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New Bern, North Carolina
Co-Owner, Crochetville LLC
Donna Hulka is part crafty homebody, part nature girl, part computer geek. She loves handmade things because they’re beautiful and they’re just plain better than what you can buy. She’s been making things of one sort or the other since she was a little girl. When she was eight, her future sister-in-law taught her how to use a hook and yarn, and thus began a lifelong crochet adventure.
When motivation and inspiration strike, Donna is a crochet designer. Her patterns have been published in books by Interweave Press, Watson-Guptill Publications, and Lark Books. Online, her free patterns and tutorials can be found at Crochet Me, Black Purl Magazine, and her own site, Yarn Tomato. In 2006, she appeared on a first-season episode of the DIY Network’s Uncommon Threads. Donna enjoys the challenge of designing patterns, but likes writing crochet tutorials even more because, she says, "Crochet is more satisfying when you truly understand the stitches you’re making and techniques you’re using, rather than fumbling around. It’s the ultimate reward when someone says you turned on a light bulb for them."
Donna has been crocheting on and off for over 30 years, and has been a member of the Crochet Guild of America since 2004. She is a right-handed crocheter. Her favorite projects to design and crochet are home décor. She enjoys working with alternative materials such as jute twine and wire. Donna’s favorite stitch is the slip stitch and favorite technique is the adjustable ring; you’ll see both of them often in her work. When she’s not designing, you’ll likely find her crocheting granny squares for the soothing rhythm of repetition.
Donna didn’t actually find Crochetville; it found her. In 2004, knitting blogs were already well-established, but the first crochet blogs were just being born. As one of the first crochet bloggers on the internet, Donna was invited by Crochetville’s founder to be one of its first members. Later that same year, she became an administrator of the site and then the owner. In 2006 she welcomed Amy aboard, and in 2007 they established Crochetville LLC together.
In 1996, Donna taught herself HTML and created her first web site, hand-coded from scratch, which is still the way she prefers to do things. Since then she has always been dabbling in some web site or other, including creating and managing (for a few years) a web site for a non-profit organization for professional women. Now she focuses her geeky efforts on Crochetville’s web site and forum software, researching and tweaking to make Crochetville continually better.
Donna graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland in 1994, with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management. She also started graduate school in 1996 at North Carolina State University, working towards a Master of Science in Forestry and Soil Science.
A Maryland native, Donna now lives a quiet life in balmy New Bern, North Carolina with her husband, young son, and Golden Retriever. Some of her favorite things are dogs, tomatoes, blue crabs, being at home, and the smell of rain on concrete. She is a perfectionist and an avid recycler. She wore Super Birki Clogs on the street long before Crocs even existed. She has dabbled in many arts and crafts, from cross-stitch to oil painting, but has always returned to her true creative love, crochet.