Friday, June 30, 2023

Crochet Your Way to a Buyer's Heart with Amigurumi by Elisa Rose, Book Review

A couple of days ago, I reached 24,000 sales in my Etsy shop! 

That is totally mind-blowing to me! I actually sold 24,000 PDF files! 

When I started writing this blog over a decade ago, I couldn't have imagined where this online crochet journey would take me! I started writing this blog because I was a stay-at-home mother and wife, and I wanted to archive and share with the world all the beautiful things I was crocheting for my babies and for my home at the time. 

It's been a long and complex journey with lots of ups and downs, but if I could summarize the essence of it in a few words, I would say it was the readers of my blog who encouraged me to start writing pattens, and it was the readers of my blog who encouraged me to start an Etsy shop and sell my written patterns, and later on it was the readers of my blog who encouraged me to start a YouTube channel! 

And here I am, years later, having my own online crochet business! Sometimes a friend or a family member would ask me: "What you are doing tomorrow?" And I answer: "Tomorrow I will work!" And as I say those words, I always smile because my brain just doesn't make that connection that crochet is work! 

And yet, for me it is! I am so fortunate to do work that doesn't feel like work! 

I want to say a huge thank you to all those people, who found my blog, who wrote me comments and emails, and who got me where I am today! 

My personal journey to a successful crochet pattern shop has taken years! It started during the time when there wasn't such abundance of crochet information, websites, videos, etc as what we have today. 

On one hand, all that abundance makes it more difficult for someone to start and make it with their crochet business. 

But on the other hand, it makes it easier than ever!

Today, I want to share a resource, a complete blue print, for starting and running a successful business of designing, writing, and selling crochet patterns! 

It’s a book called Crochet Your Way to a Buyer’s Heart with Amigurumi by Elisa Rose. 

The book has the focus specifically on the Amigurumi patterns, but the information and advice provided here apply to any kind of crochet patterns. 

I want to share some points why, I believe, this is a valuable resource for someone who wants to have their own online business of selling crochet patterns!

1. A big part of designing and writing quality patterns is math! There is just no way around it! But let’s be honest, not everyone is good at math or likes it. This could be one of the main reasons crocheters prefer to buy patterns. Instead of spending hours trying to figure out the calculations, they would rather pay someone else to do it. 

I don’t remember if I ever shared with you that my degree is in statistics. So of course my math knowledge is very valuable in my pattern writing business. However, to create and write crochet patterns you don’t need a college degree in math. 

The math concepts that you will need, such as multiples, factors, remainder, etc are all exceptionally well explained in this book. 

This is the first time that I come across such well organized and well explained comprehensive guide on all the math needed for crochet designing. 

Of course, you can find bits and pieces of it on the Internet, there are tons of articles, blog posts, and videos, for instance I myself recently made a video on my YouTube channel explaining how I figure out “multiple of, plus”. 

But if you want to have one resource that you can refer to for all of you crochet math questions, this book is it! 


2. A big portion of this book is dedicated to the actual structure of a crochet pattern. It guides you through how to create a template and what to include in it. 

This was one of my most favorite chapters of the book because as I was reading through it, I was like: "Check, Yep, I do that, Yes, I always include that in my patterns!" I kind of gave myself a pat on the back because I do include in my patterns everything that the author mentions!

It’s essential that your pattern is well written, comprehensive, and easy to follow. If you have a template, based on which you write all of your patterns, then obviously all of your patterns will have that same quality standard. 

If a customer buys one of your patterns, finds it well written and easy to understand, they are going to come back and buy more of your patterns. 

3. I’ve been crocheting for over three decades, and I’ve been writing crochet patterns for over a decade, I’m good with math and I have no problem figuring out stitch calculations, so I consider myself to be good at all these aspects of running a crochet business! 

But there is one thing that I feel I’m terrible at and that is marketing my work! 

Marketing and reaching your potential customers are essential to a successful crochet business, and the author puts a lot of focus on that! There are tons of helpful information, advice, and tips on the subject in the book. 

Some of them were completely new to me, others were like “Yeah, I know I should be doing that, but I’m just not really comfortable”, and it’s like if she can read your mind because then she takes you to the next step and talks about how to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things. 

This part of the book was especially helpful to me! And I can see how it can be helpful to other crocheters trying to sell their patterns!

You know how the saying goes: Don’t judge the book by its cover! To be honest, my expectations of this book were that it was going to be mostly inspirational and motivational, talking about all the wonderful things of having a crochet business of your dreams, and doing what you love, and having passive income… 

And the book certainly fulfilled that expectation, BUT in addition to that, it provided tons of practical information, which in my opinion is way more valuable than the inspirational and motivational talking. I greatly recommend this book! 

You can find this book on Amazon; it's available in three formats: electronic, paperback, and hardcover. 

A huge thank you to Elisa Rose for putting together this valuable resource! 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Crochet Lace Dress Summer 2023, 100% Mercerized Cotton

Summer already arrived to California, and just in time I finished crocheting my lacy dress! 

I absolutely love how it turned out! 

I made this dress with category 2, 100% mercerized cotton. I prefer mercerized cotton yarns for summer garments as they create fabrics with minimal stretch. For a dress like this, or any crochet dress for that matter, the stretching can be real issue. After all, nobody wants to spend hours and hours crocheting a dress and then have it completely out of shape only after one wear! 

For that reason, I highly recommend mercerized cotton yarns or threads for your summer wearables such as dresses, blouses, and tops! 

The specific yarn that I used is YarnArt Begonia, in color pink. I purchased two packs of five skeins each on Amazon. So in total I had ten skeins (50 grams each), and for my size (X-small) I used 7 skeins, which is 350 grams in total. 

I crocheted with a hook size D (3.25 mm). 

I used an existing dress of mine as template for the size. I combined five different lacy stitches, and I separated them with rounds of double crochets. Not only that looked pretty, but it helped me keep the count of the stitches and do the necessary decreases! 

I'd also like to share with you what I wear underneath the dress as it could be challenging to find something appropriate for a see-through lacy dress like this! 

I purchased a cute, 100% cotton slip on Amazon. I bought the size Small, the smallest they had, but unfortunately it was too big for me. So when I went to visit my mom, who has a sewing machine, I asked her to make two seams on the sides to tailor the slip to my size. Now it's perfect fit for me! 

The fabric of this cotton slip is light and breathable, the kind of fabric you would find on fine handkerchiefs. 

It is very reasonably priced!

I made a Youtube video where I shared more details and the process of crocheting this dress! Also I have patterns and tutorials for all the lacy stitches that I used in my dress! 

Happy summer! 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Crochet Pattern, Lacy Motifs-Like Crochet Stitch for Tablecloth, Table Runner, Summer Top, Scarf, or Shawl

I have a new crochet tutorial on my Youtube channel! It's a lovely lacy stitch that looks like motifs joined together, but in reality it is crocheted continuously! 

This stitch will be perfect for such crochet projects as a tablecloth, a table runner, a summer top or blouse, a scarf or a shawl, or tons of other items!

In fact, I incorporated this lacy stitch in a summer dress that I recently made! I crocheted only one row of the "motifs" and used chain loops to attach it to the dress. 

It turned out lovely (don't miss my next post where I'll show you my dress). 

For the sample shown in the photos, I used 100% mercerized cotton yarn, category 2, and I crocheted with a hook size D (3.25 mm). 

Specifically, I used YarnArt Begonia in color pink! At the moment, it's my favorite yarn! 

You can watch my tutorial on Youtube, and if you are interested in the written pattern, it's available in my Etsy and Ravelry shops!