12.30.2016

Top 9 of 2016

Well, 2016 is coming to an end. Thanks for another year of reading my blog, even if it was a little slow over here at times. ;)

Here are the top 9 posts on the blog this year:




  1. A Kit Club Right In My Stash
  2. Weekend Wraps
  3. Crochet A Farm
  4. Life of a Knitwear Designer
  5. My First Crochet Shawl Pattern
  6. Milton
  7. Cozy Stash-Busting Knits is Here
  8. A Collaboration That Works
  9. Oh the Planner Stickers
Looking forward to new adventures to share with all of you in 2017!

Want to keep up with the blog? You can get my blog posts directly to your inbox! You can sign up right here.

12.29.2016

Design Your Biz: Self-Publishing vs. Contracts

Self-publishing or contract work? Which is better?

Honestly, I have no idea.

There are lots of pros and cons that go along with each. Self-publishing you have all the control (which is great for a control freak like me). There's also a lot of time and money that go into producing a good pattern and you don't really know how much you'll make. With third-party contract work, you might only make a set amount of money, but at least it's guaranteed. And, many times (obviously it depends on the contract) you don't have to worry about things like paying for a tech editor or photography and a lot of the other costs that go into releasing a pattern.

So, I thought I'd talk a little bit about my venture into crochet design this year. I went the route of solely doing contract work for my crochet patterns in 2016. That was a decision that I consciously made.


My Flibbertigibbet Shawlette in Interweave Crochet Winter 2017
Photo Credit: Interweave/Harper Point Photography

But, why? 
  1. I am much newer to crochet than knitting. Many of my customers might not even know that I can crochet. I felt like getting published by a yarn company or in a magazine might help give me some legitimacy in the crochet world. 
  2. I'm not as comfortable writing a crochet pattern than a knitting one. Writing a knitted shawl pattern I can do in my sleep. Crochet? I still find it a little overwhelming and time-consuming. I really liked the idea of having to follow a company's pattern template and working with established crochet tech editors. 
  3. As I already mentioned, self-publishing costs money. There's tech editing and photography and ad space and maybe yarn. Plus the time it's going to take to make the item, write the pattern, edit, layout (or you have to pay someone else to layout the pattern) and do all the social media about it. There's Paypal and Ravelry fees too. It's not free. And, as an unestablished crochet designer, I was unsure I was going to make enough money from my sales to cover the costs associated with self-publishing.
Will I eventually start self-publishing crochet patterns? Absolutely! I just wanted to get a couple crochet patterns under my belt and get more comfortable with the process before taking the leap into self-publishing.


Photo Credit: Willow Yarns

To be clear, I don't think that you have to start with contract work. With my knitting patterns, I self-published patterns for awhile before I ever did work on contract. As I've talked about before, everyone navigates through this industry differently. There is no right way.

If you're a designer, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

12.23.2016

A Very Crafty Christmas

Every year, my knit & crochet group does some kind of gift exchange. This year was no exception - yarn and hand-made accessories for everyone!
Last Christmas, we all exchanged yarn. You don't know who has your yarn, and they don't know who you have. Then, you have a year to make something for the person with the yarn they put in their bag for exchanging. It's so fun!

Last year, I got Lynette's bag of yarn. I was in for a challenge - it was several skeins of recycled sari silk. That is not something I typically work with it, and it was fun to figure out what to do with it.

Lynette is the "Cowl Queen" so it seemed like a cowl was the way to go. After searching around Ravelry, I finally settled on "designing" my own. I use designing in quotes because I picked a stitch pattern out of a crochet stitch dictionary, held the yarn doubled and started crocheting with a large crochet hook. It was more like a reallllly large swatch than a real design. Haha.

I seamed it at just the corner, so it would have a cool, funky shape when you wear it. Perfect for the yarn!
Melissa picked my yarn (so random, she had me the year before too and knit me a beautiful Tilt shawl). It was two skeins of Fiber Story Glow Sock. She knit me this amazing shawl. The pattern is Waiting for Rain.
Check out that short row lace. Melissa said it was so much fun that she's now knitting a second one for herself!
As for the yarn we exchanged this year, we decided we are using it selfishly. I picked Laura's bag. Yay for gradients!

It's a shawl kit from The Alpaca Yarn Company in their Paca Peds yarn. It's so soft and pretty.

