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Friday, February 28, 2014

It has been a while.

As you may recall, I submitted a pattern proposal to a magazine a while back. I said I would keep you updated on the process. Well, do you know the saying  No News is good News, It is false in this case.
The submission dead line was Feb 7, and then projects that made the cut would be notified within 15 days.
I emailed my submission off early, somewhere in the middle of January, and kicked other concepts around, just pretty much went on with life. 2/7 rolled around, and I got nervous/excited. The thoughts of "What if" and "Oh Wow" mixing together to make my tummy churn and flip over on itself. almost like morning sickness. 15 days of excitement, building with the arrival of the mail carrier, bouncing in and out of the email account, waiting, hoping, praying, dreading the increasing feeling of rejection.  Then, there it was, sitting there, the realization of my biggest fear. I got nothing back from them. The idea I submitted was not chosen. No explanation, no chance to ask if there was a particular reason, just

You see, the magazine's editors are busy people; Sorting through information, judging sketches, yarn choices, and concepts. Looking at something in February, that will not see print until October. Deciding on colors to use, and directions to travel actually starts much sooner than that.

We all know that it takes time, but how much time is what is baffling to me.  I am also really curious about the process that goes on behind what we see. What are they doing? How does it all fit together, If a magazine is published on February 1, when did work on it actually begin?  There is so much that I do not know about the process.

I have what I believe is a unique chance to get some of those answers. I will be interviewing a magazine owner in just a few days. I am compiling a list of questions, and would welcome yours as well. I won't have unlimited time, so I may not get to ask 4000. but I will ask as many as I can fit in. Please respond with yours.

This is a crochet magazine, so questions related to photography, color selections, pattern concepts, timing, pretty open spread I think. Obviously, I will be asking about the project submission process.  I am really excited by this mission. I find it intriguing, as well as intimidating.

I would like to have any comments and questions left here on the blog, so that I can compile things early Monday Morning. You have a couple days to consider your questions. PLEASE do not ask me what magazine. That will be disclosed in the article with the answers.  I want the questions posed to be genre specific, but not publication specific. I do not want any awareness of the magazine to influence your input.

Off to make Donuts, awaiting the next major break in my pattern freeze.

Until Next time


I was just informed that as of right now, not everyone can see or leave comments. If this is true for you, and you would like to comment, or have a question, please email me at    you matter, and I want to hear from you.  I am looking into how to resolve this ASAP

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Textured Mary Jane's ~ New Born Size

I have a customer, a lady I really enjoy talking with, and sharing thoughts and ideas with. Another friend of hers just delivered her first baby girl.  I could not resist adding to the order a pair of Mary Jane's. This is a pattern I have kicked around for quite some time, just did not have a platform to share it.  I hope you will enjoy making these, and of course, share the link with any and all your crochet friends.

For a Printer Friendly PDF Version of this Pattern, Click here

The pair pictured here is the slip on version, more like Ballerina Slippers. These tend to stay on pretty well, because of the shaping at the top of the foot. This next picture is showing 3 variations on the same pattern, Textures, and smooth Mary Jane's, and the textured Ballerina Slipper. To create the smooth shoe, create all your stitches in the traditional manner. The shoe will be a smidge taller, great for the baby with thicker feet.

Round 1
Using Worsted Weight Yarn and a F (3.75mm) crochet hook, ch11, 2sc in 2nd st from hook, 1sc in next 8 sts, 4sc in last st, Working down the other side of the chain, 1sc in next 8 sts, 2sc in last st  (24 total stitches)  sl st to join.
Round 2
Ch2 (count as st), 3hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 9 sts, 3hdc in next st, 1hdc in next st, 3hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 9 sts, 3hdc in last st, sl st in top of ch2  (32)
Round 3
Ch1 (count as st), 1sc in next st, 2sc in next 2 sts, 1sc in next 5 sts, 1hdc in next 5 sts, 2hdc in next 2 sts, 1hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next 2 sts, 1hdc in next 5 sts, 1sc in next 5 sts, 2sc in last 2 sts, join W with sl st in ch1 to join  (40)
Round 4 (color change optional here)
Ch2, 1hdc (3rd and 4th loop) next st, and in ea st around, sl st in top of 2ch to join  (40) see highlighted link for instruction on this technique
Round 5
Ch2, fphdc on next st, bphdc on the next st. repeat, alternating around, sl st in top of ch 2 to join (40)
Round 6
Maintaining post st pattern, Ch1, 1sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog, 1sc in next 8 sts, hdc2tog, dc2tog five times, hdc2tog, 1sc in next 9 sts, sc2tog, 1sc in last 2 sts, sl st in ch 1 to join (31)
Round 7
Ch1, 1sc in next 12 sts,  fpdc2tog three times, 1sc in last 12 sts, sl st in ch1 to join  (28)
Round 8  Finishing.
you may sl st around entire shoe for a slip on, ballerina look, (as shown in the picture above) or you can choose the straps for the more traditional Mary Jane look.
For Mary Janes:
Right Shoe:  Sl st in the first 10 st, ch 11, sc in 5th ch from hook, and in the next 5 ch. sl st in next sc of shoe and around. Remove hook from working loop, insert hook in next st, from inside shoe, pull loop to inside. Cut yarn, and draw end through loop. Bury all ends.
Left Shoe: Sl st in the first 18 st, ch 11, sc in 5th ch from hook, and in the next 5 ch. sl st in next sc of shoe and around. Remove hook from working loop, insert hook in next st, from inside shoe, pull loop to inside. Cut yarn, and draw end through loop. Bury all ends.
Sew Button to edge of shoes.

