Your Crochet Business in the New Year

by Alison Stapleton

If you have a micro crochet business the New Year is always a good time to plan your growth and direction for your venture.

It is at the turning points each year, and for most of us that is the start in January, that you can assess what you hope to achieve in your crochet business for the next twelve months.

You can also do a review of how things went during the past year before you start the plan for your new year in crochet.


Questions for You

Ask yourself the following questions and they will help you find your path in the New Year.

These can be answered towards the end of December each year as your business naturally slows down after Christmas.

Personally I do this in the week between Christmas and New Year. I take these seven days off from the main business of selling and interacting with my clients.

I spend this time with my family and friends. But there are now hours in front of the TV and this is when I consider what I’m doing and where I’m going.

With your crochet journal in hand consider the next 365 days of your crocheting life.


In the New Year

What will you do more of?

What will you do less of?

Who will you partner and collaborate with?

Which yarns will you choose?

Which items will you continue to make?

Which items will you never make again?

Do you need a better hook?

Do you want to do more designing?

Will you start a square-a-day blanket?


Honesty

Be honest. Write it down you can always go back and change things later.

You can use your crochet journal to capture your thoughts and plans for each new Year.




Square-a-Day Crochet Blankets – 3 Options

by Alison Stapleton

Square-a-Day Crochet Blankets

A crocheted square-a-day blanket is easy, quick and it almost grows when you are not looking.

You make one square each day of the year to reflect what was happening every day. At the end of twelve months you have a crochet record of how the year was for you.

Skills required

Because the effort you have to expend is only one square a day it can easily be done by beginners and experienced crocheters in a few moments each day.

If you are a beginner this project will help you get better at a simple granny square that will stand you in good stead for all of your crocheting life.

if you are an experienced crocheter you can add this little square to you repertoire of other crochet work that you have on the hook.

The square-a-day blanket is a perfect complement to other crochet work in progress (WIP) which you may have. The square-a-day blanket is a big project and will take you all year to finish. This means that you can also do other crochet work in-between.

Small, medium and large

It is always a good idea to have more than one project on the go, a big one (like this blanket), a medium one like a hat or shawl and a small one like a bookmark.

It is advisable to have large and small pieces and this blanket falls into the small pieces section because you can take it with you.

Basic square

The squares you do are a basic two-row granny square motif. The two rows can be one colour or in some cases (see below) with two different colours in each square.

You can do one, two or three square-a-day blankets and we have three suggestions of blankets that you can make this year.

 


3 Types of Square-a-Day Blankets

Three types of daily square blankets that you can make and are explained here are:

  • A daily rising planet blanket (astrology related)
  • A daily high temperature blanket
  • A daily mood blanket (your feelings)

Your life – your blanket

Clearly you can think up other ways to do the square-a-day blanket depending on interests in your own life.

If you are a gardener you can do one for planting, seedlings, flowers and fruits in your garden. The first rose bloom or the first apple on your trees. This is a good one as the seasons change and the garden lives a dies off over the year.

If you live in a rainy area you could do a square-a-day rainfall blanket.

Let the blanket reflect your life and the things that are important to you.


1) Daily Rising Planet Crochet Blanket.

For this blanket you will make one square for each day of the year.

The colour for each square is chosen depending on which planet rises before the Sun every day for 365 days.

Your blanket can be either 14 x 27 squares and this will make a long oblong blanket or it can be 18 x 21 squares which will make an almost square blanket.

Either way there is no simple way to make a rectangle that is 365 days so there will always be a few squares over and the left over squares can be where you write, or embroider, the date and year for the blanket.

Sunrise and the Pre-dawn Rising Planet

The pre-dawn rising planet (in fact this is also known as the Oriental Plane)t is the planet that rises on the eastern horizon every morning before the Sun at dawn.

This rising planet will change over the course of a year as the Sun and the planets move through the zodiac.

Choosing the Colours

You will use one colour for each planet. In astrology the Moon is considered a planet as well.

Moon – white

Mercury – taupe

Venus – pink

Mars – red

jupiter – blue

Saturn – grey

Uranus – turquoise

Neptune – mint green

Pluto – maroon


The Make-a-Square-a-Day method

Because we do in fact know which planet will rise before the Sun this blanket can be started and you can push forward with the daily squares if you choose.

But the best way to create this type of daily blanket is by making one-square-per-day which is the main idea.

This is a big project and it can be done alongside other smaller or medium sized projects that you have on the hook.

