Monday, 29 July 2013

An interview with Thistles and Tulips Crochet

As a crochet designer myself I love nothing better than chatting to other crochet designers and asking what inspires them to do what they do!

Juicy Grape Beanie
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
Today we asked Carmen, who runs Thistles and Tulips Crochet, if she would be kind enough to answer a few questions for you guys and share her thoughts on being a crochet designer.

HappyBerry: So how long have you been crocheting for?

Carmen: My mom taught me how when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. I didn’t much care for crocheting then, but when I had my oldest child, I wanted to make something for her with my own hands and not something bought. I’ve been crocheting ever since.

HappyBerry: So what inspired you to start designing?

Carmen: I saw some truly amazing designers on the market already like Speckled Frog Crochet and Inner Hooker, but I thought why not?

Loralei Dress
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet 
HappyBerry: What do you love designing the most?

Carmen: I usually like the instant gratification projects like hats, but lately I’ve been interested in designing garments for children. I love making crochet pieces for my children and so it was an easy step from smaller designs like the hats to bigger things like dresses and sweet cardigans.

HappyBerry: What do you least like working on?

Carmen: I would say anything requiring a lot of joining.

HappyBerry:  What has been your most rewarding moment so far?

Carmen: I love my fans, and I feel the most rewarding moment for me came when a fan sent me a photo of their newborn modelling a hat from one of my designs. It was truly a wonderful moment. Anyone willing to send me a photo of a child or adult modelling a hat made from one of my patterns will certainly make my day.

HappyBerry: What are you currently working on?

Birthday Bolero
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
Carmen: Where do I start? I have a ton of projects skittering around in my brain trying to work their ways out. Most recently I learned how to Tunisian crochet thanks to you. With your videos, I have been able to design a turban in Tunisian knit stitch. This design will be heading to a photographer very soon. I also have a lace cardigan which I am still trying to work out. Sometimes these things can take a while. Hmm. I also have a headband or two I will be releasing in the next few weeks.

HappyBerry: You sound quite busy! So who inspires you the most?

Carmen: My little girls are my biggest inspiration. They really helped me step out of my comfort zone and work on larger projects like the lace cardigan I mentioned before. I also designed the Birthday Bolero for my oldest daughter’s fourth birthday. And my little Gena modelled the Loralei Dress.

HappyBerry: Thank you so much for answering our questions Carmen, any advice for those wishing to start out on the path to being a crochet designer?

Carmen: Never give up hope. And don’t let anyone ever tell you what you are doing is “just a hobby”. It’s more than that when you really put your heart into it.

Thank you Carmen! We love your work very much. Thank you for sharing it with us today (^-^)

Dainty Crown
by Thistles and Tulips Crochet
FREE Pattern via her Ravelry page here:

You can learn more about what Carmen gets up to at Thistles and Tulips Crochet on her Facebook page here:

You can also visit her Etsy store here to buy any of her patterns:

Or join her on Ravelry where you can find some of her free patterns:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Free crochet patterns at HappyBerry

I thought I would just put out a quick blog post that lists all my recent free crochet patterns at HappyBerry as there have been quite a few lately I have designed over the last few months.

Amigurumi Bear Necklace

We all love a free crochet pattern, especially quick and easy crochet patterns so let's start with my very cute little amigurumi bear necklace.

You can grab this free crochet pattern via my blog here:

Amigurumi Bear Soft Toy

My next free crochet pattern is for another very cute amigurumi bear but this time a little soft toy version which measures 'bear'ly a few inches high. I know my jokes are terrible!

You can grab this pattern via my blog as well here

A video tutorial is also available for this little guy on my YouTube channel here.

Crochet Coin Purse

This free pattern is a great little project as they make such perfect gifts and stocking fillers. Just pick up some sew in purse handles from eBay and away you go!

This pattern is also available via this blog and here is the link

However this pattern is also available as a video tutorial via our YouTube channel here!

Small Crochet Gift Box

This quick and easy crochet project is a fantastic way to package up any small gifts you may have. Just pop in some chocolates or maybe some earrings for a very unique gift idea!