Until next time,

Again, the Printer Friendly Version (black ink only, no photos) is available,  at this link
Crochet Design is my job.  It is how I pay bills, and buy groceries.  This pattern is available free, on my blog. By downloading the PDF, the need to visit my blog, is eliminated.  I will not be paid by advertisers.  It does not eliminate my need to eat.  Thus the need to charge for the PDF. I know you want me to be able to eat, so I can continue to design for you.  I would not expect you to work your job without compensation.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sometimes, it isn't easy to keep my mouth shut

As a contributor for Dear ELK Studio, I am privileged to see SOME of the questions that are sent in, and if I am on top of it, I get to choose the questions I want to answer.

I read through my News Feed this evening, I saw a question I would have loved to have.  As the program is set up, We contributors get to answer some of the questions posed, Much as Dear Abbey did in our daily newspaper for all those years. Some of the questions are posed on the ELK Studios Face Book Page, for her fans and followers to answer. I do not want to jump into that, and answer, that would feel wrong. I want to  allow this process to be what it is, and learn from this new experience.  It was hard not to just hop in there and add my answer.  I won't do that, I want you to.  here is the link to the question I refer to, and I want to see answers from you posted there too.

Now, I came up with another article I want you to see with regard to pricing your items for sale.
This one is related to Sewing, but facts are facts, and Artists are Artists. This is well written, and deserves your attention too.

And to revisit one more topic. I am a full on Gauge Freak these days. I have really had to work at it lately. I have been testing patterns for other designers, and getting gauge has been difficult. I get the number of stitches, but my height is always off. I am always too tall. You cannot get Sweaters and Skirts to work if you cannot get your stitches to match those of the designer.  A friend of mine tagged me a couple days ago with a blog post from one of my idols in the crochet world. I was stunned, I did not even know she wrote a blog. I was even more stunned at her post. It totally explained what I have been struggling with. I think it is a good read as well, and so I offer it, with the hope that you will be able to identify your style after reading it. Please share your style in the comments. Doris Chan, Thank You for this article from January 2009 

Until next time

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Who are we trying to Reach?

It does not matter what we do, Mommy Blogger, Crochet Designer, Oil Painter, or the Marketer for an Insurance Company. Every profession imaginable, has an audience that we want to reach. Some of us still want to refer to it as a Target Market, and if we are selling a product, it does still apply. It does not matter what term we attach to this group of people. They are still the same people. They have the characteristics and features that make them our desired audience.
My audience may or may not be the same as yours. I may have two or three, I will have to determine that.  So, how do I do that? How do I find them?

This was the very question I was asking a friend to help me answer. She was so quick to tell me that she had another friend who was much better suited to do a guest post on the subject.  After some discussion, I agreed to chat with this friend, and try to work something out.

I had no idea, not the first inclination what was ahead of me that day.  I went into the conversation with a clear idea that I was asking her to share her time and knowledge, to write a guest post on a subject that I had no business tackling. If you want to read about all the stuff that has not worked, I can keep you at your screen for hours. That is only so helpful. I want to offer the working nuts and bolts of the subjects. I want to offer Steak that you can chew on, and feel full when you are finished. I had a very clear in my mind idea that it was going to take more resources than I have to get it.  I did not have the greatest of expectations.  I had an old mantra in my mind, If you do not ask, you will never hear Yes!

I spent nearly an hour on the phone with this amazing woman, who understood me. She responded to my inquiry with leading questions, leading me to express myself more. She was not placating, or demeaning. I felt as if my query was genuinely important to her.  As I reached the part of my speil where I was going to have to share that I had a very small audience, and I was not sure how I would compensate her for her time....(All the while bracing for the rejection, and lecture of wasting her time) She shocked the wilies right out of me.

This woman, who is running this amazing academy that helps artists build their business is offering me this huge gift. She did not agree to a blog post on the subject, but to re-vamp a two hour seminar in which she guides people through the process of identifying the characteristics of their audience, and provides work sheets and actionable steps to connecting with them into a 3 part event. This so that the steps can be worked, and the plan put in motion. She is giving me this. No financial responsibility what-so-ever.  What's more, she is offering it to any and all who want to participate.

