Commentary on the Etsy Strike

I have an opinion. I don’t usually like to offer my opinion but this conversation is overwhelming my Facebook and Instagram feed. I’ve debated on commenting about the Etsy strike happening right now and decided it might be helpful for my customers to see how it affects me. For more information on the strike: https://etsystrike.org/

The main issues seem to be high cost of fees, poor “star seller” program, lack of support/customer service for sellers, and the problem of this “handmade” website being filled with mass-production items (like you’d find on Wish or Alibaba).

I’m sure you can all see that my Etsy shop is not on holiday. However, if you’ve followed me for awhile you’ll know that Etsy is not my favorite platform 😕

I don’t like that Etsy claims to be for handmade sellers but allows resellers of mass-produced cheap items. I am extremely frustrated at their lack of support (there is no phone number or specialized help section for sellers). And I despise this “star seller” program that is run by AI, leaves no room for dispute, and hurts good sellers.

Personal Problems with Etsy

For example, this month Etsy’s platform glitched on one of my listings. Suddenly it was a physical product that needed shipping even though I only sell PDFs. I also have auto-renew set on all my listings so that when one person buys a PDF I don’t have to manually add that listing again before someone else can buy the PDF; this listing deactivated itself after being sold as a physical product which was what alerted me to the problem. The PDF also was no longer attached to this listing.

It took me forever to find out how I could contact Etsy about this problem. I think I ended up contacting the wrong place a few times before someone finally agreed that they could try.

It took 45 minutes for me to even get them to understand what the problem was. They just kept telling me that I’ve got to enter the tracking information now and ship the product and that, in the future, I should click the box that says this item is a digital product (duh, I’ve only listed and sold how many products? I know how to check that box. This listing in particular has already been sold digitally a few times).

Then when I thought they understood the problem they asked me to try changing the listing to a digital download and suggested I upload the PDF file to see if it was working. I did. Then they said they don’t see any problems on their end, yes this is a digital product, could I send them a screenshot of the listing I’m having problems with. *cue internal screaming*

We ended up getting cut off when I accidentally closed my chat browser to try and take a screenshot of the sale and since I had absolutely no idea how I even got in contact with them in the first place that was pretty much the end of it.

I emailed the customer directly and sent them their PDF. Then I realized I hadn’t solved the shipping problem. I don’t have any tracking information (which you can only get when you purchase a tracking label through Etsy). If I don’t add tracking information I will lose my star seller status. I tried refunding the item that was a problem (I figured I’d rather take the $5 cut and give them a free pattern versus lose my star status which allows me to be seen in searches).

Turns out, refunding that item did not remove the required shipping stuff. So, now I’m out $5 and I’m going to lose my star seller status. At least my customer didn’t seem upset that only part of her order was received on Etsy and part was emailed to her. Plus, she got a $5 discount.

Etsy would not be a “star seller” in my books.

Fees Problem

I am going to compare fees on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/ca/legal/fees/) to fees on Ravelry (https://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravelry-shopkeepers) because those are the two main places I sell my patterns. PayPal also has fees (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/ua/legalhub-full) that affect my business.

Take note, my numbers are affected by my volume of sales and my Canadian home base (online fees can be higher or lower depending on where you live). A lot of the fees are listed in USD on the official pages and our current exchange rate is 1 CAD = 0.79 USD (which means I pay $0.25 CAD for a $0.20 USD fee).

In my first year of selling patterns I was extremely surprised to learn (while doing up my taxes and final numbers, etc) that Etsy was taking 50% of my sales. Ravelry took 7%; Ravelry’s number was slightly higher than the 3.5% they advertise because I chose to try out some paid advertising on there. Since Etsy forces you into paying for advertising I figured it was fair to include fees and advertising in both numbers. PayPal fees added up to another 8%.

This year 86% of my sales came from Ravelry. Only 12% of my sales were on Etsy. I introduced a few patterns as direct purchases on my website and posted a handful to LoveCrafts and that accounts for the other 2% of my sales this year.

