I took the plunge today and started my shop on my website. This is an exciting step for me. I’m able to offer discounts and sales more easily than anywhere else.
Right now there’s only a few items listed. I’ve got two book series listed for sale and a few crochet patterns which can be downloaded right from my site!
This shop feature is one of the reasons I switched to the new website. It offers me the opportunity to have more control over the price of my items. There are a variety of features which offer a lot of options that aren’t available elsewhere.
Please go to the Shop and wander around. At the bottom on the product page is a place for you to like a product, if you so wish.
Over the next few weeks, my plan is to add all of my books, short stories, and crochet patterns. I also plan to add completed crochet items which will be one time offers available to the first person to purchase.
In a week, I’m going to a city market sale. This is the first time I’ve really done anything like this. I didn’t have a lot of stock built up so I was feeling nervous about it. My craft room is in chaos with moving things in and out of my house and the holidays. I’ve not had a chance to go in, dig in, and get it organized again.
I sent my husband in to my pickling crock. There’s a giant pickling crock (old days they made gallons of pickles in these large crocks) which I use for storing my scrap balls of yarn. With my worsted weight yarn, I saved it all for my mom who made slippers out of it.
Ken hasn’t a clue about yarn – other than I spend money on it. I sent him in with instructions to grab me six or seven balls. From the first group of balls he grabbed I made three headbands, three hats, a scarf, and a shawl.
Last night I knew I was going to be done with the yarn he brought me so I asked him to go yarn ball hunting for me again. I finished off the shawl from the first group and looked at the next group. Two of the balls really called to me – one because it was super soft and the other because it was large (oversized) yarn which I knew would make up quick. I used the supersized yarn to make another headband. The super soft yarn – also bigger yarn – called to me. This is so soft you feel like you’re floating when you touch it. I love the yarn – the problem – too little yarn for a headband. So what am I going to do with it? Plus it is orange – a bright and often difficult color for a lot of people. So I came up with an idea. I grabbed a smaller ball (yup left over from the first round of projects). It was gray – a nice calm color to contrast the brightness of the orange. I created a border. Now I worried it would be too much of a contrast because it was smaller yarn and drastically different color. To be fair, the base in orange was a make and tear out about three times before I got the yarn to go as far as I needed it to. This also meant it wasn’t quite long enough for a headband.
The gray had to tone down the orange, add length and width to the headband, and make the piece long enough to be an actual headband. A lot of work for a little ball of yarn. However, I think it worked out nicely. In fact I liked it so much I’ve written up the pattern.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve made coasters, dishcloths, headbands, scarf, shawl, and hats all for this city market I’m going to in an effort to promote my books and sell my crocheting.
I always struggle with pricing but I’m researching and getting things organized. By Friday night, I’m hoping to have more done. I’m also hoping to get the pricing on all the items. I want to have my boxes all organized and ready to go so Saturday morning, it’s a matter of putting them in my car and going.
To me it’s a challenge when I’m given a ball of yarn to see how far I can stretch it. Will it make a hat or do I need to stretch it? If I combine these two different yarns will they look good together or am I being too daring? But those little balls of yarn can actually make some very interesting things. It may sound crazy – but hey not the first time I’ve been called that – but let the yarn tell you what it wants to be.
Today I went with one of my nieces craft shopping. I used gift cards and holiday cash to make all of my purchases! The other great thing is everything I bought was on sale – everything. So not only did I get great deals and the materials I wanted but I didn’t spend a penny out of my own account. Thank you to my faculty at my job, one family member, and a friend. They made this relaxing day completely possible!
Joanns has a great sale on and I stocked up on crochet cotton. I can’t lie – the $1 a skein made me nearly clean out their display of the colors they had. Then I hit the aisles to look for yarn for two blankets, one scarf and other crochet cotton (also on sale) which had different colors. The per ounce price (yes I figured out for each of the brands on sale) for the $1 per skein was FABULOUS. I got most of what I wanted – though I never get enough yarn.
My niece and I had a lovely day together, spending time and chatting. We went to Burnie’s rock shop as well. It was crowded and busy and yet we both managed to find items to purchase.
