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Starting something completely new (to me)… Crocheted socks !

Socks… I tried to knit them ages ago. Then tried to crochet them. But that never worked out, too fiddly to knit, too thick and not enough comfortable when crocheted… I could not picture socks crocheted in single crochet, even elongated sc…

Yet I still kept that idea in a corner of my mind. Oh and sock yarns can be so pretty !

Then suddenly last year it hit me: that very double crochet in the front loop I like to use in all my garment patterns was the solution ! Because of its specific properties it would be ideal for socks:

  • being very stretchy, it would make very comfortable socks, just about hugging my feet like a glove
  • being a tall stitch, the socks would be very quick to make
  • and last but not least, it would make much thinner socks (similar to knit socks) and use less yarn than other crocheted socks

BINGO ! So last November I started away on my very first socks. I intentionnally avoided to look at socks from other designers so I would not be influenced … I wanted to find my own ways to crochet a sock.

And Boy did I try a lot of things: Tested ideas and concepts I had come up with. Again and again. And again. Most of them failed, but I learned a lot during this process. During 6 months I tried dozens of ways to crochet the toe section and heel, made 6 different socks to try various options, crocheted about 20 different versions of heels to find the perfect method that would be both easy to crochet, easy to explain and with a beautiful and confortable outcome. Then my amazing team of 9 testers triple-checked everything and helped me made the instructions crystal clear (see below their colored socks. A million thanks to them !!)

 

Now I’m so happy to see it was all worth it: Here’s what testers said about this pattern:

  • I made a few pairs of crocheted socks before, but have not found a design I want to make more than once. This will be my go to pattern in future! As for wearing, it’s maybe too soon to say, but the biggest difference compared to knitted socks is that these don’t feel tight and still they don’t fall off my feet either.
  • this is a fantastic crocheted sock pattern. A lot of others come off more like a Christmas stocking, rather than an actual sock that you feel comfortable wearing.
  • They were just the right combo of interesting yet easy … they were fun to make. (…) I have not knitted socks but I have crocheted socks and these are my favourite!
  • I absolutely loved making these!! I definitely plan on making another pair. (…) I have tried to crochet socks before but none of them had the afterthought heel and were nowhere near as comfortable and I ended up frogging them. I was so satisfied with this experience and will definitely be making more of these in the future!
  • I’ m so happy to finally have a crochet pattern for socks. These are so much more fun to make than knitted ones! And so pretty, too! You created a lovely, much needed design!

******

Now I’m super proud to release those Marguerites socks, available either as a regular PDF pattern OR as a KIT:

The PATTERN:

  • Explains how to crochet pretty socks with a flower motif and a fun heel matching the toe section
  • Socks use the “afterthought heel” technique so you can replace the heel if it ever wears out (don’t worry, this is super simple)
  • 9 pages of detailed instructions, step-by-step photos and tutorials
  • instructions in 3 widths so you can make those to fit your feet perfectly !
  • Pattern is available for instant download on EtsyRavelry – Craftsy
  • Special launch price until Saturday May 20th: $4.90 instead of $6

Price: $4.90 (+ VAT for European buyers)    

  

 The KIT:

  • Includes pattern + 100g of sock yarn + stitch markers
  • Sock yarn is made of 75% wool (5 different breeds, including merino, are mixed to achieve the best ratio softness/resistance to abrasion) and 25% nylon superwash.
  • THis yarn was dyed especially for these socks by indie dyer Heikemade with subtle variations of tones so as not to hide the floral motif. She made longer color repeats so they would work perfectly when crocheted in double crochets.
  • Each kit includes also 4 stitch markers (used in pattern) including one “heart-shaped” marker from Addi.
  • Kits are available in my Etsy store and at the “Lot et laine” fiber festival in July (France).

Happy crochet !

 

Every once and again, crocheters will ask me how they can crochet one of my designs.. but in another size. Let’s focus today on how to do that for kids and pre-teens.

For instance, this week, Karine S. asked: “Hi Sylvie do you sell a pattern for a dancing poppies sweater in sizes 6 years and 4 years? I’m not very good at adapting sizes..”