This year, Etsy has only taken 29% and Ravelry took 5%. My PayPal fees (which get charged on Ravelry purchases and direct purchases) amounted to 6% of my total sales volume in those two places.

General breakdown of fees:

Ravelry: No fees if you sell less than $30 USD / month. Transaction fee of 3.5% for the first $1500 USD in sales each month. If you reach $1500 USD (about $1890 CAD) then you only pay 3% on any additional sales that come from the EU. PayPal is the only payment option; PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 CAD per transaction.

Esty: listing fee ($0.20 USD / $0.25 CAD), processing fee (3% + $0.25 CAD), transaction fee (6.5%), off-site ads* (15%)

Examples

Selling one $10.50 CAD item on Ravelry:

  • no cost to list the item
  • customer pays $10.50
  • that gets deposited to PayPal where they take 2.9% + $0.30 (total of $0.69), leaving me with $9.81
  • at the end of the month, assuming I’ve sold more than $30 USD and less than $1500 USD, Ravelry charges me 3.5% ($0.37), so I’ve made $9.44 CAD

Selling one $10.50 CAD item on Etsy:

  • list the item for $0.25 CAD
  • customer pays $10.50
  • processing fee: 3% + $0.25 ($0.57)
  • transaction fee: 6.5% ($0.68)
  • Etsy off-site ads*: 15% ($1.58)
  • Leaving me with $7.42 CAD

*Etsy off-site ads are non-optional if you made more than $10,000 USD in the last 365 days (calculated monthly). When they introduced this “feature” I had no idea it was coming, did not know I could opt-out, and even when I learned I could opt-out it was very difficult for me to find that switch. You get charged this fee if the customer has clicked on an ad in the last 30 days.

Etsy on-site ads are non-optional; minimum charge is $1 per day, you may choose to increase that number. I have chosen the minimum, so I pay $30/month for advertising. I have chosen to use ads on Ravelry as well, at a fee of $5 per month.

But wait, there’s more!

Selling ten $1 items on Ravelry to one customer results in the same fees as if I sold just one $10 item (like the example above). On Etsy, it is much better for me to sell higher-priced items.

  • list each item for $0.25 CAD (10 x 0.25 = 2.50)
  • customer pays $10
  • processing fee: 3% + $0.25 ($0.55)
  • transaction fee: 6.5% ($0.65)
  • Etsy off-site ads*: 15% ($1.50)
  • Leaving me with $4.80 CAD

Other issues with Etsy include the inability to download your digital product using their app (you must use a browser) which results in shop sellers getting angry customers and we continually have to be Etsy’s tech support and explain to customers how to get their product.

There is also no ability to update a digital product like Ravelry has.

Etsy also limits how many files you can add to one listing and does not have the same bundle-sale abilities like Ravelry has (which is why many of my cool sales are on Ravelry only).

It does leave a sour taste in your mouth when Etsy declares, “we’ve made record profits so we are going to increase the fees to sellers!” and then claims it is because they offer the sellers so much value when clearly many, many sellers disagree.

My Conclusion

After my big complaint, and my fees breakdown, you may be wondering why I haven’t put my shop on holiday-mode like the other sellers who are part of the #etsystrike movement? Well, I’m not on strike.

I fully support those who are choosing to go on strike. They are doing what they think is best and they are putting their business at risk to do so (going on “holiday-mode” affects your shop’s ability to show in the listings for months afterwards! Another thing that I think is pretty unfair).

I have not chosen holiday mode because as much as I dislike the fees Etsy is taking from me and other sellers, ultimately I have received enough feedback from customers that say they want more than just a Ravelry purchase option. I don’t have the time/resources to set up my own shop on my website just yet so Etsy is that option for my customers. My issues with Etsy affect my business income but, in my opinion, that should not affect how my customers are able to interact with me.

Personally, my family relies heavily on my income and I am not willing to risk the income I do get from Etsy. I have raised my prices there (which felt horrible) and I promote my Ravelry store more than my Etsy shop. Someday I will probably set up my website for direct sales but for now I’m going to let things continue as they are.

