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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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?

Knitting – machine or not?

Doesn't look like knitting

Doesn’t look like knitting

I made the mistake of signing up for a machine knitting group, thinking it was a regular knitting group.  I have just unregistered, but it got me thinking.  Again.  Am I knit purist or snob?  I don’t think using a knitting machine can be rightly considered knitting.  Is it even a craft?  I’m not dinging the people out there who love to do this.  I know it’s a lot faster to finish a project than hand knitting, but I also know it’s limiting.  I had purchased a machine about three years back because I thought for a minute that I wanted to crank out my own sweaters.  Then I went on YouTube and looked at some how-to videos.  It doesn’t appear to require a whole bunch of…technique.  Is that what a makes a craft?  Practice?  Discipline?  Does it take any of these things to use a knitting machine?  I have no idea, as my foray into the world of semi-automated knitting was short lived.  I didn’t even open the box; I returned it immediately.

Ah. There it is.

Ah. There it is.

I think it depends on why you’re using the machine.  My idea of making my own designs and then making the garment was valid enough; however, while waiting for the machine (I ordered it online), I realized that my passion was not for cranking out mass amounts of sweaters, but the act of knitting itself.  Feeling the needles in my hand, the yarn that seems to automatically wrap around my right hand fingers for tension, holding my mouth a certain way as I fight with a particularly difficult cable, the whole throwing vs. picking technique, continental vs. English, the mobility of it while you tote around your latest pair of socks, sitting around a table with other knitters while talking about knitting! – that’s knitting.

I would like to hear from both sides!  For those of you who use machines, do you use them exclusively or do you mix it up with hand knitting?  For those of you who hand knit, why did you start?  Was it a yarn thing, the finished product thing, a family thing…?  Let me know.

Halloween Purse Pattern – Free until midnight of September 29th!

My Halloween Purse poll got such a nice response, I decided to write a pattern for it.  Be warned – you will need a sewing machine.  Follow this link:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-purse

and use the code “halloweenfreebie” to download the pattern for free until midnight on September 29th.  Don’t forget, if you like the pattern but would like to use it past Halloween, just change the colors.  It’s a versatile, sturdy tote that will get you compliments – this has been field tested!

Enjoy!

Front

Front

Back to Square One…Or Is It Stitch One?

So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down.  Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it.  Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery.  I was stumped.  As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along.  And I also included the point that had me guessing.  If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!

I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again.  I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex.  Like I need that with this!  Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

You ever spend way too much time on the wrong project with the wrong yarn at the wrong time of year?  Welcome to the last several weeks of my crafting!  I have been fighting this thing since the beginning.

Several weeks ago I put out an impassioned request for some ideas on how to use the linen stitch.  I rattled off a list of items I didn’t want to make, which included a cowl, but as a proper linen stitch needs to be worked in the round, I was limited.  So what did I do?  I started a cowl.  No big deal.  Except I had to cast on 16 different times because I kept twisting the foundation row.  That is such a rookie mistake, that I should have taken my cue from such an inauspicious start.

I didn’t.

The yarn is Malabrigo that I’ve had tucked away in a bag in my closet for over a year, and I wanted to use it.  I even rescued a snarled skein that had previously kept me from using the yarn at all – that’s how bad I wanted to get this thing started!  As for a pattern, I was loosely basing in on Kristen Kapur’s Chickadee Cowl, but not having too much success.  The yarn combination was just wrong for me.  So now it sits, rewound and back on its shelf in the closet, awaiting a more suitable project.

Doing the Eye of Partridge stitch for the heel and loving it.

In the meantime, I figure it’s never a wrong time to work on socks!

See you in the funny pages.

 

 

The Five Stages of…

making an error/finding an error in your current knit or crochet project.

5 stages... (1)What started as a joke posting on my Facebook page, actually made me do some rethinking about the 5 stages of grief.  It was 3:00 am and I’d just discovered that a pattern I’d downloaded, printed up and purchased yarn for had not been written correctly.  Maybe someone else who is a sharper tack than I would have caught the error and amended it before they were 3/4 of the way finished.

So, while I was frogging my project, I felt a funny should be made.  You know, the kind of idea you come up with in the wee hours of the morning.  Maybe it was because I was loopy with sleep that I made this connection, but I do believe it’s valid, at least to how I reacted to this particular incident.

When I first realized that it was the pattern and not a misunderstanding on my part, I thought NO WAY!  (denial); rapidly followed by irritation that I’d gone through all the hoops to make this happen (anger); then I started thinking of ways to fix it at this point (bargaining); but quickly determined, with a sinking heart, that it wasn’t possible (depression); and just started with the frogging (acceptance).

See?  It was all there in a microcosm!

What weird connections have you made recently?