My Top "Must Haves" for Running a Crochet Blog/Business

Megmade with Love

I thought it’d be fun to gather up a list of some of my most prized business tools I use to run Megmade with Love. I’m talkin’ the essentials— the stuff I heavily rely on to run this blog, design patterns and basically keep this ship afloat. I’ve included everything from office items to crochet stuff, even what apps I use on my phone.

I thought this list could provide insight for someone who is looking to start a crochet business or blog, and give you a little behind-the-scenes look at all the stuff I use. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty basic items, that really aren’t too fancy!

Office stuff:

Not gonna lie, probably my favorite purchase this year. This printer is so fast compared to my previous inkjet one… and I know I’m already gonna save a ton on ink. I print tons of Etsy shipping labels, so this thing is a God-send.

Another life-changer? This expandable file folder. If I can make tax paperwork easier on myself in any way, I’m all for it.

I’ve had this paper trimmer for ages, but it’s still a must have for my business. From choppin’ tags to shipping labels… it’s really nice to have.

I’m so glad I decided to grab this dry-erase monthly calendar on a random target run at the end of last year. Such a brilliant concept— it contains all the important happenings of the month and hangs right above my computer. The next month rolls around and I just wipe ‘er clean and start again! I use different colored markers for business and personal stuff.

I’m in love with my custom rubber business stamp I got from Stamps and Sons on Etsy. It’s such a cool tool for branding on those packages you send out, or to put on a tag then attach to items you sell at markets.

Other key items in my office worth mentioning:

-my iMac desktop computer
-post-its (where would I be without a good to-do list on a post-it?!)

Photography stuff:

Fun fact: I used to do photography on the side. So I purchased this dslr, along with a fixed lens for portraits.. It’s been such a big tool for my business because photography is really the “face” of Megmade with Love. It’s pricier, but there are tons of other affordable options out there (wanna read more on photography? click HERE). I will also say, I take about half my Instagram photos with my iPhone, so that’s totally an easy option too.

Ahhh… the simple, but oh-so-awesome white poster board. Such a cheap and easy backdrop option for your photography. I bought a big foam one from Hobby Lobby, and love it.

How else would you take those photos when no one but your two year old is around? This tripod got good reviews on Amazon.

Another life-changer? When you purchase a shutter release remote for your camera. No more running back and forth, using the flippin’ photo timer…

I love using this app when I take photos on my phone… it’s got all the right tools, and really pretty filter options that you can control the intensity of.

I also wanted to mention the Preview app. I use this to plan out my Instagram photos and arrange how they’d look on a grid. It links up to your account, and pulls all your previous photos so you can see how they match up. I use it daily!

Crochet stuff:

When figuring out yarn yardage for designs, a scale (I just use a simple kitchen scale) is a MUST for figuring out how much yarn you used. A little cross multiplying with ounces and yardage, and you’ve got your answer! I also use a scale for weighing packages to ship. It’s a staple in my business.

Other mentionable crochet items (I tend to keep it incredibly simple when it comes to crochet gadgets):

-Stitch Fiddle for creating graphs and charts for patterns.. it’s such a great resource for designing with c2c or special stitches
-old jars for sorting buttons, notions, needles, stitch markers
-good pair of snips to throw in your bag on the go
-I jot down my patterns in one of those classic, cheap spiral notebooks
-I mean… is it silly to mention the handy dandy measuring tape? Because that’s perhaps the most used tool besides a crochet hook 😜

There ya have it! A surprisingly simple list of items I use to run my crochet biz. It really doesn’t take anything too expensive to make run an online business, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. So don’t buy into the lie that you need all the fancy-schmancies to make money on the internet. Get creative with what you’ve got, and purchase the stuff you can afford when you are able to.

Hope you enjoyed this list!

With love,

Going from Crocheter to Crochet Designer

Crochet Design - Megmade with Love

My mom taught me to crochet at a pretty young age, I was about 10. When I was young, I loooovvvveed all things crafty, I made friendship bracelets and sold them to other kids at daycare, asked for *all* the art kits every birthday, and got my first sewing machine around the same time.

