Becoming a Photographer – when all you want to do is crochet

The time has come, the crocheter said, to talk of many things: Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, and taking good enough photos to add interest to my upcoming Etsy shop.  And this crocheter, is starting from ground zero with her photography skills.  I may as well be Alice on her journey in Wonderland as I venture around the internet in search of a magic potion that will turn me into an amazing photographer.

But alas, there is no such magic and the only way to get better, is to work at it, and take a whole lot of photos.

Which I intend to do.

I’ve read that outside is best for lighting.  But don’t take photos in direct sunlight.

Indoors is best for staging. But it’s hard to get the lighting correct.

Short of investing in a professional lighting studio, I’ll just keep on keeping on in hopes that practice really does make perfect.

its not what you do its how you make it yours

Good advice from the side of a cereal box this morning.

My breakfast this morning told me that it’s not what I do, but how I make it my own.  Good advice, I think. And good, bad or ugly, my photos will be my own. And they will be a reflection of my brand.  That’s the most important aspect of this whole thing.

So, it’s off to take more photos I go!

In the meantime, can you help a poor little crochet girl out?

Do you have any photography tips to share?  Do you prefer indoor or outdoor crochet photos?  And while we’re at it, for Etsy, is it best to add cute little items to the background or should it just be a selfie of the item I’m offering for sale?

Thank you in advance for any help in this matter.

Please share your thoughts, tips and ideas about taking the best crochet pictures in the comments section so we can all benefit!

 

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Posted in Crochet, Crochet Business, Learning the Ropes at Etsy, Branding | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Exclusive Yarn Rant

Lately I find myself getting really irritated about these exclusive yarns that are only being sold at certain stores like the Sweet Rolls at Jo-Ann and the Caron Cakes at Michael’s.

Sweet Roll Yarn

I mean seriously?  I happen to like both of these yarns (Okay, it’s more like LOVE.  Alright… I’m kind of obsessed with variegated yarn.) and have used each for different crochet projects so now when I want more I have to go running all over town to get what I need.

Caron Cakes Yarn

I hate running all over town.

Okay, so Michael’s has generously offered to sell some of the Caron Cakes online but they have to be purchased in bulk, three skeins at a time.  So far, as of this posting, the Sweet Rolls can only be purchased in store, or at Amazon.com if you’re lucky enough to find the color you want and are willing to pay extra for them.

Having worked in retail, I am no longer much of a fan of shopping and I prefer very much to make one trip and buy all of my yarn in one place, and lately that place is usually online.

I know these stores think that by having their own exclusive yarn, people will flock like sheep to go buy it, and I suppose they also think we’ll spend more money on other things while we visit their store for their special exclusive yarn but for me this is simply becoming a very big turn off.

Am I alone in thinking like this?  Does this annoy you too?

Let’s talk about this. Do you think there’s anyway we can convince these yarn companies to stop this madness?   Share your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time,

Keep crocheting!

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This is my latest WIP.

P.S. I’m not affiliated with either Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s.

Posted in Crochet, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pretty V-Neck Scarf – with link to crochet pattern

Today, by chance, I came across a pretty v-neck scarf crochet pattern that I fell in love with.  So much so, that I had to drop everything I was doing, and crochet one immediately.

One Skein Crochet Project

Judging by the ease of this particular pattern and the fact that I was able to complete the project, quickly, with a single skein of yarn, I think this is going to become a new favorite of mine.  And don’t tell anyone but it’s probably going to be this year’s generic Christmas gift for family and friends.

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All of the pretty with none of the bulk.

I found the pattern at a beautiful site called Naztazia.com and if you’d like to see the original pattern you can find it HERE.

I love this scarf design because it has the trendy and ultra chic triangle (v-neck) point at the neckline without all the extra bulk of wearing a triangle shawl backwards.  And you still have the option of wearing it like a regular old-fashioned long straight scarf.

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Wear it backwards for an alternate look!

I used one skein of Red Heart Fiesta yarn in Harvest color to complete mine.  If you visit the site where I found the pattern, you’ll see that theirs seems to have a nicer drape to it and the yarn is a bit thinner. They also added some dangling coins to the edges and one at the neckline to finish it off.  I simply used a bit of a chained ruffle on my edges.  I think it would look nice with some fringe but the type of yarn I used has strands of shiny string twisted through it and I know this would eventually untwist and look awful as fringe in the future.

I think my v-neck scarf will be perfect for cooler winter months but I did take advantage of the 20% off coupon offered by kristinomdahl.com  (at the site where I found the pattern) to purchase a skein of the same bamboo yarn  that was used on the original – in a different color.  Yes, I love it that much!  I think the elegant-looking bamboo yarn will make it possible to wear this style of scarf all year round.

I love that a portion of the sale will go towards Project Kristin Cares, which helps victims of domestic violence.

What do you think?  Love it or leave it? Have you ever used bamboo yarn?  I haven’t yet and I really can’t wait to receive my order so I can test it out.

Until next time,

Please feel free to share your thoughts (in the comments) and thanks for stopping by!

P.S. I am not affiliated with any of the blogs mentioned or links in this post.

 

 

Posted in Completed Projects, Crochet, Crocheted Creations, Favorite Crochet Patterns, Scarves | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Oddball Supplies Needed for a Crochet Business

The people on the other end of my charge card must be busting a gut wondering what the heck I’m up to with all the oddball supplies I’ve been ordering lately.

