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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Yarn-Bag-Carry-All Tutorial

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well desperation must be her first cousin. I love doing color work and tapestry crocheting. While I was working on my Michigan blanket ,(INSERT LINK) I realized two things: I wanted to save money (I didn’t want to buy more yarn) and I wasn’t happy with how the dark blue looked being carried behind the yellow.
I had read about bobbins in my Crochet Bible book and they seemed a bit difficult AND I would have to buy them. (Hello, I needed cheap! Free is even better.)
What was a girl to do? I had to think outside the box, well more inside the bag.

And my Yarn-Bag-Carry-All was born. I’m sure you have everything you probably need in your house.
Materials:
• Gallon Ziploc bag (depending on the size of your yarn you could use another size and whatever band you have on hand.)
• Scissors
• Yarn
• Clothes Pin (for clipping the bag onto your project when not needed.)

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Step one:
Roll yarn into a small ball from your skein. For each color you need to use for your color work.

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Step two:
Poke several small holes in your bag with your scissors. For me, I had three sections (2 blue and 1 yellow) so I poked three holes.

Snapshot 4 (1-10-2013 7-47 AM)

Step three:
Feed the end of each yarn through the holes.

Snapshot 5 (1-10-2013 7-50 AM)

Ta-Da, a Yarn-Bag-Carry-All!

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I love mine and not just because I made them. They are very helpful to me because the yarn comes out very smoothly and the yarns do not get tangled so I don’t have to keep stopping my crochet grove to untwist and unwind my yarn. Also, I tend to take my crochet with me, well everywhere! And the bags keep my yarn nice and neat and portable.

What did you think of my first tutorial? Please leave a comment if you found it helpful or if you have any suggestions!

M

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