Product and Update Plans

For 2021

I’ve done two little updates for this month, and I have a sale going on through the end of January for 40% off all product that was in the store prior to 2021.

Starting in February I plan on doing one big update each month. The update will take place on the second Wednesday of every month going forward.

The February update will include scarves, Junimo and Slimes inspired by the game Stardew Valley. I have a small obsession with the game, as I know many people do.

I do plan on adding more Dungeons and Dragons inspired products as the year progresses, I’m still finalizing designs.

I will be updating the YouTube channel (Octojelly Crochet Studio) next month, I’m getting ready to start filming the making of a star shawl. I will also be posting a video of me using a lovely manual yarn winder that I received for Christmas. I will be live streaming that on Twitch as well. I’ll announce the particulars of that on Twitter (@OctojellyS) if it interests you to watch that.

Looking back and moving forward

2020 was certainly not what anyone expected it to be. I could probably write a series of posts on that and it wouldn’t be enough. I also promised that I would not talk politics here, so I won’t do so.

From the prospective of the shop, I did much better that I thought I would. I did just over 4x the number of dollars than I did in 2019 and sold over 100 items. I only sold 7 items in 2019.  I also had orders in 28 out of the 50 US states. I even had my first international order in 2020, which is awesome.

I spent a good portion of Dec. 31, 2020 going over and recording all of my numbers for 2020, and have decided to make a few changes. They are as follows:

  1. I will be adding shipping options for the shop, I will announce those in another blog once I have finalized those options. The additional options will start in February.
  2. My goal will be to update the shop every other Wednesday, at least twice a month. I will be rotating out product periodically, moving those to sell onto Facebook or Ko-Fi. When I do so, I will announce it.
  3. I have also decided that this blog will be updated, at minimum, every Tuesday, with additional updates I see fit.
  4. I’ll be going live on Twitch at least twice a month, teaching crochet streams. Those live streams and other videos will be placed on my YouTube channel. I’ll relay that schedule when I finalize it.
  5. I’m going to be doing a lot more on my various social media accounts, not just Twitter and this blog as well to help further my goal of making this my full time income stream.

I’m also planning, before January is over, to obtain my business license as I have decided to try doing in-person craft fairs in 2021, and having one will make doing paperwork easier.

The main goals I have for the shop in 2021:

  1. Have at least 10 orders a month to meet a goal of 120 orders for the year.
  2. To have at least 1 commission order a month
  3. To offer a better variety of products.

This is it for now, I’ll have more in the next behind the scenes update. I’m also going to try to get 1 or 2 of the other categories updated before then as well.

Good luck in this new year everyone! I hope it brings you only good things.

An end of year update.

The title is because I highly doubt I’ll be updating this again before the end of 2020.

These last few months have been a little crazy, thus my highly erratic posting schedule. I started a new job with a set-ish schedule, so that will help get this blog into a more regular posting schedule.

I also, if you visit the shop (, have not updated the shop in a little over a month. I’m planning on updating the shop during the first week of January 2021. I’ve been working on some new products to add and I want to get a good amount of product to add before I do that.

I’ve also decided that before the summer of 2021 that I’d like to get my business license. I’ve priced it out and done the research. It will be a little more than I thought it would be to get it all right the first time, but definitely less than others I talked to about it thought is would be.

I resurrected my ko-fi account ( to help raise the money for my license. I realize that with all the Covid chaos going on that I probably won’t get much, but I figured it would hurt to try.

I’ve made some plans for the shop for next year. Among these plans include moving some of the product from the shop on Etsy to the shop options on Facebook and Ko-fi. Still working out the logistics of that.

I’m also going to start streaming on Twitch, teaching crochet. Those streams will then be added to my YouTube channel.

I also want to try to update this blog at minimum, twice a month. While I would love to update this every week, I figured I should, in theory, realistically be able to update twice a month to start out with.

I wish everyone I good holiday and a healthy new new year.

Customer Service

What is customer service?

For those of us who have worked in some form of retail or restaurant setting, we know that good customer service essentially boils down to not making the customer upset.

The same holds true with the online shop world, with the notable difference that you don’t have to deal with the customer face to face.

A few days ago, I received my 22nd shop review, and along with it, my 22nd 5-star review.

It gave me a moment to think about my shop. I treat all of my customers like family. I know everyone of my repeat customers by name. I do my best answer any inquires within an hour or two of receiving them.

As for the products in my shop, every single product is tested by my 3 year old son. I love him, but he is destructive with toys. If the product survives him, it gets cleaned with a non-scented detergent, photographed and then added to the product bin before it gets added to the shop. My twitter followers have seen me refer to him as “Quality Control” in my posts.

