Crocheting for the Absolute Beginner

Hi All and Happy New Year,

There is nothing like learning something new.  If you have always wanted to learn how to crochet, I’m here to help.  I have been crocheting for years, but I am no expert.  I love learning new stitches and techniques for crocheting.  What I learn I will share with you.  I will also share when things don’t go as planned.  This way you can learn from my mistakes.  So let’s get started.

The Hook

There are A LOT of crochet hooks to choose from.  Plastic, wood and aluminum are the main materials use. They come in sizes from 2mm up to 19mm.  They also come with different handle types.   The thing to do is to find the one that is the most comfortable for you to use.  The good thing is that they are inexpensive and you can get a few to see what type you prefer.  Here is my collection.  And yes, I use all of them.  It just depends on the yarn.

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The Yarn

For learning/practice I suggest an inexpensive yarn like Red Heart Super Saver. It is a #4 worsted weight yarn.  I know that if you are new to crochet, or anything that has to do with yarn, I just said something that you may not understand.  It’s ok, we will talk about yarn numbers and weight in up coming post.  The best thing about this yarn is it can be found just about anywhere.

 

The Tutorial

You will need your yarn and a hook.  I’m using the Red Heart Super Saver and a size 6mm hook.

The slip knot. It is the beginning of all crochet projects.

Step 1)   Make a loop.

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Step 2)  Take the tail and place it under the loop.

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Step 3)  Insert the hook

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Step 4)  Pull up the yarn on the hook and tighten to make a loop on the hook

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Now you are ready for the next phase.  We are going to learn how to make a chain.  The chain is the foundation to just about all of your future projects.

 

The Chain (Ch)

Step 1)  With the loop on the hook, put the yarn over your hook.

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Step 2) Pull the hook through the loop.  Careful to keep the yarn under the hook as you pull it through.

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Repeat step 2 until you have the total amount of chains needed.

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That’s it.  Pretty simple, right.  In my next post we will start learning stitches.  First up will be Single Crochet.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any questions please let me know.

5 Dollar Tree Item for the Crocheter

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I must say that I really LOVE Dollar Tree.  There is one just up the street from me.  Of course, like most people, I never come out with just the one or two items I went in for.

On Pinterest (my favorite on line pass time) I saw some one share about getting some really useful items from Dollar Tree that can be used for crochet.  So here are the items I bought and  how I use them:

The Composition Book

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I use these to keep track of the projects I’m working on.  I write down what the project is, yarn used, hook size and pattern used.  I’m starting to design my own patterns, so this book is a nice size to work with.

 

The Pencil Pouch

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I use this for small items like stitch markers.  It’s also great for crochet hooks.  I really like that it’s clear enough to see what I’m looking for.

 

Coated Paper Clips

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When I saw this on Pinterest I couldn’t believe how in simple and smart this was.  You use them as stitch markers.  Or to stop your project from coming unraveled.  Brilliant!20170825_155150 (2).

Hair Clips20170825_152157

Yes.  Hair Clips.  Used to keep your balls/cakes of yarn nice and tidy.20170825_152251

 

Clips

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I use this to hold the yarn in place while working on a project that has multiple colors.  This way I don’t start working the tail of the previous color by accident.

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So that’s it.  The five Dollar Tree items that I  use and may be helpful to you as well.

What items have you found at Dollar Tree or anywhere else that has been helpful in keeping you organized with your crochet?

 

Finding My Niche

Hi Everyone,

 

In trying to understand blogging and where I fit in, I am torn between writing about how to start and run a successful Etsy shop, crocheting or both.  They are really two completely different things.   For me, well they are one and the same because my shop sells crocheted hats and scarves.   But how many other people will be interested in such a specialised blog?  I find myself reading blogs about both topics. Does that make me unique or are there others out there just like me?  Would they like hearing from someone who can relate to both areas of interest?

As I write this, I am thinking about how would this work? Having a blog about my journey to having a successful Etsy shop that sells crocheted items; what does that content look like?

For example, in a previous post, I talked about the marketing book I was reading. Which I finished yet by the way, but I feel like a review of this book by someone who is selling on-line instead of brick and mortar may be helpful to others.  I will say this of the book so far,  It is informative.  I work as a retail manager and see how what I have read will work with the customer in front of you.  The hard part of selling on-line is getting the same connection in a written description that will cause the customer to hit the buy button.  But I will give a full review as soon as I finish it.  The thing is a read it in bed and if I’m tired it will put me right out.  It’s a marketing book, of course, it will put you to sleep.

So, I think I will have content about both.  The ups and downs of an on-line shop and my passion for creating crocheted items.  Hopefully, you will like what you see and come back often to see what I am up to.

