Friday, June 26, 2015

New Pattern - tester call out!

I'm on the verge of uploading a new pattern to ravelry.com. At this stage it has been untested, so would love to send out a few advanced copies to anyone who would like to look it over! just send an email to crochetaheart@hotmail.com. First in, best dressed!It is a blanket pattern and I would classify it as intermediate.

I do have another (tested) pattern that will also be uploaded, as soon as I add some photos!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Back loops and front loops!

Today I am redoing an older blog post, with a little editing! Back loops, front loops and chain spaces - where to put your hook. I will be posting some of the things that I am covering in at Crochet Club!


This is the back loop.




This is both loops. You may find that this is often the default place for the hook to go. If a pattern doesn't say anything, this is where the hook goes.


This is the front loop. 


Working in the back or front loop only creates a different drape, and allows loops to be left for surface crochet and other more advanced stitches


You don't always use the loops, you can also work into chain spaces. Granny squares for example, work through the space and not into individual loops.


We also can use the stitch post, and make front and back post stitches, they are a little more advanced, but I will cover them soon!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sky Scarf - the pattern


A new pattern is now available, for sale in my Etsy store AND in my Ravelry store (which is looking a little bare, as it is the first one!) 

It is called the 'Sky Scarf', a beginner level infinity scarf, and comes with instructions for two different motif/accessories.
This pattern is for sale, however, until the end of June 2015 (AUS EST) This pattern is available as a free ravelry download with the coupon code: crochetaheart.

follow this link: http://www.ravelry.com/redeem/emma-wilkinson-designs AND enter the code.

I would love to see pictures!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crochet Pattern Testers Wanted!


Would you be interested in testing a pattern? I need a few people who can test now, and would like to test more in the future! If you are able to read patterns, then please apply. Patterns are of an intermediate level, but I would also be willing for beginners to give me their feedback.

Please leave a message, or contact me at crochetaheart@hotmail.com

Thanks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to add a button to your blog


The only coding I know is what I have learnt for blogging, and this particular piece of code has helped me many times. It can add a professional touch to your blog.

I either make my own buttons, using a photo editing program, or use free downloads. I then upload them to photobucket.com. You can use any photo hosting site, I have used photobucket since the heady days of myspace, and it has not disappointed me.

You also need a sidebar, or space in your layout for the buttons to appear. They can appear within a blog post, but for handy links, make them obvious.

In blogger, you can click on the 'Design' link, next to where you sign in, Then find 'layout' and click 'add a gadget' in whatever location you want to add a button! There are many gadgets to choose from, but choose the HTML/JAVASCRIPT option.



This is my welcome button. The code looks like this:
 <a href="http://howtocrochetaheart.blogspot.com.au/p/about.html"><img src="http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s80/emmatane/welcome_zpsvqxrz58r.png" /></a>

Looks crazy! But lets break it down.  <a href="******"><img src="*****"></a>

<a href="This is where you want to click to"><img src="This is your image link"></a>

Copy and paste the link of where you want to go when the button is clicked, and paste that between the first two quotation marks. Copy the direct link, if you are using photobucket, or image URL and paste between second quotation marks.

Super simple and super effective! 

Hope you can use this on your blog. 



Monday, May 18, 2015

Crochet Books


This Star Wars amigurumi crochet book had just come out, and I'm looking forward to ordering a copy for myself. I've linked it to amazon here, but it is widely avaliable. I have made amigurumi dolls by this same Author, Lucy Collins, in the past, and I can say they are really clear, and I made them at a time I hadn't done much amigurumi or toy making at all. Star Wars is very popular in my house, and I know all the characters will be loved! Includes 12 patterns, with enough materials to make Yoda and a Stormtrooper/ 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How much for handmade?



I was going to write a piece on how to price your hand made items. There are a few formulas floating around;
Materials x3 
or
Materials + hours worked x 2.

This made me wonder about what someone charges per hour. In Australia minimum wage is AU$16.87 per hour- I was surprised, as I assumed it would be closer to $20. In the USA minimum wage is US$7.25 per hour. The U.K is 6.70 (pounds)

At the time of me writing, US$7.25 is AU$9.07 and UK6.70 is AU$12.79

(If you would like to compare your currency, or get an up to date rate: http://www.xe.com/)

Now, I'm not here to debate the minimum wage, or the cost of living. But its something to think about when pricing your pieces. Do you earn a minimum wage when pricing? Do you believe your skills are worth more than just the minimum?

I've read arguments on both sides, saying it unrealistic to price items at what they are worth, and others saying not to bother getting out of bed for less.

At the end of the day, I believe you need to price for yourself, but also for your target market. There is a market for high end luxury items. There are people who have a budget for $500-$1000 throw cushions. There are also people who may want to only spend $50 on an Afghan or blanket. Ultimately, you as the artist need to work out if you can cater to them, if you are intended to make a wage, or just break even. Where do you live and are you selling to people in the same socio-economic group as you?

Are you happy with what you are being paid for an item? Is $20 worth having one of your creations being worn and loved rather than being in the bottom of a cupboard, or as a former sculpture teacher once told me: 'Id rather have it on display, than in my room with my underwear hanging off it.'

Handmade goods are now luxury items, even if you make them yourself, for your own consumption.  It's not saving money, unless you are directly comparing luxury brands, but you may be able to spend the money on a better quality product. It may be worth discussing the price of materials with a potential customer, if they don't craft at all, they may just be unaware. Handmade as luxury is a relatively new reality.

So after my ramblings, I have no answer for you. Start with a formula, but you still need to know how much your time is worth, and the skills you possess are indeed valuable. Materials ARE expensive, but we also live in a time where hobbies are possible, and if we are able to make a living, or part of one, from our hobby, then we are indeed fortunate.