Elsa *inspired* crochet dress pattern


Elsa *inspired* crochet dress pattern

This is *suppose* to be a crochet dress inspired by the intriguing and beautiful Queen Elsa from the Disney’s Movie Frozen. From the polls I’ve taken so far, 100% of people agree that it is GORGEOUS, and only 50% of people agree that it does, indeed, remind them of Queen Elsa. Hhmmnn…I have yet to make up my mind about it, do you have any ideas?

Also: I am needing a few crochet pattern testers who are willing to work with crochet thread to work through this crochet pattern and provide some feedback. If you are interested, please leave a comment below and I will get in touch with you!

Selling hand-made crafts? What do you want to know?


Writing an informational blog like this can be rather tricksy.  I mostly write about the generalized topic of “how to sell your hand-made crafts”, and I occasionally throw in my personal experiences with selling crochet (patterns and finished products).  However, after doing this for almost two years, I feel a bit redundant.  I know that I have new readers and subscribers on a daily basis who probably haven’t and will never ready my earlier posts about selling crafts.  I also know that recent content is more likely to show up on searches and websites and get exposure.  But what can I write about that hasn’t already been discussed and dissected by so many other bloggers, and my previous posts? 

Well, that is where you, dear reader, come into play!  It is SO simple!  Really!  Just comment below with what you want to know about selling your hand-made crafts!  Is there a specific craft that you are interested in, and don’t know where to start?  Are you struggling with getting constant sails?  What is the best approach for increasing your business?  How do you get return customers?  What about packaging…is there a cheap, efficient, unique way to manage shipping?

I want to help YOU.  This is advice, suggestions, and assistance that is 100% FREE, and 100% tailored to your specific needs in selling your hand-made products.  A service that would normally cost you a nice chunk of change and all you gotta do to receive it, is comment with what you want to learn about selling hand-made crafts.  Easy Peasy, right?

Basic Beanie Free Crochet Pattern 2.0!


UPDATED (March 4, 2014)

Free crochet patterns for EVERY beanie size you could possibly want from Preemie all the way up to adult large.  My originally posted corhcet patterns for these beanies can be found HERE, just in case you are interested, but seeing as it was one of my earlier crochet patterns ever written, it is quite poor in quality and understand-ability (sure, that can be a word).  So, I re-worked my crochet pattern and now have it available to the public!

Stitches required

  • Ch – Chain – Yo, pull through
  • Ss – Slip Stitch – Insert hook, Yo, pull through both loops on hook
  • Dc – Double Crochet – Yo, Insert hook, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook, yo, pull through remaining two loops
  • Inc – Work 2 Dc both into the next stitch

Materials Needed

  • Sized J (6.0 MM) crochet hook
  • Worsted Weight Yarn

Starting off with these basic beanie crochet patterns you could make all sorts of different hats: striped, mohawk, owl, monster, with earflaps, newsie, simple, with flowers…And, as always, if you have any questions about any of these, or need any help along the way, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email {familybugs (AT) gmail (DOT) com}.

Please note that the Ch 2 that occurs at the beginning of each round does NOT EVER count as a dc stitch throughout the crochet patterns.

These patterns are based off of the measurements taken from Bev’s Size chart, if you aren’t sure about sizing measurements…well, I’ve included that too!

  • Newborn: Head Circumference 13″ – 14 ”  33-36cm; hat circ = 11.5″ – 13″ Hat height = 5.5 to 6″ 13-15 cm
  • Baby – 3 to 6 months: Head Circumference: 14″ – 17 ”  36-43 cm; Hat height= 6.5 – 7″ 15-18 cm
  • Baby – 6 to 12 months: Head Circumference: 16″ – 19 ”  41-48 cm ;  Hat height = 7.5″  18 cm
  • Toddler – preschooler (12 months – 3 years): Head Circumference: 18″ to 20 ” 46 -48 cm; Hat height = 8″  20 cm
  • Child (3 – 10 years): Head Circumference: 19″ – 20 1/2″  48-51 cm; Hat height =8.5″  22cm
  • Pre-teens and Teens  Hat: Head Circumference: 20 1/2″ – 22″   53 -56 cm; height 9-10″  25 cm
  • Adult Woman: Head Circumference:  21.5″ – 22.5″  Hat height = 11″
  • Adult Man: Head Circumference:  23″ – 24″  58.4 cm – 61 cm; Hat height = 11″-11.5″

