Celebrating 1,000 Crochet Patterns Sold

It’s official – Hi, Jenny Brown has sold 1,000 Crochet Patterns on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy.  Thank you so much to all the customers, supporters, and helpers who made this milestone possible! So how does one celebrate 1,000 patterns sold? 1. Throw snowballs at an unsuspecting Craft Husband… Luckily, the day after the 1,000th pattern was sold, the sun shone on our snow-covered NJ backyard and the thermometer rose slightly above the usual 32 degrees.  We ran outside to enjoy the balmy weather and found a mild-mannered target for our pent-up blizzard rage….sorry, Craft Husband!

Celebrating 1,000 patterns sold with snowballs - HiJennyBrownYou might think we’re evil, but check out the peanut gallery enjoying the naughtiness without getting their hands wet! You can watch us torture CH further here.

2. Make something good even better… In anticipation of this awesome milestone, I’ve been working day and night (sorry for the 3 a.m. tweets!) updating the Uppercase Alphabet, Lowercase Alphabet, Numbers & Punctuation, and Crochet Bannerama patterns.  Every pattern now includes new instructions on sewing motif pieces to any crochet project and a sizing guide, with plenty of measurements and estimates, that helps you pick the best yarn, gauge, and hook for your next project. Hi #5 - hijennybrown.com

for example: boucle bulky weight (#5) yarn   

3. Get Creative with the Coupon Codes I’m excited about the new changes and will be offering the updated patterns at 20% off until midnight Sunday, March 15.  So if you’re ready to pick-up the new and improved pattern, just use the coupon code “woohoo20” on Etsy or Ravelry. 4. Give everyone a present… While I was working on the pattern update, I also created a free sample of the Uppercase Alphabet pattern that let’s you preview the new layout and get hooked on crocheting letters (does that make me sound like a dealer?). Free HI Pattern - hijennybrown If you want to get a taste (I can’t stop), just join the Hi, Jenny Brown Email Awesomeness List.  You’ll get a weekly update from me plus a link to the free Crochet “HI” Pattern.  And I’ll give a free Bannerama pattern (a superpack of every pattern I’ve designed) to anyone who recreates that cover collage with their newly crocheted “HI.”  Gold nailpolish not required.  5. Say Thanks (over and over) Thanks again, y’all!  When I started selling patterns, I never expected to sell 1, and here we are 1,000 patterns later.  I know it’s cool to act like it’s no big deal when people buy what you make…but it is a big deal to me.  I love you guys!

Bye, Jenny Brown

All photos by Erin Markan of Folks Collected.  Thanks, Erin!

2014: A Little Too Good

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2015, I don’t want to give you a complex or anything, but you’re going to have a lot to live up to cause 2014 kinda killed it.  I mean, seriously:

I casually talked to some famous people

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No bigs, just John Hodgman & Jesse Thorn on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast and Michelle Ward during her Creative Live class in San Francisco (I also met Creative Live fan-girl favorite JKO, FYI).

Hi, Jenny Brown won an award for crochet photography (thanks to our amazing photographer Erin Markan) from Crochet Concupiscence. Thanks, Kathryn!

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Our crew moved to New Jersey and have yet to get a spray tan (or meet a person with one, btw) and enjoyed being just a train ride away from NYC.

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I released a New Pattern: Crochet Bannerama

Crochet Bannerama by Hi, Jenny Brown- 3 Pattern Multipack for crochet garland, banner, and bunting that you can personalize

and two free crochet project that use my letter, number, & punctuation patterns:

Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Project PatternLast Day First Day Back to School Crochet Reversible Photo Prop

One of my yarn bombs survived in the wild for 3 months (confirmed by Richelle of the Red Scorpio in November and by Jenna of Promo Analyzer in mid-December) and counting

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Hello Yarn Bomb - picture by Jenna of promoanalyzer.com

and I made a couple other cool yarnbombs (with help from Erin & Craft Husband).

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and a giant heart with the folks of Ohio Valley Handmade

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All We Need Is Love - Yarnbomb

I kinda killed it with school crafts

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I gave some pretty good advice

You Know What You Should Make - Hi, Jenny Brown

 

10 tips to help kids love crochet - Hi, Jenny BrownI had so much fun with Hooking for Good: donating 9 items to organizations throughout the country, donating $1 from every sale to Action Against Hunger, and giving away amazing items by Kari Chapin, Ann Espo of OpportuKnits, artist and podcaster Heather Saulsbury, and Adri of Moon Star Adri to you awesome folks.

Hooking for Good Crochet and Knit Donations - hijennybrown.com

And I LOVED seeing your FOs made with my motif patterns and project ideas!

