Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on knitting and craft fairs

Warning: Introspection sans photos here.

I've been thinking about Ted's comments - after I got over the feeling of impending abandonment by a super-talented virtual knitting Friend.  I think none of us should make a decision to give up something we have loved..., we shouldn't make that decision in the low light of the cold seasons.  It's time to hibernate, but have dreams of coming out to a warm, sun-bathed Spring where everybody smiles and says how nice it is to see us again.

If a big part of the reason we knit is so that other people will oooh and ahh over our work, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.  I admit that when I knit something I think is especially nice I want others to appreciate it too.  I need to get over that.

Last weekend was the Friends of the Library Craft Fair.  I learned quite a bit about what other people want.  The Noro scarf went before the doors were officially open.  The neck warmers made of handspun yarn were appreciated, but had to be marked down to $10 before they sold.  The old-fashioned items and wash clothes were still on the tables at the end of the day, but the felted catnip mice were gone shortly after we opened.  The seaman's scarf sold for a fair price.  Hats and colorful mittens were good, especially if they were glittery.

Next year I'll have to figure out how to balance what I want to knit with what might sell at the craft fair (no more pi shawls).  What I might enjoy making:  fair isle hats and mittens; thrummed mittens; seaman's scarves with lace patterns.  To balance these things that I would enjoy knitting, there would be some things I believe others want that I might not enjoy making so much:  more felted catnip mice and some felted dog bones (dogs like to carry their toys around in their slobbery mouths); knitted toys; other terminally cute items.

So, I'll keep knitting, but when knitting for others I'll knit what they might want instead of what I think they should want.  And to make it interesting, in order to donate items for a fund raising event I'll have to design the items myself (or get permission from the various holders of the copyrights).  There's the challenge - graduating to design.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shawls are not popular

20081119 Neck Warmer.jpgThis is the penultimate photo of items for the craft fair, a neck warmer.  It was fast and easy, a pattern from Faina Goberstein.  The yarn is some mohair/wool handspun I bought at the Kings Mountain Art Fair in Woodside, CA, several years ago.  I'm glad the yarn finally has a purpose, other than just looking pretty in my stash.

Speaking of Art Craft Fairs, Chico's Friends of the Library Craft Fair is this Saturday.  This neck warmer is priced at $8 for sale.  There will be many items for sale at low prices. 

About the title of this post, "Shawls are not popular"... I spent about 3 months knitting on a lace pi shawl.  It was supposed to be a gift, but the intended giftee didn't want a shawl.  That should have been my first clue that shawls aren't as loved by the rest of the world as they are by me.  I decided to raffle off the shawl to raise money for the library, since nobody would pay the $100-plus dollars it is worth.  At least I think it's worth over $100US.  It was on display in the library for two weeks and raised a total of $10 in raffle ticket money.  F*ck!  Last night at a CFOL meeting we passed an envelope around for people to buy tickets and raised about $80 more dollars, which makes me feel a little better... but I think the people buying the tickets were doing it because they are active library supporters, not because they think the shawl is particularly wonderful.

You know what is popular?  Felted mice.  I should be able to raise about $128 for the 32 mice.  Sh*t!

... which brings up the question, "Why do you knit?"

I think for me, it's the process and the product.  I've learned a lot about knitting the right product for others, and it isn't necessarily shawls.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friends of the Library Craft Fair

CFOL Bookmark

The Friends of the Library (1st Annual!) Craft Fair is on November 22nd - we meet tomorrow to organize and price.

I just finished these bookmarks.  They are crocheted with cotton thread, stuck to a stiff piece of paper, and wrapped in cellophane.  I have no idea what to charge for them.  J thinks they are worth $5, but doesn't think anybody in Chico will pay that much.  She's probably right.  We'll see what the committee says tomorrow.

I'm making a declaration now.  I will never do production knitting/crafting again!  This is supposed to be fun.  Making a few bookmarks is fun.  Making 11 bookmarks is work.

I do hope people show up for this craft fair.  If they don't then many of my friends will be getting these for Christmas :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Protect Marriage

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

This video is funny and current.

Progress on JLG Christmas Stocking

20081112 Stocking ProgressThe JLG Christmas Stocking is still in progress.  I'm done with the top and will begin the foot next.  I love reading Meg Swansen's directions - pithy, just like her mom's.

She gives you plenty of information to complete the stocking.  The chart is complete and the text is informative.  The text is more like a discussion than line-by-line instructions.  Makes you think.  Makes you look at your knitting and figure things out.  Does my number of stitches make sense with what Meg is saying?  Why yes it does, and I'm feeling pretty good about this stocking right now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

20080910 Vietnam Era Helicopter at Fruita MemorialI'm thinking of all the boys and girls my age who went to Vietnam.  The ones who aren't lucky enough to be veterans today are memorialized in several places around the USA.  One such place is the Vietnam War Memorial at Fruita, Colorado.  I didn't expect to be moved by it - after all, it's not like it's the big memorial in Washington D.C.  But, in Fruita they play 1960's era rock and roll, and they have a way-too-long list of the Colorado casualties in Vietnam.  It was hard to stay composed.

20080910 Vietnam Memorial StatuesTo all the veterans, from whatever war, hospital, or guard post, I wish you a future of peace and love.

To my uncle Danny and my Father, who were in the military in WWII... thanks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Type

The Typealizer web site tells me I'm practical. I call it plodder.

Yes, I have been knitting.  I think I have made about a million mice for felting.  Three skeins worth of mice.  I'm tired of mice!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bidwell Nature Trail

We found a part of lower Bidwell Park we've never been to. I didn't think that was possible after 7 (8?) years of living in Chico. There's a nature trail on the east side of Hwy 99 near the Nature Center. Who knew?

We've had a couple of days of rain, and we forgot to close the top to the garden waste bin. J took it upon herself to dump the heavy thing this morning and strained her back. Hence the short 1/2 mile walk on the nature trail instead of our usual longer walk on Sunday morning in the park.

It's a historic (1888) tree farm.