Archive for February, 2012

the art of making money beautifully

February 14, 2012

i purchased tara gentile’s the art of earning e-book today.  since i’ve become homeless by choice, with my entire life packed into my car, traveling from one place to another a-calling on friends, i’ve started to do some hard thinking about how much simplicity should be mandatory in a person’s life for them to be able to own their own small business.  how much i need to pare down to be able to work doing what i love.  i have had an etsy shop since 2007, selling on average 1.5 items per month, which isn’t bad for someone just dabbling.  i’ve always thought of money as tara quotes kelly diels:

I’m not terribly motivated by money. Shiny things, yes. Money, no. When I have enough, when the survival mark is made, I lose interest in making any more.

but i’ve repeatedly considered what it would take to be able to support myself.  the numbers are staggering when considered.  for me to pay my 2 bills, allow myself 1 tank of gas per week, $50 per week for food and incidentals, $30/month for dog food- in other words, the bare minimum- i would need $500.  i can’t be homeless forever, so add onto that the exceptional price of $300/month for a magical all utilities paid apartment, and you have a bare minimum needed of $800/month.  with an average of thirty days per month, i would need to make $26.70/day.  if i could sell one hat per day at that price plus shipping, it could work out- provided i could make it to the post office with the gas on my allowance.  but that’s just the bare minimum.  what if i got sick and needed to go to the doctor, or my tire blew on my car?  i would have no buffer.  so if i added $200 in savings to that a month, that would make it $1000/month for all of my expenses.  that brings the total up to $33.30/day.  i can knit one hat a day if i spend four or five solid hours knitting.  but would i be able to physically knit every day for five hours?  what if no one bought hats in a month?  what if five hours wasn’t enough to make a hat that i could sell for $33.30 plus shipping?

this is just to point out that my current hat-selling business is going to have to change, i’m afraid.  haberdashery just ain’t what it used to be.  i’m an obsessive knitter, though, so rest assured there will still be a few tams available for sale at all times.

this is why i turned to tara, and i am hoping that her e-book helps me formulate an idea for a profitable business.  i have a few ideas and i’m looking forward to exploring them.  and i’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere again where i can set my plans into motion.  i’ll let you know how it goes.

how to crochet: selecting yarn // a little hippie girl tutorial

February 12, 2012

i’ve been wanting to do crochet tutorials for a while, but it seemed that it would be a bigger undertaking than i was capable of.  i’ve written some tutorials on quazen, but i really don’t like how much advertising they put on their pages.  so this is my humble attempt at providing you, the general public, with a free crochet class via internet.

you can crochet with any yarn-like substance, from plastic bags to t-shirt scraps, but when selecting commercial yarns, a few basic tips will go a long way. yarns are classified by weight, and weight is determined by gauge- or how many stitches it takes to make a square inch of crocheted fabric.

weights range from lace, the finest, to super bulky, the heaviest. if you’ve ever seen a crocheted doily, then you’ve seen a good example of lace weight crochet thread. baby items and socks are made from super fine (also called sock or fingering) weight yarn, or the next weight up: fine, also called sport or baby weight yarn. many crocheted clothing items and accessories are made with DK and worsted (also called aran or medium) weight yarns. very thick items can be made from bulky and super bulky weight yarns- most rug yarn is also bulky weight.

various yarn weights

crochet is done with a single hook, and for each yarn weight there is a corresponding range of hooks to be used to get the gauge you need. hook sizes can vary if you want a looser or tighter stitch. a small hook with a heavy yarn will produce very tight, solid stitches, and a large hook with a lighter yarn will produce loose stitches. the best way to know which hook is recommended for the yarn you’d like to use is to read the label.

yarn label with various indications highlighted

many patterns will provide the yarn weight and hook you need to use for the project. others are more open to interpretation, and most will suggest that you crochet a small swatch to make sure that what you make is the correct size.