Monday, 17 November 2014

The Top Ten Most Popular Crochet Video Tutorials at HappyBerry

I've been running the HappyBerry crochet YouTube channel now for well over 3 years, and it's been fun experimenting with different tutorials to see what is popular and what is less so, but I am always surprised as to which crochet video tutorials come up as the most popular.

So I thought I would share a break-down of the top ten most popular crochet video tutorials on the HappyBerry YouTube channel.

Coming in at number;

10

How To - Crochet an Afghan/Baby Blanket/Throw - Yarn Scrap Friday

This tutorial may be stretching the 'yarn scrap' theme but hopefully you will enjoy joining me as I show you how to make an afghan, baby blanket or throw. I also show you how to make it bigger or smaller.


9

How To - Crochet a Baby Turtle - Yarn Scrap Friday

In this tutorial I show you how to make my cute little baby turtles, perfect to make into keyrings.



8

How To - Crochet Simple Newborn Baby Booties

Kind of a part two to my a product review of Deramores new range of baby DK yarns. This time I show you how to make some quick and easy newborn baby bootees for ages 0 - 3 months.


7

How To - Crochet a Simple Beanie for Ladies - Mens Size (22"-24")

This tutorial is actually just one in a series on how to make a simple beanie for any age. This tutorial however shows you how to make a simple beanie for adults.


6

How To - Crochet Tunisian Simple Stitch and Knit Stitch

A quick tutorial on the basics of tunisian crochet which includes the simple tunisian crochet stitch and the tunisian crochet knit stitch which is my personal favourite.


5

How To - Crochet a Simple Baby Beanie for 0-6 months

The same series as our adult beanie but this time for the youngest of beanie wearers.


4

How To - Crochet Fingerless Mitten Gloves

These fingerless gloves have proved very popular and I still wear my original pair from my original design.


3

How To - Crochet Pretty Picot Baby Newborn Booties

This tutorial shows you how to make some adorable newborn baby booties with a sweet delicate picot slip stitch edging. Made with two soles, these little shoes are so comfy and soft and will surely delight any new arrival.



2

How To - Crochet Simple Adult Slippers for Men or Women

This rather long video shows you how to make some simple slippers for teens to adult, one size only of 5-7 UK size but you can increase or decrease the rounds to make a shorter or longer slipper. I hope you like them!


And coming in a number 1 is!

How To - Crochet a Simple Flower version 2 - Absolute Beginners

A special tutorial for those who have never crocheted before! This video is for a simple flower and is designed for absolute beginners so some of you may find this video a bit slow, but I do hope you enjoy this flower pattern and I really hope you can follow along if you are new to crochet.


Monday, 13 October 2014

FREE Halloween Crochet Patterns

Over the last couple of years I have put together some traditional Halloween crochet pattern designs from hats to small toys. Here is a round up of what you can currently find on HappyBerry to bring a little more spookyness to your Halloween this October.

Why not subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Halloween treats coming this Autumn:
 youtube.com/happyberrycrochet

Mini Pumpkin

This mini pumpkin technique can be applied to any sized circle for a more realistic pumpkin effect.



Spooky Spider and Spider's Web

This little critter can be made using any colour you like and can be made even more realistic with lots of sequins for eyes. For the web you can choose to glue the web into shape using children's PVA glue or you can choose to keep the ends longer to tie or stick to a wall for a really spooky effect.





Spider Hat in 3 children's sizes





This simple beanie hat pattern comes in 3 sizes; 6-12 months, 12 months to 3 years and 3-10 years and is a free PDF download on our website here: www.happyberry.co.uk You could use this basic pattern as a spider or why not make it in orange with some leaves on top for a pumpkin hat.

Halloween Masks

A fun project for those spooky outfits when Trick and Treating. What design will you choose?



Devil Horns Headband in 3 children's sizes

Another free pattern which comes in 3 sizes; 6-12 months, 12 months to 3 years and 3-10 years is our Devil headband and is a free PDF download on our website here: www.happyberry.co.uk

Any questions or for more free patterns why not join me on my various social media channels.

    

or visit my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk





© 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. Items made from any of my patterns can be sold in your own stores however. Patterns are not for re-sale. Thank you.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Short Story - The First 600 Words

The First 600 Words

June slammed the scruffy papers down on my desk, causing my stale coffee to flood all over the familiar tripe I had come accustomed to.
I must have sighed too loudly as June raised a sarcastic eyebrow whilst chewing that infernal gum I so detested behind those ridiculously cerise lips.
“Thanks,” I managed to gurgle whilst vaguely attempting to mop up the brown puddle now decorating my desk.
“I’m going to lunch,” June spat, slamming the door behind her. She hated me as much as I tolerated her, I was convinced, but I had lost the will to hire anyone else.
It was dusty, and the heat was unbreathable, so I took to my customary perch on the ledge outside my 15th or 14th floor window, and sat – legs dangling – staring at the ants below. I picked at my sandwich and flicked chunks of my crust at them. I once heard that something tiny could kill a man if dropped high enough – maybe I was doing someone a favour.
I could hear the phone ringing, but too used to leaving it hang, I ignored it. That was June’s job, ‘oh yeah, she was at lunch’ I mused.
I thumped my head against the monolith of the building behind me.
‘Had it really been 30 years to the day’ I asked myself. I had been so full of enthusiasm – even after the two year itch I’d stuck with it. I was still convinced that one day I would find that treasure – that paragon of a writer. I guess the fantasy was unstirring. Yet here I was – consuming my lunch on the precipice I had become playmates with – the mortar cracks I had become au fait with and the spiders that spun the same homes in the windows.
‘I really should get June to see to a window cleaner,’ I noted, surprised at my still practically minded state.
I finished my sandwich and observed the building opposite – full of people just like me – in suits and staring at computer screens or shouting down a phone. Even up here we were all creatures of insignificance – size didn’t matter.
I clambered to my feet and edged forward – like I always did – just that little bit further each day, until the bend in my shoes became too free and the same reasoning entered my thoughts ‘only another few years’, ‘but another few years until what?’ I closed my eyes and waved a breeze through my fingers – ‘maybe I would fly?’ I entertained.
“Bob?” June shouted.
“Out here,” I etched back and relaxed as June peered out.
“That guy is on the phone again, he wants to know if you read his stuff yet?”
Sighing, I climbed back in to normality and took to my throne.
“Tell him I will now,” I replied, and with a snort June was gone before I could ask for yet another banal coffee.
I shuffled the stained papers together and turned them over, now crispy but giving a surprisingly vintage appeal.
‘So here it is. Was this going to be the celebrated best seller of my career?’
As I brushed away the dirt that had settled onto the scruffy works and prepared the shredder that was already brimming, I did what I always did.
I read the first paragraph:
‘As Bob picked up the now browned works of the unknown author, he was struck at the dismal presentation, even though he knew it to be the fault of his incompetent secretary. Taking his familiar lunchtime setting, he skipped with formalities and went beyond the bend of his shoes. For Bob, this truly was his Last Manuscript.’


