baggy paper

Finding my niche

R.B. Craft Show 2008

Last Saturday I participated in the El Segundo Hometown Fair. It’s an annual event for the city that brings out families. The kids get to play in the bounce houses, the adults chatting amongst themselves and the arts and crafts vendors get to make new customers.

Typical of beach living it was a cold, windy, damp day. I am often approached by customers asking some common questions about my knit and crochet items. Such as if I teach children and do I teach knitting.

The answer to both is yes.

 I do teach kids how to crochet, with minimum age of 10 years, and not more than 6 kids at a time. If there are more than 6 kids in a class, they lose the one on one teaching, with some catching on and others not at all.

I also teach knitting. Sometimes privately in my home and sometimes through other venues like yarn shops or through a city program.

Customers also ask how long I have been crocheting animals. This question always brings back memories of the first arts & crafts event I participated in. It has been 10 years now that I have been knitting and crocheting for fairs.

To be honest, I cannot remember exactly how I got into selling at craft fairs. My first show was at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. My table had knit and crochet scarves and crochet beanies. The beanie hats were the first time I had ever crocheted in the round. People complimented me on how well I knitted scarves, and that I should have raised the price of the scarves. (Lessons of the newbie!)
I went online and spent many hours looking at patterns.

Turtle was my first animal.

 

My first animal I ever crochet was the turtle. Many mistakes were made but I had to try. Once I got the hang of it, I found it to be easy to crochet.

Some of my wares you can find at Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

In 2007, I participated in a show at a senior center, brought along 8 crochet animals, along with other items. The animals were a hit! I had found my niche and have been crocheting animals for 10 years. I create my own designs too which include the octopod, jellyfish, seal, teddy bear, ducky ball with more to come.

Five years after that beginning All of my ocean related animals are shipped to Buy Hand – Laguna Beach, where I consign them. Their customers love my crochet animals —they have even been photographed for a local newspaper article on the shop!

My Octopod gets featured in article about Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

How did you find your niche?

Baggy here: I love a good story. Tell me how you found your niche in the comments below.

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Fiberista Elbowitis Againus

I’m here to help.

Was writing this as we were waiting one of those “big storms of some century.” Not much in the knit and crochet has been going on. Why? Because I am  STILL suffering from Tennis Elbow of my left arm.

As WebMD states: “Tennis elbow is a pain focused on the outside of the arm, where your forearm meets your elbow. It’s related to a muscle and tendons in your forearm. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you constantly use your arm in a repetitive motion”

In other words, a big pain. When I saw my orthopedic surgeon in December, he did state most people recover from it with plenty of rest, from 1 month to up to a year. Needing immediate relief from the pain so I got a predinsone shot. Pain for 2 days and then its gone. He told me to rest, to let it heal. I did, for 1 month, then started to crochet. Unfortunately, this was a bad mistake. I needed more rest that my mind would allow. (Typical of all us creative and crafty folks, right? Argh!)

For now, knitting and crochet are done at small intervals, only 1-2 hours daily. Along with other rigorous therapies to help heal muscles and tendons.

So,  what do I do during the day when not crocheting? I am enjoying my time with jigsaw puzzles. Baggy  likes the puzzles too, demanding  to be entertained, or be the entertainment.

Meanwhile, during my adjustment, I have noticed that always right handed, I lift with my left arm. Picking up groceries with my left arm, I fill the hot water pot with my left arm, I carry my purse on my left arm. So, maybe I’m going  to train my brain, and arm, to grab with my right instead of my left arm.

Maybe I’m becoming ambidexpaws. (What do you think, Baggy?)

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New Year, New Pattern & The Women’s March

Pretty in pink Pussy Hats

Rain, Rain, Rain… oh how I love the rain. We here in California really need it, and this year we have had plenty of rain. It’s also a good time to look at new items to crochet and knit.

Baggy here: Speak for yourself, I have cabin fever and I don’t even know what a cabin is.

One of the new items out in the world wide web is The Pussy Hat. It’s a cat hat (not black but pink). It is based on “The Pussy Hat Project”.

The mission of the Pussy Hat Project is to provide the people of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.

It also provides a way for people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and women’s rights. The more we are seen, the more we are heard. Let’s come together to support women’s rights in a creative and impactful way. Please visit www.pussyhatproject.com for more info and awesome free hat patterns.

I was approached to make the hats for friends, after reading about the project, I knew I wanted to participate. They are cute, and, well anything kitty cat has to be cute, right Baggy?

Baggy here: Absolutely! Darling. Handsome, even if I do say so myself.

As you see here, I knit 2 pink hats, and crocheted 3 hats. And a black one too…just for Baggy!

Baggy here: Aren’t I the lucky cat?

The trio of hats were crocheted with worsted weight yarn. With the knit hats, I tested a new yarn called I Love This Yarn Chunky for the solid pink. I used about half of a skein. The stripe yarn is Lamb’s Pride in the color Strawberry Smoothee. It is a worsted weight yarn and I used about 3/4th of the skein. It will felt if washed.

These hats were fun to knit and crochet and I will probably make more in kids size. Next up is the “Messy Bun Hats”, a hat with the top open to allow your messy pony tail to hand through it… Stay tuned!

Baggy here again: If you are interested in a Pussy Hat of your own, send Kathy an email for pricing and shipping. Honestly, I don’t know what Kathy would do without me.