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Friday, May 27, 2011

Sharing your handmade crafts.

When someone remarked to me, "I think that is too much money to pay for just yarn", I said "Of course, but I don't charge for the yarn. In fact I will give you the yarn, lend you the pattern and hook and you can make your own." The usual reply is, "Oh no, I can't do that ?" When I ask "Why not" I am often told, I don't know how and/or I don't have time. Then I replied "Now you know, exactly what you are paying for, which is my time and my talent."

Potential Buyers, should be aware that beautiful hand crafted items require not only supplies, they require talent and many, many hours of hard work. Those hours are part of the artist's life that are spent and can never be gotten back. Please don't devalue that talented person by complaining over the price. Ask yourself this question, "How much money is an hour of my life worth?"   Many persons work outside jobs lasting 40 hours a week. An artist working at home often puts in many more hours than that.   So exactly how much money is 40 hours of your life worth ? 

I gift and/or donate many things but I have learned over the years, even if you craft mostly for fun or relaxation, in order just to earn enough money to maintain your supplies you must charge your friends and family for their "special requests". We all know how it goes. You make it, someone sees it and everyone says, "Oh, I want one of those." We want to make one for everyone and in the exact color they need, right? I also know we all feel badly about accepting money from friends and family, But remember you must charge your family and friends because your enemies will not buy from you.

Having made several feeble attempts at trying to write crochet patterns, I have come to realize this is also a talent and we should remember in order not to cheat someone of their due, never share copyrighted patterns.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My favorite obsession

      It will become rapidly obvious, as I go along, I have a obsession with the Art of Crochet. In this area it is not yet summer but has already become too hot to work comfortably with a large item on my lap. Since I will have to work on small items if I prefer to remain cool, I have considered regressing back to the rudiments of basic Crochet and returning to the construction of the humble but oh so versatile Granny Squares for the duration of the summer heat.

     A "Yarn Stash" is created from the ends of the glorious huge skeins of yarn that were purchased to create something wonderful.  The not needed remainder of those skeins are rolled into small balls and banished  to the odd ball basket to languish until some practical purpose can be found for them. Hence the birth of the granny square which is nothing more than a collection of the colorful strands puzzled together to make small blocks which can then be turned into larger and larger blocks until they can eventually be turned into something useful.  

     Now I have never been a large fan of the Granny Square Afghan. They are, in my opinion, without question the "Plain Jane" of all your basic afghans.  Although not fond of Granny Square Afghans or even the basic Granny Square, I must admit I am guilty of having made more of them than I can remember or much less count. Since they are going to be at the top of my list this summer I will be trying to dress them up and give them a little style. Wish me luck?

Vanilla Creme Granny
     I made the Vanilla Cream Granny with standard granny squares. Growing up I became familiar with the basic granny square afghan, always outlined in black, and in a fit of defiance I decided to use a different color. Digging into my stash I made matching grannies, using the 4 round basic pattern, in sets of 2 and  also an equal number of plain cream colored squares as a background color. 
     The opposing corner squares were made using two squares of matching grannies and two squares of the basic background color. The “join as you go method” was used to place the squares into diagonal position to create the larger four square blocks.  
     After enough four square blocks were created came the question of the color for the joining. Certainly not black, not this time. But after a quick look into your garden to see what color goes with everything I chose a frosty green. This afghan was joined with the three chain flat braid join.

     Finishing the joining created the basics for the border which is a simple “V” stitch with picot. I really like the way it looks. 
     Were I to do this again I would use the continuous join method for joining the large blocks. Faster and no yarn tails.

     I love the Continuous Join method and You Tube has an amazing 2 part tutorial showing exactly how to do it. 

Here are both links: