Should I Specialize in a Certain Art?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Photography 
I've heard many, many times about specializing in a certain craft and its benefits. I've been really thinking about this lately for myself. I crochet. I loom knit. I'm needle knitting. I make journals. I design greeting cards.  And within those arts, I make a hundred different things so there's not a great chance to narrow down one particular item and make it a specialty. Hubby asked me once, "out of everything you do, what do you most like to make?" I really don't know. I love so many things about crocheting, knitting, and paper crafting. Now, I'm even learning to sew.

However, I'm only one person with two arms so I know I am going to have to give this some more serious thought. I do know how much I love working with bulky and super bulky yarns and I like large crochet hooks and knitting needles. I like how fast a gift can be made with those yarn weights and out of all the crafts I listed, crocheting definitely is the one that has my heart. Whatever I specialize in, it will be crochet. The other arts I would still do, but more on the lines of non-commercial (meaning for ministry / charity and gifting, or something I want for myself). All I have to do now is figure out what I like to crochet the most. Think about it...specializing in something means:
  • that you must really love that item and making it over again doesn't bore you.

  • be able to mass produce it in different colors and/or embellishments. This way your customers will see something different and not the same old item. Your finished pieces are different enough that it doesn't deter too much away from your main pattern but they're still unique and interesting.

  • has to be something that can be made quickly yet still be professional and well made.

  • finally, something that you can wrap your entire business around meaning website, social media, etc. Too many different items can seem confusing and cluttered to visitors and customers.

One of my major problems is that fabric arts takes time to make so stocking my Etsy store regularly is a challenge.

One of the ladies I follow owns Fresh Stitches. She specializes in crocheting animals. She writes and sells her own patterns for these cute little critters plus she sells kits and embellishments through her kit club that her customers buy to make the animals themselves.

I also follow Hypnotic Hysteria on YouTube and she specializes in making loom knitted items. She's one of many designers that write patterns for CindiWood Looms.

I went through my photos of items I've made trying to see if I could see a pattern for things I made the most and shared it below.

crochet star stitch

The star stitch is one of my favorite stitches, it uses the shell stitch on the bottom and top. I love the shell stitch of five double crochets together and it's the pattern I'm using to crochet a mermaid afghan.

Crochet to look like knitting

One thing I love is how knitted items look and I wondered if there was a way to make crochet stitches look knitted so I went in search on the internet. I found out that there is a stitch that you can work by starting a row in half double crochets and followed by working in a 3rd loop on all other rows. It pushes the stitches forward and gives the illusion of knitted stitches. I'd love to explore this technique more.

Crochet Scarf

This is a asymmetric crocheted scarf with tassels I finished a few months ago. I used Lion Brand Homespun yarns for this item and I love how it turned out. And as much as I love to make scarves, it's not an all-around all year kind of item for everyone. Not everyone lives in a cool climate. So, I'm still searching and taking my time making this decision...so this post will need a follow up!

Do you specialize in a particular art form or crafty thing? How did you make the decision to specialize in your creative business? Tell me about  it in the comments below.

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