Hi, I’m Mary Estok Nolfi, and I’ve been designing and creating crochet patterns (and other needlework) since age 7. An overwhelming passion for design in general has influenced me in all facets of my life; having studied advertising and commercial art during the late 1960’s, and then pursuing a sole proprietorship art business, selling my designs at juried art shows and galleries from 1974 through 2004. I started out in my home state of Ohio and moved on to Nevada, Texas, upper New York, Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, and finally, California.
I went back to grad school (while residing in Texas) in the 1980’s to study architecture. I have always had a great fascination for architectural design along with an equally compelling interest in construction theory and techniques. How something is made – from a basic construction standpoint has always been a driving force behind my design pursuits; whether referring to landscape design, building construction, or needlework. As far as my needlework is concerned, attention to detail is always present, along with use of texture and a wonderful knowledge of multiple stitch patterns, which I have gathered over my many inquisitive years of crocheting, needlepoint, and other stitch work.
This varied background has given me a unique perspective on design, and has helped me to develop an extremely keen marketing instinct. My journey thus far has brought me to an interesting fork in the road. . . I have come to the conclusion that my true passion lies in being able to pass along my design projects and knowledge to others who might want to create what I envision. For the past 8 years, I have been selling my designs (as patterns) to yarn companies and publishers (magazines, etc.). I also designed a website www.crochetasylum.com, where I sell my designs and pass along interesting bits of info relevant to other crochet fanatics.
In the year 2011, I started my own publishing company, Holly Berry Press, which publishes books of patterns for the crocheter’s creative spirit. The first Holly Berry Press hardcover crochet book has a tentative publication date in July of this year (2012). The following gallery photos contain some of my designs that have been published by other publishing companies, as well as several ladies accessories (mostly hats and handbags) that I designed in both genres of crochet and needlepoint.