Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Profit Tracker for Crochet and Knit Designers

THE PROFIT TRACKER can do so much for you and your business. Whether you are a seasoned crochet or knitwear designer or just starting out, you can't go wrong with THE PROFIT TRACKER.

Uses & Benefits of THE PROFIT TRACKER:

The PROFIT TRACKER is an easy to use Excel base tool offering a comprehensive analysis of the profits and losses of your business.

As a craftpreneur, I often have a hard time:
     (1) figuring out how much I am making on a sales on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy
     (2) accurately account for how much I am spending on supplies
     (3) identifying which martketplace (Etsy, Raverly, Trunk Shows, Craftsy) is more profitable and  
     (4) determining if my overall business is profitable.

For many years, I used QuickBooks, both in my professional career and in my own business. However, over the last few years I found that I needed something simpler that I can use anywhere. Therefore, I created The Profit Tracker using Microsoft Excel, which allows for easy data entry and quick analyses.

THE PROFIT TRACKER is geared specifically towards Etsy sellers (formulas already imbedded to calculate fees) who might also sell in other marketplaces, such as Ravelry, Craftsy, and Trunk Shows. However, the tool is completely customizable for other online marketplace fee structures. If you need assistance setting up for other online marketplaces, please contact me to discuss.

Here are some of the things THE PROFIT TRACKER will help with:  

  • Track the health of your business every day. Instantly get a snapshot of your business profitability.
    See how your business is performing.
    Compare overall performance from month to month and/or venue to venue.

  • Analyze which marketplace is more profitable. If you sell in multiple venues, easily see which one is more profitable, at any given time.
    See if your Etsy shop is more profitable during a specific month, season, etc., so you can focus your marketing.
    For the same item or a given time period, determine whether one venue (i.e. Trunk Shows or wholesaling) is a better value (including fees and other related expenses) than an online marketplaces (i.e. Etsy and Paypal fees).

  • Analyze your product offering and promotional efforts.
    See which item is more profitable.
    If you run an advertisement or promotion for a month, look at prior months to track the effectiveness of the ad/promo. Did you make more money during the period of the ad/promo run? Has sales consistently increased since the ad/promo?

  • Analyze where you shop for supplies.
    Look at all your vendors to see how much you are spending.
    Compare overall performance among your vendors.
    Basically, see where you are spending your money and how often.

  • Makes the TAX SEASON relatively painless.
    Get your receipts out of your shoebox and into a more manageable system.
    Print and take to your tax preparer, all the information you need is there in one place.

  • Assist in making decisions.
    Can you afford to make that big purchase at vendor X?
    Should I do another craft-show?
    Overall, how is my business doing?


What you get when you order THE PROFIT TRACKER:

  1. You will get a file ready to load your data
    File contains built-in formulas to calculate your data.
    A pivot table file that summarize your data in an easy to read format. 
  2. You will get an e-book training file.The e-book will contain a sample files of the excel spreadsheet and pivot table.
    There will be many notes with pictures/screen shots.
    Detail explanation of the information you need to enter verses what the tool will calculate for you. 
  3. In addition, you will receive technical support for 2-weeks after purchase.

BUY NOW -----> $9

by: Tian Connaughton
~ KnitDesigns by Tian
Knit & Crochet Designer & Tech Editor
~ Craft Biz Solution
Coach & Business Strategist

Harwinton Easy Lace Boomerang Shawl     
Freeport Cardigan








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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Easy Asymmetrical Scarf (Crochet Pattern)

Love of Crochet, Winter 2015
I am so excited to share with you the publication of a new crochet design, the Easy Asymmetric Scarf, featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Love of Crochet, a subsidiary of F&W Media (Interweave Press).

If you have had a design published in a magazine or book, then you know how long it takes to go from submitting the idea, to writing up the pattern and creating the sample piece, to publication; the finished design is released into the world. This process took about a year, but can at times take 18-24 months.

KnitDesigns by Tian

About the design: 

The Easy Asymmetric Scarf is worked sideways in an asymmetrical shape and uses a simple filet pattern repeat. The boxy and orderly filet stitch pattern is softened with a feminine lacy edging.

Pattern Description from magazine: 

"This wisp of a scarf is just right to add a bit of warmth and flair to any outfit. Explore filet crochet as you work up this lacy swatch of fabric with jaunty asymmetrical edges and a fancy picot edging."

Love of Crochet, Winter 2015
The Easy Asymmetric Scarf is worked up in Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks that Rocks Lightweight in colorway Big Brain Blue. Cool color name, huh? Spoiler Alert: If you have never used this yarn before, you are missing out. This yarn is amazing to work with. It has great stitch definition that really shows off the details of the filet stitch and the lace edge pattern. Many knitters gush over the yarn for socks - how sturdy and long lasting finished socks are. But, when crocheted up into a scarf, and worn around the neck, the yarn and the fabric it creates is so fun.

Finished Measurements: 75" long and 16.5" at widest point
Gauge: 14 sts and 8 rows = 4" in pattern
Yarn: Blue Moon Socks that Rocks Lightweight (100% Superwash Merino; 405 yards/146 grams) in Big Brain Blue
Hook: US size H/8 (5.0mm) or size to obtain gauge
Notions: Tapestry Needle


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Friday, December 4, 2015

5 Tips: How to Choose Your Next Crochet and Knit Project

How do you choose your next crochet and knit project? There are lots of great matrix to consider when you're roaming Raverly looking for your next project. Do you look at the popularity of a design on Ravelry? Do you seek out projects your friends are making? These are both great ways to pick your next project. Here are the 5 factors I consider for choosing my next crochet and knit project.

