Thursday, October 24, 2013

Free Crochet Pattern to Make a Toddler Polar Bear Beanie

I made this beanie for a baby named Katelyn that is fighting a rare form of cancer. I wanted her to have a super soft hat since her head is very sensitive (since losing her hair) I made this hat from James C Brett Flutterby yarn. This is the SOFTEST feeling yarn I have ever worked with. And no I am not just saying that because I sell the yarn. You have to feel this yarn to believe it. It is a pricier yarn but a little bit goes a long way. The skeins are pretty big so you could make a ton of hats from one skein. I have also made baby blankets with it and my customers cannot believe the feel of this yarn.

Anyway here we go! Heres a not great picture. Its hard to photograph white ughh. I used a J crochet hook

Row 1: With white CH 3 and join to first chain. Chain 1. 9 HDC in ring. (crochet over tail and then pull tail to tighten after this round)

Row 2: Work 2 HDC into each st around, join, chain 1 (18 HDC)

Row 3: 2 HDC in first stitch, HDC in next, Repeat around, join, CH 1 (27 HDC)

Row 4: 2 HDC in first stitch, HDC in next 2, Repeat around, join, CH 1 (36 HDC)

Row 5: 2 HDC in first stitch, HDC in next 3, Repeat around, join, CH 1 (45 HDC)

Row 6: 2 HDC in first stitch, HDC in next 8, Repeat around, join, CH 1 (50 HDC)

Row 7 -11 or until length desired: HDC in each stitch around, join, CH 1 (50 HDC)

Row 12: SC in each stitch around. Join Do not cut continue on to first ear flap

Ear Flap 1

Chain 1. Make 8 HDC for a total of 9
Chain 1 HDC2tog in first 2 stitches: HDC next 5, HDC2tog for last 2 stitches
Chain 1 HDC2tog in first 2 stitches: HDC next 3, HDC2tog last two stitches
Chain 1 HDC2tog, HDC, HDC2tog. Cut string

Ear Flap 2

Fold hat in half to find the spot on the opposite side for 2nd ear flap

Repeat Ear Flap one

With Pink make one SC in each stitch around

Bear Ears

With pink chain 3 and join to make a circle. Chain one
6 SC in circle, do not join. Pull white thru last two loops of last SC to change color. Attach a stitch marker to first stitch and continue crocheting in a spiral
2 SC in each stitch
Sc in each stitch. Join with slip stitch, knot and cut. Be sure to leave a long string when you cut to attach ears to hat.

Sew ears to hat. I put mine on the 4th row down.

Attach 12" strings of white and pink and braid. Cut ends to even them up. I used 4 white strings and 2 pink.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Selling on Part Two

So I have been selling on for a couple weeks now. It is going better! But I did have to take off all of my bernat baby blanket yarn listings. For some reason they kept going to "match lowest price" even though I had taken it off. Be sure when you make a new listing you do NOT CHECK MATCH LOWEST PRICE!

I have had really good success listing hubbys parachute cord kits. They are selling very well on there. Since these are something only we make, I don't have to worry about any match lowest price. I did have to buy UPC codes to list these. I bought mine off Ebay. Super easy and in expensive. Well worth doing!

Our biggest sellers are hubbys new Parachute Cord Mini Travel Jig

And the mini travel jig kit with parachute cord, buckles and a book

It does take a lot of work and research trying to figure out how to sell on but so far its been worth it. They only pay out 2 times per month but for me thats not a huge deal. However I am still trying to figure out how to put your own shipping charges on there. I have a professional account so I am supposed to be able to set my own shipping but so far I haven't figured it out. I will let you all know when I do

Another New Crochet Bernat Baby Blanket Pattern! The Kamden Ripple Blanket

I do love Bernat Baby blanket yarn! I just finished yet another crochet pattern using some of the new Bernat Baby Blanket colors. I named it after my grandson Kamden. I used the Little Sand Castle colors for the boy version and Little Petunias for the girl version. You could also use Little Cosmos or Little Royales etc. I made this one in one weekend. This is a super easy ripple pattern that is a lot of fun to crochet

The Little Petunias Version

I also have this in a crochet kit that includes the pattern, hook and yarn!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Selling on the River aka

Okay so I finally did it. I listed items for sale on the River aka Wow what an eye opener. Amazon is not like any other selling site that is for sure.

