July 2011

Should You Sell At A Crafts Fair?

I had a particularly disheartening crafts fair experience this weekend. On the up side, it left me with many hours to ponder the ins and outs of setting up a table to sell your wares at a craft fair or bazaar. And to talk shop with our booth neighbors and other vendors.
I think many people decide to show at a fair because they find the prospect of selling online to be complicated, daunting, potentially frustrating, and beyond their level of experience. I can totally understand that perspective, but consider the investment in time, money, and effort that a crafts fair represents. Maybe it would save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run to hire someone to tutor you on selling online!
One refrain I heard over and over was some variant on "I'm hoping

Needle Felting: a craft in which bacon is soft and cuddly


Somehow simple sheep wool and a spurred needle have come together to create the hottest trend in crafting since the knitted scarf.  It’s called needle felting.  A few weeks ago at the Urban Craft Uprising craft show in Seattle, needle felting projects were everywhere and were so cool! A booth sold little mottled purple creatures with big white eyes that lit up when you pressed their stomachs.  Another hocked miniature felted bacon and eggs frying a tiny skillet with magnetic backing.  Needle felting was the talk of the show with constant demonstrations techniques by pink-haired ladies with sleeve tattoos. 

Macrame: Craft of the 70s

I got some new plants recently, and it started me daydreaming about the perfect plant hanger. It would be a macramé plant hanger with an owl. So classic 1970s! Only one problem: I don't have the slightest idea how to macramé.
Macrame began in the 1700s with the rise of sea traffic. Between whaling ships, pirates, military ships, and other vessels, knot-tying was a popular art form. Sailors would show off their knot-tying skill to each other, and created small handicrafts in their spare time. They used sailing rope, of course. Not a lot of cashmere yarn around on an 18th century whaling ship. It experienced periodic resurgences in popularity over the years. Wikipedia says that it was popular during Victorian days, as a way to add embellishment to Victorian ladies' dresses and furnishings. (The Victorians were simply mad for embellishments!)

Getting Started with Circular Needles

As a new knitter it soon becomes obvious that eventually you will have to try circular needles. And millions of experienced knitters beckon you from "the other side"! Join us!
Why use circular needles? It's certainly possible to spend your entire knitting career only knitting back and forth. But circular needles (double-pointed needles or DPNs are a topic for another time) vastly expand your repertoire as a knitter. You can knit a much better hat if you use circular needles! Not to mention sleeves, seamless sweaters, and more.

The Brioche Knitting Stitch

Brioche stitch has become one of my favorite stitches for knitting a big mindless scarf. It has that rare combination of being easy to memorize, non-curling, same on both sides, and not too "froofy" to be used for a man's scarf. It's everything you could want in a simple scarf stitch, and it's good for a lot of other things besides.
Nancy Marchand is the undisputed queen of Brioche Stitch. Although many people come to Brioche Stitch through Elizabeth Zimmerman, who called it "Prime Rib." Unfortunately, many people find that Zimmerman's instructions were a little too "pithy" when it came to Prime Rib. I know for a fact I'm not the only person who gave up on that pattern in frustration!