A photo posted by Jacqui J (@yarnosaurusrex) on

 

Plus, I was humble all year long.

I also met so many amazing makers, artists, crocheters,  coaches, and enthusiasts this year, and I want to thank you all for your kindness and support.  Please forgive me for not mentioning you individually because inevitably I will leave out the most sensitive person, and I don’t want anyone to feel bad on the New Year’s!

See you next year,
Jenny Brown

Etsy Craft Party 2014

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One of the many benefits of moving to New Jersey (beyond the pizza, ice cream, and bagels) is the proximity to Brooklyn.  Of course, you can’t go up there for any old reason.  It has to be something super cool…like the 2014 Etsy Craft Party.

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Thank goodness for Erin, who took the pics (THANK YOU!), and her husband, who drove us all to the event Friday night (and let us pose with their cute kiddos).

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If you’re an Etsy nerd like I am, it’s a little crazy to see all the folks you’ve seen on Etsy townhalls, instructional videos, and blog posts just bopping around like it’s no bigs.

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It’s also a little ridiculous to look at table after table of folks off the street and think – these are my people!  There’s just no way of getting that experience outside a big ol’ city.

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Since photos were the theme of this year’s party, each of the attendees were given a packet including a vintage photo, embroidery floss, a needle, a piece of foam core, and instructions to enhance our pics with embroidery.  I had never done this before, and it was so fun!   If you’re also new to this technique, you place the photo face-up on the foam core, then use the needle to puncture holes in the photo.  The key is to be sure your holes are far enough apart that the photo won’t tear when stitched.  Then, you just go crazy stitching up a storm.

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So easy, a kid can do it.  (A kid who really wanted to wear my lego necklace.  He knows wearing DIY to a DIY party is the epitome of coolness.)

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Even a little guy who is a wee bit aggressive with his stitching technique.

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But look how neat his back is!

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Of course, Craft husband got in the act.  He put laced shoes on his photo (who knew he had such an advanced technique?)

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I was really digging the lady in my pic.  I feel I, too, would have fallen into the trap of matching my turtleneck to my short-sleeved sweater back in the day.

The highlight of the event for the kids was the Coolhaus ice cream truck.  Yes, I think a double-decker ice cream sandwich is the highlight of any event…

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…for a few minutes anyway.

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A certain sneaky someone even got a big, delicious bite of cookie.

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Thanks, Etsy, for a super fun party!

Bye,
Jenny Brown

 

Happy Mother’s Day, Crafty Mama!

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When I was a little kid, my mother had a corner of her bedroom that was filled with craft supplies.  They were all separated into plastic bags that were off-limits to us kids, and so, I spent every spare sneaky moment playing in them.  In one, yarn: glorious, colorful, über-acrylic yarn! In another, macramé beads and at least half a knotted owl.  Another: fabric bits that would later be vests or curtains or jam shorts.  Beside it all was a plastic organizer where she kept her neatly wound embroidery floss (the hardest to resist during the late 80s friendship bracelet craze).

My mom used these bags of goods to make beautiful blankets, doilies, clothes, and cross-stitch wall-hangings.  She’s the reason every indoor family photo has a granny square or ripple in the background.

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Eventually she taught me how to make the same stuff: first just the basic crochet stitches (which I used to make berets for every one of my friend Kristy’s enormous collection of My Little Ponies), and later quilting, cross-stitch, and sewing before swinging back to more advanced crochet.  My mom was always kind enough to tell me that my stitches weren’t quite right, that I was painfully slow, and that the back of every piece was a nightmare.  She wouldn’t hesitate, after letting out an exasperated “tisk”, to pick up what I was working on and tear it back to the last correct row or stitch (which was sometimes the slip knot).

And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s the way she treats her work, and today, that’s the way I treat mine.  Perfection isn’t necessary (and those of you who follow this blog will know, not even possible), but learning to do something the right way is worth the time and patience.  I will never be as good as my mom, but I am so lucky to have her as a teacher and crafty mentor.

And before I put my mom too high on a pedestal, let me share one of her greatest works: crocheted halter tops.  Oh, the yarn choice, the not-so-coordinated shorts, and the very idea of having nothing but double-crochets across your chest.  You were a wild one, Mom.

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All kidding aside – thanks, mom!  See you next weekend for a little crafting!

Bye,
Jenny Brown

I’ll Miss You, Best Virginia!

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I’ve been putting off this post for almost two weeks, and I’m not sure why.

As a perpetual sufferer of itchy-feet syndrome (i.e. the never-ending desire to move, move, move), you’d think I’d jump at the chance to tell you all that I’m leaving West Virginia and moving to the great state of New Jersey.  And I’m lucky enough to be taking my best friends (and their adorable kiddos) with me.  And Craft Husband found an Ah-mazing job that will help him fulfill his non-craft dreams.

