It sure has been quiet – but I’ve been busy

I know it’s been awfully quiet around here, but I’ve been busy being creative!

Summer came and went and now the snow is here – where does time go?  I surely don’t know!busy-bee

Each of our granddaughters came individually to spend a week with us over the summer – Hailey (age 8), Jordyn (age 14) and Rebecca (age 17) and we had so much fun!  We gave them each a list of things that we could do and they could each pick one “big” thing.  Hailey chose going to the water park, Jordyn chose horseback riding, and Rebecca chose an airplane ride.  We also went swimming at the lake, kayaking, made homemade sweet dill pickles, and to the fair.

The vegetable garden kept me busy – long into fall, I picked the last of the tomatoes from the greenhouse in mid-October!  I have a lot of homemade spaghetti and pizza sauce stashed away – just in case next year is not a good tomato year.

I did my very first craft fair in August (Rebecca went with me – that was on her to do list) – it was a total bust as it rained like crazy, luckily I had a tent with a roof and sides!  Because the first craft fair was considered a wash-out, I was invited back to the October show at no additional charge.

Everyone commented on how lovely my work was and how beautiful the amigurumi were – but they all seemed to run in the other direction when they looked at the prices!  It’s so sad when people act like they expect you to give away something that takes hours to create.  It was really rather depressing.  I didn’t sell anything!  I didn’t go with a lot of expectations as I know the amigurumi that I make aren’t for “everyone” – but I had hoped that I would at least back the money that I spent on the booth plus the cost of the item that I was required to donate.

My “real” job kept me busy and of course there were the presents that had to be made for Christmas – I’ll be writing about those over the next few weeks – look for today’s post about Jill the amigurumi giraffe.

My daughter and the girls came for Thanksgiving (they live 6 hours away) and we had Thanksgiving dinner in the early afternoon and then our Christmas that evening – so I can finally post about the things I made them for Christmas without letting the proverbial cat out of the bag!

I did a LOT of knitting this year, my daughter and each of the girls got a scarf, cowl or shawl and a hat plus each of the girls got a crochet amigurumi.  I still feel very much the novice when it comes to knitting, but do have to say that my knitting skills aren’t bad — ok, they are pretty darned good.  I still prefer to crochet and find that I can crochet SO MUCH faster than I can knit!  But I love the look of knitted lace – so I will continue to knit.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been taking a class offered through the American Crochet Association – called Crocheting for Profit.  This has been a REAL eye opener, especially after the two less than stellar experiences at the craft fair.  What I’ve learned so far through this class is that I’m really not charging enough!  Imagine that.  There is a lot of discussion about making a “fair wage” for your handcrafted items and I totally agree with that.  But yet at the same time, how difficult it is to compete with someone who charges basically for materials and a few bucks in their pocket or the cheap mass-produced stuffed animals that you can buy at Walmart.

I’ve discovered, what I have thought all along – that I have a niche market and that I need to go out of my local area to attend craft fairs in order to sell the items I create.

So needless to say, I have a lot of work ahead and need to make some changes to how I think about this “yarn related business” that I want to pursue.  So, I’ll be searching out juried craft fairs and setting up an Etsy shop for starters and I’ll have to learn how to market something that people want rather than need.

Enough rambling for today, so I’ll leave you with a photo of my current knitting project – it’s called Fall of Leaves Shawl, is available on Ravelry, and I’m using Malibrigo sock yarn in a colorway called Archangel.  It’s my first experience in working from a charted knitted pattern.