Monday, 29 July 2013

An interview with Thistles and Tulips Crochet

As a crochet designer myself I love nothing better than chatting to other crochet designers and asking what inspires them to do what they do!

Juicy Grape Beanie
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
Today we asked Carmen, who runs Thistles and Tulips Crochet, if she would be kind enough to answer a few questions for you guys and share her thoughts on being a crochet designer.

HappyBerry: So how long have you been crocheting for?

Carmen: My mom taught me how when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. I didn’t much care for crocheting then, but when I had my oldest child, I wanted to make something for her with my own hands and not something bought. I’ve been crocheting ever since.

HappyBerry: So what inspired you to start designing?

Carmen: I saw some truly amazing designers on the market already like Speckled Frog Crochet and Inner Hooker, but I thought why not?

Loralei Dress
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet 
HappyBerry: What do you love designing the most?

Carmen: I usually like the instant gratification projects like hats, but lately I’ve been interested in designing garments for children. I love making crochet pieces for my children and so it was an easy step from smaller designs like the hats to bigger things like dresses and sweet cardigans.

HappyBerry: What do you least like working on?

Carmen: I would say anything requiring a lot of joining.

HappyBerry:  What has been your most rewarding moment so far?

Carmen: I love my fans, and I feel the most rewarding moment for me came when a fan sent me a photo of their newborn modelling a hat from one of my designs. It was truly a wonderful moment. Anyone willing to send me a photo of a child or adult modelling a hat made from one of my patterns will certainly make my day.

HappyBerry: What are you currently working on?

Birthday Bolero
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
Carmen: Where do I start? I have a ton of projects skittering around in my brain trying to work their ways out. Most recently I learned how to Tunisian crochet thanks to you. With your videos, I have been able to design a turban in Tunisian knit stitch. This design will be heading to a photographer very soon. I also have a lace cardigan which I am still trying to work out. Sometimes these things can take a while. Hmm. I also have a headband or two I will be releasing in the next few weeks.

HappyBerry: You sound quite busy! So who inspires you the most?

Carmen: My little girls are my biggest inspiration. They really helped me step out of my comfort zone and work on larger projects like the lace cardigan I mentioned before. I also designed the Birthday Bolero for my oldest daughter’s fourth birthday. And my little Gena modelled the Loralei Dress.

HappyBerry: Thank you so much for answering our questions Carmen, any advice for those wishing to start out on the path to being a crochet designer?

Carmen: Never give up hope. And don’t let anyone ever tell you what you are doing is “just a hobby”. It’s more than that when you really put your heart into it.

Thank you Carmen! We love your work very much. Thank you for sharing it with us today (^-^)

Dainty Crown
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
FREE Pattern via her Ravelry page here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dainty-crown

You can learn more about what Carmen gets up to at Thistles and Tulips Crochet on her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/thistlesandtulipscrochet

You can also visit her Etsy store here to buy any of her patterns:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThistlesandTulips

Or join her on Ravelry where you can find some of her free patterns:
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/carmen-statham




Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Free crochet patterns at HappyBerry

I thought I would just put out a quick blog post that lists all my recent free crochet patterns at HappyBerry as there have been quite a few lately I have designed over the last few months.

Amigurumi Bear Necklace

We all love a free crochet pattern, especially quick and easy crochet patterns so let's start with my very cute little amigurumi bear necklace.


You can grab this free crochet pattern via my blog here:
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/how-to-amigurumi-bear-necklace.html

Amigurumi Bear Soft Toy

My next free crochet pattern is for another very cute amigurumi bear but this time a little soft toy version which measures 'bear'ly a few inches high. I know my jokes are terrible!


You can grab this pattern via my blog as well here http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/how-to-crochet-amigurumi-baby-shower.html

A video tutorial is also available for this little guy on my YouTube channel here.



Crochet Coin Purse

This free pattern is a great little project as they make such perfect gifts and stocking fillers. Just pick up some sew in purse handles from eBay and away you go!


This pattern is also available via this blog and here is the link
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/how-to-crochet-coin-purse-and-sew-in.html

However this pattern is also available as a video tutorial via our YouTube channel here!


Small Crochet Gift Box

This quick and easy crochet project is a fantastic way to package up any small gifts you may have. Just pop in some chocolates or maybe some earrings for a very unique gift idea!



This pattern is available here:
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/how-to-crochet-small-box.html

Loveheart Bracelet

This crochet pattern is a fun project for any beginner crocheter or for those younger crocheters who love to make friendship bracelets and so far it has been one of our most popular free patterns to date! What colours will you choose?


Grab this pattern now here!
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/quick-and-simple-crochet-heart-bracelet.html

Mini Cup Cake

Next up is a free crochet video tutorial to make this teeny tiny mini cupcake. A perfect treat for any summer picnic, well, maybe the children's play versions but they still look good enough to eat! Perhaps make one in brown for a chocolate cake. The choices are endless.


