During the year, StitchCraft has three sales. The spring and fall Pancake Breakfast and Bazaar and the Pleasant Home Holiday Sale. These are the fundraisers for our group. Monday was the last day for the Pleasant Home sale and I thought it would be fun to see what items I've made in 2008 that sold.
There's this friendly competition that goes on. We are curious to see what gets sold. We all have something we think people will punch each other out to get and we are anxious to see when it goes. For me, certain afghans are like children: I raise them to send them out in the world, and when they walk off in the arms of someone else, I want to cry. And when they hang around home too long, I wonder why they're still there.
The funny thing is: you never know what will sell. Last year, we ran out of prayer shawls, this year we've sold only a few. Hats and scarves went like pancakes in May and this winter, a bunch of them are sitting on the table lonely and waiting. At the Pleasant Home Sale, the first thing we sold was the doggy sweater and right after someone bought it, someone else came in asking for one.
We don't have rules about what to make in our group. People make whatever they feel like making. After all, the group was made for people to get together and knit. We didn't start out with the intent of selling anything. (That's also why we don't charge for labor.) I will put out a call when we've run low on things or when someone makes a request for the group to make hats for preemies, but other than that, the women of the group knit what they feel like knitting. I think that might be one of the reasons for our success (and we are successful) - our inventory changes with a planned randomness.
We've made some new connections! one of the things we look to do is connect with community organizations and use our craft as a way of helping locally. One of the other vendors at the sale is a Senior Citizen organization looking for knitters. It seems they have this over flowing stash of yarn ( you know I had to stop myself from drooling, right?) and they are looking for folks to come in and knit with their members and use it up. How could I possibly refuse such a need? It will provide the chance for the seniors to use their stash to either sell at one of our markets with the money going back to them and also to donate to the other connection we made.
The Infant Welfare Society was doing their annual meet with Santa. The Executive Director stopped by my table and mentioned they worked with a knit group in Michigan who gave all the kids hats last year. The group disbanded and the children were really disappointed not to get hats. I made an executive decision on my own and linked us to the group to get hats to the kids for the 2009 Christmas season. I seeing a bit of synergy..if we can get the seniors to make hats for the babies and children, I'm seeing a full circle.
I'm not quite sure how long this latest knitting craze thing will last, but I don't think we're a part of that anyway. It wasn't until we formed the group and I started looking into things that I found out knitting was so hot. My guess, is that it probably was also warm but more people know about it. It doesn't really matter - we do what we do because we love doing it and we've found a way to make that work for the transformation of the world. That's always hot!