Saturday, January 31, 2015

Interview with Marie Segares...Undergrounder Crafter and Podcaster Extraordinaire!



Happy weekend to you lovelies!  I have a special guest on Fiber Flux today, Marie Segares!  Marie is someone I have been a fan of for quite some time (not sure if she knows this or not!) and is the Proprietress of the Underground Crafter and recently started a fantastic podcast, Creative Yarn Entrepreneur.  She both knits and crochets, designs, and her new podcast is a great resource for anyone in the yarn world, whether just starting out as a newbie or a seasoned veteran in the industry...the show is packed full of great information useful for all of us! But first, let's catch up with Marie:
Shimmery Valentine Bangles by Marie Segares from I Like Crochet Magazine

Jennifer: Welcome to Fiber Flux Marie!  We're so glad you could join us today!  Please tell us a little about yourself, how did you get your start with crochet and knitting?

Marie: I'm a crochet and knitting designer, blogger, teacher, podcaster, and small business consultant. I got my start crocheting back in 1984 when my maternal grandmother taught me the basics. She was a very skilled crocheter, knitter, and seamstress - she actually went to a trade school for needlecrafts instead of high school during the Depression. She tried to teach me to knit but everything came out as a trapezoid.

I've been crocheting, on and off, since then, but for almost 20 years I pretty much kept to basic scarves (usually all in half double crochet) for Christmas gifts! In 2002, I finally learned to read patterns, and once I started doing that, my crochet skills just exploded and I was introduced to so many great projects, stitches, and skills.

I would periodically try to knit but it always seemed too hard. After my grandmother passed away, I really started to think about it more because she left behind several unfinished knitting projects and notes with stitch patterns on them. I was talking with a friend who is a knitter and she convinced me that I was just psyching myself out. She gave me a great pep talk, reminded me of all I could do in crochet, and I realized she was right! I picked up Nici McNally's Complete Beginner's Guide to Knitting dvd in 2010 and never looked back. Within the year, I was teaching knitting locally and soon after I started designing, too.

Crochet is really my true (crafty) love, though, and I always return to it!

Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag by Marie Segares
Jennifer: I have been a big fan of the Underground Crafter for some time now, tell us how you got your start.

Marie: I was working full time and going to business school at night when my grandmother passed away. She was such a profound influence in my life, and particularly in terms of craftiness. Right before she got sick, I had taken the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructors Program in Crochet, kind of on a whim. But when she died, I felt more connected to her memory when I was crocheting, so I started to get really serious about it. After doing some informal teaching, I decided to formalize my business in 2008, when I was done with grad school and had some more spare time.

Originally, I thought I would be selling my crocheted projects at craft shows, but that wasn't really a good fit for me because I'm pretty introverted and my work schedule at the time was hectic. I ended up focusing much more on teaching for the first few years. My students would ask about different projects or stitches, and that's what got me into designing. I started blogging in 2011 and really enjoyed it, so I've kept it up as well as I could over the years. 

Warm And Textured 1-Skein Cowl By Marie Segares

Jennifer: You have recently started a podcast, The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur (so exciting!), a fantastic resource for those of us building a business in the industry, what was your inspiration for creating this informative podcast?

Marie: Last year, I left my job and became a full time solopreneur. It was pretty terrifying, but totally worth it. (My crafty business adventures are still just part time ventures for me.) I started listening to a lot of podcasts during the day, and I realized the audio format is great for those of us working in the yarn industry, since often our hands and eyes are otherwise engaged! I couldn't find any other podcasts specifically about business issues in the industry. There are some great knitting, crochet, and yarn related podcasts, and others about being a creative business owner. I really felt like there was a void, so I decided to start my own show.

I know this industry can be pretty isolating since most of us are working alone from home, and it can be hard to get reliable information. There are so many things I wish I knew when I was starting out, and things are always changing for online business owners (which many of us are). And, most of us have a lot of income streams. We're not just designing or teaching, we're also writing, or selling our projects online or at craft shows, or dyeing yarn, etc. etc. It's really hard to be an expert at so many different things, and also make sure you are spending time to create the best products for your customers. Plus, the show gives me a chance to interview some great people!

Scrappy Shells Blanket by Marie Segares from I Like Crochet Magazine

Jennifer: What does the future hold for The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur?

Marie: I'm definitely going to keep the podcast going, though right now I'm still trying to find the best day of the week to release an episode so fans can know when to expect a new show. I'm hoping to do some virtual training classes in 2015 on different business topics, but of course I'll need to finish up my videos first!

Jennifer: Of course I have to ask...what is on your hook/needles at the moment?

Marie: I'm working on a Tunisian crochet project that's a bit of a secret. I'm using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Pretty Pink, which is so nice for this time of year where everything is gray and dark and cold! I plan to release the design as a freebie on the Underground Crafter blog in the near future, so keep your eyes open!

UPDATE: She finished it! Get the free pattern here...

Thank you Marie for stopping by Fiber Flux today, so happy you chatted with us!

Be sure to stop by her site, Underground Crafter to say hello and be sure to check out her podcast, The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur.

Catch up with Marie for the latest here as well: 

Ravelry * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Etsy * Google+ *

 
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Big yarn sale at Craftsy!

Craftsy

Need a new project to keep you busy during these winter months? Craftsy's Winter Wonders Sale happening right now and you can get up to 65% off all yarn, fabric and kits. You'll find everything you need to start your new projects today! 