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Honestly, growing up, crochet was just another craft I did. I just dabbled in it here and there, and didn’t really pay much mind to it compared to my other creative interests like photography or graphic design when I was in school. Then when I was in college I started to get into it a bit more. I found out about Ravelry about that time and enjoyed seeing other people create really cool things with yarn, so I decided I’d pick up my hook again and make a cool hat (Vicki Howell’s Urban Jungle Beanie to be exact). To my surprise friends and family loved the hat and wanted me to make them one.

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I continued to venture into the land of crochet accessories, mostly just making them as gifts.. a few craft shows here and there. But there seemed to be a reoccurring theme with all the patterns I followed— I usually didn’t have the patience to follow the instructions given by someone else. I always wanted to venture off and try to tackle it myself… I truly enjoyed the journey of bringing an idea to life by experimenting with different stitches and yarns. I wanted to be the creator of a new favorite accessory, the process gave me life!

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Then came my verrrrry first crochet design and pattern in 2011 (you can see it in the photo above— I’ve still got it!). I tell this story often over on Instagram, but I’ll share it again here.... I saw a photo of a really neat crocheted bag in an online store that had these raised “bump stitches” in the shape of diamonds on it and decided I needed to recreate it, and make a pattern for it since it was a pretty pricey bag. But what sweet little clueless Meg didn’t know at the time was that those “bump stitches” were indeed bobble stitches, that could be crocheted in the round. Yep, so I looked at that bag and thought.. hmm.. how would I create that effect? Why, by crocheting millions of little crochet pieces then sewing them all. on. individually. LOL! Thinking back to that pattern always cracks me up because of how straight up ridiculous that is. But I’m still kinda proud of myself for just tackling the task with what knowledge and skill I had at the moment. I started a little blog called “knot the knorm” and put that pattern on it, along with some other sewing projects I was doing at the time. The website didn’t survive (and I’m glad it didn’t because that pattern was probably ROUGH) mostly because I was in college and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life.

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Fast forward quite a few years to 2016. Our son had just been born and I was looking for a way to earn some income online because I really valued staying at home and raising him. At the time I was making and painting wooden signs, and just wasn’t really enjoying it. I was craving something more… and right about that time I began to see really cool crochet designs on Pinterest and Facebook. It took me a few months of thinking and researching, but I eventually decided I’d become a crochet designer, and earn income via a website as well as selling the PDF patterns. The next year I started the Megmade with Love blog, crochet hook in hand and a crazy amount of inspiration to create patterns that people "*needed* to make.

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With the teensiest bit of design experience under my belt, I decided to finally go for it. I crocheted a couple of hats, and with the help of some very patient testers, they gave me suggestions and thoughts on each of my designs. Was I a professional right out the gate? Definitely not. But I was learning some really valuable lessons while releasing patterns and I was actually getting my stuff out into the world. Slowly, after each pattern release, I became a little better and it became easier to put them all together. I was finding what I enjoyed making (what my “style” was) as well as what other people were diggin’.

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I am so darn happy I decided to “just go for it” when it came to designing. I am 100% an advocate for just jumping in when maybe you don’t know everything or have everything figured out. I know if I never did, I’d be regretting it now… and I’d hate for someone else to have those feelings. I figured out all the particulars as I went, and I wonder if I spent more time researching or trying to figure out all those unknowns before starting I’d just be burnt out and end up not going for it. So if you’re thinking about taking the plunge into the world of crochet design, I beg you to take that next step into making it a reality. And if you find it’s not for you, that’s totally okay. You’ve learned something valuable about yourself and at least you won’t be thinking “what if?”

And that, folks, is my lil’ journey from being a crocheter to designing. Crochet designing really fulfills a deep creative desire for me, that I’m really grateful I get to do. It may not be for everyone, and I am in no way suggesting that everyone needs to be one. I just love sharing my journey on here with you, and hope to inspire others if they’ve got that itch, ya know?! If you have other questions about designing or blogging, leave them below in the comments. I love delving into this topic, so ask away... I’ll try to cover it in a future post. :)

Until next time,

How I became a Crochet Designer - Megmade with Love