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The Madeline Triangle Scarf!

The Madeline Triangle Scarf!

Materials needed Yarn 1 cake of Lion Brand Mandala Yarn or equivalent. Approximately 590 yards of size 3 yarn. Crochet Hook US J10/6.00 mm Yarn needle Gauge Gauge isn’t as important with this scarf. If you want bigger holes, go up a hook size! 🙂 […]

How to Prep for a Craft Fair

How to Prep for a Craft Fair

How much stock should I bring to a craft fair? What should I bring? How can I get it done in time? Why did I sign up for this?? Stocking for a craft fair can be a bit stressful and time consuming. If you have […]

How to Choose a Craft Fair

How to Choose a Craft Fair

…and how many?

Craft Fair Series Post 1!

 

Craft fairs, flea markets, trunk shows… they pop up all over the place! Wouldn’t we make more $$$ if we sign up for all of them?? The answer is no. If you’re like me, you have a full-time job and craft fairs are something you do to fill your soul and pay for your wicked yarn habit. You can’t do them all and trust me… you don’t want to! There are quite a few things to consider before jumping in head first! What type of show is it, when, where do I even look? Let’s dive in!

How many?

The more accurate question would be “how many can I reasonably prep for?” I am decently fast at crocheting, but I can’t always dedicate large chunks of time to prepare. My worst fear is showing up to a craft fair and selling out on the first day (that has happened to me)! It’s a great problem to have… still problem for sure. Also, you wouldn’t want to have a show with a really low stock because it is a disservice to the market. Your customers may feel like you didn’t care about them and so might your event coordinator. “Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” – Ron Swanson

Future blog posts will detail market prep and how to have a plan. For me, I apply to 3 craft fairs in the fall. With my full-time job, this is my limit. If you have more time to prep or start really early, you may feel comfortable having more shows.

How do I find craft fairs?

I started with Google in the beginning. Type in where you live and “craft fair”. While looking through all the listings, keep in mind… you can’t sign up for all of them. You’ve got to find the right fit. Once you go to your first show, ask the other vendors!! Find a maker who makes something you truly vibe with and ask them which shows they apply for. The customers at those shows might be really into what you make! There was this adorable booth selling mittens (Whitton’s Mittens) who I knew would be a great resource because people would buy a scarf from me and mittens from them! I’ve found some truly great shows because I’ve chatted with other vendors.

How do I choose a show?

Ok, so this is a big deal. Like I mentioned before, not all craft fairs are created equal. You might go to a show and sell everything and the next show will be a total dud. Be picky. You’ve worked hard on your product and your skill and you want to be sure it gets in front of your ideal customer!

There are many types of craft fairs: juried or curated, handmade only, flea markets, junk shows, trunk shows, festivals, expos, etc..

I’m a huge fan of juried shows. Juried means the event organizer is combing through a list of vendors who apply and choosing the best fit. At these types of events, you’re less likely to have 15 crochet booths all making the same thing. (I’ve had other crochet vendors come to my booth and take pictures of my work…) Also, many of these event organizers are going for a certain vibe at their show. Does their vibe fit your product? If not, it’s ok to pass. When it’s a good match, beautiful things happen!

Another type of show I love is a Handmade Only show. These shows ask you to send them proof you are actually making your items yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good junk show, but people who come to a “handmade only” show are actually interested in handmade things! They know they are going to pay for good work and are prepared to do so. I have a show on Thanksgiving weekend I am always sure to sign up for. My first year, pictured above, I sold out of everything on the first day… Everything. I had to stay up all night to make as much as I could for the next TWO days. (We’ll talk more about properly prepping for a market in another post so that doesn’t happen to you.)

Types of shows that don’t seem to be a good fit for me are flea markets. Shoppers may be coming to flea markets looking for a good deal and I may not be providing that. One flea market had my handmade booth set up right next to a person selling cosmetics for a really low price. We had a great time chatting and I totally got some $3 mascara, but I only did $600 in sales for the whole weekend. There were more than 50,000 people at this event, but they weren’t there for me. While I had a good time, it wasn’t a good fit and I haven’t been back.

