There is No April Fools Day Here

I have been a blatant April Fools Day liar in the past.  Last year had me eloping in Vegas, and I received all kinds of congratulations.  This year I can’t put together a lie because there’s too much wish-it-wasn’t-true stuff happening in my real life.  This is not a good time to have people believing things that aren’t true.  I can’t handle the distraction and I’m not feeling the silliness.  Don’t get too comfortable; it will return.

My big physical preoccupation today is with my sciatica.  I can’t stand or sit without yelling, and sometimes when I stand I can’t straighten up for a while.  I’m doing alternating heat and ice, which is helping.  I don’t really want to take big pain medicine because I need to stay awake and drink water.  I’m off diuretics (the pills that make you pee out extra fluid) and still I’m passing lots of urine.  My legs are very swollen, but I feel thirsty.  I think my kidneys have lost some of their concentrating ability.  You see, the kidneys are not just a sorting station for wastes.  They use an intricate system to sense your blood pressure and volume and regulate the concentration of your urine to help maintain them in a very narrow range. 

This will be my first time missing my daugher’s birthday.  However, she has other great people to celebrate with and (shhhh!) I will be able to go to knitting group.  I can pack up my kidneys and my burly spun mat, go have my own celebration with a little sourdough toast and hang out with the cool people. 

Speaking of knitting, there’s been a little discussion on the knitU boards that I’ve found interesting.   A few people have mentioned that they cannot afford to sell what they knit because the public won’t pay what it is worth (in materials and time and skill).  These remarks have been received with choruses of support and a kind of martyred attitude, with the end being that most folk say they just knit for friends and family. 

As you know, I operate a store on Etsy (www.essiewb.etsy.com) where I sell my handmade original creations, both knitted and crocheted.  When I decided to sell items, I priced them according to the materials I used and the time I put into them.  To keep my prices reasonable, I have searched all over the Internet for supplies.  I rarely purchase yarn in a local yarn store because their prices can be as much as three times the price I pay on line for the same product.  Some on line suppliers have developed relationships with mills directly, and sell yarns comparable to the big labels at huge discounts.  I look for further discounts from sales, overstocks, and discontinued items.  I buy in large quantities at times, knowing I can use a yarn for more than one project. 

The biggest fallacy that the KnitU discussion revealed was the belief that people don’t appreciate handknits.  I think that is bunk, and we are just being snobs when we say that.  There is a very large movement towards handmade goods, affecting everything from furniture to clothing to food.  We are coming back around to an appreciation for natural materials, including fibers.  Many people don’t know where to find these products, and a site like Etsy.com, which is made up of only handmade sellers, is an excellent starting place. 

There was a comment in our discussion group on KnitU that only the most wild and artsy pieces of knitting would sell.  I haven’t found that to be the case.  Yes, I’ve sold a few items that you could call art, but I’ve also sold organic cotton wash cloths, simple garter-stitch alpaca baby sweaters, undyed merino caps and scarves, and the most basic of designs.  I’ve never felt that a piece had to be particularly showy to post it in my store.  I’ve only felt that it must be well-made and usable.  Just sayin’. 

Now that I’m done with my say, and yes, I did say it on the KnitU site, too, I can bring in my noisy dog and add some rows to the world’s most beautiful knitted mat. 

Peace.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi came across your blog. Hope today is a better day for you from another lupuie

  2. In looking at the knitted items, I was kind of wondering how the pricing/profitability factor worked out.

    But as you suggested, there is a trend in society with people willing to pay more for certain goods, hence the higher prices of, say, organic food. Yes you pay more, but it’s better quality and you know where it comes from.

    What I think the knitters (and other crafters) need to do is kind of follow the French wine method. Thus, when you buy a certain type of wine, you are paying for a certain type of grape, and made only in a certain region. And it can’t be replicated. Wines are very place specific and the French have taken marketing “place” to an apex.

    The same can be done with knitting. Whether it’s “handmade” or “American Made” or “Texas Authentic, with yarns sourced from Texas Bush Blacksheep”.

    Develop a set of “labels” that can be applied, and make people “Pay up” for the labels, for quality and status and emotional reasons. Maybe the label would include man hours. “Texas Authentic 100 HR Single Source, Single Heard Product”.

    That is, it kind of comes down to marketing, and making people feel there is magic in your original design and sourcing. Kind of like the old J. Peterman catalogs where every item told a story.

    I would agree that it does not have to be an “art” piece. Usable, beautiful, lasting, original, should do it. With some good marketing.

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