The End

Thursday, 11 September 2014

How to crochet the basic stitches and make hearts with Little Hearts Matter

This Autumn, we have teamed up with Little Hearts Matter, a charity that helps support families affected by congenital heart conditions, as this October they invite everyone to help them raise awareness and much needed funds by making, baking and of course crocheting handmade hearts!

To find out how you can get involved, you can visit their website here: http://www.lhm.org.uk

So today I am going to show those who are new to crochet, how to crochet! and not only that, I will be sharing some heart crochet patterns for you to try your new skills on.

Crocheting is a wonderful skill to learn, especially if you have always wanted to be able to knit but you found that keeping all those stitches under control was just too fiddly and time consuming. Well, crochet is a wonderful alternative as you only have to work with one stitch at a time and projects work up really quickly.

So let’s get started…

When learning to crochet many people try to teach you how to hold the yarn and your hook in a certain way but it is not important how you hold the hook or yarn, you just need to do what is comfortable for you. The only thing you need to get used to is holding the tension in your yarn but you will find this comes naturally as you get used to crocheting.

1. Slip Knot

The first thing to learn in crochet is the slip knot, which comes at the beginning of every crochet project. To work a slip knot, simply wrap the yarn around a couple of fingers once and end them over-lapping on top of your fingers, now take your hook and put your hook underneath the first loop of yarn and then grab the second loop with your hook, pull the yarn underneath the first loop and then let go and pull your tail end of your yarn to tighten the slip knot onto your hook.

Slip Knot Video Tutorial


2. Chain Stitch




The next step is to create some length to your project whether you are working in the round or in rows. The basic beginning stitch is the simple Chain Stitch known in abbreviation as ‘ch’. To work a chain stitch, just wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through the loop on your hook. This completes one chain stitch. Just repeat this until you have the desired amount of chain stitches you require for the pattern.

After you have finished chaining you will either ‘Slip Stitch’ into your first chain to form a loop when working in the round or you will crochet back into your chains when working in rows. For our simple heart pattern you need to crochet 4 chain stitches then slip stitch into your first chain to form a loop, so let’s show you the Slip Stitch next.

Chain Stitch Video Tutorial


3. Slip Stitch





To crochet the Slip Stitch, known as ‘ss’ or ‘sl st’ in abbreviations, simply put your hook into the second chain from your hook if working your first row (we don’t count the loop on the hook as a stitch) and wrap the yarn around your hook, pull the yarn through the chain and the loop on your hook. This completes one Slip Stitch.

It doesn't matter how you put your hook through the chain. Some people prefer to put it under one loop of yarn, some people prefer to put it under two loops and some people prefer to put it through the back ‘bar’ (not seen in our illustrations). It is about what works best for you. I prefer to put it under one loop as seen in the illustration.

For the simple heart pattern you need to slip stitch into your first chain to form a loop, joined at the beginning and at the end as seen in the last illustration above. In the middle is a hole as expected. It is into this hole you need to work the stitches to make the heart pattern but I will show the next stitch size up from the slip stitch first.

Slip Stitch Video Tutorial


4. Single Crochet





The next stitch up from the Slip Stitch is the Single Crochet stitch (sc). This is in US terminology, which is the most popular terminology for crochet on the internet. In UK terminology, if you are buying patterns in UK shops for example, the Single Crochet is known as the Double Crochet (dc) but be warned! There is also a double crochet stitch in US terminology, so make sure you know what terminology your pattern is in before starting your project. Our simple heart pattern below and all our patterns are in US terminology unless otherwise stated.

To make the Single Crochet stitch, you put your hook into the second chain from hook if working your first row (or in our case the hole we have created with our chained loops). Then wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through, you now have two loops on your hook. Now wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull through both loops to complete a Single Crochet stitch.

Single Crochet Video Tutorial


5. Half Double Crochet





The next stitch size up is the Half Double Crochet (hdc). In UK terminology this stitch is known as the Half Treble Crochet (htr). To work the Half Double Crochet stitch wrap the yarn around your hook before working the stitch, this gives you two loops on your hook. Put your hook into the third chain from hook if working your first row then wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through, this gives you three loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull through all three loops on your hook to complete a Half Double Crochet stitch.