I also hand write all of my thank you notes. Yes, I’m aware that should my shop make more than 7-10 sales in a month, this will not be feasible, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I also trace the octopus onto index cards to act as the front of said thank you notes. Again, should I make this a full time gig, this won’t always be doable, but I’ll figure that out when that happens.

A Simple Photo Set-Up

I’ve gotten a few questions recently about the background that I use for my shop photos. So I have decided to write a little blog about it.

My Supplies:

2 sheets of 23/32 2 ft x2 ft Sanded Plywood

2 Rolls of 18 in contact paper

Now, I bought the contact paper before I bought the boards. I got both rolls off of Amazon. In retrospect I should have gotten the 24in rolls, but on the woodgrain side that I use most, you can’t really tell that the roll wasn’t wide enough. The other side, with the blackboard paper, well, it’s pretty obvious that that the roll was the wrong size, which is part of the reason that I don’t use it, unless I’m using it as a background for filming.

I bought the boards from my local Home Depot for $7.32 a piece. The boards are now up to $10.94 a piece. I will note here that wood product prices vary for many reasons, including the time of year, the location selling said product and where said product is sourced. I know this because before I really got into my crochet business, I working for 9 years between 2 Home Depots and 4 years between 2 Ace Hardwares. I worked these hardware stores in Virginia, Alaska, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.

You do not have to use boards this thick, I used them because I wanted something that could stand up on its own with minimal assistance from me.

Once I got all the pieces, applied the contact paper to both sides of the boards.

Side one:

As you can seen, woodgrain is awesome for hiding seams. I know that all the sites that talk about setting up for product photos tell you to use a white background, but I felt, with my product, white would throw off the colors and I likes the wood background better.

Side two:

When using a solid color, try your best to use a roll that is the same width as the board, otherwise you end up with this hot mess.

I was, originally going to connect the two boards, I even bought a couple of brackets just for that purpose. Ultimately though, I opted not to do that. I like being able to move the boards around and changing the direction of the grain work.

Social Media: A rant of sorts

So I’ve been sitting here on and off for most of the day trying to figure out a social media schedule for the shop’s Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube, as well as this blog.

This is on top of planning out posts for said blog, as well as upcoming products. I also still have a house to clean and a toddler to look after.

I’ve done the research for optimum posting times for the various sites, watched an umpteenth amount of Skill Share and YouTube videos about planning a social media campaign and I’ve come to this conclusion:

If you can afford to let someone else do your social media for you, absolutely let them.

I’m trying to juggle so many things right now that I honestly have days were I feel like I’m burning out. I still have a crochet stitch sampler swatch video to record (I’m going on almost a month now where I really should have recorded, edited, and posted it, by now). The problem with the recording is that every time I have time to do it, it’s either 11 pm at night and I’m thoroughly exhausted or it’s daylight and my kid is refusing to nap and screaming bloody murder because I left the room.

Eventually I will find a happy medium between the shop, the social media world, raising a toddler who really is to smart of his own good, and not burning myself out. I just hope it’s soon.

Shop Product: Crochet Egg

Galactic Eggs

So these eggs, dubbed No-Yolk friends by my Twitter followers, started out with just me playing around with a pattern from one of my many crochet books (and I did check, I can make and sell products from the book, I just can’t put the pattern on the internet.

Sushi Egg

I make most of them out of worsted-weight acrylic yarns, but ones like the Sushi Egg, that are a combination of yarns are usually a mix of a worsted weight acrylic and lace weight wool blend. I always use poly-crylic fluff and either safety eyes or plastic buttons for the eyes.

The eggs have become much more popular than the dice bags, which honestly surprised me. I did not anticipate them becoming as popular as they have. I’ve been told by a few customers that they are using them as a substitute for a stress ball.

Not yet named

In lieu of the fact that the holidays are quickly approaching, I am planning on making many, many more of these, as well as some other additional things to add to the shop.

Business Update

For those who haven’t figured it out, or read one of the few posts that I mentioned it in, I run an Etsy store called Octojelly Crochet Studio. It can be found here:

As I work towards making my Etsy shop a stable source of income, I have decided to take on commissions. Some of my product in the shop already have a custom option. For something that isn’t in the shop:

The commissions can be anything, within reason. If the item in question involves a copyrighted, or trademarked image, I will be turning those down. Mostly because I don’t want the legal fight that will ensue should it be discovered that I made the item.

Also, I actually respect other artists work. So if I get a request for an exact copy of someone else’s work and all you’re really looking for is a cheaper price with the exact same materials, I will turn that down. Being a cheapskate is not a reason to ask for a commissioned piece.

I will ask that commission requests be sent to me via email. The email address is

This is just so I can keep all the requests in one section and allow me to keep track of the orders better.