My Son’s Birthday Sale

Birthdays are a big deal in this household. We always have balloons hanging from doorways when the kids wake up and we have a special Birthday banner we have been using for a few years. Plus, we do the typical gifts and cake.

I like to make my own cake for the kids. Depending on their mood sometimes they help me. I try to have fun with it and make memories, not perfection.

This year we did a pretty simple cake for my son’s 5th birthday. It was supposed to be rainbow icing but my rainbow colors got too mashed together and turned peachy. His favorite color is orange anyway so he likes it.

I also made him this amazing little dragon amigurumi! I’m proud of it – it even has wire in the wings. I used a free pattern on Ravelry: https://ravel.me/baby-dragon-amigurumi-plush-toy

Remi’s new dragon flying in the mountains 😅🤣

Birthday Sale

I wanted to do something fun and original that would give my customers a good deal (so you can share the happy feelings we have in this household with all the birthday fun) but also represent my little 5 year old boy.

So I’ve decided to pick 5 patterns that will each be 50% off until 11:59 pm CST, March 13, 2022). No code needed.

Birthday Cupcake.

The relevance is pretty obvious: happy birthday! 😊

This great green sample was crocheted by Angie!


Preemie Love Blanket.

Originally designed with my eldest daughter in mind, this blanket was one of Remi’s favorites and he was really sad when I gave “his” blanket away. Of course, I didn’t realize he loved it and had claimed it until it was gone in the mail.


Dinosaur Stomp.

I drew this for Remi but it is still waiting on my to do list. Cue the mom guilt. I’m just going to do a little yarn shopping now… brb 🤣

(Brb means “be right back” but I’m just pretending, I still have more pattern sales to share with you before I go get lost in the online yarn stores!)


Baby Sea Turtle.

I drew this little blanket for Remi as well, and I even crocheted it for him!

He was obsessed with turtles for awhile and every now and then it will pop back up as his favorite thing but this blanket never reached peak snuggle status. It might be because I used a strange yarn (the texture is fluffy but sparkly and scratchy).


Excavator 40 and Firetruck 40.

I just couldn’t decide which of these squares represented Remi more so I decided they could both be on the list.

I was definitely thinking of him as I crocheted the Firetruck (it now sits in a bag full of squares, waiting to be used as something more important) but I am not sure what Miloslava did with her Excavator sample.

They have both been added to Etsy just now (previously were only available on Ravelry).


There you have it! I hope you’ll enjoy celebrating my little boy’s birthday with me!

Remember, these 5 patterns (ok, there are 6 patterns actually) will each be 50% off until 11:59 pm CST, March 13, 2022). No code needed.

Applicable on “Birthday Cupcake”, “Preemie Love Blanket”, “Dinosaur Stomp”, “Baby Sea Turtle”, “Excavator 40”, & “Firetruck 40”.

More watery adventures

So, I’m standing near the fridge, having a little late-night snack (don’t tell the kids I ate the last of their muffin), and suddenly I hear water gushing from under the sink.

I don’t have my glasses on but I opened the cupboard doors anyway. It looks like water is spraying EVERYWHERE!

I *quietly* call to Mitch down the hall (the kids are asleep in the living room right next to the kitchen because the two bedrooms are still in renovation mode) and totally-not-panicking 🤣 tell him to turn the water off.

We have a lake under the sink which is seeping out to the floor. The inside walls are dripping. The kids have not woken up.

Mitch looks around under there and asks me where it was leaking from. I put on my glasses and point to the hoses. 🤷‍♀️🤣 He tells me he needs to turn the water back on and I need to watch and see where the leak is coming from.

I decided I should record it so he can see exactly where it is coming from.

My video

He asks if I am ready. I say yes and push record. Nothing really happens. That’s my super helpful and interesting video showing that nothing is leaking.

He then tells me he had tightened something that he suspected was the problem. So, that was confirmation that the problem is this shark bite thing.

So, we are back to no running water until he can get that replaced or fixed or whatever.

The good news is that we tried the washing machine yesterday and it doesn’t appear to be damaged from frozen water and then today (before the pipes broke again) we turned the dishwasher on and it seems to work fine too.

