Crochet is an art that has become more and more popular over the last several years. Online shops like Etsy, Craftsy, or ArtFire are bursting with finished items and crochet patterns alike. Take a walk through your local farmer’s market and you’re sure to see booths with a variety of colorful crocheted hats, scarves, amigurumi, and bags. If you want to stand out in the world of messy bun hats, chunky cowls, and crochet jewelry, it’s obvious that you need to focus on improving your crochet skills, hone in on what it is you want to make or sell, and finally put that together in one cohesive package that will wow everyone who sees it.
So how do those crocheters do it?
They think differently than most people, and I’m here to share some of their top success secrets with you!
For today’s post I’ve asked several successful and well-known crochet bloggers to share their number one tips for improving your crochet skills in order to begin taking your craft to the next level. Handmade items are some of the most meaningful presents a person can receive. The time and effort the creator has put in to making a piece always makes me feel loved and appreciated. On the flip side, I’ve heard stories from distraught crocheters about how their effort wasn’t appreciated by friends and family, or how they posted items in an online shop that no one looked at, and how much disappointment it caused them, and while personal taste differs widely, these 7 tips for success will help take you far on your crochet journey whether you craft gifts for friends and family, or sell finished pieces at Farmer’s markets or online shops.
In addition to these excellent tips I’ve linked to several videos that show off my favorite ways to finish a piece so it has that professional, “can’t help but pick it up” look.
#1. Tamara from Moogly has a wide variety of video tutorials on almost every finishing option imaginable! If you haven’t checked out her website or YouTube channel, you really need to head over and take a look!
“My #1 tip is to start blocking. I know it’s one. more. step… when you just want to be done! But blocking can make a huge difference in the look of a finished piece – and elevates it to a higher level!”
#2. Lorene of Cre8tion Crochet is one of the first designers I came across when I was just getting back into crochet, and looking for new patterns several years ago. Her designs are colorful, fun pieces that are good for all occasions. She even runs a Facebook group for crocheters who are just starting a business!
“My number one tip is not to chase the money. Don’t chase the popular pattern because you think it will get you sales. Create from the heart, designs that appeal to you. Believe me, you will find your perfect audience, the people you WANT to design for, if you follow this advice. Trends come and go, but ingenuity and being genuine are timeless!”
#3. Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me has built a huge following on creating brightly colored, easy-to-make crochet patterns for a variety of occasions. You can find more tips and tricks to photographing your crochet in this blog post.
“If you are looking to take your crochet to the next level you will want to improve your photography! Showcasing your finished pieces in the best way possible will make it stand out from the others and allow your handmade work to shine! You always want the photo of your crochet to reflect the hard work you put into it. Consider staging your crochet against clean, clutter-free backgrounds, using natural light and possibly investing in a DSLR camera and photo-editing software. You want to take eye-catching, Pinterest-worthy pictures. The goal is to attract people to your item. You want them to be interested and intrigued enough to click on it to see more.”
#4. Jess at Make and Do Crew creates a variety of modern, boho inspired designs for a fresh, effortless look. Find her patterns, here.
“The thing that’s been most helpful to me in making a living from my crocheting has been to think about what aspects of the process I enjoy the most. There are so many ways to structure your crochet business, from selling patterns to selling finished items to giving away your patterns for free and earning money through advertising. For me, I love starting new projects, but I knew I’d never be very successful selling finished items because I get pretty bored by remaking the same thing.
Earning money through a blog where I consistently share NEW ideas is much for nourishing for me creatively, so I’ve been able to commit to it long enough for it to develop into a successful business. If you can find the part of the process that comes the easiest to you–whether that’s writing super beginner-friendly patterns or making 100 of the same beanie really quickly–and really lean into that, I think your far more likely to get traction (and have fun doing it!).”
#5. Kathy from ELK Studio is the queen of southern charm, and gorgeous shawls! You can find her latest pattern, here.
“I think the number one thing a person needs to know who they are selling their work to is their audience. You can’t just make a lot of things and “hope” people buy them. Take the time to research the craft fair people. Attend some prior to selling to get an idea of the level of samples you need to have ready. If you have a FB page, do some research to see your audience stats and go from there. You also want to choose quality over quantity. I would rather purchase something that costs more, than buy something that I can only wear once because it falls apart. You promote yourself in the same way as well.
#6. Ashleigh at Sewrella creates a variety of classic crochet and knitting patterns for your home and wardrobe. She also has lots of tutorials for improving your skills! You can find it all, here.
“My tip would be: Don’t go looking for inspiration when you want to be inspired. Instead, let inspiration find you and be open to it when it comes. I’ve found inspiration in everything from a fashion show to a pile of cut fruit for lunch. There is never a way to know what will inspire you when, so just make sure that you’re open to receiving that inspiration when it strikes!”
And I’d like to add this final tip,
#7. Always practice proper crochet finishing techniques. This includes weaving in your ends, and attaching flowers, buttons or other appliques securely. I’d also recommend that you practice relaxed, even tension, and regularly count your rows or rounds to make sure the proper number of crochet stitches are included. If a gauge is listed in the pattern, follow it. Your tension may be different from what the designers is, and the item may not fit in the way it was originally intended. Attention to detail will make your items stand out, and while “mistakes” can make a piece look more “authentically handmade”, people who are going to purchase a crochet item will typically want it to look as nice and professional as possible (the same goes for those who receive the item as a gift from you).
Finishing Your Crochet Like a Pro
Here are a few videos that show some of my favorite ways of finishing a piece. Click on the title to go to the video.
Tips for figuring out gauge, when your height isn’t right
You’ve matched the designated gauge for width but your hat or scarf is an inch or two short (or long). Here’s how to keep it from happening again.
Learn how to change colors neatly and without a “color bleed” from one row to the next. This technique can be used in the middle of the row, or at the end.
Weave in ends
This is the way I weave in my ends, except I do one or two more passes back and forth. They’re a nightmare to pick out (which is how it should be). ‘Aint no spin cycle going to undo these babies! 😉
Keeping edges straight
There’s nothing worse than those dips and bumps on a raw edge that doesn’t call for a border. This will keep your stitches in line, and you don’t even need to raise your voice!
Everything I make gets finished this way. EVERYTHING.
And that’s it for today! Regardless of whether you’re crocheting as a labor of love, or as a way to make some extra income for your family, I hope these tips help to inspire you to excellence! You’ve got a gift, however you choose to express it. Which was your favorite tip? Let me know in the comments!
Need some crochet humor to brighten your day? Not sure what LYS, HOTH,PHD, or SABLE stand for? Click here to find out (and hopefully laugh a little)!
Friends, if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, here! That way you’ll never miss out on special events, or freebies I’m offering.
This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase something using these links I receive a small amount of the sales price. You do not pay any extra for the item you purchase. How cool is that?!