To make one small granny square and crochet it together will take you less than thirty minutes every morning or evening.


2) Temperature Blankets

There are two ways to do the squares in the temperature blankets. You can simply do the daily high temperatures or the high/low temperatures.

Daily high temperatures

In the high temperature blanket you take the daily high for the day where you live and crochet the square in the pre-determined colours you choose.

So for example in Vancouver the highs are about 26C in summer and 4C in winter.

So each degree on the thermometer can be one colour or you can designate one colour to cover two degrees because there are only so many colours of yarn in one make.

Daily high/low temperature blanket

The other option is the high/low temperature blanket.

In this blanket you do a granny square with two rows where the first row is the low temperature and the second row is the high for the day. This makes a more colourful combination of squares in the blanket.

The only thing is that you need a wider range of colours to cover the low temperatures as well.

Example colours for a temperature blanket

Zero and below white

1C to 2C cream

3C to 4C grey/taupe

5Cto 6C light blue

7C to 8C teal

9C to 10C green

11C to 12C lemon

13C to 14C yellow gold

15C to 16C orange

17C to 18C pink

19C to 20C hot pink

21C to 22C red

23C to 24C magenta

25C to 26C violet

27C to 28C purple

29C and above black


3) Daily Mood Blanket

A mood blanket can be done by crocheting a square in the mood you wake up in each morning.

We all like to think we are upbeat and happy each and every day and that is the goal of most people but reality is different. The only problem with this blanket is that you may be in a sad mood for many days and the blanket will bear witness to this.

Also if you get halfway through the year and your cat dies you will be is a sad mood for weeks and this will show in the blanket.

The mood blanket will reflect life as it really is. If you feel comfortable with making a mood blanket here are some suggested colours that you can use for each mood.

Example colours for a mood blanket

Anger – red

Joy – orange

Happiness – yellow

Envious – green

Sadness – blue

Optimistic – indigo

Inspired – violet

Bored – white

Tired – black

You can choose the colours beforehand and hopefully you will have a happy and cheerful year.



 

African Violet Flower Crochet Pattern

by Alison Stapleton

African Violets

The African Violet is a delightful indoor plant that blooms in a variety of violet and purple shades. The petals can be deep purple through to pale pink and white as well.

The edges of the petals are different colours and add interest to the shape.

The flowers are surrounded by dark green almost circular leaves. Each bloom has a small yellow center.

The basic structure of yellow, violet and green leaves is an excellent shape that lends itself to crochet.

Care

African violets like to be in bright spots but not direct sunlight. Place them anywhere and even in the bathroom near a window.

When the flowers die off pinch them out as others will grow in their place. They are forgiving little plants and will bloom several times a year.

Propagation

This dainty little plant can be easily grown from a leaf cutting just thrust into fresh soil and the new leaves will shoot up from the cut base of the original leaf.

Watering

The trick to watering an African violet is to use tepid water and never cold water.

Never drip water onto the leaves but instead carefully pour water onto the soil in the pot.

Water once a week with about a half a cup of water.

If the leaves get dusty you can brush them lightly with a dry paintbrush or a pastry brush.

 

 


African Violet hexagonal motif

Shapes can be powerful symbols in themselves. Many motifs in crochet are square and this one is a hexagon. Six sided shapes are found in nature where bees make honey.  The balance of six side makes the shape of a hexagon itself somewhat satisfying to see and agreeable to work with.

Use this basic six sided motif to create many items. It can be used for a simple coaster or combined with others to make larger projects like scarves, shawls or blankets.

Note: With the African violet flower hexagon motif I have made a small blanket to lay at the bottom of my bed. When I have a lie down in the afternoon (to read you know) I can slip my feet underneath the light blanket to keep my toes warm in case I nod off.


Crochet Pattern Details

You will need…

You will need yarn in yellow, white and complimentary shades of violet, pinks and purples.

You may use as few as two violet colours (one main and one complimentary) or as many colours as you like in a random fashion.

Use one color for the edging and in this case I have chosen white.

Note: My bedroom is mainly light and neutral and this is why I chose white as the edging for this blanket. You can select a colour that will compliment your bedroom colour scheme and use that as the edging colour on the last round.


Stitches used in this pattern

There are four basic crochet stitches used in the African violet flower motif and one special stitch, the spike stitch.

Please note, we use the US crochet stitch terminology and not UK on all patterns on this site.