  

So. My first answer is No, as those cardigans are only available in women’s sizes and baby/toddler sizes

BUT the good news is that it’s super simple to adapt the baby bolero to kids sizes thanks to this little “trick” I’m about to reveal now:

Most of my sweater patterns (except for the Floralie and SaperliPOPette! at this point…) are based on the same basic numbers: I have a set of 4 kids sizes and a set of 5 women’s sizes.  Rather than redoing all the math and sizing every time, I reuse those basic numbers which I’ll tweak and adapt depening on the features of each design: hood or lower neckline, waist shaping or boxy look, long sleeves or sleeveless…

It’s a bit like the “body block” which seamstresses use as starting point to create all sorts of garments…  ;-)

SO.

 

This means that you can very easily:

  • follow the instructions of a design sized for babies such as the Dancing poppies bolero,
  • with the sizing/yarn/gauge combo of another design sized for older children such as the Ermeline hooded cardigan, explained in sizes 2 to 8 years old:

In the case of Karine’s question, simply follow the 2nd size directions of the baby bolero  (= size 4 years for Ermeline) but using a thicker Aran-type yarn at a gauge of 14 sts and 7.25 rows = 10 cm/ 4 inches…

And you will have a Dancing poppies bolero to fit a 4 year old !

 

Then of course, you can also do things the other way round… like if you’d like to make an Armel hooded cardi  or a Mini Marguerite cardigan in baby sizes taille bébé… simply use a thinner yarn refering to yarn and gauge recommended for the Dancing Poppies bolero…  (note: since babies have larger heads in proportion to their body though, you might have to adapt the size of baby hoods, as I did for my Lutin Marguerite..)

Easy right ?

Then for the more adventurous, there’s also a second method which is especially usefull for some sizes I never catered for at this point: pre-teens. :-)

In this case, we’ll do a simple cross-multiplication and choose to base the sweater :

  • either on the largest size of a kids design, using thicker yarn  (but result may end up looking bulky!)
  • or the smallest of the women’s sizes (XS) using thinner yarn than recommended in pattern. I always recommend using the XS size as there’s less bust and waist shaping in this size, making it more suitable for pre-teens.

The latter option is the one “Fierdre” chose to crochet a “Léontine” hooded jacket for her daughter, since this design is only offered in women’s sizes.

In order to maximise your chances of a perfect result, here’s the simple calculation you need to  make:

(Number of sts in pattern at bust level) divided by the (bust circumference in cm)  x 10 = gauge for 10 cm
OR
(Number of sts in pattern at bust level) divided by the (bust circumference in inches)  x 4 = gauge for 4 inches

Then all you need to do is head to your LYS and choose a suitable yarn for this gauge, and follow the pattern in the size chosen (XS in this case)…

For instance, if I want to make a Léontine for my 11 yo daughter:

  • I look at the number of sts in the Léontine instrcutions at bust level (= just after separating sleeves): 118 stitches
  • I measure my daughter’s chest circumference: 69 cm (no need for added ease, crochet being very stretchy AND the final edging adding width to the front)
  • I do the calculation following the formula detailed above: (118/69) x 10 = 17,1 sts / 10 cm
  • So, I’m looking for yarn and a hook suitable to get gauge at 17 mailles per 10 cm/4 in (instead of the 15,5 sts in original instructions), and will follow XS instructions in pattern
  • Of course, as this is a top-down design I’ll also try on the jacket often on my daughter to adjust the length of sleeves and body… of alter the waist and hip shaping if needed !

 

PS – Of course, to crochet a sweater for a child in any size and using any yarn, there’s also my “SaperliPOPette ! method” … which allows you to make a boxy sweater for kids too ! Bu studing certain key points of the body morphology the sweater will end up perfectly sized for your kid: tested and approved by my mini-fashionista M. !  :-D

  

**************************************

So here goes. I hope this tutorial helped answer your questions… Otherwise feel free to ask in the comments.
And of course, do send me pictures if you try resizing one of my design in child or baby sizes  !

* * * Sign up for my Newsletter to be the first to know about new patterns & tutorials ! * * *

Welcome to the NatCroMo blog tour !

My name is Sylvie Damey, and I’m a french crochet designer. I love to design crochet garments that follow and hug the beautiful curves of your body, using the technique of the top-down seamless sweaters.
I design for women and their little ones. Sometimes I add hoods too… long pixie hoods because everyday should be fun !

     

To celebrate NatCroMo, I have a surprise for you:

Learn to crochet a mini-sweater with the free tutorial below: Enjoy !

