Monday, July 16, 2018

Goodbye CafePress, Hello Printful

Sometimes you have to take a chance on something new. Since 2003 I had a shop (ok, multiple) on CafePress. At the time it was a pretty revolutionary thing. You could upload your design, put it on items, carry no inventory and make money doing it. For the first few years this worked great. Any amount over the base price was your profit no matter how the customer found you.
A few years ago, they changed their commission structure to a flat 10% of your sale. You could raise the amount of your commission based on a few factors, but one of the main ones was of getting followers and following other designers. After seeing tiny commission for an item that cost the customer $25.00 I had decided I had enough, I needed to find another print on demand business.
I had heard of Society6 and Zazzle but wasn't impressed with them or the others like it. I was looking around on YouTube and kept seeing Printful pop up. I was intrigued but skeptical. I looked into it further and decided to try it out.
I really like the way they handle things down to the packaging. You can put your black and white logo on the packing slips and the envelopes/boxes that they use to ship. So it looks like it's coming from your online store and not a third party printer. I also like the integration to Etsy, all I have to do is link my store, upload my designs, select the products and once you sync, the item will automatically be dumped into your Drafts on Etsy where you can finalize it.
Another cool feature is you can buy from your own shop at a discounted rate and also order samples. I set up some items a few months ago and haven't really promoted it but I have had a few sales. I'm not going to depend on this for my income or anything but it's a nice option. Anyone that is into designing full time should look into it. Oh, and they integrate with tons of sites, not just Etsy. Shopify, BigCommerce and even Ebay are a few of them. There are also detailed video tutorials on setting everything up.
One aspect I was confused about was the payment structure. Printful allows you to have a "Wallet" which you can load money into. When someone places an order the money is taken from the wallet/your paypal account/your bank card to pay for the initial order. Your profit comes from whatever store platform you use. For example. One of my t-shirts is priced at $25.00, the base price for the shirt is $17.00 so Printful charges me the $17.00 for the shirt and everything else is handled through Etsy. I get the full $25.00+shipping but you just have to subtract the initial $17.00. It isn't clearly spelled out but once I got my first order I figured it out pretty quickly. $8.00+ profit is much better than the dollar or less I was getting from CafePress.
I haven't ordered a sample yet as of the time of this post, but I am planning on it very soon. Once I do I will review it.
Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Update: The Magic Knot

Sorry it's been so long again! Summer is finally here so things are only a tiny bit less hectic in our house. I'm going to enjoy every minute of it because very soon my youngest will be off to Kindergarten!
Anyway- that's not why you're here. You're probably here because you want more information about the magic knot that I used in my Rainbow Dash Blanket. I wanted to update because I had read a lot of other crocheters were having issues with the knots coming undone.
I'm happy to report that almost 2 years later (OMG!) that the blanket is still in pretty good shape. There were a couple of spots where I had to reknot the yarn-which was not fun. But all in all it was OK. My biggest gripe with the magic knot is, well- the knots. Depending on where you join the yarn and how good you are at pulling the knot tight it can get unsightly. I tried my hardest to hide the color changes but sometimes they are unavoidable. I also made a Draculaura blanket using the same technique. it was A LOT larger than Rainbow Dash and it took a long time, but it would've taken me 3x longer if I had to deal with sewing ends in.
My advice is this. practice with the technique a lot, it can be tricky to get it down at first and you don't want to be playing around with it on a commissioned project or something you want to sell down the line.
Once you practice- do it more. Seriously make a whole chain of weird ass color changes just to get a good feel for it, play around with where in the stitches you join your yarn so you can hide the knot.
Do a swatch. An actual swatch, probably 20x20 stitches with some color changes so you can you guessed it, practice some more.
Once you get the hang of it you'll be a pro. As long as you're pulling tight enough your yarn shouldn't break. There are a bunch of tutorials on YouTube to help you out as well!

Here's Draculaura so you can see how massive she was! It was over a year ago that I made her but I believe the graph was 180x100 if you zoom in you can see some of the knots.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Birth Stats Redesign!

So after a few years of having my Birth Stats on my Etsy shop, and after one glaring issue was brought to my attention I have done a redesign of them.

Now, instead of the lbs and ounces reading as 7.11 they are separated and easier, and more importantly, correct.