Expos and festivals. These can be really good or terrible. Haha! The events that draw big crowds might seem like the perfect place. If those people aren’t there to shop, it might be a bad fit. I went to a HUGE festival and it was so much fun! The people weren’t there for shopping though. They were there for the incredible parade and carnival rides. If it’s a Christmas festival, however, that might be PERFECT! Much of what I sell is intended for Christmas presents. (A huge honor btw!) Christmas shoppers are definitely my ideal customer!

Another consideration is timing. I hand make crochet and knit items in the Midwest. Summer shows do not work for me. I’ve tried. Crop tops may be a great seller if I lived in Florida, but I don’t… not anymore at least. Baby items aren’t really part of my brand. I tend to make items for adult women and teens. That’s where I feel the most passionate and it shows in my work. To find those people, I’ve got to sell those items when they are looking for them. Let me repeat that because it’s soooo important. Sell the items your customers are looking for WHEN they are looking for them.

That time for me is in the fall! I do all my craft shows from September 1 through the middle of December. That’s my sweet spot! If you crochet baby items like crazy, you may have a much wider window of time. The idea is to get your handmade items in front of the people who want them and when they want them. I don’t buy winter coats in July!

Here’s a shot from my very first craft fair! I wish I could go back and add height to my booth!! (and white table cloths and a back drop and… ok I’ll stop for now.)

My first Craft Fair

Things have changed so much for me since that day. This was in November of 2014! Props to my sister for my setup.. I had NO idea what I was doing!

I’d love to hear all about your craft shows, how you found it, and why you chose them!

Stay tuned for my next post about How to Prepare for a Craft Show!

How to Write a Crochet Pattern

How to Write a Crochet Pattern

Since I began crocheting in 2013, I’ve worked with A LOT of patterns. Some of them have been good, some bad, and some have been EXCELLENT! The goal for any maker who writes a pattern is to make it possible for someone to duplicate your […]

Chunky Scrap Coasters

Chunky Scrap Coasters

You’ve just finished a gorgeous scarf. The ends are all tucked in and you’re ready to flaunt that baby at the gross winter weather. Its such a great feeling! Or… you’re prepping for that craft fair and you are churning out infinity scarves as fast […]

Bobble Tote

Bobble Tote

My fellow makers,

Thank you for coming to my blog. The maker community is incredible and I’m happy to share this pattern with you! Love and yarn 🙂

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Bobble Tote

Materials needed:
Yarn: Super bulky/size 6 yarn (Big Twist Natural Blend in light grey for color A and Lions Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Fig for color B)
Approximately 150 yards of color A and 150 yards of color B
Crochet Hook: M/9mm
Yarn needle
Tape Measure (optional)

Stitch Abbreviations:
Ch – Chain
Sc – Single Crochet
Sc2tog – Single crochet 2 together
PS – Puff Stitch*
*Puff Stitch – (Yarn over and insert your hook into the stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop) 4 times. Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook except the last one. Yarn over and pull through last 2 loops on your hook.

Tote
*There are two sizes in this pattern. The numbers in parenthesis are for the larger size. The small size holds two small skeins and the large holds three or four depending on the yarn. Happy Crocheting!!

Ch 16 (24)
Round 1
Sc in second ch from hook and in next 13(21) [total of 14(22) sc]
5 sc in last stitch
Working along the other side of your starting chain, sc in next 13(21)
5 sc in the last stitch
Slip stitch in first sc to join
Total of 37(53) sc

Round 2
Ch 1 and sc in the same stitch as join
Sc in next 14(22) stitches
2 sc in next 3 stitches (around the end)
Sc in next 16(24)
2 sc in next 3 stitches
Join with a sl st to the top of the first sc from round 2
Total of 43(59) sc

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Round 3
Ch 1 and sc in the same stitch as join
Sc in next 15(23) stitches
*2 sc in next, 1 sc* repeat from * to * twice more
Sc in next 16(24)
*2 sc in next, 1 sc in next stitch* repeat from * to * twice
Join with sl st to the top of the ch 1
Total of 50(66)