Half Double Crochet Tutorial


6. Double Crochet





The next stitch size up is the Double Crochet (dc). In UK terminology this stitch is known as a Treble Crochet (tr). To work the Double Crochet stitch wrap the yarn around your hook before working the stitch, this gives you two loops on your hook. Put your hook into the fourth chain from hook if working your first row then wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through, this gives you three loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through the first two loops, you now have two loops on your hook, wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull through both remaining loops to complete a Double Crochet stitch.

Double Crochet Tutorial


7. Treble Crochet





The next stitch size up is the Treble Crochet (tr). In UK terminology this stitch is known as a Double Treble Crochet (dtr). To work the Treble Crochet stitch wrap the yarn around your hook twice before working the stitch, this gives you three loops on your hook. Put your hook into the fifth chain from hook if working your first row then wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through, this gives you four loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around your hook and pull through the first two loops; you now have three loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull through the next two loops, you now have two loops remaining on your hook. Wrap the yarn around your hook again and pull through both remaining loops to complete a Treble Crochet stitch.

Treble Crochet Tutorial


8. Heart Pattern

So once you are happy practicing these stitches then let’s move on to our Simple Heart crochet pattern which uses all these stitches except the half double crochet. Like I said before, to start the heart you need to crochet 4 chains and slip stitch into your first chain to form a loop, and then work the relevant stitches into the centre of that loop.



Stitch Abbreviation Guide

ch = chain
sl St = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet

Pattern is in US terminology.

Step 1
Ch4, sl st in 1st ch to form a loop

Step 2
Crochet 5sc into loop, sl st in 1st sc to join round - (5)

Step 3
Ch3 (count as st), 1dc in same st as chs (the one you sl st into earlier), 2dc in next st, [4tr, 1sl st] in next st, 4tr in next st, 2dc in next st, 1dc in 'fake' last st (I say fake because this stitch is not actually a stitch, you would normally just sl st into the top of your chains to join the round but I want you to add an extra dc here), now sl st in top of 3ch to join - (16) Fasten off and tie in all tails.

Tip* When crocheting a stitch it helps to twist the hook downwards to get through the loops and then twist back up when through.

So simple yet so cute! I hope you like it too. Why not make lots of heart and use them as confetti on a table for a romantic meal, or perhaps make them into earrings, or just make them for fun. Whatever you decide to do I hope you enjoy your crocheting journey, and remember! it doesn’t have to be perfect first time, everything comes with practice. If you’re feeling confident in your stitches then you may like to check out some of our other heart crochet patterns here as well.

Crochet Bunting Video Tutorial


Crocheted Padded Heart
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/crochet-love-heart-free-pattern.html

Crochet Heart Bracelet
http://happyberrycrochet.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/quick-and-simple-crochet-heart-bracelet.html

For more FREE crochet patterns and tutorials you can visit our website at www.happyberry.co.uk or our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/happyberrycrochet

Why not share your projects with us on Twitter at @HappyBerryUK and use the hashtag #handmadehearts

For more information about how you can get involved in Handmade Hearts October at Little Hearts Matter email info@lhm.org.uk

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Different yarn types and deciphering the terminologies

I was delighted to hear from a HappyBerry trooper today who was new to crochet, always happy to hear of a new recruit for our yarn mission he he but she put forward an interesting question. She wanted to know about yarn and what all the different terminology means.

Yarn terminology can mean different things to different people. Depending on where you live, picking up a say a UK pattern can confuse you when it comes to buying the yarn stated if you, for example, live in Australia unless you are used to the different yarn terms so today I've decided to help out whilst sipping my morning coffee and put together a quick guide to yarn! Any excuse to talk about yarn right?

So let's start with the thinnest yarns you can buy. 

0. The thinnest yarns that you would actually crochet or knit with would be lace-weight yarns as they are known in the US. In the UK these are known as 1 ply yarns but in Australia they would be known as 2 ply yarns. Even so, if you are still confused, the best thing to look for is the yarn symbol on the side of the packaging, which would look like the symbol on the right, a ball of yarn with a number inside it. Any decent crochet pattern will also add this symbol to help you identify the yarn you need for that pattern, although many designers do not do this and can be quite country specific in how they write things. Some patterns don't even state what terminology the pattern is written in, UK or US, so be careful on that score as well.

Going back to yarn though, if the yarn you want to buy doesn't show this symbol and doesn't obviously state whether it's a worsted weight yarn or a DK yarn or whatever don't despair, just check the wording carefully on the packaging for something like 'weight category 0'. This is the same as the symbol. The most popular categories range from 0 - 6 as we shall see here.

1. The second thinnest yarn up from lace-weight will have a weight category of 1 (super fine). This yarn is known as a sock or fingering yarn in the US. In the UK this is known as a 2-3 ply yarn or there about. In Australia this would be a 3-4 ply yarn or there about.

I say there about because as you will discover, yarn weights vary across the world, it is impossible to fine exact replicas unless you use the exact yarn brand stated in the pattern but yarn guides such as this one should give you a rough idea of the yarn types you should be using to get as near to the pattern as possible. Always check your gauge as that will be the most important thing to make sure you're on track to the right sized garment.


2. The next yarn up has a category weight of 2 (fine), which in the US is known as a Sport or Baby yarn. In the UK this would be a 4 ply yarn and in Australia it would be known as a 5 ply yarn.

Now we move on to the most commonly used yarns for crocheting and knitting.

3. The next yarn up is the one I use the most in the UK and this is probably not unique to me but to British crocheters and knitters in general in the UK. This yarn has a category weight of 3 (light).

This yarn in the UK is more commonly known as a DK (double knit) yarn. In the US this is known as a Light Worsted weight yarn. Not to be confused with just worsted weight yarn, again check the category weight because there can be a difference between a light worsted and just a worsted weight yarn. In Australia this weight yarn is known as 8 ply.

I like this yarn a lot as it is great for working up fairly quickly but thin enough to not be too bulky, so great for baby projects.

