What not to do at a craft fair…

Just before the big Harlech Craft Fair at the weekend, this materialised on the Fair’s Facebook page. It’s from the California Arts Council:


We were very busy – it’s the first year we’ve used social media in an organised campaign – but a couple of us amused ourselves by collecting these. I had several 5s, as usual quite a few 7s (yes, but when will you?), several 10s and a 9 from someone who wanted me to make a long dangly scarf, crocheted in eyelash yarn. Had to explain that not all knitters can crochet (don’t get me going on the eyelash yarn), and she left shaking her head sadly at my incompetence (she can’t do either).

But there were two prize winners. One wasn’t from my stall. There was a pair of fingerless gloves on the other knitter’s stall, very reasonably priced. One of our very right-on residents picked them up and delivered herself of a 1 – though without the specific Walmart ref, natch – with what could only be described as a sneer; I think she was looking for a fight. Stallholder resisted urge to biff this person over the head, which I considered very restrained, and pointed out that the gloves she was talking about were not wool, not handmade, and might easily have have manufactured in some far-eastern sweatshop by eight year olds – the perfect response for our guardian of all social causes.

My prizewinner was a version of 10, I suppose (why these people have to be so furtive, I do not know, but the close examination and muttering always gives the game away – just ask, and I’ll help). Two women approach stall, second visit for one. Returnee goes back to cushion she was examining earlier. Friend also fondles cushion. Meanwhile, I am dealing with another customer. After some time, the two walk away; intrigued, I follow. One is saying to the other ‘so you could do that for me with an old sweater?’ and the other assures her that it would be easy, could do it for Christmas, though she was expressing slight worries about the rib pulling in. Had they asked I would have enlightened them: no, you can’t use an old sweater. It has to be knitted from scratch, largely because of the rib pulling in, plus old sweaters are never quite the right size and some have a surprising tendency to unravel and develop strange bald patches that really show up. I wasted many hours and several sweaters, including one in cashmere, before realising the truth. I hope they’re not planning to do anything else in December…

But it was a lovely craft fair, and because several people have asked, here’s a general montage of some of the stalls:


10 thoughts on “What not to do at a craft fair…

  1. croftgarden

    Whatever the event or venue the vox populi can be very irritating and also a great leveller . However, I have no doubt that the ripostes were worth collecting. Do you think that we could have a peep at some of the lovely items on your stall please?

    1. kate Post author

      The important thing is not to take any of it personally, and I found nipping across the hall to my friend saying that I’d got a nine very therapeutic!

      I’d better show some of my own stuff, I suppose – the problem is that, as usual, I was too busy photographing everyone else!

  2. Elaine

    Yes, Kate, I’ve heard it all too! As a fiber artist who has done several shows for many years I know how aggravating the browsers can be. It’s too bad there aren’t more true fiberistas who really appreciate our work.

    1. kate Post author

      Maybe we need to develop a sort of crafters’ version of business bullshit bingo, with scores awarded for specific remarks… I’m not sure it would help, mind!

  3. Mary White

    my son and I both do craft fairs and all of the above apply. My sons answer he has a doll made for him by another crafter which he calls Voodoo Vera, Vera has removable arms you can hit her with as well as many other features. Her main asset you can stick pins in her! Amazingly lots of customers want to buy her!


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