Donner Pass Beanie Pattern

One of the hats I made to sell this crafts fair season. Easy to knit up and comes in toddler, child and adult sizes.  The colors I used reminded me of the leaden skies and snow that we get in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Enjoy!

https://nittinninja.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/donner-pass-beanie1.pdf

 

 

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Maybe It Wasn’t Meant To Be…

I really hate that expression.  It’s usually preceded by some depressing story about love, loss, etc., with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.  What are you supposed to say?  “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be” always seems to be my go-to platitude.  And if to the receiver, I’m sounding like a broken record, then you need to make your life better, even if it wasn’t meant to be!

The incident that brought up this vitriol wasn’t nearly as dramatic as those stories one hears, but equally frustrating.  As those of you who have follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been busting my buns, making accessories that I hope will sell at crafts fairs.  I was excited that maybe today, the last day at this one venue,  I’d be able to cover the basic costs of making all these goodies.  With three dismal shows under my belt, I was willing (and still am) to give it another go.

I made my normal preparations last night, ensuring that I had proper ice packs for my lunch since the temperature hit the 80s today – again – that I had plenty of business cards, that all the inventory was in the traveling bags, that the dummy heads still appeared presentable, and everything that was in its proper place and order.  Everything was A-OK.  We were ready to roll.

Then reality sets in.  Didn’t get to sleep until 6 am and the alarm went off at 8:40.  Had to splash cold water on my face at least twice.  Since part of my prep is picking out the clothes I’m going to wear, that didn’t take long.  With a set-up deadline of 9:45 looming over my head, I was in my car and driving with 25 minutes to drive 10 miles and be ready for biz.  As I don’t have a very complicated display table, we were still good.

Then the fuel gauge gives me an orange light.  We are on “E” and I’m not one of those types willing to push my car’s gasoline capacity limits!  So I had to go out of my way to get to a gas station, and while there, I discovered I had forgotten my cell phone.  I needed that to make scheduled calls as part of my business.  So back I go.

When I get back in the car it’s already after 10:00.  That means people are already ambling around at the farm, looking at the animals, examining the goods for sell. Well, mostly ambling around in my limited experience; it’s rare that people start buying before before 1:00.

After reassuring myself that the owner, who was emphatic about being on time, won’t be too terribly miffed, I’m watching my speedometer to ensure I don’t get crazy fast, which is kind of hard on these back roads anyway, and trying to remain positive.  I hate being late, especially in this kind of situation, but I always seem to be in a losing battle with the clock.

When I reached my destination, all was well.  No one was waiting with arms crossed and toe tapping, so I pulled my van into the vendor’s area, being as careful as I can because there are little children everywhere.  I see my spot, turn off the engine, and scoot around to the back to start unloading everything.  And I see this. 20171028_115345

So let’s play the game of “What’s Missing?”.  See it?  No?  That’s because it’s not there.  The table, where I’m going to place everything and drape with a cloth and dangle items from there with clothespins.  OMF!

I text the owner and ask if she has something I can use.  She does not.  And I’m hemmed in now by the horse buggy that’s loading up with it’s first payload of the day.  So I wait.  When the buggy has moved, the owner comes around and helps me back out so everyone’s safe and she’s all ready to see me next year.

The point of this story?  I’m losing my mind.  I cannot believe I forgot the table.

Well, it’s done and apparently, there will be another opportunity for another major screw up next year!!!

See you in the funny pages.

To Etsy or not to Etsy?

I’m going full tilt trying to get a Christmas inventory set up for either;

a. Etsy
b. Local Crafts Fairs
c. Consignment shop

To break it down, they all have their pros and cons. Let’s start with Etsy.

~ Worldwide competition where items are offered for less than I can purchase the yarn, 1.8 million sellers as of 9/5/17, and monthly fees.  This would seem to be a dismal market for a small crafts maker such as myself and I’ve read in more than one article that finding a niche market is what  a successful entrepreneur does.  I don’t do that.  I make what moves me at that time.  The are two things that offsets all this negativity is that it’s relatively cheap to sell and one does have a larger market.

Now onto Local Crafts Fairs

~ Nasty weather, low turn-outs, long hours of exposure to said nasty weather, seller’s permits and insurance are all part of selling directly to your customer.  Having said that, the big draw is that you are offering a product and the buyer is looking, handling and appraising the product right there.  No waiting for shipping, no information given at the electronic checkout, it’s just look, like, buy.  There’s a lot to be said about this approach in our instant gratification society.

Consignment shops

~ High cost of sales, the disposition of the shop owner and their willingness to display/market your product.  These would all seem to be a major deterrent, but if you are in with a shop owner who has high foot traffic, this can mean $$$ for your Christmas budget, UNLESS you get paid after Christmas.  With me, that would not be a problem, as I don’t have small children in the house.

So there you have it.  And now that I’ve written it, down, it seems I will not Etsy again; at least, not at this time.  It looks like the crafts fairs and consignment this year!  Thanks for hearing me out, you guys!  What do you all do?

Shark Week Socks KAL

It’s that time of year again.  The summer sun bears down on us earthlings with a vengeance, parching the ground, drying small ponds and sending us scuttling indoors where we shelter from the heat with our air conditioners, swamp coolers or just plain fans.  The public pools smell of sunscreen and are packed with children jumping and splashing and not paying attention to where they’re doing it.  A cracked skull may be in your future if this is your venue for cooling down.