  • Chain (ch).
  • Single crochet (sc).
  • Double crochet (dc).
  • Half double crochet (hdc).
  • Spike stitch (sp st) see note below.
Special stitches

Spike stitch (sp st) insert your hook into the gap in the row below the current row and pull up a loop loosely (two loops on hook), yarn over pull through both loops.


Pattern

Center chain ring: With yellow. Ch 5, join with a sl st to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (as 1st dc), dc, ch 1, *dc 2 ch 1*, repeat from * to * [4] times, sl st to join at top of 1st st. Cut yarn.

Round 2: Join violet with sl st into space.  Ch 2 (as 1st dc), ch 1, dc 2, * dc 2, ch1, dc 2 * repeat [4] times. Join with sl st.

Round 3: Sl st into next 2 sts (to be in space), Ch 2 (as 1st dc), dc 6 into space, * in next space dc 7 *, repeat from * to * [4] times, join with sl st. Fasten off.

Round 4: Join contrast colour. Sl st to join into the 1st st on the left of a petal. Sc6 until you get to the gap between two petals. * Sp st, sc 7 * repeat from * to * [4] times. Join with sl st. Fasten off.

Round 5: Join white. Hdc1 in every stitch until you get to the middle st of the 7 sts in the petal, in this middle st (hdc 1, ch 1, hdc 1). Continue until end making all 6 points at the top of the petals. Join with sl st. Fasten off.


Finishing

Sew in all ends by weaving up the edge of the motif.

Layout the motifs is an appealing way if you have use random colours. Take your time with the colour placement.

Pick up two motifs and with right sides facing sew them together.

“Outer loops only” sew-up method

Sew with white and a tapestry sewing needle through the outer loops only of the top row of stitches. Double stitch at the corners to keep them sharp.

This method leaves an attractive edge to each motif when laid flat.

Do not sew through both loops.

Note: Joining the hexagons by sewing them results in a firmer, smoother and less bulky seam than crocheting them together does.

Sewing may seam seem to take longer but it makes for a far superior finish.

Sewn crochet blankets will last better in the wash and after ten years they will still be joined.

I still own an acrylic crocheted blanket that I made in 1990. I use it every day and wash twice a month and the seams are only now starting to fray.

 


 


 

 

 

 

Tower Scarf Pattern

by Alison Stapleton

The Tower Scarf Crochet Pattern

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As the seasons change from summer to autumn there is a slight shift in the air.

At this time of the year it is nice to have a light and skinny scarf to wear.

This it the time where for  just for the odd day the weather is a bit cooler but it is not yet into full blown cold weather.

The Tower Scarf is a transitional piece and will work in every wardrobe.

The neutral off-white but buttery shade is a popular colour and works with all complexions.

The Tower Scarf is stylish and comfortable to wear.

Dress up your cooler weather jackets and tops with this quick and easy beginner’s scarf that only uses one ball of yarn.

Pattern Inspiration

The Tower is the Blackpool Tower a famous landmark.


Pattern features

This is a one ball wonder which means you can make it with just one ball of yarn.

It is also a make in a day neckwear accessory which is what it says, you can make this in one day.

There is a delicate filet crochet pattern at one end which can be either ignored if you are a beginner or you could even add it to both ends of the scarf. The filet makes it an interesting asymmetrical scarf.

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Skill level

This garment is at the beginners crochet skill level as there are only two stitches the chain (ch) and the double crochet (dc). Although you can learn the filet piece as well.

This pattern is written in US crochet terminology.

What you will need:

  • One ball yarn in DK or worsted weight yarn.
  • We used Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. 100% natural wool grown and processed in Canada, in neutral.
  • 5mm Crochet hook.
  • Tapestry sewing needle.
  • Your label (optional).

 

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Gauge

14 stitches and 6 rows to 4” (10cm) square.

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Tower Scarf filet detail

Size

Width 4” (10cm).

Length 67” (170cm) excluding fringe.


Buy the Tower Scarf pattern

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Pattern only  $2.50 US

Buy Now


More crochet patterns to buy

We have a growing range of beginner, intermediate and advanced crochet patterns for you to buy.

To get a taste of the quality of our crochet patterns download a free pattern and see.


Share the love

If you loved using this original designed pattern, help us grow and please promote, like and share with photos of your finished garment.

You can use the hash tag #OECpattern.

We would love to see your completed creations.

 


Terms of use

You may sell the finished items you created from this pattern and in fact we would love you to do so.

Copyright

This original pattern may not be reproduced by photocopy, posted on the web or sold without written permission from Old English Creations.

Please respect the craft of the artist.