And I lost money on my first sale there. I had no idea that I accidentally checked "match lowest price" Still have no idea how I did that. Apparently on Amazon other sellers can lower their price for a bit to get your price to lower. Then they raise theirs back up. And you are basically screwed. So my first order I sold two skeins of yarn for .76 cents each. Omg so not good. Thankfully the buyer only ordered two skeins. This yarn retails at 4.00 per skein.

I hate that you have to list under other peoples listings. Some of them have the worst pictures I have ever seen. And don't get me started about horrible listing titles and descriptions. Many sellers on Amazon apparently do not know about using SEO on listings. Ughh. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about it. You can try filing a report with Amazon but from what I have read it rarely works so is a huge waste of time.

I am hoping to add more inventory to this weekend. I will keep blogging about this and let you all know how it goes. I had always read that selling on Amazon is way more cut throat than even Ebay but I had no idea!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Chad Dickerson Town Hall Announcements on the Future of Etsy

This is a hard post to write. Yesterday was such a sad day for so many Etsy sellers. We all knew it was coming but to actually hear it said out loud, made it so final and bleak. And for the Town Hall panel (and Chad) to be so condescending to their customers/sellers questions makes it a thousand times worse.

In my opinion this is what happens when you put a tech man in charge of a handmade site. Chad Dickerson is so out of the loop when it comes to handmade and what makes it special. I feel sure when he worked at Yahoo this worked well for him. But Etsy is a different animal. This was so evident when Chad made his Etsy treasury that was full of mass produced items. Remember that one? And even when people pointed out that much of his treasury was resellers, he never took it down. That spoke (and still speaks) volumes. Or the whole bali wood fiasco. That too spoke volumes about where the future of Etsy was headed.

My guess is Chad Dickerson has never made something by hand that came from his own imagination that doesn't include code. How can a person that has never been a part of the arts & crafts movement direct an artisan site? Exactly the way Chad is doing it. With no thought to what goes into making a truly handmade item and what it means to make and sell handmade. What he can understand is mass production, profits and investors. 

This quote is pulled from an interview Chad did on Pandodaily. "Dickerson said his first 18 months as a CTO of the company felt like each day the company might die. It’s been kept alive — externally, at least — by the passion of the seller community." What Chad needs to understand is "the passion of the seller community" can be re directed to another site/sites. Etsy was always driven to success by the sellers (that are also buyers). Not code, not mass produced junk, by the sellers that made each item from their own hands.

This is what Rob Kalin had to say in an interview for before he was ousted. "I speak to people in the business world and the technology world, but I don't admire them," he says, pointing an 8-inch combat knife at me for emphasis. "I admire the makers of the world." This is not empty rhetoric: Kalin makes his own furniture and his own underwear. He also thinks that trying to maximize shareholder value is "ridiculous," adding, "I couldn't run a company where you had to use that as an excuse for why it was doing things."

I feel sure Etsy will continue on and become a huge site for all things mass produced. Because once you open the gate; the flood will come. It will overwhelm all the beautiful things that are truly handmade.
Chad may think he can re define "handmade", but he cannot. Just like he thinks he can use a different Etsy definition for "drop shipping" Thats laughable. We all know what the real meaning of handmade is and we all know what what mass produced is.

The one thing I disagree with that has been posted over and over on the Etsy forums is that handmade is now dead. Handmade may be dead (or dying) on Etsy, but it will never be gone. I have been in the arts and crafts industry in one form or another for about 30 years. During that time (even before Etsy) people would predict the death of handmade. Thankfully it never happens. At the end of the day there will always be people that must make handmade things because they are driven to do so. And there will always be people that want to buy handmade because they know the value of something that is truly handmade from the heart; one stitch, one brushstroke, one pencil mark at a time. 

I leave you all with this picture of a baby blanket proudly handmade by me one stitch at a time.

Kay's Crochet Mystery Boxes/Bags Update

We have been getting a lot of questions on our Mystery boxes so here you go! First some have asked why we are now shipping in bags. USPS...