Friday, April 09, 2010

My Life as a Yarnie

Hello my friends,

This week has been a little of this and a little of that. I am awash in knitting projects to finish, and I've been doing a little spring sewing, but nothing finished to show yet. So I was trying to think if I had any news to blog about, when it occured to me that I never posted all the photos from the Madison Knit-In.

So, here is a little peek into the life of a traveling yarn salesperson.

Here is the overview of the booth, starring my friend Blogless Carla (aka Carol Merrill.) Every booth space at every show is different, which is one of the challenges. Even though you know the size of your booth ahead of time, you usually don't know the location on the floor, the lighting, and whether-or-not it will be backed in bright green astroturf, etc.

Some of these aspects can really make a difference in your show experience. Luckily, at the Madison show, there are no dark back hallways to get stuck in; no "bad" spots. This booth shape was very long and narrow, but we tried a couple different table configurations and made it work.

And now for the Grand Tour. Let's start at the front.

I bring my own quilts for the tabletops to add a lot of color to the booth and make it homey and inviting.

This is a big wire basket that I found in a shed of our old house when we moved in. I'm thinking it belonged to an old refridgerator. It is enjoying a second life as yarn displayer. Carla put those colors together. Blues, pinks and purples, you see why we get along so well?!

Moving on down, you come to the main part of the booth, the great wall of sock yarn. People tend to stand here for a long time. Should I get this one....or that one.....or this one.....or that one.... It is fun to help them make choices. Really, it is the best part. It cracks me up when they leave for a few minutes and return with their friend/sister/mom to help them make a decision. If Carla helps them, the customer usually ends up abandoning the decision and just buys them all. (Did I mention she is an excellent assistant!) She uses her Jedi Mind Tricks.
To get technical about the booth display for a minute, those wire crates are from Target and they are the dickens to put together. I wrote about that a little bit after Yarn Con. But Neil from Wool and Co. gave me the best tip during Yarn Con when he told me to get zip ties and after you have each section put together, put a couple zip ties around it to hold it together permanently and then they don't pop out of position when you move on to the next section. Thanks Neil! My life was much easier this time.

In front of the yarn wall I have a lot of one-skein scarf samples. I like to knit scarves as much as socks, and I like to wear scarves out of sock yarn because they are lightweight but still warm and so soft. Currently I have 5 samples but I would like to add a Clapotis and possibly find a nice little stand to display them.

Moving further on down, we have reached the Baby Department. (Sorry for the blur, I might have been getting low on blood sugar when I took this one. Comes with the territory.) I love the Baby Department. Everybody knits for a baby at some point. Superwash sock is perfect for little sweaters, hats and booties.

Speaking of booties, I made up a bunch of bootie bundles for the show. Three mini-cakes of yarn, enough for three pairs of booties, or one little sweater, or Barn Raising squares....the possibilities are endless. Two packs would make a little blankie. Three packs would make a bigger blankie. I have sold these on etsy in the past but it's kind of a pain to photograph them and it's better to have them at a show. They are a great seller, kind of like a Magic Ball but you get to pick your own colors. I intend to make up more samples using these. Oh, the hardship.

And I always have the candy/yarn dish. In the fall it's candy corn and in the spring it's pastel mms.

At the back of the booth I have the baker's rack that my mom found for me at a garage sale. At this show, it houses the "other" yarn. I've got some worsted, some merino/cashmere/nylon blend, and new for this show, silk and sea cell. I'll be putting some of these up on etsy later this month.

And around the corner, back to the front of the booth we have Carla in the Worsted Department. My mannequin is sporting the Wicked cardigan and a zig zag scarf that I just noticed I haven't put on Ravelry yet so I have no link. In fact, most samples you see here should be on my Ravelry projects page in case I didn't link to them all.
So, we have come to the end of the tour. I hope you enjoyed it!
I'm going to be vending again this weekend at a brand new show sponsored by My Sister's Knits in Chicago. It's called the Beverly Hills Yarn Fest and it will be Sunday afternoon at the Beverly Art Center in Chicago. 11-5pm, admission $2. Looks like a really nice line-up of vendors so come out and spend an afternoon. If you stop by please introduce yourself and say hi!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My Sweet Little Bunny Holding One Large Rabbit

Happy Easter to my dear readers! I am wishing for you a beautiful day filled with family, friends, and joy.