 

If you’ve never crocheted a garment and are scared to start, fear not !! Here’s a free tutorial to guide you through the various steps, explaining as we go why we do things. Featuring very few stitches & rows, you can make it in under an hour. Yet it includes all the features of a “normal” top-down cardigan so you can use this project as a confidence-booster to tackle full size sweaters next !

* Sign up for my NEWSLETTER to be the first to know when I release a FREE pattern for a beginner friendly womens top-down cardigan… & other exciting new patterns or promotions ! *

Skills needed: slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet (US crochet terms)

1/ Construction of a seamless top-down sweater

  • Since this is a top-down construction, we will start at the top, with a long foundation chain for neck.
  • Then we increase evenly to create a round yoke. This is step (1), shown in blue on diagram.
  • Next, we skip a given number of stitches to create “holes” for arms. Those skipped stitches and neighboring Double Crochets (which will stretch into being nearly horizontal when sweater is worn) are shown in orange on diagram.
  • Finally, we’ll crochet on the remaining stitches to create the body of sweater: That’s step (2) shown in green on diagram.

2/ Let’s crochet a mini-sweater !


Materials

You can use any remnants of yarn for this project.

– You won’t need much yarn : I used approx

7 grams (counting both colors used) of aran “LettLopi” yarn

– crochet hook suitable for yarn used + another hook 2 sizes smaller for buttonloop. (I used susan Bates H & G hooks)

– 1 small button

1/ Getting started: Foundation chain & starting row

 

Start with a sl ip knot, and a foundation chain of 19 chains.

First row – starting row: Work 1 Double Crochet dans la 4th chain AFTER hook (= do not count loop on hook). Continue with 1 Double Crochet in each of the next stitches along foundation chain. Count your stitches: you should have 17 stitches = 3 chains which count as 1st stitch + 16 Double Crochets. Turn work for next row.

Tip: To count stitches, count the vertical barseach bar = 1 Double Crochet (or equivalent 3 chains)

2/ Increase for yoke

Second row –increase row: 3 turning chains. Those 3 chains count as 1st stitch. And since we increase in each stitch, work 1 Double Crochet in the SAME STITCH (= base of the 3 chains). Continue to increase, working 2 Double Crochets in each of the next 16 Double Crochets (make sure you crochet in the final ch3-from-row-below, as those count as a stitch).

Count your stitches: you should have 34 stitches = 3 chains which count as 1st stitch + 33 Double Crochets. Turn work for next row.

You can already see that work is curcing because of the increases : This is normal, it’s actually THE typical shape of round yoke sweaters.

Third row: 3 chains (= turning chains). Work 1 Double Crochet in NEXT stitch this time, then in each of the next 33 stitches.

Count your stitches: you should have 34 stitches = 3 chains which count as 1st stitch + 33 Double Crochets. Turn work.

3/ Create “holes” for amholes

Fourth row – skip stitches for sleeves: 3 turning chains, then work 1 Double Crochet in NEXT stitch, and 1 Double Crochet in each of the next 3 stitches. You have 5 stitches for 1st half-front of cardigan.

Then skip the next 7 stitches (= do NOT crochet in those stitches, but crochet directly in the 8th stitch) to create 1st armhole – see picture above.

Work 1 Double Crochet in the stitch located right after the 7 skipped stitches, and continue with 1 Double Crochet in each of the next 9 stitches: that’s 10 stitches total for back of cardigan.

Next, skip another 7 stitches as previously to create 2nd armhole.

End with 1 Double Crochet in each of the last 5 stitches. You have 5 stitches for 2nd half-front of cardigan.

Count your stitches: you should have 20 stitches for body of cardigan. Turn work for last row.

 

4/ Lower body

Fifth row: 3 turning chains. Work 1 Double Crochet in NEXT stitch, and 1 Double Crochet in each of the next 18 stitches. Count your stitches: you should have 20 stitches. Fasten off and break yarn.

Fold the half-fronts. Now it totally looks like a cardigan, with the  collar and yoke,  2 armholes &the lower body.

5/ Final edging around cardigan & buttonloop

Join contrasting yarn to top right corner with a slip stitch.

Work 1 single crochet in corner stitch, then a 2nd single crochet along the side of the Double Crochet (end of double crochet row). Continue to go down along 1st half-front in single crochets, working 2 single crochets along each end of row in Double Crochet.

Once your reach lower corner, work [1 single crochet, 3 chains and 1 slip stitch in the 1st chain (=1 picot), 1 single crochet] in that corner stitch.