It was another successful crafty Christmas! If you're knit or crochet group does a gift exchange around the holidays, I'd love to hear about it. Our group always loves trying new things! 

12.15.2016

Design Your Biz: Living the Dream

I'm back with another Design Your Biz segment. Today is something that makes me so happy - it's about living the dream!
When I started knitting 12-ish years ago, I never thought that one day I would have a full-time job that looks like this:
I'm so thankful for having a job where the main component is knitting all day. It truly is a dream come true. Here's a little more detail about how I made the dream happen....

When I was working in my lab job, it was pretty ok. I was actually really interested in wastewater treatment (as weird as that sounds), but I felt very unfulfilled at that job. I was never going to get promoted beyond where I already was. The thought of doing the same job for the next 30 years, honestly, was suffocating. I knew I had to make a change. 

It was 2012, and my first book, Sock-Yarn Shawls, was about to come out. While I knew that knitting book money is not quit-your-full-time-job money, it was going to make my super part-time income of knit design a little better. I talked it over with my husband and we made a plan - that in 2 years, I would quit my job.  

Uhhhhh, 2 years? 

Yep. 

As much as I wanted to walk in and quit the day after Alex and I talked it over, I knew I had to give it time. I worked really hard and built up my business. It was very difficult to come home from my full-time job and work on Jen Lucas Designs. The last six months or so leading up to quitting my lab job, it often felt like I was working two full-time jobs. But we wanted to save up some money. I wanted to be vested in my pension. I wanted to be able to transition into working in my business full-time and not feel like I still had a huge mountain to climb to get it up and running. 

Almost three years later, the lab is becoming a distant memory. I have a job I'm deeply passionate about. It's the hardest job I've ever had. Having to motivate yourself every single day is hard. Some days are better than others. This job can be very lonely too. But, I've found ways to be a little more social (I go to group workout classes in the morning and I also text all day long with some of my designer friends). 

You can make it work as full-time designer. It's all about diverfiying the income stream, being flexible and listening to your customers

So, if you're a part-time designer thinking about how to transition to a full-time designer, I'm here to tell you that you absolutely can do it. It just takes time and work. If you want it to be your job, you have to, well, treat it like it's your job. Send out that book proposal you've been thinking about (seriously, no one knew who I was when I got my contract for Sock-Yarn Shawls). Submit to that magazine you love. Make a plan. Don't be afraid to go for you want! 

I wake up every single day thankful for my job. I'd definitely call that living the dream.

12.14.2016

Flibbertigibbet Shawlette

I've mentioned on my various social medias that Jen Lucas Designs was going crochet in 2016! My first crochet pattern, Daphne, was released from Willow Yarns earlier this year. I now have a second crochet shawl available. It's the Flibbertigibbet Shawlette, which you can find in the new Winter 2017 Issue of Interweave Crochet!
The shawl is worked sideways in a simple but beautiful double crochet cluster pattern. It increases slowly, giving it a nice shape.
When the body of the shawl is complete, a fun edging is worked along one edge. I think the edge is a little funky - and I really like it!
I stitched the sample for the magazine using three skeins of Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone. I'm obsessed with this yarn. It's so soft and the stitch definition in both knit and crochet is amazing. Seriously, go get your hands on some.

Interweave Crochet Winter 2017 is now available. You can find it at your LYS, local bookstore, or on the Interweave website.

Yay for crochet!

Photos courtesy of Interweave Crochet/Harper Point Photography

11.21.2016

Teaching & Workshops

It's time for another Design Your Biz segment! Today, I want to talk about teaching & workshops.
Me teaching at Stitches Midwest in 2015. Photo courtesy of XRX, Inc.

When I first started teaching, it all felt a little overwhelming and scary. Over the last few years, I've been able to put some systems into place and, with more experience, teaching has become a breeze and one of my favorite things I get to do as a designer. I love getting out there and meeting all the knitters!