 

 

About Our Original Crochet Patterns

by Alison Stapleton

About Old English Creations original crochet patterns

There are many places that you can get a crochet pattern but to find high quality technically correct patterns is a challenge.

That is why we created our perfect patterns for you.

We are undergoing a review of our pattern distribution methods as we speak to make it an easier and smoother process for you to buy and get started on your new crochet projects sooner. Woo hoo!

In the meantime if you like you can email us in the contact form below for all pattern queries.


Original designs

All our patterns are Old English Creations original designs created by our talented designers Alison and Lynn.

Each one is technically correct and uses US crochet terminology and not UK crochet terminology.


You can Buy Patterns

Our patterns are sold as a PDF downloads.

This means you get a file sent to your computer and not an actual paper pattern.

You can read it on your smartphone or iPad which is how you tell us you use our patterns.

Or you have the option to print it yourself.


You can get Free Patterns

We have a few free patterns available and if you download one or two you will see the quality of our patterns.


How to Use our patterns

You can print them on paper and you can read them on your iPad or phone.

By purchasing any Old English Creations patterns, you are not buying a copy of a pattern; you’re buying far more: a perpetual single-user licence for the pattern.

Your licence entitles you to:

  • Unlimited customer support from the pattern designer (that’s us Alison and Lynn).
  • You may make as many items from the pattern as you wish and sell the finished article.
  • Do whatever you wish with items made from the pattern (if you choose to sell them, please give us credit as the pattern designers.

Your licence is non-transferable and Old English Creations patterns may not be shared, passed on to others, resold, or redistributed in any other way.


Copyright

Our original patterns may not be reproduced by photocopy, posted on the web or sold without written permission from Old English Creations.

However, you may sell the fabulous finished items you created from our patterns and in fact we hope you do.

Please respect the craft of the designers.



Spa Collections – Crochet Patterns

by Alison Stapleton

Inspiration for our Spa Collections

As the mother of a teenage daughter it has become a special thing in our house to change the naming of her bathroom from boring old “bathroom” to “Daughter’s Spa”.

This came about as we once again sorted through tons of makeup and brushes and other toiletries that cluttered up her bathroom vanity top and clung precariously around the basin.

That she has her own tiny bathroom is in itself a blessing in our small apartment.

I am a keen believer in purging the clutter and making peace amongst the chaos.

This has been achieved in our daughter’s spa room.

I have created (am in the process of creating) several Spa Collection accessories to add to the feeling of luxury in what can often be a cluttered and frantic room.

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Make a Spa Experience in your home

As you live your busy life it is important to have a sanctuary in your home.

Each spa collection will feature different patterns for crochet items that you can make. This is a process and I will get the patterns out as soon as I complete them.

As you can imagine for a creative person the mind rushes ahead but the hands follow at their own pace.

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My Spa Collections and Colour

I love colour and I know it can change the way you feel and think about things.

In a way color is magic. To choose the right colour for each spa collection was hugely important to me.

There is more about using colour in crochet in a meaningful way and the meaning of colour so you can explore the colours that resonate with you.

IMG_2367Refreshing Spa Collection (turquoise)

This collection is in tones of turquoise and white and has a feel of the water element.

Cool water purifies and rinses cares away.

It brings a cool and refreshing mood to personal cleansing of both the body and mind.

Patterns in the refreshing spa collection:


Rejuvenating Spa Collection (rose pink)

The rejuvenating spa collection was inspired by the element of fire and it is uplifting and energy giving. This special collection of bath and spa accessories in made in shades of pink and white.

These colours invoke a romantic feel and provide some excitement and action by the colour selected.

Patterns in the rejuvenating spa collection:

  • Vanity mat
  • Cotton wool basket
  • Soap cosy

Revitalizing Spa Collection (lemon)

The revitalizing spa collection feature special items for oou personal use in lemon and white. this is the colour of creativity and ideas. this spa collection has been made to give you a lift during a busy day.

if you have a day at work and then still want to go out to another work event or on a date then the revitalizing colour of yellows and white will give you the extra lift needed to keep going.

Patterns in the revitalising spa collection:

  • Scrub pouf
  • Soap case
  • Wash cloth
  • Makeup wipes

Renewal Spa Collection (cucumber)

The renewal spa collection is created in cool cucumber and white. This is a light green pallette and offer you a chance to recharge your batteries and renew your spirits.

The renewal spa collection is inspired by the element of earth and has grounding properties. It offers you support and a chance to get back to basics.

