How to Make Money at Craft Fairs — and How Not To.

glitter ornaments

I answered the siren’s call of riches, fame and fortune that is the craft fair circuit this past November in a fair that took place up in Maine. It was a pre-Christmas fair, so I made crochet ornaments. I’ve done plenty of experimenting with how to sell crafts for starvation wages, so I thought I’d give a liveable wage a try.

crochet ornaments

I can make these in my sleep now. I estimated that I made over 70 at the time of the show, and then another 40 for a show I did after that, plus custom orders.

The pattern was one that I recreated from a photo of crochet ornaments I made previously while the pattern was still available online. The original pattern came down, meaning that I’m probably one of the few left who can still make these.

The Craft Fair Hustle Ain’t For the Faint of Heart

Craft Fair doodle

The craft fair was a pretty decent size, filling an entire high school gym with more vendors in another room and lining the halls. We saw lots of foot traffic too, with a few thousand estimated visitors. Unfortunately, “visiting” is about all most of them did with my stall.

I was sharing a table with my mother, and she had made three foot tall light up angels out of deco mesh and tomato cages. I think that part of my problem was that her display was so big that it dwarfed mine. Hers was a big ticket item, with lots of admirers but relatively few buyers, so most folks just did a drive by with some appreciative nods without ever getting close enough to the table to see my ornaments.


As you can see, my display was also pretty cluttered. To really see my ornaments, you would have had to walk up and stand over my wreath displays. I had thought that the wreaths would add some larger ticket items that might help offset the booth costs, as well as diversifying what I was offering. Turns out, the only damn one that sold was the one on the bottom left, that glittering pinecone monstrosity. And thank God it did sell, or I think I would have left the stupid thing in the parking lot. Only the Good Lord knows why I thought it would be a good idea to dip pinecones in a glitter bath and hot glue them to a flat wire wreath form, but it was not a good idea, and I still have that glitter in my apartment.

Crochet Ornaments for Sale, Glitter not Included

I thought it was a good idea to diversify my offerings up and down in price point–the wreaths as a higher ticket item, and personalized, glittered ornaments for a cheaper option. What I did was buy a few small, plastic bottles with very fine tips that could be used to write names in glue. Sprinkle some glitter on top of that and viola, a personalized gift that I feel fine letting go for five bucks a pop.

glitter ornaments
This is me glittering up the place
glitter mouth
And this is me getting glitter in my mouth

At the end of the day, the only way I sold any was to actually call out to people passing by and advertise my “Personalized glitter ornaments, just $5 each!!” Since practically no one was buying, I figured that the cheaper option was my only chance of selling anything at all.

I noticed something about the crowd after a little while. I had thought that I would be popular with parents of young children, since I was offering “Baby’s First” personalized keepsake crochet ornaments, with the addition of some ribbon, a tiny pink or blue clothespin, and some wooden tags. I made an extra effort to call out to parents I saw with strollers, young kids, or babies strapped to their fronts. What I found, however, is that these people were just struggling to get through the crowds without getting their kid stepped on, and the last thing they gave a shit about was my crochet ornaments.

babys first crochet ornament
Pictured: the last thing my customers cared about at the moment

I made a handful of sales, but if I hadn’t been splitting the booth fee with my mother (and sold a handful of glitter ornaments to my aunt for her cats,) I would have lost my shirt.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and I’m at a new craft fair closer to home. This one was set up at Villanova University, where my husband works, and had nowhere near the foot traffic that the big gymnasium show had, but you know what? I made over double the amount of sales.

Villanova craft fair

crochet ornaments displayThere were only a few key differences in my  new craft fair approach. I moved my wreaths so that you didn’t have to lean over them to see my ornaments. I was still calling out to customers as they passed by, without all the yelling in the much more relaxed scene. As you can see, I also pared down my display quite a bit.

There was one more thing I changed that made a huge difference to sales. This time I advertised “Crochet ornaments only $10, personalization is free!” And, folks, you would not believe how jazzed people were for the free personalization. It had always been built into the cost of the ornament, but “free” sold.

