Tag Archives: Christmas

Gifts for the Crocheter…

Jenkins Hooks from Stitch Diva

As fun as it is to make gifts for others, it’s also fun to recieve gifts! Now, for some reason when asked what we want for a gift we don’t say yarn, or hooks, or books. Maybe some of us remember to do so, but others like me forget to ask for specifics that relate to our beloved craft.

Now, my excuse is, I buy it anyway. But, I can tell you I wouldn’t say no to a gift certificate for my LYS, or some lovely wood hooks, or even some specific books that I will list out here (hint hint honey…).

Now you can request yarn, and if you have folks in your life that know what materials and colors you like then WHOO HOO…But I’ve heard a lot of stories by people who say that they’ve been gifted yarn that wasn’t to their taste and they hate to waste it or have to give it away. Yarn and hooks are materials and tools, and trust me just like when I buy things for my wood working husband, I try to make sure that the tools/materials are the right thing. He doesn’t need another Dremmel, know how I know? I bought him one when we first got together and it matches the other two he possessed just perfectly…Now I joke lovingly about getting him another Dremmel, but no I really ask what tool he wants needs in our budget and life’s good. Not like he hated the Dremmel, it wasn’t what he needed.

So here’s some fun crochet gift ideas for the crocheter in your life (and links to go with them!) this list is by no means complete…I can say I spent several hours composing the blog post and searching through websites and links etc…but if there are gift ideas or suggestions you have to offer please let me know!!

  • Gift Certificates to LYS (local yarn stores) or Michaels/Joannes/Hobby Lobby/AC Moore (what ever you have around in your area).  Many online vendors have gift certificates too!

 Stitch Diva has great crochet patterns and supplies! A gift certificate would not go unused from here!

  • Hook Sets: Interchangable hook sets are very popular, Tunisian Hooks are hard to find and popular, wonderful wood hook sets are also welcome. Good tools are always great 😀

        Lacis is an amazing textile arts store in Berkley, CA with a phenominal catalog with Free Shipping on orders!! Go check it out and make up your wish list! Every kind of hook you can think of can be had there!

       Laurell Hill 

Laurel Hill Hooks are fabulous wood hooks, beautifully crafted and smmmmmooooooth to work with, my personal favorites. I have a D tunisian hook in the Nam Oc wood and it is so nice to work with! It’s unusual to find the smaller sized tunisian hooks any where, and these are a great price for fabulous quality!

For larger sized Tunisian Hooks you can’t go wrong with Jenkins…One of my very favorite hooks in the world is my Jenkins S cabled hook…I love this hook, I have whipped out more stash busting projects and fashion crisises have been averted because of this hook…Did I say I love my S hook…(Pictured above)

  • Books! Do I have a list…In fact I gave away my copy of Edie Eckman’s Beyond the Square book and need a new copy (hint hint honey)… Here’s a list of some of the good offerings I’ve seen out there, or have copies of that will NOT leave my hot little hands…

 Another Edie Eckman Book:  Around the Corner Crochet Borders (Oooh I want this one :D), Edie takes you through turning the corner perfectly every time! 150 colorful, creative crocheted borders!

Complete Photo Guide To Crochet by Margaret Hubert! A must have for any library, beautifully written and photographed. Margaret is a master of the art of crochet, even if you are not a beginner this is a must have for your library! If you are a beginner you need to get this book, Margaret explains crochet both visually, and in easy to understand instructions!

Crochet It! Love It! Wear It! By Drew Emborsky ( The Crochet Dude) is another great offering! I hear the little black dress is adorable!

Doris Chan gave us a wonderful offering this year in her book, Crochet Lace Innovations this book covers techniques we have been begging for as only Doris Chan can offer…That means brilliant instructions, designs and charts in broomstick and hair pin lace, as well as tunisian …gorgeous! One of my favorite books!

Dora Ohrenstein helps us play with our yarn in Creating Crocheted Fabric! Learn more about yarns, textures, and stitching in her amazing creative symphonic crochet master piece!

We’ve had suggestions of giving Betty Hechtman’s mystery series which starts with Hooked on Murder. She was the 2009 Flamie Award Winner for Fiction.

Another MUST HAVE is Mary Beth Temple’s, Hooked For Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot…I have this book, I have re-read this book…I have laughed so hard I cried…I LOVE THIS BOOK! A must for any die-hard crochet fanatic!

What else can you give a crocheters?

Ooooh well there are pretty stitch markers…Please remember we can’t use the same kind as knitters, we use clasps or markers that can open…here are a few great deals and fun sets from sellers on Etsy.  These beautiful markers and others come to you from CLF Member AbbyNormal owner of In Stitches Emporium on Etsy.

I thought these Reindeer Stitch Markers were too cute, perfect stocking stuffers! These come to you from Etsian Deelicious Discordia

More marker sets yet…

These Drink, Hook, Hook markers made me chuckle thinking of the last night of the retreat! I don’t know if this person is a CLF member or not, but if not they should be! Hook Raised, CLF Salute! You can find these from Paper and Yarn on Etsy.

Ok…not into stitch markers…Don’t need no STEENKIN’ MARKERS…what about shawl pins? My mother in law is the Queen of Gifting, I thought I was good until I met her…She doesn’t craft but she pays attention to what I do and make and one year for Christmas she bought me a beautifully hand crafted bronze shawl pin! I love that pin! She bought hers from a local artists/crafters coop in Port Townsend, WA. But not everyone has access to such fine artisan work…in that case check out these great sellers…

 I thought this twisted copper shawl pin was just too pretty and very reasonably priced, this is brought to you by Ruby Vegas on Etsy.

