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July

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July has already been a crazy, disappointing month for my business-wise. But, personally, it has been great. The first week, I was in Italy. The second week, I was sick as a dog, so I didn’t do much. The third week has consisted of getting registered and set to start college in the fall. So, this entire thing is sort of back burner.

I am prepping for the only festival I plan on doing this year, which means straying from this path, as it is something I hadn’t intended on doing, so I am trying to tailor my product. I do need to try and make a few Halloween photoprops, as it is my primary business income. But, I am hoping that what I am planning for the festival goes over well.

 

Jul 3 – Halloween Props

Jul 10 – Free Week

Jul 17 – Skull Shawls

Jul 24 – Halloween Amigurumi

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June Review

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June was a very busy month. As evidenced by the fact that it has been over a month since I’ve blogged, and that I am not closing June out until nearly the end of July. And July was just as busy, so no high hopes there.

 

It is pretty safe to say that I have given up on my plan for the year. I have fallen so far behind, and I have so much else going on, there isn’t time for it.

I have changed directions with product for a brief moment in time while prepping for the one and only festival I plan to do this year. And, unfortunately, it looks like I will be giving up my major money maker, as I have not had time to sufficiently prep for Halloween this year, as I have in previous years. Plus, I am officially a full time college student again, and still working a full time job. So, being that this business wasn’t exactly raking in the cash to support my family, it is sadly going to sit on the back-burner, smoldering.

 

June Plan

 

May 29 – Halloween Props
Nope

Jun 5 – Amigurumi
Nope. Though, I did have a couple of orders that were amigurumi…does that count?

Jun 12 – Photo Props
Not for the shop, but I did make a really cool princess blanket for my niece, and a really bad airplane blanket for my nephew. Oh, and I also made a photo prop for a customer order. Does that count?

Jun 19 – Christmas Props
Nope. I was scrambling to finish an airplane.

Jun 26 – Hats
Nope. I actually didn’t crochet at all while I was in Europe. Except for maybe like two hours on the plane.

 

 

Yarn Purchased in June

10,955 yards total (YIKES!!)
1,775  yards of Crafter’s Secret (for the photoprop and amigurumi orders)
9,180  yards of Pound of Love(for the blankets for the kids and because I had a minimum to spend for my coupon)

 

Yarn Crocheted in June

3,315 yards total (Not too shabby considering I spent a week out of the country and not working)
1,065 yards of Crafter’s Secret (orders)
2,250 yards of Pound of Love (gift blankets for my family)

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2014
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2015
    • 12 sales for 12 items, increase in revenue
  • 2016
    • 16 sales for 18 items, increase in revenue (includes Patchwork Festival)
  • 2017
    • 5 sales for 5 items, large decrease in revenue
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May

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May should make for an interesting month. Personally, I have a lot to handle this month. However, I am only out of town for one weekend, so it should be more feasible to get some serious crocheting done. We shall see.

 

May 1 – Charity

May 8 – 4th of July Props

May 15 – Free Week

May 22 – Pinup

May 29 – Halloween Props

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April

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April is actually looking to be a lot of fun for me. I am really digging everything I scheduled this month, and that makes it much easier to get back into the swing of working. I am still trying to work on skirts and dresses as I have a chance, plus I have a couple of baby gifts that I need to knock out of the park this month…but, I think I will be okay.

 

Mar 27 – Free Week

Apr 3 – Summer Props

Apr 10 – WIPs

Apr 17 – Skull Shawls

Apr 24 – Halloween Props

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March Review

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Shop-wise, March was better than February, but still not as good as last year.  However, I spent most of the month with the ship in ready to ship only, and I was doing very little advertising. However, about a week before the month ended, I started editing and adjusting listings, and getting some MTO items back out there. I immediately started garnering sales again, so I suppose that was the issue all along.

Blog-wise, I bit the big one in March. I only posted twice. The biggest issue was just that I wasn’t creating, and the few things I did create, I didn’t photograph! So, there as nothing to blog!

 

March Plan

Feb 27 – Charity
I made an adult scarf, adult hat, baby hat, and a baby blanket!

Mar 6 – Halloween Props
I started making a spider prop, but didn’t finish

Mar 13 – Easter Amigurumi
I made a baby chick!

Mar 20 – Unicorns
I made a fun unicorn hat!

Mar 27 – Free Week
I did nothing because I have barely sat down!

