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?

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From Scarf to Cowl and Shark Attack Socks

It is with a heavy heart that I must say….I FINISHED THE DAMN SOCKS!  Yay!!!  I was working on those so long that I felt I was in a bad relationship.  Say bye-bye to the shark socks – woohoo!

With that out of the way, I could focus entirely on my scarf.  I was so excited to finally work on a pooled crochet project.  If you saw my last entry, you know how keen I was to be doing this.  It was going to be the prettiest scarf, ever, with tassels and everything.  When I finished with the first skein, I was figuring out how to join the two yarns so that the color sequence remained the same, and discovered that in order to make the match, I would have to pull not from the center but the outside.  I unwound the factory skein with my yarn winder so the correct end would be used.  Ok, so I can be funny that way; I just didn’t want to be pulling from the outside as it always causes trouble later on!

As I successfully joined the yarns, I had to blink my eyes several times because, oh crap, the colors weren’t the same hue.  In my haste to begin with this beloved project, I failed to check dye lot numbers.  Goody.  I had already unwound the new skein, so there was no returning or replacing it.  Double goody.  What do you do when this happens?  You check how it fits around your neck and make a buttoned cowl, or neck wrap, which was no easy feat considering the pattern I was trying to keep; but, I persevered and got ‘er done! Ta-da!

I will be making a scarf next, and I will be checking the dye lots!  I will also be using a different technique to see how that goes.  I’ll let you all know.  In the meantime, behave!

See you in the funny pages.

 

Fast Fridays and Crocheted Pooling

 

The long hot days of summer have a way of making one lazy.  I still haven’t finished the Shark Bite socks I was so eager to start a month ago.  I’ve completed one sock and I’m slogging my way through the other one.  I’ve had to frog this project so many times I’ve seriously thought of giving it up; however, after spending $43 for the yarn, I just can’t.  I’m sure they’ll be my favorites as soon as they’re done, but that seems like such a long way away.

In the interim, I’ve started on a scarf using the pooling technique.  I’ve put that one off for awhile.  I’d heard about how hard it was, but argyle plaid is one of my favorite designs, so…

My progress since making the video

But it’s not all work, work, work over here.  I actually went to the races, something I’ve done only once before in my life.  The actual racing itself doesn’t capture my attention, but as I went with a good friend whose son and grandchildren are involved, it took on a meaning.  I had someone to root for rather than just watching some bikes race around a lap.  The engine noise could be a bit loud, but all I had to do was pull out my hearing aids and we were rocking!  LOL

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All in all, we’re enjoying life here in Northern California.  How about where you are?

See you in the funny pages!

Review on Red Heart Scrubby yarn

Aaaand….we’re back.

I purchased this yarn several years ago with the intent of making it my “next” project, as soon as I was done with whatever I was working on at the time.  Oops.  I’d actually started this particular post around then.  Its been languishing in the Drafts section, silently accusing me every time I wrote about something else.  Why haven’t you whipped up this easy project?  I’d skim over the Drafts option and choose New.  Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.

So, what did I think after the two year wait?  The yarn is nice and scrubby, textured enough to make finding stitches a little difficult.  I can definitely see its value as a household cleaning item.  But this is a double-edged proposition.  For the yarn to be effective enough, it has to be coarse enough, and that can make it rough on your skin as you’re working it.  I had to stop twice before chafing started!  I will also add that I already have dry, rough, older skin, so this may not be an issue for all of you who try it.

As for the particular pattern I used, Fancy Flower Scrubber, that sucker is big.  I won’t be making a second blue one because I can’t see using them for their intended purposed.  It’s way larger than my hand so it wouldn’t be ergonomic for me.  I may whip up a simple square in hdc just to use it up…but later.  Need to give my skin a break.

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?

Let’s Be Honest

Hey, everyone.  How are your holidays going?  Treating you good?  I hope so.  Although this post has landed perilously close to Christmas and, I assume, other holidays, it has nothing to do with them.  Let’s take a break from that, shall we?

I want to take a moment and talk about us liars out there.  You know what I mean.  “Knitting is easy!”  “Crochet is a breeze.”  I’m very guilty of this.  And you’re shaking your head, if not physically, then mentally.  What is she talking about?  Knitting is easy and crochet is a breeze!  Ok, smarty pants.  Maybe for you, and a very small minority, it was a breeze.  Your needles fly under your deft fingers, your hook is moving so fast that it’s a blur and every stitch is perfect.  New techniques?  No problem.

Like the title of this post says, let’s be honest.  Think back to when you first picked up those knitting needles, felt their heft, or gazed wonderingly upon that crochet hook, marveling at the sleek lines and how they turned into…well, the hook.  Some of you may have to really dig in the vault of memories for this, but do it.  Did it feel natural?  Remember that first chain, and how proud you were of yourself.  And then, when you got tired of that, discovering how to turn and create stitches.  Let’s not forget that first successful cast on row.  My tongue worked as hard as my fingers!  Speaking of tongues, we also have our own language.  You think k2tog then yo or dbl through fp means anything to anyone else?

….but, think of the beginner.  How many will give up because it’s just too hard?  For whatever reason, they are done after that initial foray. Their skeins of yarn will either gather dust in some forgotten drawer or be thrown away (gasp! oh, no!) because they’re taking up space. And yes, there are a great many people, who, literally, simply don’t care.  Of course, they will enjoy the fruits of our labors, and marvel at the overall beauty of the gift, but that’s as far as it will go.  However, for us, we wanted to do it.  Whatever our motivation was at the time, we wanted to do it; and we did.  Look at us now –  champions of the crusade!  Not only is it easy, there are multiple benefits to knowing these crafts.

And I for one, think we should respect our hobbies for the honed crafts they truly are.  Will I stop saying it’s easy?  Probably not.  Should I?  Yes, most definitely.  Is all this work worth it?  That, I’ll leave for you to decide…