We did learn that the kitchen sink drain on one side has completely fallen apart – all the spoiled milk I dumped down the drain landed on the floor.

It is definitely an adventure around here!

Moving Joys

This is just a personal record of our moving adventure. 😅

The bedrooms have had the carpet ripped up (old 70s carpet. No thank you). So half the house is now unusable. Five people sleeping in the living room until further notice.

We had no water when we moved in. The winters get cold enough to freeze pipes (and break them) so it is common practice here to have the water turned off when a house is unoccupied. We didn’t ask for the water turned on right away because the town was under a boil water advisory and then had no water at all and then back to boil water.

So today I call and ask for the water to be turned on (it is quite annoying to use these jugs of water for everything – drinking, cooking, cleaning, flushing toilet, dishes) and my husband isn’t home but he walked me through the process on the phone to turn the water on inside…

Turn this valve and that valve and splish, splash, that’s not right!

Oh, the old breaker box is on the floor because we had the electrical upgraded. Which meant a whole day without power as well. And my husband had to dig a 4-foot trench which took many hours (hello, frozen ground).

Now I am waiting on a plumber. And avoiding cleaning the cupboards because of all the mice droppings. 🤢

I am going to go publish a pattern now, to help me feel better.

Yarn and Crochet Projects

One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so of designing is that designers have names. I seriously hadn’t really thought about the person behind the pattern before. I was not the type to buy a pattern because there’s so many free patterns out there, why bother?

I also didn’t buy yarn.

I have bought so much yarn in the past year and a half! It’s a almost embarrassing 😅 but I have learned a lot about yarn weight and material and yardage. And I have decided I do have yarn preferences!

Last night I made my first order from Lion Brand Yarn online. They gave me a bunch of points and a code to share. I don’t know how many loyalty programs I am part of now. This code is supposed to get you $5 off, and I think it gives me a coupon as well. If I had known there were codes I might have asked for someone to give me their code before I ordered.

When my grandma taught me to crochet around age 8, we went to Walmart and she let me pick out a pretty skein of yarn and the appropriate hook. In the next 20+ years I would buy approximately 4 skeins of yarn. That’s it.

I was given scrap yarn from my grandma and her friends. My mom told people she knew that I liked to craft with yarn so they would give me their scraps too. I had quite a stash by the time I met my husband.

A bag I made in high school. No pattern. Pockets on outside and inside. Button closure. All double crochet.

He also knows how to crochet (learned at a young age) so he also had a few bags of yarn when we met. Our yarn stashes mixed together but since we were both in university we didn’t really find time to use the stash. There was no point in buying new yarn.

People still kept giving us yarn – scrap balls, tightly rolled or random skeins of “new” yarn that had been out of production for many years. At one of the houses we rented, the previous tenants bailed on a few months rent and left all their stuff; 2 or 3 giant bags of yarn was added to our growing collection.

I made a pair of mittens one year. My husband crocheted me a bookmark when we were dating. The craft was always there in the background but never really a focus for us.

Then, after a few babies, I picked up my crochet hook again. I needed something to help me focus on more than motherhood. Maybe you don’t understand that concept. That’s ok. I love my children; I was drowning in motherhood.

I challenged myself to learn some new stitches. I learned how to read written patterns. I learned how to use those charts made up of weird symbols. I learned how to properly weave in my ends. I learned how to change colors. I made my first sweater. And then freehanded another. I learned from YouTube and a few magazines. It was a lot of self-determination that I could meet a challenge and succeed and grow.

I learned c2c (corner to corner) and made this blanket for my daughter. I used a random picture/chart I found online. I mostly planned on using up some of the yarn I already had but I did not have any colors suitable for daddy pig. I think this project opened the floodgates for me to start buying yarn.

Mug for size reference

After I finished a blanket for my firsborn I needed to make one for my son. I liked the c2c but wanted to learn another technique, so this one is a single crochet graphgan. When I began this project I was pregnant with my 3rd and I really thought I could get it done before she came. I was wrong.

