In the end, though, I'm starting to think the real money in crocheting is in patterns.
I completely agree with you about that. If you look on Etsy at the top sellers you'll probably never see someone like me who sells crochet items, but you will find people who sell crochet patterns. Out the wazoo they sell them. But I haven't given up yet.
I think a lot depends on what you are planning on selling. For pot holders or dish cloths, etc. I've found it can be hard to sell those online. I've never done a craft fair, but I think people see that and think even though it may be cute, eco friendly, whatever right now it's not worth spending a little extra buck on it over the dollar store.
Selling crochet right now has to be unique items that people don't
think they can make at home and are willing to spend more for. Like pretty, quality scarves - baby hats! Baby things seem to sell like crazy. You have to find a little niche in the craft, like me with my slippers.
As for pricing my items - I usually don't use a whole skein for my items so I estimate how much I've used for the price of supplies + time (I charge about $10/hr) and then I usually add a teensy bit more (like a dollar or so to make it an even amount) which will cover shipping supplies, listing fees, Paypal fees, blah blah blah. You get the picture.