Patterns in the renewal spa collection:

  • Eye mask
  • Floor mat
  • Slippers
  • Votive candle cover
  • Soap cover

Relaxing Spa Collection (Lavender)

The relaxing spa collection has shades of lavender and the scent of the lavender sachet relaxes you through its aromatherapeutic properties.

This collection can be used before bed to aid good sleep and full rest at night.

Patterns in the relaxing spa collection:

  • Wash cloth
  • Eye mask
  • Tissue cover
  • Lavender sachet
  • Soap bag

Reflection Spa Collection (citrus)

The reflection spa collection is created in tones of orange, tangerine with a touch of cinnamon. It is inspired by the (Chinese) element of wood.

This special collection can be used to aid reflection, or looking back over your day to seek understanding in what went down.

Many people struggle to let go of difficult or challenging experiences perhaps with colleagues, bosses or toxic family members and this color palette will aid clarity and acceptance.

Yes, maybe you were wrong but accept it and move on.

Patterns in the reflection spa collection:

  • Vaniity mat
  • Candle cover
  • Votive candle cover

Rugged Spa Collection for Men (platinum)

This is a more direct colour combination of platinum, silver, jet and white. There is a spark of humour with a definite clarity and sharp contrast in the colours used.

It offers a bracing feel and a masculine tone.

The rugged spa collection is designed for men who care for their body but don’t take themselves too seriously.

Patterns in the rugged spa collection:

  • Shower ball
  • Back scrubber
  • Exfoliating mitt
  • Floor mat

 

 

Springtime Spa Collection (Wedgewood blue)

The springtime spa collection is in cool and serene Wedgwood blue.

Patterns in the Springtime Spa Collection

  • Springtime washcloth
  • Springtime bath mat
  • Springtime Candle cosy

The 3 Types of Crocheter

by Alison Stapleton

Are you the type of person who only has cable TV in your home so you have to watch adverts and a canned newsreel?

Do you ever buy the specialized channels and perhaps pick up the BBC or the science channel even though you have to pay for them?

How about Netflix? Would you pay $8 a month for a vast array of movies and no commercials?

Value

You can see straight away if you appreciate the value in paying for something, over getting it for relatively nothing (but with strings – the ads).

Value is the difference between what a casual crocheter, or hobbyist crocheter and a professional crocheter provide.

You can get a crocheted hat at your dollar store for $1, or you can pay $30 for a similar hat at the mall, or you can pay $75 for a well-known designer hat.

But the expensive hat probably does the same thing, it keeps your head warm and looks trendy, or does it?

If you can see the value in buying better things, made with better materials and crafted in a better fashion, and having good, or even the best things in your life that you can afford, why would you settle for the bottom of the range?

Do you choose basic or do you want something else?


The 3 Types of Crocheter

There are three types of crocheter; the casual crocheter, the hobbyist crocheter and the professional crocheter. Each of the three types can be clearly defined if you look at how they handle money and value

You can see which type of crocheter you are by reading below.


The Casual Crocheter

The casual crochet is where we all start when we begin to crochet. You start with one hook and a ball of yarn. Over time you make things and you enjoy the process. That’s why you do it.

You may leave crocheting for a time and then come back to it. There is no pressure to complete things it is simply a leisure activity.

As a casual crocheter you:

  • Buy your own yarns
  • Pick and choose what to make as it takes your fancy
  • May use the finished item yourself or
  • Give it away to someone as a gift
  • No money changes hands and you do not make a profit

The Hobbyist Crocheter

If you are a hobbyist crocheter you buy your own yarn and make items or garments. These items can be to order if say, your sister wants a hat just like the one you are wearing.

You buy the yarn and make the hat and your sister gives you money to cover the cost of the yarn, and perhaps also covers minimum wage (around $8.50 and hour) for the labor (this is “for your time”), or your labor is free.

Your sister pays you, but it just about covers the yarn and maybe an hourly rate.

As a hobbyist crocheter you may barter your skills and maybe make a hat to swop for babysitting your kids on Saturday night or some other trade off.

If you are a hobbyist crocheter you:

  • Do not advertise or promote that you crochet
  • Make a few crocheted items each year
  • Sometimes you get reimbursed for the costs
  • Make things at cost
  • Get a nominal amount “for your time”
  • Barter crochet for other services or goods

Although some people will give you money (and you may tell yourself you are in “business”) you are not in business, and you do not make a profit.


The Professional Crocheter

The first two types of crocheter (casual and hobbyist) are entirely different to the professional crocheter.