4. Next we move on to the most popular US yarn weight, which has a category weight of 4 (medium). This yarn in the US is known as Worsted. One thing I have come across with US yarns is that they like to hide the word worsted sometimes, so do check the text on the packaging or in the description for 'category weight 4'.

In the UK this yarn is known as an Aran weight yarn, which can still be quite hard to find in yarn stores for some reason with DK over-ruling, however it is fairly easy to buy online these days such as from Deramores.com or The Wool Warehouse. Not forgetting our friends south of the equator, in Australia this yarn is known as a 10 ply yarn.

5. The next yarn size up is another favourite of mine and those who like to make something quick will also enjoy using this yarn. This yarn has a category weight of 5 (bulky). In the US this is known as a Bulky weight yarn. Like I said for the light worsted yarn don't confuse it with Super Bulky yarn as there is a difference. People often see a pattern which states 'Bulky' but then wonder why, when they make it using a Super Bulky yarn, it turns out too big so be careful. Always check the category weight on the yarn, and in the pattern if it is stated.

In the UK this yarn is known as a Chunky yarn and in Australia it is known as a 12 ply yarn so nice and thick. This yarn is great for scarves or cowls, anything that you want to whip up quickly that compliments a bulky look. Hence the name I guess!

6. Lastly comes the yarn with a category weight of 6 (super bulky) and the name is the same in the US, Super Bulky. In the UK this yarn is known as Super Chunky so fairly simple, and in Australia it is known as a 14 ply yarn.

This yarn I would say is for the ultimate lazy knitter or crocheter he he as it really does work up quickly. Not something you would want to use for babies or children really so a good yarn again for cowls and scarves, bags that kind of thing.

Other yarns and textures.

It doesn't end there though, there are other types of yarns as well such as Fashion Yarns, which tend to not really have a designated weight as they can look unusual, have beads woven in or sequins, be really fuzzy etc. You can also get bobbled yarn which can be fun (and frustrating) to work with but it can be fun to experiment with fashion yarns when you are more used to knitting or crocheting as different effects can be achieved.

You may also come across something called Crochet Threads with different weights again that do not relate to the normal weight categories such as those from DMC Creative, these make no sense to even me when figuring out what size you need so they only really work with patterns that state that specific yarn to use.

Going on to yarn textures, there are many different types of yarns to buy. You can opt for more natural yarns such as Wool or Alpaca yarns, these can be expensive though, especially Baby Alpaca. Many people find wool itchy so alpaca can be a good alternative.

You can also use cotton or bamboo yarns. Cotton yarns are great for projects you want to last, especially in washes, so good for wash cloths or baby items that get messy! Cotton is also great to use because it doesn't go fuzzy like other yarns can over time. 100% cottons can be expensive though, depending on the brand, and can also be stringy sometimes to crochet with so sometimes a mix can be good such as a cotton and acrylic mix.

The man-made yarns such as acrylic are cheaper, and although not as good for the environment, they are great for baby projects too. Soft on the skin and can be put in a normal wash, unlike wool.

You may also come across other things like Lurex which is often added for sparkle! This is fun to add into a project with a normal yarn for that extra interest and it comes in a range of exhilarating colours.

Well, I hope this may have helped some people. Once you get used to the different yarns it will become second nature but before that time just enjoy experimenting and trying the different yarns, and of course, happy crocheting! (or knitting!)

Let me know what you're favourite yarns are to use in the comments below. (^-^)

Any questions or for more free patterns join on my various social media channels!

    

or visit my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk






Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Unspoken 3 Minutes

We are all familiar with the expression that a watched kettle never boils but every scientist will tell you that this is impossible (well unless it's broken or bought from Argos) as the laws of physics tell us that at some point the kettle will boil.

What interests me is why it feels longer than if we went away and did an activity of some kind, which led me to muse over the idea of different forms of unspoken three minutes.

So here is our first, the Washing Machine 3 Minutes, the last three minutes on the wash cycle as we sit staring at the washing machine impatiently waiting for our new item of clothing to be washed before we head out on the town. Dare I mention the never-ending last minute of a watched wash cycle, you know the one where we have to frustratingly wait for the washing machine to 'click' and graciously give us our clothes back. This is truly an anti laws of physics 3 minutes in my opinion.

Then we have the London 3 Minutes, now this 3 minutes may be relevant to other city goers around the world too but especially to Londoners and ones who catch the Tube (underground train). In any normal station outside of London we would be joyful in finding out that the next train to our destination is just 3 minutes away, if anything we may even feel slightly rushed and panicked at catching the train before it leaves the platform but the underground 3 minutes? well that is a whole different story. After a night out all we really want to do is head home and relax our tired feet so we happily arrive at the underground platform, nice and empty and quiet, it is very late but then oh no! we see that the next train is a whole 3 minutes away from arriving. How on earth will we ever cope with such a long wait! 1 minute? great, 2 minutes? annoying but 3 minutes to the next tube arriving? well that is just forever!

Then of course we have the Getting Up For Work 3 Minutes, ok this may be for the lazy ones of us out there but I am sure many of you are familar with the extra 3 minutes we can try and get away with before we have to get out of bed. Alarm goes off at a reasonable time, of course we never plan to actually get up at this time, oh no, we arrange in our heads that from the alarm going off we can achieve at least another 10-15 minutes in bed if we skip a few activities. However shortly after this decision has been made we either wake up to the snooze alarm going off or just in a general panic and here we reach the Getting Up For Work 3 Minutes, the 3 minutes we are convinced we can get away with on top of the extra 10-15 we've already had. The whole morning adventure of getting up can be a very finely tuned situation that any boss would be proud off if he could get past the fact we always seemed to arrive to work 3 minutes late. This 3 minutes is the one we convince ourselves we can have in bed if we just wash a bit quicker, skip a few things and just be as quick as we can to be out on our way at the very precise time of 7:04 or whatever bizarre exact time we seem to work to in the mornings. Oh yes that 3 minutes can be the longest ever in our heads.

