December 27, 2013

Ten Tips For Craft Shows **Updated**

I'm sure some of you, like me, want to do more craft shows in the future therefore I have been evaluating past ones I have done, along with researching, to come up with ten tips (for now) related to craft shows.

Ten tips, in no particular order, are:
  • Ask a friend or family member to be with you the whole time of the show. There is nothing worse than needing a bathroom break and having no one to cover your booth. In those situations I had to ask a person in the booth next to me to please watch my booth. It felt very unprofessional. If need be ask more than one friend to help for a couple hours each.
  • Make sure to find out what will be provided to you with the fee you pay to set up. Does the fee include one or two tables, chairs, electricity and so forth? You may need to have your own table and chairs so make sure you know this well in advance. 
  • Don't forget about business cards, flyers, postcards or other hand-outs you can give out. Just because a person doesn't buy at a craft show doesn't mean they won't later on. Vistaprint sometimes offers 250 free business card (plus shipping & handling) and more on their site. Promotions change so check out often. You can even make your own on your computer. Make sure the information is up-to-date, don't just cross out information, like a phone number, and write new if some aspect has changed. You want to be as professional as possible. 
  • Try to keep your displays "stocked". This will make it appear that you have a nice selection of items to sell. Rearrange items or remove some displays if your stock is getting low. In relation to that, have an inventory list if possible so you can remember later what sold and for how much. Perhaps even have a photo album of sorts showcasing your work so you would be able to take orders if certain items sell quickly. 
  • Make a checklist of what you need to bring that day, as detailed as possible. It may sound overboard to write down you need to bring pens or drinks but think of how it would be if you forgot them. Think "outside the box" as well. If you are doing an outside craft show, don't forget about sunscreen or bug spray even. Little items matter and will hopefully make it go smoother. Don't forget bags for customers to put there purchases in if possible, simple grocery bags will work. 
  • Think vertical and horizontal in terms of display. Sometimes going vertical will attract more visitors to your booth because they can see your items better than when they are just on a table. Take a photo of your display at the beginning of the event for future reference. Also, once everyone is set up at the event, take a step back (provided you have a helper) a few feet or so just to see how it compares to others or if you want to tweak it. Walk around and see how others are displaying items as well. 
  • Wiggle room on prices. Give yourself "wiggle" room on your pricing to allow you to still make a profit taking less for your items if someone wants to negotiate. Perhaps even have a "Prices Are Negotiable" sign to encourage them to talk to you. Also, have price tags on all items.  
  • You are not selling used cars. Think of how you would want someone to sell you something. You don't want to feel pressured, right? You want to feel relaxed in your purchases. So be friendly, have a little bit of sense of humor, basically put your customer at ease. If you are a quiet person, this is where having a  more charismatic friend with you might help.  Not a loud person but a more "approachable" person. 
  • Time Management. I tend to be early for events because I want to give myself enough time to set up and relax before the event opens to the public. Find out the earliest you can arrive to set up, some allow you time the night before. Try not to break down early even if the event is slowing down. You never know if the last person to come to the event could be your biggest sale. 
  • Have fun! This is the most important. As long as I am enjoying the event I'm happy. Selling items is great but think beyond that. You may not sell a lot that day but did you interact with a bunch of people? Success is not just measured in sales at a craft show. 
But wait there's more! 

  • Keep a bin handy to fill up with your items throughout the year. This way if a craft show decides to happen on short notice (like in two weeks) you are prepared and able to sign up. 
  • Keep track of your "best sellers" to know what people in your area are more likely to buy. "Best sellers" doesn't have to be defined by what actually sells but what is getting attention online or at previous craft shows. Money is tight so you might see items receive a lot of interest but a person may not be able to purchase at that time
  • If you are serious about being at many craft shows as you can, create a Facebook page or group to let your family and friends know where you will be and they can help spread the word!
  • Don't forget to wear one of your items, if possible, to show you wear what you create as well. The knitted item it could be a simple skinny scarf which can be worn in both warm and cold weather depending on the yarn you use. Make sure whatever you are wearing you have some to sell. 
  • Don't forget a mirror, big or small, so the customer can see what they look like in the item and not just take their friends, or your word, for how great they look! 

If you have any tips, please comment below. 

December 26, 2013

Lockhart Trove

One of my favorite looming tool is having a "mug hugger" from Lockhart Trove to store my picks, pens and more beside me while I knit. You can use any mug you have around the house and simply put the mug hugger around it.. Lockhart Trove even gave one of these away during one of my giveaways.

I have mentioned her in the past, as some of you may know, but that's because I love the product! Supporting other crafters is something I try to do so if you get a moment head over to her Facebook page and give her an official "LIKE". 

You can also check out her Etsy site by clicking here. There are a lot of great products to choose from and that would make wonderful gifts for family or friends. The mug huggers are great for teachers as well. 

December 23, 2013

Working on my Christmas Wreaths

Remember the Christmas wreaths I made?

Now the hard part, how to decorate them. (These will become Christmas gifts for next year at this point.)

