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May Review

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May was actually a decent month. I got back on track with a lot of what I was making, I made a few sales, and I managed to take a lot of new product photos.

 

May Plan

 

May 1 – Charity
I made like 90% of a shawl. I ran out of yarn before I could finish it. But, I will finish it as soon as I get a spare moment. 🙂

May 8 – 4th of July Props
I made a super cute red, white, and blue photo prop. I actually just took photos of it over the weekend and will get it listed and blogged very shortly.

May 15 – Free Week
I started working on my lacey parasol. I go to about 70% complete.

May 22 – Pinup
I finished up my rockabilly doll, and am SO excited to be able to finally list her and blog about her! I also finished up my parasol!

May 29 – Halloween Props
Just got started on this week, and am focusing on candy corns.

 

 

Yarn Purchased in May

5,387 yards total (YIKES!!)
284 yards of Yarn Bee Urban (to finish my parasol)
728 yards of Red Heart Super Saver (to finish my shawl, and it turned out to be the wrong color)
1065 yards of Crafter’s Secret (for the photoprop)
710 yards of I Love This Yarn (for the beard hats)
2,600 yards of (another parasol, and some earrings I want to make)

 

Yarn Crocheted in May

2,480 yards total
710 yards of  Yarn Bee Urban (parasol)
910 yards of Red Heart Super Saver (shawl)

710 yards of Crafter’s Secret (photo prop, rockabilly doll)
150 yards of I Love This Yarn (two beard hats for orders)

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2014
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2015
    • 17 sales for 22 items, increase in revenue (includes Soka University Festival)
  • 2016
    • 23 sales for 26 items, increase in revenue (includes Soka University 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 Review

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April was a really bad month, shop-wise, personally, the whole nine. Nothing really came to fruition. But, I suppose that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

 

April Plan

Mar 27 – Free Week
Did pretty much nothing. Made another fox rug for an employee whose wife is pregnant.

Apr 3 – Summer Props
I made a really cool strawberry photo prop…but no one knew what it was and everyone hated it…so yea…there’s that.

Apr 10 – WIPs
I worked on exactly 0 WIP products…and made an adult lap throw. 

Apr 17 – Skull Shawls
I almost completed one….

Apr 24 – Halloween Props
I actually just finished my skull shawl. I should probably work on Halloween props, as they are my big seller, but I am short on the funds to buy the right yarn. :-:

 

 

Yarn Purchased in April

0 yards (amazing!!)

 

Yarn Crocheted in April

3,387 yards total
770 yards of Bernat Blanket yarn (adult lap blanket)
1,117 yards of Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop (skull shawls)
1500 yards of I Love This Yarn (Strawberry prop, fox rug)

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • Not Open
  • 2014
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2015
    • 11 sales for 11 items, increase in revenue
  • 2016
    • 11 sales for 12 items, increase in revenue
  • 2017
    • 2 sales for 2 items, large decrease in revenue
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February Review

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Shop-wise, February was not the best month. It’s actually my worst February since opening the shop, saleswise. However, I still have the shop in ready to ship only, and I am doing very little advertising.

I am going through some health things right now, and I just don’t have the energy or stability to focus on it all. So, I am taking some time to myself. I am working at my own pace, creating what I want, and not being totally stressed out about trying to push sales.

My husband and I had a long discussion and actually decided to forego the craft fairs this year, as it just isn’t worth it right now. We will pick it back up next year, when we can really focus again.

 

February Plan

Jan 30 – Valentines Props √√√

Feb 6 – Free Week √√√ (I made a fox rug! I also finished 3 Valentine’s skirts.)

Feb 13 – Free Week √√√ (I made a fireman costume!)

Feb 20 – Easter Props √√√ (I made a carrot / bunny prop!)

Feb 27 – Charity √√√ (Started working on this yesterday, and will continue throughout the week. I am currently focusing on scarves.)

 

Yarn Purchased in February

6,735 yards (I needed to use my super awesome JoAnn Fabrics coupon– $30 off $75! Plus, Bernat Blanket was on sale!)
1,775 yards of I Love This Yarn (purchased for the fox rug)
3,640 yards of Red Heart Super Saver (purchased for the charity scarves)
440 yards of Bernat Baby Blanket
880 yards of Bernat Blanket

 

Yarn Crocheted in February

2,894 yards total
50 yards of Lion Brand Jiffy
1,180 yards of Crafter’s Secret
564 yards of Red Heart Super Saver
1,100 yards of I Love This Yarn

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • Not Open
  • 2014
    • 1 sale for 1 item
  • 2015
    • 4 sales for 4 items, increase in revenue
  • 2016
    • 24 sales for 24 items, increase in revenue
  • 2017
    • 1 sale for 1 item, 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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Virus Shawl (Pattern Review)

I am a fairly easily frustrated person. I don’t have a lot of patience, and I get cranky when I don’t understand things. That is vital to this story.

A few months back, a friend of mine asked me to make 6 shawls for her wedding, 5 adult and 1 youth. Awesome, no problem, I am on it! Right after I finish all of these elephant pillows for Christmas!

Well, on Christmas day, I started working on these shawls. I had seen hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of posts on the Repeat Crafter Me Facebook group of the Virus Shawl. Awesome. It looked super easy, I can handle this! So, I went searching for the pattern, and all I could find was YouTube videos. I hate watching video tutorials. I have no patience and stop paying attention. Then, I finally found a written out pattern! AHHHH! But, the pattern sucked. Seriously…it sucked. But, I was still determined not to do YouTube videos…I had a crappy pattern and photos of what it should look like! How hard could it possibly be?!

I started this pattern fairly early in the day…and then I ripped it all out because 10 rounds into it, it was NOT looking like it should. Then I restarted…and ripped it out 6 rounds into it. Then I gave up and started a totally different shawl, and 12 rows into it, I realized that it was a scarf and not a shawl and ripped that one out. So, frustrated and angry,. I breathed grinchmas all over it and started the virus shawl one more time…and it clicked…and it was amazing.

These work up really fast, and once you figure out the pattern (which is so easy and makes me angry that I struggled so much), you won’t have to ever reference it again. Plus, it is pretty…and my sister-in-law has decided that it looks like an owl, and now I can’t see anything else.

So, the morale of the story…watch the YouTube video (which is linked at the bottom). Don’t be like me. Don’t be stupid. Watch the video, learn this AWESOME pattern, and make amazing shawls.

 

 

This is the one…do you see the owl?! Once you do, you will never unsee it.

 

 

Watch this video…learn…don’t frog everything because you are frustrated like me.

 

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Restructuring

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I’ve decided that next year, I am going to do things a little bit differently. Instead of doing monthly goals, I am going to set aside weeks to work on certain things. I plan on keeping the shop on finished items only for a little bit, probably through February. It is just less stressful and is giving me the time that I need to work on some larger orders.

This will also give me a chance to really work on creating new product, preparing for shows, and getting a new website launched and available.

The general gist of it is to dedicate each week to a certain type of product, obviously allowing for time to complete orders as well. Then, if I miss a week, I miss a week, and whatever. That product can wait until a free week or get scratched completely. I am going through and trying to figure out the best use of 52 weeks, that is the tough part!

Additionally, I am stealing a great idea from a fellow blogger. She tracks the yardage of yarn knitted vs yardage of yarn bought each month. I need to do that. I definitely need to do that…because the amount of yarn I have in my office is absolutely ridiculous. And I really need to work on slimming down my stash. For both space and financial needs. 🙂

So, as we enter 2017, I am hoping to see some changes, hoping to find a better way, and plan on just taking the bull by the horns and seeing what happens. 🙂