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Designer Studio Spotlight: Tracie Barrett


Crochetville User ID: TracieCrochets

Website: Fibers by Tracie

Blog: Fibers by Tracie Blog


© 2011 Amy Shelton and Crochetville LLC. All rights reserved.

All photos © 2011 Tracie Barrett. Used with permission.

The next stop on our tour of designer studios is the workspace of crochet designer and instructor Tracie Barrett. Tracie is one of our hottest new professional crochet designers. She received the Crochet Liberation Front's Flamie award as Best New Designer of 2008. Her designs have been featured in Interweave Crochet magazine, Crochet World magazine, and on the Coats & Clark and Redheart websites. Tracie has also taught classes at CGOA's national Chain Link conference, and she'll be teaching at Chain Link Minneapolis this July. Tracie has even begun teaching classes for us here at Crochetville, where her Southern Lights Cowl class was incredibly popular.


Let's take a look at some of her designs. Click on the links to purchase any of them.


The fabulous Southern Lights Cowl:


Fionnuala Cowl:


Guinivere Choker:


Now let's take a look at the space where Tracie creates her fabulous designs. If you've ever despaired because you don't have a lot of space in your home for your crochet work, take heart! Tracie's studio shows us very well how it's possible to be incredibly creative and productive in a small amount of space.




Crochetville: Tell us about your studio.


Tracie: My studio space is in the corner of my bedroom. I made my desk using a plank of shelving wood on top of two filing cabinets. It's simple and holds the important things I need for the business side of things. I also rely on bulletin boards and white boards (as evident by the corner of my room). I also use a lot of calendars (also evident). My work table is an old kitchen/dining room table that was a display piece at a shop. It's sturdy and light colored which helps when I'm working on afghans or in dark yarns. I keep my hooks and Tunisian hooks (and the occasional knitting needle) in glass vases with glass stones in the bottom. I also love the table top caddy. I got it from Joann's, but I can no longer find it online. It has a large center opening which is stuffed full of various things I need when I'm working. The outer pockets hold my scissors, ruler, pens, and other things I need at arm's reach. The comfy chair I got at Rooms To Go (It's the Avelar Recliner in Peat and was around $400).

Crochetville: What are your favorite things about your studio?


Tracie: I love that it is compact and organized. I don't have a lot of space, but I make do with what I have. I'm able to work here 8-10 hours a day and get a lot done. Also, the sunset photo was taken by my niece and I love being able to look at it throughout the day. Behind me while I'm working is a large sliding glass door that lets in a lot of light (although in the summer it also lets in a lot of heat). But when I need a break, the view out the window is awesome.


Crochetville: Why did you choose the items in your studio?


Tracie: The table was gifted to me when I moved in. The desk I came with and I liked how little space it took. The chair is a more recent addition, but it's the perfect comfy chair to crochet in both during the day and the evening.


Crochetville: How do you have things organized?


Tracie: Yarn is in bins under the table and is sorted by fiber primarily. Tools are up on the table and current projects are within arm's reach. All computer related stuff is by or in the desk. My files are typically organized in the cabinets. I also have a storage unit on the other side of my room which holds various things I rarely need, books, and swatches.


Crochetville: How do you use your studio?


Tracie: My studio is in my bedroom, so it's used all the time. I design in here, I plan lesson plans in here, I play around on the computer and I watch TV in here.


Crochetville: Are there any things you'd like to add?


Tracie: More space! Seriously, this whole room is 225 sq ft. There is talk of building a "Florida Room" off the back where the sliding glass door is. If this happens, it'll nearly double my space and I'll move my studio out there. Until then, I'm staying very very organized in a tiny bit of space.


Crochetville: Is there anything you'd like to change about your studio?


Tracie: See above. :) I sometimes think about rearranging things, but there's only so many places the furniture can go. So, it'll likely stay like this for a while.


Crochetville: Now let's take some time and get to know Tracie a little better. Tracie, when and how did you learn to crochet?


Tracie: I taught myself to crochet when I was a teenager. I moved quickly to thread crochet because it was summer here in Florida and yarn was too hot.


Crochetville: When and how did you become interested in being a designer?


Tracie: I decided to become a designer in 2007. I was crocheting again a lot, and had already started making up my own patterns. I thought it would be neat to be a designer and needed to get away from my very busy job. So I jumped and did it. Looking back, I'd have kept a part time job for a while to make the finances work a bit better.

Crochetville: What are your favorite items to design?


Tracie: Accessories. Here in Florida, we don't have much use for sweaters. But accessories can get a lot of wear and finish off an outfit.


Crochetville: What are your favorite fibers to work with?


Tracie: Bamboo, cotton, linen, very lightweight yarns


Crochetville: What are your favorite crochet hooks?


Tracie: My favorite go-to hooks are my Tulip Etimo hooks I bought at the 2009 Knit and Crochet Show. I actually get sad when I can't use them. If I'm unable to use them, I'm a total Boye girl. :)


Crochetville: Tracie, you sound just like me! I discovered the Etimo hooks at Chain Link, too, but bought my first last year. I finally got around to ordering the complete set just a couple of weeks ago. Before Etimo, I was also a dyed-in-the-wool complete Boye fangirl.


Now, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Tracie: I'll be teaching a class on Organizing Your Space at the Summer Knit and Crochet Show in MN. If you're interested in hearing the details of how I do this, and great ideas for how you can get organized no matter how big or small your space, I hope you'll take the class!


I hope you've enjoyed this tour of Tracie's studio and the opportunity to get to know her just a little bit better. We hope you'll continue to join us as we spend time with other designers through the rest of 2011.


Designers, if you'd like Crochetville to feature your studio in an upcoming article, please send me a PM or use our Contact Us form to let us know of your interest. I'll send you more information about what we'll need you to send us.


Until next time,


Suggestions for future studio spotlight articles:


If you have suggestions for other designers whose studios you'd like to see, please post your suggestions here.


Directory of Studio Spotlight Articles (alphabetically by last name)


Tracie Barrett


Edie Eckman


Melissa Horowzewski


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Great Studio! If that class is ever offered on Crochetville; I'd sign up. If I ever get organized it would be a miracle!!:lol

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Tracie, I love your excellent use of what you have and how you have made it to fit your needs. This is no doubt part of your creative bent and what makes you such a good designer. I'm also loving your cowls. It seems there are many knitted ones out there but not so many good crocheted ones. These fit the bill nicely. We will be looking for more good stuff from you!

Edited by HomekeepingGran

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Thank you all for your kind words! I was away at TNNA when this posted so I couldn't respond then. :)


And just to show that I don't always stay organized, right now my surfaces look like a yarn bomb went off in here. I'm hoping to find time tomorrow for everything to find a home in some storage space.


I'm going to see about translating the Organizing class for online and as soon as I do, you can bet I'll be talking to Amy about getting it up here!

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