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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

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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.

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A Beautiful Day at the Brewery

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view at the Brewery - Color Me Reckless

On Saturday, we went to a Beer Fest in Frederick, Maryland.  The day was sunny, warm, and absolutely beautiful – the perfect day for trying out new beers.

A sample of the Beer Menu - Color Me Reckless

And try we did! Every beer we tried was delicious. I loved how different each beer tasted.  I’ve never been a big fan of beer (I prefer cider to beer – I like the lighter, crisper, taste of the fruit), but these were all delicious!

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I even got to meet some spinners at the festival! I watched a group of women spin the wool from the sheep on the farm. It was so rhythmic and soothing.  The woman I spoke to told me a bit about the process, and now I am definitely interested. It seems like the next step in being a crocheter – learning how to make the yarn itself.  I see a new hobby in my future…

Enjoying all the beers! Color Me Reckless

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New Blanket Palette!

COLOURlovers.com-Blanket_Palette

I’m so excited to start working on a new baby blanket – and even more excited to be making this blanket for a dear friend of mine! I have been planning this blanket since they got married almost, and am THRILLED to finally be able to bring it to life without jinxing anything!!

Here’s the color palette I’ve chosen:

COLOURlovers.com-Blanket_Palette

 

Any guesses as to what it will look like?

Buying the yarn soon…just a few more sketches and I’m all set to start working!

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Catching Up

View from my Porch - Color Me Reckless

This week has been one of catching up. Catching up on watching video lectures, catching up on my daily blanket, and catching up on being creative.

But it finally feels like I’m getting somewhere – like I’m getting back to the parts of being creative and learning that I enjoy.

I had a dentist appointment on Wednesday, and I forgot to take my book with me for the waiting room.  But I had my sketchbook, so I took it out and started sketching. And not just rough sketching out shapes and sizes, but adding in the shading, trying to work out color patterns in black and white. And I loved it! I felt so inspired by it – I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I did sketching like that.

And that simple sketching for 15 min in the dentist’s office made me so excited to come home and work out things ‘in real life.’ I started working up these new potholders, using the corner to corner method I love so much.

Corner to Corner Potholder - Color Me Reckless

It feels like a new start! I don’t feel like I can only make these items I’m going to sell, and I don’t feel limited at all. And I love this process.

Also – I finally finished up my placemats! I’m so proud of these – I even made the label all by myself with no help from Photoshop Wizard Husband.

Placemat Set of 2 - Color Me Reckless