So here they are!

I also have these for older children that include their favorite things

All of these designs can be purchased on my Etsy shop! and for a limited time you can get a discount! Any of my blog readers/facebook/insta followers can just enter the code STAT15 to receive 15% off your order of one! This offer is good until 2/1/18!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hulk Ragdoll

Wow, I really haven't written anything here in almost a year?! Shame on me! I'm not going to promise that I will blog more, but I will try. So. I finished this project awhile ago but I wanted to write a post about it here.

This pattern was purchased in a bundle of Baby Superheroes by Nella's Cottage.  What I did was basically double all of the pieces and assebmbled- (get it?! my jokes aren't on point.) all of the pieces together to make a ragdoll. My husband is a huge Hulk fan so when I saw this pattern I just had to make it. I will probably make the other characters at some point as it was a lot of fun to make this. He's such a cutie!

Hulk Smash!

I'll try not to wait 11 months until my next post!!

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Messy Bun Hat FREE Pattern

So, as I'm sure most of you in the crochet/knitting world know, Messy Bun Hats have taken over social media since right before Christmas. I made a couple for my kids but stayed away from making tons of them. However, this hat was super fast to work up - under an hour! and I managed to make 2 of these hats and an ear warmer out of 2 skeins!

I was looking through my yarn stash last night and came across some yarn that I was waiting to use. It's gorgeous and I love it, but the varying thickness of it made it a little difficult to find the perfect project for it. I think I may have found a great way to use it!

The yarn I'm talking about is Paton's Iced. I had 3 colorways in my stash and now I can't wait to go through them all. The pattern is very simple, and you can download it here! I included it in the notes on the pattern, I want to say it again, the whole hat is worked in Back Loop Only, so make sure you know how to do it!

I also uploaded it to Ravelry

Happy Hooking!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

New England Patriots C2C Graph

Hi Everyone!!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've made a post, I try to keep active on my Facebook page, but it seems like I have less and less time for actual blog posts. I'm going to try and change that though, I miss blogging and am going to make that a goal of mine for the next few months!

So, what brings me to this blog post is my NE Pats graph. I'm a loyal NE fan and I wanted to make this to show my pride in my team. I had it for sale in my Etsy shop, but apparently the NFL didn't like my $3.00 listing so it was removed. I am not going to fight them, I used their logo as inspiration, but I did draw the graph. Since I don't have the time or the budget to fight with them over it, I am going to offer it for free here on my blog. I will not upload it to ravelry, as I have a feeling they will remove it as well.

So, here it is. You can download the PDF here. You need to cut out and tape the pages together for it to work. Just an FYI, the pattern is 100x75.

Happy Hooking and GO PATS!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rainbow Dash Blanket and the Magic Knot

As much as I love making graphgans, I hate changing colors. Keeping tons of bobbins from getting tangled and ALL.OF.THE.SEWING. required was enough to give me pause on starting another project. Not to mention, when doing the other C2C blankets I noticed that even after extensive weaving my ends would still come lose and poke out of the blanket. Not what you want to see after all of that hard work!

Then I discovered the magic knot. What is it? Well, it's a great way to join your yarn colors together so that you have NO ENDS TO WEAVE IN. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube to show you how to make the knot but once you do, watch this video because it shows you how to incorporate the magic knot into your project.

So, with all of this in mind I decided to try my hand at another graphgan. Both of my girls chose one for their birthdays, and my little one's was first. She chose Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. I went back and forth on choosing a particular graph but the winner was this one.

Found this on Pinterest, there are TONS more!
I started at the bottom left corner and getting to that first color change made me super anxious. That first scissor cut felt very scary, but once I got the hang of it it was pretty easy and I really enjoyed making this blanket.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bob the Turtle- aka.Bubble Butt

So here's the turtle that I made with One and Two Company's pattern!

I LOVE how he came out, the instructions were easy to follow and I've started another one of her patterns already.

Although his name was Bob, he was renamed Bubble Butt after a rescue turtle and he is very happy in his new home.

Love him! Can't wait to make more!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pattern Talk: Paid Vs. Free

I've been meaning to write about this for awhile. When I ventured out past the world of scarves and blankets I was starting to look at more and more patterns. Before Pinterest came along, I depended mostly on Ravelry (and still do) when I'm looking for a pattern.

