Hi Crocheters! Today we are having a Meet and Greet with the Crochet Designers behind the blog Chai Coffee Crochet.
Read on below to learn about Kiran and Shama and their designs before scrolling to the end of this post for a selection of free crochet patterns available from Chai Coffee Crochet.
This post includes just a small sampling of all the wonderful patterns, tutorials and projects she has available for you online. Be sure to check out her social media channels for even more goodies!
Crochet Designer Feature:
Chai Coffee Crochet
Meet Kiran & Shama
Question: Who are you? Tell me about yourself.
Hi, we’re Kiran and Shama – sisters-in-laws, neighbours, and best friends based in Karachi Pakistan.
Kiran is the mum of three boys. Crochet is the perfect outlet for her as it allows her to work from home and gives her the flexibility she needs, in between coordinating school lunches, after school activities, and everything else!
Shama is the aunt to Kiran’s three boys, which is her favorite job by far! She spent many years working in public health research. However, after having had Breast Cancer a few years ago, she decided to leave her job and focus on her passion – crochet!
Question: How did you learn how to crochet? How long have you been crocheting?
The story of our introduction to crochet is funny, since it sort of goes in a circle. Shama learnt to crochet at the end of 2015, with the help of Kiran’s mum. As she took to the craft, she discovered amigurumi online and hasn’t looked back since! Three years later, she taught Kiran how to crochet and together we have been hooked on amigurumi (pun intended!). And, since then, Kiran has taught her mother how to do amigurumi so we’ve all come full circle!
Question: Do you have any tips for new crocheters? Any guidance to make them successful at a new hobby?
Our advice to new crocheters would be to be patient. It takes a while to get the hang of it (honestly, figuring out how to hold the yarn is probably the toughest part!). But, once you do, it’s so rewarding!
If you’re looking to learn amigurumi, Flippy the Frog is probably our most beginner-friendly animal. If you prefer dolls, then our easiest doll would be Zoya the Ballerina.
Question: What do you enjoy crocheting the most?
We both pretty much exclusively crochet amigurumi. We like to design quick projects with bright colours and cute details. We love patterns that are no-sew or require as little sewing as possible!
Shama is more partial to dolls and Kiran to animals – but we both love both!
Question: What prompted you to start designing?
Like a lot of people, we started designed during the Covid-19 lockdowns! We had started selling amigurumi online just three weeks before the first lockdown and so that was at a standstill. To keep ourselves active, we started designing. Kiran began with Elzo the Elephant from our Juna Series – and Shama with the dress up dolls from our Kozu Palm Pals Series. We really enjoyed it so much that we decided to start a blog. With no knowledge of web design or blogging, it’s been such a steep learning curve. But we’ve loved every minute of it!
Question: How long have you been designing and where do you publish your patterns?
We have been designing since July 2020. All our patterns are free on our blog. However, if you prefer an ads-free print-friendly PDF of our patterns, you can get them from our Ravelry Store.
Question: What drives you to create? Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Gosh, we find inspiration everywhere! It feels like once you start designing, you start noticing little things all over the place and get inspired! It could be noticing an insect in the garden or the colour combination in someone’s outfit. One of the beautiful things about designing is that it makes you look at the world in a very mindful way!
Question: What tips would you give to someone interested in designing and blogging?
Just go for it! Sometimes the biggest inhibitor in designing is the little voice in our heads that says you can’t do it. But you won’t know until you try. Also, if you’re designing, be sure to get your patterns tested! There are wonderful testers out there who do this as a labor of love. We are so indebted to them for helping us make our designs the best they can be!
Question: What goals have you set for yourself for the future?
We would like to increase our design repertoire. There are a few series that we are mulling over – but we will keep those a surprise!
We are also hoping to expand our crochet selling business in Pakistan this year by teaching women to make our toys as a source of home-based income for them. We did a pilot training, which turned out great – and so we are now looking to identify other women to teach!
Question: Who are your favorite makers? How have they inspired you?
Gosh – there are so many! The crochet community is so talented – but also really supportive and it’s an honor to be a part of it.
I suppose our favorite makers would be the ones that we learnt from, before we started designing ourselves. To name a few, there’s Kali Dahl from the Friendly Red Fox (we love her dolls!), Sharon Ojala (her video patterns are what we always recommend to beginners who are learning), Laura Tegg (her Weebee doll with her extensive wardrobe is just love!), and Yan Schenkel (we love her use to colour and the details on her animal amigurumi).
Question: Do you have a favorite yarn you like to use when you are crocheting? What colors and fibers do you gravitate toward when choosing your yarn?
We use a locally-available acrylic yarn because that’s just what is easy for us to access. These days we love bright colours!
Question: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us?
Yes – you can sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about new patterns and updates: https://chaicoffeecrochet.com/newsletter/
Plus, you can find us on social media at:
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Free Crochet Patterns from Chai Coffee Crochet
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Free Patterns from Kiran and Shama
Details and Links:
Zoya the mermaid is an easy but beautiful mermaid doll. She works up to be about 10.5 inches with DK yarn and a 2.75mm hook - but any yarn with the relevant hook will do! If you prefer a smaller mermaid, you can try our little mermaid Ayla!Read More
Zayd is a cute little boy doll for the little boy in your life! We were inspired to make Zayd when we noticed that there was a dearth of male crochet dolls out there. Doll play is so important for children - as a way to learn empathy, foster imagination, and practice self-expression - yet boys are often left out. Zayd works up to be approximately 12 inches tall.Read More
Viktor the Vampire is our newest pattern on our blog! This cute little guy is 4.5 inches tall and takes just a couple of hours to make. He would be the perfect make for Halloween!Read More
Our mix and match crochet monsters are such a fun crochet project! Using our free printable design sheet, your child can design their own unique monster. Then, using our easy free patterns for each of the monster parts, you crochet their monster to life! Easy peasy!Read More
Gifa the giraffe is a cute little guy. How cute are those overalls?? At approximately 8 inches tall, he is a huggable little guy.Read More
Elzo was the first member of our Juna Series of animals. This cute elephant works up in a day - making him an adorable last minute crochet gift. The best part about this pattern is that the body, arms, head, trunk, and tusks are all crocheted in - you just have to sew on the ears and tail!Read More
Bella the butterfly makes a really cute baby rattle. You can also leave out the rattle insert for an adorable toy!Read More
This small no-sew fish takes less than 30 minutes to crochet. It would make a really cute keychain or bag charm! With all the colours, it's a great way to use up your small yarn scraps. The best part is that there is no sewing - yay!Read More
These small dress up dolls from our Kozu Palm Pals series are the perfect gift for the kid in your life! Dressing up doll is just so much fun! What's more is that the patterns have a variety of hair caps that you can select for a truly unique doll!Read More
Our hippo baby rattle makes a wonderful baby shower gift! The stem is made up of four balls, which allow for a firm grip. You can pair this hippo rattle with our Hattie the Hippo toy for the perfect baby gift!Read More