So of course we come back to our watched kettle that never boils, well posting this has distracted me enough that my kettle has finally boiled for my coffee, but I wonder how long it would have really taken if I just stared at it. You can also be safe in the knowledge that you have now wasted 3 minutes just reading my musings he he.

Have a great day!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

The dreaded copyright woes that plague every creative person

Last night, when I very much should have been in bed, I came across something new, which I had never experienced before, someone filming themselves making one of my patterns and then uploading it to YouTube served with ads, so basically profiting from it.

And this led on to conversations on my Facebook page about copyright, the dos and don'ts.

So I thought I would put together some information with regards to copyright and trademarks, as there seems a lot of confusion for creative people out there and crocheters in general.

Having worked in the design industry for over 15 years alongside copyright lawyers you tend to pick up a few key things you should know when it comes to creative works.

The first thing to know is that every image, creative works, music track, video etc you see or hear on the internet is copyrighted to someone unless it is available under a Creative Commons Licence. So always assume when thinking about using an image off Google images in your blog for example that it's probably best not to do so. You can actually do an advanced search on Google images for copyright free images you can use, even to use to profit from but even then I would be very careful. Always best to produce your own!

To freely use an image, design, music track or video it needs to have a Creative Commons Licence so if you don't see this licence DON'T USE IT or otherwise expect a nasty law suit heading your way, especially if the image is from Getty *shudders*

Another confusion for some is that copyright needs to be registered, it doesn't. In fact as soon as someone draws a doodle or writes a sentence a certain way it is copyrighted to them whether they tell the world about it or not. A trademark however can be registered although you don't have to. A trademark is like your brand name and registering that will certainly set in stone your legal right to own it but your logo design will still very much be yours in the court of law if you designed and came up with it first and prove with evidence that you designed it first because it comes under general copyright for creative works as mentioned above.

Today however I'm really talking about crochet patterns. Some people complain of designers shouting at them with legal threats because they have copied a design. It is true that a very specific design, for example Mickey Mouse, will be copyrighted to the designer and they could sue you even if you used different stitches to get the same end result. There is a time limit for copyrighted designs from the designer's death so without designing something different you could be in for a long wait.

However if you are not profiting from the design you've copied and credit the original designer you should be ok but some designers can still be funny about it. I am still amazed that people crochet Minions or Mickey Mouse hats because you are really asking for trouble then. One example is of Disney’s cutthroat approach to brand control in 1989, when the company threatened to sue the owners of three Florida daycare centers who had decorated their buildings’ walls with unauthorized images of several trademarked Disney characters. So do be warned! This should explain why you never see any popular designs on my website such as Hello Kitty or Mickey Mouse, and also why I never design similar items from other designer's work such as owl hats.

However a design would have to be quite unique to stand up in court, it would be hard to claim copyright over a simple hat or booty design. You also cannot copyright crochet stitches so with careful modification you can make something your own but be prepared to modify hard! This also applies to music. You can't copyright individual notes and you can adapt anyone's work to make it your own and then the copyright belongs to you but a designer who is very particular could still cause you problems but legally it would be much more difficult for them to sue you for copyright infringement. They would have to put up a very good argument.

So you cannot copyright a stitch, fact! and it's hard to copyright a vague design but you CAN very much copyright the sequence stitches are used in, i.e a pattern and this is much easier to win a law suit over if you so desired to get that legal.

The video I mentioned earlier had not only clearly copied my design, which for me I am pretty lenient over, I am all for terrible coincidences but the woman had clearly copied my sequence of stitches, and even worse my very unique ways of working. A big fail of modification if she wanted to claim it as her own.

So am I ringing my solicitor, probably not because I don't think she has done it maliciously, in fact most designers probably won't sue you but will just ask for credit and some consideration or just scare you into submission. I prefer people to use some netiquette by simply crediting my work and if that fails I will moan for a while and try and get over it unless she did it again which takes the issue to a new level.

So the true facts when it comes to creative work and copyright are;

You can't
- Copyright crochet stitches
- Copyright fonts or colours in a design
- A vague design such as a 'hat' or 'shoe'

You can however
- Copyright a sequence of crochet stitches, ie a pattern
- Copyright a unique design

I hope this alleviates any confusion for both designers and crocheters and perhaps prevent upset and some nasty law suits. Other things to bear in mind too is that some designers will not allow you to sell items made from their patterns so do ask first. (I allow it) and in NO circumstances should you copy or reproduce a pattern for financial gain and that includes uploading to YouTube!!

For more information you can check out some copyright gumf here from YouTube;
https://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/what-is-copyright.html

Or UK law here
https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law

Friday, 28 March 2014

How To Do Tunisian Crochet and Free Knit Stitch Booties Pattern - Yarn Scrap Friday


I think over the last few weeks I have become slightly obsessed with Tunisian crochet but I'm hoping that's a good thing for you guys.

So I thought I would put together not only a video tutorial for some Tunisian Knit Stitch Baby Booties but also a written pattern and general introduction to Tunisian crochet.

Many people assume that knitting and crochet are two very different techniques and to the novice it can definitely look that way but Tunisian crochet is a wonderful fusion of both knitting and crochet, so if you have always wanted to be able to knit but could only master crochet then Tunisian is definitely for you! 

© HappyBerry
The main equipment you will need for Tunisian crochet is still a hook but it is a long hook, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a knitting needle until you saw the end was a normal crochet hook. 

