
I was ecstatic!!! I couldn't believe that my debut pattern was good enough to be featured on the cover of such a prestigious magazine, and on Harrison no less! I think my jaw came as close as it ever did to becoming unhinged with how wide my mouth was opening in awe and excitement.
Kelly's crochet design in progress: hands and a crochet hook with a swatch of a sweater

What were some challenges about designing this piece? 
One of the major challenges I faced was trying to write instructions for two versions of the cable. I wanted to make it clear without taking up a ton of space or being bogged down by explanations. Some of the stitches can seem complicated, and I wanted to make sure the instructions were accessible to as many levels of crocheter as possible. This led to another challenge of this pattern which was creating the tutorial video to supplement where the instructions may have lacked. So many edits and retakes and lost files and running out of room for new videos... it definitely gave me a newfound appreciation for my favorite designers and the work they put into their video tutorials!

What are a couple of fun facts about you?
Ooh! I love these questions, but I often don't know what is actually interesting to others, so I'll do my best.

Relating to crochet, I was the first man from Oklahoma to get the Master of Advanced Stitches and Techniques from the Crochet Guild of America (sadly only second in the nation; another man beat me to that title!). That's probably my one claim to fame.

As far as non-crochet facts, I was a math teacher, and in my 13 years of doing that I did quite a few things: I can recite the first 75 digits of pi from memory; I was on the committee to review and write the standards for middle school math for the entire state of Oklahoma; I developed a video-game-esque system so that my students felt like they were characters in a video game as they journeyed through the realms of "Mathyca" (aka, I used video game things and lots of tech to turn math learning into a video game/LARP). Yeah, I think that about covers it!

How can our readers find you?
I have a YouTube channel (Cocky Crocheter), Instagram (@cocky_crocheter), a website (cockycrocheter.com), and a Ravelry profile (https://www.ravelry.com/designers/kelly-baum-sehon).
Anything else you'd like to add?
I call myself the Cocky Crocheter because I know I'm good at crochet (and generally I do a lot of things well; truly not bragging, I just like to be honest and own my accomplishments), but I honestly recognize that there is SOOO much I don't know. I love watching experts in their field--whether it's art, math, science, cars, history--talk about and engage in their expertise. I stand in awe of people who are passionate and good at what they do. I think the world would be such an amazing place if we fostered those kinds of talents and allowed people to contribute their strengths towards making our world a better place for everyone.
Thanks for chatting with us, Kelly! We can't wait to work with you again, and we hope our readers follow you too!

Are you a crochet designer (or would you like to be)? Crochet Foundry works with independent crochet designers to produce the gorgeous designs featured in our magazine. To find out more, visit our Submit a Design page and be sure to sign up for our Designer Email list to be notified of design opportunities.