If you’re a bag lady like me, you might be interested to learn that I have a new granny market bag pattern in the latest issue of Olann and magazine. (I’m not even going to mention the fact that it’s made of granny stitches, or the fact that I said I’d back off granny for a bit).
Olann and is a fabulous online magazine and it’s completely free! It’s a brilliant and beautiful resource for all kinds of yarny goodness. Whether you’re a crocheter, knitter or an all round fan of fibre and crafts, you’ll definitely find something in there that you’ll like. I’m coming off like an annoying ad (soz about that), I don’t mean to, honest, I just happen to really like this magazine; the fact that it’s free is amazing. One of my favourite things is that crochet is so heartily included within the issues. No second class status for us hook wielding folk!
I wish I’d had the wherewithal to take another picture so you could see its rounded granny bottom. However, fear not! If you pop over to find the pattern you get to see a couple more pics, and another variation of colours with different striping too!
Deirdre and Lora also have a podcast on YouTube that you might fancy checking out. There’s usually plenty of giggles and a good selection of things they’ve made. Thanks go to Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast for introducing me to them!
A few months ago this pretty wrap was in Inside Crochet magazine (issue 99). In the same issue I got the back page interview!! I was ridiculously excited about both the pattern and the interview (see below). And I still am. Anyway, enough time has passed that I can release Emergence of Spring as an independent pattern.
Fancy 20% off the pattern price? Click on the following text:
I loved making this shawl. It was actually my Christmas Day 2017 make (and Boxing Day, and a couple of the following days!). The design was inspired by last summer’s holiday to Lancashire and Yorkshire, which you can read about HERE and HERE. I wonder if you see the same inspirations as me. There are lots of moments as a crocheter that push themselves to the front and this shawl (and all the stuff behind it) is one of them. I can’t explain why exactly because it’s a combination of things. But essentially what you need to know is this, I’m very proud of it and myself!
Hola! It feels like it’s been ages but really it has been the usual amount of time, it’s just that I’ve been on holiday! For someone with a lack of crochet on the go I seem to have an awful lot to talk about. It’s all relative so don’t worry about any nonsense. See below for links to all things discussed in this episode, plus a few pics too. As ever, please click on the pic above to go to the episode or HERE to my YouTube channel. Thank you very much.
Yesterday, crochet designer and photographer, Mandy of RedAgape wrote a frankly marvellous pieceabout what it really means to become a professional in the crochet world. Every single word had me nodding in agreement and I can honestly say that if you think crochet design is something you’d like to do then Mandy’s words are a pretty accurate description of what to expect.
For three or four months I’ve had “write blog post – how to become a crochet designer” on my To-do list. I’d been putting it off as I knew it would be a long one. Inspired by Mandy’s post (and without treading on her toes) I’d like to share some of my thoughts and tell you a little bit about how I started.
How I started
There are three moments in my crafty past that have really stuck with me. 1 At eight years old, Nanna telling me “you won’t learn to crochet if you hold the hook like that.” I did eventually. Twenty years later. 2 Just over half way through that twenty year break (sometime in my early twenties) I saw my artist friend crochet cups and saucers out of plastic tubing and I said “I wish I could crochet” and she told me “it’s easy! Go for it”. I didn’t go for it. I really should have. 3 The birth of my first baby. Nanna made him a giant granny square blanket and I knew I had to make him one too. So I did. Sort of. It was actually a ripple and it wasn’t the first thing I made, but you know, same difference. That was just over seven years ago.
The first real step I took towards taking my hobby more seriously was to set up this blog. Admittedly it took me about five years of just thinking about it. I was daft to delay but it’s about confidence and I didn’t have any. I had very few designs at first and was constantly fretting that another would never come to me. So not true! The more you tinker and play, the more ideas you get, I promise.
