appreciation

feature: simple seed stitch coasters projects

It's been a real pleasure to see what people can do with my little Seed Stitch Coaster pattern! It's about as simple as a knitting pattern can possibly get, but the excitement is enough to hopefully offset any anxiety about publishing more complex ones in the future.
Here are some projects recently finished using my Simple Seed Stitch Coaster design from last year.
This photo belongs to Freshwind on Ravelry.
Freshwind's idea for making a coaster for both her mug and her Chemex was a great one. The orange yarn color complements the brewer's wooden feature really well! Here's her project page here.
This photo belongs to Rumbleforth on Ravelry.
I love that Rumbleforth made a set with colors that coordinate really well together. This looks like the pattern served its purpose well as a stash-busting opportunity here. You can find more information on her project here in her project page.
This photo belongs to Amyupnorth on Ravelry.
These coasters here were made with two strands of Brooklyn Tweed held together, and with a needle size down for a slightly smaller gaauge. I think this made for a really pretty effect! You can see more photos for yourself on her project page here.

I look forward to seeing more little projects popping up on my design's page in the future! If you have some worsted (or even fingering) weight scraps lying around, why don't you bust them with this quick knit?

6 ways to not die while selling at craft shows

A couple of shots from the Summer Craft Fair at Two Elephants in Chatsworth, CA.

I've been exploring the world of selling in person recently (recently meaning since last winter, but the 6-months in England sort of put the venture on hold). My set-up has been modest at best currently, but it's still been a joy to meet people who like my work and want it as a part of their lives. Not every in-person selling experience I've had since I started has been a billion percent positive, but there's always some learning to be done here.
Here are a few things about craft fairs I've learned since my 'debut' last September--

Say hello to everyone. EVERYONE.
I'm glad I learned this one early into my first show. You can go ahead and stare into your phone while at your table, but that isn't going to help much (and if you're in a short chair behind the table you'll just end up looking like you're mesmerized with your crotch--not attractive).
With the amount of stuff going on at most every craft show or con you're at, a little human opening goes a long way. I've had responses ranging from 'oh man, hey. this place is crazy!' to appearing relieved that they're not ignored at the venue (both often leading to sales).
If you happen to be situated near the bathroom, take that advice with caution. I recently learned that people don't necessarily like being addressed after taking a crap.

A few lighting fixtures helped with my outdoor night shows--just beware of beeeeeeeees.
Have something to do.
I didn't think this mattered until I went to a show empty-handed. Turns out, many people won't readily assume that you made all of the stuff on your display. Bringing your craft with you to work on goes a long way to get it across (provided of course, your craft is in any way portable).
If you're shy around people, your craft can be the opener.
"What are you working on?" is a great chance to talk a little bit about what exactly you sell.
"How long does this kinda thing take you?" is a chance to explain the labor and love behind your price tag.
In Long Beach, I was working on an Etsy order for someone in England. Letting someone know who the piece is for is really impressive to some people, and open up some good conversation about custom orders.
It's important to make sure to work on something that won't have you too deeply in concentration. Having your head down at your table might deter some customers who would have otherwise been attracted to a smile and eye contact. Lucky for me, I've knit so many things that I can do it while in conversation.

Print clearly.
Guy asks for business card. I pass him one, he squints. Lesson: PRINT BIGGER. Bless small batch production. If I had to print my business cards 250 at a time I would be massively screwed from the get go.

Signage. USE IT.
As much as I love answering questions, hearing someone ask what exactly my scrubbies are or what they're for 10+ times during a show can be exhausting. Especially if the question can be answered with a little sign next to the product.
I'm personally still working on letting someone know what the price of one of my knits is in just the right tone (something along the lines of 'take it or leave it' but...obviously less hostile). Having price tags help let that sale go on a little more smoothly.
Also it's probably a lot less daunting to people interested in your work! An absent pricetag might instill the expectation of an unaffordable product in the mind of your would-be customer. I'd argue that the feeling they can't afford it is still there even if you attempt to quell it with your spoken-word price.

For the love of all things holy, have a helper if you can.
I've been solo-ing all of my shows up until recently, thanks to the kindness of a friend. He helped me set-up and sort out my display. We tag-teamed bathroom breaks. He even reminded me to hydrate and eat before and during the show (something I almost always forget to do on show-days). I was also lucky enough to have him be a happy Bapsicrafts fan as well, so the extra little testimonial helped when informing passersby about my stuff! It's all a win-win-win to have a partner to help when possible. Just be sure to show your appreciation to your kind and caring volunteer.