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For the remaining rounds, work continuously without joining and chaining
Rounds 4-17 (20)
Sc in each stitch around [Total of 50(66) sc]
Use a stitch marker if you have any trouble seeing where your rows begin. (purple yarn in picture)

tote-10

Hole for yarn (optional): Round 6 and 12, sc in each stitch until you’ve gotten to the side of your bag. (Different stitch count depending on the row) Lay your tote flat to be sure you’re working on the crease on the edge. Ch 1 and skip the next stitch to leave a hole for your yarn to work through. Continue sc in all other stitches.

Round 18(21)
Lay your tote flat again. The center 4 stitches will be left open. Use a tape measure to help find the center 4 stitches. For this round, sc until you reach the center 4 stitches, ch 4 and skip the next 4 stitches, sc in remaining stitches. Flip tote over and repeat measuring process. Be sure ch 4 spaces on each side line up with each other.

Rounds 19 and 20(22 and 23) sc around

Once you’ve reached the correct number of sc rounds, sl st into the next stitch. I prefer to end my final round on the edge. Cut your yarn and use an invisible join to weave in your end

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Bobble Strap
**Your number of rows could differ from mine. You’ll want to do the row increases until your puffs reach the bottom of your bag. Line your starting ch 6 up with your ch 4 hole in the bag to measure. Once you’ve reached the bottom, you’ll have 3 rows of sc with no increases (rows 19, 20, 21 in pattern) before you begin your decreases.**
Row 1
Ch 6, sc in second ch from hook and in each stitch across (5sc)

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Row 2
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in first stitch (the space immediately next to your chain 1), *PS in next stitch, sc in next*
Repeat from * to * across (Total of 3 sc and 2 Puffs)
Row 3 (Increasing Row)
Ch 1 and turn
2 sc in first stitch, sc in each stitch across until last stitch, 2 sc in last stitch (each row will have 2 more stitches than the last)

tote-22

Row 4 -19
Each row of puffs will have one more than the last row.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your puffs reach the bottom of your bag (for the last row [19] sc in each stitch across without adding increases)

Row 20 and 21
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in each stitch across (These rows should run along the very bottom of the bag)

Row 22
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in first stitch, *PS in next stitch, sc in next stitch*
Repeat from * to * until the end of the row
Row 23 (Decreasing row)
Ch 1 and turn
Sc2tog in first 2 stitches, sc in each stitch until the last 2, sc2tog in last 2 stitches (each row will have 2 fewer stitches than the last)

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Row 24-37
Repeat rows 22 and 23 until you have a row of 2 puffs left
Row 38
Repeat row 2 (the last 2 Puffs)

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Row 39-41 (3 rows of sc)
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in each stitch across (5 sc)

Row 42 (2 Puffs)
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in first stitch, *PS in next, sc in next stitch*
Row 43
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in each stitch across
Row 44 (1 Puff)
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in first 2 stitches, PS in next stitch, sc in last 2 stitches
Row 45
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in each stitch across
Rows 46 – 57
Repeat rows 42 – 45 three more times or until your strap is as long as you want it. (alternate rows of 2 puffs and 1 puff with sc rows in between) Mind ends up being about 8 inches before moving on to the last row of 2 puffs.
Row 58 and 59
Repeat rows 42 and 43 (last row of 2 puffs)

Row 60
Ch 1 and turn
Sc in each stitch across (5 sc)

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Once you’ve finished the Strap Section, cut your yarn and pull that section through one of your ch 4 gaps.

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Flip your tote over and pull the end of your strap through the other ch 4 space.

Weave your yarn tail through the stitches on each side to join your strap.

Your sc rows should line up on the bottom of your tote.

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All Done!!!

Please share your Bobble Totes with me on Instagram!

Tag @ginger.knots or #gingerknots

All pictures and this pattern are property of Ginger Knots. Feel free to sell your work and share this blog post! Please give credit for this pattern to my blog and do not reuse or resell as your own.