Several small baby steps later I (nervously) decided the time was right and in October 2016 I sent out emails to three magazines (you can find contact details at the front of your favourite magazines). I sent out pictures of a few different things I’d made, asking if they were interested. The designs were all originals that I hadn’t shown to anyone else (magazines prefer exclusive ideas, which is why I don’t say anything about a commission until it’s about to go on sale. That, and I’m scared they’ll pull my design from the issue – it happens. I’m really good at keeping secrets these days. I never used to be!). I was added to a Call for Submissions list by all three of the mags and one of the designs I’d sent was immediately accepted by Inside Crochet. Not only that but they also asked to feature my blog in their magazine! I properly freaked out, I was gobsmacked and completely delighted! Since then I’ve featured in all three magazines and had designs featured in many issues [my work is on the front cover of each of those magazines in the above pic!!]. I’ve also designed for Hobbycraft. I am super proud of myself and if I can do it then so can you! Anyway, enough of tooting my own trumpet.
Selling Online Patterns
I like Ravelry. I’m still learning about it even though I’ve been on there for years. I’ve experienced some really good sales and some disappointing sales. Once you’ve established how to add your pattern details and upload a pdf (I need quiet for all of this as I’m well known for temper tantrums when it comes to filling stuff out online) then you cross your fingers for the initial flurry of interest followed by passive sales. Etsy hasn’t worked for me in the past and I’ve only just dipped my toe in LoveCrochet.com so I don’t have much experience of that yet. If you use these platforms, I’d love to hear what you make of them. Maybe I should give them a proper chance.
Hints and Tips
This is the list of info I think will be helpful. I’ve had it scribbled down in my note book since the autumn…
Always be crocheting. You get better everyday.
Set up a blog to show case your work. If you haven’t got time, then Instagram is your best friend.
Keep a sketch book nearby (or scrawl things on your phone/tablet). Write down/sketch out every idea. If it’s a wearable item, draw someone wearing it. You’ll need simple sketches for submissions too.
Swatch swatch swatch. Make good swatches for all submissions. Swatches will help you work out little tweaks that need doing, help with shaping and help you work out if the maths is right etc. I hate making swatches, I force myself to do it.
Practice pattern writing with small design projects. Maybe they can become freebies on your blog. Freebies are a lovely thing to offer but I wouldn’t recommend doling out big designs. That’s a lot of hard work for very little in return and it doesn’t do the rest of the community any favours. Don’t underestimate your worth.
Be the best you can be. Don’t release patterns that you aren’t super proud of. I frog A LOT of crochet and 99% of the time it is the right decision.
Keep abreast of what others are up to. What are the latest trends? Popular yarns, popular colours?
Keep the pattern writing simple. I use Google Docs. If it’s to sell independently I add a small intro, a few good photographs, “how-to” pics if I think it needs them and a chart (Stitchfiddle.comis what I use).
Just do it! Start. Now!
And tell the tax man…
Like other creatives I just wanna make stuff. I’ve learned a ridiculous amount by playing around (making lots of mistakes) and I’ve probably not even covered the half of it here. Crikey, I still have a ridiculous amount to learn. I’m coming up to my third year of blogging but have only considered myself to be a designer for one year. That’s not a long time so I reckon I should come back and look at this next year to see what’s changed!
Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to know or if you think I’ve missed out a vital piece of information. If you are a crochet designer too, I’d love to know what your experience has been. Tell me! Thanks ever so much! X
Wow, that two weeks went by really quickly! It’s already Episode 20 of my fabulously unprofessional crochet podcast (it’s a crochet vlog, I’m writing “podcast” cos of how I understand SEO. I bet it doesn’t work anyway. Meh! whatever…). As ever, please click on the above picture to be transported to the episode over on YouTube.
Although I’m wearing a crochet Christmas hat, it isn’t a particularly festive themed episode. You can’t escape the fact that the season is almost upon us but I’m not in full yule tide merriment just yet.
I talk about adjusting my knitted cowl, a new crochet design, vintage pattern books and generally waffle about stuff.
