For much of the last year I’ve mainly been focussing on smaller items for my market stall – beanies, mitts and scarves – which has meant the lace knitting has been neglected.
I get so many comments on the lace shawls I just put out for display that I thought I’d see how a few more elaborate shawls would fare at the markets. To be honest, I also just wanted to knit some lace and use some of the wonderful yarns I have in the stash for a change.
Lace seems challenging to the uninitiated, but other than just remembering a few stitch combinations, it’s not difficult. The main problem is fixing up if you make a major error! Whilst the fine cobweb lace looks so impressive, lace can also be knitted in any other ply for the wary.
Anyway, so far I’ve managed two Adamas shawls (which were my first major attempt at following a lace shawl pattern). One is in an unashamedly bold Zauberball and another in a lovely blend of silk and merino with a fine silver filament from one of our local spinners and dyers. A Multnomah in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn is also complete and a garter and lace shawl is nearing completion. I might add that not everyone is lucky enough to have a Chapel floor for blocking their knits!
I’ll also put a few shawls together with easily accessible patterns and yarn I have available for anyone who is tempted to turn their hand to something a little more challenging.
I’m hoping the shawls are a hit at the larger Markets later this year. At least they will be a talking point for visitors.
After my recent successes at the Rylstone Artisan Markets, I have stocked up heavily (which has also meant lots of knitting). My big sellers to date have been the lacy mohair and silk scarves as well as the fingerless mitts, with beanie sales increasing now the weather is chilly.
This is the first “Winter” market and I’m hoping to continue my fortunate streak. This time I’ve added a stack of Noro beanies – spiral and plain, as well as a bumper load of mitts in gorgeous yarns. The markets let me indulge, with my main yarns so far being Rowan Silk Haze, Noro – Kureyon and Silk Garden, and for the linen stitch scarves a bit of a mix with alpaca, merino and mohair blends. Peartree is wonderful to work with and provides a great finished item. This month I’ve experimented with Madelinetosh Sock yarn and I’m also using some of the wonderful vintage Lush hand dyed yarns I bought a few years ago. It’s rewarding to be playing with a stash that I’ve been building up.
Nippy weather usually means cold fingers and ears – making the mitts in particular popular items, with mitts and beanies usually donned on the spot.
I now have a much better sense of how to set up for the markets and what people like and I’m also very pleased with how my stall looks. I’ll let you know how I go this round.
Easter is one of the bigger market days for Rylstone Artisan Markets. I’ve only held my stall there since Christmas and we are just beginning to hit the time when woollies are becoming more of a priority.
The markets this weekend were highly successful. It seemed like lots of visitors each time I looked around and this translated into my best sales to date by far. The lacy light scarves were again highly popular and have proved to be a mainstay – now requiring serious replenishing. The new linen stitch scarves were also a hit with men and women alike. Beanies and mitts also easily found new homes.
I thought I was really well stocked but now face another solid month of knitting to replace stock. Hopefully I’m recognising the trends and can focus on what seems to be selling well. I’ve been careful not to overprice and it’s refreshing to hear people say what good value the knits are and that perhaps they are underpriced.
People appear to appreciate the use of fine yarns and a sense of individuality and the quality of the knits. No doubt the identification with the Convent is an element of interest and some self-promotion with my prize ribbons doesn’t go unnoticed. My customers appear to be a healthy mix of visitors and locals and I now have a number of return customers. The kits are also proving popular with knitters, with the chance to complete an item with quality yarns.
I’m now looking forward to the cooler market months and may fit in a couple of different local markets as well. In the meantime, those needles won’t have much downtime.
The Easter markets are supposed to be pretty big ones for Rylstone Artisan Markets and I’ve been stocking up. My very first market was the pre Christmas one and whilst it was also one of the “big” market days, December is not exactly a great month for knits. Although I’ve been happy with the reception to date, I’m hoping that I’ll now start hitting my straps as the weather cools off.
The featherweight lace scarves have done well in the warmer weather but I’m now thinking that mitts, beanies and scarves will now be in more demand. Each month I try and add a new knit – this month it’s the variegated self-patterning sock yarn knits. I’m pretty well stocked up this market and am looking forward to seeing my fellow stall holders and having more chats with the locals and visitors over the long weekend.