Here are some of my tips for teaching and workshops (in particular order):
  1. Make yourself class kits. I bought some clear bags online and labeled each of them with the class name. It has all of the swatches I need, as well as needles and yarn for doing demos. This has really cut down on my packing time for teaching engagements. I talk more about packing for a teaching trip in this post.
  2. Put your contact info on your handouts. So many of my teaching jobs I book have come off of someone in the class going home and telling their knitting guild about the class. Make sure they have a way to get a hold of you. 
  3. Have a Plan B (& C). I think this one comes with time/experience. Developing a way to explain things more than one way is critical. Everyone learns in different ways, so being able to explain the same thing 3 different ways means all your students are happy.
  4. Set a schedule. At first, I only taught 0-2 times a year (see point number 2 about increasing teaching gigs). As I started to get more requests to teach, I sat down and decided what was going to work for me. I don't want to be traveling all the time. I like being at home writing knitting books. So I've decided that I will only accept 6-8 teaching jobs a year and I avoid teaching from mid-November to the end of January, when possible. I made an exception earlier this year to teach in Southern CA in January....hello, I'm from Chicago. :) Decide what's going to work for you.
  5. Most importantly, teach what you love to knit. I love shawls and lace, so most of my classes focus around those things. By teaching the subjects you're especially passionate about, you're sure to have lots of fun teaching about it!
If you're a designer, I'd love to hear about any tips you have for teaching. And, if you love taking knitting or crochet classes, do you have any tips for the teachers?

11.03.2016

Design Your Biz: Ravelry Ads That Work

I'm back today with another Design Your Biz segment. Let's talk advertising!
I've experimented with advertising over the last few years and I thought I'd share what I found works for me.

For designers, probably the most popular place to advertise is Ravelry. The site has millions of users and the advertising is very affordable. I typically run Featured Pattern Ads, which can be found on the patterns page of the website. It's a prominent location, and it costs $40 for your ad to rotate there for 2 weeks. I've found this to be the best place to advertise my patterns on Ravelry. I try to run one as often as I can!

Ads don't have to be fancy - I like to keep mine pretty simple actually. I have noticed that certain types of photos get more clicks than others. For example, in September, I ran an ad for my Yingarna pattern:


And in October, I ran an ad for my Bedford mittens:
 
 
The ad for Yingarna was one of the top ads for the two weeks that it ran, and had more than 3 times the clicks that the Bedford mittens did.

For me, ads that have show a close-up detail of the pattern get far more clicks than the ones that show the entire pattern. With the Yingarna ad, you can tell it's a shawl, but you can't see the full shape of it. You're enticing the knitter to click for more.

It also goes beyond picking the right photo. My shawl ads do much better than the other accessories. And the timing is important too. I would never, ever run an ads for those Fair Isle mittens in the summer. Most people aren't thinking mittens in July. :)

So, the big question: does it translate to sales?

My answer: yes! I've noticed that in my slower months (January, May, June), I've been able to increase my sales a little more with the addition of a Ravelry ad. And, I've discovered that the Featured Pattern Ad absolutely increases sales if you can time it with the release of a new pattern (and obviously run the ad for that pattern). 

If you're a designer, where do you run ads on Ravelry? And, if you're a knitter/crocheter, what ads do you click on?

10.21.2016

Design Your Biz: Offers and Discounts

I'm getting over the Rhinebeck hangover (more on Rhinebeck next week!) but today I have another Design Your Biz segment for you - Offers & Discounts!
I touched on this a few weeks ago in my customer appreciation post, but today I'd like to talk about it a little bit more.

As a frequent buyer of knitting and crochet patterns, I love a good discount! Who doesn't? But as a business owner, it's important to find a balance when it comes to discounts. It costs money to produce quality knitting and crochet patterns. And I like to do things like pay the mortgage. :)

Here's when I typically run discounts:

I'll likely run another sale or two during the course of the year, but it's when it's something that I think is a special occasion (like earlier this month when my blog turned 10).

There are other times I like to have discounts on patterns - when it's a little unknown what you'll be getting. For example, right now I'm running my Mystery Shawl KAL. The pattern is deeply discounted during the knit-a-long because you're not sure what you're going to get!

There are lots of other ways you can offer deals to your customers. For example, Corrina Ferguson offers a free hat & mitt pattern set when you sign up for her email newsletter. You can purchase the Trieste hat & mitt patterns on Ravelry, but by signing up for her emails, you get them for free! I love this idea, and it's something I'm hoping to implement when my website gets a much needed facelift in the coming months.

Whether you're a designer or a knitter/crocheter, I'd love to hear your thoughts on discounts and giveaways!

10.10.2016

10 Years

Yesterday, October 9th, my blog had a birthday. It turned ten.

10!!!!

