Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 CROCHET TRENDS (thanks Marie for nice article!)

2014 Crochet Trend #1: Big, Bulky Yarns
It seems manufacturers are increasingly expanding their lines of super bulky yarns. When I first learned to crochet, I wasn’t a fan of these yarns. I just never saw the appeal.
Until I happened to pick up a skein of Yarn Bee’s Effortless Super Bulky yarn at Hobby Lobby one day, and was hooked. (Cheesy pun intended.)
It’s an 80% acrylic, 20% alpaca blend, and it’s so light and soft and warm… not to mention very easy to work with. Completing a project with this, or just about any other super bulky yarn, is a breeze! But these really are among my favorites.
Crochet chunky cowl
Like this one.
Thinner yarns will never be replaced for more delicate, intricate projects, but for warm, winter scarves and hats, hoods and vests, you just can’t beat the ease, texture, and warmth of super bulky yarns. And it’s perfect for making thick, chunky cowls.
2014 Crochet Trend #2: Faux Fur
Faux fur is one of my favorite trends. I’m a huge supporter of animal rights, and I love faux fur for so many reasons. People who like the look of fur can get it without supporting the industry. And faux fur draws attention to a very important issue. The more people who are aware of it, the more of a chance there is to change it. (I’ll get off my soapbox now.)
Anyway, as with bulky yarns, it’s a growing trend, and we’re seeing more and more varieties being produced. Lion Brand’s Fun Fur is one of my favorites; it comes in a variety of colors, and is perfect for just about any project.
2014 Crochet Trend #3: Grey
Grey is this year’s popular neutral color.
I have a lot of grey clothing – everything from shirts and sweaters to heels and dresses. It’s easy to mix and match a grey accessory with just about any outfit.
So I’m excited to see the color grey becoming more popular. It’s always been rather underrated, in my opinion.
Schachenmayr Cap with Cable Pattern Kit
Schachenmayr Cap With Cable Pattern
And it’s not just that grey is becoming popular, but grey with pops of bright, neon colors. This grey and neon yarn, by Schachenmayr, called Lova, and cabled hat pattern on Craftsyare two of my favorites. The pattern especially makes me want to take up knitting! Speaking of hats…
2014 Crochet Trend #4: Hats
Apparently, scarves are out and hats are in!
I have mixed feelings about this, as I’ve always been more of a scarf person. I do love big, deep hoods though. (Not small ones; they just fall down.)
Sundance Slouch Hat
Sundance Slouch Hat
And, I found this absolutely amazing free hat pattern. I’m very picky when it comes to hats, but this one… this one is perfect.
So keep up with the trends, and make yourself a new hat this season!
2014 Crochet Trend #5: Arm Knitting
I have to admit, I haven’t tried this yet, but I need to! It looks like a fun way to learn the basics of knitting, and then translate those basics to working with needles instead of arms. This video tutorial for arm knitting was one of the clearer ones that I found.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why Handmade is not Cheap?

There several reasons why handmade things tend to be not in the cheapest range. That's fair enough for them to be there and let's have a closer look why.
If we work through the whole design process of a handmade thing we can find out how much time and effort are involved in the process of creation:

  1. Designing Phase where you make the sketches on the paper or use some specific software for designing your final good. Definitely that takes time and in case of using a software also expenses for purchasing a licence. Add the time to calculate material usage and size, etc.
  2. Getting Ready for Production Phase in which you have a look on what you have in terms of materials to produce a bespoke order or maybe you need to go and buy something?(in this case you invest money and your time to make a purchase)
  3. Pattern Phase where comes the time to create a pattern and apply to the bespoke order (creator invests time in research and pattern creation).
  4. Creation Phase: the actual process of making the final good. Time investment and also lots of efforts. In case something goes wrong we start from scratch of from the place where mistake was made. It's all done with hands and no machine work is involved. Every stitch and loop is under control and that's why handmade gives a different result that id one of a kind and couldn't be repeated. No wonder why Coco Chanel has always given preference to manual labor. Master doesn't try to save material to save costs, always tries to achieve best quality as this is his image on the market. In factories the whole process is designed to save as much as possible on quantities and produce standard things. Handmade is unique. Every unique handmade thing has it's character, soul and history because every master devotes a time of his life to make it. His time is valuable like yours.
  5. Marketing Phase: time investment to take a picture of your product and promote it. In case of a custom order master may just take a picture for memory of portfolio, however in any other case this phase takes place.                                           
  6. Promise Delivery is the phase where master ships the ready product. Sometimes we deliver in person, sometimes by shipping and in any of those cases we do invest time and effort by using getting to post office of exchange place with the person who ordered. On top we do buy materials for wrapping the order, investing time by creating a label and instructions of how to take care of the thing.

Do you still think master's time and creativity doesn't deserve to be paid? In this case you can try to create something on your own and try to set a fair value :) Share your experience!

P.S. I have came across several REALLY good articles on the topic. So gladly sharing the links with you: