Day 4

31 days to crafts show

It’s Teach me something Thursday. So this will be a post with two parts. On day 4, Molly talked about business cards. He’s what I came up with, but I think they are very boring. I need to work on them.

business cards 1

On Yarn Obssession, Sedrula posted a really helpful post about what every business card should have. Check it out.

I got a lot of positive feedback on my Enterlac Blanket, so I began another one for the start of my inventory for the craft show.

Enterlac 2

My son even requested one done in his school’s colors: green and white. I wanted to post a bit of a tutorial as well. I first found out about Enterlac crochet from the book:
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But I didn’t really like the way it worked up.

Then I found a really helpful video on Youtube and she linked to a website. Both were really well done, but left out some tips I learned as I was working mine up.

I’ll be posting a tutorial for any who what to follow along.

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How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket -The details and done

This post will wrap up my How I do it Series about my baby blanket project. I enjoyed going through my process, it helped me figure out and examine what I learned from this project so my next one will be better. If you missed the first, second or third ,they are still posted.
Details.

One of things my client wanted were initials on the blanket like I had done before. I had created a baby blanket for her other niece based on the bedding she picked out from Walmart and I wanted to practice my letter crocheting skills so I made letter appliqués. I might have to post a how to on my letters, which was a fun adventure figuring out those patterns! However, this time I wanted to practice my tapestry skills.

My Original design

zebra baby

Inspiration from Walmart

zebra room

This time the letters were crocheted in the blanket. I had to plan out how I would do this. Graph paper rocks.

GEDC0115

I drew out what would be the bottom of the blanket. I knew I needed to chain 60. I counted off 30 boxes (each box would be two double crochets) and blocked out what the letters should look like.

Then I decided that it would be very cute to add hearts.

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The same process was used. It took a few attempts but I like the results.

Last was the boarder- still needed to add in the green- and I was done!

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Thaanks for reading all of these post. I promised that I’d have a link ready for the pattern, but Idon’t. I’ so sorry. I will get it up ASAP.

Hope this helped.
M

How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket – the crocheting

This is the third post in the series. If you missed the first or the second please go back to read.

Today, I’m going to share my experience with the actual crocheting. Last post, I talked about the math I did to figure out my pattern I needed to follow to create the 3 color baby blanket.

I don’t know if I mentioned that math was not one of my strong suits, lol, so needless to say, some things didn’t not quite work out the way I had planned on paper.

Hurdle #1- The height measurement was off. From my swatch, I thought it would take 27 rows of double crochet to make the center pink section a 20×20 square. NOT. On paper it seemed simple enough, if 1.5 rows equaled 1 inch then I could set up a ratio to see how many rows would equal 20 inches.

1.5/1 = r/20

1.5 x 20 = 1r

r= 30

I know, icky math. But, your third grade teacher didn’t lie to you, math does come in handy, sometimes wait until we use circumference! But the problem was, I didn’t make my swatch the same way I started my blanket, silly me. Lesson learned for next time!

Hurdle #2- Joanne’s Fabric Store didn’t have the shade of green I liked, so I had to order on line. First time I’ve done that, but it didn’t get here soon enough and I was crocheting fast (finished the 4 yellow panels and the center pink one in two days.) I didn’t want to wait so I adjusted my design.

blanket 3

Hurdle #3- There was a method I wanted to use to connect the pieces that I saw on Pintrest, but I couldn’t understand the tutorial correctly and it didn’t work out. So I had to sew the pieces together a different way.

connecting pannels

Hurdle #4- Second guessing all of my decisions and wanting to start from scratch! I called my sister to help to talk me off the ledge! After everyone in my house was asked three times if they liked it, I had to press on.

Well, as they say: best laid plans and all of that.

So what hurdles have you ever faced when tackling a project? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone.

Hope this helped.
M

How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket – The planning

Happy Thursday and welcome back to How I do it!

Last week, we started looking into the “behind the scenes” process of how I go about designing. If you miss the intro, click here.

The Sketch:
Well I had a good handle on what my client had in mind, so I began doodling.

