Hi everyone! We have a our very first interview on the Yarn Punk site with one of the most colorful amigurumi artists in the crochet world and streaming world. Please welcome our guest, Kara from Khookcreations! I have known Kara for a few years and have been following her journey via Instagram and twitch and she is truly a delight – she just recently finished a HUGE project in recreating all 151 Gen 1 Pokemon in her own signature style of Pokebeans! This project ranks even higher on Reddit than the detective Pikachu movie trailer, which is crazy.
Hi Kara! thank you for being here and taking the time to give us a little insight on your life! First off, give us a little introduction about who you are!
Hi! I’m Kara, but you can also call me K Hook. I’m a maker, creative broadcaster, a mama of one, and I like to crochet nerdy things. I’m your resident Harry Potter fanatic who travels to Disneyland at least once a year. I also like owls, cereal, roller coasters, and board games.
How long have you crocheting? Are you a knitter as well?
I’ve been crocheting since 2010. I tried to knit years before that, but it just never clicked and I gave up after a few failed scarves. I spent one day learning to crochet chains and I was instantly hooked
I taught myself how to read patterns and fell in love with making amigurumi. It’s amazing to me that we can turn a line of string into something 3D. I haven’t looked back since learning to crochet, but I am a little curious to see if knitting would come easier to me now.
When did you get into Pokemon? What about it calls to you?
I collected the cards as a kid and played a tiny bit of the video games. I’ve never been a super fan, surprisingly, but that’s what I like about it. Not everyone knows all about Pokemon, but EVERYONE knows who Pikachu is – you don’t need to be a superfan to enjoy it. However, I do get chills when I hear the theme music and I was recently caught crying watching Detective Pikachu. Nowadays I play a lot of PokemonGO, and Let’s Go Pikachu was the first Pokemon game I ever beat. When it came to crocheting them, I asked my friends and family for suggestions on what I should start making back in 2013 and my brother said Lickitung. And that’s where it all started – I freehanded this guy:
So you created all original 151 pokemon in bean form, what was the initial “This sounds like a good idea” moment? Or, how did you come up with this project idea?
After making that Lickitung, I knew I wanted to somehow make all the original Pokemon. As any crocheter knows, this is a HUGE mountain of a task. I made so many, but it was clear to me I wouldn’t be finishing 151 in this size any time soon. Fast forward a couple years and I started making them all as Pokeballs. I took suggestions for who to make next while I was live streaming and I could finish 2 or 3 in one night. This was doable but it wasn’t my original concept and going in a random order and selling them as I went didn’t help; I abandoned the project after a few months. Fast forward a couple more years and I just had a baby, hadn’t crocheted in weeks, and I needed something else to focus on for a few moments a day. Pikachu bean was born! The Kanto starters followed quickly afterward and then I had the best idea – since I was trying to get back to live streaming at the time, I would let my Twitch subscribers adopt them one-by-one and mail them their beans when I was done. This kept me accountable for actually making them all and created a lot of excitement about the project.
What was the most challenging Pokebean to create?
I had the toughest time with the Machop evolution’s. Their colorings were hard to match and their long arms don’t come across well in bean form. The most time-consuming bean though was Jynx because I attached all of her hair 1 strand at a time.
So you were on Twitch doing this! How does it feel to have live-streamed the whole process?
It’s honestly the reason I finished the project. I came up with a schedule and every Monday was PokeMonday and I was making Pokebeans. I’d prep 3 beans the weekend before and try to finish them on stream. When I lost motivation somewhere around 90, the community helped me celebrate every single one I finished. We partied to the Pokerap after every one! By the time I hit 120, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We started a countdown and with 10 left, I started an event called ‘Pokemas.’ An overwhelming amount of my artist friends donated their Pokemon art & crafts for me to giveaway during those last 10 streams. It was the perfect way to celebrate everyone who had been a part of the project at any point. I saved those last 10 live streams and I’m so glad I’ll be able to go back and relive those final moments.
What’s the next project on the Horizon? Can your fans expect to see more generations of Pokemon?
The community started their own “giant” project actually! After seeing Dave (my 2 foot tall Psyduck) they were all so motivated to make their own giant Pokemon. I do plan to make at least one more giant plush, but I have yet to decide on another generation of Pokebeans besides the few I’ve made as commissions. It’s tough to beat the original 151 without committing to all the rest, but there will definitely be more!
You also do charity work, tell us more about what that entails and how you combined this project with that!
Yes! I started fundraising while live streaming last year and honestly, I love the purpose it gives my broadcasts. There are always great causes to support and I’m happy to lend my talents to inspire donations to those causes. I’ve decided to raise money for sick kids through Extra Life for all of 2019 and I raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of their St. Jude PLAY LIVE events. Both charities are aware of the value gaming & creative streamers bring and it’s so inspiring to see so many of my peers be a part of something so important. Twitch and Tiltify (the fundraising platform we use) make it easy to start a campaign, see donations live on stream, and the money gets sent directly to the cause. You can set rewards and milestones to incentivize people to donate. For example, certain donations earn a signed print of my Pokebean collection as a thank you from me. And when we reached a certain total amount raised, I gave away the set of gen 8 Pokebeans I had been working on while streaming. It’s fun to get creative (and silly) with these and witness how generous people can be. For the kids!
Who’s your favorite Pokemon? Why?
Psyduck is my boy! He is my spirit animal because I used to have chronic migraines and so does he so I feel we just identify with each other. Plus, he’s water type!
Who are some other crochet artists or streamers that inspire you?
AHareAffair & BeetleAtBay are both great crochet streamers who are also great friends, the worst enablers, and I am so proud to see them grow so much. I hang out in their streams and look up to their skills constantly. The long time crochet artists who I’ve been following and look up to are BlueRabbittoys, Aradiyatoys, tinycurl, Geeky Hooker, Twinkie Chan, RepeatCrafterMe, allaboutami, OliviaLawsArt, The Stitch Tower, I could go on and on..
You have so much life to your work; what would you say your version of yarn punk is?
Aw, thank you! I just love seeing where my free-handing skills take me. It’s kind of like painting, but with yarn instead of paint and stitches instead of brush strokes. I love looking at something not fiber-related and think, “how can I crochet that?” I’ve also been really inspired by the yarn punk movement and I’m making more clothes! I think yarn punk is what you show the world in every day life, not just in your craft room. Any time I get to go out and wear my Magikarp hat and bring Dave with me, I feel pretty yarn punk.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I don’t listen to music all that often, but when I do it’s movie/game soundtracks, 8bit stuff, or like 2004-2017 alternative. Think Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Owl City. But also always Backstreet Boys, because there’s never a bad time for BSB.
For those that are reading this, where can they find you on the internet?
My blog: khookcreations.com
Livestreaming every Mon/Tue/Wed: twitch.tv/khookcreations
Join the Discord: discord.gg/utwpd42
Or you may see me in the all time top posts in the Pokemon subreddit!
Thank you so much Kara!! We can’t wait to see what other big projects you take up!