I have an afghan nearly done for her and I was hoping to surprise her with it today but at 12:30 last night I gave it up and said nope… too much left to do. I’ll keep working on it and hope to get it done in the next week or two.
Aside from her blanket, I’m going to be at the Whitewater library on January 19, so I plan to make a few small things which can hopefully fill up my table and make some sales. At this point, I’m thinking coasters and dishcloths but I want to consult my list to see if I can come up with other things. While at Joann’s today, I picked up pins to use for blocking several pairs of earrings, bracelets and a bookmark. Once they’ve dried, I’ll have to find buttons for the bracelets and those can come with me to the sale as well.
I feel like I’m getting caught up. Tomorrow I plan to work on crochet patterns – publishing and posting. I’ve got a long list of them to work on so I’m hoping to get a large chunk of them done. I have new patterns which include two leaflets (meaning multiple patterns) to publish. I have three groups of patterns I’ve not posted on Ravelry and need to get those up there. This is the task which takes the longest. I’m hoping to get through all of them before I go back to work so the next two day I think will be taken up with those.
I’m winding down on my days off. I feel good about the progress I’ve made with projects. Before this time off, I always felt like I was falling further and further behind. Now I feel caught up and ready to move forward.
If I manage to get through the crochet patterns, I think I’m going to work on the short story I had professionally edited – it was so mangled from all the different version, I needed to help with it.
I’m at the end of my day and feel really good. It was good to get one on one with my niece and to shop for things I love. Now I get to play with all of it, making things for others who will hopefully really appreciate the goodies.
The family got through mom’s possessions. We got them divided up, organized and sent off to the appropriate sibling or charity. This includes the difficult task of dividing up her jewelry. Saturday was a very long and emotional day.
Now I’m working on gifts and projects. I had five student worker gifts to make – can’t say what at this point. Since Sunday I’ve gotten four of them done. I’m hoping to make the last one tonight. I’ll take pictures of them as they are new patterns and then ask my husband to please wrap them.
This is the rest of my immediate needs for crocheting:
3 baby bibs – moved up because the publication changed the date for the issue they’re going in
gift for my daughter’s boyfriend – again can’t say
blanket for the woman who organized my blog post
slipper socks for my niece
scarf and hat set for a client
I think these are the immediate needs. I am still working on a blanket for my niece which I may submit to the publication – I may be too late for the issue. I have to check since they rearranged dates of issues.
I’m hoping to get all of these done within the two weeks. After I get these done, I’m going to think about making things for the markets I’m hoping to participate in. However, I have a lot of writing things to get done as well.
I’m sure I’m going to be bouncing back and forth between tasks. It’s all a balancing act for me to keep moving forward in both of these areas.
I’ve been feeling too scattered so I wrote up a to do list for my writing. I need to break down some of the tasks into pieces so I can check them off but I’m hoping with the list, I’ll be able to focus a little better and spend less time bouncing around and more time accomplishing things.
Work is winding down for the end of the semester so this means I can think about more things. I’ve also got a long eleven days off over the holidays. I’m looking forward to this as I’ll actually have about three days in the house alone. I’m hoping those will be productive days for writing. On the days where I’m sharing the house with other people I’ll work on things like posting patterns on Ravelry or marketing as that is easier to be interrupted than writing.
I’m also hoping to start going through some of the photo albums of my mothers. This is going to be a task as there are dozens of them if not hundreds. Without a doubt there are thousands of pictures to look through, determine if they are good enough to scan, and pick the ones the family will be interested in. My mother was a prolific photographer who snapped shots of everything. Collectively, we’ve already decided we can’t keep them all and there isn’t time to scan them all. Still it’s a big job and will take time. I’m hoping to take a few hours on one of my days off and work through a number of them.
After I get done with the pictures, the next thing will be the slides. This is going to be time consuming as well. Both my parents took a lot of pictures. This means I’ve got lots of slides to go through from the beginning of their marriage to about the 70s (I think). This will be slow going as well.
All of this should keep me very busy through the end of the year. I’m hoping to rest a bit during my eleven days off and come back to my day job a little less stressed. I’m also hoping to get quite a bit of work done while I’m off.
