Sunday, September 14, 2014

Knit Pattern: Mitered Washcloth

Free Pattern: How to make a knit, cotton washcloth for kitchen or bath
I have been knitting and crocheting for more than 20 years, and I don't know why it's taken me so long to grab a nice ball of cotton yarn and make a washcloth or two.

Handmade washcloths are so luxurious to use in the bath. They make you feel like you are indulging in a day at the spa. And, they are so quick and easy to make, you won't feel bad about using them everyday in the kitchen.

Another benefit of handmade washcloths is that they are great projects for beginning knitters and crocheters. Cotton yarn is inexpensive, easy to work with and you can easily complete a washcloth in a short amount of time.

Materials


  • 1 - 3 oz/85 g ball Lily Sugar 'N Cream Yarn  in Oriental Ochre (or the color of your choice)
  • US size 10 (6 mm) knitting needles
  • stitch marker


Directions


My finished washcloth is 8 inches square when dry (it will stretch out a bit when it's wet) and you can make about three with one skein of yarn.

Here are a few stitches and abbreviations you should know for this quick and easy pattern.

co - cast on
k - knit
p - purl
sl - slip stitch as if to purl
psso - pass slipped stitch over
k2tog - knit 2 stitches together
k5tog - knit 5 stitches together

CO 50

Row 1 (WS): Sl 1, k24, place marker, k24, p1.

Row 2: Sl 1, k to within 2 sts of marker, sl 1, k1, psso, slip marker, k2tog , k to within 1 st of the end, p1.

Row 3: Sl 1, k to within 1 st of the end, p1.

Repeat Rows 2-3 until 6  sts remain.

Sl 1, k5tog, psso, finish off.

Weave in the yarn tails and you're ready to start scrubbing!

Free Pattern: How to make a knit, cotton washcloth for kitchen or bath

And in case you are wondering, the lighter colored washcloth was made with a color called Potpourri. The little flecks of pink, blue and purple would make a washcloth that is baby shower worthy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #36

Many thanks to everyone who participated in last week's Etsy Treasury Challenge. You all came up with some great themes for your collections. And a big thank you to Diana from Charmed Baubles N Beads who went above and beyond and made two Crafty Saturday treasuries last weekend. Way to spread the love!

You can find all of the treasuries, along with all of the great items that are shared here each week, pinned on my Crafty Saturday Show and Sell Board .

Just a quick note for all of our regular linkers. ZzzonkOwl, one of our party's co-hosts has changed names to All Things Etsy. It's the same beautiful blog with a name that's more representative of the content. Stop by for some great Etsy tips.

Now, on to my favorite links. I love all things handmade because, as an artist, I can appreciate the time and thought that goes into each creation. I especially admire these two carefully crafted childrens toys.

Wooden Tree and Bunny by JuguetesEloisa

Wooden Toy Truck by JJLadells
Now, let's enjoy some fall colors.



If you love Crafty Saturday, invite shoppers by retweeting.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Storenvy vs. Etsy

A comparison of the features of Storenvy and Etsy for selling your handmade items online.I opened my Etsy store almost three years ago and it took me five months to make my first sale. Since then, I have developed a love/hate relationship with Etsy.

I love it when I actually make a sale, and I have made 65 of them. I hate that I have relisted some of my items 8-10 times because each listing expires after three months. I hate that some of my items seem to “disappear” from Etsy search results if I don't relist them frequently. I hate that there's no way to customize my shop and define my own style.

My creative focus is primarily on my blog, not necessarily selling my handmade items, but I do need to generate a few sales to supplement my income. So after a lot of soul searching and research I decided to open a shop on Storenvy.

Let me share my experiences with and discoveries about Etsy and Storenvy.

Storenvy
Etsy
How much does it cost to open up a shop? Free Free
Is your shop customizable? Yes. When you list an item it becomes part of a standard, marketplace-type store. You can also set up a stand alone store that is 100% customizable, but you will need to have some html and css coding skills to make the most of the customizations. No. When you list an item it becomes part of a standard, marketplace-type store.
How much does it cost to list an item in your shop? Free 0.20 USD for a three month item listing
Is there a fee when I sell an item? No, there are no seller fees. However, there is talk that eventually there will be a charge for sales generated through your marketplace shop. 3.5% of the item price.
How can customers pay for my items? PayPal or Stripe (coming soon) PayPal or Etsy Direct Checkout
Is there a fee for processing payments? PayPal currently charges 2.9% of the price + 0.30 USD, Stripe has a similar fee structure. PayPal currently charges 2.9% of the price + 0.30 USD, Etsy Direct Checkout fees vary by country, in the US it’s 3% of the price + 0.25 USD
Can I use my own domain name? Yes, but it costs $5/month plus the cost of acquiring your domain. No
Can I use tags or keywords in my item listings? Yes, up to 55 characters Yes, up to 13 words
What types of coupon codes can I offer my customers? You can create %-off coupons for free. It’s $5/month to get upgraded discounts like by one get one, free shipping, and more You can create up %-off, free shipping and fixed discount coupons at no cost.
How can customers share items in my shop? In your marketplace shop, customers can Envy (or favorite) your items and use the built in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Wanelo sharing buttons. You can add additional sharing buttons, like Google+, in your stand alone shop. Customers can favorite your items and add them to treasuries and use the built in Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest saring buttons.
Do my items automatically show up in Google Shopping searches? No. You will need to set up a Google Merchant and AdWords account for your items to show up in searches and upload a product feed. It is completely free, but will take some time to set-up and maintain. Yes.
Are there shop statistics available? Yes. You can access a basic 30 day overview for your shop and  more detailed stats are available through Google Analytics. Yes. You can access basic statistics for your shop for any specified date range.
Can I feature links to my social networking sites? Yes. In your marketplace store you can feature prominent links to your website, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. Your stand alone shop can feature links to any social networking site you desire. You can even add links to your other on-line shops. Yes. You can feature a link to your Twitter account on your shop’s homepage as well as a Facebook Like button. However the Like button will not take customers directly to your Facebook page.

You can also include links to your shop blog, shop website. Facebook and Twitter on your about page, but it is very difficult for customers to find these links.

Storenvy and Etsy are only two of many available options for selling your work online. Also, it doesn't have to be an either/or choice. There’s no reason you can’t have shops on more than one platform, although it does take a little more effort to learn about the benefits of each venue and manage your inventory.

And some common sense advice... No matter where you sell your handcrafted designs, online or at craft fairs, it's not a get rich quick (or possibly ever) business. If you are reading this, chances are you already know that most artists sell their work because it gives them an opportunity to do what they love.

Do you sell on Etsy, Storenvy or another online venue? I'd love to hear what's working (and what's not) in your shop. Feel free to share your selling tips and even a link to your online shop in the comments.

Happy crafting, and selling :)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #35

Happy September! I hope that fall is in the air wherever you are because here in Tucson,  the start of fall means that the high temperatures finally start dropping below the 100 degree mark, hopefully.

I enjoyed all of the geometric items shared at last week's link-up. I must admit that the carved golf ball ornament caught my eye because I've never really considered what's inside a golf ball before and I just love the idea of repurposing old stuff into new. I also enjoyed the striking design on this hand painted geometric box. Beautiful!
Since last month's Etsy Treasury Challenge was such a success, we decided to make it a monthly event.

Start by sharing an item or two from your shop (Etsy, Storenvy or any other online venue) at our regular link up. Then, if you are an Etsy seller/buyer, please take a moment to create a "Crafty Saturday" Treasury.



Now, let's see those clever treasuries!



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