Posted on

Introducing: The Hip to Be Square Quilt

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

I’m so pleased to introduce this beautiful blanket!

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This is the blanket that inspired this post on frogging, as I had made almost the whole blanket with hexagons, and then decided to rip it out and start over! I love the way it came out – I love the variation on squares, and the colors.

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This was made as a wedding blanket for two sweet friends getting married this summer. I’m so excited to see what they think of it! (Slash incredibly nervous…).

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

 

As always, this blanket will be up in my Blanket Portfolio for you to check out whenever.  You can also order your very own Hip to Be Square Quilt by using the custom order form.

Posted on

My First Pillow!

IMG_3424

This pillow took me about one week longer than I thought it would, because I kept getting bored with the monotonous rows of hdc for the back! But I think the simplicity of the backing really makes the front that much more fun and bright. I love the way they work together.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

It’s made from leftover Caron Simply Soft yarn from any number of projects over the years – some is from my very first blanket (fitting, don’t you think?), some if from a baby blanket for a friend, and some is from the multiple wedding blankets I’ve made for dear friends.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

I’m determined to clean out this basket of old yarn – It’s meant to be my project basket, but as been sitting as yarn storage for over a year now. I really want my basket back!

I’m thrilled that this pillow came out the way I had envisioned it.  I’ve already started on my next pillow (using some squares that were going to be a blanket and will now be a pillow!) and am excited by the possibility of adding these to my repertoire. For now, this one will be up in my shop.

 

Posted on

Color Me Lately

What's on the Hook - Color Me Reckless

Lately I’ve been trying valiantly to reduce the number of works in progress I have sitting around the coffee table.  It started as a need to clean up the living room [my craft room is under siege at the moment by spare furniture from the bedroom. Anyone want a box spring?] and that blossomed into a need to clean out my work baskets.

But I’m pleased to say that this has resulted in several new items going up in the shop, and some beautiful new works are being created [because of course I hated what I had started on months ago!].

Here’s a peak at what’s on the hook lately:

New Wedding Blanket

New Wedding Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This is one that I have started over three times now. Nothing seemed to fit! Finally I stumbled upon a project I had started with this stitch, tried it out with these colors, and now I’m in love.

New Baby Blanket

New Baby Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This one isn’t planned for anyone.  It’s mostly a way to work on this new stitch, and so far I’m….eh about it.  I like the stitch and I like the color, but I’m not sure a whole blanket will work well.

New Pillow #1

Pillow #1 - Color Me Reckless

I really like this one! Aside from some frustrations with miscounting every few rows, I really like this stitch pattern. It’s made from my big store of scrap yarn, and I’m loving the color combos.

New Pillow #2

New Pillow #2 - Color Me Reckless

These squares were originally going to be a huge blanket for our bed, but I got bored. So I’m giving them new life as a pillow and I really like the way it’s turning out! I’m excited to finish it up and get it all put together!

Posted on

Learning to Value Your Work and Price it Accordingly

Funky Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

PET PEEVE ALERT!! Seriously, this is something that bugs me to no end.  I can’t count the number of times I go looking around on Etsy doing price comparison, or looking for packaging inspiration, or just looking at what other people are doing, and I see beautiful crochet work priced dirt cheap.  Yesterday I saw 61 items priced at $3.00. Not $3 each, $3 for all 61 items. It has to stop. Here are some really good reasons why pricing your work that low isn’t a good thing, even though it might help you get sales.

1. It disrespects your work.

When your work isn’t priced according to all the time and skill that went into it, you are sending the message that your work doesn’t matter to you, that it didn’t take skill to create, and that you don’t value your work. Crocheting takes time, it takes planning, it takes an understanding of color play. You created something that you think is good enough to sell to other people, so why don’t you value that? Make sure when you price your work that you value your time and energy. Take into account the cost of the yarn, and the amount of time it took you to create the item. Think about fair labor – even minimum wage, entry level jobs have a minimum wage.  However sucky and exhausting working in fast food may be, that companies values its employees time. Shouldn’t you? When I go looking for an item on Etsy or on another handmade marketplace, I’m looking for something special, something handmade, and something that clearly had a lot of love put into it. I don’t want crap I can buy anywhere. I’m willing to pay for handmade, don’t assume I don’t know what I’m looking for.

2. It makes you look like a factory.

When you don’t price your work well, it makes it seem like you don’t care about your work at all.  If you don’t care about each handcrafted item, why should I as a consumer? Why should I buy something handmade, when even the artist doesn’t value the product? And frankly, when I see things like 61 items for a total of $3.00, I start to wonder if it’s all really handmade.  I know how much time goes into crocheting an item, and I know how much yarn costs. There’s no formula that would make that price legitimate. Handmade businesses are not the place to use price as a means of competition. Sure you want to be in the same price category as your competitors, but this is not the place where dirt cheap prices win. Handmade items for pennies each hurt both you as the business person, and me as the consumer. You’re losing money by not valuing your work, and the consumer starts to believe that’s how much crochet work is worth.

3. It makes crochet seem cheap and easy, not a skillful talent.

Not everyone can crochet, and crochet well. It’s a skill and a talent. When you price your crochet items dirt cheap, hoping to get buyers, you are hurting everyone who crochets. You are pulling down the value of crochet in the marketplace, and you are making consumers think that crochet is worthless. Stop.  Value yourself and your craft, and price accordingly. Remember that you are more than just a lone seller, you are a part of a marketplace, and your actions impact the whole market.

It’s all economics.

I know, I know. Those three words send shivers of fear and loathing down your spine. But if you are selling your work to consumers, you better know a little something about valuing your work. I can’t tell you had sad it makes me to see people who clearly think their craft isn’t worth what it should be.  Recognize your talent! 

And because this post was a bit light on actual crocheting, here’s a sneak preview of a blanket that’s almost complete!

Funky Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

Posted on

On Frogging

New Blanket - Color Me Reckless

Oh frogging. There is something exhilarating about frogging a project and starting it over.  So soothing to be able to start it all over, get a fresh start. But let me explain.

What is frogging?

Frogging is the act of ripping out a project (get it? rip it rip it. ) and starting it again. Often this happens if I find a mistake in it somewhere, or if I want to change some part of it. Rarely do I rip out the whole project and start it again. Especially when the deadline is a month away!

But this time, I did.

Remember this hexagon blanket?

Wedding Blanket - Color Me Reckless

I liked it when I started it, but as I got to the point of putting it all together, it just didn’t work. I tried to keep going on it, keep sticking to the vision I had at the start, but it just sat there in a corner. I didn’t want to work on it at all. I would pick it up, do a hexagon, and then put it down again for a week. I realized that I was just trying to get it finished as quickly as possible. Not the way I wanted this project to go!

So I frogged it. Ripped out the whole thing. And  now it’s becoming a new design that I like so much better!

New Blanket Squares - Color Me Reckless

The blocks are big, so the whole thing won’t take too long to put together, meaning that I will be able to finish the blanket on time. And it will be easy to connect since it’s all squares – no hexagons!

New Blanket - Color Me Reckless

I’m now energized about the project – wanting to pick it up at all hours, not wanting to put it down again. I love this feeling! I can’t wait for this project to be done to be able to see it all together.