However there is also another type of Tunisian hook and that is a hook that looks like a normal length crochet hook but it has some plastic tubing attached to the end with a bobbin on the end. These types of hooks allow for longer projects such as afghans and blankets.

When you start to do Tunisian crochet you will start with normal crochet, so foundation chains but when you work back into your chains you need to do something a little different which gets very much like knitting. 

As you crochet into your chains you pull the yarn through each stitch and then stop, you don't continue with a single crochet, instead your keep the loop on your hook so you have two. Then you go into the next stitch, pull the yarn through and keep the loop on the stitch. Then into the next stitch and the next, until you have a whole row of loops on your hook, like in knitting! This is called the Forward row.

To count your stitches I ignore the first loop on my hook and count the loops from then on. So if I have 22 stitches I need to work to I would technically have 23 loops on my hook. 

Tunisian crochet also differs to normal crochet because now we are at the end of our row we don't turn, instead we just work backwards and to do that we pull our yarn through the first loop, but then all subsequent 'pulling throughs' is done through two loops until you only have 1 loop left on your hook again. It is important to remember to pull through just the first loop by itself at the beginning because otherwise you will decrease your stitches. This row is called the Return. So pull through 1 loop, then 2 loops, then 2 loops, then 2 loops, then 2 loops... you get the idea.

So now you are back to where you started and you have worked your first two rows of Tunisian crochet the Forward and the Return, so pretty simple but you haven't worked any Tunisian stitches such as the Simple Stitch or Knit Stitch yet.

You will see you after your first two rows though that you now have bars running vertically down instead of normal crochet stitches. They look a little like train tracks. These vertical bars are what we need to now work Tunisian stitches.

Tunisian Simple Stitches - © HappyBerry
The Simple Stitch

The Simple Stitch is also known as the Afghan Stitch and to make this stitch you need to ignore the very first vertical bar you see, the one right at the end under your hook, and put your hook underneath the second bar. Yarn over and bring your yarn underneath this bar and up, remembering to stop at this point like your first Forward row, keeping the loop on your hook. You then repeat this with all the vertical bars to the end. You can check your stitch count again by ignoring the first loop on your hook and counting the rest of the loops.

You then work a Return row as before by pulling through 1 loop, then 2 loops, then 2 loops, then 2, then 2 etc to the end until you just have 1 loop left on your hook.

Tunisian Knit Stitch - © HappyBerry
The Knit Stitch

The Knit Stitch is slightly different and is the one I love the most because it creates knitting! and this is the stitch used in my booties pattern. 

To work this stitch you again ignore the first vertical bar right on the end and put your hook underneath the second bar like the Simple Stitch but this time you need to put your hook through your work to the back. You should find a little hole in between the bar you just went under and the next bar, this is where you need to put your hook. Then yarn over and bring your yarn through from the back, then underneath the bar to the right of it. 

Like before just keep the loop on your hook and repeat this along all your vertical bars. When you get to the last vertical bar you won't have a hole to go through to the back, so you just yarn over and bring the yarn underneath the last bar like a Simple Stitch. Again you can check your stitch count by ignoring the first loop on your hook and counting the rest of the loops.

You then work a Return row as before by pulling through 1 loop, then 2 loops, then 2 loops, then 2, then 2 etc to the end until you just have 1 loop left on your hook.

If that all sounds a little mind boggling don't worry because I explain the Knit Stitch and the Simple Stitch in my tutorial here dedicated to Tunisian Crochet.



When you get more confident with these techniques you can have a go at my Knit Stitch Booties!

Tunisian Knit Stitch Baby Booties

There will also be a matching Tunisian Crochet Knit Stitch Baby Beanie to match these booties for my patrons. Learn how to support me by becoming a patron for extra goodies here www.patreon.com/happyberry



Any questions just post below or join me on Facebook or Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/happyberrycrochet and http://www.twitter.com/happyberryUK

For more free patterns please join me on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/happyberrycrochet or visit my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk





© 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.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

How To Start Your Own Blog

A lovely lady asked me over on the HappyBerry Facebook page about how to start up a blog and whether I could write up some hints and tips to getting started with building your own crafty blog so I thought why not! I will try my best and at least tell you how I started my own blog and why.

I use Blogger by Google rather than any other blog software such as WordPress, the main reason being is that Blogger is built and owned by Google and Google is the one place we all like to get high search results in. It is true as well that Google will rate Blogger blogs over other blogs purely for this reason. I have run my blog now for a year or two, perhaps longer but it is true that when I post a blog article it will be available in the search results within only a few hours. However the key thing to note is that Google loves REAL content but as we are all real bloggers and not just out to get adsense link hits and such like then we should be ok.

So my advice is pretty much going to centered around Blogger but many of the advice points will apply to other blogging software. It's worth noting at this point that is always much better to use existing established blogging software rather than building your own blog, which probably not many people do but I do still see people hiding their blogs away on their websites. You can of course use an API, which is basically a fancy piece of code that your blogging software can give you to use on your own website, which enables your website to read your blog but it's complicated, so with limited space in this blog post to explain all that jibber jabba my best advice if you have a website, is to just link to your blog. As long as the design is consistent it can be a good thing. I am all for spreading your brand around the internet, never hide it away all in one place as the more you are seen around the internet, the more you will be found.

So when you start a Blogger blog you will able to choose a theme, a design in other words and there are lots to choose from! If you click on Template and then Customise, you will have the option to choose your font colours and link colours, backgrounds and lots more. You can also add your own background image if you like but there are also quite a few background images to choose from. I am quite dull really in that respect as my background is just white so you don't always have to have one. You can spend quite a bit of time in this part of process but it can be fun seeing the results! Have a play around and see what colours work well for you. You may decide to base your colours on your brand or you can just choose some colours that work well together. Crafty colours can usually be pastels, I always opt for a gray font colour rather than black because black can be quite intense but the choice is yours!

