Saturday, September 12, 2015

DIY Crochet Alpaca Free Pattern

I have a relative who just celebrated a birthday. This person loves alpacas. I searched for a crochet pattern online, but didn't like any so I made my own.

I'm putting the pattern here. It's free if you want to make one. If you are planning to sell them or use my instructions, please give credit to me - DM Yates

It turns out quite a nice size and is an intermediate level because of the loop stitches. If you don't know how to make a loop stitch there are plenty of tutorials on the internet and youtube.

Here's the pattern:

Crocheted Alpaca by DM Yates

H hook
Worsted weight 24 ounce
Small amounts of 2 other colors, one for hooves, one for snout and tail
Small amount of black yarn for mouth. If embroidering eyes and nose, you’ll need more black yarn.
Optional: animal eyes and nose or black felt
Yarn needle

****Alpaca is worked in loop stitch except for head and ears. After finishing each body part, I cut the loops, but you can leave it looped.
** To make a loop stitch. Insert hook into next stitch and pull up loop. Pick up loop from finger. Now go around finger and pick up loop from back. Draw through all loops, releasing finger.
** To decrease with loop stitches: pull up loop in next two scs, draw through leaving one loop, loop stitch and pull through three loops on hook, draw through last 3 loops on hook.

Round 1: Starting at the back of the alpaca, chain 6, join, chain 1.
Round 2: 2loop stitches in ea sc, join, ch 1    12sc
Round 3: 2loop stitches in ea sc, join, ch 1    24sc
Round 4: loop stitch in sc, 2loop stitches in next. Repeat around. Join, ch 1    36sc
Round 5: loop stitch in each sc, join, ch 1   36sc
Round 6: loop stitch in back loop of each sc, join ch 1   36sc
Rounds 7 through 15: loop stitch in ea sc around, join, ch 1   36sc
Round 16: 1 loop stitch in next 3 sc, decrease 1 loop stitch around to last sc. Sc in that stitch, join, ch 1.  31sc
Round 17: loop stitch in next 2 sc, decrease in next sc around to last 3 sc. Loop stitch in each of 3 sc, join, ch 1   24sc
Round 18: repeat round 17 across to last 2 sc. Loop stitch in last 2 scs, join, ch 1    18sc
Round 19: loop stitch in 1 sc, dec 1 loop stitch around, join, ch 1 Stuff body   12sc
Round 20: decrease 1 loop stitch in each of 2 scs. Repeat around.  6sc End off, leaving a length to sew. Sew opening closed. Cut loops.

Round 1: Ch 18, join, ch 1.
Round 2: loop stitch in 2nd st from hook, loop stitch across, *turn*, ch 1   17sc
Round 3: loop stitch across, turn, ch 1
Round 4: repeat round 3
Round 5: Dec 1 loop stitch in 1st sc, loop stitch in ea sc to last sc, decrease, turn, ch 1   15sc
Round 6: loop stitch across, turn, ch 1   15sc
Round 7, 8, and 9 repeat rounds 5, 6, and 5 again. Turn ch 1
Round 10: ch 10 and join with 1st sc, ch 1   35 stitches
Round 11 through 19: loop stitch around, *join*, ch 1   35sc End off.
To attach to body: place round 1 of neck at bottom of body. Joined rounds should now sit on top of body. Sew in place. Stuff firmly all the way from the bottom up. Cut loops.

Make 4:
Use hoof color. Do not loop hooves.
Round 1: chain 2, 6 scs in 2nd stitch from hook, ch 1.
Round 2: 2 scs in each 2sc around, join, ch 1.
Round 3, 4, 5: 1 sc in ea sc around, join. **Change yarn to basic body color. Ch 1
Round 6: loop stitch in ea sc around, join, ch 1. Repeat for 19 more rows. Stuff firmly. End off, leaving a length for sewing. Cut loops. Sew to body.

*You can use loop stitches for the head and ears if you wish. I chose not to.

Round 1: ch 2, 6 scs in 2nd st from hook, ch 1.
Round 2: 2sc in ea sc, join, ch 1.  12sc
Round 3: 2sc in sc (incr by 1), sc in next sc, join, ch1.   18sc
Round 4: 2sc in one sc, sc in next 2 around. Join, Ch 1  24sc
Round 5: 2sc in one sc, sc in next 3 around. Join, ch 1   30sc
Round 6: 2sc in one sc, sc in next 4 around. Join, ch 1   36sc
Round 7: 2sc in one sc, sc in next 5 around. Join, ch 1   42sc
Rounds 8 through 12: sc in ea sc around, join, ch 1       42sc
If using animal eyes, insert here.
Round 13: dec 1 st, sc in next 5 around, join, ch 1   36sc
Round 14: dec 1 st, sc in next 4 around, join, ch 1   30sc
Round 13: dec 1 st, sc in next 3 around, join, ch 1   24sc
Round 12: dec 1 st, sc in next 2 around, join, ch 1   18sc
Round 13: dec 1 st, sc in next stitch around. Join, ch 1  Stuff firmly 12sc
Round 14: dec 1 st in each 2 scs around. Join.  Leave a length. Sew opening closed. 6sc

Round 1: ch 2, 6 scs in 2nd stitch from hook. Ch1   6sc
Round 2: 2sc in each sc, join, ch1                         12sc
Round 3: 2sc in each sc, join, ch 1                        24sc
Rounds 4, 5, 6: repeat round 3. End off, leaving length for sewing. Stuff and sew to head. Place animal nose and embroider mouth with black yarn.