Continue along bottom edge as follows : 1 single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, 3 chains and 1 slip stitch in the 1st chain (=1 picot), *1 single crochet in each of the next 4 stitches, 3 chains and 1 slip stitch in the 1st chain (=1 picot)), repeat from * 4 times total, ending in corner stitch.

To turn, work another single crochet in the same corner stitch (where you already worked 1 single crochet and 1 picot). You have 6 picots total: 1 picot in each corner + 4 picots in between.

 

Finally, work your way up the 2nd half-front as as for first, up to last row of yoke (= you have 8 single crochets after corner stitch) and create a button-loop as follows: With smaller hook work 6 chains and 1 slip stitch in 1st chain.

Finally, swith back to larger hook and work your way up to top corner. Fasten off and break yarn.

Sew button facing button-loop. Weave in any remaining ends.

Voilà !!! You’re now officially a sweater crocheter!

 

Ready to tackle real-size sweaters now ?

Go ahead and try the Dancing poppies Cardigan or Dancing poppies Baby bolero: they use exactly the same technique and construction.

You can do it ! :-)

* Sign up for my NEWSLETTER to be the first to know when I release a FREE pattern for a beginner friendly womens top-down cardigan… & other new patterns or promotions ! *

New crochet pattern: Boreal hooded coat

Tired of winter ?

My new hooded “Boréal coat” – named after its pretty Noro colors reminiscent of northern lights – is sure to light up any bleak snowy day, and bring a smile to anyone you meet.

As usual it’s crocheted in one piece from the top of the hood down.

A textured edging gives it character for a totally unique look.

This pattern is available on Etsy & Ravelry

at a DISCOUNTED PRICE until Feb 4th 2017 (during launch of the french “Guerre des mailles” on FB)

TECH:

  • includes 5 sizes XS-XL
  • Noro “Kureyon” yarn
  • 6 mm hook (or size needed to achieve gauge!)
  • 12 pages of detailed instructions + step-by-step photos & tutorials
  • you may sell your finished coat, please credit my name & pattern

Price: $5 (will revert to $8 after Feb 4th)

 

 

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns !



2016 is now officially over… time to look back on a few of my personal favorites makes over the year.

This is only a limited selection.. but you can already tell there was a lot of shawls involved (totally new for me ! I hardly ever made shawls before, and just couldn’t see the point.. until I stumbled upon the concept of asymmetrical shawls), & not many elfin hoods … just one in fact !

But I’ll certainly try and make up for this in 2017: if you’re on FB you may have caught a glimpse of a new design I’m working on, involving yummy Noro colors and a super long hood :-D

Left column, from top to bottom:

– “Konk Kerne” shawl, pattern by Barjolaine

– “Dancing Marguerites” shawl, by Sylvie Damey

– “Ariane” cardigan by Peggy Grand & “Dancing Marguerites” shawl by Sylvie Damey

– “Summertide” shawl by Tricia Jones


Center column:

Léontine” hooded jacket, by Sylvie Damey
Right column, from top to bottom:

– Pull “SaperliPOPette!“, de Sylvie Damey

– Chapeau de soleil “Funshine“, de Mamachee

– Châle “Badiane“, de Sylvie Damey

– Chaussons “Babouches“, de Sylvie Damey

And when it comes to workshops and occasions to meet fellow crocheters & crafters, 2016 was also another great year ! Dozens of crocheters tried the 13 ergonomic crochet hooks from my “magic box” during shows and yarn festivals, we knitted, crocheted and made pompoms during weekly free workshops at our local library, we crocheted “sweaters without a pattern” during 2-days workshops… and I created a “100% Crochet” collaborative ebook including patterns & tutorials from 15 french crochet designers. So much fun … and a great personal achievement with tons learnt in the process !

 

And now what’s up for 2017 ?

As I mentionned earlier, I’ll try and publish more “elfin” designs this year, as I know it’s a big favorite of most of you..  and I’m pretty sure you’ll love the one I’m already working on ! :-D

Workshops will continue locally and at craft shows here in France (Creativa-Grenoble & Lot et laine festival).. and I’d like to figure out a way to work with more people on a daily basis, as the downside of this amazing job is that it can get pretty solitary sometimes.

* * * *

Finally, to start the year on a positive note & Thank you for your amazing support, how about a special gift from me to you ?