Quick and Small Crochet Butterflies

These fun little bright butterflies are a sweet project to add to bags, hats or even made into a children's mobile. Knowledge of the magic circle is required and this pattern may not be a beginner's project but hopefully it's a fun pattern to try all the same. 

Written pattern is available and also a video tutorial.




Simple Crochet Newborn Booties and Newborn Beanie

These two projects are both video tutorials but are designed for the beginner crocheter in mind but also to challenge the beginner a little too. I hope you enjoy them. Remember , be inspired!




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Whether you are new to HappyBerry or a valued customer I hope you enjoy our patterns. If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment below or pop on over to me at https://www.facebook.com/happyberrycrochet or tweet me on https://twitter.com/happyberryUK  I am always so happy to hear from you guys.

There are also a lot more free patterns here on my blog or on my YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/happyberrycrochet as well as on my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk/

All patterns are in US terminology unless otherwise stated. The British accent is a ploy to confuse you he he

Remember stay happy! and happy crocheting (^-^)



© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Thank you.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Is it ok to sell items made from crochet patterns?

Is it ok to sell items made from your crochet patterns?

This is a question I get asked ALOT and I am always surprised at just how many crochet designers out there prohibit the selling of items made from their patterns. So what is and isn't allowed?

The way I look at things is that probably 99.9% of my customer base is going to be someone who is at home most of the day, perhaps looking after the kids or enjoying retirement but most importantly, people who love to crochet.

So someone says to them one day, hey! you should sell what you make because they look so good! The crocheter thinks to themselves, hmmm... I could do with the extra cash.

So they make a plan. They start to sell some items made from patterns they find online, they start their own Etsy store perhaps, they make a few sales, all seems great and exciting! But then bam!! they get a nasty surprise when they see their favourite designs are 'for personal use only'. They feel angry, upset, can't understand why.

Well, I would say crochet designers have some valid concerns as to why they put these clauses into their transactions but for me? I thought about it a bit harder.

Will people really make millions from selling items from my patterns when all I got was say $5 for the pattern? What happens if I want to sell items made from my own patterns, will sales be hindered? Will some factory somewhere swoop in and mass produce my work? WILL PEOPLE TAKE CREDIT FOR MY WORK???? aaarrgggh ... look designers, you'll drive yourself mad and you're doing yourself a dis-service.

Most crocheters are not heading out to buy their own yachts or French villas when you're slaving away over a hot hook and items you make will be what ... you ... make! Other crocheters are not you but regardless, for me I don't have time to sell actual items, I prefer to spend my time designing and sharing those designs with as many people as possible but if I did start to sell my own items then these items would be official merchandise!

What you need to remember too is that the vast majority of people WILL credit you as a designer, it is the least to ask of customers, and when they do, that is free advertising. If I started to say 'for personal use only' I would be pushing away a lot of custom and exposure to my business, and making a lot of crocheters struggle to make just some extra cash and I just don't want to do that.

Weighing up the risks I go with what feels right. HappyBerry is about being happy, it's the fundamental company ethos so at HappyBerry we want to help promote crocheters to start up their own crochet businesses and by doing that, as a designer, I do allow items made from any of my patterns to be sold in people's stores, that could be a small Etsy store online or even a small retail shop on the high street. All I ask is that credit is given to HappyBerry and that the patterns themselves are not sold (obviously - that would daft), and for people to be happy, successful and enjoy what HappyBerry can bring to their lives.

So have fun guys and let me know where items made from my patterns do end up! Happy crocheting everyone (^-^)

 
Are you a designer? What are your concerns and worries?
Are you a crocheter? What annoys you and how do you cope?
Comment below and let me know!
 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

How To - Crochet a small Butterfly


This fun little project can be made up in minutes and will surely delight any fan of butterflies.

Great to add to hats or bag, baby shoes but even better, why not make lots and make them into a children's mobile!

You can watch my video tutorial on how to make these below.


You will need

  • 2 types of yarn colours in DK/Light worsted weight yarn but you can use any yarn you like.
  • 2.5mm crochet hook or any hook that is suitable for the yarn you are using.
  • Scissors and a yarn needle.

The magic circle is better for this project but you can make a loop with chains if you prefer. Just make sure you chain enough to form a loop big enough to accommodate all the stitches on the first round as there are 24. You can watch my tutorial on the magic circle here if you like: http://youtu.be/0m0952XQjbA

Round 1
In white work 1sc, 1hdc, 1dc, 3tr, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 2dc, 1sc, 1sc, 2dc, 1sc, 1hdc, 1dc, 3tr, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc into a magic circle, pull to tighten - (24)

Round 2
Join your alternative colour in next st with 1sc, 1sc in next st, 2sc in next 4 sts, 1sc in next st, sl st in next 2 sts, 1sc in next st, 2dc in next st, sl st in next 3 sts, 2dc in next st, 1sc in next st, sl st in next st, 1sc in next st, 2sc in next 4 sts, 1sc in last 2 sts.