If you’re lucky enough, you live close to the ocean; close to a large mass of water that regulates the temperature and cleans the air and is fun to frolic in with plenty of room.  No cracked skulls there.  You are fortunate.  You are blessed.  You are also probably wealthy, or are living in the house your great-great grandparents purchased back in the day, and it’s staying in the family.  Either way, it must be sweet.

Except I would never get in the water.  I’d be hanging out at the public pools – if such a thing exists next to the beach – and taking my chances with the splashing, jumping kids.  And the reason for that?  Sharks.  I was okay with going in the water until I turned 12.  “Jaws” the book and movie changed my mind.  Since then, I have learned of other, valid reasons why one shouldn’t go in the ocean, but the most dramatic and compelling justification for avoiding the open seas remains the movie.  And what better way to celebrate the fact the I’m freaked out than knit a pair of cool socks during Shark Week!

The Knit-A-Long starts on the 23rd of this month, so you just may be able to get your yarn in time if you want to join the fun.  This will be my first KAL and I’m excited.  If you rolled your eyes at that last statement, you are not a knitter!

See you in the funny pages!

Lovely, squishy yarn!

Click on pic to get Lara Smoot’s Shark Bite II sock pattern available on Ravelry

Good Times, a Parking Ticket and Farewell to a Dear Friend

 

On Worldwide Knit in Public Day, June 10, I made the 100 mile round trip trek to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to knit with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen for awhile.  Last Knit in Public Day event I had been to was in 2015, and we were outside where I had to sit on some hard ground. Well, it was the well manicured lawns around the capital building, but ground is ground and it can be hard on these middle-aged bones! Being indoors with air conditioning during a heatwave was a welcome relief and I didn’t have to constantly shift my weight for pressure compensation.  It was a pleasant affair and I did enjoy myself immensely.  We closed them out at 2:00 pm, and my friend and I walked to our metered parking spots where I discovered –

A parking ticket.  I had been very careful to choose the time I wanted and paid up with a debit card and was unhappy.  I’ve disputed the ticket, and now I’m in ticket limbo.  Fun.

On a sad note, I had to put down my beautiful baby boy, my chocolate labrador retriever who was 12 years old, on June 29.  We were there with him at the vet’s office when he passed peacefully.  I’ve been crying on and off for the last few days – in fact, I just finished a crying jag.  I have a Queensland Heeler and a Chihuahua mix rescue doggie, and they’re adorable, but they’re not my Mario.  He was my 24/7/365 companion.

I’m not having a good year.

What’s happening with everyone else?

For the first time in over 30 years…

I’m doing my laundry in a laundromat. Such captivating entertainment!

And it is expensive. Wow. Takes me back to the last time I did this. I was active duty stationed in England. And so young! 

I am also going to take advantage of this down time to update my readers (hi mom!) of what’s going on. 

St. Patrick’s day hat – incomplete

I have been in a strange mood. I should be whipping out bunnies for the upcoming Easter season, but I just don’t have the heart.  Same for St. Patrick’s day. 😕 I understand life goes on, and I also understand that sometimes, you need to sit back and watch it go by, even though it rankles the hell out of me. 

But I don’t understand what I did to highlight these paragraphs!

I must say all is not lost. I am making headway on my Hawaiian shirt that I attempted last year. 

Wave action!

 I’m not using the same cotton yarn I tried last time, but a more user friendly acrylic. I’m very excited about it and will post the pattern as soon as it’s finished – assuming it makes the cut. 

So, dear readers, I hope you’re enjoying your Tuesday, or as in my case, reliving an experience – and making the most of it!!

Sad News

Necessary mittens

Necessary mittens

It’s February and this winter has gone on forever.  Normally, I’m a real fan of cold weather.  I look forward to having a crackling fire going in our stove or playing outside in the snow and having an excuse to knit or crochet almost nonstop.  Of course, this month is generally when the blahs kick in and I can’t get excited about anything, but this year the constant rain and darkness and worry is creating a different feel to my usually scheduled February lassitude.

On Sunday, my mother-in-law passed away (see Of Flooding and Exploding Dryers).   That was way ahead of schedule.  My husband was shocked, naturally, but also because he had just talked to his mother only a few days ago and she hadn’t indicated things were any worse.  As to the why my husband and I had this erroneous notion that her death was in some mid-long distant future, I can’t really say.  Maybe because she appeared to be relatively healthy and mobile when we saw her last month, or maybe, truly, we just didn’t want her to go.  Since this notion created a warped sense of of time, preparations that should have been made earlier were all of a sudden upon us.  We’ve spent the last several days making travel arrangements, funeral arrangements, buying clothes and so much more that I can’t think straight – and there’s still a lot more to do.  As I lie here in bed, typing this entry in the dark, I hear the wind whipping up the trees and hope this won’t delay any travel plans for tomorrow because I am ready for this to be over.

Our new fur baby, Nicky, playing with his recently adopted brother, the chocolate lab, Mario.

Our new fur baby, Nicky, playing with his recently adopted brother, the chocolate lab, Mario.

In the meantime, life goes on.  I’ve managed to make a few more hats for sell, make our new little rescue fur baby a doggie vest and I’m working, slowly, on a pair of mittens.

What are you working on?  I need some good news, dear readers!

*Name changed for privacy.

Ain't he a little stinker?

Ain’t he a little stinker?