Gauge Swatch – This is used to determine if your tension and hook is going to create a similarly sized product at the end.  After completing this, if your swatch measures larger, you might want to choose a smaller hook and complete another gauge swatch.  If your swatch measures smaller, choose a larger hook and try again.
Ch 16
ROW 1: Sc in second ch from hook and all the way across (15) Ch 2, turn.
ROW 2: Dc all the way across (15) Ch 1, turn.
ROWs 3, 5: Repeat Row 1
ROWs 4, 6: Repeat Row 2
Finish off.  Swatch should measure pretty close to 5.5” X 3

Why double crochet? You might ask.  Well, double crochet is fast, relatively easy, and I think that it still results in a really warm product.  The looser stitches trap more air between the fibers and air is an incredible insulator (that is if you can trap it)!  Also, the looser stitching will result in a hat that has more stretch and give to it, which is more likely to fit all sorts of head shapes and sizes :-D  So, ENJOY!!

Feel free to use and distribute the finished hats however you would like, I don’t mind finished hats being sold from these patterns (That’s what I do with them), or for charity purposes, or auctions…or personal use…turn it upside down and use it as a bowl, add some handles and use it as a bag…skies the limit!

Preemie Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT counts as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (21) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (28). Slip stitch to top of ch 2 to join.

RNDS 5-7: Repeat RND 4.

Newborn Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (32). Slip stitch to top of ch 2 to join.

RNDS 5-7: Repeat RND 4.

0-3 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (35). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-8: Repeat RND 5.

3-6 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round). Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (35). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-9: Repeat RND 5.

6-12 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the follwoing all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round). Ch 2,repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (40). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-9: Repeat RND 5.

12-24 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (42). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 7-10: Repeat RND 6.

3-10 Years Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (42). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 7-11: Repeat RND 6.

Preteen – Teen Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 4 (48) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 5 (56). Ss to first to join.

RND 7: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

baby newborn preemie adult large small teenRNDS 8-12: Repeat RND 7.

Adult Small Size

With J hook

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2,Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 4 (48) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 5 (56) Ss to first to join.

RND 7: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 8-14: Repeat RND 7.

Adult Large Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 5 (49) Ss to first to join.

RND 7: (Last Increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 6 (56). Ss to first to join.

RND 8: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 9-15: Repeat RND 8.

9 Tips for Taking better Craft Photography


Instead of thinking of the photography as just one more step in the online listing process, why not consider it as an extra showcase of your artistic talent and ability?  If your products are not selling online, the chances are pretty high that the pictures are to blame.  You spend a lot of time creating beautiful crafts, well, now it is time to create the beautiful pictures that will assist in selling of these quality products.

  • Camera.  You need a picture-taking device.  Now, you don’t need anything super special, iphones can take just as good of pictures as a fancy expensive camera.  But, you do need something that can take a picture.
  • Lighting.  Try to use natural white lighting, but not direct sunlight.  Go outside, use a shadow.  Or inside, use a window.  Limit shadows as much as possible, especially the sharp shadows.
  • Background.  You can use props, a backdrop, make the product look interesting, but don’t detract from the product.  Many professional photographer’s prefer to use neutral backgrounds (like white, or beige) and no props, with JUST the product, but there is room for some artistic interpretation here.  Don’t be afraid to try something different and new from time-to-time.  Keep in mind that a little can go a long way!
  • Posing.  Whether you are using a model, or just the product by itself, arrange it to show off the best details.  Use depth of field, close-ups, and shots to show off the size when applicable.

Additional tips

  • Know you camera’s settings.  If you are using a fancy shmancy camera, know the settings and what you need to do to get the best photos of your product.  Understand how to make little adjustments.  Again, don’t be afraid to play around.
  • Don’t immediately delete pictures because they look “iffy” on the camera’s display screen.  Once you get them on your computer screen, they may look FANTASTIC
  • Edit the photo.  Crop it, enhance it, add a filter.  All of these are perfectly ok, and can create a better image for online viewing.
  • Brace your camera.  Whether using a tripod, monopod, or setting your camera on a surface of any kind, try to limit the amount of shaking that your hands will create by bracing your camera against a hard surface.
  • Other useful tools.  Don’t be afraid of using lamps, mirrors, or white paper for reflecting light.

