Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Learning about Product Photography

Hey all. 
So I've been spending a lot of time on Instagram lately, and I started to realize that I really need to dedicate more time to learning how to take a nice photograph of my work. No matter how pretty the work is in person, if you can't take a nice photograph of your product, no one else will really know! 
Now, I am no professional when it comes to photography. I took a simple photo class in highschool and that was that. My parents bought me a nice DSLR camera when I was taking the class, and I've used it ever since. I also, like many of us, have limited space. I go to college which means I live in an itsy bitsy apartment with three other girls who also call it home. We all share the living room and common space, so setting up a shop or studio in there doesn't mix well with study parties and friend gatherings. 
Nevertheless I wanted to be able to take nice pictures. So I will let you in on a little secret - I figured out that all you need is "white and light". Seriously. It's that clear cut! I went out and bought a 39cent white board and discovered that our balcony has pretty decent natural light, and voila: my 39cent studio! 
Granted, my lighting isn't always exact, the background isn't always pure white, and I'm not infallible. But overall, I think they look pretty good considering. Here are some of the pictures I've taken on my cluttered porch. I like to think that by some sort of miracle they actually don't look like they were taken by a girl in pajamas and mismatched socks standing 5 feet from a stack of dirty dishes and a heap of textbooks. :) 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Reversible Cowl - Written Instructions/Pattern

Front Texture (Knit-Like)

It's been a while since I've posted! But fall is upon us, and with it comes cooler temps and warmer clothes. I started crocheting again for the season at the end of September, and I've really gone after it this year. I've got a bunch of different lines, but one in particular is a new product called the Reversible Cowl! It's a thing of beauty. I am so excited about how it turned out. 

Last Christmas break I was playing around with some different types of stitches, and I ended up making one of these. I knew it would be super warm because it sits higher up on the face to protect from those awful winds in the winter.  So, I started wearing it around some friends, got positive reactions, and decided this year to make some and see how they do at the market! Well, they sold pretty well on day one, which inspired me to write this post and give you guys a written pattern for it. It's kind of a tricky pattern, because I came up with it myself and I'm not much of a pattern-maker, but I'll do my best to tell you how it goes!
Alternatively, if you don't have time to learn a new pattern or would like to buy these, I do have them available on my Etsy! Feel free to contact me on there about purchasing one or more. :)  Www.PrettyThingsCrochet.Etsy.Com

Also, PLEASE follow me on Instagram for updates! I am on there every day, so it's the best way to contact me as well. I post inspiring pictures of my projects and all about what I'm up to in southwest Michigan! 

Alright, Here's the pattern:

Use a chunky yarn of your choice or use two strands simultaneously of a thinner yarn you love. You'll probably need around 300 yards depending on your thickness and crochet style. I use a 10mm hook.

First you're gonna want to make a foundation row. I crochet a non-chain foundation row of about 30-50 (depending on your crochet style and desired cowl circumference) half double crochets. Then, since I crochet in a "round" for this cowl, I slip stitch the ends together before working back onto it. There really isn't a trick to this, I just stick the hook in where I began and connect it to the end I'm working on.
Then what you're going to do is work on a half double crochet into the 3rd loop from the front (There will be one "V" on the front, work behind it into that somewhat hidden loop), but work at it from the front! It's crucial that you work from the front working towards the left with your stitches. You'll yarn over, stick it through the post of the stitch and complete a half double crochet, leaving a "v" shape, as I call it, exposed on the "front" of the cowl. Because you're making a half double crochet, it creates this "third" loop that you stitch onto from front to the back, which makes the other two set up off the scarf in a knit like stitch on the front of the cowl. 
You'll then work in a round for as long as you'd like your cowl to be! Then at the top wherever you want to end, just taper off by doing two single crochets and a final slip stitch before tying off. 

What you're left with is a pretty knit-like texture on the front of the cowl and then a pretty bauble-like texture on the inside! It really is very pretty if you do it right. I'll post pictures below that shows both textures. 