Another pretty I found…gosh my list is getting longer…

 A copper beaded shawl pin from Bebes Baubles on Etsy. I thought this was very simple and elegant.

This Celtic Twist shawl pin is so nicely made! You can find this from Nicholas and Felice on Etsy.

There are pages and pages and pages of items like this on Etsy.com and Artfire.com. Support other handworkers when you purchase or have gifts purchased from you!

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At what price?

Since I started the CLF blog I have written many a post about value and crochet. That we must not ask for comparison to find crochet to be of value, that we must accept that what we do takes skill, time and practice, and that what we make does have an intrinsic value, one that can indeed be reflected in a price tag.

With Holiday Bazaar Season (HBS) upon us, many a crochet enthusiast will take to the holiday bazaars of local churches, community groups, and big shows. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS FUZZY DO NOT…and I repeat…DO NOT UNDERSELL YOUR WORK!!

Recently I posted a simple equation on the CLF Facebook page that read: Materials + Time x Skill = $$

Let me repeat that in big bold print…

In case you didn’t hear me the first few times…let me repeat this again…

So here are some general rules to follow:

1) Remember what you pay for materials. If you buy a skein of yarn for $6.00 and it has 200yds, the item you make uses 100 yards, the material cost is $3.00. If you took 2hrs to make a  hat and you sell it for $4.00 you are NOT making a profit. $3.00 recoups the material. Make sure you RECOUP your materials.

2)Time is valuable. Especially in today’s fast paced world, time is PRECIOUS, your time is VALUABLE. If you spend 2hrs on a  hat and you spent $3 on the materials and you only charge $4.00, $3.00 covers the materials and you just made FIFTY CENTS an hour. Really?  You are not a SWEATSHOP…You are WORTH more than that… So, you’ll mostly likely never charge for your time what you are REALLY worth, but hey at least go for $5.00 an hour, it’s better than .50 cents. So we’re now up to $13 for the hat.

3) SKILL…what you do is a SKILL. I don’t care if you just learned or if you have done this all your life. I don’t want to hear that you aren’t an expert, I don’t want to hear, “Oh it’s just what I do…” Yes, you do it, and yes it takes skill, and if you are really good at it, and you know it, then BY GUM CHARGE FOR IT!!!  So the same hat, done in crochet cables or basket weave, that takes skill right? We have established the minimum charge on time is $5.00 an hour, you with me? And so let’s go back to the $13, obviously too cheap for the cabled hat right? I’d add on another $10-20 in a lower market, in an upper scale market I’d add up to $30.

What about a plain hdc hat? Heck I’d still charge $15-20 for it 😀

BUT WHO WOULD BUY ANYTHING THAT EXPENSIVE.

Go to a department store, look at the crappily made hats and see what they sell for…$25. Not even cabled or basket weave, not even hand made, handmade goes for the same price, and made in a sweatshop.

So have a sign, that shows a) you are LOCAL b) you make it yourself c) put a picture of your children or dogs or cats and say all proceeds feed these guys (yes, use humor)…

When I first started selling at bazaars I sold myself short too, and guess what? I hardly sold a thing…my skill level? It was the same as it is now…So, what changed? I started to charge more. Then I got custom orders and students.

So here’s a refresher…

Items that really can sell at bazaars include:

  • Rosette pins (make Irish Crocheted Roses and affix to safety pins or jewelry pins) sell for $5-10 a pin.
  • Wash cloths and tea towels, sell by the set of 2 for $5-8
  • Hats/Scarf Set. What really worked for me was selling the set for $25 and the hat/scarf separate for $18 ea. (OOOOh they saved money).
  • Wrist warmers and cuffs
  • Fingerless gloves
  • ORNAMENTS
  • Wine Bottle covers
  • Dolls/toys
  • Baby things

Use good, washable materials for garments, hats etc…

Trust me this just might work…

Oh and before you go check out this holiday idea!!

These are too cute!  Christmas Lights Dishcloth & Potholders!! By Linda Bohrn…. Sadly the pattern link goes to a website with malware. I have contacted the designer via Ravelry to inform her.

Holiday Crochet: Making Memories

When I was a little girl, I had many  gifts given to me that were made by grandmas and aunties, and my mom. I loved those gifts; doll dresses, my very own Christmas ornaments, hats, the world’s longest scarf, bean bag critters, a leather pouch WITH fringe, necklaces, and ponchos, even a really cool Humpty Dumpty that fit over a “L’eggs Egg” and doubled as a penny bank.

 Oh sure people like to put us down, especially those snobby types, but frankly I don’t know if those snobby types would understand, “magic of the season” if it snuck up behind them and glittered their behinds.

Truly, what you do has a value, and the things you make, perfectly stitched or wobbly and just beginning , are making the magic of the season happen. When you can delight a child or friend, or spouse or even better yet yourself, with your crochet creations you have achieved something wonderful! You are directly responsible for making memories! Don’t think the youngsters won’t appreciate what you do. Even in our “throw away culture” kids aren’t stupid, they know and feel love when they see it! Adults are the same way, and if they can’t? Well, just feel bad for them (and don’t make them anything for a while, if ever again.)

You are not a sweatshop, you are not cheap labor, and those things shouldn’t exist anyway. Don’t let the pressure of the season get you down. Don’t let snide comments get you down. Because a simple crocheted rose on a hair clip, can make a face light up. Heck, I’ve made old ladies eyes light up with those! When what you do adds value to someone’s life not just because of the tangible and physical value of the object, but because you invested your purpose and time into the item made, you have given one of the greatest gifts of all: you.

That’s not too shabby.