Copyright and Why It Matters

Or Why It is Imperative to Ask Permissions to Make Things Based off of Someone Else’s Work

So I had this plan to write a post about the books I have in my crochet book collection. Then I looked at the different copyrights in said books. While I do plan on writing that blog later this week, today’s blog will be on copyright, licensing, public domain, and trademarks. All of these are of the utmost importance if you plan of crafting things to sell. I know a few craft sellers who were shut down because they neglected copyright and licensing and got shut down fast, and are still paying off the fines involved.

The General Process for Gaining Permission

  1. Determine if Permission is Needed
  2. Identify the Owner
  3. Identify the Rights Needed
  4. Contact the Owner and Negotiate Whether Payment is Required
  5. Get Your Permission Agreement in Writing


What is a copyright? By definition, a copyright is the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.

In laymen’s terms this is the right to copy something. The original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

What happens when you don’t follow the rules when it comes to copyright?

That is known as infringement of copyright. Infringement of copyright can get tricky, especially if you’re under the belief that the item in question falls under public domain or isn’t trademarked, which I’ll get into in a little bit.

It is important to note that any individual or business that infringes copyright can face legal action. Infringement is usually treated as a civil offence, although it can, in certain circumstances, be deemed a criminal offence, with damages awarded by the court. Depending on the severity of the infringement, the result can be a fine or even imprisonment.

According to the United States Copyright Office, the following are the legal stances on infringement on copyright .

Infringement on Copyright:

  1. General: Except at otherwise provided by this title, an infringer of copyright is liable for either:
  2. The copyright owner’s actual damages and any additional profits of the infringer, or statutory damages
  3. Actual Damages and Profits: the copyright owner is entitled to recovers the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the infringement, and any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the infringement and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages.

When it comes to sustaining the burden of proving infringement:

If the copyright owner sustains the burden, and the court finds the infringement was committed willfully, the court may increase the award of statutory damages to the sum of not more than $150,000.

If the infringer sustains the burden, and the court find, that the infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted and infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion, may reduce the award of statutory damages of not less than $200.

All of this information, as well as how to register a copyright, can be found on The quickest way from there to get the information is to type Chapter 5 in the search bar. Chapter 5 is the section of the US Copyright on Copyright Notice: Deposit and Registration.

Public Domain:

By definition, public domain is all creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived or may be inapplicable.

In general, works published after 1977 will not fall into public domain until 70 years after the death of the author, or the corporate works, anonymous works, or works for hire, 95 years from the date of publication, or 120 years from the date of creation, which ever expires first.

That being said, as of January 1, 2020 anything, with the exception of audio, published in or before 1924 is now public domain.


Trademark, also called trade mark or trade-mark.  This is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognized sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services and usually called service marks.

Trademarks DO NOT expire. These will persist so long as the owner continues to use the trademark.

If you are not sure if something is trademarked or not, find out. If it is, avoid it unless you obtain permission. Disney is a prime example of why you don’t violate licensing/trademark rules. They have a site you can go to to apply for permissions. If you don’t, they will find you and either make you a deal or sue you and take your earnings for the item or take your shop. I know plenty of people who this has happened to.


The licensing I’m going to refer is called a product license. This involves obtaining permission from a company (licensor) to manufacture and sell one of more of it’s products within a defined market area. The company that obtains these rights (licensee) usually agrees to pay a royalty fee to the original owner.

A royalty fee can be either a flat fee or a percentage of the sales of the products that are incorporated in the license.

These are just the board overview for these particular topics. Do your own research for who these pertain to your products.

As always, stay safe out there everyone. I’m hoping to have the next blog post up before Monday, but that depends on how the rest of my week goes.

What is an Octojelly?

An octojelly is a cross between an octopus and a jellyfish.

My octojellies started out as a pattern for an octopus in a crochet book I got for Christmas a few years ago. The original pattern is for an octopus that is roughly 2 inches x 1.5 inches.

In my excitement to try a new pattern, I used what I had on hand. The completely wrong hook size and the wrong yarn. The ending result was a funky looking octopus that was 6 inches across and about 10 inches in length if you count the tentacles.

A friend of mine fell in love with the thing, and I started getting requests for more.

At this point I was still calling them octopus. They because octojelly after another friend of mine’s kids recieved theirs and decided that they were not octopus, nor were they jellyfish. The kids decided that they were a cross between the two, and thus, the octojelly was born.

Granted these days, as I’ve made more, they look more like octopus with the right yarn, I do still get to ones that look like my original attempt at the pattern.

One of the smallest, I’ve ever made. Its sitting in an egg cup.

Since then I’ve branched into making other things, dice bags and crochet crowns, for example. The octojellies are still at the heart of my shop

Dice bags
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