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  • Selling Crochet Items Based on DesigningVashti Patterns


    Selling crochet items based on my patterns? Please do.

    If you like to crochet things to sell at craft fairs or in a shop, please enjoy using my crochet patterns for that. I really appreciate that some crocheters care to ask a designer first! I love that about our crochet community. Not only is it your right in the USA, please also know that I feel honored that my designs inspire you to make and sell finished items.

    I now state officially in several places that crocheters are welcome to sell the items they make from my patterns. (Patterns I’ve already published lack this notice. I’m updating each one as time allows.)

    I’ve been a maker too, most recently in March 2014.

    Ananda, a dear friend I’ve known for forever, has an indie natural perfume business. Her cool idea for a trade: she would create a limited edition perfume with pure essential Lotus blossom oil.* In return, I would crochet special little Lotus perfume pouches just for her and her best customers! The photos above are the pouches I made.

    *She even named it Vashti.  :swoon:

    It was good timing for me to revisit being a maker—not a designer, teacher, editor, etc. I say “revisit” because I had a macramé jewelry business back in the 1980’s. After that I had a calligraphy business. I loved being an indie maker and selling at fairs.

    Why would designers object to people selling crochet items from their patterns?

    In forums, makers complain that some designers and publishers try to limit how their patterns are used, and can’t imagine a good reason for it. I think it’s understandable. Here’s why:

    Back when I first launched my own pattern website, craft bloggers were reporting instances of large companies taking advantage of “the little guy” (indie designers). These companies were allegedly looking online for designs and then copying them as their own.

    Whether or not the law would side with the indie designers in any of these cases, 1) These watchdog bloggers revealed publicly that stealing intellectual property isn’t victimless nor is it invisible on the internet; and 2) It scared me as a new owner of a web-based pattern line.

    I did not start out encouraging people to use my patterns for selling crochet items. (I hope I didn’t discourage anyone!) I figured I’d hear from someone on a case by case basis. It’s because I didn’t know there were so many indie makers looking for inspiring crochet patterns. Turns out I was only hearing from a tiny percentage.

    One last thing: crediting me as the designer of the pattern, or listing my DesigningVashti.com URL on your labels, is greatly appreciated, but not required. Let me know how your items sell, or show me some pics. It inspires me to design more!

    Now: if you wish to use my designs to produce crochet items on a mass scale, contact me: vashti AT designingvashti.com . Thank you.

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    • December 1st, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    How to Increase Tunisian Crochet Stitch Blocks


    Today’s post is about how to increase tunisian crochet at those tricky row ends!

    These are winning methods because they don’t limit how many stitches you can increase at a time. (Please see issue #64 of my newsletter for more). This means I can smoothly add big lacy spaces and whole blocks of solid stitch repeats where I wish in Tunisian crochet. This is something I’ve always loved about regular crochet.

    Method #1. How to increase Tunisian crochet stitches with the Half Hitch method

    How to increase Tunisian crochet: the Half Hitch Method
    A half hitch is simply a loop with a twist in it.

    The simple little loop shown in this first photo is used to crochet limpets. It’s best known as the simple/single/backwards loop cast on in knitting. It’s also used in tatting and in macramé. This video* shows half hitches being added to a knitting. This is how I do it and I’ve really picked up speed.
    *Scroll past the first one (“Long-Tail Cast-On”) to the one called “Single Cast-On Also Known As Backward-Loop Cast-On.”

    In my original 2009 blog post about this method I use a pair of them as a double half hitch (dhh). Any number of half hitches can also be used singly for shaping Tunisian crochet.

    Method #2. How to increase Tunisian crochet stitches with the Tunisian Foundation Slip Stitch method

    How to increase Tunisian crochet stitches with the Tfslst Method

    Feel free to choose a loop other than the tinted ones shown. These are the fastest ones for me.

    At the end of your Forward Pass, insert hook in one side loop of the end stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. Then chain the number of stitches you wish to add. I chained four in this second photo. Then take the last loop off of your hook; your stitches should resemble those in the photo.

    Then, insert your hook under one loop of the first chain (tinted pink) and leave on your hook. Repeat with each remaining chain; then put the live loop back on your hook, as described in the caption.

    I found this Tfslst method after I designed the Five Peaks Shawl with half hitch increases. I used Tfslsts in the Four Peaks Scarf pattern, and most recently in the Warm Aeroette Scarf.

    I love having both of these methods to choose from, depending on the project.

    They are probably interchangeable enough that you could use the one you prefer. (More on that in the newsletter.)

    The most important thing is to choose a method that doesn’t impose a limit!

    Often when someone asks in a forum how to increase Tunisian crochet stitches, the advice is to squeeze them in. Typically this means adding a stitch in another loop just behind or next to another stitch. This method is fine if you’re replacing a stitch that you accidentally decreased in an earlier row. If you think of basic Tunisian crochet fabric as a grid, space was already reserved for the missing stitch, and you’re just filling it back in.

    How to increase Tunisian crochet steadily at the edges a better way
    Effect of the “squeeze-it-in” method shows in the left swatch. Not recommended for something like a shawl.

    The Squeeze-it-in: my least favorite shaping method.

    The Squeeze-it-in method has limits. It’s okay for just a rare stitch here and there, and away from the edges. In other words, as an “internal” shaping method. I don’t mean to impose rigid rules. Depending on the project, yarn type, and hook size, squeezing in new stitches whenever you wish may come out fine.

    For me, this shaping method often interferes with my goal of a languid, swaying drape for Tunisian crochet accessories. When I consider how to increase Tunisian crochet edges for a new design, Squeeze-me-in is last on my list.

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    • November 7th, 2014 by Vashti Braha


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