Craft Leftovers

I first got turned on to Kristin Roach's Craft Leftovers blog when the lovely pollyhyper directed me to it awhile back. I have since e-mailed this blog to many more people, so it only seemed natural to give her a little love here! According to Kristin:

The Craft Leftovers project was my answer to the question, “What does one do with all the leftover bits after a project is finished?” I found that every time I made something, I was left with a half of a skein of this, a half of a yard of that. Although I am driven to create, I am not driven to create more waste. I am setting out to write patterns specifically for those leftovers and to encourage everyone I meet to use up their unwanted bits.

Handmade Gifts from recycled, repurposed, and leftover materials. Craft Kits from a mixture of leftovers and purchased materials - I pick the companies I buy from carefully and only use supplies I feel strongly about. Mainly Kraemer Yarns, Himalayan Yarns, and Checker Distributor.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
My grandma always let me use her sewing machine to make “creations” and had a huge stock of craft supplies that she let me use when I was growing up. As soon as I went to high school I dropped craft like a bad habit, it wasn’t “cool” enough for me. Being a painter, not a seamstress like my grandma, was my dream. But when my grandma passed away I hoarded her supplies, I felt it was my last connection to her. What to do with it? I hadn’t made anything with “craft” supplies in years. I started to teach myself to sew, then crochet. Knitting always eluded me. Enter Jason, my partner. He taught me to knit and that really got things rolling. I started Craft Leftovers shortly after that, I needed a way to keep mine and my grandma’s stash accountable.

My grandma’s influence on my life lasted long after she passed and continues to this day. Art and craft have combined in my life, just like her life. I graduated with a BFA in Painting this past May, but the last year of my studies was focused mainly in the fibers department - weaving and dyeing. I am still working through my grandma’s stash, but with the help of Craft Leftovers, I am making much headway. My sister says that she knows our Grandma would be proud of me. I hope so, I think of her all the time, especially when I have a question that I know she would have an answer for!

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Hands down - I love drawing. I could stop doing everything else and be okay, but if I stopped drawing I think I might just wither away and die. Haha. Melodramatic, but it's true!

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Making sure to get things listed several times a week. I'm kind of an all or nothing girl, so if I had my way I would do a 3 day no sleep making kits, shooting product shots, and listing things all at once. But that isn't as fun for my patrons and it isn't so healthy for me, so finding moderation in listing is a challenge, but it's a challenge that I've been meeting lately.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
A subscription to Craft Leftovers Monthly hands down. Three months of getting a kit bundled with a handmade craft zine is the best gift ever!

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
It was a toss-up between being a Senator or an artist. I saw the dark side of politics early on and focused my attention on being an artist from 10 years old on. There was never any doubt in my mind, just everyone else's.

I satisfy my taste for community service through hosting free sewing workshops and other volunteer work in my local area. In the mean time I'm having so much fun being a freelance pattern writer, self publishing my own zine, and showing my work a few times a year.

What other shops out there do you love?
Oh there are quite a few!
These are my two favorite pattern writers:



I love Stitch Candy's Stitch marker sets - it's so true that they are just like candy

CassieMarie has great recycled yarns, hand dyed yarns, and beautiful handmade jewelry - which I was gifted for Christmas and wear all the time!

What does your future hold?
More of the same - new patterns, kits, and handmade goodies for the shop. I've been submitting a lot of work to a variety of craft magazines, so more freelance pattern/tutorial work. Definitely some craft shows this summer. An installation piece in Chicago next year is in the planning stages. A Craft Leftovers book is in the works. And the 2 year goal is a retail/studio space to work and teach classes out of. It's going to be a really fun year or more!

Visit the Craft Leftovers blog today for more great ideas (seriously, subscribe to her feed) and pop on over to her Etsy shop where you can subscribe to the hard-copy version of the Craft Leftovers Zine (on sale from Sunday, February 8th to Friday, February 13th) as well as kits to help you make some of her goodies!