 

Yarn Purchased in March

2,130 yards (I needed to for orders!)
2,130 yards of I Love This Yarn (purchased for the fox rug I am making a pregnant friend, and for bearded baby hat orders)

 

Yarn Crocheted in March

3,203 yards total
405 yards of Lion Brand Jiffy (unicorn hat)
2,548 yards of Red Heart Super Saver (charity)
350 yards of I Love This Yarn (beard hats)

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • Not Open
  • 2014
    • 1 sale for 1 item
  • 2015
    • 5 sales for 5 items, increase in revenue
  • 2016
    • 12 sales for 18 items, increase in revenue
  • 2017
    • 4 sales for 4 items, large decrease in revenue
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Fox Rug (Pattern Review)

I absolutely adore Ira Rott patterns. She wrote the amazing pattern that I used for my elephant pillows. I actually have about 30 of her patterns, and am very slowly working my way through them. The next one I found time to work through (during my AMAZING free week according to my new organizational system!), it happened to be this super cute fox rug pattern. Now, I did not add a backing to it, because I like the idea of it being a blanket or a rug on the carpet or a photo prop, as opposed to an actual rug; but the pattern does give detailed instructions on how to add a non-slip backing to it.

This pattern worked up super quickly, I did it in 2 days or just working on it part time, and turned out SO cute. The stitches are simple, with a crab stitch and a picot being the only real “non-basic” stitches in it. And, as always, she gives detailed instructions on how to complete these stitches.

The most difficult part of the entire pattern is sewing things together. But, that is because I am super lazy and hate to hand-sew things. 🙂

Seriously, from beginner to experienced crocheters, I highly, highly, highly recommend Ira Rott’s patterns. It is all so STINKIN ADORABLE, so many options, and so easy to follow.

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Skull Shawl (Pattern Review)

This skull shawl pattern , is one of the more difficult patterns that I have worked through. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is fantastic! The finished product is beautiful! The technical aspect is wonderful. However, the original pattern is in German or Dutch (I am not sure which) and the translation can make it a little hard to follow.

 

So, at the end of this post, I am going to include some of my notes to make the pattern a little easier to follow. I will not, however, post the actual pattern due to copyright concerns.

 

For reference, I used Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop and a J hook for this. I love the self-striping, it just turned out looking so cool.

 

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I made some mistakes…which is why I shouldn’t let myself get so lazy and complacent when I am crocheting in the car. So, I frogged an entire section of skulls. :-:

 

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My finished shawl. I ended up keeping this shawl for myself. I loved the colors and I so rarely keep anything I make. I did make 2 more, one in pinks and one in grays, that are smaller – child size.

 

Now, for a border on this one, I am not a huge fan. I just did a DC across for the border, and it make it really lumpy and lay funny. Which isn’t a huge deal, because it is just mine, but yea…I didn’t like how it looked. For the other ones, I just left them once completed…

 

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So, as you go through the skull shawl pattern , feel free to reference my notes, or even leave your own in the comments to help out!

(1)           1DC in the 9, 10, 11, 12 CH stitches

(2)           You are make your double treble crochet (DTR) in the ch right below where you are at, from the first row you did. This should leave you with big loopy gaps on either side of your 4DC. This concept had me jacked for the first few attempts…

(3)           Your DTR will again be in the first chain from the previous row. This should leave you with 3 big gaps with 4DC between each. Your DTR at the end of each row will continue to go in the first chain from the previous row here on out. You should always end with a big gap on either side of your row, to make your shawl wider as you go.

(4 & 5)     Continue on with the same pattern…however, on this pattern, there are two row fives written out…so pay attention to that.

(5 & 6)      This starts your skull, easy to follow.

(7)             Complete your 1DC, 1ch across the 4SC from the previous round, not onto the 4th.

(8)             Follow as expected

(9 & 10)    EYES – I did the alternative eyes, which is found way at the bottom of the blog. So, I skipped the entire eye making tutorial and the regular rows 9 & 10. I followed this version because I am super lazy and hate to sew things, so I didn’t want to make separate eyes and try to slip stitch them in.

(11 & 12)     This finishes your skull, and starts your gaps to begin your next skull in.

 

The rest was pretty easy to follow. You just have to remember that any time you have 4 groups of the DC clusters in a row (on the sides and in the middle), then you should be creating new skulls the next round. The skulls go up by one each round, and should stagger. So, your 1, 3, 5, 7 group of skulls should line up in the center, while your 2, 4, 6, 8 should line up on the sides. 🙂

 

The way she ended her pattern was pretty simple, just don’t make the new skulls, continue adding the DC clusters with the chain 2s. As far as a border, well, good luck. I will probably just leave mine from now on ended like that.