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Original Crochet Patterns by Shana Galbraith

My girlie likes to model for me when she gets the chance.
This was the piece that really turned my shop into a success.
Thing 1 & Thing 2 hats for my kids' Dr. Seuss Day
Yarny goodness. I love COLOR. Rainbow displays often catch my attention.
Designing a pattern. You can see my notes in the background.

Not your Granny's Crochet

My first memories of crocheting are around age 7 or 8. My mom would give us her leftover yarn scraps and we'd make chains that stretched through rooms, down halls, and up and down stairs. The color I always seemed to end up with was brown. My mom was into crochet in the 70's though, so brown was probably par for the course.

Fast forward a few years and I had graduated to granny squares by the time I was 11. My mom still had to end each round for me and start a new color, but as the rows got bigger, I began to feel more accomplished and pretty dang proud of myself.

And I started incorporating color. Lots of it. I've always said my favorite color is green (which I truly do love), but I'm always irresistibly drawn to groupings that include all the colors of the rainbow.

A few years passed, and I became a teenager, and I didn't have time for something as mundane as crochet. I didn't pick it up again until I was in college. And by that time, I had forgotten a lot of what I had learned. So I started an afghan with my mom's help on Christmas break my freshman year. And from that point on, my need to crochet was insatiable. I picked up some books and taught myself how to read patterns and abbreviations, and how to work various stitches.

I crocheted as an outlet as I began having children. It was my "me time." And floating around in the back of my head was the desire to make money or be recognized for what I was able to do. I considered craft shows and ebay, but neither seemed like the right outlet for me. So those dreams got put on the back burner.

But my yarn stash grew. And grew. And grew. Fellow yarnies out there - you know what I'm talking about. ;) Eventually, I did try selling some of my items at flea markets, but nothing panned out.

Then, in the summer of 2008, a friend introduced me to Etsy. I was hooked. This was exactly what I had been hoping for. A place to sell my wares with a fabulous network and community.

I started selling hats and random pieces I had made from various patterns I had collected over the years. And I had a few sales.

Then, my husband lost his job. Suddenly, I felt the urgency to make my hobby into something that could sustain our family. I poured all my free time into my Etsy shop.

And then, I got my first idea for an original piece. I had never designed anything before, but I thought it looked like fun. Actually, what I really thought was: "I really think this is an awesome idea. But what if it really sucks? Or what if people hate it? Or what if I've got the sizing all wonky?" But I finally pushed ahead and listed it my first original hat.

And it sold. So I listed it again. And it sold again. So I had to make another. I was flabbergasted that someone else actually thought my work was as cool as I did. :)

At that point, however, I realized that even though things were starting to go pretty well, it still wasn't paying the bills, so I had to get a part time job. But the whole time I was at work, I was daydreaming of being home with my yarn and crochet hooks.

From there on out, the creative juices started flowing, and I started only listing items that I had designed instead of items made from other people's patterns. And I was having a lot of success.

In Spring of 2009, I decided to start not only selling my items, but the crochet patterns to make them. At that point, I moved all of my finished pieces to http://www.yarntwisted.etsy.com , and I dedicated this shop to my own crochet patterns.

It was only a few months until I was too busy to keep up, so I was able to quit my job and focus full time on yarnlovertn and yarntwisted.

It's been an amazing journey. I'm able to stay home with my kids, do what I love, and earn an income above what I made at my part time job.

I love Etsy and I'm so grateful to be part of this amazing community.
Shana
owner, maker, designer, curator
SAHM of 3, Crochet-a-holic, Novice runner, Zumba fanatic