Of Veggigurumi And Undead Books

Gentle reader,

I had the lovely opportunity of visiting Stephanie and Megan at Can Do Books in Hawthorn today. If you’re in Melbourne and you’ve not been, you really must go. Their selection of crafty and arty books are totes amazeballs, and the prices are kind of jaw-droppingly reasonable (which is a bit of a rare thing in Australia, actually!). We had a chat about some opportunities to do some really cool stuff together, so I’ll keep y’all posted. In the meantime though, do you mind if I show off the purchase I made while I was there? The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt!

Back from the dead!

The 4-1-1 on this book is that it was well popular and then it went out of print for a number of years (the publication details lists it’s last edition as being printed in 1988!). Demand was so high though that people went properly crazy and apparently second hand copies were selling for the $200 ballpark on eBay! Oy! But, it’s been revised and updated and is back on the shelves. Zombie book! It’s alive! I had a quick flip through and was overcome with the desire to take it home with me, so I did, as a matter of fact. I think these will sell like gangbusters, because it’s the kind of book that if you only ever bought one book about knitting, this would do perfectly. Seriously, this thing is so big you could brain someone with it. I tried flipping through some more on the train and I nearly dislocated my arm! And considering it only cost $49.99, let’s be real, I kind of feel like a stole it, just a lil’ bit. I’ll tell you some more about it when I’ve had more time to pour through it (seated safely at the table, mind. No more dislocations).

Meanwhile, I have some crochet FOs to show you! Back when I was at the Loch Quilt and Craft Festival, I was crocheting while I was sitting at my table, and I don’t know what possessed me, but I started to whip up some vegetables, or ‘veggigurumi’ as I like to call them. I did the aubergine first. Now, I would sooner eat my own sick than eat aubergine, but I think they’re pretty and I love their color. And this yarn colorway was even named “Rustic Aubergine” (Morris Estate 14 ply), so I suppose that might have sown the seed for veggigurumi. And the carrot was next because I happened to have a red-orange yarn and I actually do like carrots. So, there you have it!

Do carrots and aubergine even go together? I haven't a clue.

Anyway, I was really quite happy with how they turned out, actually! I think aubergines are a bit longer, but I wanted it to a be fat little nuggety one. I can’t quite remember what yarn the carrot was made of, but I suspect it was Sean Sheep from Big W (don’t pooh-pooh the Sean Sheep from Big W, it’s actually quite lovely!). The green bits were from some Magnum Soft, which is a pretty decent acrylic yarn if you’re on a budget. It’s quite squishy and not at all scratchy or plastic-y). I feel like I need a few more items for the collection, for a fruit/vegetable bowl or cornucopia if you will. Perhaps an apple or broccoli, I’m not sure.

Also, if you missed it, I’ve opened an Etsy store, which you can visit here! And, if you go to this post and comment, I’ll send you a coupon code for 15% off, just ‘cuz I love you. ^_^ Truth be told, you can comment on any post and say you want a coupon code. Ask and ye shall receive.

Have you bought some awesome books lately? Share, share, share!

The Loch Village Quilt And Craft Festival

Gentle reader,

This weekend past I was fortunate enough to attend the Loch Village Quilt and Craft Festival. The committee that organizes it had seen my interview in the Sunday Age and invited me to attend as a “featured artist”. My dear friend Judith and her husband Charlie and I went down on the Saturday and stayed at the Royal Hotel in Loch before setting up a table at the festival on the Sunday.

Loch is a beautiful little spot to the south-east of Melbourne. It’s surrounded by picturesque hills and quaint little buildings. Sybil, the lady who saw my article and invited me was so sweet and generous, and went to so much trouble to make me feel welcome. I sold a few things, gave out some cards and got to chat to some really lovely people like Megan from Can Do Books, the ladies from Sunspun yarn store and Kay from Kay’s Artycles.

Unfortunately, this wonderful weekend was preceded by our house being broken into earlier in the week, and they stole my camera! So, I couldn’t take any pics, but luckily Judith snapped some for me.

You can see one of Judith's dolls in the background in the upper left. And stinky ol' me to the right. O hai!

Lessons Learns From Having A Market Table/Being A “Featured Artist”

  • Being on display or being made the center of attention is nerve-wracking and awkward and makes me really anxious. This seems completely stupid since I used to act and sing on stage. Oy. But, I kinda knew this.
  • Peeps are surprised to see a guy crocheting (but, surprised pleasantly most of the time). I kinda already knew this too.
  • No one laughed at my prices. This is reassuring! And I got some great compliments!
  • As a result of the nerves and anxiety of the first point, I start saying weird things that I’ve never ever said before, like answering questions in the affirmative with “Yeah, yep!”. Who says that!? I do apparently. Eugh.
  • If I keep selling things, it will defs be an online affair. Etsy? I’ma do it!
Pics courtesty of Judith, 'cuz she's wonderful.

It was such a great experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity and it was definitely worth it. Though, it did really reinforce for me why this malarky is called “The Shy Lion”. I’m much more at home doing business at a desk. I should work on that though. There are so many great peeps out there and I wanna meet ’em and craft with ’em!

As for the break-in, well, I don’t want this to become a place to vent some drama, but it was pretty upsetting! It’s the second time; we were broken into before Christmas too. At the end of the day, it’s just stuff, though not having a decent camera will make blogging a bit difficult. But, these things were sent to try us, and we must rise above!

How was your weekend? Have you set up a table at the markets before? How’d it go?

– R