   

The Rosebuds top is my first ever design published in a magazine (UK’s “Crochet Now” last fall) ! Woohoo. More than anything else, this was a gift to myself as I’ve always dreamed of seeing my designs published in crochet magazines despite several submitted ideas refused by my fav’ US crochet mag.

Some of you will probably recognize the general shape of my super popular “Roselette top”, made by over 200 crocheters on Ravelry… But this one is just a classical plain vest, with no back-opening. A pretty textured ribbon marks the high Empire waist, while long stitches make the skirt both interesting and super quick to make. Crocheted with aran-weight yarn, the pattern includes 5 sizes from 6 months to 4 year-old.

To get a FREE copy of this pattern today (and until Wed 11th Jan 2017):

  • head over to the Rosebud pattern’s page on Ravelry
  • put the pattern in your cart (buy now)
  • use code “MERCI” in the coupon-code box
  • and Whoosh, the price will magically become zero :-)

Enjoy :-)

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns & articles !



2016 Xmas presents

This year I crocheted colorful hats with pompons for my brother & his family who live on a warm island and are not usually equiped for our chilly winters…

& then I made more hats for the local family too, so there would be no one left out :-)

Btw, this orange hat I made for my SIL ? Made it to match the handbag I made her 5 years ago: same orange/turquoise mix of colors, and same turquoise lacy trim !

Also, she kinda claimed my new “Konk Kerne” shawl thru FB… So glad to be able to gift her with something I knew she’d truly value and cherish :-)

 

Nothing beats bright colors to get through the winter…

At the beginning, there was this superb yarn in yummy shades of blue and green, and my brand new Jimbo’s hook I HAD to try since it promised to be amazing (which it totally is).

A tiny swatch proved those 2 were made to work together … but browsing through dozens of pattern to find THE right one, making a true swatch and taking all sorts of measurements ? No thanks, just thinking of it made me tired already.

What to do ? Grab my go-to innovative method to crochet a sweater in ANY size using ANY yarn of course :-)

So a SaperliPOPette sweater it was: so easy to just follow my own instructions (and marvel at their ingenuosity, hehe) for each step, following the natural steps of my morphology and see the sweater come together pretty quickly with this aran-weight yarn..

Just a few minor modifications on the pattern though, as I wanted to make it suitable for the low temperatures of our Alpine winters, and be able to wear a coat on top of it (which proves complicated with boxy sweaters). So I made narrower sleeves, with alternated plain and openwork rounds. (details on my Rav project). Oh and I left out the Puff sts from lower body.

 

TECH:

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next patterns !



My “Konk Kerne” shawl

A few rays of sun today, perfect occasion to show you my new “Konk Kerne” shawl by french designer Véronique Chermette/Barjolaine.

A very light and airy shawl, featuring this superb lace pattern designed to imitate the fishermen’s nets from Concarneau in french Brittany.

Mine looks smaller than the original, probably because of my yarn choice: a big cone of super thin mohair-like acrylic blend in this color I love.

The small amount of wool in it also meant I couldn’t block it as agressively as another yarn. Oh well, I still love it as it it !

 

TECH:

  • pattern: Konk Kerne shawl by Véronique Chermette
  • yarn: thin mohair/acrylic blend, by la filature de Saint Lièvin (french spinning mill)
  • hook: 3 mm Etimo Rose
  • mods: none

Summer’s gone…

fini3r

Summer’s gone… and I finally retrieve the pics from my phone: A sunhat crocheted using the “Funshine” pattern by Tara Murray / Mamachee.

fini1

Surprising at first how she uses the “wrong side” of the hdc as right side of the hat, but I end up really liking that look !

fini2

And still in the theme of summer: this is the “Summertide shawl”, designed by my talented friend Trish Jones.

That frilly lace is ever so pretty !!!!!

5 ways to earn money with your crochet

Is crochet the first thing you think of when you wake up ? Can you spend hours lost in crochet books and magazines at your local library or newsagent ? Crochet books and more yarn are the only thing you can think of when asked what you’d love for your birthday present ?

Fear not, you’re not alone. And being really passionate about something is actually a good thing !

But what if, instead of feeling guilty about the size of your stash or amount paid on a luxury skein of yarn, you could actually MAKE MONEY with your crocheting talents and thus boost your self-confidence.. and maybe even buy a few more balls of yarn !

gagner-argent-crochetenglish

Here I’ll offer 5 ideas and ways to  make the most of all the various skills you use daily while crocheting and gathering information about your favorite craft. With many different options, I swear there should be at least one you’ll be highly qualified for !