Sometimes it's hard to believe that I've been (mostly) consistently blogging about yarn and knitting since 2006. I look back on that first post and it just makes me smile:

Well, I have been thinking (nay, dreaming) of having my very own knitting blog for some time now, and, so here it is. I look up way too many patterns and spend too much time reading about knitting on the internet to not join in the knitting blog fun. So, I intend to use my new blog for much knitty goodness: pictures of things I knit, pictures of things I wish I could knit, track the progress of my knitting, and keep up with all my knitting buddies (which is about...hmm, three people).

This blog has seen my yarn obsession turn from a hobby into a full-time job, seen some free patterns and witnessed my obsession with knitting Korknisses. :)

So, in honor of this blog being 10, I'm running my biggest sale of all time! Get 50% off all my self-published patterns and eBooks thru tomorrow, October 11th! No coupon needed, discount will be applied at checkout. Only the MKAL Shawl pattern is excluded, because that is already deeply discounted.

Enjoy! And happy birthday blog!

10.07.2016

Design Your Biz: A Collaboration That Works

Today's Design Your Biz segment is about something super fun: collaboration in the fiber arts industry!
Design Your Biz: Collaboration in the Fiber Arts Industry
Collaboration is one of my favorite things about working in the knitting world. You find the right fit with someone and their company and it's magic. It's what I found with Paula and Done Roving Yarns.

So today I'd like to tell you about how our collaboration came to be and why it works.

A few years ago, I was doing some regular designing for a knitting magazine. The editor at the time had this idea that she wanted to assign me a yarn company and I would work with them directly each issue on picking yarns for my design ideas.

I'll admit, I was skeptical. I hadn't done this with any other magazine before. What if I didn't like the yarn? Or the person running the company? But, at the same time, I was intrigued. So I said yes.

And I was matched up with Done Roving Yarns.

Turns out, I had nothing to be skeptical about and what happened next is exactly what this editor hoped would happen - that we would establish a good working relationship and it would possibly lead to other opportunities of working together.

Yes, yes it did.

Paula and I continue to work closely together to this day. When we first branched out from just working together on the magazine designs, she was looking for designs for her innovative Frolicking Feet Transitions line.
Knitting Like Crazy: Frolicking Feet Transitions Yarn by Done Roving

I created Savanna.
Knitting Like Crazy: Savanna Shawl by Jen Lucas

After this one pattern, I think we both realized that this collaboration was going to really work. Since this particular yarn was a different than most things out there at the time, Paula really needed pattern support to show people what to do with it. I created some of the first patterns that called for Frolicking Feet Transitions, and as a result, many knitters who bought the yarn, also bought my patterns that used it.

It turned out to be win-win. Done Roving had patterns for their specific yarn and I had great pattern sales. My patterns that call for Done Roving Yarns continue to be my most popular patterns today!

Since Savanna came out in July 2014, I've created more designs using Frolicking Feet Transitions:

Knitting Like Crazy: Regolith by Jen Lucas
 

Knitting Like Crazy: Lokum by Jen Lucas
 
It's a collaboration that is still going strong. I look forward to continuing to work with Done Roving Yarns, and their new sister company, Yarn In The Box, for years to come. Not to mention, that Paula has become one of my very dear friends. It's nice to work with people you really, truly like!

Want to know more about collaborations in this industry that work? Tara Swiger recently has shared some stories:

9.22.2016

Diversifying Your Income Stream as a Knit Designer

"You don't quit your full-time job because you write knitting books. This isn't Harry Potter." -me

When people ask me about making knitting (and now crochet) design my full-time job, I always say the above quote. Because it's true.

Can you make a full-time living being a designer? Absolutely!


But it takes a lot of income streams to make it work. I truly believe that the vast majority of designers would tell you the same thing too. Most of us are doing other things besides just publishing patterns on Ravelry - we teach, tech edit, sell yarn, write books, do graphic design or photography, etc., to make a living at this.

So, here's a breakdown of my income for January through August of this year:
That's seven different avenues I'm receiving money for my business. And pretty much all of those can be further broken down. For example, I taught at 6 different shops or guilds so far this year, and I received payment from four different companies for "commissioned patterns." In this business, every little piece adds up!

I'm currently taking the route of writing knitting books to earn a good chunk of income. As you can see, it's making up a lot of my income these days. Cozy Stash-Busting Knits was released earlier this year and Sock-Yarn Accessories came out in the Fall of 2015. Will it stay like this forever? No - book sales (and therefore your royalties) naturally go down the longer a book has been available. But, for now, it's working. And, while I do have another book currently in the works (yay!), I'm also brainstorming other ways to further diversify my income.