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Playing around with design, I realized that I really enjoyed being able to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. The rush of design. I doodled a few possibilities. I’m not sure how clear the picture is, but this is my scratch paper that I had out as I spoke with my client. We had already established a price (more about that on another post.) Then I narrowed my focus down to the two plans I liked the most.

planning2

Of course I had to have my favorite little interior designer (my littlest one) double-check which one I should do. And a design is born. The one on the right won.

The Math:
Using the yarn I had bought Caron One Pound in Pink and Red Heart in Yellow and Green, I made a swatch. Last year when I started crocheting and knitting, I hated making a swatch. I didn’t see the point. Well, there is one, at least when it comes to design. If I wanted the blanket to be consistent (my last one wasn’t) then I needed to know how many stitches I would need in order to make the length of the blanket as well as how many rows of double crochet stitches I would need to make the height.

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From the pictures, you might be able to see my chicken scratch math calculations. I knew from my swatch that 3 chains equaled 1 inch. And 1 and a half rows equaled 1 inch. I did some math and figured out how many stitches to chain and how many rows i would need. But things never go quite as planned, you read in next week’s post.

How do you go about designing your patterns?

Day 24’s prompt for the 31 Day Blog Challenge asked how me to find out how easy it is to repost one of my posts. So, if you wanted to repsot this (or tweet) how easy would it be?

Remember, at the end of the series, I’ll be posting my free pattern for this blanket. See ya next week.

Hope this helped.
M

How I do it Series- INTRO

I love to read. And I love searching the web for information about whatever my current obsession is. Well for the past six months, it’s been about crocheting. And one of the things I wanted to and was most interested in was HOW. I’m a teacher by training. (Taught in the public school system where I live for 16 years before I stopped to home school my youngest little one (who is almost as tall as me)

I taught school not because I love to teach (which I do) but because I love to learn! Learning new things always gets me excited and passing it on is a great feeling too. Win- Win! That’s one of the reasons why I love to crochet. (INSERT BLOG POST LINK HERE) There is always something new to learn.

Well, as I was reading different blogs and find information, I wanted to learn HOW other crocheters learned their craft or began selling their work or how they design. Pretty much EVERYTHING. And it was so very hard to find. A bit here. A bit there.

What I decided to do is to start a series so others wouldn’t have to work so hard to find out at least what I do. For right or for wrong, I want to share How I do it. I’ll be sticking to one topic for a month, 4 posts detailing about my process. And for my projects, I’ll post the pattern at the end!

I’m excited. Hope you are too!

How I do it Series- Three Color Baby Blanket – The call
The phone rings. “Hello Milah’s Handcrafts.”
A customer, a repeat customer, called and the process starts. We had talked about the fact she was so pleased with the first blanket I had made for her, she had wanted a second one for her other niece. After a short conversation, we discussed exactly what she wanted: a baby blanket in three colors (pink, yellow and green) with initials on it. Cool.
I was going to skip right to the planning this week, but I think I need to spend some time on taking the order. The way I see my business growing is through word of mouth. So customer service is going to be my life’s blood, so to speak, because of that it’s very important to get this consultation correct.

It is important to know what your client is looking for, what exactly do they want, what will make them happy. This will not only help you design a product they will love as well as help with pricing. So ask questions. Make conformation to fully understand what they want.

What about the money?
That was a recurring question I kept seeing pop up as I surfed crochet blogs and forums. How much should I charge?
I watched a GREAT workshop from Etsy called The Art of Pricing that really helped me change my mind about how to price my work. If you have a chance, watch it!

Having a clear idea of what they want and how much time it will take to produce it will all play into the price you quote.
For this call, we had already set a price. I had no idea how I picked the price, I just didn’t know any better and I set a low price. But I didn’t feel right with charging her more (this time)

Let’s look at what she wanted and how it impacted the price.

3 colors: Part of the pricing is to cover the materials. I know I had to buy at least three skeins of yarn.
A week’s turn around: Whatever the design, it had to be something I could crochet quickly and fairly easily.
Initials: I could practice tapestry crochet which will help with my next project!

I headed to JoAnne Fabric and Crafts store, coupon in hand, to find the perfect yarn at the best price.
Next time, I needed to start my planning. See ya next post.

Hope this helps!
M

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