STRESS!

What in the world have a I gotten myself into.

The stressors in my life right are:

  1. Work. (It’s been a week.)
  2. My health.  (Why can’t I feel better?)
  3. Going on vacation soon. (Wait, shouldn’t that relax me?)
  4. Doing a craft show at the end of the month.  (Perhaps it will be better than last time.)
  5. Editing photos from a job I had last weekend. (How in the world did I take 600+ photos.)

What do I have got going for me?  Well, my friend Joan is coming over tonight, so we can commiserate about work stuff.  And I’m dog-sitting Patrick here, who is being snorgled by my mom, and time with the Paddy Dog is always nice.

I need to just focus on one thing at a time.   Tonight, it’s all about relaxation.  I have a long weekend because of Columbus Day, so I have a little extra time to get things together, and to get myself together.

All in all, I will find time to knit for the show and for myself.  I also plan on knitting over vacation, too.  I am looking forward to my temporary escape, but the preparation is going to be insane.

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The Kutztown Folk Festival

Living in the heart of PA Dutch country has some benefits.  Besides our starchy foods, funny “Dutchy” sayings, and farming culture, southeast Pennsylvania has a great crafting heritage.  At the heart of the heritage is the Kutztown Folk Festival in Kutztown, PA.  The festival itself started on June 30, when I went, and runs to July 8.  If you live in the area or can travel there, GO. 

My friend Joan works for a public access television station and received free tickets to the festival.  Knowing I’m a sucker for crafts, she invited me along.  I gladly accepted. 

This is a huge festival.  There are tents and buildings full of artisans and crafters.  There is a ton of PA German food and drink to be found, my favorite being red cream soda.  The festival is full of demonstrations, activities for kids, and many beautiful things for sale. 

 
Having a German degree that I do absolutely nothing with, it was interesting to look at all the signs written in Pennsylvania German, which is its own dialect.  It was fun, in a nerdy, linguistic sort of way. 
Anyway, Joan and I got to the festival and she introduced me to a few craftsmen that she knows.  It was nice getting to talk to others about what they do, shows, and to view their work.  Connections and networking, people!
Included here I have a few photos of some of the wares and workers at the festival.  One booth caught my eye.  Three guesses as to what they featured and the first two don’t count.  Ok, I’ll tell you…..YARN! 

The yarn booth had beautiful handknit items there.  Gorgeous, yet accessible.  They also sold hand-dyed and handspun yarn (a bunch of local 4H-er’s were there spinning), as well kits for you to knit.  One such kit was a needle felting kit, which I looked at with a little interest, at which at that point, the needle felting artisan there swept down on me and talked to me about the joys of needle felting.  I looked at the needle felted stuff there and how it was used to decorate and embellish knitted item. I told her I’d think about it.  I thought about it, and bought a kit as before we left.

Again, go to this festival if you have the chance.  Below are some links for you, including more photos of the festival itself.

My Flickr Photoset

Snowflake Gala Wrap Up

So, the Snowflake Gala was yesterday.  After one month of intense preparation and hard work, I sold….one hat.  And bartered with a jewelry vendor for another hat.  Needless to say, I am disappointed and a bit soured on the idea of doing something like this again.

On a positive note, I spent some awesome time with Deb and met a lot of nice people, most of whom said I have lovely things.m  I made two new friends, Patsy and Sandy, who were both other vendors at the show.  I even got to encourage a beginner knitter in her endeavors in learning more. 

Sitting here and writing this is like opening up sore wound.  I am down and out.  All that hard work feels so wasted and I’m left with a lot of unsold knitted items, a lot of things I purchased in preparation for the event, and a whole lot of glumness. 

I’m not sure if I would participate as a vendor in the Snowflake Gala again.  I will exhibit work there, but I won’t sell anything like this.  People simply aren’t there at the event to purchase work.  They are there for the performances, and the vendors are just as a diversion on the breaks. 

I might consider doing a regular craft show, but my enthusiasm about the idea is definitely dulled.  Profits from the one hat I did sell?  That went toward a delicious Chinese dinner with Deb after the event.  At least I got fed.

I’m going to post one photo from the event, and that is a closeup of one of my displays so I can show what I did have to offer.  I’m just that soured on the whole event to show more.

Hat Overload

I am sick of knitting hats.
It seems like everything I knit for my upcoming show is a hat.  That needs to stop.
So, I’m focusing on other types of projects, such as notebook covers and coffee cup sleeves, stuff like that.  Oh, and trinket bags.  Just not hats.
I’ll probably knit a chunky scarf or two in the interim, as well.  I have a pretty lace knit one in Berocco Chunky, (lace again!) and have yarn for a ruffly type scarf, too, in a nice acrylic, mohair, and wool blend.  I think its Katia yarn.  Park Avenue, or something like that.
If I don’t sell all those hats, I do have a good use for them.  I’ll take them to the local cancer center and donate them for cancer patients to use as chemo caps.  I’ve done that before, and they were well received. 
In the meantime, though, no more hats.  At least not for a while.

Getting Ready for a Craft Show

I’m still excited about the Snowflake Gala!  Now I’m stressed out getting ready.  Luckily, I have framed photos for that part of the show, and lots of matted photos to sell, but I also have to get knitted and beaded stuff together to sell for the gala itself.
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of quick knits to sell.  I already have enough jewelry ready to go, but I need to focus on the knitting end of things.  Ideas I have:  little pouches, eReader cases knit in thick yarn, hats, and chunky scarves.  Most of these can be knit fairly quickly.
Do you have any ideas for quick items to knit and sell?  Any advice you could offer would be most excellent and appreciated.