As a professional crocheter you are in it to make money and not just cover the cost of the yarn and your time.

You keep accounting books and know what it has cost you and what you have taken in each day or month.

At the end of the month you have profit. The money that you have over when you have paid for your overheads (computer, phone, advertising, materials, postage etc. and your labour costs) and all business related items is your profit.

You are a professional crocheter if you:

  • Have a crochet business name
  • Have your own crochet business cards
  • Own your crochet domain name (YourCrochetBusinessName.com)
  • Run a current website and post every week
  • Promote to all social media channels that work for you (examples: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Have a growing mailing list of clients and potential clients
  • Have a fan base of readers, clients and followers (weak fan base = less than 200 fans, medium fan base = less than 2000 fans, strong fan base = more than 2000 fans)
  • You know your niche, stay in it and own your niche
  • You know who you are (and who you are not), what you do (and what you don’t do) and can recite your elevator pitch in less than thirty seconds and under one hundred words
  • Have multiple income streams from your crochet business
  • Buy yarns carefully (wholesale and online) to maximize profit
  • Price your goods fairly for wholesale, retail and your custom work (bridal etc.)
  • Have a crochet business plan for the next 12 months
  • Use an editorial calendar
  • You keep financial records (this can be as simple as money in vs. money out)
  • Your income covers your business costs (web hosting, printing, labels, postage etc.)
  • You make a profit each month and each year (of course this profit can be small but it is still a profit)

 

Do not confuse yourself between a hobbyist crocheter and a professional crocheter. This is why hobbyists charge so little for their garments it is because they can.

A professional crocheter is in business to feed their family and will charge more because they typically have a much large setup and can provide continuity in their items and inventory.

 


Crochet Pattern Refresh

by Alison Stapleton

We have a reputation for top quality, technically correct original crochet designs and we will not let you down.

We want you to find our patterns to be as relevant in ten years time as they are today and as such we have set in place many desirable features that we think you will appreciate.

There has been much thinking, planning and talking between myself and Lynn that has gone into our new strategy.

To make it easier for you this year we have streamlined the design of our downloadable patterns.


What We Did

Crochet Pattern Layout and Design

Before this year all of our patterns were in landscape orientation and condensed so all the information was printed on two page,s or on both side of the sheet, with a centerfold. In this way the patterns opened out like a book and they were handy and could be taken with you in your crochet bag.

But you have told us that this is not how you use our patterns.

Today you read the patterns from your smartphones and iPads and so we have formatted our patterns in portrait style. We have increased the color (as previously we were thinking of saving your printer ink), image sizes and we have refreshed the images and layout.

Color is a creative medium and we are happier with the clarity that has come to the patterns simply from better layout practices.

Now there is a clearer image on the cover and we have standardized our branding across the media websites and patterns with a fresh color palette and header fonts.

These details are cosmetic and do not in any way change the actual pattern instructions, but they do add value to your purchase of our patterns and the license you have to produce garments and a items from our patterns.

Your Favorite Crochet Patterns

The actual pattern instructions themselves stay the same. If you bought one of our patterns before the instructions are the same. If you buy a pattern now it will be in the new format and easier to use on mobile devices which is where you use them.

These changes are a process which we are working on and they will all be done eventually as we go through all the patterns.

Crochet Pattern Updates Available

If you bought our patterns from Ravelry you will get a new update of the pattern automatically. If you bought one of our patterns from this website, or from Craftsy or our Etsy shop you can email us for an update.

Please use the contact page at the bottom of the page.

You tell us you enjoy our up-to-date and on-trend patterns and we have responded with a new selection in the sections for the coming year.

Pattern Categories and New Yarns

This year we are tightening our niche and doing what we love and do well. This means we have let go of areas that aren’t working for us and focused on a new batch of high detailed pattern selections.

As we change our living style we seek ways to live a happy life with creativity and family and friends nearby.

This way of living can be supported by a lovely home with modern accessories in the kitchen and bathroom (or as our daughters now call it their “spa-rooms”).

So we are preparing to share with you beautiful and stylish items in our kitchen and dining pattern section, and the bath and spa pattern section.

Building on the need for fresh local cooking and rejuvenating soaks in the tub Lynn and I are focusing on our pattern areas as laid out below for 2016.