And HYDRATE. FEED YOURSELF.
I'm terrible for this. My expectation when preparing for shows is to forget at least one thing. And when it's food or water for myself, I breathe a sigh of relief because it's not my sign or knits.
Like, sure, you can probably do okay anyway if you're near food trucks with fantastic (and often pricey) meals at the ready. But the food can really be a repellant if you're eating at your table.
With better time management (read: throw the shit in your car the night before so forgetting it in the rush is impossible), you can save a bit of money and have one less reason to have to abandon your table.
Also, with sustenance, you won't die. Not dying surprisingly helps.

Got any tips and lessons of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Bapsicrafts!


In these two years I've knit 34427 meters of yarn(according to knitmeter), made 98 sales that are warming lives and homes as we speak, followed nearly a hundred knitting blogs, interacted with and befriended many fellow crafters, craft-lovers, and small business owners. It's been a joy so far and I hope for many more days of learning, growing, sharing, and (of course) knitting!

To celebrate these fun two years of crafting and selling handmade, I'm holding a sale until the 28th--you can get 15% off anything and everything in my shop with the code HBDBAPSICRAFTS. This will even include any custom orders or requests--I'll apply the discount to the quote when we talk about your vision.

Thanks so much, reader, for being here to make this worthwhile. I wouldn't have had so much fun without people just like you. :]

And in the spirit of signal-boosting, I'd like to share some things I've enjoyed while browsing my feeds--
Jenna started blogging at hardknitlife just last month but has been doing a very entertaining job of it so far. Give her a read!
Sandra Singh is currently holding a giveaway for her Sieden Prairie Cowl--ready to knit with 4 skeins of Sandra Singh 1 Ply Merino Worsted in your color scheme of choice. Enter for your chance to win it!
Susan bound off a pair of ombré socks with yarn spun KnitSpinFarm's batts. I wish I could spin--those socks are just divine.
 And Wendy of Wendy Knits is currently working on the sample for her Mystery Summer Shawl KAL! Watch that space--it's bound to be a great knit, all of her work is beautiful. :]

mailtime!

It's a real treat to be surprised with gifts in the mail! Earlier this year,  I received an adorable package from the wonderful Emma of the handmade shop TrinketsnTreats (which is on vacation currently, but do keep an eye on it, her work is precious!)

In this well-wrapped package was one of her lovingly handmade bat keychains, made with (if i recall correctly) a cruelty-free polyester felt, making the toy both vegan friendly and moth proof (such good news!) I also received The Craft Library's Knits for Fab Feet and Cosy Toes, a little book full of adorable sock patterns I can't wait to try. There's this one sock pattern with a little pocket you can place a hand-knit teddy bear in, god ugh that's too cute!!! The socks themselves seem to all be knit in a very fine gauge, so I'll have to finish a few wips before diving into these projects.
 Also! Just a few days ago I received a message from the lovely Triona of Triona Designs letting me know that I won her giveaway for the Knitpicks Bulky 2013 Collection pattern book! This is the first knitting-related giveaway I've won, so I was really excited!

The patterns inside area absolutely beautiful. I fell in love with the Maddie Hoodie the moment I laid eyes on it, and will definitely make one of my own soon.

Have you received any surprise gifts in the mail recently? Let's talk about it in the comment section!

etsy appreciation : cozyleaf

Viewers of my 365 project on flickr might remember the day i received my little tea samples from cozyleaf--i know i do. 
i absolutely love when shops that sell edibles online offer samples. that sort of thing really helps for people like me who have trouble choosing flavors.
i chose the winner after a long few weeks thinking of which to pick and finally made my purchase, which arrived just last week in this adorable little rough cloth drawstring bag.
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as an etsy seller myself it's always awesome to learn from the peeps who know how to present their wonderful products, and i was definitely schooled this time. carefully wrapped with tissue paper was this little tin with my tea in it, complete with a pic of the leaves themselves and brewing directions on the underside. pretty, but simple. i'll admit i felt a little bad about spoiling the wrapping to get to the leaves.
my chai
if you feel iffy at all about buying edibles on etsy, i understand completely! i definitely was too but i took this leap and am really happy about the purchase i made! check out the cozyleaf on etsy for your favorite tea, and let me know how you find it!