What is the catch? We all know there is one. None of us is so naive as to believe anything is free. Well, we must pre-register for the event, so that we can receive the worksheets by email. We also have the opportunity to be a sponsor of this event, and share it with our friends, followers, strangers who's facebook post indicates that they might benefit from it.  The details of sponsorship are located on the class room page.  I would so welcome Sponsors, Not just to build my blog presence, but for yours too.

I had a lovely conversation with Martiel today, she was walking her dog, near a marshy area somewhere near DC. She is so approachable. She has a life outside her business. She respects peoples abilities and limitations. She has assured me that if each of us in attendance uses the tools provided, we will have a grasp on our target audience by the end of the 3rd segment.

If you have questions, ask them, her contact info is on the class page, as is mine.

Until next time


Friday, February 21, 2014

Pricing Your Craft, Guest Post with Martiel Beatty

Pricing Your Craft
By Martiel Beatty

Pricing your art or crafts is part math and part observation. In the years I’ve been selling I can tell you that both math and the market have played an equal part in pricing what I make.

As many of you have probably found, there is a lot of chatter on this subject, but very little on how EXACTLY to do it. When I discovered this (as you are right now), I decided that pricing shouldn’t be that hard; which is why I am in the final testing stages of a complete pricing calculator for artists. I am sharing this with you not for bragging rights but so you know that I’ve done the research and I’m not just winging it. I am very passionate about pricing and I feel strongly that if done correctly, you can sell your work and make a living doing it.

Below I cover what you should consider, things to include in your market research, information on product and pattern testers and of course a little math to help you price your work accurately.

What to Consider

When you are pricing what you make that are several factors that must be considered before you even start calculating numbers. It’s important that you consider the manufacturing time associated with any product. If it is something that is highly time intensive, you should weigh this against similar products on the market (more in the next section). Other factors to consider before you put too much work into a product are the materials costs and marketability. If your product requires a material that is extremely rare, this can work for you or against you – it all depends on your ability to market the product. Thinking about these three things: manufacturing time, materials costs and marketability before you create an entire product line. If all the pieces don’t fall into place, move on. You don’t want to waste your time on a product that is too expensive to produce or in unmarketable.

Market Research

The words market research are a bit intimidating I realize – and for many artist’s it seems like an unnecessary step. However, as an artist myself, I can assure you that market research is incredibly helpful and effective at showing you what is out there, how much it is, and if your product is marketable. When you are conducting market research, you need to compare and review several bits of information:

·         Collect information from several sellers
·         Review sellers average sales per month
·         Compare the average price of products similar to yours
·         Consider how many products out there are similar to yours
·         Examine the range of prices
·         Consider where your product’s price would fall in the range of other similar products.

Recruit Testers

Nothing will test your product’s durability; createability, and marketability than testers. I am a big fan of testers and for a good reason – they work!

When you are considering a new product or trying to price a product that hasn’t sold well, one of the best ways to find out how people like it is to ask people to test it out. When you do this, make sure you ask your testers to give you feedback. Feedback can be as informal as an email or short note to let you know what they thought about the product or it can be well organized and statistical if you use a survey or form. It’s totally up to you. But no matter how you get information about your product you should ask your testers the following questions:

·         What do you like about it?
·         What don’t you like about it?
·         Where can it be improved?
·         What colors/materials/textures/etc. do you think are best for this product?
·         How much would you pay for this product?
How does this product make you feel?
·         …and so on.

Arriving at Your Final Price

Finally, you have checked out your competition, gotten your seal of approval from your testers, your product passes the things to consider test; now what? Time to price it!

When you price your products it’s important that you consider what your market can bear while also doing a little math. Here is what I suggest.

1.       Find the average price of similar products in the market. Add all the product prices together and then divide by the number of products. For example if I had three products and their prices were $4.00, $9.50 and $7.25 I would calculate the average of these products like this:

4.00 + 9.50 + 7.25 = 20.75 / 3 = 6.92

$6.92 is the average market price for this example.

2.      Next use the following formula to calculate your price. It should be near or close to the average price you calculated using the formula above.

Labor per Hour + Materials Cost = Wholesale Price

Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

My final thought on prices… if the price isn’t making you uncomfortable, then it’s not high enough. Handmade is about quality not quantity – treat it respectively.

Author Info/Bio:

Martiel Beatty
Martiel specializes in helping artist’s build online businesses and blogs. Find out how I can help you build yours today; Read this Now!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have You No Shame?

I have seen more of the Snarky back-handed NASTY behavior in the last week than I want to see in my life time.

I belong to some crochet groups, public, private and even some secret, where I am appalled at the comments that are being left, in a public forum.

Seriously People, Have You No Shame?

You will not look better than the person you attack; You will not gain a following because you are willing to deface the provider of information. Your standing in the community will not be bolstered by your "words of wit".

The people who feel the need to post negative comments are obviously feeling very inadequate. The behavior is the same as we see on elementary school playgrounds. It is called Bullying, and it is wrong.