We will be Offering more Lifestyle Crochet Patterns for:

  • Women’s casual: Shawls, ponchos and wraps
  • Headwear: Ear warmers and headbands
  • Neckwear: Scarves, cowls and snoods
  • Bath and Spa: Candle covers, washcloths, shower balls, vanity mats and baskets
  • Kitchen: Tea towels, wash-up and floor mats
  • Dining: Table runners, placemats and napkin rings (or as we love to call it napery)

Local Sources for Natural Yarns

We will be bringing in more 100% natural yarns like wool from sheep, alpacas and cashmere, and cotton (raw and mercerized), but probably not silk (as there are challenges in the silk manufacturing process), and also yarns that are natural and manmade blends.

We are going to feature more yarns from our local area in Vancouver and British Columbia and surrounds, and using Canadian wools and crochet products more.

We will redefine what it is to be considered a local yarn, and we will evaluate the benefit of imported yarns when they support rural communities in developing countries. This is an area that needs more understanding.

The idea is to use less acrylic and more natural fiber because natural yarns save the environment and are biodegradable. This is a complex process and I will be telling you more on our yarn choices later.

Change is not easy. We are creatures of habit and like to do things the same way as before, but there is a time for change and if we take it one step (or stitch) at a time you are welcome to come along with us.

Alison and Lynn


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Your Year in Crochet – A Review

by Alison Stapleton

Your End of Year Review

As the year comes to an end it is a great time to see where you are in your crochet micro-business and do a review.

Looking back over the highlights of your year can help you plan for the next twelve months.

In December there are often many things going on both in your private life and in your business life.

If you have a small crochet business make time to look back at the year your have just lived and see how you have improved since January.


Take a break

For us Christmas is a time for family so I like to rest and spend my time with my husband and family.

I like to take a break from my crochet business in the week between Christmas and the New Year.

This week is also a slow time for business and many customers have switched off and are doing the same.

But in December before The big day hits us there is time to look back at the year that just passed

Keep records

Running a micro business does mean you have to do some paperwork. In your notebook on January 1st list the numbers of:

    • Your business bank balance
    • Cash on hand
    • Completed items not sold yet (as a dollar value)
    • Your social media presence; Facebook page fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers and Instagram followers etc.
  • Your mailing list subscribers

These are all numbers that should grow every year.

Social media

Not all social media works for everyone. You may find you got into Facebook early on and you simply love it and maybe you have not yet explored Pinterest or Instagram. If one of your social media channels is doing better than another I suggest you drop the weaker one.

It is better to do one or two things well than do many things poorly.

I have concentrated on Instagram in the past year. I expect the time I spend on social media is much the same but I have developed a better understanding of how Instagram works.

In the next year I may try to understand another social media channel as we don’t know what will be the next big thing.

Time

You only have one or two hours a week for administration of your business. That means:

    • Website maintenance (clearing spam and general updating)
    • Buying stationery (bags for your items, tags and labels)
    • Invoicing and emails with customers
    • Maintaining your Etsy or other online store
  • Going to the post office to post your sales

Limit the time you spend on maintenance and put more time towards creating.

100% of your time

You don’t spend all your time doing crochet. You may have one or even two other jobs, but of all the time you have available to put towards you micro craft business it represents 100% of. your time.

Your hours available could be 5, 10 or 40 hours a week. For some of you it will be 50 plus hours a week.

How much time do you spend on your micro business was each week?

A percentage of your available time can be put towards your micro business. Whatever that time is, it represents the full amount of the time.

If you have a day job you will have less time each week for your micro business.

If you are a stay-at-home Mom your will likely have time in the day, but it may be in small chunks as your day unfolds and the kids nap and play.

There could be half an hour in the early morning as you have that first cup of coffee before your wake you family and the day begins.

There could be 15 minutes as you sit in the car and wait for the kids to come out of school.

There is likely to be time after dinner when you catch up with your family on their day or in front of the TV at night.

Weekends can be very different as your family has other needs and demands on your time.

I like to crochet in the park on a Saturday afternoon. I may take my notebook and sketch as well but it is a time for ideas and shapes to form. I can also jot some pattern ideas and diagrams in the fresh air. I have a notebook for creative ideas and buy a new one each year. I like the Moleskine A5 size with plain (no lines) pages.

On Sundays I take it easier and will try new stitches and yarns that I have not used before. I call it my free crochet time. I’m still with a hook in my hand, but I leave my weekly projects and try something new. It keeps my mind fresh and open to new things.

Have a good look at your day and find the time in hours, half-hours and fifteen minutes slots. Then add it all up.

Once you know your available time each day in hours you can calculate how much time you should spend on each activity.

