Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Designer Interview with Katie Hanken from Optimistic By Nature

Today I bring you an interview and giveaway with crochet designer Katie Hanken from Optimistic by Nature.  You can find her on her blog, on Etsy, on Ravelry and on Facebook.

She has a number of adorable crochet patterns that I just love.  I was lucky enough to be able to test the Baby Bunting pattern that she has just published!!! 

It works up quickly and has an ingenious seatbelt hole design that I think is just brilliant.

See what I mean about that seatbelt hole!  This is the granny square bunting pattern that is available now too.

And look at this adorable pattern for a baby bear suit!!  This one is still under test right now, but I can't wait till it is published.  So cute.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Northern Norway on the coast with my husband Øystein and our 2 year old son Oliver.  I work as a culture administrator and freelance musician and spend a good chunk of my free time crocheting.  :-)  Optimistic by Nature is my little life philosophy - where appreciation, being positive, enjoying life and the beauty around me are kind of what I am about.  Crochet design is one of the ways that I love expressing my creativity.  

2. How did a good mid-western girl like yourself end up in a place like Norway?

I met a Norwegian flutist who inspired me when I was a student and I ended up moving to Norway to study with her at a music conservatory, the Grieg Academy in Bergen.  I ended up taking my whole degree there and then got a job, another job, met my husband etc etc...and the rest is history! :-)  Now, after 12 years, I can't imagine living anywhere else - I love it here!

3. What is on your hook right now?

Oi, I am a bit scattered.  I have many hooks going at a time.  I think I am in the middle of about 10 different projects/ideas!  It is a small miracle everytime I finish something!  :-)  

4. How did you get interested in crochet design?

 Hmmm.  Good question!  I wanted to make a balaclava hat for Oliver because I thought it would be really practical but I couldn't find a pattern.  So I just jumped in and tried to figure it out.  It was a huge success on the first try (Oliver's winter hat) and then I was hooked!  Not all of my patterns have been that successful as far as figuring them out but I have learned a ton in each new process.  So I think it is just a really fun challenge with each new idea.  :-)  I love the feeling I get when I get a new idea or figure out how to make it.  It is such a kick!

5. What kinds of patterns can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

 I have so many ideas!  Mostly baby/toddler clothes and accessories.  I also have a couple amigurumi ideas but those are trickier to work out for me!  I have started and given up on several!  Right now Oliver is my main inspiration, so I suspect that my patterns will grow with him! :-) 

Thank you Katie!  And now for the giveaway!  Katie is offering the Baby Bunting pattern to one lucky winner.  To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address before March 28, 2012.   Good luck!!!


  1. I love this pattern so much!! And I need this pattern so much!! Thanks for the opportunity!!

  2. Oh no, I forgot my email address. I'm so sorry :/

  3. very cute!!!

  4. I've known Katie for most of her life, and her name Optimistic By Nature is truly descriptive of her... the only thing that exceeds her optimism is her talent, whether it be her music, her handwork, or her ability to love! Don't enter me in the drawing... it sounds as if CarolSki needs the pattern more than I do! :-)

  5. This bunting is adorable!I can't wait to try it myself because I know a lot of babies that would look so cute in it plus it's practical as well as cute!

  6. Oh wow, what great patterns! I really admire people who can imagine something and then figure out how to translate that into a workable pattern.

  7. I love Katie's bunting pattern~! She does such a great job designing!! I have some of her patterns, but haven't had time to try any of them--yet!!

  8. So cute!

    I just love the teddy bear suit. HOW CUTE!

  10. Hello there, thank you for your great giveaway. My email address is

    Good luck to everyone!

  12. Thanks for all the nice comments everyone!!! Good luck! :-)

  13. So glad to meet you Katie - love your life motto - it is one we should all take. I really love your toddler designs - in California they aren't that necessary but in a place like Norway where winters are super cold - I can see the need. Love the bear suit.


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