The receivers of these comments are people, they have feelings, they are working to build a business. They have information to share. Sometimes they provide things that do not conform to your needs. That is not an invitation to latch on to some obscure issue so they can be raked over hot coals.

I am reminded of the Poem, "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten"
Perhaps a moment or two should be devoted to thought about that time in our lives. Sticks and stones do hurt, and so do words.

I am also given to think of "the ethic of reciprocity,"  Known to many as "The Golden Rule"  

I was not planning to post any sort of rant, but this morning while going through my facebook feed, I saw this, I felt inclined to share. Perhaps there are others who would like to post it on their page, 

Be good to each other

Until next time

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Article 3, Material + Time

Working on this article has had me scratching my head, these concepts want to meld together, and the lines want to blur. That is next week's concept. I must stay focused, and offer things in a manner that can satisfy.
Delving in,
The concept this week is materials, + Time.

In essence, this means you are charging an hourly rate for your time. You access your time to have value. Well, that is a no brainer; Seriously, is that not what I have been saying all along?  The question becomes, where to place that value?  Is my time worth minimum wage, or more? Where do I start? This takes some evaluation, and perhaps some additional information.  What am I crocheting for this person? Does that matter?

The poop scooper at the petting zoo gets minimum wage. Has this person been building on a skill? Or did the shovel get handed over and pile after pile is removed.  Is the service provided here more important than the work you do?

What about the person who serves your meal in a restaurant, or the person who washes the dishes in the same restaurant? will they say something along the lines of, Well, I just want to supplement my family income a bit, Or "but I love what I do, it seems wrong to ask for money"

DYA_2014_Tall4AdI know when I choose to use this pricing method, I tend to focus on $8.00 to $10.00 an hour. Some have a much higher value, which, as in any industry comes from time and experience. I do believe that my time is worth more, but I also know that I have not found my target market. It is difficult to find the customers while I stand in the corn field throwing darts. That does not mean that I should insult myself by taking the first dollar that is dangled in my face.

If we are fair, to ourselves, and the customer, we look at what it is we are creating. This is a variable. Some may desire a custom created hat, others a granny style baby blanket. Are they both worth the same hourly rate? Maybe, Maybe not. you will have to decide that.

Let's pretend for just a moment, that the sky is the limit, you have no concern over quality of raw product, your stitches are exquisite, The pattern is beyond superb. Everything is absolutely perfect. You invest 2 hours in this project, and your customer has given you cart-Blanche.  Because all of the components are so in line with perfection you set your price at 18.50 an hour, + the cost of materials.  You will whip this out and be oh so happy to collect $50.00 for this Bag that the customer wants for her wedding.  It is beyond all expectation. For Both of you. Well Done.

Now, for the same bag, and yarn, created by a person with less experience. Instead of taking 2 hours to complete, it is closer to 6 hours. Because both artists are determined to get it right, the bags are very comparable. Should the artist charge the same hourly rate?

I could go on, but without tipping into next weeks topic, there really is not a lot more I can offer.

Join me next Saturday for the comparisons, and some food for thought on when each of the methods make more sense, and how you can feel good about using all of them. Maybe even to a point of reading the pattern, and naming a price that feels good to you, and the customer.

Until next time


Thursday, February 13, 2014

How's About A Hat Pattern

 For this project, You will need aprox 100 yds of Super Bulky Yarn. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick It behaves the best for this pattern.
An N crochet hook
A Large Eyed Needle for burying end
About 2 to 21/2 hours.

This hat is worked in a spiral, so stitch markers may be helpful, but are not required.
This hat is very stretchy. As it fell off the hook, it measured 18 1/2 inches. with just a bit of tugging, it quickly stretched to fit a 24 inch head. I do have a relaxed hand. If you crochet tightly, try a P hook. flat top is 7 1/2 across.

This pattern is available in my Craftsy Shop,

For a Printer Friendly Version of this pattern, (text only , Black Ink Only, No Photos) Click Here
To add this to your favorites on Ravelry, Click Here

Crochet Design is my job.  It is how I pay bills, and buy groceries.  This pattern is no longer available free, on my blog.  I know you want me to be able to eat, so I can continue to design for you.  I would not expect you to work your job without compensation.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Horizons, No Boundries

I want to take a minute to let you know some of the awesome that is coming down the pike.

A new pattern will be ready to release in the next couple days, I know how everyone likes to grab the patterns. It is exciting to do different things with our stitches, and create things that are classy, fun and functional. I think I will hit the mark for some of you this week.

On Saturday Morning, I will be posting the 3rd article on Pricing. In this one, the focus will be Cost + Time.  The Wrap up post, where we will do some blending, and pinning down of when each is the better option will be the following Saturday.

