It rained and it rained and it rained. I felt for some of my friends who were out in this selling their awesome wares at the Queen West Arts Crawl today. I managed to stay mostly dry, and had a great day of work.
I had 2 hours to kill between dropping my son and his friend off at their Shakespeare class and I knew I’d get more knitting done if I didn’t go home, so I headed to my favourite knitting spot: The Purple Purl. Great company, and one of the women who commissioned a custom hat last weekend was there so she picked out some yarn and I will start that project up tomorrow.
Speaking of the Purple Purl, I’m teaching a needle felting course there this Thursday, so if you are curious about making 3 dimensional objects out of wool roving with a little barbed needle (it’s totally fun and somewhat therapeutic), give the good folks at the Purl a call at 416 463 1162.
I am going to try to make some felted dog tug toys since my BIL’s dog loves the one I gave her (see right). So this afternoon I knit a few pieces for those.
I got a good chunk of a devil hat done, and when I got home later I felted the commissioned tricorn hat. Now it’s in the blocking stage. The one where I just want to fiddle and try it on. But I won’t. Not for 2 days. Back *away* from the blocking hat…
I made a quick trip out to a local vintage shop late in the afternoon and found this old spool that will be fun for displaying my hats (when the tricorn is done I’ll post a photo). It was a total impulse buy but something about it just warmed my heart.
This evening I received an email from a lovely woman named Jing who took a few photos of me needle felting last Sunday at the Danforth East Arts Fair. I handed her a card and asked her to send them to me. Well, today she sent them… from China! How cool is that? Fun photos, too. I don’t have any other photos of me at work so I really appreciate having them.
Just a quick note tonight since I’m through the application push and onto work mode.
I love knitting new hats, especially original designs. I had a tricorn (three cornered pirate hat) at the Danforth East Arts Fair that one woman liked, but she wanted a different colour and a bigger and more exaggerated brim. I managed to find the right colour early in the week and am just about to start the new hat, after a little math to figure out how to edit the existing pattern to suit her needs.
I have two other hats on the needles: another red devil to replace the one sold at DEAF, and a black and white houndstooth toque, or as I like to call it: Houndstoque. Because although I love the coloured houndstoques, houndstooth needs to be in basic black and white as well.
Details to come on the various fairs I’ll be at but just to let you know, I’ll be in Leaside, Leslieville, Queen West, and of course Bathurst and Bloor area (918 Bathurst) for The Bazaar of the Bizarre on Saturday, October 12 from 11am – 8pm.
On Saturday, a gentleman from Vancouver enthusiastically stopped by and tried on the black bowler. It looked fantastic on him but I couldn’t resist asking him to try on my new top hat. He did.
You know how I said the other day, ” it’s always fun to watch people try on my lids, until the hat finds the perfect head”? Well, this was the perfect head. I asked if I could take a photo and he happily agreed, and we took one on his phone, as well.
Today appears to be the day of craft fair applications, but maybe it means I can get them all done at once and move back into create mode soon.
I took a little time out today to do some Kool-Aid dyeing of some natural white washed and carded wool, in preparation for making it into holiday ornaments. They’ll be fun as they will keep that Kool-Aid smell for a while. (We don’t drink the stuff, just use it for dyeing wool.)
The colour below is the (deceivingly) blue package of tropical fruit punch.
Kool-Aid dyeing is fun: just dampen and wring out the wool, boil some water, add water and a package or two (or three, depending on how much wool you’re dyeing), stir, add the wool and swirl it around for a minute or two until the colour has been soaked into the wool, then rinse it out well in cold water. There are tons of how-to videos on youtube if you’re curious.
I always find it interesting to see what sells at a show, especially in the hats. Unfortunately I don’t have photographs of every hat that sold (my bad, I usually take at least one snapshot for my records but didn’t get to all of them) but here are some of the lids that found heads this weekend, thanks to my talented husband who I put to the task the day before the fair and shoved a bunch of hats at him as I did last minute creations and packing.
This time I did some things a little differently with the Sheepy Dryer Balls. First of all, I added colours! Instead of just the 4 natural (undyed) colours, I added the primaries and secondaries for a total of 10 colours. Second, I let folks choose their own instead of creating sets of 3 tricolour flocks. So it was interesting for me to find out what was the most popular colour. All of the naturals were at the top, with light grey as the reigning ewe. In the new colours, purple was tops. Third, I let folks buy 1 at a time if they so desired, although I recommend 3 in your dryer for effectiveness. People bought them for natural dog toys, kid toys, and fibre art.
The catnip balls were a hit, too, and I’ve already had an email from a buyer who says her cat loves it. Fun!
And as an afterthought, I put out a few ornaments. It was an afterthought because I really didn’t think that people would be into Santa in September, but I was wrong.
I just realized today, in my post-show haze, that I was invited to join this, this, and this, and invited back to a show I did last year this weekend by passers-by. Which makes me feel pretty good about deciding to go for it wholeheartedly this year! I also received 2 emails from folks who bought stuff this weekend to just say thanks. And that, my friends, makes it all the hard work worth it.
I had a great time at the DEAF13 this weekend! It was a great crowd (really just such nice folks), and the artisans did some really stunning and quality work. And since they put my sheepy dryer balls on the poster and postcard, some folks came up and said, “We saw these on the postcard and had to find your booth!” which was so fun.
The weather was good, sunny but not hot on Saturday and overcast today but the rain held off until the end of the day. My neighbours were fellow Toronto Etsy Street Team vendors, Michelle from Thunderpeep Designs and Anne-Marie Olczak, who both do really lovely work. In fact, I won “best booster” award, which included some monies towards a DEAF purchase, so I spent it on a piece of art (actually, a commission!) from Anne-Marie, from her street scapes series. It was great to share a space with Anne-Marie (we didn’t bother with a wall between us and even made a walk-through between booths) and admire her work all weekend. (You can see her largest work on the left of the photo above.)
I find art fairs a great place to show my work since people get to try on everything available, and it’s always fun to watch people try on my lids, until the hat finds the perfect head. I am every amazed that they don’t look more similar on all heads, but hats are truly individual adornments. I also love talking to folks, and it’s fun doing fairs in my neighbourhood as friends will stop by for a chat.
Now it’s onward to a couple of commissioned hats and new, weird, and wonderful creations for the Bazaar of the Bizarre Halloween Extravaganza!