This patient boy had to wait nearly a year for this blanket to be his! He was pretty excited to see it finished but, just like the Peppa Pig blanket, neither child actually wants to use the blanket I made them.

Also, copyright laws didn’t even occur to me. I have learned a lot about that topic but I still feel unsure and confused about the details and nuances. “Personal use” might apply, I am not sure.

I have not created a blanket specifically for my 3rd child yet. She is 2 already and I have crocheted more in the last year and a half than the last 10 years combined!

Seriously, these photos below are things I have personally made in the last 18 months. They are not in chronological order. Some are things I made with my cool new knitting machine. And although most of my projecs have been of my own patterns there are a few pieces I made from someone else’s pattern. I am kind of astounded seeing it all together like this. No wonder I’ve started buying yarn!

If I hadn’t started designing patterns I think I still would have crocheted a few things but probably not THIS many things! And I can even think of a few things that didn’t make it into these pictures (like Remi’s Buzz Lightyear Sweater and a scarf that will be released soon but I can’t show you quite yet.

You can find a list of my patterns here on my website or you can purchase from Ravelry or Etsy. I appreciate every single purchase and I am in awe that I have repeat customers!

Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Basically I wanted to compile a photo collage for myself and then decided it might be something you are all interested in seeing too. Apparently it is good marketing to show you all that I am a real person. 🤷‍♀️🤣 I promise, I am real.

And that code from Lion Brand made me debate on whether I should share it or not. I decided I needed a long blog entry if I was going to share a code that might get me a discount on yarn. So here it is, my long entry to prove I love yarn and always need more! Hahaha and also I give you permission to buy more too! 😉

Seahorse Dance

I used to think seahorses were mythical creatures like unicorns. They amaze me! They are so tiny and delicate looking. These seahorses are dancing a love-dance. Maybe the father will carry some babies soon (see, another reason they sound like mythical creatures!).

I often wished I could make my husband do the pregnant part of having our children. I love my babies but I hated pregnancy. I started feeling sick before I knew I was pregnant and it only ended when the baby came out.

My first baby come a month early. I couldn’t sleep one night and suddenly my water broke. It’s common in movies because it’s exciting and dramatic but in real life less than 10% of births begin with the Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM). Preterm PROM (when your waters break before 37 weeks) is even rarer and most statistics say it occurs in 1-2% of births. I was definitely not ready for my baby at 36 weeks but that’s life.

I wrote a bit more about Alice in a post last year:

When I was nearing the end of my 2nd pregnancy I truly had no idea when I would go into labor since I had been so blindsided the first time. I was thankful when I made it past the mark of having an early baby and he came at exactly 39 weeks. Remington was a nice, healthy baby boy: 9 lbs, 3 oz / 4167.38 g.

My third child delayed her entrance. Eleven days after her due date I was induced with Melody. She was inside me for almost 6 weeks longer Alice had been and she had the weight to prove it! Alice was born 6 lbs 13 oz / 3090 g and Melody was 9 lbs 11 oz / 4394.18 g when she was born.

Here’s a way-too-personal photo of my giant pregnant self. I was ready, but Melody wasn’t born for another full month after this photo!

My 3rd pregnancy – Melody stayed in there for another month after this picture!

Anyway, back to the crochet…

I originally drew this pattern to be included in my eBook, “More in the Ocean” but when I was finished I realized I had started with the wrong chart size! All the patterns in that eBook have a chart size of 121 x 121 and this pattern is 161 x 161.

I still wanted six patterns in that eBook so I was forced to try again on the merman pattern. I had pretty much given up on getting him right and was going to put seahorses in the eBook instead. This mistake redeemed itself and now we have “Trident” in the eBook AND this larger baby blanket pattern with seahorses!

Some people have different ideas on what size a baby blanket is anyway. So they may be more pleased with this larger size. Other people are joining the squares together to create an adult-sized blanket and may find it difficult to add this pattern into the mix.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful creations with yarn. My tester, cyncitycrochets, used some pretty neat ombre yarn in this sample. White is used as the Main Color (you can tell because those outside border lines are white). The Wrong Side (WS) looks pretty awesome when you use the interlocking technique – if you use the overlay mosaic technique the WS will be striped.