You can also change the Layout of your blog by clicking on Layout. Most of the links to these areas I find under Pages. In Layout you can choose your own header and what 'gadgets' you want to add. Gadgets are the boxes you see on the right and left of a blog (this of course depends on your over-all layout but let's use my blog as an example). If you click on Add A Gadget you will see lots of choices, some will be obvious like adding Google+ links but if you scroll down you will see options like adding HTML or Adsense code. If you need to add your Adsense code or any other code such as a Facebook badge then this is the 'gadget' that you need. Then just move your gadgets around until you are happy where they are by dragging the grey box on the left of each gadget.

If you click on Header in Layout you can also choose to add your own header image, I designed my own header image sadly, which doesn't really help you if you don't have any design skills or software for designing but you can just add some header text here with your blog name if you like or your logo image if you have one.

You can also add a gadget called Add Image, here it can be nice to add an image of yourself to personalise your blog, let your viewers know what you look like. It's also a good idea to fill out your profile information with a little about yourself. It is also a nice idea to add a Translate gadget so that your international viewers can also understand your posts. I also think it's nice to add a Search Box gadget, the Blog Archive gadget and the Popular Posts gadget but many of these gadgets are default so they should already be in your layout.

In the main menu there are also some other options to look at if you like. There is an option to add Pages but I have never felt the need to even look at this section but you might want to. There is also a Settings section where you can choose if people can comment with or without approval, things like that. In Comments you can view all your comments in one area to reply to or delete, this area also shows you any spam comments that might need your attention. Posts show you your blog posts. The icons at the top are of a pencil which means to write a post, the icon of some pieces of paper show you your posts and then View Blog is self explanatory. If you get desperate and need help you can find the Blogger Help button when you click on the cog icon to the top right.

Then it really is a case of saving everything you have done and viewing your blog. When you are happy with your blog layout and design you just need to get blogging! 

When you're faced with a new blog page the first thing to think about is the title of your blog, and you fill this in at the top by the big orange Post text. Try and choose a title that uses text that someone would search for in Google that relates to your blog post. So for example, this blog post is about how to start your own blog and someone may type into Google, 'how do I start a blog' so I chose something that related to my post but also used those keywords. 

Then it is just a case of writing your blog post. You can add images, links and videos via the icons at the top. The Link text helps you to add a link, if you would like to link some text to somewhere then just highlight the text and then click this Link text button, then type in your URL (website link). 

To add an image click on the little postcard icon. You can either choose an image already used on your blog or you can upload your own image, or even add an image from another website by typing in the image URL but I mainly upload my own images. Always make sure you own the copyright to any images you upload so you don't get any nasty surprises. Never assume an image on Google Images is ok to use as it is on the internet because 99% of the time it will be copyrighted and people at Getty for example crack down hard on miss-use of their images.

Then you've got the Film Clipboard icon where you can add video, you can either upload a video but I tend to upload to YouTube and then type in the YouTube URL here, well I used to, this function doesn't seem to find the YouTube videos anymore, since they merged Google+ and YouTube nothing seems to work how it should anymore so you may need to get clever at this point. If you want to add a YouTube video of yours, go into YouTube and find the video you want to add. When you view the video as normal you will see a Share tab next to the About tab, click on this then click on Embed. You will be given some iFrame code, copy this and then come back to your blog. You now need to add it to your blog, to do this click on the HTML tab at the top of your blog, next to Compose. You will suddenly be taken to the same blog text but with lots of weird extra codey stuff. A trick I do is before you click on HTML, just type 'ddddddddd' into your blog, I know, sounds mad but when you go to the HTML view you will see the ddddd text clearly. Paste your iFrame code from YouTube here and then click Compose to get back to the normal view. You will now see your YouTube video embedding into your blog article! Remember to delete your ddddd text he he.

You can also use the other icons at the top to change the colour of your text, you can do that by clicking on the A icon with the black box underneath it. If you want a specific piece of text in a certain colour make sure you highlight it first before selecting a colour. You can also change the size of your text, do this select the text you want bigger or smaller and click on the TT icon. You can also add bullet points by clicking on the 3 dots and 3 dashes icon next to the speech quote icon. You can also make text bold by highlighting the text you want bold and clicking on the B icon, same for I which makes your text Italic. Apart from those icons I don't tend to use the others very often but you may want to play around.

What you must avoid if you can though is copying text from Word into a blog. If you prefer to type into Word first, make sure you open up Notepad first, copy your Word text into Notepad which removes all the formatting, then copy this text and then paste it into your blog. Word likes to really mess up a blog so be careful copying text from anywhere really! Always best to write from scratch, and you can save as you go by clicking on the Save button on the top right of your blog.

Then you're pretty much done! I always like to sign off my blogs and let people know where they can find me on various social medias. You can then Preview your blog, this button is next to the Save button. Then just click the orange Publish button when happy! Just remember that title first as after publishing, you can add a title yes but your blog article's URL will be something weird which you can't change and will be harder to find in a Google search.

I hope you have found this article useful, good luck with your blog and remember to just have fun and not worry too much about clicking around and seeing what all the functions do! Blogs take time to build up so just enjoy writing about what you love and the rest will come naturally. (^-^)

Any questions just post below or join me on Facebook or Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/happyberrycrochet and http://www.twitter.com/happyberryUK

For more free patterns please join me on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/happyberrycrochet or visit my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk




See I told you I add these bits (^-^)

Oh and one thing I always forget to add is Labels. To the right of your blog is something called Labels, these are just keywords you need to add to help people find your blog, so for this blog post I've added 'how, to, start, your, own, blog, Blogger, craft' You can add more or less if you like. Good luck!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

How to Write Crochet Patterns


Pattern: Lazy Daisy Girl's Shoes
Available Here
The question "how do I write a crochet pattern that I can sell" is one I hear a few times and as it is something that I do on a daily basis so it makes only sense for me to write up some tops tips for you guys thinking about putting your skills to the test!

