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?

Advertisements

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.

 

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?

Presenting…the Chicken Skodie!

chicken-skodie-3I do love the hood/cowl combo, so I decided to make another version of it -the chicken skodie! I don’t know about where you live, but chickens are real popular in my neck of the woods, so I thought, eh, why not?  Quick and easy to make like all the others, this will be someone’s favorite winter accessory.  Free for your use, if you do make to sell, just link back to me.

Enjoy!

Pattern

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

My First Knit Blanket

So easy to make.

So easy to make.

With the days getting shorter, the leaves turning color, and here in California the rainy season has started, it’s easier to stay productive with

One day this little strip will grow up to be a comfy throw!

One day this little strip will grow up to be a comfy throw!

the yarn.  While I was making the Halloween Purse, I got a special request for some minion hats for Halloween.  Didn’t have a pattern, and since it was for my niece’s daughters, I threw in the pink.  Real simple.  And now, I’ve taken up my very first knitted blanket project.  Knitted, not crocheted.  I’ve made plenty of crocheted blankets because it just goes faster, but this is thicker yarn and I’m hopeful it will be done before Thanksgiving.  We’ll see.

 

From Rug to Table Runner; OR, I Didn’t Buy Enough Paracord

Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades.  One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor.  The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit.  Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed.  Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.

Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood.  This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable.  I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store.  Without further thought or research, I did just that.

I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook.  With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it.  I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it.  As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside.  It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements.  My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.

Will I?  Yup.  But later.  My fingers got callouses from this!