That’s what I learned from my first big show since the launch of this blog. Tell me in the comments what weird tricks you found to keep your sales up!


Job Searching Blows

job searching blows

Job Searching Blows When You Have Trouble With Relevancy.

I’m a young lady with a B.A. in English. My main hobby has been unnecessary since the advent of industrialized society. Therefore, I sometimes have trouble marketing my skills as “relevant” to this century. Job searching really blows.

job searching comic

job searching comic

job searching comic

job searching comic

job searching comic

job searching comic

job searching comic

Easter Baby Crochet is Why I Don’t Sleep

easter baby crochet

Easter Baby Crochet Accessories Consume My Waking Thoughts

This actually happened. So, if anyone’s wondering, that’s what I’ll be doing from now till Sunday. And if my baby nephew consents to being photographed while wearing Easter baby crochet accessories that make him look like a baby chicken, there will be pictures. (Although, if he has any self respect, he won’t.)

P.S.: My hair actually looks like that most mornings when I wake up. It doesn’t help with my overall madwoman appearance when I bolt awake to proclaim things like this in the middle of the night.

I tried knitting again.

I hate knitting


Mistakes Were Made-The Knitting Comic

I’ll level with you–it was a shit day. It was so shit that I tried knitting again, because even crocheting was making me feel shit. And I hate knitting. I ended up throwing the knitting and flipping it off, and I’m pretty sure it flipped me off back. Then I drew a knitting comic, and that made me feel better.

I woke up ready to fight, and I decided to fight my yarn. Maybe I was overcome with hubris? Maybe I hate myself? Who knows why I thought I should try to do goddamn anything with a pair of chopsticks instead of a hook. Hooks make sense. A hook is a thing I can use to make a loop and pull that loop through another loop. Why would anyone try to do this with sticks? 

Why would these two sticks need to hold all of the stitches at the same time? How come it make holes when a stitch falls off? Why do I need to do different stitches in different rows to make it look like knitting? DOES ANYONE KNOW? WHY DOES ANYONE DO THIS AS A HOBBY???

There Were Signs

I knew today was going to be a fight. My cat threw up on my nativity set. Who does that? Did my cat mean it to be a gift for the baby Jesus? Oh Glory Hallelujah, the three wise men have brought for the newborn Lord Frankincense, Myrrh, and half-digested Friskies.

Then my insurance company decided to kick me in the ovaries by de-credentialing my doctor. Thanks for that. I still wasn’t ready to throw in the towel–I heated up some chili and put on some Christmas music and was ready to drag my holly jolly ass into the Christmas spirit if it killed me. And I thought, why not pick up some knitting needles and try to make a tiny scarf? What the fuck is more Christmas-y than knitting in a rocking chair and sipping cocoa? Nothing, that’s what, except for maybe swearing like a trucker who stubbed his toe and cursing out the sheep that provided the godforsaken wool I was trying to wrangle.

Screw the cocoa, I’m making a vodka tonic.







Does Crocheting Make Me Undateable?


 Does Crocheting Make Me Undateable?

So, I’m married now, but I wasn’t always, and I used to wonder quite a lot: does crocheting make me undateable? When I was first living with my then-boyfriend/now-husband, I had my rusting death bucket car towed away by the scrap yard fairies. Problem was, that’s where all of my yarn had living. This is a problem because the apartment that we shared was only slightly larger than a breadbox. Our apartment was so small that our pet fish felt cramped. Our apartment was so small we had to buy singles instead of six packs of beer. It was so small we had to keep our houseplant trimmed. You get the idea. So, you can see the problem we had trying to accommodate the volume equivalent of three fifty-gallon tubs worth of yarn. Having six full-to-bursting black hefty bags lying around really clashed with the “horror vacui” décor style, too.

Sacrifices Were Made

And yet, my man took it all like a champ. He didn’t complain when I moved in and his two full closets and a dresser shrunk to two drawers to keep his clothes in. Then he still didn’t complain when we had to stick all of his shoes in a bookcase to make room for my shoes, and then they got kicked out of the bookcase again to make room for my books. He didn’t complain when I covered the apartment in an inch thick coating of glitter as part of my holiday crafting. And then, bless his soul, when I drag in these six huge bags (and a laundry hamper and a duffel and a picnic basket and a few Shoprite bags with stray bits of stuffing and some afghan squares) full of yarn, he didn’t even bat an eye.

