Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Bounty - 1 of 2

Being known as "the knitter" has its advantages.

Especially Around Christmas-time!

My sister-in-law finds a lot of amazing things at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets, and whenever she finds stashes of knitting related books, it always becomes one of my Christmas gifts.

This year, I think I got over 50 pounds of knitting books and booklets.

And most of them were focused on men's knitting patterns.  Here's a little slide show of just the booklets.

There were 35 (with one duplicate) booklets...too many to post individually, so that's why I did the slideshow.

Next blog post will show the books and other fiber-related items I got for Christmas.

Current Knitting

While I was away at my sister-in-law's house for a couple of days celebrating Christmas, I decided not to bring any knitting, but she had a knitting project she had started a while ago...a prayer shawl...which she hadn't worked on for a long time.  I didn't get a photo, but I did added about seven inches to her shawl while I watched television.

And here's the current progress on my Easton Mountain logo blanket I'm working on.

It's all in stockinette, so it's curled at the moment, but when I start to put together the panels, it will lay a bit flatter.  I'm also thinking about lining it with a soft fabric backing to both hide the back of the blanket and to stabilize the curling after it's finished.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Back to Bliss

It's been a while since I worked on any spinning project, and I can't imagine why it's taken me this long to get back to it.

My True Serenity

I love knitting, but unlike many other knitters, I don't find it to be a meditative, serene activity.

For that, I turn to spinning!

Back in 2005, when Franklin came East to got to Rhinebeck and posted the following photo in a blog entry about his trip.

I had just taken ownership of my Robin wheel and with Gage close by, I was lovingly putting it to good use.  I still feel this way when I sit down to spin.

Current Spinning and Crocheting

I've had Mindy's mohair/Shetland blend fiber on my Robin wheel for about 2 years now, and I started spinning up some singles a while ago in a complementary blue/green colorway, figuring that I'd ply the two.   So now I'm focusing on finishing the mohair/Shetland singles.

I still have quite a bit of work to do.

I also made a little bit of progress on the new Interlocking Crochet Scarf in black glitter and teals/turquoises.

It's almost finished...I'm on my last row and then just weaving in the remaining ends.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Season is Upon Us

Whether it's the alleged annoyance of Christians to "keeping Christ in Christmas" or the frenzied retail pace, there's nothing that signals that it's the holiday season than an airmail package from James.

Wishing All QueerJoe Blog Readers a Festive Holiday

Thanks to everyone for good wishes sent...I accept and appreciate all good will.  Especially when it comes with fruity New Zealand chocolate!

Thankfully, the month of December is less stressful than many.  Yes, we have gifts to buy and trying to be thoughtful and generous each year gets more difficult for some.  But overall the preparations for the Winter holiday are mostly enjoyable.

I do have one more gift I need to buy, but it's already determined what it will be, so it shouldn't be very difficult.  We will also be traveling a little later this month...thankfully it's traveling I enjoy.

My wish is that your season is equally as joyous.

Current Knitting

It's been little while since my last blog entry and I did end up finishing the latest Cross Stitch Scarf.

I love the colors in this scarf, and think it's probably my favorite one yet.  I also started a new Interlocking Crochet Scarf.

It's being done with sparkly black yarn and streaks of vibrant color...this one may quickly become my favorite version of this scarf.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Back to Real Life

Having only vended in two art/craft shows this year, I've gotten a glimpse of what it's like for the casual vendor, the regular vendor and the professional vendor at these events.

Such a Newbie!

I'm still very new to this world of vending and craft shows.

It was shocking to see how quickly someone could unpack a van filled with shelving, display racks, display lighting, signage, as well as all of their products and all the bags, receipt books and extension cords they needed to set up their booth.  And the speed with which it could be broken down and packed back up in their van was equally as jarring.

Some of the people that do the art/craft show circuit regularly have their set up/break down routine down to a science.

For me, even a simple display took me quite a bit of time to pack into the trunk of my car, transfer into the show venue and organize and set up my booth.

And given that I will only be doing shows in October, November and December in any year, I don't think I'll ever be able to match the efficiency of the hardcore regulars who do these shows.

But overall, I found the process quite enjoyable.

Financially, the two shows I did were minimally self-sustaining, in that the time and cost of materials and the cost of the booth were covered by sales with some additional profit to pay for the initial set up costs (cost of the table and display busts, etc.).

Socially, the shows were a lot of fun.  I loved the co-vendors at both the shows I did and enjoyed the interactions with customers and friends who stopped by to look at my knitwear

Since these first two shows were really just testing the waters to see if  I wanted to continue next year, the result was yes, I do want to continue doing this next year and will probably expand to do 4-6 shows in the last quarter of 2017.  Plenty of time to plan and re-stock inventory between now and then.

Current Knitting

While I wasn't able to finish the Clockwork shawlette/scarf in time to display it for sale, I did finish it Sunday night after the show.

I also started a new Cross Stitch Scarf with the leftover yarn from the last one I sold at the show.

I am learning quickly which items and colorways sell best (at least to the limited customers I have worked with so far) and I'm confident this scarf will sell quickly at my next show.