So, if you're a designer (or thinking about coming one, which you should, because it's the best job), how do you diversify (or plan to diversify) your income stream? I'd love to know!

And, because I love reading about this kind of stuff, here are some links to other people discussing the subject:

9.16.2016

Follow Me Friday....

These days, many of us are on multiple social medias. I thought I'd have a fun and quick Friday post about all the various places you can find me! You know, in case reading the blog just wasn't enough Jen for you. ;)

I'll see you around the Internet! :)

9.14.2016

(Not Really) Wordless Wednesday

I've made my yarn decision for my upcoming Mystery Shawl KAL. Start digging in your stash for two - 400 yard skeins of fingering weight yarn, solid or semi-solids are going to be the way to go.
We'll be starting October 7th. Details coming soon. Join the Ravelry group to stay up-to-date. ;)

9.12.2016

My First Crochet Shawl Pattern

A few weeks ago, something really awesome happened. My first ever crochet shawl pattern was officially released into the world. This is Daphne, now available from Willow Yarns:
Daphne Crochet Shawl by Jen Lucas
From the website:



Enjoy a vintage look of sophisticated elegance with this shawl designed by Jen Lucas in Willow Quest yarn.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Finished Size: 74 x 30"
Materials: Willow Yarns™ Quest; Color: 0013 Blue Butterfly—2 balls
Hook: US size F-5 (3.75mm) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge

Daphne Crochet Shawl by Jen Lucas
I used my knowledge of pi shawl shaping in knitting and applied it to this crocheted shawl. You work a few rows, double the stitches, work a few more rows, double the stitches, and so on. It was such a fun piece to stitch.
I really hope you all enjoy enjoy this shawl as much as I do!

9.08.2016

Design Your Biz: Customer Feedback

Today's Design Your Biz segment is about customer feedback.
Knit & crochet designers have access to more customer feedback than ever before. Many of us have Ravelry groups, people can leave us comments on the Ravelry pattern pages, we get emails, private messages on Ravelry, notes sent through forms on our websites, etc.

It can be overwhelming. And sometimes the feedback isn't so nice.

So, first I'd like to touch on the "not so nice" customer feedback. This might not be the most fun blog topic on the planet, but it's important to talk about it. I want designers (especially the newer ones) to know that it isn't you. This happens to all of us unfortunately.

Every designer has at least one story of receiving "that message." Luckily for me, those are verrrry few and far between these days, but I've gotten everything from "get a new job" (with a few expletives thrown in there for good measure) to "I'm telling all my designer friends what a terrible designer you are." Yikes.

At the beginning, these messages would really shake me up. I'd get all upset. Sometimes I'd actually consider quitting my dream to work on this full time.

While the occasional angry feedback can still rock me a little but, I've really worked on changing my perspective.

I try to put myself in their shoes. Maybe something is going on in their personal life and they are having a terrible day. Maybe they are just incredibly frustrated that whatever they are making isn't working out (I mean, I do put my knitting in timeout all the time).

Not that anyone should be sending messages full of terrible things to someone, but, in this business, it's going to happen. So I just remind myself that "It's just sticks and string, right? We aren't exactly drafting an international peace policy." And then I kill them with kindness. :) Trust me, when you get these types of messages, the last thing you want to do is be nice, but it's the right thing to do. Many times I've actually received apology emails in return!

And, full disclosure, if they are especially terrible, I don't answer them at all. Sometimes it's better not to engage people that are going to be super-duper awful to you.

Ok, enough about the bad....let's move onto what the vast majority of my customer feedback is - the good kind! :)

I really do love hearing from my customers. They've helped me make decisions in my designs and business in general over the years. For example, when I first started designing, I included the written instructions for the charts for all my shawl designs. I've received so much feedback from knitters over the years that they love having that. Is it more work for me? Yep, a little bit, but I don't plan to change it. Because of the feedback I've received, I know that people want it, so it's completely worth it for me to do it. Truthfully, it's now weirdly one of my favorite parts of pattern writing.

I've also started working on a new design recently as a result of customer feedback. I talked about it a little in my last Design Your Biz post and you can also see my giant swatch in this video. My customers have sent me lots of notes over the years saying they want a pi shawl with armholes. So I'm finally listening! I can't wait to work on this some more this fall. I know many of you will love it, because you told me so!