Today was my fourth market stall at Rylstone Artisan Markets and I’m starting to feel like a regular. Given I started my knitting stall in early Summer, it’s given me time to get a feel prior to Winter approaching and I’m confident that I’ll hit my stride in the next few months. Each month I more than stock up on sold items, whilst always adding one new range. This month I’ve added Linen Stitch Scarves for which in the next month or two I’ll also put the pattern and kit together. I’m also stocking up on Winter items, with the plan to incorporate locally grown and spun Alpaca.
A bit of self promotion is on the cards, given the success at local Shows, with me displaying the ribbons at my stall. I know many of my purchases are gifts, so it provides a talking point for the giver. It’s also a great conversation-starter with other knitters.
I’m meeting heaps of locals – knitters, crafters, farmers and chatterers, which is great given I’m still so new to the area. I also hope it provides a point of interest and an attraction to visitors to the area.
The kits are also proving to be popular – both with knitters and as gifts, which is highly rewarding as I hope to inspire and encourage others to create something special with lovely yarns and textures.
After this market, I’ll be moving more into Winter stock – mitts, beanies and scarves. I noticed the change this time as people were more interested in the mitts and beanies than the feather-weight lace scarves. It’s also time to tackle a few more challenging knits which may at one point also go into some of the Shows. Whilst I knit the occasional garment, my preference remains epic lace shawls (in lace weight yarns) and pragmatic but textured blankets. These can provide quite a contrast which is reflected in two very different recent yarn orders – the reliable and cost-effective Bendigo Woollen Mills, and the seductive, luxurious and indulgent Sundara Yarn (silk lace, of course).
This weekend was my third consecutive appearance as a stall holder at the monthly Rylstone Artisan Markets and I’m beginning to feel like a regular. Whilst a little slow for knits in incredibly hot and dry weather, I still feel like I’m doing well, although I seem to spend most of my time chatting to people and spend far too much of my takings on other stalls.
There is a wonderful collection of stalls – all locally produced – and is well supported by locals as well as a popular attraction for visitors. A few new stalls have opened along with me, keeping the markets fresh. The party planner this month was such a treat for the kids – with balloon sausage dogs and a fairy floss machine.
It’s been rewarding that people are now buying kits and knitting themselves. I was thrilled to see at least four other stallholders knitting whilst waiting for customers – and they weren’t from handcraft stalls!
I think there will be a greatly increased demand as the weather starts to cool down, so I’m focussed on building up stock in the lead up to Winter. Anyway, it’s great to get sales but it’s so much fun just being there and being part of the market community.
“If you create it, bake it, grow it or make it, and you live locally, you can sell it at our markets”, which is strictly adhered to.
Accompanied by my daughter and good friend, we started off allowing for plenty of time to be shown the ropes and set ourselves up. The organisers and fellow stall holders were all very helpful and friendly and we were raring to go by 9am when the markets opened. For the first hour and a half it seemed like we’d be lucky to make a sale but a flux of people a little later meant we ended up more than happy with the outcome. We even managed to get some orders in advance for next markets.
December in Australia is not exactly “knit” weather and it was a really hot day. We had also be warned that it may take over three markets before locals would come up for a chat. However I think that our knitting display was very accessible and it was clear we were from the Convent, which made it really easy for people to start a conversation. We also met plenty of other knitters, spinners and weavers. Gemma with her drop spindle was a good conversation-starter.
A few items sold very well and we managed to sell both kits as well as knitted items – the lace scarves were a real hit and attracted lots of attention. I know that this market had the benefit of people buying for Christmas presents and the next few markets might be a bit slower, but I’m also pretty sure come the colder months we will do very well. Also the markets sometimes co-incide with tourist buses and I think my knits should be a hit with visitors.
Anyway, for the first foray into knitting at the markets, I ended up really pleased and am keen to become a regular. Whilst it’s great to sell things, it is even more rewarding being part of the community, speaking to locals and joining in with the other stall holders.
In the meantime, I’m back knitting the more popular items and getting my entry ready for the Rylstone Kandos Show on 22 February.