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Made in St. Louis: Crochet fashion accessories
Made in St. Louis

Made in St. Louis: Crochet fashion accessories

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Made in St. Louis

DEE LEVANG

Age • 44

Home • Creve Coeur

Family • Husband, Chris Phillips; daughter Eva, 11

What she makes • Dee is a crochet accessory designer and owner of Loopdeedoo. She can be reached at dee@loopdeedoo.co and 314-677-5189. To view her items, visit loopdeedoo.etsy.com, facebook.com/loopdeedoo.co or pinterest.com/loopdeedoo.

Tell us about yourself. • I grew up in the outer suburbs of Los Angeles and attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. I studied graphic design and ended up spending most of my adult life as a graphic designer. As much as I loved being a designer, I never felt creatively satisfied with my work.

When did you start crocheting? • My grandma taught me how to crochet when I was about 10 years old. It was pretty basic, and I only did it briefly when I was staying at her house. I didn’t pick up a hook again until 2009. I became instantly fascinated and obsessed.

When was your first crochet sale? • The first time I sold something I had crocheted was in 2009. I was freelancing, doing email marketing design, and one of the copywriters saw a hat I was wearing. One thing lead to another and the next day I brought in a bunch of hats I had made, and she bought one.

What fashion accessories do you make? • In the warmer months, I use finer lightweight cottons and linens to crochet necklaces, bracelets, hair accessories, decorative garland, photo frames and other smaller projects. The cooler months are when my studio gets stocked with bulky wool, wool blend and fluffy organic cotton yarns to make scarves, infinity scarves, cowls, hats, ear warmers and fingerless mitts. I still make the smaller accessories year-round, but with craft shows and Etsy sales booming in the fall and winter, the cold-weather items are big sellers.

Do you have a certain type of stitch you like working with? • Tunisian crochet, an afghan stitch, is generally my favorite type of crochet for my winter accessories. I like to design items that are unique enough to make people stop and ask, “Is this knit or crochet?”

How do you make your bracelets? • My bracelets can vary quite a bit in the amount of time needed to create them. Depending on how fine and small the stitches are, if they have beads on them, or if I use more complicated techniques like broomstick lace or hairpin lace, one bracelet may take 20 minutes to an hour or more to complete.

Do you add embellishments? • I like to use all sorts of embellishments in my bracelets. I use glass beads, shell beads and semiprecious gem stones. For simpler, more casual items, I may use a button as a fastener, or a magnetic clasp.

How much for your bracelets? • Prices range from $15 to $35. My loop scarves are $42, fingerless mitts are $32, ear warmer headbands are $28.

Any other passions? • I play around with all kinds of crafts: knitting, paper crafts and sewing. I’ve never had much formal sewing training, but I’ve made some pretty awesome Halloween costumes for my daughter. I love photography and do a fair amount of product/studio photography for several of my graphic design clients.

Any upcoming shows? • I’ll be at the Schlafly Farmers Market event in Maplewood from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 29.

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Karen Deer is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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