This pattern, like all of my patterns, comes complete with written instructions and a chart for two techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet. Choose your favorite technique or challenge yourself and learn a new one! I have a few tutorials on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/c/AshleeBrotzellDesigns

The chart that comes with the mosaic method has X’s to show where the dropped double crochets go.

I hope you enjoyed my little stories and I hope you really love this new pattern! The links to Etsy and Ravelry are both here; if you don’t have a preference I think Ravelry is better (less fees for me, easier to update patterns when needed, nice library to keep things organized, photos of everyone’s projects) but I offer both platforms so you can make your own choice!

Get the Pattern

Chart size 161 x 161

When you meet gauge, this finishes to 40″ x 40″.

Use code “DANCE” to get 30% off this pattern until October 21, 2021. Valid on Etsy and Ravelry.

Summer Direction CAL & August Summary

This post is going to be a mix of personal stuff, a monthly summary, and instructions for how to continue the Summer Direction CAL. You can skip to whatever part you find most interesting.

Personal

Twelve years ago, under a hot summer sun, I said “I do”. Mitch and I got married on his parents’ acreage and most of the guests took home sunburns. We were young and crazy. Now we’re just crazy. 😉

We have had good times and bad times and three babies and many moves and we have grown and changed through it all. I am not going to give you my life’s story today. I’m too busy making crochet patterns! Here’s to many more years! *grab a cup of something and celebrate with me, eh?*

Also, my Anniversary could have been a good excuse to have a sale, but I already had a sale to celebrate my family’s August birthdays and I’m going to have another sale for my birthday in a few days anyway! 😀

August Summary

This month, August 2021, marks 16 months since I began designing. I love it and I wish I had started sooner!

Like every month this year, my first pattern of the month was a gnome. “August Gnome” was the one with all the cherries. There are only a few more months to go until we have a complete blanket! “A Year of Gnomes” has been one of my best sellers. Thank you for the love!

Crocheted by CarolinevdB, overlay mosaic technique

Then I published “Baby Fish“. This pattern was the 6th extra large square (otherwise known as a baby blanket) in my “Baby Ocean & Others” eBook. I am excited to get my next Ocean eBook started! I will have 6 more patterns of this size for you all! They aren’t *baby* designs this time, although some of them are definitely still good as baby gifts. Most of them are designed for the super cool grown-ups, like me, who enjoy ocean art that can be made into a big blanket.

Mosaic crochet version of “Baby Fish”. Made with Retro Stripes from Red Heart.

Next I came out with another big blanket pattern, “Sunflowers and Butterflies”. This is a summer design that I know you all loved – you visited my ravelry page so many times that I got listed in their top 10 list! Thank you!

Interlocking Crochet sample by Semicci. This pattern made it into Ravelry’s top 10!

You may notice in the image above that the pattern listed right above mine was “The Wave 2” by Svetlana Rogatykh. That pattern was part of the Ocean-themed Crochet-Along hosted by CAL-Crochet-Along blog. I contributed two patterns to that CAL. My “Mosaic Coral Strip” was first, and my “Mosaic Sunglasses Strip” was the final part of that blanket! They have 2 more blankets as part of their Friends Around the World 6th Anniversary CAL – check out the details here: https://calcrochetalong.com/2021-friends-around-the-world-cal/

After publishing the FREE “Mosaic Sunglasses Strip” to Ravelry on August 19, 2021 I also put a FREE file in my Facebook Group for the interlocking crochet version of my sunglasses strip!

And then the very next day we started my Summer Direction CAL!

This pattern has YouTube videos for each section for both of the techniques (interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet). And each section’s written line-by-line instructions will be FREE on my website here as well.

We are about 25% of the way through this pattern so far.

You can still get the full pattern and charts on Ravelry or Etsy for 50% off until the end of September by using code “SUMMER2021“.

My 6th published pattern this month was originally published in Crochet Now magazine in issue 68 which came out in the spring. I am very proud to be published like a “real designer”! It feels very validating and a little bit surreal. 😅

Now that I can publish my “Eiffel Tower Wall Hanging” to Ravelry and Etsy I have used my normal template (that is: US terminology, written for both overlay mosaic crochet and interlocking crochet).

