Personal Projects

The Blog is Back Up!

Almost a year after my blog server crashed, I’m finally setting it back up. On the downside, my backups started failing sometime in 2018, so I was only able to restore the content from 2018 and prior. On the upside, I should be able to piece together some of the missing articles from information in my videos, and I’ve got some new crochet patterns to post as well.

So, let’s go over what’s happened with Crafters Autonomous since the blog crashed in 2018.

Towards the end of 2018, I posted a CAL (crochet along) for a customizable ugly Christmas sweater. At this point, I’d been on YouTube for a year and a half and had posted over 150 videos. My channel was just about to be get approved for monetization, and I was excited to see how Crafters Autonomous would grow. I had a little over 1,000 subscribers, which might not seem like a lot when so many channels have millions of subs, but for me it was a huge milestone.

As we got into 2019, I had a couple crochet projects, like a video on how to block crochet projects and another showing several borders using just single crochet stitches, start to get a lot of views. And by a lot, I mean a couple hundred views after a few months, which again was a lot to me.

But then that summer, I got my first taste of what it could mean to be successful on YouTube. I posted a video showing some easy diy options to create a cow costume for Chick-fil-a’s cow day. If you’re not familiar with cow day at Chick-fil-a, it’s a day when anyone who shows up in a cow costume can get a free sandwich. Am I the kind of person who will embarrass myself a little bit for free Chick-fil-a? Absolutely!

Anyways, that video got over 2,000 views in the first week, and I earned a whopping $10.30 from YouTube that day. Again, not a lot, but it is a significant jump from the normal $2-4 I was earning a day. While I’m on the subject, if anyone tells you YouTube is an easy way to get rich quick, they’re lying. Some people take off faster than others, but the channels that blow up their first year are the exception not the norm. And everyone whose channel grows big put a lot of work and time into creating content. However, creating YouTube content is a very rewarding experience, and fortunately I’m earning a bit more from my channel these days. But more on that later.

To wrap up the cow video story, I was excited the video did so well it’s first year. Just think of how well it would do the following years! Of course, you know how 2020 went, and cow day has been canceled every year since. But hey, at least I made $10 off the video!

Towards the end of that summer, I finally posted some crochet patterns on my Etsy store. It’s been a bit slow building that up since my focus has been on the YouTube channel, but over time I’ve added more items to my shop. I also have 4 or 5 patterns ready to be posted once I can get some pictures taken! But since it’s taken me a year to rebuild my blog, it might take me a bit to get those posted on my shop. 😉

Once Autumn 2019 rolled around, I finally tackled a project I’d wanted to try for a long time. I love fall (and fall decor!) and I figured I could create a cute scarecrow using some thrift store items. It turned out so cute, and I love assembling him every year. If you give this project a go, be sure to read through the comments for extra ideas and tips. One follower shared the idea of stuffing the scarecrow with newspaper, and another suggested using empty 2 liter bottles taped together. Both of these ideas are great options for this project!

Then the calendar changed to 2020, and I found out my favorite craft store from my childhood was permanently closing. Probably should’ve clued me in on how the rest of the year was about to go!

But fortunately 2020 wasn’t all bad. For starters, lot’s of people discovered (or rediscovered) crochet. It was time for the pocket shawl and crochet cat couches to take the crochet world by storm. As someone with 3 cats, I had to get in on the cat couch creating, so I put together a couple of simple designs to make cat couches. I also blogged about them and included extra pictures and a typed up pattern for each method. But then the blog crashed in the fall, so I lost those articles. I’m hoping to get those patterns posted on here again soon.

Later that month, a follower told me about a big collaboration giveaway happening in the yarn community on YouTube. It sounded like so much fun, so I joined the Christmas In July Fairies Giveaway 2020. I discovered so many crochet channels through the giveaway, and a lot of new followers found my channel. It was such a blast drawing names and sending prizes to the winners!

That summer, I reached a big milestone on my channel- I hit 5,000 subscribers! To put this in perspective, I gained 1,000 subs in my first year and a half on YouTube, and in the next year and a half I gained 4,000 more subs. This is also around the time I started seeing the same names comment on my videos. I read every comment y’all post, and it’s so fun interacting with everyone. My followers are always working on such neat projects, and they have great suggestions to make the diys I show even better!

