Tag Archives: Holiday Crochet

A time to contemplate the season…


am2010hats

Originally uploaded by HoosierLadyB

After the post Thanksgiving consumer fest that is Black Friday thru today Cyber Monday, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of shopping bags and receipts. The news will tell you it’s you helping the economy, and the commercials tell you that you have to have it…that you can’t live without it…but how much of what is bought is personal?

In these very difficult economic times with huge amounts of joblessness so many families around the country are being impacted in tragic ways. It’s not about stuff, it’s about simply not having enough to live. It’s not about how much we have, it’s about having enough to survive cold winters, with full tummies and warm hands are feet. As much as it is a strain on parents and grandparents, imagine being a child; imagine being a hungry and cold child…

That is exactly what our dear CLF Member HoosierLady did; Then  thinking of her community has crocheted (at last count) 55 original hats in child to adult small sizes and five hat/scarf sets to be donated to a local charity in her home town. You can read her story in the project notes posted on Ravelry.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/HoosierLady/50-hats-for-kids

If you’re not on Ravelry, let me just sum up how bad the situation is in her area, Elkhart , Indiana.

* 60% of the children in the school district qualify for the free lunch program
*30% of them qualify for the reduced lunch program

When she found out about this in August, she put her hook into action, When I read through her project notes, I couldn’t help but swell with pride to have such a wonderful member in our group. After all, this is the season of giving, of showing love and compassion for our fellow humans.

She isn’t alone, so many of our crocheters make hats, scarves, blankets and more for so many charities. We know how important it is to give just a little (or a lot) of our time and love to help someone else make it through their holiday season, or heck even just their day.

If you know of any great charities in your area, please list them here in the comment section.

BTW I think my favorite hat is the pupppy dog one! Who ever gets that hat will be one lucky kid!

Deck the Halls…

It is now safe to go to the CLF Website. All fixed, all better, now I can get back to work on the website. YAY… So let’s celebrate with some Holiday Carols shall we? This adorable wall hanging is perfect for those who “Need a Little Christmas” or enjoy the by gone Victorian mood of the holidays ;D That and I think they are so cute! For only $15 you get an amazingly detailed and versatile pattern! Too much fun!

 

The pattern is by Lois Leigh Anderson and can be found here!

A funny thing happened on the way to the blog…

I know this poor little blog ha s been silent…not because I wanted it to be so, I just had some technical difficulties this week which prevented my blogging anything or any of the fun thoughts that can to my consciousness this week! You see it all started on Monday and ended at last fatefully today with a brand new power cord arriving for my lap top.  I have crochet to blame for the mishap that led to the untimely demise of the power cord, which haplessly found itself partially hanging out of my car door and is why half of it disappeared heaven knows where in Stanwood. I was hoping it would be somewhere close to where I was parked, but no it was not. So, I used the very last ounce of battery juice my poor laptop possessed to find a new cord for it…That was Tuesday. Saturday the cord arrived and YAY I can now use the computer again. Oh, how can I blame my crocheting on this? Well, you see I was so focused on a project I was working on, that I was contemplating the design elements that I ignored the kerplunk against the side of my car, shrugging it off to be my seatbelt instead of LOOKING at what made the sound…/bang head desk… So, it’s my love of hooking that yet again gets me into the spot of bother…

But what a project! I just finished a stocking with pockets on the outside (need to sew on buttons and a handle) which will be a gift bag for a special little girl 😀 Making a snowman now too, and since I had no computer to work on, I have actually crocheted even more…finished up a set of doll clothes and accessories, a blanket, and started a fillet blankie for a neice…I’ll be making wrist warmers, the snowman gift bag, and a few felted hats as well…plus one more blanket, I think I can get all of that done in the next week…I hope. Yes, I’m crocheting at top speed…It’s the holidays don’t you know.

I really envy people who can be all inspired in July and get their crafting done, I’m just not cut of that cloth! (Plus I’m so dang busy in the summer I hardly hook much!)…But fall weather beckons me to crack open the stash and hooks and create holiday themed wonders that amaze the grownups and kids alike in my family and it’s well…it’s fun…I don’t feel stressed about it, it’s like being in a race; a race against time that only me, and my trust hooks can win. Corny I know, but seriously I love creating things this time of year, and yes, every year I tell myself I’ll start earlier, and I’ll be more prepared…and every year I fail on an epic level with that little lie…I know I won’t start early, and if I do, I’ll just put the stuff in some tote box that I forget about and find after the holidays anyway…and then I’ll swear to myself that I’ll have it for next year…and forget again. (Those items make great last minute gifts though! I found the box from a few years ago…)

More Bazaar Ideas…

Yes, bazaar, not bizarre but you never know, coming from me it may end up being about both! The Facebook Page is really active, and I completely appreciate everyone’s comments, it really gives me lots of good blogging fodder.