(offer expires Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 11:59 PM MT) 


(This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to shop at Craftsy, I will be compensated through their affiliate program which in turn helps support Fiber Flux. Please read my full disclosure policy here and many thanks for your support!)

Craftsy

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Free Crochet Pattern...Candy Coated Boot Cuffs!


This super fun pattern is just for kids!  The Candy Coated Boot Cuffs are all about bold, bright, and sassy color.  Slip them on with boots to keep chilly rain, snow, and wind out and keep those kids toasty.   The bold colors and neon fuzzy trim will be sure to chase away those gray days...be sure to check the photo right below, they're totally reversible!

Candy Coated Boot Cuffs
By Jennifer Dickerson

Click button below to add this project to your Ravelry queue:




Materials:

  • Worsted weight yarn in colors of your choice
  • Small amounts of eyelash yarn in color of choice
  • J (6.0 mm) crochet hook
  • Scissors
Sizing:

Note: there are no specific stitch count for this pattern, simply make a chain the circumference of part of the leg right under the knee.  (For sizing as shown, see below)

Boot cuffs in photo are 4 inches tall and have a circumference of 9 inches.  However be sure to measure first for a custom fit.



Instructions:

Ch 26 (for sizing above...however you can make chain as long or short as you need circumference to be, no special stitch counts required)

Join with a sl st in the furthest ch from hook. 

Round 1: Ch 2 and dc in each ch around.  Join with a sl st to close round.

Round 2: Ch 2, work a bpdc (back post double crochet) in each dc around.  Join with a sl st to close round.

Repeat round 2 until boot cuff measures 4 inches tall or desired height.  Fasten off.

Edging Round: Tie eyelash yarn into one of the stitches.  Ch 1 and then work a sc in each st around.  Join to close round with a st st and fasten off.

Finishing:

Weave in any ends that remain and you're finished!


Click below to watch the full project tutorial for the Candy Coated Boot Cuffs:


For the stitches only, click below to watch a helpful video on how to work both the dc (double crochet) and bpdc (back post double crochet):



For more fun projects and pretty patterns, be sure to follow Fiber Flux on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the latest updates!


Get materials for this project here:




 
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Free Crochet Pattern...Love Bears!




These tiny Love Bears are perfect for a thoughtful small gift that fit into the palm of your hand.  Perfect for tucking into a pocket, purse, or a loved one's lunch, they will definitely bring a smile when received.  Make them any color you like, I made mine in fun Valentine colors.

Love Bears
By Jennifer Dickerson

Click the button below to add this to you Ravelry queue:


Materials Needed:
  • Worsted weight yarn in two colors for each bear ( I used Red Heart Super Saver in "Cafe" "Cherry Red" and "Perfect Pink" for the two bears in the photos)
  • Small scrap of black yarn for embroidered eyes (or you can make button eyes)
  • H (5.0 mm) crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Fiber fill or yarn scraps for stuffing the bears

Sizing:
  • 3.5 inches tall (from tops of ears to bottom)
  • 3 inches tall - body height only (without ears)
  • 2.5 inches wide
  • ears are .5 inches tall
  • 7 inch body circumference 


Instructions:

Ears (make 2): 

Ch 2, then in the ch furthest from the hook, work 6 sc, then a sl st.  Fasten off and leave tails intact for sewing to bear later.

(Bears are worked from the bottom up)

Body base (shown in light brown): 

Ch 4 and join in the chain furthest from hook to form a ring.  Ch 3, and work 11 dc into the center of the ring.  Join with a sl st to close round.  Ch 1, work a sc into the first st.  Work 2 sc in next st and in each st around.  Join with a sl st to close round.

Body sides (note: for this section, bears have two rounds of each color for striping as shown): 

Working in the brown yarn still, ch 1 and work a sc in each st around.  Join with a sl st to close round.  Repeat this round for a total of 10 rounds, do not fasten off.

Body decrease (top of head): 

Ch 1, then sc2tog in each st around.  Repeat for the next round.  Fasten off, leave an 6-8 inch tail, then proceed below to "Finishing & Assembly" section.


Finishing & Assembly:

Before closing up the top, sew ears to top of head using tails.  It is ok to leave ends on the inside of bear, they will be hidden when bear is seamed closed.  With black yarn and a tapestry needle, work a french knot for each eye.  If you need help, a helpful step by step video can be found below.  Alternatively, you could sew or glue buttons for the eyes.  Now you're ready to stuff...using fiber fill, yarn scraps, etc, carefully stuff bear in the top opening.  Take care not to over stuff.  Thread a tapestry needle with the tail from body and carefully sew opening closed.  I sewed around edges, then pulled tight to close up the hole.  Tie a secure knot to fasten and weave in end.  Shape bear and ears as needed.

Click below to watch a video on how to create a french knot for the eyes, step by step:




For more fun projects and pretty patterns, be sure to follow Fiber Flux on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the latest updates!

 
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hearts A Flutter! 60 Crochet Heart Projects


Hearts, hearts everywhere!  Here is a gigantic collection of beautiful crochet projects full of hearts.  Included are bags, slippers, pins, gifts, hats, wreaths, treat bags, and lots more, you be sure to find something to send a little love this time of year.  Happy crocheting, lovelies!

Note: Click on the link below each photo to go directly to the patters.  All photos and links used with permission.





























































































































For more fun projects and pretty patterns, be sure to follow Fiber Flux on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the latest updates!

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