You can still get 20% off your purchase of the Eiffel Tower or the Parisian Wall Hangings eBook (which includes three patterns) until 11:59pm CST August 30, 2021 by using code “PARIS20“.

Summer Direction CAL

We began this Crochet-A-Long on August 20, 2021. We created the foundation rows in whichever technique you preferred (interlocking or mosaic) and you also had to decide at that point how wide your project was going to be. You may find it easier to navigate through each section from the landing page for your chosen technique.

I made a single-width sample in both techniques and then a full blanket using the mosaic technique (I used Red Heart Super Saver Stripes, colorway “Retro Stripes” for my Contrasting Color).

We have completed two sections of Chevron A and the first Dark Arrow section so far.

The next section in the Summer Direction CAL is a repeat of Chevron A again. We are now at row 49 but the video and written instructions are going to start with row 5. You may need to put a stitch marker at row 49 to remind you that it counts as row 5.

If you’re using the interlocking technique it’s important to note that you will be starting this section with the Wrong Side (WS) facing you.

Make sure you only do Chevron A once after the Dark Arrows.

August Birthday Sale!

You can probably count on this (a sale in August) being an annual thing – August is a big month of celebration here!

We already celebrated my husband’s birthday. This week will be Melody’s 2nd birthday. And next week will be Alice’s 7th. Plus, the end of the month will be our 12th anniversary!

Hand painted Merino Wool!

I was also celebrating reaching 5000 members in my Facebook group! I gave away a couple patterns and I bought two beautiful skeins of yarn for this too! I mailed the soft merino wool away yesterday – and then bought myself new Retro Stripes yarn today! Am I a yarn addict?

We made Mitch a musical piano cake. His favorite flavour: Butter pecan; from a box mix. I use melted butter instead of oil and milk instead of water. They always come out fabulous and it is quick and easy to do with little kids around.

Alice carefully put sprinkles spelling “Mitch” on top of our piano cake.

Then I made plain buttercream icing. I even forgot to add vanilla flavor! I was so distracted trying to find my black food coloring gel. We have moved twice in the last year so I guess at some point I must have decided it was too old or maybe I actually used it up and just can’t remember. Either way, it isn’t here.

My black piano ended up being a weird blue. Almost purple-black. I can blame it on young kids 🤣 but really it was me being too tired to go out and buy black. I had already gone out for more icing sugar (and then found the bag I was looking for once I returned home).

Melody and Remi took turns decorating this cake made up from the leftover cut out pieces.

I have had a headache for a few days and it really sucks when I can’t make it go away even when something important – like a birthday – comes around. It doesn’t seem smoky outside but the weather station keeps leaving an exclamation mark on my phone warning everyone that the drifting some from the B.C. forest fires can affect people with asthma and other respiratory issues. It might be triggering my headaches too.

Anyway, the plan was to use kit kat bars as the piano keys but when we went to the store they didn’t have the flavor with the white chocolate. So I grabbed something else that was on sale. And I wasn’t sure how much I would need, so I now have 4 leftover chocolate bars in my freezer. That might have been almost-on-purpose. 😬🙈🤣

We didn’t put up any decorations or balloons but we definitely will when the next birthdays come. The kids LOVE having balloons. It really marks the day as special when they wake up and see balloons and streamers.

Daddy’s lap is always going to be big enough for all three kids, right?

Mitch’s favorite gift might have been the fancy coffee beans from his mom. He is a coffee-aholic. He has even convinced me that coffee doesn’t always taste bad (I don’t really do hot drinks at all).

I tried to get a picture of us together but it was blurry and horrible and this picture of my husband looks GOOD 😍

Today I realized that I hadn’t put my patterns on sale for awhile and I decided three birthdays in a month is a good enough reason to celebrate with not only my family here but also my new friends all over the world!

Thank you for encouraging me to keep making patterns. Thank you for making them look beautiful! Thank you for being my new giant circle of worldwide friends!