This pattern is available here:

Loveheart Bracelet

This crochet pattern is a fun project for any beginner crocheter or for those younger crocheters who love to make friendship bracelets and so far it has been one of our most popular free patterns to date! What colours will you choose?

Grab this pattern now here!

Mini Cup Cake

Next up is a free crochet video tutorial to make this teeny tiny mini cupcake. A perfect treat for any summer picnic, well, maybe the children's play versions but they still look good enough to eat! Perhaps make one in brown for a chocolate cake. The choices are endless.

Quick and Small Crochet Butterflies

These fun little bright butterflies are a sweet project to add to bags, hats or even made into a children's mobile. Knowledge of the magic circle is required and this pattern may not be a beginner's project but hopefully it's a fun pattern to try all the same. 

Written pattern is available and also a video tutorial.

Simple Crochet Newborn Booties and Newborn Beanie

These two projects are both video tutorials but are designed for the beginner crocheter in mind but also to challenge the beginner a little too. I hope you enjoy them. Remember , be inspired!


Whether you are new to HappyBerry or a valued customer I hope you enjoy our patterns. If you have any questions don't hesitate to comment below or pop on over to me at or tweet me on  I am always so happy to hear from you guys.

There are also a lot more free patterns here on my blog or on my YouTube channel here: as well as on my website at

All patterns are in US terminology unless otherwise stated. The British accent is a ploy to confuse you he he

Remember stay happy! and happy crocheting (^-^)

© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Thank you.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Is it ok to sell items made from crochet patterns?

Is it ok to sell items made from your crochet patterns?

This is a question I get asked ALOT and I am always surprised at just how many crochet designers out there prohibit the selling of items made from their patterns. So what is and isn't allowed?

The way I look at things is that probably 99.9% of my customer base is going to be someone who is at home most of the day, perhaps looking after the kids or enjoying retirement but most importantly, people who love to crochet.

So someone says to them one day, hey! you should sell what you make because they look so good! The crocheter thinks to themselves, hmmm... I could do with the extra cash.

So they make a plan. They start to sell some items made from patterns they find online, they start their own Etsy store perhaps, they make a few sales, all seems great and exciting! But then bam!! they get a nasty surprise when they see their favourite designs are 'for personal use only'. They feel angry, upset, can't understand why.

Well, I would say crochet designers have some valid concerns as to why they put these clauses into their transactions but for me? I thought about it a bit harder.

Will people really make millions from selling items from my patterns when all I got was say $5 for the pattern? What happens if I want to sell items made from my own patterns, will sales be hindered? Will some factory somewhere swoop in and mass produce my work? WILL PEOPLE TAKE CREDIT FOR MY WORK???? aaarrgggh ... look designers, you'll drive yourself mad and you're doing yourself a dis-service.

Most crocheters are not heading out to buy their own yachts or French villas when you're slaving away over a hot hook and items you make will be what ... you ... make! Other crocheters are not you but regardless, for me I don't have time to sell actual items, I prefer to spend my time designing and sharing those designs with as many people as possible but if I did start to sell my own items then these items would be official merchandise!

What you need to remember too is that the vast majority of people WILL credit you as a designer, it is the least to ask of customers, and when they do, that is free advertising. If I started to say 'for personal use only' I would be pushing away a lot of custom and exposure to my business, and making a lot of crocheters struggle to make just some extra cash and I just don't want to do that.

Weighing up the risks I go with what feels right. HappyBerry is about being happy, it's the fundamental company ethos so at HappyBerry we want to help promote crocheters to start up their own crochet businesses and by doing that, as a designer, I do allow items made from any of my patterns to be sold in people's stores, that could be a small Etsy store online or even a small retail shop on the high street. All I ask is that credit is given to HappyBerry and that the patterns themselves are not sold (obviously - that would daft), and for people to be happy, successful and enjoy what HappyBerry can bring to their lives.

So have fun guys and let me know where items made from my patterns do end up! Happy crocheting everyone (^-^)

Are you a designer? What are your concerns and worries?
Are you a crocheter? What annoys you and how do you cope?
Comment below and let me know!