I had planned to jump into the topic of Target Market the first of March, I have been conducting research, and delving into this topic so much already, I think it could be a 6 month course, where we would still have some questions.  Instead, I was blessed to be put in contact with Martiel Beatty, and will be hosting this opportunity, Open to any and all, regardless of their art

Webinar Information

I will be posting about this, a lot and often. I need sponsors who are willing to help promote this event, you may contact me through Email, at  Please put Sponsor Webinar in the subject line.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fiasco or Fine?

After a few days of debate, and asking followers for some input, I meandered myself into a salon for a hair cut.
I was nervous, and had my husband along for company.  I sat in the chair, and enjoyed the luxury of having my hair shampooed. I really do enjoy that. There is something very therapeutic about a good massage of the scalp, and the aroma of a salon shampoo that just awakens the senses. Now Time for the cut.  Sitting in another chair we are chatting about my choice of style. I had forgotten my picture at home, but found something in the book there that was so close, this woman knew who I meant right away.  The stylist turned my chair, and began the cutting process.  Chatting away, My husband is getting bored, but he is really very patient. I am positioned so I am not looking in the mirror, but more at my husband. I am glad, as he is a huge part of the reason I have worn my hair long the last 22 years. I am judging his facial expression, and all is good. he is neither showing alarm or joy, just looking bored.  I was stone cold when she turned my chair so that I could see in the mirror. My Hair, what? where?  no.
I was not even able to stammer anything. I had gone in with an expectation, and had shown the woman a picture, She had indicated the understanding of my request. I was staring at a cut that did not belong. I swear, it was god-awful, choppy, blunt and NOT what I wanted.  I bit my tongue. Had I been able to say anything, it would have been less than humane.
She spent 48 minutes using a flat iron and blow dryer on my hair. It was flopped in front of my face for most of this time. She then spun me back to the mirror, grabbed by the handful from the top of my forehead, and dropped it on top, fluffed it a bit with her fingers and asked what I thought.  Hands instantly moving it, trying to look less angry, and actually look at the cut and style. It did not work well.  I had her give a few more snips, so there was some feathering and framing of my face, which actually just made it look choppier.
I thanked her, got my coat and hat, paid the bill. My husband followed me out the door, not sure what sort of obscenities might be flying out of my mouth by the time we got to the car. I just thought all the way home, I do not think I spoke.
When I picked up my grand daughter from school, she looked at me, she says, "I liked it better long, but it will grow back, Right Grammy?"
Oh, the hugs I gave that little girl, and the smiles, and reassurances that Yes, it will grow back.

Today, I spent some time on it. I put a fresh color on it, and played with the curling iron, the gels mouse, hot rollers, hairspray and several different clips to get it to do something that was not an embarrassment.  I am not sure how I fared, as I am my biggest critic. I will say that there is truth to the statement of a 5 year old. It will grow back.  If you want to see it, you will have to wait just a bit.  I will be participating in a new venture with several other Wonderful Crochet Artists, which is expected to launch within the week.  I will let you know more, as soon as I have a actual date.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What am I selling? Article #2 on Pricing my Crochet for sale

This is the second in a series, you can read the first article here

I have been researching all week for this article, I have read countless blog posts from others, I have a list with 19 different links that I could include on the 3Xcost method of Pricing your Crochet Items for sale.

It is 4:32 on Friday afternoon, and I am just now in a place where I can write something I think MAY make sense.

In a group discussion just a bit ago, I saw again the normal post, The customer/friend/cousin wants this, and I quoted XX. Is that too much?
I see this so often, I know how it will play out, and yet I always get sucked into these discussions.

This time it was this pair of adult Ugh Style Boots    

the price quoted was $22.00.

I have to say, I wanted to crawl through the wires of the internet, and blast out in her face with some sort of ARE YOU OFF YOUR ROCKER?  Rant and Tirade  Picture the Looney Tunes Cartoons with the phone, where the animal explodes out of the receiver, all puffed up like a balloon until they have concluded their rant, and are then deflated, hanging out the earpiece of the old fashioned phone.  Before I could focus, there it was, in all it's helpfulness, "I use 3 times the price of my yarn to set my price"  Again, I felt it, I was swelling like a balloon, I was urging my fingers to type, but alas, it was futile, the original poster chimed in with, "I have enough left over from another project, so there is no cost". I dropped my head, and walked away from my computer. it is a lost cause, this person is not going to get it.  DO YOU?

I went back and offered the link for the gadget that I shared last week. I suggested that she make one, and double the time. Then weigh the boot that was created, and figure out just how much yarn goes into it, and of course double it.  Then, determine what the yarn would cost, if she had to walk into a store and buy it today, with no sale price or coupon involved.
I was stunned to see how many were being gentle with their nudge that she should actually be asking more. here is a copy of my last statement on that thread.

 I think it is also important to note, hand made is not the same as what you get going to a box store and buying clearance priced merchandise. A person who does not have the skill is asking someone with the SKILL to make it for them. The SKILL is what you are selling, your time, and your Skill. You can buy cheap boots anywhere.

