Thursday, June 17, 2021

Rebranding & New Store!


Well, hello there!

Who knew that the last time I posted here at Crochet by Raye, almost an entire year would go by before I posted again. (If that doesn't sum up 2020, I'm not sure what does!)

In late August of 2020, about a week before school began, my district called me and asked me to take a new position that someone had vacated at the last second. I accepted and that put me on a whirlwind year of virtual and hybrid teaching that not a single soul could have prepared me for. It was beyond exhausting at times but exhilarating when we finally got to have students in front of us for real again. (And thank goodness, ZERO hybrid teaching in 2021-2022!)

Alas, this blog and my shop went to the wayside. I never planned for Crochet by Raye to become a full-time job anyway but I do feel bad that it's been somewhat neglected. 

I've had a couple weeks off from school now and am about to begin teaching summer school, but this blog kept coming back to me. 

I don't pretend to be an expert or want to have 5 billion followers who hang on my every word...but I do like to share and grow with others who have similar passions. 

As such I have rebranded with a fun, new logo and opened up my shop at Square. This enables me to keep all of my inventory in ONE place and whether I sell online or at a craft show, it's all coming from the exact same inventory. 

You can visit my new shop here. As my grand re-opening, everything in my shop is on sale! 

I've learned a lot of techniques in the last year since I've been posting and I'm hoping to get my YouTube channel going with new content as well, although truthfully, I am less inclined to focus my attention there than on the blog. We shall see what I have time for!

Thanks for visiting and see you soon!

Well, hello there!

Who knew that the last time I posted here at Crochet by Raye, almost an entire year would go by before I posted again. (If that doesn't sum up 2020, I'm not sure what does!)

In late August of 2020, about a week before school began, my district called me and asked me to take a new position that someone had vacated at the last second. I accepted and that put me on a whirlwind year of virtual and hybrid teaching that not a single soul could have prepared me for. It was beyond exhausting at times but exhilarating when we finally got to have students in front of us for real again. (And thank goodness, ZERO hybrid teaching in 2021-2022!)

Alas, this blog and my shop went to the wayside. I never planned for Crochet by Raye to become a full-time job anyway but I do feel bad that it's been somewhat neglected. 

I've had a couple weeks off from school now and am about to begin teaching summer school, but this blog kept coming back to me. 

I don't pretend to be an expert or want to have 5 billion followers who hang on my every word...but I do like to share and grow with others who have similar passions. 

As such I have rebranded with a fun, new logo and opened up my shop at Square. This enables me to keep all of my inventory in ONE place and whether I sell online or at a craft show, it's all coming from the exact same inventory. 

You can visit my new shop here. As my grand re-opening, everything in my shop is on sale! 

I've learned a lot of techniques in the last year since I've been posting and I'm hoping to get my YouTube channel going with new content as well, although truthfully, I am less inclined to focus my attention there than on the blog. We shall see what I have time for!

Thanks for visiting and see you soon!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday Motivation: Ravelry


Previously, in a Feature Friday post, I shared a short review of Ravelry. Today I'm sharing a video I made for my YouTube channel that also discusses the features of Ravelry. I can't get over how useful this website is, not to mention that it is free!

I decided to share again as a Monday Motivation because if you're getting stuck on a project or are having trouble figuring out what to crochet next, Ravelry can also be a great resource to get your creative juices flowing again!



Previously, in a Feature Friday post, I shared a short review of Ravelry. Today I'm sharing a video I made for my YouTube channel that also discusses the features of Ravelry. I can't get over how useful this website is, not to mention that it is free!

I decided to share again as a Monday Motivation because if you're getting stuck on a project or are having trouble figuring out what to crochet next, Ravelry can also be a great resource to get your creative juices flowing again!


Friday, July 17, 2020

Feature Friday: YarnSub


Have you ever looked at a crochet pattern and realized you have absolutely no idea where to purchase the yarn they used and recommend? 

A neat website to help you find alternatives is YarnSub

You can simply type in the name of the yarn you are looking for and it will give you multiple comparables, even telling you how close of a match the yarn is!

As an example, a project I have just loaded into my queue uses Caron One Pound yarn. This is awesome as I have two of those skeins in my stash. But since I like to be different than everyone else, I went searching for varying colors and found the colors I want are not in stock anywhere near me. 