We had an interesting mix of comments from the last blog post which lead me to want to address a few things before diving into some bazaar item ideas 😀

So in the order I am thinking of and not in preference:

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1)   $5.00 an hour is pretty cheap for labor. Yeah it is, and I actually do charge more for my own labor than that, but the last post was directed to people who a) haven’t considered charging time and or b) undersell their labor. A step up is a step up.

2) $5.00 an hour is pretty expense, who will buy it? Um…no it’s not expensive. What is the national minimum wage? So you’re telling me that it’s more valuable to work at a burger joint than it is to crochet something? Not saying working at a burger joint is a bad thing at all, just trying to get you to think about it…Do you want fries with that? People buy things they think are valuable.

3) Only other crafters get it…. Yes, that is true, only other crafters really will “GET” how much time it took to make what you make, or the skill involved. But no one really gets how the car engine in their vehicle works unless they are a mechanic, but they still buy cars don’t they? How many people buy jewelry, do you really “get” what it takes to cut a gem well? How about baked goods, a lot of people still buy cakes and cupcakes, I mean some people spend at least $3.00 on a cupcake, I know I can bake a dozen of them for that price, but when I buy a cupcake, I’m paying for the utilities/labor of the store/bakery too…right? Ok, well charge your time. Don’t qualify it, don’t apologise for it, just charge it because you know you’re worth it and voila!

4) What if someone is selling theirs cheaper? No one will buy mine… Not true. I was speaking to a friend of mine who sells crocheted hand towels and dishcloths at holiday bazaars. She was remarking to me how she felt guilty for someone buying her stuff that cost a little more and how people remarked that her stuff was “nicer”. Well ya see? She didn’t think it was nicer than the other persons at the bazaar, but since she charged more, she made more sales. It’s not like she was breaking anyone’s bank either.

5) I don’t want to sell mine I like gifting mine. Cool! You don’t have to sell your work. The post was for those who do want to or do sell their work. Stay posted for posts on holiday gift giving. Gifting is valuable too!

So those are the top five I felt I needed to address from the get go…It’s a matter of value. Think of it this way, do you really value yourself? Do you sell yourself short? I think maybe some of you do, I know I do sometimes. I feel weird about charging for my work, it took a long time for me to feel comfortable asking a fair price, and even though I now gratefully recieve it, I still feel wierd taking the money; I just don’t let it stop me.

Not everyone can do what you do…Seriously, crochet may be easy FOR YOU but it is not easy for everyone else. Some people have zero desire to crochet, they would rather buy something from you. Other people have tried for years and failed (much like me with the sticks, I appreciate the work though, just not good at it), there are those who can but don’t want to do what you are doing and value you that, or there are those who want to learn or are learning but don’t have your skill set. And here’s the real kicker, both you and I could make the same thing, with the same hook, and the same pattern, and the same yarn and guess what? They would be different. They would be unique, why? Because we have different “hands”, we all have a signature to our stitch work 😀

So ‘nough said, if you ARE going to charge for it, charge a decent price… (Because we hurt ourselves when we don’t!)

Ok…We’ve discussed price, now lets talk about merchandising!!

First of all, merchandising for those not in the know, is a key component to doing well in any kind of retail sales. In real terms it’s how you set up your table or booth. It doesn’t take a lot of expensive fixtures to make an attractive display, it does take some thought and a good eye certainly helps.

I learned to merchandise from the display team at Meyer & Franks Department store in Portland, Or when I was in high school. Those guys took me under their wing and I learned lots of fun tips and tricks to making display magic happen!

So for the holiday bazaar here’s some great, simple and affordable things you can do!

1) Make sure the table is covered fully, with a cloth that drapes to the floor. No one wants to see your feet under the table, or your bags, boxes etc. (Some bazaars and shows include table draping)… You can use white, or black, or blue, try to avoid neon colors. Off white is my personal favorite, often there are fluorescent lights and real white doesn’t do well in that kind of lighting.

2) If you are selling garments, hats, scarves and slippers, make sure some are displayed up right. You don’t need mannequin heads, but if you have them SWEET!! If you don’t have them use plastic bags or newspaper/tissue paper to fill them out so people can have a good idea of what they look like. For scarves you can cover pop bottles with fabric, or a pretty canvas bag and drape the scarves around them. Slippers can be stuffed to show how they wear.