Here’s the short list:

  • a head
  • a body
  • another head

I ordered these body parts because I need something to model my crochet attire.  Why two heads, you ask?  The first one I ordered was a simple Styrofoam head without hair.  After receiving it, I realize that having hair would be preferable and make it easier for folks to see the actual fit and style of my hats and tiaras and so I’ve ordered my second head.  The new one is actually supposed to be used by hair dressers to practice hair styling.  If this whole crochet thing doesn’t work out, maybe I can try doing that for a living.

I’ve ordered a blonde.

And of course, I’m talking about mannequins.

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I never thought I’d need a body and two heads for my crochet business!

 

If you have a real live -willing-  model, you wouldn’t need any mannequins at all.

But I don’t. So I do.

In addition to the body parts I’ve been ordering:

  • Large Envelopes
  • Small plastic bags
  • Tiny Pony beads
  • Even tinier Pony beads
  • A scale – for measuring packages
  • A tape measure – ditto the above reason
  • The business cards I told you about HERE
  • Clothing for the mannequin – I love her artsy vintage-tattooed look but I got her a black turtleneck to change things up from time to time and to add a bit of chicness when needed.
  • And of course all kinds of yarn!

I think I have all the hooks I’ll need.

I also bought the book, Starting an Etsy Business for Dummies (That’s an affiliate link by the way.)

I haven’t read it yet.

Have I forgotten anything?  What crazy things have you purchased for your crochet business or hobby?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

I love hearing from you!

Posted in Crochet, Crochet Business | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

To Block or not to Block? That is the Question

Before we even get into this discussion I have to say that, so far, I’m a non-blocker.  Let me tell you why.

It’s quite simple.  I never learned how to block.  I have looked it up online, read articles, watched some videos about it, and to be honest, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a great idea.  My reason being, due to my admittedly limited understanding of blocking crochet pieces means if I sell, or give, my crocheted and blocked item to someone, and they decide to someday wash it, the item will lose it’s blocked appearance unless the receiver also blocks the item EVERY TIME it gets soiled.

Being a somewhat lazy laundress, I don’t think I’d want that job.  And I’m not sure anyone would be happy about having to do all that work every time they spilled a little ketchup or mustard.

So,  that’s why I prefer to hand over my unblocked crochet pieces to everyone with a kind of – what you see is what you get – attitude.

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A pretty purple Festival shawl hanging after completion.

When I complete an apparel piece, I tend to leave it hang on my mannequin for a day or two, mostly to admire my own handiwork… I’m so vain when it comes to my crochet…  but also to let the stitches relax and fall into place.

I’d love it if any of you firm-blocking-believers could convince me, and the other non-blockers like myself, to get started with this whole blocking process.

And do include ideas and tips for blocking bigger pieces.

Let’s get this conversation started.  Please tell us if you block, or not, and any good, bad, or indifferent thoughts you have on blocking in the comments section.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

 

Posted in Crochet, Technique | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Unfinished Easter Crochet Projects

Like most people who like to play with yarn and hooks, I always have good intentions when I start a crochet project.

And I guess I should explain that what I thought I wanted to accomplish turns out NOT to be where my heart took me.

Take this cute little bunny that I began making for one of my granddaughters.

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The well laid plans were for me to make two of these for the girls Easter baskets.

And as you can see, I started one but haven’t finished it in time for the big day.

There’s still time, you say?  If I put my mind to it and work really hard I could surely get at least one done in time?

First of all… one?  Are you kidding me?  Have you ever seen two sweet little girls fighting over a single stuffed bunny?  Let alone one that was made by Grandma?  I have and let’s just say, it isn’t pretty.

Second of all, I suppose I should come clean and tell you that I started this poor rabbit a couple of years ago and I have no intention of finishing him any time soon.  It’s just that this was the closest thing I had to a completed Easter project to share with you here at Imperial Crochet this weekend.

I do highly recommend the pattern book to anyone looking to make some super cute stuff.  In fact, I’ve made quite a few of the adorable items shared by Maki Oomaci, in her book, Simply Adorable Crochet – 40 of the Cutest Projects Ever!

I’ve simply lost interest in Amigurumi and crochet toy making for right now.

Does this ever happen to you?  Have you got unfinished crochet projects laying around?  Have you lost interest in making a certain type of item?

Anyway…

The real point of this post is to wish all of you who celebrate a happy and loving Easter!

And to those of you who don’t celebrate… go do something happy and loving this weekend too. Just because!

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Posted in Books, Crochet, Works In Progress | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

My New Business Cards Are Here! My New Business Cards Are Here!

As you can probably tell, I’m really excited.  My crochet business cards and stickers have arrived from Zazzle and I think they turned out pretty well, if I don’t say so myself.

What do you think?

crochet business cards

One step closer to opening day!

I’ll mostly be using these on the packaging and as inserts when I sell a product.  I used templates at Zazzle to create everything to match my baby blanket brand/logo that I spoke about in an earlier post.  If you missed it, you can read all about it  HERE.

I’m a Zazzle.com affiliate and shopkeeper.  There’s a link to my other crochet site, Casual Chic Crochet, in the navigation bar at the top of this blog where I sell some cute crochet-theme Zazzle products including business cards and stickers.  Check it out if you’re interested.

Otherwise, continue crocheting and have a nice day!

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Posted in Branding, Crochet, Crochet Business | Tagged , | 8 Comments