Once Christmas started to approach, I shared several holiday themed diys and crochet projects. Some of my favorite projects from that time include a cozy winter hat, a faux lantern made from dollar store picture frames, and a crochet snowman project. Now, I had posted a written pattern for the snowman back in 2019, but again the server crash lost those articles. Fortunately, I’d saved the pattern to my laptop, so I’ll be able to post that here soon. If you make this snowman (or any of the projects on my channel or blog), I’d love to see your creations! You can tag me on Instagram @Crafters_Autonomous or on Facebook when you share your projects.

Since a lot of my followers crochet, I spent the beginning of 2021 sharing several crochet projects and techniques. I had a miniseries on ways to make crochet scarves longer, and I came up with a few more crochet border ideas. Designing crochet projects is always an interesting experience, and these were no exception. I try to incorporate creative new methods into my designs while also keeping them simple and easy to use.

And then in May 2021, I posted a video that was going to take my channel to the next level. I didn’t know it at the time of course, and it didn’t change things right away. The first few days after posting, it reached over 1,000 views, which only happens to maybe 1 out of 50 of my videos. I put a lot of thought and planning into the video, so I knew it needed a catchy name. I eventually settled on 5 Crochet Hacks That Actually Work & That I Use All The Time! I know, super catchy, right?

That was in May. As the summer went on, I participated in the Christmas In July Fairies Giveaway 2021, which was a lot of fun once more. I also got an amazing clearance yarn haul from Hobby Lobby. I’ve been slowly working through this yarn and plan to continue sharing the projects I’m making.

And then at the beginning of August, it happened. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but suddenly YouTube started recommended my crochet hacks video like crazy. After only getting a couple dozen views on it a day, I was suddenly getting 3k or 5k or 12k views a day, all the way up to a peak of 17.9k views in a single day. It was crazy!!!

Today, it is my most-viewed video. It even surpassed my poorly-produced-yet-wildly-popular diy cardboard barrel video and has over 300k views. It’s been so exciting hearing how these hacks have helped people. As you likely figured out from the title, they’re techniques I use all the time and find super helpful. So whenever I get a comment saying one of the hacks helped someone with their project, it makes me very happy. After all, that’s what I set out to do with Crafters Autonomous. At the top of my site, you will see a tagline that reads “Giving you the knowledge and skills to craft-it-yourself.” And that’s what this video was doing by helping others with their crochet projects.

It also led to a lot of new followers for my channel. I was sitting around 9k subs before it blew up, and now I’m over 19k subs. I really am so, so thankful for the incredible support people have shown. Since crochet was bringing in a lot of views, a lot of my recent content has been crochet focused. I compiled some more hacks into two follow up videos (here and here), and I also shared some project inspiration for beginners (here and here).

One of my favorite things I’ve recently crocheted used some of the clearance yarn I’d bought earlier in the summer. I’d bought some thin cotton yarn because it was such a good deal, but I had no idea what I was going to use it for. (Life tip: if you don’t want to empty your bank account buying yarn, only buy yarn if you have a specific project in mind. I obviously didn’t follow that advice in this case!) I finally realized that it would work great for a summery tank top.

I posted the tutorials at the beginning of September, so for us northern hemisphere dwellers it was kind of poor timing! And I knew it was time to finally rebuild the blog, so with three days left in September, I started rebuilding the blog.

I also had a mix of crochet and non-crochet projects prepped for October, but then a great, modern day tragedy befell my family – we lost internet for ELEVEN DAYS. To be honest, it wasn’t terrible. I can survive without internet. But it’s a little hard to run a YouTube channel or rebuild a website without internet. So needless to say, when it finally came back up today, I was ecstatic.

So now the blog is live, I’m hoping to upload a tutorial overnight, and that catches us up from when the blog crashed in 2018! I hope you’re excited for more videos and more blog posts, and if you’re new here, welcome to Crafters Autonomous!

Happy Crafting

~Amanda

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