This actually says it very well.  
If you need a plumber, you are not likely to get him to work for you at a price lower than industry standard, and frankly, it is a whole lot more than minimum wage. An attorney is gong to charge you his normal rate, As will the beautician who cuts your hair. Why is it we as artisans are reluctant to recognize the value of our time, and SKILL?

So, Now, let's look at the 3 X Cost method for pricing. Just for the sake of continuity, lets use the same project, so I do not loose you in this.

The Pattern itself is $5.00
A skein of Red Heart Super Saver 14 oz is about $8.00
A skein of Red Heart Classic is about $4.00,

the item has at least 2 colors, not sure if the sole is doubled, so we will use these figures to calculate.

Based on the cost involved, assuming she has to start with a hook and a request, she will be paid $5.00 for her time if she does actually charge $22.00 for this order.  I will not even go into how ludicrous that is.

Factoring the cost at $17.00, and using the 3X method, the price of this order is $51.00.
Better right?
But is it fair to the seller and the customer?   Maybe.
$34.00 for your time is not too bad, if you look at a projected 4 hours to make the pair, that is $8.50 an hour.  What if you actually need 6 hours, because of something unforeseen in the pattern, as in doubled yarn, and doubled soles. Or a new stitch that you are unfamiliar with, then the hourly rate for the pair would be $5.60 an hour. Still a good deal? An entire day, focused on this project, is it worth it, or will you have resentment, and be saying I need to charge more if I make these again?

There are some that think this is a great way to do it, because it sets a standard price, industry wide. If you are a seasoned crocheter, The pattern would get completed faster than some one who is just starting out. So, the rate per hour would be higher for some and as proficiency expanded it would continue to grow. Beware. It does not always work out so well. (if you think of this as a well priced item)  Now lets look at a small, free pattern, but also a pair.  My Zen Baby Legs, in a child size.
Yarn required
Less than 1 skein of # 2 yarn, Just say $2.00
Patten Free.
Time to complete, about 2 hours
So, the price would be $6.00. The customer is delighted.
So, the hourly break down would be $2.00 an hour.  Are you looking for a way to inflate that? Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing on edge saying you are worth more than that? Mine Are.
 Let's do one more, this time, two different Hat patterns. The first is this Slouchy Faux Cable Hat
the second is this Kiwi Slouch Hat  With both of these being Slouch hats, the price should be easy to calculate, right?  They take a similar amout of yarn. Let's just say one skein of Caron Simply Soft for each Hat.
Both patterns are free, and I do not know either designer here, just random hats from Ravelry.
One skein of yarn is sufficient to crochet either hat.
Carron Simply Soft Aprox $ 3.25
Using the 3X method, the hats would sell to the customer for $9.75  Holy Wow, Really?  You would be satisfied with that?
For the faux Cabled Hat, I spent 30 minutes reading the pattern, and it took nearly 4 hours to make. It is complex and involved. Certainly worth more than $1.44 an hour. I would think 10 times that.
The Kiwi Slouch was a much quicker read, and took just over an hour and one half for me to complete. So, the break down for this hat would be 3.25 an hour.  really? for a beginner pattern I would make more money,  Well, yes, because it does not take as much of my time, or skill, so a higher reward.   THAT IS JUST WRONG.

So back to the title of this posting, What am I selling?  Am I selling products? or am I selling my time and skill to provide a service to the customer that wants a quality, hand made item?  Price your goods accordingly.

Until next time


Friday, February 7, 2014

A New look For Me

This is so off the general topic, and yet it is not.

I have some great things coming up in the not so distant future. I have been told, pretty emphatically that it is time to get myself out of the back ground, and be seen. This plays into several areas of my life, but especially here in my media world.

Before I will even let someone take a picture of me, with the intent being to put it on the internet for the world to see, I want a hair cut, I want to be seen in the best light possible.  So, I would appreciate some feed back, just a bit of a nudge.  I have selected 3 styles that I like, and placed pictures of them on my Pintrest Inspirations Board  Please click on that RED link right there, and click like on the one that you think is best suited to a 50 year old woman, with lot's to offer.

Well, DRAT, it would seem there is no more like button on Pintrest.  well, if you would please comment here on the blog. it is easy with Google+  and the link opens a new window, so you won't loose me. 

I would be very delighted, and it will only take a few seconds.

Oh, don't dawdle about it, I plan to get my hair cut on Monday, February 10th.


Until next time,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Zen Baby Legs Crochet Pattern

Blogging is so brand new to me, I have decided I like it, I have also decided that if I want people to read my blog, I have to read others.  I have also decided that it might be nice if I share a link to a post from another Blogger with you. Not Just any post, but one that strikes me that day. Today's is from Beatrice Ryan Designs.  She impressed me today See the link there in RED

Now, on to my offering for the day:

This pattern is so cute, if I do say so myself.  My grand daughter loves leg warmers, sometimes.
She has her favorite colors, and her favorite features. Soft, not too textural, not too tight, but not so loose they fall down. Her latest request is something to keep them from pulling up too much when she does have to pull them up. (like after running or dancing)

I started these Wednesday Afternoon, and was so excited. It was just a thought, The more rounds I did, the more I liked it. They are way too cute, They are light, Airy, delicate, but not flimsy. A true break from the weighted down heavy we have needed this winter season.  I am so ready for spring.