Project are swarming me. I have one more I want to finish for submitting for publication. I have three graduation gifts to finish and then I have to turn back to the blankets I am working on for my niece and great nephew.
From there I have a mental list of things I want to get done. At the same time, Vicki has a hoard of yarn she wants me to work with and create things for her. I have a couple of ideas in my head for some of the yarn in my living room. I know what I want to do – I just have to make the time to do.
I’m always amused with myself when I look at yarn and think – oooo this is what I want to do. The trick will be in making what I see in my head actually turn out with my crochet hook.
We are going to a paint night this month which will be fun but it will also make me want to paint more. I love playing with the colors. I’m not as good with paint as I am with yarn. Nowhere near the quality but there’s something about painting that takes me to a different place.
I’m feeling guilty because I’ve started reading my Wayfarer series and just want to finish it but I really should be crocheting. I only have five books left in the published series but I do need to publish the next one. So many steps involved in that but I want to try to get it out this month.
One of my favorite things is yarn. I know it’s weird and most people don’t understand it. There’s something about yarn that makes me think in projects.
My middle daughter and I went to the grand opening of the new Joann’s store in our home town. The three aisles of yarn were wonderful! I loved looking at the Caron One Pounder – they had a bunch of vibrant colors. Caron One Pound is a good sturdy yarn which makes almost anything. It works wonderfully for afghans, clothing, stuffed animals, pillows. It’s a good all purpose yarn which comes in a large variety of solid colors. In the store, they displayed several colors organized beautifully. I wanted to buy 1 of each and make an afghan or a dozen other things.
The nice thing about the one pounder is you get 16 ounces of yarn so not a lot of joining new skeins if you’re working on a smaller project. Even a bigger project requires fewer number of joins. The price is fairly reasonable. Online I saw it priced from $7 – $9.99. The per ounce price is about $0.62. This is a good buy for good yarn.
The One Pounder is not as soft as the Simply Soft but it is still a good quality yarn. This is a worsted weight yarn – meaning it is not small like thread or baby yarn nor large like Bernat Blanket. For crochet, you would probably use a G – J size hook for projects.
I’ve published three new crochet patterns. A Set of Squares is a hat, infinity scarf and wristers. Squares done three ways to create a love set including a hat, scarf and wristers. The large pattern provides warmth in the winter. Featuring a square repeat, this set provides style. Easy to make from the soft, large yarn, the pattern is simple but stylish. Infinitely Luxurious is an infinity scarf. Luxurious and warm, this scarf is easy to make and beautiful. Made with soft, luxurious yarn, this infinity scarf will keep you warm through the coldest of winters.
Jute & Cotton Baskets is a set of ten patterns. A unique technique using jute (or hemp) with crochet cotton to create baskets for any use or occasion. Ten patterns for different shaped baskets. Combining hemp rope and crochet cotton, these make sturdy and unique baskets for multiple uses from decoration to storage.
For my youngest daughter I’ve been working on a doily. It’s the first one I’ve designed and I like how it turned out. Next I’ll have to decide if I want to publish the pattern.
I’ve been busy working on things for the two girls in Georgia. I’ve got at least three more things to make for them but I think they will all be from a pattern. I’m also working on a blanket for my middle daughter which I’ll be publishing the pattern for as soon as I’m done. I’ve got it nearly half done at this point.
It was a good weekend. Friday I left work to go to the doctor with Vicki. We were forceful about her needing a different antibiotic. She has a sinus infection – the first antibiotic didn’t help. Our ENT said this happens a lot. So we got the second antibiotic and it worked.
After the doctor’s office, we went to Joann’s to spend my gift card. I got yarn to make a blanket for my mom as she particularly liked one of the ones I made while she was in the hospital. I’ll work on it this week I think. We spent quite a bit of time wandering the yarn aisles. It was a nice escape. By the end of the trip, I spent my gift card and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Saturday was errand running and then we watched the Die Hard movies. While watching I crocheted. It was nice to sit down and not think about anything but a mindless movie and crocheting.
Of course I paid bills this weekend and checked on sales for my books. The fun thing was Friday night Stephanie called for some crocheting advice and we chatted with her while the three of us (Vicki was with me) crafted. Even though we were in different states we crafted together and chatted. It was fun.