5 Tips: How To Choose Your Next Crochet and Knit Project:

1. Interesting Shape and Construction

Learning new techniques is big for me. It doesn't necessarily have to be a complete restructuring of crochet and knit processes. However, it helps to have a unique and smart way of using existing stitches and techniques to create something wholly new.

2. Pattern Details

Popularity and photography are not a major factor for me. I don't tend to go with popular designs just because everyone else is making it. And I don't judge the quality of the design based on the photography, knowing the costs of high quality photos. The quality of the photo doesn't give the full picture of the design. Good photos doesn't necessarily equate to quality of the design and the pattern. Having said all that, what is actually photographed is important. The details that are pictured and the information presented up-front in the pattern description is a big must-have. If the hat has an interested stitch pattern, that need to be seem. I don't want to be surprise that there is a cable up one side while expecting all stockinette. Without the option to touch the item, turn it around and see all that it is, having all the information about the design and construction, whether photo or written, is crucial to conveying the details of the design.

3. Size Range and Measurements

When I go looking for a design, sometimes having just one size listed is enough. I'm a good crocheter and knitter, I can modify patterns as needed. However, having "one size fit all" is not acceptable for me. There is a slight difference here. For example, a cowl listed as "one size fit all" is fine, but what are the measurements. Just because it will fit all, doesn't mean that it will fit everyone appropriately. Having actually dimensions will better help me to determine if that particular items will fit all of me at the right proportions.

4. Pattern Reviews

See what others are saying. What did they like? What did they have trouble with? Was the instructions written clearly or was the technique difficult to understand? Consider all reviews, but be objective. Read any responses the designer might post in response to problems. This will help you to understand how the designer takes care of the people making their designs and give you a better insight into the personality of the designer. So, of course what others say about a design is helpful. But like anything else, reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt.

5. Finished Projects Notes and Photo

Sometimes, design photos are not appealing to me. Maybe it's the color of the sample or maybe the yarn choice. Seeing what others have done can be a huge selling point. If the recommended yarn is no longer available or not in my budget, what are others using? Maybe another knitter used handspun instead of a commercially made yarn. I have plenty of handspun, so having seen how that knitter made the design their own individual piece can inspiring. Also, the notes provided by the knitter indicating what they did to adjust the pattern (change the number of cast on stitches, went up or down a needle size, etc) to accommodate their changes is valuable as a starting point to how you might make your own adjustments.

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Bonus Tip #6. Try Before You Buy

The experience of the designer shouldn't matter, just as long as the design is intriguing to you and the instructions are clear. If the designer is brand new to you, don't let that be a deterrent. See if they have published any free patterns or designs in a magazine you have. Take them for a test drive to see if your learning style, the way you best want design instructions to be presented are met. Everyone need to start somewhere, right? Don't discount them because they are new and untested. They could very well be the next design superstar

The bottom line is, go crochet and knit what you feel will speak to you. What will make you happy?


{Freeport Cardigan}

{Candeo Shawl}


Go, check out the Pattern Page to get your copy here:

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ennis Cowl

The Ennis Cowl is the perfect piece for those New England winters that sometimes seems to last forEVER; but you totally love anyways.

If you are like me, you love cold weather. As soon as Autumn arrives, you are planning for all the fun cold weather activities.

You want to be able to go out and enjoy the snow and the brisk air on snowshoeing hike. But most importantly, you don't want to freeze your butt off - you want to stay warm and toasty.

I find that as long as my neck and chest area is warm, my whole body feels warmer. And while I do want to be warm, I want to be able to be a bit stylish and not be bored out of my mind just knitting in the round for miles and miles of stockinette stitch.

See how easily you can create a cozy and fun cowl that will keep you engaged in the knitting process without having to constantly refer back to a complicated chart.


The perfect gift project for your Yoga instructor or Sister-in-law.

The Ennis Cowl is available for purchase in my Ravelry Pattern store.

{Skill Level} Advance Beginner/Intermediate

{Finished Measurements} 41” circumference and 6.5” tall.

{Gauge} 18 stitches = 4 inches in Stockinette St

Yarn: Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran (100% Superwash Extrafine Merino Wool; 92 yds 84 m/50 g); 4 skeins in color 08 - Merlot.
Needles: US 8 (5.0 mm) circular, or size to obtain correct gauge.
Notions: Markers, cable needle, tapestry needle.
{Pattern Notes}
So What You Get? The Ennis Cowl is a 41" circumference and  6.5" wide seamless cowl worked in one-piece in the round. The design is simple but not boring due to the combination of cables and garter ridges. Instructions are both written and charted.

The cowl uses 4 skeins of Lotus Winter Sun Aran. Lotus (Trendsetter) is a new to me brand out of China. While the brand is new to me, it is quickly becoming a favorite. This yarn knit up like a dream and frogs better than I would have liked to know. I frogged this project ALOT (nothing to do with the yarn, it was all user error) and the yarn looks just as good as it did knitted up the first time. The yarn is loosely spun, which makes it super soft, squishy, springy, and super luxurious to wear next to the skin. However, because the twist is not very tight, the yarn can be splitty when worked at a loose gauge. I found that working on a smaller and pointy needles will combat that issue.


{Freeport Cardigan}

{Candeo Shawl}


Go, check out the Pattern Page to get your copy here:

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and subscriber-exclusives?  

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