I posted a picture on face book asking for name suggestions, and I got a few, I have not quite found the one that grabs me, so I am waiting.

What's say we start with the pattern?

Starting with a soft, fine weight yarn, and an H hook
confirm your gauge of 14 DC and 8 Rows in 4 inches.
too many stitches? go with a larger hook, Not enough? yup, smaller hook.  Too Short, Think Tall as you work your stitch, try not holding your working yarn so tightly. Too Tall, Well, aren't you an odd ball. hold on to that yarn just a little.

Once your gauge is confirmed, you will have no problem making these wonderful leg warmers for any child.  This is written to fit a 4 to 6 year old.  If I have enough interest, I will do the math, and add more sizes.

Fdc 29, ch 3, and join to the base of your first dc.
if your Foundation DC's look anything like mine, you are going to LOVE this technique.
 The stitches themselves are fine. It is the Eyelet lace look at the bottom that I am unhappy with. This one is pretty consistent, sometimes the loops are different sized, and pulled askew. Looks like one of the kittens got hold of it. Even though it is getting better, this is not the edge I want, so, we are not going to use it.
 Here you see that I have ch3, and slst to the foundation, where I would have built the next st. This gives us 30 total st for this round. Except, it isn't a round,  yet
 Drop your working loop from the hook, insert the hook through the very first ch. through the hole where the tail starts. Do this from the front side, so that your right side will be facing when the joint is completed.
 Now pull the working loop through, snug up the working loop and ch 1.pull snug to finish the joint.
 You can see here how you actually have two ch3 next to each other, you will use the tail and a yarn needle to secure this closed.  Now look at the top edge of our tube, Beautiful, clear stitches, no goofy loops, but ALL the stretch of the fdc.  All those goofy loops, they are at the top, about to be worked over, hidden from view, to be forgotten, until you start the second leg warmer.
Rnd 2.  Ch3, FPDC over the 2nd ch3, BPDC over next 3, FPDC over next 3, all the way around. Finish round with 1 FPDC, slst to ch 3. ch3 to start next round
R3 to R5 Repeat R2,
R6 ch3, sk 1 dc, sc in the next,ch3, sk1 dc, sc in the next, around to the last dc. ch1, dc in the dc you started the round in. This will give you the elevation you need to start this round.
From here, you will be working in a spiral, with out joining your rounds.
R7 Ch2, sc in the ch 3 loop, ch 2, sc in next loop, all the way around.
R8. Ch 1, sc in next loop, ch1, sc in next loop around.
R9. Ch 2 sc in next ch space. ch 2, sc in next.Around
R10. Ch 3, sc in next loop. use a marker to indicate your first ch 3 loop. continue around, ch 3, sc in the loop
Repeat rounds 7 to 10 4 more times, until you have 5 of the ch1  rounds, you will end on a ch 3 round.
DC in the next sc, Dc in the ch3 space. around. join with a slst.
Ch3 FPDC over next dc, BPDC over next 3, work around. Finish the round with 1 fpdc, slst around the ch 3 at the beginning of the round. Repeat round 3 more times. Slst to the last fpdc,     Do not bind off.

 Ch 1, Yarn Over, and insert hook into the top of the last BPDC in the next set.  Complete DC, It will be virtually laying sideways across the end of the group of BPDC.

 Yarn over, and insert hook into the base of the last dc Made, We are doing FDC now.
But I want you to catch the two threads, so there will not be quire as much stretch.
Continue the FDC for a total of 9

Now we are going to attach these 9 to the other side, with the 10th FDC.
Look how the stirrup is coming off the side at a 3bpdc space, we will attatch it about 1/3 of the way arround. Skip the 2 fpdc groups, and the bpdc between them.

Insert hook in the top of the Last BPDC  of the next group.
 draw loop through, 2 loops on hook
Yarn over and insert hook into base of FDC of Stirrup. (as if making the next DC)
and now insert hook through the first BPDC of the group.  yarn over, and pull through both layers that are being joined.
You now have 4 loops on hook, and we can complete the dc, and the joining of our
 We Y/O, draw through the first 2 loops. Y/O again and pull through all three.
 It is just a smidge bulkier than a normal DC
 poke hook through the next fpdc, and slst to secure it.
 Cut yarn, and bury ends.  One down, one to go.
Allie is tickled, and eager to get all gussied up for a photo shoot, but she has to hold on to that enthusiasm until after school tomorrow.