Finishing
Sl st into centre of butterfly and pull yarn up to form a loop. Fasten off and tie alternative coloured yarn ends into a knot, to fix loop into place. Tie in all your tails. Cut loop to form your butterfly's antenna. Knot antenna again to fix into place and now you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. For more crochet pattern fun then please pop by my website here: www.happyberry.co.uk



© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Thank you.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

How To - Amigurumi Bear Necklace


I've been feeling the Amigurumi mood these last few days so I decided to make a little amigurumi bear necklace.

This is such a simple project with very cute results which makes a wonderful gift for someone special.

This pattern is in US terminology.

You will need:

- A necklace chain of some kind. I picked up some silver plated plain necklaces from eBay. I go to eBay quite a lot for simple craft items such as keyrings, beads and buttons etc which are not too expensive.

- Some DK / Light worsted weight cotton yarn in two colours, in this case I used purple and a creamy white

- A short length of DK / Light worsted weight yarn in black for the eyes

- A very small amount of toy stuffing or just some scrap pieces of yarn for stuffing

- 2.5mm crochet hook or similar

- Yarn needle

- Scissors

So to begin!

Head

Round 1
Using a 2.5mm crochet hook and your white yarn crochet 8sc into a magic circle, pull to tighten, sl st to join - (8)



You can watch my video here on how to do the magic circle in more detail if you like:
http://youtu.be/0m0952XQjbA

Round 2
2sc in next st and in ea st around - (16)


Rounds 3 - 5
1sc in next st and in ea st around - (16)


Round 6
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (8)


At this point sew on some eyes using your black yarn and a small nose and mouth using your alternative coloured yarn.



Stuff your bear head either with scraps of yarn or a small amount of toy stuffing.



Round 7
Sew your remaining gap closed. Now sew your tail ends pieces through your bear head a few times, making sure not to pull too tightly, which can distort the head shape. Now sew up to the top of the head, leave a small loop and sew back down to the bottom. Sew again anywhere to secure loop into place and hide your tail end inside your head. This small loop is used to connect your head to your necklace chain.



Ears

Round 1
Crochet 5sc into a magic circle, sl st into centre of circle, pull to tighten and fasten off.


Finishing

Sew your ears onto your bear head, hiding your tails ends inside your bear head and now you're done!



Thread your necklace chain through the small loop you created earlier to finish.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. For more crochet pattern fun then please pop by our website here: www.happyberry.co.uk We would love to see more of you!



© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Thank you.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

How To - Crochet Amigurumi Baby Shower Bears


I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting this written pattern for my Amigurumi Baby Shower Bears! A wonderful gift for any expecting mum.

If you would like to watch my video tutorial on how to make these bears then you can do so just above here.

Ok so what do we need:

- 3.0mm crochet hook or similar
- DK / Light worsted weight yarn in white and an alternative colour
- Some toy stuffing or scrap pieces of yarn for stuffing
- 2 x toy eyes (just under 1cm in diameter)
- Scissors
- Yarn needle
- Ribbon (optional)

This pattern is in US terminology.

The Arms and Feet (or paws!)

Make 4

Round 1
Crochet 6sc into a magic circle, pull to tighten, sl st to join - (6)

You can watch my video tutorial here on how to the magic circle in closer detail:
http://youtu.be/0m0952XQjbA

Round 2
2sc in next st and in ea st around - (12)

Rounds 3 - 6
1sc in next st and in ea st around - (12)

Round 7
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (6)

Stuff your arms and feet at this point

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing. Sew remaining gap closed.

Ears

Make 2

Round 1
Crochet 8dc into a magic circle, pull to tighten, sl st into circle.

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Head

Round 1
Crochet 10sc into a magic circle, pull to tighten, sl st to join - (10)

Round 2
2sc in next st and in ea st around - (20)

Round 3
*1sc in next st, 2sc in next st* repeat from * to * until end - (30)

Rounds 4 - 10
1sc in next st and in ea st around - (30)

Round 11
*1sc in  next st, sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (20)

At this point position and secure your eyes fairly wide apart (approx. 8 sts between) between rows 7 and 8.

Taking a small amount of felt in white or your chosen alternative colour, cut out a small circle. Secure into place by stitching a small nose and mouth. (see photo or video for more detail).

Stuff your head.

Round 12
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (10)

Round 13
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (5)

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing. Sew remaining gap closed.

Sew on your ears, hiding your tails inside your head (see video for technique).

Body

Round 1
Crochet 10sc into a magic circle, pull to tighten, sl st to join - (10)

Round 2
2sc in next st and in ea st around - (20)

Rounds 3 - 8
1sc in next st and in ea st around - (20)

Round 9
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (10)

At this point sew on your arms and feet to your main body, making sure they face slightly forward in a teddy bear style.

Stuff your body.

Round 10
*sc2tog* repeat from * to * until end - (5)

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing. Sew remaining gap closed.

Finishing

Sew your head onto your body and now you're done!

Why not add a bow or some ribbon for a sweet finishing effect.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. For more crochet pattern fun then please pop by our website here: www.happyberry.co.uk We would love to see more of you!



© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Thank you.