I know I'm not an expert "explainer", but as you know I kind of stumbled upon this entire idea by accident! I was just messing around with some yarn one day and fell in love with what I made, and decided to make more. 

Front Texture (Knit-Like)

Inside Texture (Bauble-Like)

Front Texture (Knit-Like)

Inside Texture (Bauble-Like)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Striped Wall" Outfits

Hey everyone! I decided to kill some time and beat this cold, gloomy weather today by turning my bedroom into a dressing room photo shoot. I really enjoy outfit planning, and this seemed like a fun thing to do. I wanted to plan some cute summer outfits that I can wear, and to keep my wardrobe fresh on my mind. I sometimes forget all that I have, but this helps remind me of all the great pieces I already own (so I don't go shopping again!) I'm really feeling a mix of hipster/boho right now, which is reflected in these outfits I'm sure. I'm drooling over my new Express distressed demin shorts, btw. I'll probably be living in them this summer! Hopefully I'll post more outfits in the near future. I made an instagram account ( @TheStripedWall ) specifically for these photos if you'd like to follow and hopefully be inspired to have some fun with your closet as well. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Zipper Pouches

Hello all! Long time no post. I have welcomed these warmer months, but with warm weather comes a pretty steep decrease in the crocheted infinity scarf market! Thus, to satisfy my crafting cravings I have decided to get my hands busy working on making some cute zip pouches. I just started picturing them so here's a sneak peak of a few!

It was so much fun to spend a few hours, if not more, roaming the various fabric stores in my area in search for some cute patterns to make these pouches with! I decided on a about 15 different fabrics because I just couldn't make up my mind (of course). They all are so unique! The one pictured in detail below may be my favorite. I love the slight mint green color, and the intricate bohemian design on the durable canvas is so pretty. I fell in love with this fabric at first sight. I am making some pouches with cotton, some with canvas, and some with a heavy upholstery textile. Some puches are lined, some are unlined, and some are lined with a pocket!

Anyways, I hope you guys can take some inspiration from these lovely patterns I found, and if you like them enough, I'd love for you to buy one! I have some listed on my Etsy at Prettythingscrochet.etsy.com! Hop over, give me a follow, and stay tuned for more fun craft updates :)


Monday, December 15, 2014

Mason Jar Decorative Cozy/Covers

I have been so busy making scarves, that I forgot how incredibly fun new projects can be! Now that I am on break from school I decided to start a new endeavor: Mason Jar Covers! I am very pleased with the results! I think these are the cutest decorations in the house this holiday season. The twigs and branches are the final touch to creating a rustic mason jar craft. Hope you all enjoy them! They are on my Etsy shop and instagram! Be sure to check them out there!
PrettyThingsCrochet.Etsy.Com    @PrettyThingsCrochet

My First Craft Show!

This past weekend I attended my very first Craft Show. While I have been attending the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids, I decided to try something new this weekend and do a Craft Show at the Kalamazo Expo Center. It was a learning experience. I thoroughly enjoyed creating a display that was attractive and welcoming to shoppers. The Expo itself was not a busy as I'd hoped, but I still managed to have a successful show.

Don't forget to check out my Etsy for merchandise. PrettyThingsCrochet.Etsy.Com
And follow me on Instagram for instant updates on everything Pretty Things Crochet! @PrettyThingsCrochet

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thank You!

I want to extend a warm Thank You to everyone who has encouraged me, bought a scarf, or contributed their time in growing this business. I could not ask for a better support system. The owners and organizers at the Fulton Street Market are so incredibly helpful and kind. The customers and crowd at the market are supportive and always have kind words for me. And my friends and family have helped in every way possible. I have such gratitude for everyone involved in this.

To celebrate the success thus far, here are some more pictures of he scarves I have for sale in my Etsy shop PrettyThingsCrochet.Etsy.Com Follow me on Instagram for instant updates! http://instagram.com/prettythingscrochet @PrettyThingsCrochet 
Thank you again!