3) Have your most affordable items in easy reach, with a sign showing how affordable they are! PINS $5 on a shoebox covered in wrapping paper, holding the pins is a great way to show that off! It draws people to your table!

4) Use 3-D to your advantage. Even if you only have a table space you can make 3-D displays. Use boxes of all sizes to make various heights on your table, you can put them under the cloth for an easy fix, or you can wrap up those shipping boxes you get in pretty wrapping paper and use them to help display!

5) MAKE SURE YOUR PRICES ARE LABELED CLEARLY ON THE ITEMS. People rarely ask how much something costs. If you have a special deal make sure it’s posted well, such as Hats $30 Scarves $20  Hat/Scarf Set Only $40 Remember that’s just a suggestion of a deal not the pricing!

6) You are your biggest display item. WEAR what you make. Wear the hat/scarf set, have the slippers on, or have your helpers wear them. I used to have my kids dress up in my stuff and walk around the room 😀 Make sure you are clean and presentable, that you have your personal items out of the way. Make sure you have someone else to help watch the booth, so you can go eat lunch AWAY from the table, and take potty breaks. Do NOT make it hard to get to your table, and make yourself accessable!! Don’t just sit like a lump and read a book, engage your customers. Ask them how they are doing, if they are having fun, if they have found any cool things at the bazaar, ask if you can be of help, and for the love of all that is fuzzy be working on a cool project so you can answer questions. DO NOT EVER PUT YOURSELF OR YOUR WORK DOWN…DO NOT EVER PUT OTHER VENDORS DOWN…

Now for another cool project for the holiday season that’s rather simple, and can be dressed up in a million ways…Coffee Cup Sleeves/Cozies…

Here’s a cute and simple pattern I found on Ravlery by Jennifer Kaye, and I made sure the link wasn’t malicious!! Here’s where you find the pattern!

Post Retreat and here come the holidays!

Well, I was a little wiped out after the retreat. I had intended to finish up my work on the CLF Website, and send off emails, and blog, but those intentions got lost in a puddle of drool last week. I’m now up and running and drool free, and ready to catch up on my errant holiday crocheting!

As we enter into the frenetic and often budget tight holiday season, I hope to post a variet of quick and easy projects that I spy on the “inter-web” as well as offering you a place to send your significant other or family members to see what you might want in the way of gifts!!

Today’s pick: These adorable Cat and Puppy Stockings! By Maggie Weldon, you can purchase her pattern via the link  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/maggies-crochet-pa829-cat-n-mouse-and-puppy-love-stockings.

For the cat and dog lovers out there, and for those with grand-cats and grand-dogs I think these are too cute, and our furry friends will appreciate them if filled with yummy treaty goodness!

Stay tuned for more holiday crochet ideas, right here! Oh and just in case you haven’t got your copy of the CLF First Ever Book, remember you can now buy it as a pdf download as well as a hard copy from the CLF Website!

Jelly Yarn…yum!

Yeah, yeah, I know year’s retrospective…it’s coming I promise! In the mean time may I please be allowed to amuse you with my most recent obsession?

Jelly Yarn. Yes, you heard me, Jelly Yarn.  Yes, it is my new obsession. It just arrived today. Talk about blow my mind!

First of all I wouldn’t have figured it to be as supple as it is, and yet, it is very supple. Using lotion or lip balm on your hook makes it really glide, but I found I had to be a little careful with how much I put on my hook, otherwise it became a little too slippery for me to work with.

So here’s the first of my experiments with ye olde Jelly Yarn!

Still working with it to figure out it's full possiblities!
Made from “Vanilla” Jelly Yarn, it glows in the dark!

So, I’m working making it “block”…not that I really tried blocking it this morning, I basically got the yarn out of the box, picked up a hook, put some Bert’s Bees Lipbalm on it, and away I crocheted. I am liking it so far!

My next crochet attempt was with a crocheted rose, single petal at the moment, since I had to actually get some work done today, but I will more than likely at least edge it with the pink glow in the dark Jelly I have too…and the rose shall be part of a funkified belt I’m designing for my daughter 🙂
A funky rose for a funky belt.

Holiday Crochet: Puppet with ‘tude!


Clabbert

Originally uploaded by Star Knits

Meet “Clabbert” who is ” tree dwelling monkey frog like creature that has a pustule in the middle of it’s forehead that glows when muggles or danger approach.” According to CLF Member Starknits on Ravelry.com.

Ok, so we know I needed a little Christmas Cheer…this did it. The most wonderful magical puppet with a glow in the dark “Pustule”.. I loves it, I needs one, so I shall crochet puppets. Maybe not in time for the holidays but I need to do some puppeteering, because well, it just makes me giggle.

Too cute!