Do I want to use beads?
Small pom-poms?
Find mini ornaments?


The creative process has so many choices at times. I might end up doing a few with beads, pom-poms and ornaments at this rate and compare. Thoughts?

If you did not see the video about how I made this, click here.

December 19, 2013

Ask Questions

Never be scared to ask a question. Chances are if you have the question so does someone else. I try my best to answer looming questions whether with details or having to say "I don't know." If I can I research for someone I do, sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not.

Keep searching for the answer though. Just because one person does not know does not mean the answer does not exist. Please don't ever feel like you are "bothering" me when asking a question either. If someone takes on the role of a teacher, than questions will be asked.

Do not make someone feel "stupid" for asking what you feel is a "simple" question, that really bothers me. By doing that, you are hindering the learning process because now that person will hesitate to ask again.

December 13, 2013

My Doctor Who Inspired Scarf (Rough Pattern)

Remember this scarf I did in October? I finally decided to give you a general idea of a pattern.

Cast on 16 stitches using the All In One Loom as a rake like below. Click here for related video.

Once your cast on is done, here is a rough idea of how I did it. I used a weight of 3 or 4 yarn. I would recommend the same weighted yarn throughout the scarf. My brown was a lighter weight than the other colors. You will be changing colors of course, click here for video related to this when using the Figure 8 Stitch. 

I used the colors Brown, Spring Green, Yellow and Coral  and the Figure 8 stitch throughout as follows:
**I didn't keep track of rows so I measured how much each section roughly was on the scarf.**
  • 2 inches Brown
  • 9 inches Spring Green
  • 7 inches Brown
  • 6.5 inches Yellow
  • 4.5 Brown
  • 2 inches Coral
  • 2 inches Brown
  • 6 inches Spring Green
  • 2 inches Brown
  • 2.5 inches Yellow
  • 3 inches Brown
  • 6.5 inches Coral
  • 4 inches Brown
  • 2.5 inches Spring Green
  • 6 inches Brown
  • 4.5 inches Yellow
  • 5.5 inches Brown
  • 3 inches Coral
  • 5 inches Brown
  • 1.5 inches Spring Green
  • 5.5 inches Brown
Cast off, for help go to about the 9 minute mark on the first video above. 
It will come out to about 85.5 inches give or take and is easy to adjust for different lengths. The amount of stitches you cast on may be different on another loom. Like I mentioned, this was done on the All In One Loom. 

December 12, 2013

Progress Of My 1st Crochet Blanket

As some of you know I've been working on my first crochet blanket. I was suprised that I have been enjoying the process. I'm far from done and far from "perfect" in my technique but wanted to give it a try. Needle knitting, I know won't be for me, but crocheting might. I call this blanket "The Wave", as least for now, because of how the edge is on it. But, it's fun and different. I love seeing how far I've come with each picture.

The last picture is from yesterday when I added another color. For the new and the row before I did what's called a "Basic Treble Stitch", at least according to the video I watched on Youtube. Before those rows I did a double crochet and some basic single crochet. I'm going to be continuing the Basic Treble for a few more rows at least then take a photo to show the blanket size at that point and share it of course. I have no clue how long it will take to make it the size I want which is to snuggle with while watching TV or how much yarn it will take to finish it. I wanted to share because while I'm considered a "teacher", I'm a student too just like you. Plus I know some of you were interested to see how it was coming along.

Have a great day!

December 3, 2013

Don't Rush...

Don't rush.
Don't compare your progress to others.
We all learn at different paces; we all make mistakes. Allow mistakes to be a learning tool, not a moment to criticize yourself. I have been looming for almost 3 years (started in 2011) and I am still learning. There are loomers more advanced than me but that's okay. I am learning and going at my pace, not theirs.

I enjoy just picking up a loom, no pattern on hand, and seeing what happens. It's one of the few "unknown" aspects in life I welcome. As I learn, I teach. As I teach, I learn. It is a cycle.

December 1, 2013

Simple Woman's Fingerless Gloves Pattern

Using the same sock loom as in the recent man's fingerless gloves I created another simple pattern for a woman.

Yarn used was Red Heart Comfort ("black) weight 4. Click here more details
*Remember may need to be adjusted to fit a smaller or bigger wrist.*
1. Cast on 42 pegs in a round using the e-wrap cast on.
2. P2tog = 1 row
3. Purl = 1 row
4. P2tog = 1 row
5. Purl = 1 row
6. Knit = 10 rows (using e-wrapping)
7. Now create thumb hole by moving loops off of one peg and moving over(and knitting over), then off another peg and moving over (and knitting over)  to create 2 empty pegs like picture. I used inside pegs. 

8. Work in a "U" knitting for 14 rows (e-wrapping method)
9. Knit = 5 rows CLOSING OFF the thumb hole as you go around. 
10. Figure 8 stitch = 15 rows
11. Crochet Cast Off with 2 chains in between. 

Helpful Videos:
*For how to do P2tog click here.
* For Figure 8 stitch click here
* For Crochet Cast Off click here