How to use the time available

Of the 100% available time you can break it up as follows:

    • 5% maintenance
    • 15% business promotion on social media
    • 20% writing your blog, books and articles
  • 60% crafting and creating your goods

If you let your creative time slip to less than half of your time available, you can lose the magic. Always keep your creative crochet time to more than half of your available time.

Weekdays are different to weekends.

If you make your crochet in the evening when you are watching TV do the social media and promotion at the weekends.

This method makes sense if you have a day job as you may be weary after your day at work. And if you have kids to look after there can be quiet times in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.

Preserve your creative time

Preserve and reserve your creative time. As it is what you love and the creative work soothes. Keep doing to creative work this is important.

Don’t let the running of your micro-business rob you of your love of crochet as this is what got you started in the first place.

A Little Exercise for You

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you fine tune your motives for doing the crochet in the first place and the reasons that you will continue to do so next year (or not).

You have to be honest with yourself and the answers will help you discover your inner drives and show a reason to continue.

Running a micro-business is not for everyone. To have a crochet micro-business may be something that you have done for a couple of years.

You may find that the need has passed and you can go back to just crocheting the odd item as it takes your fancy, without the pressure to craft at a high standard suitable for resale.

Ask Yourself

How do you feel about having to make goods on demand instead of whatever takes your fancy as before?

How many sales (by item) did you have this year?

Did you make any money? Did you lose money? Do you even know?

Did you like doing it?

Will you continue next year or will you choose to let your dream of having a crochet micro-business go?

Did the crocheting make you happy?

Do you complain all the time about weak sales or lack of sales?

Do you resent having to constantly be thinking about this business?

Who are you doing it for, yourself, your partner, your mother-in-law?

What are you doing it all for, money, status, independence or respect?

Are you looking forward to a prosperous New Year?

Next Year

We will have a look at your next year’s crochet micro-business goals in another post.


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Own Your Niche

by Alison Stapleton

Own Your Niche

Your niche is the special segment in your industry that you know well and where you are skilled.

In the large world of craft, crochet is a section of craft. Hats are a section of crochet in crafts. Baby hats are a section within hats in crochet and in crafts, and writing patterns for baby hats, in hats, in crochet, in crafts is a niche.

Your niche is the place where you are good and can do, whatever it is. You could call it a passion and if you can – then you know.

Millions of people craft and thousands of them crochet. Many individuals make hats, some folks make baby hats and a few of them write patterns for baby crochet hats.

Maybe you make crochet baby booties and that is your niche. Perhaps you create amigurumi animals and that is your niche. Or you produce cotton bohemian tops and that is your niche.

Your niche is not only the actual item it can be the type of crochet

You may be a specialist in tunisian crochet, Irish crochet or filet crochet. Perhaps you only work on freeform crochet like hyperbolic crochet and the Mobius. These are examples of techniques that could be your niche and you may make various items within these segments.

Your niche is the thin area within your main industry where you excel.

How to find your niche

Look at your stash

Do you have many yarns? What thickness of wool and cottons do you have? Only thin or only chunky yarns? Only natural fibres or some acrylics?

What is your colour palette? Do you mainly have brights, darks or pastels. Or maybe only neutrals? Which colours appeal to you? Are you a fan of variegated yarns?

My stash is very different to your stash and your stash will be different again to the next woman. Individuality is shown by the type of yarn and colour combinations in your stash.

What do you usually make when you crochet?

Blankets, scarves, doilies, kids stuff, bags or what?

What about size? Is your work often in little projects that can be finished in a day or big afghans that take a month to complete or are they something in between?

How about the methods you use. Do you work top-down so you never have to sew seams? Do you do circles and work in-the-round, or squares like granny squares or log cabin? Are you likely to create projects with tonal stripes like light blue, mid blue and dark blue or color blocks? Do you love intricate stitch patterns or plain repetitive stitches?

By a simple consideration of what you normally buy in yarns (as shown by your stash) and what you usually make (in item) and the techniques your employ all suggest the direction of your niche.

Your niche

If you can say “I make baby hats in natural cotton which I market online,” or “I specialize in lacy wedding shawls which I sell to local bridal boutiques,” then that is your niche.

Bear in mind that you niche may be wide for example, if you crochet kids fun clothing in primary acrylics, then that is your niche..

Your niche does not have to be narrow but it typically becomes so. Over the years you may slip into making a certain thing in a particular yarn with the same hook for a definite market.

Embrace your style and hone your skills to become the best within your niche.

Take ownership and own your niche.