1/ Sell items you are crocheting

So you love the act of crocheting, and cannot sit somewhere without a hook in your hand ? And you’re thinking of selling your finished objects ?  This is a great option to sell your original work, or items made with crochet patterns allowing the sale of FOs (more on that below).

  • You need to LOVE crocheting, because that means you’ll be crocheting a lot ! Just think about it : what if dozens of people fall in love with your hats or sweaters, and you have to crochet tons of them, one after the other ? Will you still enjoy it ? If the answer is YES, then go ahead, this is the perfect direction for you !
  • Crocheting away whatever takes your fancy is nice, but if you crochet to sell, you’ll need to listen to your customer’s needs and desires. It’s a balancing act, not always easy to find the right mix between crocheting samples to show what you can do, and waiting for custom orders to avoid having huge stocks of unsold items.
  • Selling yes, but at which price? This is one of the most frequently asked questions ! I think the main question is which value do you want to give to your work ? Because it’s true most people cannot afford to buy a handmade sweater sold over $150. But maybe you’re not targeting the right people then ? The value of your handmade items, crocheted with love and care, may not be appreciated by everyone, and that’s ok ! Just keep looking, but don’t sell yourself cheap.
    Personnally I don’t usually sell finished sweaters, yet when customers ask specifically for one I’ll ask around $130-170 + cost of yarn & postage. My “right price” is usually the price I’d be excited to make another one for. On the contrary, if I feel angry while crocheting for a fee, that means I didn’t ask enough for it :-)
  • Or maybe you just want to sell items to cover the costs of the yarn, and don’t mind not being compensated for the time and skill involved in crocheting it ? That can be ok too. Just be fully aware of your choices, and why you do it.
  • Once someone ask for a custom order, you could start crocheting right away.. But you surely don’t want to buyer to have cold feet. To avoid this unconfortable situation, ask for a deposit before you start crocheting (maybe a third, or half of the total). I know it’s tough, but you’ll be glad you did it !
  • Where can you sell ? Each case will be different. I know friends who only sell through word of mouth, friends and friends of friends.. others will sell on local craft shows. Or you can start an online store on one of the selling platforms such as Etsy, and/or write a blog or facebook page.. Follow your heart and do what sounds most natural for YOU: if you hate spending hours on a computer, starting an online shop may not be the best place to start.
  • Make sure you sell only original work (no copies of “popular styles”), or use crochet patterns from designers who allow the sale of finished items : such as my crochet patterns for instance !
  • My top tip: To find your ideal customers, make sure you don’t target crochet fans: they can crochet and will usually only think that they could do it themselves ! Instead, target people who don’t even know that it’s crocheted but value the time and skill needed to produce handmade goods, and love artisan work !
  • Your action plan: Make a list of items people often compliment you on. Crochet a few samples, and think about the price you want to sell them for. Then take photos, and start spreading the word via any way you can think of: email your friends and family, and ask them to forward it to any people they think might be interested… Start a blog/shop/facebook. And ask around about local craft shows, and even sign up for one !  I can’t promess you will sell tons, but the direct contact with potential customers will give you invaluable information for your budding business !

2/ Write articles and tutorials about crochet techniques

Do you love discovering new stitches and techniques, invent new ways to make things ? How about sharing your experimentations with others and earn money while at it ?