I could go on and on about customer feedback. :)

But the bottom line is, good or bad, customer feedback is here to stay.

If you're a designer (or work in any job where you receive customer feedback), I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

9.06.2016

Giveaway Winner!

It's time to select the winner for the book Weekend Wraps. You can read the original blog post here.

Using a random number generator, the winner is.....

acsparky89

Her response to the question What is your favorite accessory to knit or crochet? was:

I love cowls as they stay in place while I work. Don't know how I grew up in the NorthEast without them.

Thanks to everyone for checking out my review of Weekend Wraps and for entering the giveaway! 

8.31.2016

WIP Wednesday: Briarcliff

So remember that time I was all into knitting my Briarcliff sweater? Yeah, that was over a year ago. Oops.

I've finally picked it back up again and I'm motivated to finish it. Why?
Because I'm going to Rhinebeck in October! It's a little last minute that I managed to get this to work out, but it did. My room is paid for, my flight has been booked, but, alas, I have no "Rhinebeck Sweater."

At first I briefly considered starting a whole new sweater, but then decided against it. I have a back and 1.5 sleeves done of Briarcliff, it makes sense to just finish this one.

Oh, right, but the INTARSIA fronts. And I've never really done intarsia before. But now I have a deadline. Nothing like a deadline to motivate you, right? :)

I'm actually enjoying it more than I thought I would.
 I'm doing my best to keep my little bobbins neat and tidy. It's actually working out pretty well so far.
So, I'll keep plugging away. I'm hopeful that I can get it done in time.

It's WIP Wednesday! What are you working on?

8.29.2016

No Sew (No Really) Baby Receiving Blanket

I have long loved those flannel receiving blankets with the crochet edgings. I don't own a sewing machine (haha the one craft I'm not into, right?) but I really wanted to make one. So I got a little creative....
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
I thought I'd share how I made it, in case you want to make one too!

First, I bought a pack of cotton flannel receiving blankets. Why the pre-made blanket? Because the edges are already finished off. If you buy your own fabric, that's great, but then you'll want to sew the edges to prevent them from fraying. Again, no sewing for me, so I bought the blankets!
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
I bought sports themed blankets for my friend, the mom-to-be, who is sports fanatic.

Next, I needed a way to get the holes into the fabric so I could crochet the edging. Fortunately, I had met someone at Stitches Midwest who was making one of these blankets and she introduced me to the wonders of the wide-skip rotary blade.
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
I had the 45mm rotary cutter so all I had to do was order the blade. You need the wide-skip blade so that the holes aren't too close together. This worked perfectly! 

After that, it was time to make the holes. Using my rotary cutter, a yard stick and my cutting mat, I "rolled" my holes 5/8" from the edge. 
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
The only issue I really ran into is that this particular store-bought blanket had rounded corners. I didn't let that defeat me. I used a small steel crochet hook to poke the holes there. If you're really careful, you probably could use the rotary cutter, but I was chicken. :)
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
The hole-making was done in no time! Then it's on to the best part - crocheting!
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
The yarn I chose was a sport weight, acrylic baby yarn from the craft store. Due to the spacing of the holes, I found that working around the blanket by doing a single crochet into the hole followed by a chain-1 worked great. the edge stayed nice and flat!
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
As I was working around the blanket, I was folding the edge of the blanket to the back. Remember, how I made the holes 5/8" from the edge? That was so I could fold it back as I go. I think it gives it a very finished look.
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
The only other thing to remember is that when you come to the corners, make sure you add additional stitches - otherwise the blanket will curl. I did three single crochets into the holes going around my rounded corners. Depending on your gauge and if the corners of your blanket are rounded, you may need more or less extra stitches at the corners. 

Once you finish your base round, you can do whatever you like! I picked a crochet edging from Edie Eckman's Around the Corner Crochet Borders book for the blanket below. Because the pattern repeat was pretty small for this particular one, I didn't worry too much about my stitch count. I just "fudged"it a little at the corners to make it work. I don't think baby will mind. 
Knitting Like Crazy: No Sew Crochet Flannel Receiving Blanket
I think it would also be very cool, once you did your round of single crochets, to cast on stitches and knit an attached lace edging. I will definitely be experimenting with that when the time comes to make more baby gifts!

And that's it! Such a quick, easy and fun gift to give! 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.


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