So I went to YarnSub and typed it in and found Lion Brand Heartland and Red Heart with Love are good substitutes. I can search those brands online and see if they have the color schemes I'm looking for in stock near me. 

Very simple and easy and I can make sure I'm going to get something that will work with the other yarns in my project. Win win!


Do you use YarnSub? How has it helped you on your crafting journey? 











Have you ever looked at a crochet pattern and realized you have absolutely no idea where to purchase the yarn they used and recommend? 

A neat website to help you find alternatives is YarnSub

You can simply type in the name of the yarn you are looking for and it will give you multiple comparables, even telling you how close of a match the yarn is!

As an example, a project I have just loaded into my queue uses Caron One Pound yarn. This is awesome as I have two of those skeins in my stash. But since I like to be different than everyone else, I went searching for varying colors and found the colors I want are not in stock anywhere near me. 

So I went to YarnSub and typed it in and found Lion Brand Heartland and Red Heart with Love are good substitutes. I can search those brands online and see if they have the color schemes I'm looking for in stock near me. 

Very simple and easy and I can make sure I'm going to get something that will work with the other yarns in my project. Win win!


Do you use YarnSub? How has it helped you on your crafting journey? 










Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Beginner Crochet Series: Slip Knots & Foundation Chains

When you're first learning to crochet, you have to practice. Practice makes possible, remember? 

I found that for me, the best way to practice was to just keep working up yarn, undoing it, and working it up again until I got the hang of it. This is especially true with the foundation chain where you want to be sure that your stitches are as consistent as possible. The tension can be tricky to master which is why it's so important to practice. 

If I am working with a yarn I'm unfamiliar with (such as a lightweight fingering yarn that is super thin), I often make a chain, undo it and redo it several times until I get the feel for working with that particular yarn. Even the difference from a weight 3 to a weight 4 yarn can feel so different as you're working it so practicing is absolutely fine and recommended. 

In this beginner video, I share how to make a slip knot and how to work up those foundation chains. Lots of repetition and practice is encouraged! 

Grab your yarn and your hooks and let's go!






When you're first learning to crochet, you have to practice. Practice makes possible, remember? 

I found that for me, the best way to practice was to just keep working up yarn, undoing it, and working it up again until I got the hang of it. This is especially true with the foundation chain where you want to be sure that your stitches are as consistent as possible. The tension can be tricky to master which is why it's so important to practice. 

If I am working with a yarn I'm unfamiliar with (such as a lightweight fingering yarn that is super thin), I often make a chain, undo it and redo it several times until I get the feel for working with that particular yarn. Even the difference from a weight 3 to a weight 4 yarn can feel so different as you're working it so practicing is absolutely fine and recommended. 

In this beginner video, I share how to make a slip knot and how to work up those foundation chains. Lots of repetition and practice is encouraged! 

Grab your yarn and your hooks and let's go!






Monday, July 13, 2020

My Craft Space

I didn't know back at Christmas 2019 when my oldest daughter bought me a "Teach Yourself to Crochet" kit that within six months, crochet would be my go-to hobby and that I would quickly become absolutely obsessed with yarn, hooks and figuring out where to put all of that yarn and those hooks!

Sometimes the people that live with me don't understand my passion for this craft. I waited so long in my life to learn it (my grandma tried to teach me around the time I was 8 or 9 but I wasn't interested) and now it is one of my very favorite things to do. 

I have to admit, I had way too much fun filming today's video. I love to share things I am passionate about and my love for yarn, crochet and hooks is palpable. 

Come along as I share some of my WIPS (works in progress), how I store my projects and my crafting space. 






I didn't know back at Christmas 2019 when my oldest daughter bought me a "Teach Yourself to Crochet" kit that within six months, crochet would be my go-to hobby and that I would quickly become absolutely obsessed with yarn, hooks and figuring out where to put all of that yarn and those hooks!

Sometimes the people that live with me don't understand my passion for this craft. I waited so long in my life to learn it (my grandma tried to teach me around the time I was 8 or 9 but I wasn't interested) and now it is one of my very favorite things to do. 

I have to admit, I had way too much fun filming today's video. I love to share things I am passionate about and my love for yarn, crochet and hooks is palpable. 

Come along as I share some of my WIPS (works in progress), how I store my projects and my crafting space. 






Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Beginner Crochet Series: Reading a Yarn Label

Who knew that reading a yarn label could be so confusing? 