  • This is perfect for you if you love the technical aspects of crochet: reading stitch dictionnaries and technique blogs…
  • To start your own blog, you don’t to be already an expert: simply be open and honnest about it, and share openly your experiments and discoveries with all the other “beginners” who want to learn but may not have enough time, or your skills !
  • Among other skills, you’ll need to write good copy and take great photos to illustrate your tutorials: pictures make all the difference in the impact of a blog post !
  • You can also write articles and submit them to magazines, both in printed or digital format. Think of your favorite magazines, and try to find their contact info to pitch an article ! As one of my favorite saying says, “if you want something you’ve never had, you have to try something you’ve never done” ;-)
  • Making money with it: it’s easy to add affilate links to a blog for all the materials used in your tutorial. Amazon and Etsy, to name a few, offer affilation programs which will give you between 5 to 12% of the sales made through your links. Oh, and if your article gets published in a magazine, of course you’ll get a flat fee for writing it.
  • If you’re publishing on your own blog, some blogging platforms allow you to display advertising and getting paid for it. However, do think about it long and hard: do you really feel comfortable giving all power to somebody else to choose which kind of ads will be displayed on your blog ? Will it reinforce your credibility or weaken it ?
  • My top tip:  To sell well through affiliate links, you’ll need to write amazing articles and tutorials, and gain the confidence of your readers. So that they want to support you and give back for your hard work.
  • Your action plan: Start by making a list of themes you’re really interested in, and which could make great articles. Work on the content, experiment, research what others have written on the subject (or don’t, if you want to avoid being influenced by others and stay original at all costs), take pictures while you crochet.. and start writing ! Do not pressure yourself, the article may not be perfect right away.. but ask your best crocheting buddies for honnest advice on how to improve it. If you don’t have a blog yet, create one (there are tons of platforms. I use mostly WordPress, or blogspot). Finally, go ahead and publish your first article !

3/ Create and publish your own crochet patterns

Do you love to crochet without using patterns, and crochet your own original creations ? How about writing down patterns for those, seing others crochet what you’ve created… and making money for that on top !

  • To start with, there are two options: you can either publish free patterns, and make money for instance through affiliate links for the materials needed (see previous section),
    OR publish paid patterns. Which is what I’ll focus on here, even though many aspects would be applicable to both types.
  • Publishing and selling your own crochet patterns is great because patterns will sell even while you sleep or are away on a vacation, but it’s also hard because it involves a huge panel of skills to make it work.
  • Selling crochet patterns involves much more than simply crocheting and writing down your notes: you’ll also need to take beautiful pictures to make your pattern really appealing to most, maybe do a lot of maths if you want to included several sizes in your pattern, network with testers to check that your patterns are error-free, spend time on updating your shop(s) and blog when you release a new pattern.. and of course, promote, promote and promote ! Which can totally be fun and a great source of networking with your fan base, but takes a lot of time.
  • Once your patterns are written down, you’ll need to sell them. Or course you could simply post a picture, and let people send you check or paypal you the money to “buy” the pattern. But you’ll probably loose a good portion of your potential customers if you do not simplify the buying process, and make it secure (who knows if you’re not going to keep their check, and never send anything in return?). Therefore, I highly recommend opening a shop on one of the online selling plaforms, such as Etsy, Ravelry or Crafty to name a few.
  • Yes they will keep a small % on each sale, but it’s highly worth it IMO: the transaction is secure for both parties, send the pdf as soon as the payment went through, and will even find you a few customers on top of everything else !
  • One thing I love about this pattern writing business is that because the patterns are digital (pdf), you have no printing & shipping costs for every extra sold copy. So yes, you could sell your patterns directly on your blog, sell only a couple here and there and pay no fee on your $10 received by personal checks.
    OR you could see the larger picture, sell to a much wider audience (international even!) thanks to paypal and other card payment systems, be able to handle large volume of sales, and generate 20 times that amount, even if that means paying a fraction of this in fees: you’ll still earn tons more money at the end of the month !
  • Before crocheters buy your patterns, they’ll have to know they even exist in the first place! To do that, share pictures and stories on your blog/facebook/instagram. Create relationships with people who like your style, network with other crocheters, and start your own email newsletter to stay in touch with the “fans” of your work. (can you guess I’m currently working on an ebook on the subject? :-) )
  • My top tip: Don’t try to “sell” your patterns, but rather try and explain what makes them special.  Communicate with the crocheters who appreciate your work through an email list, a Facebook page or Instagram account: it’s the best way ever to get instand feedback on which pictures attract more interest on a new pattern for instance, or whether a new pattern generates interest and might be worth advertising it …
  • Your action plan: Browse through your past original creations and see which one gathered the most enthusiastic comments. Would it be easy to explain how you made it ? Maybe you even kept notes on how you crocheted it ? Otherwise, make a second sample and this time write down every single row/round. And take pictures of the different steps. Then write down the pattern, including those step-by-step pictures. Make sure you use the standard crochet stitches, and think ahead: people from outside your country may buy your pattern, so be sure to include measurements both in cm & inches. Once you’re done, find a few crocheting buddies ready to test your pattern and make sure it’s easy to follow and has no error. Your pattern is now ready for posterity !