You can get 30% off everything in my Ravelry store from now until 11:59 pm CST, August 13, 2021 by adding at least TWO PATTERNS TO YOUR CART! No code needed, but you have to pick more than one pattern. I thought about making it three patterns minimum because of the three birthdays but I haven’t done a sale like this before so I figured I would try just two for now.

Everything is included, even the eBooks (which are already heavily discounted)!

And, if you’re an Etsy-only user, you can get the same deal there too! 30% off when you purchase at least TWO PATTERNS, no code needed! Expires August 13, 2022.

Now I am going to get back to crocheting and drawing and hugging my family.

Magazine Dream Come True: Eiffel Tower in Crochet Now

Did you see my post on instagram? I am going to be in a magazine! Hello, dreams-come-true! 🤩😍

Photos courtesy of Practical Publishing

I designed this Eiffel Tower Wall Hanging for their Paris theme – this is what they wrote on their blog: “Welcome that Parisian feeling into your décor with what is possibly the most amazing crochet wall-hanging I’ve ever seen! The Eiffel Tower hanging on the back of my door would certainly make me smile every day!

Crochet Now 68 is on sale from 22nd April in shops across the UK. To find your nearest stockist, visit http://www.seymour.co.uk – or order online from http://www.craftstash.co.uk

You can also purchase a digital edition of the magazine via the PocketMags app.

Me, here in Canada, I am hoping Michael’s will have the magazine 🤷‍♀️

I did also find this link that looks promising: https://www.crochetnow.co.uk/where-to-buy/

This magazine is based in the UK which means they require patterns to be written using UK terms. In a few months, when the rights revert back to me, I will publish this pattern to Ravelry and Etsy in the form that is familiar to me: interlocking crochet and mosaic crochet; in US terminology.

The magazine version has a link to a chart with x’s! Some of you may be really excited for that, I will also be offering the non-x’ed-chart for my interlocking crocheters.

I used Scheepjes Organicon in my magazine sample. The colors are for spring time 🤩 and the softness of the yarn makes me think people will start hugging their wall! I used a 3 mm hook but you may need to adjust that based on your tension.

What do you think about the simple wooden dowel at the top for hanging? I haven’t made many wall hangings before but I think the simplicity of it is really nice.

I am going to crochet it again, using the interlocking crochet technique and bulky weight yarn! I just need to pick colors… 🤔 it should end up being a good size for a single-person blanket.

Anyway, this has been a pretty exciting month for me with my one-year Designaversary, the big giveaway and sale, and then this big magazine announcement! I was also really hoping to announce my next CAL (Crochet-A-Long) but I am still ironing out some details.

Here is a teaser:

MusicCAL: coming soon!

On a personal note, I also *finally* got my 10 year anniversary ring 💍 🤩 This summer will be our 12th anniversary! When we had our 10th we were still renovating the house (that is now sold) and I had literally just had my 3rd baby (making it 3 kids under 5 years old) so a pretty ring wasn’t really a priority.

The MusicCAL is dedicated to my husband. I am so thankful for him. Words are kind of insufficient. He is an amazing man, a loving husband, the best dad, and a super cool musician. 😎

Impromptu family photo

April Gnome: Interlocking and Mosaic Crochet Pattern

This first quarter of 2021 is going by so quickly! You may remember my ebook, “A Year of Gnomes”?

You can grab the ebook on Etsy or Ravelry. I will update it each month with the newest pattern. If you prefer to just get the gnome of the month: find “April Gnome” on Ravelry and Etsy.

Find more squares of this size that you can mix-and-match to create your own blanket!

I have already emailed this pattern to everyone who purchased the ebook on Etsy. And if you bought it on Ravelry you will see an “update available”.

Crocheted using the overlay mosaic method by CarolinevdB

P.s. there is still a small contest going on in my Facebook group, we need 400 comments before the draw will be made – see the post in the announcements!

P.p.s. and it is my Designaversary so make sure you enter the rafflecopter giveaway in my previous blog post. Follow the instructions, I will be checking!

Our Master List of Gnomes