The first and most important thing you need to do first is to design your own pattern. This may sound hard and quite obvious but in fact it can be relatively painless if you start with something simple, like a wash cloth or a baby blanket. It doesn't have to be a woman's vest in lots of different sizes or a man's hat just yet. I am assuming you have been crocheting from other people's patterns, maybe even mine, for a few years now and if you have ever thought, I don't like it that way, I think I will do it this way, then you're already well on your way to becoming your own designer.

I don't recommend taking anyone else's design and trying to make it your own as you are treading on dangerous ground with copyright and you don't want anything to come back to haunt you so always try to think unique. Start with a blank canvas, think about the item you want to design and the stitches you would like to use and just take it from there. If you want to design a hat you can use my video guide here on how to work out the maths behind hats if you like. If designing a hat for the first time it may be best to stick to simple stitches and adding appliques instead such as flowers but remember to make your flowers your own design too!


But perhaps start with something simple like a baby blanket or a simple wash cloth and start to think about the stitches you want to use. Wash cloths are great for trying new stitches out. Stitches are not copyrighted, only how they are constructed into a specific sequence to form a pattern does it become copyrighted so have a think about your favourite stitches and then start your project! 

The most important thing to remember is don't worry about getting it wrong. I have designed many patterns that just haven't worked, they have either been frogged and started again or scrapped altogether, never for you guys to even know the embarrassment of the appalling mess I had just created! It's all about seeing what works and what doesn't work. So when starting your baby blanket, if you feel your initial foundation chains (either chains or double crochet foundation stitches, think about variations!) are too many or too little, just start again. The one thing you will need, to be a designer, is patience!

Once you have your size of blanket sorted and initial chains completed, write down how many chains you made. The second most important step to designing is to write EVERYTHING down. I cannot stress how important it is to do this, do not think you can remember and write it down afterwards because it will cause you untold stress later unless you have an impeccable memory for all the changes you make along the way. It will save you a lot of work later so get that pen and paper out, start your very first designer oracle notebook.

As you can see in the photos here, my notes are plentiful and a little crazy looking, like a secret language, at least to my husband anyway! but they help me visualise my designs and remind me of any strange additions in the pattern and stitch counts as well as allow me to work out if different sizes work out without me having to make every single size!

Now start your stitches in your blanket. If you are using a basic stitch you may be able to get away with counting the rows at the end and writing it down but if you are using anything a little bit more fancy I would make a note as you go of how many rows you are crocheting, even if it is just a dash on a piece of a paper. It will save a lot of counting later. You may prefer to not count the rows and instead state in your pattern to work to a length instead, which is also fine. If you are using a sequence of colours though you may wish to add extra information such as 'finish on a blue row'.

Pattern: Baggy Cardi
Available Here
When you've finished your blanket or wash cloth and you have your basic pattern written down, now is the time to write it up professionally. You need to think back to what you like about patterns and what annoys you, try to think of your own format of pattern and don't copy others unless you really love the layout and information provided in that pattern layout. You need to write down the type of yarn you have used, the crochet hook size you used, and a basic gauge for people to work to. Think about anything else you have added to your blanket like ribbon or buttons, list it all down in your pattern at the beginning. List down what sizes the pattern is for or what finished size the wash cloth or blanket is.

You also need to take a nice photo. Think about the setting of your design. If you have designed a baby blanket it may be nice to showcase it with a teddy bear, or if you have designed a wash cloth it may be nice to showcase it with some soap or a rubber ducky. Good lighting is very important so try and photograph your work during the day when it is brighter. When you have your photo add it to your pattern, which by now you should be typing up in Word.

It is also nice to add some extra information about your pattern such as how hard it is to make, a difficulty level. You can also add a basic stitch library for abbreviations and any extra notes you think the pattern requires. Think about your customer base, us Brits use a different terminology, even though I write up my patterns in US terminology I always add that it is written in US terminology within the pattern so that any UK customers know what to expect. If the pattern doesn't state this and the pattern only contains double crochet stitches then depending on what the crocheter knows or thinks, they may end up with a very different design. Cover all bases!

Now write up the actual design in steps, rows or rounds. Start by listing what yarn to start with if using more than one yarn type and what crochet hook they need to start with. Don't forget to add any small bits, but very important key bits, of information like TURN or FASTEN OFF, think about everything you have done and never assume the crocheter reading your pattern will know what you have done. 

When your design is complete turn it into a PDF. If you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can save as a PDF from Word but you can always leave your pattern as a Word document if you prefer. I recommend saving as a .doc file rather than a .docx file though, just in case people have an older version of Word.

Now you just need to advertise your design! Share it on your Facebook page or sell it on Etsy just as you would a normal product. Etsy now have the ability to sell digital downloads, which is really useful as people can download your work as soon as they purchase it. 

How you price your work depends on you. No-one can advise you on what is best, not even I. Think about how much work you have put in and what types of yarn you have used, think about your costs which includes your time. Try not to sell your work too cheaply but don't over-charge either however it is always best to have a price good enough that you can run sales as every one loves a good sale!

Good luck and let me know how you get on! Remember, don't be afraid to get it wrong as long as it's right in the end! But most of all enjoy the process and have fun, you'll be well on your way to becoming a designer before you know it. (^-^)

Any questions just post below or join me on Facebook or Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/happyberrycrochet and http://www.twitter.com/happyberryUK

For free patterns please join me on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/happyberrycrochet or visit my website at http://www.happyberry.co.uk