4/ Become a blogger influencer:

As a blogger influencer, you’ll be sharing your opinions about crochet related products, and write reviews of crochet books, crochet patterns by indie designers, yarns… and any other new product you may think is usefull for a crafter !

  • If you love to write, are always on the lookout for new and better things, have respected opinions among your peers.. then that might be the perfect option for you !
  • You can write reviews and articles about a large variety of products and services: crochet books and magazines, yarns, crochet hooks, but also services: blogging platforms, services for bloggers, online softwares to create crochet charts or edit your pictures.. the sky is the limit !
  • Making money with it: The easiest way is to use affiliate links, such as  Etsy which offers an affiliate program to earn a % of all sales of crochet patterns by indie designers you might recommenf for instance (Hey, you could recommend my crochet patterns and make money out of it !). For books and magazines, of course Amazon has a popular and easy to use affiliate program. Each crochet magazine you might recommend usually has affiliate links, such as Simply Crochet Mag. And when it comes to yarn and crochet hooks, there are litteraly TONS of sites offering affiliate programs, including for instance Knitpicks, Annie’s craft store, Joann, Wool and the gang.. Just google “affiliate program + yarn + crochet” and you could find your favorite store has one too !
    My top tip: To write interesting blogs, you’ll need to be very careful to write ONLY about products and services you are truly passionate about. Even if that means sometimes the commission on every single sale may seem tiny. If you start writing only about things that could bring in large commissions, your readers will know it and loose interest. On the other side, if you manage to gain their trust, you never know how much a review written with all your heart might bring in if it suddenly gets viral !
  • Your action plan: Start out by observing during a couple days all those things which make your crocheting day fun, and the reason you you love them so much. That could be books you refer to often, magazines you cannot wait for, newsletters you love to read (hey, if you want your readers to trust you, recommending also things you don’t make money on is a must!), yarns you  keep crocheting again and again because you love them, and hooks you crochet with day after day…  Make a list: those are the things you’ll want to write about first, because they are the ones you’ll be truly passsionate about. And there’s no better way to “sell” something than loving it passionately ! Take good pictures, start writing your first articles, and research the affiliate programs that could work with the theme of this article and your personal values. And hit the “Publish” button !

5/ Teach crochet

So you love crochet, enjoy following patterns (or not) and exploring new techniques, … and most of all, you like to share your passion with others ? You are patient, organised, have good social skills, and most of all you are superpassionate about crochet ? You could start teaching crochet ! That could be workshops for kids, or maybe adults.. Beginners classes, or expert sessions: everything is possible !

  • If you already have a network of people interested by crochet, and most of all, a studio or dedicated room, you can simply offer crochet classes directly. Otherwise, you may visit your LYS, local library or Community youth club and Arts center and ask them about the possibility of organising crochet classes.
  • Afraid you’re not qualified enough for paid classes ? Start out by offering free classes to friends to gain confidence in your skills and teaching abilities: then ask them what you could improve to make your class even better. We all started out this way !
  • One thing to pay attention to, if you organise a workshop around another’s design pattern, is to ask permission to the designer first ! Also, if it’s a paid pattern, make sure each crocheter buys their own copy. Organising a class using somebody else’s pattern and distributing everyone a photocopy is just NOT possible !
  • How much should you charge ? Of course, we all tend to start by charging not much. But as soon as you gain confidence about your teaching skills and the contents of your classes, make sure you get a decent hourly rate, including the time you spent on preparing the class, and your taxes !
    I’m in France and I’m not sure how much difference that makes, but to give you an example I tend to charge 25-35 €uros per person for a 3 hour workshop, with a minimum of 3 people attending the class.
  • My top tip: To be recognized as the local “crochet expert”, it also helps to organise various events around crochet: it could be free Stitch and Bitch nights, yarn bombing actions, or even free crochet classes for kids in your local school. That’s a good way to network with people involved in crafts or local authorities…
  • Your action plan: Think about your specific skills and things you’d love to teach. Would you rather work with kids, or teach adults ? Organise beginner classes, or master classes for experienced crocheters ? Do you want to offer weekly classes, or one-off workshops ? Make a list of classes you’d like to teach, and prepare a rough synopsis of the contents of each class. Then start asking around, either to your list of contacts or to your LYS/library  which will already have their own list of contacts: let’s teach crochet !
Are you ready to start ?
What will you do, how and why ?
Let us know in the comments !
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Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next articles & patterns !



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