However, it occurred to me that, not only am I a damn lucky girl, but that there probably aren’t that many guys out there as willing as he is to put up with my constant fiber hobby-related crap. So now, I’m curious. Are crocheters undateable? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of dating someone who crochets.

Pro: You get a warm, fuzzy handmade gift for Christmas every year.

Con: You get a warm, fuzzy handmade gift for Christmas every year.

Pro: If you ever get attacked by a rampaging alpaca, your partner, the “yarn whisperer”, will undoubtedly be able to soothe the beast.

Con: You will have to explain to your beloved crafter, again, why you can’t keep an alpaca in your apartment. Even though they promised to take it for walks in the park every day.

Pro: Buying her gifts is really, really easy.

Con: You are part of the problem.

Pro: She is capable of keeping herself busy happily for hours if you want to play X-Box with your friends. She also understands the need for elbow space and won’t try to cuddle you during activity time.

Con: That doesn’t mean her many afghans won’t want to cuddle.

Does crocheting make me undateable?The jury’s out. For better or worse, he’s got me, and he’ll never ever be cold.

You’re a Millennial Crocheter? Come Back in 30 Years.


Nobody Likes You If You’re 23, and Especially Not if You’re a Millennial Crocheter.

Remember how I complained last time about how I’m hanging around in the wrong demographic? Yeah, not only do I crochet instead of knit, but I’m a Millennial crocheter, which means according to Google I don’t exist, which means I don’t exist.

I usually don’t notice these things until I start getting hit with advertising that’s laughably irrelevant to me. (Which is actually a nice change of pace from Google’s depressingly accurate advertising).

There I am, browsing for patterns for a baby piece I wanted to make, when I get an offer for one free issue of a crochet pattern magazine. Why not? I don’t know what to do with all this yarn anyway. When it arrives in the mail, the cover features an adorable colored thread doily. Into my lap falls some tear out advertisements for… a tiffany-style stained glass Eeyore hurricane lamp. And a porcelain wind-up musical baby deer that assures me will make “an en-deer-ing gift for your granddaughter!” From somewhere within this phantasmagoria of nick-knack hell, some indignant part of my subconscious not disabled by horror said, “Granddaughter? Why do they think I have a granddaughter??” Below, see the actual lamp:

Millenial crocheter
gaze into your nightmares.

This is the first time I realized that my favorite hobby may not be marketed to my age group. This had somehow not occurred to me at any point prior to this, up to and including all the time I spent in my church’s knitting ministry every week. We ate cookies and made prayer shawls and I was the only member who had any hair pigment left.

  There Were Signs.

I really should have noticed sooner. Like how, every time I walk into Michael’s, I walk out crying about how no one but those living off a comfortable retirement pension could possibly afford anything other than acrylic. And how they keep trying to sell me crochet hooks that are ergonomically padded to ease arthritis symptoms, light up in the dark, magnify the working stitches, and attach with a clip to my macrame reading spectacle’s lanyard. And in hindsight, perhaps my college roommate was calling me a loser not because I declined the invitation to go do body shots with the guys from Alpha Chi Ro, but because of the oversized shawl I was wrapped in and the granny square afghan I was working on at the moment I declined it.


Sudden Clarity Clarence

So, I guess I should just crawl under my maroon worsted ripple stitch afghan with my four cats and an oversized mug of chamomile tea while I wait for retirement age so that I can crochet when I’m no longer considered an anachronism…


A survey released in 2011 by the Craft Yarn Council (yes, that’s a thing) indicates that the statistical age breakdown of knitters and crocheters is much younger than my grinning porcelain baby deer from hell would seem to suggest. In fact, a full 18% of yarncrafters were between the ages of 18 and 34. “Wait a minute!“ shouts that small but hopeful part of my brain. “That’s me!”