 

Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

 

 

3 Things I Learned About Blogging

Today I had the opportunity to take part in an on-line blogging seminar.  This is rare for me.  Since I work, I usually don’t get a chance to.  This seminar was about monetizing your blog.  The seminar was hosted by Helen of Helen In Between and here is what I learned

 

  1.  Take Action!  It takes money to make money.  Of course, this is a phase that we have all heard over and over.  It is true, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it.  So today I took my blog being free to the preminum package.  This will allow me to monetize the blog.  I was under the impression that I needed a lot of views before I did so, but base on what I learned today I decided to go for it.  It’s an investment.

 

    2.  Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail  This is another truth.  In my full-time job, planning is key  to our success.  I didn’t really understand how this related to blogging.  This is       something that I need to learn and implement into my blogging .   Honestly, most of the time I don’t know what I’m going to write about.  So, it will be key that I come up with a plan that works for me.

3.  Never Stop Learning   I am a firm believer in this.  As I wrote in my last post, I have a lot of books that I am currently reading to make the most of my handmade business and this blog.  At the end of this free seminar Helen offered additional training at a cost, but it did offer a lot of useful information, so I am considering signing up.  It is a limited offer so I need to make my mind up soon.  Again, I need to think of it as an investment.

I will let you know if I decide to enroll in Helen’s on-line training.  It is entriging and my husband gave me the go ahead should I decide to do it.

 

Learning More to Earn More

Hi All,

Knowledge is power, they say.  Whoever they are.  But they are right.  The more you know the more you can grow.  Personally and in business.  So in my effort to grow my business, I have downloaded several books from Kindle.  I’m doing all this now because my selling season won’t start until Fall.  I need to get everything on lock down now so everything will be running like clockwork and all I have to do is fill orders.

 

I am currently reading The 1-Page Marketing Plan, by Allan Dib.  This book has some exercises to go through and put into practice.  I have just come to that part of the book so I will let you know what I think.  I will also let you know if I feel the plan was useful for my on- line business.

 

I also have books on social media marketing and  SEO (search engine optimization).  These are very important for me to read as soon as possible.  Mainly because I am HORRIBLE at social media.  Even in my personal life I rarely post anything.  So posting for my business is really difficult for me.  I just never know what to post.  How often do I post?  Plus I work a full-time job, so I just seem not to have the time.  I do know about using timed post, but I haven’t really figured out how to use them to my advantage.  Hopefully, these books will give me the direction I need to get on board with social media.  Once I complete these books I will do a review on each of them and let you know what I think.

 

That’s all for now.  Check back for the book reviews.  I am known for being too honest.  So you can trust that I will give an honest an opinion on the books.

 

Best wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

It’s CROCHET!

I was working on one of my scarves when my husband asked me what I was knitting?  Knitting.  KNITTING!  Really.

 

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This is actually how I felt when he asked that question.   Now in his defense, I do knit, but I haven’t knitted anything in over a year.  It isn’t just him.  I find that when people see something that is made out of yarn they think it is knitted.  I think people are aware of the crocheting.  It’s something their grandmother did.  They simply don’t know the difference.

With that being said, here are some cool facts about crochet.

  1. Crochet comes from the french word croche meaning hook.
  2. All the stitch pattern variations are created by using a combination of five basic stitches.
  3. You can make a circle using a crochet hook.  To knit a circle you need special needles.  Four of them actually.
  4. Crocheted items can’t be machine made.  That’s right.  If someone crochets you something just know you can’t go to Target and buy the exact same thing.  Sure you can find a hat or scarf, but it will be knitted.

I just scrapped the surface of what crochet is.  There will be more in-depth articles in the future, so stay tuned.

Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

Change is Good

Yes,  it’s has been a over a year since I last wrote anything.  Many things have happen over that year.

The biggest was my decision to no longer make bath and body products to sell.  I still make them,  but now it’s for my personal use and for friends and family as I did before.

The other major thing that happened was I dislocated my ankle and broke the fibula the first week of December by slipping on ice.  After surgery I was on medical leave from work for three months.  So,  what do you do for three month when you are stuck on the couch besides watch Netflix?

For me it was crocheting.  I learned to crochet when I was about nine years old and I picked it up again a few years back to make Christmas gifts.  The timing of this accident allowed me to work on a baby blanket for my cousin and a lot of hats and scarves.  To the point that when I finished one my husband would say “Oh, another one”.  Since I couldn’t walk with out the use of crutches or my knee walker (which was AWESOME by the way) I would order from Craftsy.com for more yarn.  I have a very understanding husband.

I  rediscovered how much I love to crochet.  It is to the point now if I’m not working on something while watching TV,  I feel like something is missing.  So, with that being said…my Etsy shop will now sell crocheted hat, scarves ,baby blankets and throws.

I’m very excited about this change in my business.  My background is in apparel, so I look forward to watching fashion trends and how they will relate to my new focus.  This will also change this blog as well.

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Best Wishes,

Kimberly

 

 

 

 

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