All yarn companies/sellers have their own way of creating labels. Some are really self explanatory and some are not. They include symbols that you might not have any idea what they mean at all.

Why does reading the yarn label matter so much?

First of all, if you want to sell anything you make or gift items you make, you are probably going to want to let the receiver know how to care for that item. How do you know how to care for that item? By reading the yarn label! It will tell you what the appropriate way to wash that particular yarn is so you can share that information with anyone who is receiving the finished product from you.

Come along as we take a look at several different yarn labels.






Who knew that reading a yarn label could be so confusing? 

All yarn companies/sellers have their own way of creating labels. Some are really self explanatory and some are not. They include symbols that you might not have any idea what they mean at all.

Why does reading the yarn label matter so much?

First of all, if you want to sell anything you make or gift items you make, you are probably going to want to let the receiver know how to care for that item. How do you know how to care for that item? By reading the yarn label! It will tell you what the appropriate way to wash that particular yarn is so you can share that information with anyone who is receiving the finished product from you.

Come along as we take a look at several different yarn labels.






Monday, July 6, 2020

For the Love of Crochet Hooks!

Who knew how many different types of hooks there were for crochet? I personally became obsessed with different hooks very quickly in this journey. I'm all about comfort and choice. I say use what makes you feel good when you're working with yarn.

For myself, plain metal hooks just don't do it for me. I can use them and I have used them, but they are my last resort. Every once in a while, I will use a plain metal hook because the range of motion is a bit longer than hooks with a more ergonomic handle, but generally, I prefer my ergonomic hooks.

In today's video, I share some of my favorite hooks! 






Who knew how many different types of hooks there were for crochet? I personally became obsessed with different hooks very quickly in this journey. I'm all about comfort and choice. I say use what makes you feel good when you're working with yarn.

For myself, plain metal hooks just don't do it for me. I can use them and I have used them, but they are my last resort. Every once in a while, I will use a plain metal hook because the range of motion is a bit longer than hooks with a more ergonomic handle, but generally, I prefer my ergonomic hooks.

In today's video, I share some of my favorite hooks! 






Friday, July 3, 2020

Beginner Crochet Series: Crochet Vocabulary

There are so many acronyms and "slang" that comes with any craft. It is important to know what those acronyms and terms mean so you aren't getting lost and confused as you work up projects. 

Come along with me as I explain some of the most useful vocabulary for helping you get started on your crochet journey. 






There are so many acronyms and "slang" that comes with any craft. It is important to know what those acronyms and terms mean so you aren't getting lost and confused as you work up projects. 

Come along with me as I explain some of the most useful vocabulary for helping you get started on your crochet journey. 






Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Beginner Crochet Series: Basic Crochet Tools

Hi Friends!

I decided to start a YouTube channel to share my absolute love for this craft. I was tossing around this idea with my friend Cathy, who is also an ESL teacher but she teaches adults. She had shared with me that some of her students wanted to learn to crochet and since we are still practicing physical distancing as much as possible here in Michigan, Cathy and I kind of joked that perhaps I should just make videos on YouTube.

But then I got serious about it and decided to just do it! I know how much I appreciated the help I got (and still get!) from YouTube videos when I was first dabbling with crochet and how much I appreciate it now when I want to try a new stitch. 

I decided to make my own videos, however, because there was always something I felt was missing in the videos -- little tricks or tips when you get to those ends and can't figure out why your count is off and things like that. So here we are!

Take a peek at my Basic Crochet Tools video. I'd love to know what you think :)






Hi Friends!

I decided to start a YouTube channel to share my absolute love for this craft. I was tossing around this idea with my friend Cathy, who is also an ESL teacher but she teaches adults. She had shared with me that some of her students wanted to learn to crochet and since we are still practicing physical distancing as much as possible here in Michigan, Cathy and I kind of joked that perhaps I should just make videos on YouTube.

But then I got serious about it and decided to just do it! I know how much I appreciated the help I got (and still get!) from YouTube videos when I was first dabbling with crochet and how much I appreciate it now when I want to try a new stitch. 

I decided to make my own videos, however, because there was always something I felt was missing in the videos -- little tricks or tips when you get to those ends and can't figure out why your count is off and things like that. So here we are!

Take a peek at my Basic Crochet Tools video. I'd love to know what you think :)






 
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