But just when I get myself all pumped up about state jumping, I think about the things I’ll miss…did I say things?  I meant people.

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Like my friend, Annie, who threw this amazing faux-prom party to see us off.  I’ll miss you and your amazing, technicolor dream bar! (Can you believe she let CH and me make a balloon arch in her bar?  Deluxe!)

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And Michael, my former coworker and current amazing musician.  I’ll miss being serenaded from the barstool next to mine.  (Why did I never take a picture of this? Keep Julie sane for me, please!)

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And Alena and Mike, my favorite feminist and the world’s only real Californian.  We will write that morbid children’s book someday (at Chipotle?) – I promise!

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And Jennifer & Isabella!  Ah, my favorite mother-daughter knitting crew and fancy business ladies.  How will I live without your whispered sarcasm?

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And Stephen – my neighbor and uber-talented canjo craftsman.  Thanks for teaching me how to make an instrument while also teaching me a few new swear words.  (This photo courtesy my friend E from the Say Hello to…Baby blog and her amazing photoshoot with Stephen)

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And Jacqui – my sweet, talented crochet pal and ferret enthusiast! Gosh, I’ll miss laughing with you over super carbs and crochet hearts.

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Shoot, I’ll miss my whole craft crew (including the Wheeling-famous McKinleys)!

Most of all I’ll miss being so close to Sister & little Liam, my favorite craft buddy!

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And there are so many more folks to miss, and so many great memories just front-porch sitting and watching the neighborhood shuffle by, but I’m not going to think about it too much more.  I’m just going to be grateful for the (sniffle) experience and get ready (sniffle) for more great (sniffle) adventures to (sniffle) come.  I can’t tell you how glad I am to have known you all!

Bye and love ya,
Jenny Brown

Handmade Shopping Addiction

I carried a Watermelon - hijennybrown.com

Having an Etsy shop is mostly wonderful — unless, of course, you ever go to the Etsy site.  There you are, just checking your stats and all of a sudden…oooh, what’s that?  Wooden lockets?  And a few hours later you have a cart full of goodness and an empty paypal account.

During my last binge I scored this beauty:

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Fuse is a zine all about yarnbombing, and it is deluxe.  They had me at that throwback $2 price tag, but there is plenty inside to love.  Oh, and that sewn spine – love it.

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And while I was at it, I figured I needed to buy some roll-on perfume from Wicked Soaps.  Who doesn’t want to get all nostalgic and smell like vanilla (technically “Vanilla Noir”) while possibly singing Debbie Gibson’s greatest hits.

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But I wasn’t completely selfish – I did buy my sister the best present ever.  You know, she’s like the wind.

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Just when you thought the world didn’t have enough Dirty Dancing references!  Oh, and while I was buying from the Carbon Crusader, I figured I better get a few pencils for myself.

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I use them to track my Etsy sales and expenses – oh no!  I’ve come full circle.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Oh…My…Cuteness

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Y’all know I love my super cute helpers, and Mr. Babes (as he is unfortunately nicknamed) never disappoints.

I headed over to Erin’s house so she could photograph my crochet Valentines.  It was so crazy cold that I wore a hat and my enormous cowl.  The hat was a gift from Erin’s mom (so cute!) and the scarf I made for myself out of scrap Homespun.  It was my first knitting loom project, and I maybe overestimated the number of stitches needed.  It is so very toasty, though.

Well, as Erin and I were deep in conversation about the Valentines (or our husbands), Mr. Babes saunters in modeling my hat and scarf.  Oh how I wish I looked this good in them!  What a funny, cute kiddo he is!

Happy New Year!

year in review 2013 - hijennybrown.com

yearinreviewHello, all:

Looking back over photos from this year, I realize I was part of some pretty wonderful things: leading a group of knitters, crocheters, sewist, and embroiders who covered a downtown building with over 100 hearts of all kinds and helped sell the building; participating in the largest yarn bombing in the US; releasing a new pattern and celebrating over 500 patterns sold; and selling out of my first postcard run.

I think the best thing about this year, though, was the company I kept (and that means you).  I am so lucky to have Craft Husband, Erin (who took all the in-focus pictures above), and all my little helpers.  That’s not even mentioning the great folks who comment on this blog, kindly buy my patterns, and keep  me company while I continuously wrap yarn around that hook. Oh, and I spent a lot of time having fun and goofing off this year.  I need to do more of that.

I’m so inspired for the new year…but tomorrow is for resolving.  Today is for reveling, and I have a lot to revel in.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
Jenny Brown