Hallooo! Episode 18 felt very chatty to me, it’s probably just the same as usual, you know, me chatting about crochet stuff. But that is what a crochet podcast / vlogcast is all about. There’s yarn, projects, patterns, all the things I love to witter on about. Click on the pic above. Thanks ever so much.
Christmas present Giveaway!! You can comment on either YouTube or Ravelry or both. What do you reeaallly want for Christmas? Can you think of the best present ever?! I’ll pick winners on Thursday 23rd November.
Hey there! To be honest I’m just popping by to say hello. I haven’t written a blog post this week and can’t think of anything specific to write about. So this just because I love crochet and want to share it today. Hope that’s OK.
I finished a blanket, which is pretty much the same as the first Rainbow Edged Granny I made. Unlike the other one, this one is in my Etsy shop. At the moment there is a 20% discount on all the items. That runs until the 16th of this month. The code is ZEENS. You’ll need that to get the discount, should you wish to spend some spondoolies.
I don’t think I mentioned here that I made my friend an Urban Stripe shawl. I used Drops Merino and in case you wanted to use that too, I will tell you that it took 7 balls of yarn and the notes are all there on my Ravelry project page.
I haven’t had as many views on the latest crochet podcast. I think it might be the big spider that’s done it. The episode actually has very little to do with the spider although of course I have mentioned him. It’s a standard episode with a little bit of dressing up thrown in. Please do check it out, it’s half and hour of crochet chat. Pop over to YouTubeand have a look.
I’m picking up and putting down the Weekend Blankie. Have you made one? It’s a lovely, easy project. Completely stress free actually. Mindless crochet is my favourite crochet. I’m using StyleCraft Life dk.
And I’m still working on sitting down to write up the pattern for my Holey Smokes! shawl. It’s coming with me to StitchFest Southwest this weekend. It’s very Totnes is this shawl! If only I could muster the will power to type up the pattern. I know I’ll feel much better once it’s just blimmin well written. A kick up the bum is what’s needed.
That’s pretty much been my love of crochet this week. Although I did have to put it down to watch Stranger Things 2 this week. Oh my, that was good telly!! What have you been up to?
Crochet vlog? Crochet podcast? Nooo, it’s a Crochet Vlogcast, of course!!
Please click on the pic above to go to YouTube for the latest in my frantic crafty to-ings and fro-ings.
In this episode I discuss the following things:
Colour Block Jumper . Yep, I couldn’t find the human designer, sorry. I’m sure I saw an interview in Simply Crochet mag a few months ago. I’ll be darned if I can remember who and I don’t have the issue any more!
Ravelry – Fancy being a pattern tester for my my new shawl?
New pattern release!!! Yay! I’ve been working on this one for a while and I wanted to make sure it was perfect. I wish I could make loads of these crochet bags, I love them. Can you tell that I’m a lover of the corner to corner stitch?! I don’t think I’ll ever get it out of my system, there are just so many things you can do with it.
I had a vision of making black and white geometric patterns, somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to go monochrome so ended up trialling lots of colourful designs instead! I couldn’t stop at one design either. This pattern contains three different designs for the main body of the bag and two different strap designs.
The basic C2C pattern is written and there are comprehensive instructions and photographs for construction, including how to add a lining and magnetic clasp. I hope you love it as much as I do. I’ve added it to my collection of Ravelry designs here.
I’ve released a new pattern for this fabulous crochet shawl!! I’m wearing it as I type.
I’m trying super hard to be on “work mode” at the minute. I love crochet, just love it to pieces. But I don’t love writing up patterns. But if I want to be a crochet designer then I’ve got take all elements of it and suck it up. It gets easier the more I do it, I’m gaining confidence and learning new skills. This is good, it means the patterns that I write are getting better; I’m offering more for the money. For example, this snazzy number has a schematic of the design included and a diagram chart! I never thought I’d figure out how to do those!