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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hug a Sheep Day!

Yes, it is actually "Hug a Sheep" day :-)  You can't tell me that these pictures aren't some of the cutest you've ever seen!

This article is really a fun, quick read about why Sara Dunham started the day.  Well, I hope I get a chance to hug Princess one of these days, but I have re-adopted her for the upcoming year, so  it's a possibility.  In the mean time, enjoy the day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Now That's Color!

Here's a great example of beautiful color use!

I especially love the story behind this granny square ripple blanket. My friend Lori was testing this crochet pattern for the designer, and Lori wanted to use scrap yarns to stay true to the granny feature of the ripple.  Lots of folks, including the designer, were giving her a hard time about using red, and pink, and green, and orange... and being quite critical.  But she did NOT listen and created this beauty!  Turns out the designer did use this picture for her pattern and got lots of favorable feedback and sales.  Guess she wasn't complaining about the colors anymore ;-)

Great lesson for all of us here -- there are times when you need to just go with your gut.  Even in the face of naysayers and critics.  "No pain, no gain; no guts, no glory!"  Sure, you risk crashing and burning, and, if that happens, you acknowledge it, dust yourself off, and get back up.  But, more likely than not, you're going to come up with something new and innovative.  It's your chance to shine, so go out there and take some chances!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Color Wheel

This is a topic I find so interesting -- color.  I'll never forget how, in my college philosophy class, the professor talked about how it's possible that each person sees something different even though we all point to it and say "red" or "blue."  And I recently met a new friend in the fiber world, Tracy of Crochet Happy through our mutual friend Lori, and she's interested in color theory as well.  So, I got a chance to guest blog for her about the topic!  Here's the post.  She's got some great resources listed, and stay tuned here for more information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Starting a Crochet Business Part Time, Post 2

Ok, so last time, I talked about starting a crafts business as a part-timer, but this post I want to specialize a bit and talk about crochet as a business.  There is about 1 crocheter to every 4 or 5 knitters out there, maybe even fewer.  This is both good and bad – less competition but less potential customers for crochet patterns.  As for actual crocheted products, unless you come up with something small, easy to make, and marketable and can devote many hours a day to crocheting, it's going to be tough. 

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, just inject a bit of reality and help you think through the possibilities.  Here are some ways to explore whether you are really ready to take the plunge!

1)     Experiment -- read about and try as many different types of crochet as you can.  It will help you discover what you like and don't like making.  You can't do everything, though it can be very tempting when you're starting out.  Heck, you're willing to make just about anything to get a sale or get some buzz, aren't you?!  DON’T.  It is really not sustainable over the medium to long run, and you will start hating what used to be a hobby that you loved.  Don't let that happen.

2)    Hone your skills – you need to be a really good crocheter in order to be able to grow beyond just making gifts for friends and family.  You don't have to know every technique and stitch of crochet or how to make every type of item, but you need to be able to consistently produce professional looking products.  Ways to test yourself and improve would be to check out Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today's Top Crocheters, a book that has a number of advanced techniques in it.  Also, the CGOA offers a certification program that helps you build your knowledge and skills.     

3)     Specialize – now that you've probably eliminated some areas of crochet that are just not right for you, start perfecting what you do like making and start experimenting with that area.  This will prepare you for the next step – designing your own crochet projects!

I am really looking forward to hearing about your journey!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Princess's Love Life

I love getting up in the morning and having an email waiting for me from Caroline Owens.  And, the title of the email and above says it all!  It's breeding season on the farm, and Princess has found her Prince.  Actually, his name is King, and he's the new white Coopworth ram on the farm.  Quite handsome, isn't he?  They are hoping for a nice set of chunky white twins from this pair.

Doesn't Princess look nice in her protective coat?  Let's hope for some good news from these two soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ahoy Matey!

As I look out my window at the rainy, miserable weather, I can't help but think about the fabulous vacation we just took to Bermuda.  It was so easy and fun -- we drove up to Baltimore, boarded the Royal Caribbean ship, and set sail for Bermuda.  After sailing for about a day and a half, we docked at King's Wharf.


 We got to spend an evening, the next day, and the next morning in Bermuda before setting sail to go back to Baltimore.  While in Bermuda, we visited the Maritime Museum, which had the history of Bermuda's discovery and development as well as a Dolphin Quest (swim with the dolphins) exhibit.  There's quite a thriving arts community there as well, and we visited the Crafts Market, the Arts Center, the Glassworks, and the Clocktower shopping mall.

Kings Wharf Dockyard Bermuda

Lounging at Snorkel Park during the afternoon was pretty sweet too!

Snorkel Park Beach Bermuda

Alas, no visits to any yarn shops (apparently they do exist there! and this post by Stacey at FreshStitches was interesting and informative).

But, we are back now, and reality is setting in -- no more breakfast buffets, no more lounging by the pool and soaking in the hot tub before getting ready for dinner, and no more winning $5 in the penny slot machine!  I gotta start planning the next trip ;-)