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><br />

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

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

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.






Friday, May 1, 2015

Into the Archives - Woollies for Tassie

This blog post first appeared here: http://howtocrochetaheart.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/woollies-for-tassie-part-2.

I'm digging up old blog posts! I hope you enjoy



I've been really enjoying crocheting for a purpose, other than the usual purpose of having fun! I have been making 8" squares to send to Tasmania (see this previous post)

I've made a few of the traditional granny squares, but wanted to make a few extra fancier ones.

You might remember last year (well, a couple of months ago!) I made this:


I absolutely love this pattern, and had a few circles left over, perfect to use! but they do need to be bigger!


The pattern is called Flowers in the Snow by Solveig. You will need to visit her page to get the first three rounds. 

Round 4: in any chain space: 3 ch, 3dc (UK tr), 1 ch, *4 dc in next chain space, 1 ch. Repeat from *10 more times and sl st into 3rd chain from beginning  
{4dc in each space, separated by a chain}

Round 5: in any chain space: 3 ch, 1dc, 1 ch, 2dc, 2ch. *2dc into next chain space 1 chain and 2dc (into same chain space) 2 chains. Repeat from * 10 more times and sl st into 3rd chain from beginning. 
{2dc, 1ch, 2dc into each space, separated by 2 chains}

Round 6: into large chain space (space made by 2 chains) 3ch 3dc 1ch, 1dc into small chain space, 1ch, *4 dc into next large chain space, 1 ch, 1dc into nect small chain space. repeat from * 10 more times and sl st into 3rd chain from beginning
{4dc into large space, 1dc into each small space, each separated by 1ch}

Round 7: starting the corner
Starting in any space to the right  of the single dc
4ch and 1tr, 5ch and into next space; 2 tr.
3ch, *2dcinto next space, 1ch, 2dc into next space 3ch, 2dcinto next space, 1ch, 2dc into next space 3ch
+ 2tr into next space 5ch 2tr into next sp 3ch 
Repeat from * two times, and then repeat from * a third time and finish at +. Sl st to join.



Round: 8:
Starting in the corner space, 3ch and 2dc, 3ch, 3dc
*1 ch, 4dc into next sp, 3ch, 4dc into next space, 3chain, 4dc into next space, 3ch, 4dc into next sp, 1ch
+3dc, 3ch, 3dc in next space, repeat from * two times, and then repeat from * a third time and finish at +. Sl st to join.


Round 9:
Starting in the corner space, 3ch and 2dc, 3ch, 3dc
*2ch, 2dc into next sp, 3ch, 5dc into next sp, 3ch, 5dc into next sp, 3ch, 2dc into nect sp, 2ch
+3dc 3ch 3dc into next space. repeat from * two times, and then repeat from * a third time and finish at +. Sl st to join.




I have used a 4mm hook with 8ply yarn. If you are going to send to Woollies for Tassie, they are asking for 8ply yarn, either wool or acrylic but please label it. For more info, please go to the Craft Hive (as this is an older post, the collection is no longer current) 





Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Face Lift


Every so often, I'll mix up things on the blog. You might notice a new layout, and a new logo! I hope you enjoy. Hopefully things are cleaner and a bit easier to read. I'll be fixing up some of the sidebar links over the next few days, if I'm not crocheting!


My Knitting Project


I could knit before I could crochet, but never learnt much beyond basic knit and purl.

I would love to expand my repertoire of knitting, and fell in love with the 'Beekeeper's Quilt' by Tiny Owl Knits. These tiny 'hexipuffs' make up a beautiful quilted blanket. This is my third attempt, and although not perfect, I'm very happy! I think this is going to be a very long term project, but it will be easy to take the small amount of yarn needed for one puff with me, so I can knit if I'm out and waiting for appointments.

Im using up my odds and ends, which is predominantly 8ply/dk yarn, so my puffs are a bit bigger than the pattern, which calls for sock yarn. As a novice knitter, I think the is as small as I could manage!

My knitting urge is satisfied for the time being!

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