Without fail, every time I was searching for an idea, the first thing I would do was check off that little box next to "Free" there was no way I was paying for a pattern. I no longer do this and I'll tell you why. Pattern writing is not easy. For anyone that's attempted it, it can be daunting and there are a lot of little parts that go into it. And while it's not the case every time, there's a reason why some patterns are paid and some are free.

For a pattern to be a "good" pattern it needs to meet certain criteria.
1. Write out all special stitches, notes, and materials needed.
2. Stitch count at the end of each row (very important!!!)
3. Clear, well thought out instructions.

Sometimes when you're doing a stitch or pattern you've done forever it doesn't occur to you that someone looking at it with fresh eyes might have a hard time with it, it's best to spell everything out as clearly as possible.

This isn't to say that there shouldn't be free patterns or that all free patterns are crappy, of course not. But what I'm getting at here is don't write a pattern off because it's not free. If it's for a project you're making for a customer you will more than make your money back. And even if it's for a gift, in my opinion I'd rather pay for a pattern and come out with a finished project I love than something that doesn't look as nice but the pattern was free.
Of course, I do realize that not everyone can afford to pay for patterns and I know that there are TONS of designers that do offer their designs for free. The lesson here is, they are both wonderful options and I'm so grateful to the designing community out there for sharing their creativity. I've only dabbled in the world of pattern making (mostly graphs) and it can be stressful so I truly appreciate all of the hard work, patience and time that goes into making them.

While I'm talking about Paid patterns I would like to shine a spotlight on one designer in particular- One & Two Company who saved me from project hell this week without even knowing it. (Which led me to write this post, lol) I was needing a pattern for a Sea Turtle. I searched Ravelry, Etsy and Pinterest and kept seeing her pattern, I favorited and kept going. Ultimately I chose a free one from Ravelry because, well, it was free and it looked easy enough. Wrong. After I completed the parts for the shell and joined them, the instructions for the rest of the shell were a disaster. No row counts, and the pattern in general was sloppily written and just not good. I decided to cut my losses and went back to my first choice Bob the Turtle. I absolutely ADORE this pattern. It is very well done, lots of illustrations, I would buy all of her patterns if I could afford them. Bob is going to be a birthday gift for a special little girl, so I will be sharing the finished project after he is in his forever home.

There is a sale going on right now on her site! (*I have not been asked or paid to share this information with you*)

“Stock Up for Summer Sale!” and get great discounts!!!
· From 1 to 4 patterns you will get 40% Off
· With 5 or more patterns you will get 50% Off
No Coupon Code needed. June 9 - 11, 2016. Packs not included.
Only on the website:

Lesson learned for me. All patterns are not created equally and don't shy away from the paid ones, while they're not all perfect ( I know mine aren't but I do my best) give them a shot! You might be pleasantly surprised!

What do you think? Do you ever buy patterns? Do you have a pattern wish list like I do?

Happy Crafting!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Legend of Zelda Graph C2C Lap Blanket

Another project is finished! I'm so happy that it's done. My wonderful husband is a big fan of the Legend of Zelda games and I couldn't resist making him this graph.

The finished blanket measures around 40x32 inches and is more for display/lap blanket than to be practical however, I love the finished product and I'm proud of it! It took me awhile due to my struggle with the seemingly endless color changes (weaving in ends took FOREVER!). I had originally planned for a fabric backing but changed my mind once the border was on.

Here is where you can find the original graph I used. I just printed out the image and crossed off each row as I went. I also find it easier to number my rows and columns so its easier to remember what side you're working on.
Work In Progress

For the border I did this one by the crochet crowd. I did 3 rows in blue and one in black to finish it off.

All those ends!! And this is about half of them!
I used mostly Red Heart Super Saver for the colors, except for the background color, Dark grey and the black, they were all Caron One Pound in Sky Blue, Dark Grey and Black.

I am going to be trying a new technique known as the Magic Knot for any future projects with lots of color changes. NO ends to weave in.  Click the link for a video tutorial!

I hope you enjoyed this project, I really did and will be trying out more soon!

Happy Crafting!
Before the border


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