And there you have it.  I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I’d love to hear how you have created beautiful photography for your products!

 

Book-keeping, what, why and how for the self-employed craft-seller


Are you having trouble keeping track of your financial records?  Do you even know why you should be keeping a record of your expenses and income?  And what on earth should you be keeping track of in the first place?  Well, look no further, because I am going to answer all of these questions for you!

WHAT?

There are so many different things that you could keep track of.  What on earth should you take the time to bother with?  Really, there are only two things: What you purchase, and your income.

  • Purchases.  What you spend on materials is probably the big one.  Site fees.  Shipping costs.  Packaging costs.  Regular fees (websites, magazines, other subscriptions, etc.)
  • Income.  From products.  From donors.

WHY?

I know that it sounds boring: Writing numbers down, doing math, keeping track of purchases and who bought what product for what price?  But, there are actually a few different reasons for why you really do need to take the time to record everything.

  • Tax purposes.  Depending on the state that you live in, tax necessities for small business owners are going to vary.  However, it is very definitely worth looking into, as you can deduct shipping costs, packaging costs, traveling to get materials, some material costs…Tax deductions are pretty nice, plus it’s a legal issue and could otherwise cost you a ton of pain if you DON’T
  • Projection indicators.  Keeping track of your profit versus your expenses can help you predict where your business will be in the next year (or five years if you are really ambitious).  Overall, are you bringing in a profit, or suffering a loss?  Then you can tell WHERE you are losing the money and take steps to remedy the problem.
  • Trending sales. Keeping track of how many sales you make per month can indicate if there are any slow or exceptionally busier months.  For example, November and December are big selling months for me, and the summer months are really slow.  So, usually, I produce lots of new stuff during the summer months, and sell most of them during the winter months.  If I didn’t keep track of my sales, it would be easy to miss this trend.
  • Target audience.  Who are you selling to?  Maybe you market to facebook AND twitter, but as you keep track of who you are selling to, you notice that only facebook fans are purchasing your product.
  • Important dates.  Let’s say that you have purchased a year subscription to the host of your website.  Well, keeping track of WHEN you paid that, will also let you know when it is time to renew that subscription.

HOW?

Before you get overwhelmed and start stressing out about having not done this in the past, realize that it is easy to get started and relatively easy (if a bit time-consuming) to keep track of.

  1. Find the program that you like.  Whether you are using excel, spreadsheet, graph paper, or other method…doesn’t matter, just choose one.
  2. Organize it.  Have a specific place to put purchases, and a specific place to put income.
  3. Record.  Keep receipts.  Do NOT rely on your brain.  Record everything just as soon as you are possibly able to.
  4. Do the math.  Subtract, add, figure it all out.
  5. Keep the record.  Print if off, hole punch it, keep it somewhere safe and where you will know where it is at.

See?  That doesn’t sound to difficult does it?  And now that you have a couple of reasons WHY to do it, maybe you will be more motivated to actually do it.

Available Crafting Competitions for 2014


Exhibitions, competitions with prize awards, art shows, crafting and design awards…all opportunities to get your brand out there, become well-known, increase your exposure, and have a little extra fun in the process.  If I have peaked your interest yet, here’s some suggestions of where to look to apply!

The Craft Directory/Craft Counsel has wonderful lists of opportunities for registered crafters (as well as knowledge on how to become registered).  Mostly for citizens of the UK, there are a few opportunities listed for the US crafter as well.

THE Smithsonian is having a very prestigious craft show which will give you the opportunity to not only be judged, but to sell the work that has been submitted (I’m a bit excited about this one, personally!)

Goldsmith’s craft and design counsel will be hosting a 2014 competition, and they also have a nice gallery of the awards that were won in 2013

And you can find a whole list of Competitions and Exhibitions on the North Charleston Art Festival’s web site

If you have come across any other crafting competitions or opportunities, I would sure love to hear about them!  What would you enter into such a pristine crafting competition if you were going to (don’t worry about the time to create, or the cost of materials, or even the cost of application)?

AAAAAaaaaaHHHHHhhhhh!


So, I found this picture online the other day and my inner geek is totally FLIPPING out so bad!

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It’s crochet.

It’s a dalek from Dr. Who

It’s from my little pony!

All three of those rolled into one!  Seriously!

Have you ever come across something totally creative that mixes a few of your favorite things together like this?