Thursday, January 24, 2013

Valentine's Crochet and a New Pattern

I have been busy working on orders, patterns, and some Valentine's items all week.  I decided to go through my stash, and to my surprise, I had a lot of pink, white and red in there!  Who knew?!  I am not the biggest pink fan, though I am liking it better lately.  Having a daughter really brings on the pinks and purples (my favorite color).  Anyhoo, I have been a busy bee, and it feels great to be so productive!

I am setting up an RTS (ready to ship) album for Valentine's on facebook, and already have several things listed.

 I am hoping to add to it a bit more this weekend, but first I must finish up one of my orders and get my next pattern typed up.

I recently published my latest pattern, Slouchy Shells Fingerless Gloves, to Craftsy, and I have been working on a new skirt pattern since before the holidays.  I wanted to make sure that it was available in several sizes, so I have been taking the time to create each(in between orders, presents, and work), and I am just about ready to get it out to my testers this weekend.  
I am enjoying this pattern designing/writing very much, and I have lots of ideas for this coming year!  I am hoping to get a couple done per month(we'll see how that goes), including some more clothing, accessories, and a couple of amigurumi characters.

What kind of patterns do you enjoy?  Do you find you make more children's items or clothing or items for the home?  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year's Resolutions and Back to Work

Wow, I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog post!  Terrible.  I definitely let the holiday season get the best of me.  I had so much on my plate, and simply let things fall behind; my blog being one of those things.  Now it is a new year, and I am trying to get off to a fresh, albeit late, start. 
Last year was a big year for me.  I started my facebook page, tried my hand at a website before moving on over to Etsy, and wrote up my first patterns to sell.  I have created a Craftsy account to sell those patterns, and it's my hope to get my Ravelry going this year as well.
I have several new patterns in the works  which have been keeping me busy already this year.  Pattern designing/writing takes a lot of work and time; coming up with the idea, trying it out, making changes, working out kinks, trying it again, writing it down (in English, so that it can actually be understood), sending it out to reliable testers(another thing that takes time to find), taking their notes to make changes, all before it can be listed.
My first pattern of the year will be my Slouchy Shells Fingerless Gloves.
I am making my final edits this evening and hoping to release it tomorrow (at a special low price for the weekend).

I also have a skirt pattern in the works.  It began simply as a holiday skirt for my daughter, but after many requests, it has turned into a pattern for all ages.  I am still trying to work out a couple of the sizes, and then I will be typing it up to get out to some of my testers.  I was hoping to get this one released by Valentine's Day, but I am not sure that it will be possible.

Adornments on my daughter's holiday skirt.  The flower will be a part of the pattern.

So my goals for this year, for the business at least, are to try to list at least a pattern a month, blog more frequently (like once a week), better use social networking to my advantage, get Ravelry going, and try to get my Etsy shop some increase in traffic.  I have been debating whether or not to keep Etsy.  I think this year will be the deciding factor.  There are several fees involved, and I seem to be taking more custom orders through other sources than Etsy sales.  I have heard it can take a couple of years, but if I don't see some improvement this year, I think I will be exploring the website option again.

I would love to hear from all of you.  When you purchase handmade or patterns for that matter, where do you like to shop?  Do you use Etsy, Craftsy, Ravelry or do you prefer facebook?  What about websites?  I am thinking now that I am a bit more established, the website may work better.