Make 2:
Chain 2, 1sc in 2nd stitch from hook. Ch1 and turn.
2scs in stitch, ch1 and turn.
2scs in ea stitch, ch1 and turn   4scs
Sc across.
2scs in 1st stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, 2scs in last stitch, ch 1 turn  6sc
Next 2 rows: Sc across. Ch 1 turn   6sc
2scs in 1st sc, sc across to last sc, 2scs in last sc, ch1, turn.   8sc
Next 4 rows: sc across. Ch1, turn. Sc around ear to opposite base. End off, leaving length for sewing. Sew ear in rounded fashion on head.

Finishing: Place head on neck opening and sew.
Cut several small strands and sew between ears.
Cut several longer strands from main color and one other color and sew as tail.

Check out my weebly blog and while you're there, please sign in or leave a comment.

LHR my friends.

Monday, August 31, 2015

12 Simple Dos And Don'ts of Brands

You’ve started your own business, and you’re working on promoting it. Have you considered your brand? Perhaps you’ve read about brands. Maybe you’ve already created your own. It doesn’t matter what your enterprise is, your business and your personal brands are important to your sales.
I don’t profess to be an expert in any form of marketing. However, as I promote my books, I’ve come to realize the importance of establishing my brand. After much research, I’ve developed 12 simple dos and don’ts to share with you.
What is a brand, really?
A brand is your known identity of your company. The American Marketing Association Dictionary has this definition:  ‘A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.’ It’s the symbol, the design, the business name, a sound (if you have one), and most importantly, it’s your promise to your buyers. Brands produce emotions in customers, which leads to sales.
There’s a wealth of information on the internet on how to develop brands. This article covers just a small part.

Developing Your Business Brand:

1.   Tagline (your catchphrase or slogan) – what you want to be known for. An example is Disney: ‘fun family entertainment’.

DO – keep it short, 3 to 4 words
DON’T – complicate a simple description.
DO – be creative
DON’T – copy from someone else
DO – have an emotional appeal
DON’T – be unprofessional. You want to establish trust and loyalty.

2.   Professional Website (your online identity – who are you, your biography and experiences)

DO – have a simple, well-designed, professional landing page.
DON’T – make the page complicated or difficult to navigate.
DO – dedicate this page to you and your products.
DON’T – use it for your blog. Set that up on a separate page.
DO – have a Call to Action. Set up a form for your customers’ information, comments, email addresses.
DON’T – ignore the page once you’ve set it up. Respond quickly to any inquiries.
DO – have a store, if possible, or a link to your store where people can see your products and purchase without having to chase your business down on the internet.
DON’T – have too many links to your other internet pages or clutter the page. Keep it simple is a good motto for your landing page.

3.   Email Signature (a block of text at the end of your email that defines you or has your contact information)

DO – set up a creative email signature with a link to your products.
DON’T – copy someone else’s signature. Don’t plagiarize. Be unique.

4.   Business Cards

DO – have business cards with your pertinent information and use them.
Get creative. Leave them on public transportation and in restaurants.
Include them in your shipments. Have them ready to give out at any
DON’T – forget your email address, your website and a link to where your products can be purchased on your business cards.

5.   Social Media Constant Online Presence

DO- socialize online. Find people in the same line of work and potential buyers. Participate. If the group you’re in isn’t working for you, find one that does.
DON’T – spam in groups.
DO – be where customers can see you. Be active and consistent.
DON’T – join every internet site you find.

6.   Professional Photo

   DO – have a photo that represents you and your style.
   DON’T – use a selfie. If you’re going to have a friend or family member
take your photo, at least get some guidance from professional    photographers.
   DO – be professional.
DON’T – be doing something odd to attract attention. Potential customers are looking for professionals that they can trust.

7.   Share Your Expertise

DO – post your knowledge of the products or services you’re selling. It shows potential buyers who you really are, and that’s important to them.
DON’T – start a ‘how to’ article that isn’t really a how to, it’s only to promote your products.

8.   Logo (your brand symbol)

DO – develop your logo and make it unique to you. Be creative.
DON’T – copy someone else’s Logo or a major brand’s Logo.
DO – keep it simple, have it state your mission and your promise. Remember Disney’s example above. You want it to be something people will remember. Another example is McDonald’s Golden Arches.
DON’T – use too many colors in the design (three is a good amount) or make it too wordy.

9.   Email Lists

DO – develop an email list. Be sure those people want to receive business emails from you.
DON’T – add people randomly.
DO – remember to include your business name, your email address, and your email signature. Have an ‘unsubscribe’ available.
DON’T – overwhelm people with too many emails or bombard them with ‘buy my product.’

Developing Your Personal Brand
Whether you want to develop a personal brand or not, if you’re making a
presence on the internet or in your hometown, you’re developing your personal brand.

10.Your Reputation and Your Unique Story

DO – stay professional and positive. Establish your image.
DON’T – be negative or use stunts or bizarre pictures.
     DO – tell people about you and why you have your business.
  DON’T – only ask others to buy your products. If they don’t know you, why should they buy from you? What’s unique about you?

11.Social Media Biography

   DO – build your biography on sites that you join.
   DON’T – forget to update your information or add new products.

         DO – be ready to change and grow as your business changes and grows.
DON’T – be afraid or stubborn about changing if what you’re doing isn’t working.

If you take anything from this article, remember that your brand, personal or business, is your promise to your customer. Let that guide you in developing your brand.

Check out Quote, Grammar Short, and an excerpt from one of my books at DM Yates Weebly

LHR my friends