Organizing Organizing Organizing

Why hello there.. 🙂

I have a confession.

I’m not the most organized person in the world.

I have described my desk at work as an “organized chaos”. And that tends to spill into my home life as well. Its not like I like being disorganized.. I just didn’t know what to do about it.  I was never really taught to be organized and so it just followed me along. Add on top my crochet, knitting, and beading/jewelry making supplies WELL before I opened my Etsy shop and well… I’ll leave it to your imagination.

In 2012 I decided I wanted to make my Etsy and Artfire Shops that I just casually used  a real source of income and in 2013 I decided to get serious and register as a business. While 2013 wasn’t a booming year I was on the right track so I’m really pushing my self this year to be more Disciplined in my work.
I bought a planner last year to help getting my thoughts organized. A friend at work recommended an Arc Planner by Staples. She herself uses one but used the paper from Levenger as they are the same system but Arc is much more affordable for me. I love it so much that I have created a daily planner, one specifically for my full-time job, one for my college classes, and I’m in the process of creating one for my Etsy. I originally had the Etsy one intergrated with the daily planner but since I wanted to have my ledger and notes in one place I decided to make a separate notebook. If I write anything in my daily planner the beauty of this system is I can simply remove the page and place it in my Etsy notebook.

In conjunction with the planners, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to organize my supplies. This has been a long going process since like I said organizing is not my strong suit. Since this requires me to over analyze so I’m getting a little bit of anxiety. For example I have several containers for my supplies but a lot of the containers are a mix of half started projects and materials that I haven’t organized in the proper tray. Now I am sorting EACH item to go with its corresponding items. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you think about an average crafter/hoarder’s stock… yeah…

Sometimes I have to take a break. So I’m working on a personal project,  A Ripple Afghan ( I’ll post a picture of my progress next time), attempting to write another pattern for a casual/versatile hat.. this is where I’m at so far..IMG_2914[1]

I’m loving this yarn. More on the hat next time 🙂

…..and working on items for my shop like these boot cuffs.

20140227-215542.jpg

I will soon have a schedule for running shops to help organize and maximize my time which is really important considering that I have a full-time job, take college classes part-time, and have a 10-year-old daughter taking advanced classes at school as well as piano and soon swimming lessons.

Hopefully I can at least have the hat done to show you the finished product and have the pattern all written up.Well back to organizing..

See you next time. 🙂

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @luvleighcrtns  and Pinterest @loveleighlady

to see what I’m up to… Until next time See ya! 🙂

Jasmine

Pattern Making and Buttonless Cozy Pattern

Hi There! 🙂

Sorry it took so long since my last post!

In this post I’m going to touch on free patterns and their usage. If you read my last post you would know that part of choosing my Word for the year as discipline, I’m choosing to hone my crochet skills and to further my attempts at creating original pieces.

For a very long time I have debated on whether to create, post, and/or sell patterns for the things I create. Although I am not new to crochet, I am new to pattern writing. It has taken me a while to be able to wrap my head around something that I have visualized or have been inspired by to actually create and have it actually look good and function. The thing is that if you release the pattern that gives people not only the ability to create the item for themselves but also they can sell your creation and create competition. The other option is to have the stipulation to not be able to sell any items made from the pattern and then I think that would turn people away from your patterns all together.
I came to the conclusion that being a crochet/knitter puts you in a community of fiber artists that support each other. I learned to crochet and knit making free patterns that were generously offered by other crochet and knitters. So to keep the cycle going I will offer free patterns as well. When I feel that my patterns have evolved I will begin to offer patterns for sale. All items made from my patterns are yours to do with.  Your materials and hard work went into making the finished item so I would only want credit for the pattern whether in your shop online  or on the tag if you sell it at a craft fair.

The first pattern I’ve ever made was a very simple crocheted Button-less Mug Cozy. This simply came from wanting to make a cozy to sell in my shop but I had no fancy buttons or buttons that would be attractive with my yarn choices. Then it dawned on me that I should be able to figure this out on my own. The pattern is far from perfect since I’m still new at this but it can be easily customized. Please keep in mind I am new to pattern writing. I wrote this pattern to fit the mug I owned but tried to keep it close to the size of a store bought/novelty mug. The pattern is easily adjustable to the height and width of your own mug. So here’s my try. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to explain.

Buttonless Crochet Mug Cozy

IMG_2856

Materials:

(2) colors of worsted weight cotton yarn
I used Sugar and Cream in Black Currant and I think the other color is Love

Mug of your choice. Mine I got at the Goodwill store for .50 cents 🙂

G/6 – 4.25mm Crochet Hook

Gauge:

Not Important since its based on the size mug you made.

This is more a tutorial than a pattern because I’ve made three cozies and had to adjust for each mug.

1.) chain the length of chain needed to wrap about 1/2 an inch from each side of the handle.

When redoing the cozy for this tutorial I found that the cozy fit better with 36 chains.

2.) Sc in second ch from hook to end. Ch 1 and turn. Every person crochets in the chain a little different. I prefer to go under the bump on the back of the chain so both ends are symmetrical.

IMG_2857

3.) repeat row 2 until you are 1 row short of the desired height of your mug cozy.

IMG_2858

Remember to leave space for your lips to sip your drink. You will have a rectangular piece in front of you.

IMG_2859

4.) ch the number of chains needed to go around the handle and slip stitch into the bottom of your rectangle. You want it to be a little snug because this is going to hold the cozy on your cup but you don’t want it to be difficult to put on your cup every time. Ch another chain long enough to get around the handle. For my cup it took 12 chains.

5.) Now sc across the bottom edge of your rectangle across to the other end. Ch 12 more stitches or the number of stitches you need for your mug handle. Sl st into the 1st st of the bottom row. Now you will have a long rectangle with one loop on either end.

IMG_2866

I forgot to get a picture of the cozy before I started the stripes.

6.) For the stripes I use the surface or overlay crochet technique. I will explain the best I can. Here’s a link to another website that can explain as well. Essentially you are slip stitching a line of stitches in between the crocheted rows. Insert your hook in between the rows and pull the yarn through. IMG_2867

You should have one loop on your hook.

IMG_2862

Now insert your hook in the next hole in between the two rows and pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. You should have one slip stitch and one loop on the hook. Continue across to the the end. I like to pull the last loop through to the backside and fasten off to create a symmetrical beginning and end.

IMG_2863 IMG_2864

Continue to add as many stripes as you like.  I did 5 but you can make any combination. The stripes tighten the fabric a little so try and do the surface crochet as loose as you can without making the loops floppy. Weave in all ends and slip on your cozy. It will be a little tight so that it doesn’t shift when holding your mug. If necessary you can make the loops a little larger.IMG_2869 IMG_2870

I hope you like my mug cozy : ). Its very simple but please let me know if you have any issues.

It takes very little yarn so you can make several out of one ball of yarn. I like the solid and variegated combinations but you can also have two solids or two variegated types. For those who can’t crochet I do sell these in my Etsy shop. Speaking of my Etsy shop,  from now until Valentine’s day I am having a sale on all my goodies :). I plan on adding more colors as well as more Valentine’s day themed goodies. but please stop through 🙂

See you soon!

Jasmine 🙂