Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For A Good Cause

Spring is in full swing and if you know anything about me at all, you know that I ususally catch the Tote Bag Fever right around now.

I picked out one of the world's prettiest fabrics for this one. It is for a good cause and it could be yours! A few months ago a knitting friend's husband died unexpectedly. She has four kids who will be entering college in the upcoming years, and our LYS is having an auction of cool stuff to benefit their college fund.

It is sturdy, fully quilted, lined and straps bound with contrasting fabric, and a little pocket inside for your phone or whatever. Watch the Wool and Company blog for details about the upcoming auction.
Speaking of tote bags, there are several more in the queue, so if you are afraid of catching the fever, you might want to avert your eyes for the next several days!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House of Totes

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Thank you SO MUCH for all the fantastic comments and suggestions that you left on the vending post. I intend to reply to you individually but I haven't had a chance yet this week. Thank you!!

My mom and sister arrived tonight (Allison from Los Angeles and Mom from Indiana) and we are hanging out/packing/watching American Idol tivo'd/they are shopping in my mini-yarn store that I have packed in rubbermaid totes in the corner/and we are all planning our knitting projects for the weekend. We are leaving early in the morning for the quilt show.

Everyone deserves a new tote bag for the quilt show, don't you think?
I got this bug fabric last year at Hancock's of Paducah. I have this thing where I have to at least attempt to use a fraction of the fabric I get before I go back the following year.

My sister has dubbed my home "House of Bags and Totes." I admit, when I am getting ready for a trip there might possibly be totes hanging from every doorknob in the house.
Speaking of bags, have you seen this fabric from Alexander Henry? It's called Sew Now, Sew Wow! If I can find it this weekend, I'm buying a truckload.

Perfect bags for the knitting projects that will be coming along with us tomorrow.
Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Madison Knit-In

Hi Friends!

Here is my weekend round up of my trip to Madison a couple weeks ago, when I went to vend at the Madison Knitter's Guild Knit-In.

The best thing about the weekend was sharing it with Blogless Carla. She is the best yarn assistant in the world! She puts the booth together better than I do. (Waving to Carla!!!!!) Thank you!!

You might remember that I've only done this once before; last fall at Yarn Con in Chicago. So I learned a lot again at this show and kind of used the weekend to test whether I want to add vending to the etsy selling on a regular basis. It is a LOT of work.

My booth here was a lot bigger than the one at Yarn Con. The other major difference was the flavor of this show. There were a lot less indie vendors and more professional booths. I felt a bit self conscious with my plastic bins (see below), next to all the professional display racks.

I also learned that I need a big sign. I had smaller signs distributed along the tables, but nevertheless, one lady thought my booth was named "Gym Lights". (You'll have to embiggen the photo above to get that.)

The last thing I would say, is that many vendors had the ability to take credit cards, and I didn't. I did lose a few sales to that. Except for one at the end, when my friend Marilyn from Black Water Abbey (love her and her yarn!) heard what was happening and offered to run it for me. Thank you!

So. Sign, credit cards, more interesting/professional booth display. These are the things I would work on if I were to do it again. Please don't write and say I'm being hard on myself! I am just trying to be objective, and give myself constructive criticism and learn. Read on for the stuff in the "good" column:

Things I wouldn't change: the yarn, the customers, sharing a fun weekend with a great friend. I think I will try to do it again, maybe just 2 or 3 a year, especially shows close by.

Oh yeah, and I won't change the little candy display, (which was a huge hit at Yarn Con with the Candy Corn). This seasonal display was Easter M&Ms and Easter Basket yarn. Yum and Yum!

Here's one more thing I want to discuss. The use of samples. I have heard so many stories recently about samples being stolen from yarn stores and yarn show booths, so I've a little reluctant to display knitted samples. At Yarn Con, I took a few shawls, scarves, socks and fingerless gloves and kept them under the table and brought them out when people had questions.
However, I know from my own experience how well samples help sell yarn. I have been drawn in many a time to a beautiful shawl hanging in a booth. Before Madison, I knit another little baby sweater and a pair of booties to show how much you could get out of one skein. (Yarn color Pale Rose).
I also set out a few scarves and fingerless gloves. It is especially helpful for people who walk in the booth and love the yarn, but don't knit socks, and want some ideas for other things you can do with it.
I think that if, instead of using my own items that I have knit for myself/worn/loved/become attached to, that I knit a few items specifically as samples that I would feel better about using them.
What do you think about samples? What do you like to see? I would love to hear your opinions. Have a great weekend, everybody!

(Cute Baker's Rack above courtesy of my mom. Thanks Mom!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Hello, my friends, long time, no see!

To my fellow readers who celebrate Easter, I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday with friends and family.

How about a little tidbit of spring knitting?

I don't usually get so elaborate with the Easter dresses, but I scored this year: the purple dress was a hand-me-down from a neighbor, and the blue one was from a thrift sale. Knowing that Easter is often chilly, I decided to make little shrugs, and using the white for both tied them together. (There is only so much longer that I can put them in matching outfits, as Older Sister is heavily resisting.)

The yarn is Berroco Glace from stash, and the shinyness of the rayon made the sweaters dressy and looked really nice with the fancy schmancy dresses. Since I was using a heavier weight yarn than the pattern called for, I knit one size smaller garment to compensate.

I see more of these in my future as they are a snap to make and look so stinkin cute, and would be great in Cotton-Ease over tank tops for summer nights.

Pattern: Jane Austen Shrug (Ravelry link) from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. I just made one tiny change and used yarn overs instead of M1 for the increases, making it a tad bit lacier.

Super sweet!

This past month has been one thing after another, and I have a backlog of things to show and topics to discuss. Hopefully I can settle in now with some spring sewing and get back to the blog. Are any other moms out there counting down the weeks until school's out? People! I feel like summer vacation is a freight train and it's a coming down the tracks!