That’s right. Furthermore, 37% of the survey group was below the age of 45, and only 34% was above 55. The 45-54 year olds garnered 29%, the single largest age group sampled. That means that most crocheters are moms, not grandmas.

Furthermore, 89% of survey takers said that the internet was their first source for knit and crochet patterns, and that this was consistent across all age groups.

Therefore, Conclusion:

A.) I’ve been dealt a raw deal, and the distributors who are dealing selling me my fix supply of yarn should actually be marketing to me, and not making me feel any dorkier or socially irrelevant than I already do.


B.) All the crocheting bitchez be online, and I can therefore expect this blog to go viral any day now. Come on guys, lets get hoppin’ with those shares! I’m not getting any younger over here and I’m still not famous!!

I’ll work on this potholder while I wait.

Millennial Crocheter

Oh, you crochet? Screw you.

crochet vs. knitting

Knitting vs. Crochet

Am I just a bitter, jaded harpy or does the world hate crocheters? Because when I look at patterns for knitting vs. crochet, I can’t help but feel like the world is giving me the finger.

I get the fact that I’m loitering in the wrong demographic, and therefore I can’t really expect all of the material aimed at crocheters to be useful or relevant to me. I mean, if you’re a four foot tall granny and you want to join Hell’s Angels, go ahead, just don’t expect them to make any leather jackets in your size. Amiright? So, I’m a twentysomething who’s taken up a hobby that used to be dominated by crotchety old biddies with nothing else to do but spend their pension on yarn, churn out baby hats, and wait for death. So, I don’t really have any business complaining about anything.

But here’s the thing. I keep seeing things like this:



That’s Lionbrand Yarn’s Knitted iPad Fair Isle Tech Vest. Isn’t it clever and pretty and adorable??

Here’s their crochet offering:

Awww! Isn’t it… uh… lame??

Ummm what?

What the hell?? And before you ask, this isn’t one isolated incident of one publisher releasing two patterns and making the knitting one a little cooler. I get this kind of knitting vs. crochet smackdown in my inbox Every. Damn. Week. My Lion Brand newsletters look like this:

12 New Patterns out this week! Knit yourself a delicate lacy hat, a trendy cabled scarf, or a cool entrelac afghan!! :D!!

Oh, and you crocheters? Here’s another cowl. Go hang yourselves with it. 

Same story, every time. Craft store shelves are lined with knitting books filled with gorgeous, on-fashion pieces and pretty accessories. Crochet pattern books are full of amigurumi and baby blankets. Well, if I make one more google-eyed crocheted toy I’m gonna puke, and my friends aren’t breeding fast enough to justify all these tiny pastel afghans. If you crochet, odds are you gave the hell up and just learned to write your own patterns a long time ago, like I did.

Why Do You Hate Us?

I have a hard enough time just getting people to acknowledge that crocheting is a thing. I once dated a boy for nine years, and not once did he ever use the word “crochet”.

“Hey, how’s your knitting coming?”

“Oh, you know, I’m still crocheting, as I was yesterday and will still be doing tomorrow, since that’s what I do, but yeah, it’s going great.”


You know who else calls it my knitting? My mother. And she taught me to crochet.

I get that knitting is more popular and more widely practiced and that a great deal of our fabrics and textile manufacturing is still knitted. But I don’t know why. In my opinion and experience, crocheting is easier to learn, easier to master and much more versatile than knitting. You can teach a little kid to crochet. You can learn to change colors, direction and stitch pattern mid-row without ever wanting to kill yourself. Can you say the same about knitting? And, oh yeah, crocheting in a spiral is just as easy as crocheting rows, and doesn’t require any extra or different tools. Which is useful, since, ya know, humans tend to be roundish.

I actually did try to teach myself to knit, just to end the pain. It actually just brought a whole lot more pain. I am confident, quick and downright goddamn graceful with a hook in my hand. That’s not a word that can otherwise ever be applied to me. But as soon as you add another stick, everything goes to shit, fast.

Come on, crocheters. It’s not like I’m the only one out here. Am I right, or am I right? Helloooo? Anybody?