There were the inevitable chores which had to be done. Vicki and I worked on prep for food this week. She made apple crisp and I made garbage soup. The nice thing – Sunday I spent the whole day in my jammies. We watched the Lethal Weapon series while we crafted.
A couple of editors sent me books to review. I’ve gotten eight to ten from them. I’ve read and reviewed three. I read one last night. It was a beginner book for Wicca. I’ll be writing the review today I hope. I started a second one on tarot. I’m hoping to whittle these down and get them off my to do list relatively quickly.
I didn’t get to publishing but I’m hoping to do that next weekend. There will hopefully be fewer things going on.
For a pay weekend, it was pretty calm and mostly relaxing. I needed a relaxing weekend with a bit of me and crafting time. It’s nice to escape into the yarn and the pattern without thinking about anything else. Hopefully it has refilled my energies so I can face another week of handling mom’s stuff and life in general.
Saturday I had a plan which changed. My plan was to get a bunch of book work done. When I was playing one of my games, I got several hours of free play. So instead of being responsible, I played on my phone until my middle daughter and a friend showed up to go craft shopping.
I was reluctant – yes, I know but true. I felt like I had too much to do to wander a craft store or two. I went and in the first store we were wandering. I got some Christmas stuff to decorate my mom’s room in the nursing home. I also found a Christmas present for my oldest daughter.
At one point, I was by myself in the yarn aisle. I texted my youngest daughter and she said it was dangerous. I was good and didn’t buy any yarn in that store.
In the second store, I wandered off to the yarn aisle by myself again. I found the colors and type of yarn I was looking for.
In both stores, I was able to get a lot of great deals. The Christmas stuff was half off and I had a coupon for 40% off the other item. At the second store, I had a 50% off coupon for one item and then a 20% off coupon. By the time I was done, I saved more than I spent. In the second store, I got three skeins of yarn and with my coupons, the third skein was free.
The rest of the day was spent crafting, cutting out fabric, prepping projects and crocheting. I spent most of Sunday (after doing the responsible stuff) crocheting and watching tv. After all the drama and stress with dealing with my mom’s health issues, it was nice to hibernate in my house and do something which de-stresses me.
I finished one project for a Christmas gift and worked on more prep stuff for other gifts. I’m happy with my progress on the projects even as my living room is a bit crowded with projects. I really needed a crafting weekend to help reduce the stress.
Apparently I’m getting to know the people at urgent care. Yesterday Ken had an attack of kidney stones. We spent three hours dealing with urgent care and then getting him prescriptions. It was a long day. He and I both napped when we got home. His and my list of things to get done – didn’t get done.
A good thing from yesterday – yarn arrived in two boxes. One box was my order from Herrschners which was part of my Christmas gift. The other box was yarn to finish a project I ran out of yarn for.
Last night after my napping and general grumpiness about the day, I organized the yarn. I got projects organized for taking to work (for lunch hour and training crocheting) as well as got the yarn organized for the project I ran out of the yarn. I even managed to get a couple of rows done on the project. It has 15 or 16 balls of yarn attached to it. My plan (and we know how well plans go in this house) is to work on the computer for a bit this morning and then go back to crocheting. The blanket I’m working on is for my youngest and she will be here in a few weeks.
It was a bad night for me with waking up a lot of times. The weather is also very damp which means I’m aching a lot. My gout and arthritis are not happy right now which makes me want to do nothing but sleep. However, I have to go back tomorrow so I’ll try to stay awake.
Once I’m done on the computer, I’ll work on a crochet project and hope to find something interesting to watch. I may have to resort to DVDs rather than tv. It might be a good day for movies as Ken will be wrapped up in football.
The blanket for my daughter is heavy and warm – which means I sweat a lot while I work on it. Each row is different so I can’t just crochet and crochet. I have to stop after each row to determine how many stitches of each color. It’s turning out beautifully but it is definitely time consuming. The nice thing – I’ve got two more like this planned and I have already taken the time to write up one of them so I have the color changes already written up. I am working on the second one in the hopes of making it easier to work with.
Hopefully my plan for the day works. If not, I’ll go with the flow. However, it would be nice to have things happen the way they are supposed to – for a change.