Oh, in the process of getting this finished, the perfect name was offered by Cheryl Pledge Kardell.  May I present the "Zen Baby Legs"  legwarmers.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am looking for you

Social Media has become the common thread in so many lives. Even standing in the check out line at the local library, I have conversations with strangers over something posted on Facebook, or seen on YouTube. People want to connect. Many things are being done in an electronic format. We can all see the progression. Learning how to join in has been a struggle for me. Using the "New Platforms"
It was about two years ago that my son came home from work, telling me about "this board, where you share things, and it is really cool" he says to me. "Mom, you need to look at it" he says to me. I looked it up, and went, "Oh, ...  cool", in a very half-hearted way. If only I had known then, what I know now. I would probably know what I need to, so that I could manage marketing with Pintrest Effectively.
Pintrest is growing fast as a "go to" spot. You can find, follow, share pins, re-pin, get ideas, give instruction, Plan A Wedding, Plan a Vacation, Sell or Buy items, let's face it, if it is tangible, you will find someone doing something with it on Pintrest. It is FREE, and sitting there waiting to lure you into it's crossed boundaries world of framed, loveliness. 

When we look at those people who are buying things, (broad spectrum Target Audience)  What do we need to know about them? Age? Economic Status? Family Status? Life Style? Gender? yes, those ideas come to mind, although it would seem we need to know what they are looking for, What do they want to buy? Can we ask them? It would be a challenge. We cannot expect to be a big box store, and have everything imaginable under one roof. Each of us is more defined than that. Our Audience varies, today they need one item, tomorrow it is another. We as the seller need to find ways to put our item in the places where they will be seen when our customers are looking.
If you sell the most delightful crochet tablecloths and bedspreads, you won't find your audience with young parents shopping for kids shoes. but they might pin it.
If you sell Luxury Baby items, Layettes, Christening Gowns and the like, you would not want them along side Snow Shovels and Electric Drills, That is not your audience.
If your items are obscure, people won't find them. Let's spend some time learning how to use Pintrest in a way we can benefit from.  That is why, when you look to my Pintrest boards You will see, I only have a few right now. (that you can see)  I have made all the others private.

I will be working on getting things functional for sales before I put them out on public display. As I reveal each board, I will discuss it here, so perhaps I can help you learn from my foolish miss-pins.

My Free Patterns board is just that. The Tips and Tricks will fill up with pins of technique and tutorials that are actually useful, not just things to fill up the board.  The other two, Sadly, they are a mess, and need to be cleaned up.

Until next time


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pricing My Items for sale

This is the first in a series of articles. I appreciate you, and hope that you will follow along as I try to add something to the subject, from a direction that makes me comfortable.

If I have seen anything repeated in multiple threads on Facebook, or any of the social media groups for that matter, it is, "What should I charge for this?", usually followed by a picture. Sometimes they are great pictures, sometimes not so great.  Photography will be a topic for a future series.

There is a HUGE push for three times the cost of materials.  We can go into more detail on this method Next Saturday, February 8th, because this really needs to be thought through. There are others who have expounded on this concept. I will pull together an article that will cover it in depth.

There is a BIG lean toward a cost + time compilation.  (We can discuss this after we talk about the Three times method.) So many factors to examine.

There is a small group who feel  "It needs to be reasonably priced, so I can sell more, and therefore make more money in the long run."  There is a place for this thinking, and we can delve it into it in the Spring.

From my Perch on the Porch, I find that none of them work for me.  It is not so cut and dry as any of these.  There are elements that factor in that are not so easily defined.

I did find this tool a while back, that helped me establish a starting place.  Check out this gadget  from!
It is easy enough to use, and has just recently been upgraded to allow a few more options.  It is fun to play with, and gives the opportunity to adjust factors, while keeping it depersonalized.

I would suggest playing with it a bit. You have a product that gets regular orders, let's say a hat. You have sold this hat for 2 years at $20.00. You are happy with that price, you feel compensated for time and materials. This is a great place to do a comparison.  Enter the cost of materials, and the time required to create the hat, then slide the profit button around, or try the different skill competence levels. Where does it put your $20.00 price?  Do you still feel good about your price?WONDERFUL!
Now use the same levels to see what the price would be for that item you just do not know where to start.  Does this tool provide you with a number that makes sense? Do you feel in your gut it should be more or less?  Why? Now you are thinking. Some effort is going into it, but not from a thin air place. You have a suggested dollar amount from which to start.

I have struggled with a confidence issue for quite some time. My work is good, the items I create are often my own designs. I am proud of what I do. I still struggle with placing a value on my work.  I have had people look, and be extra excited about an item, then shut down immediately when they hear a price. I have also had people reach into their pocket and hand that same amount to me immediately.  I have had those that agree to the price, but I never hear from them again.  It is real, it happens, it is not you, it is them.  The people you want to connect with are the ones who are reaching into their pocket right away.  That is your target market. We will look at the details of who they are soon.

Article two has been published, you can read it here