I’ve been a bit quiet…

… and this is why:


Even I realise this needs some explanation. This, incidentally, is Belinda and he is modelling a bias cowl knitted in a yarn I wouldn’t normally go for but which is one of the best ‘fake fur’ yarns I’ve come across, Sirdar’s Touch.

OK, the elephant in the room. Or perhaps the cross-gender bear on the bed.

I’ve no idea why he’s called Belinda but he is definitely male. Not sure how I knew, I just did. I think I wanted a brother when I was given Belinda (a year or so later I experienced the reality and, let me tell you, it was not what I’d imagined) and that may account for my certainty, but why Belinda? I didn’t know any Belindas. I knew a Chloe and a Jean-Louis and a Gerald and a Simon and a Didier and a Susan, but I didn’t know a Belinda. Anyway, Belinda it is and he’s not changing it now.


I’ve been busy because of this (well, and work, natch):

a4 craft fair christmas poster 2015

of which I am one of the organisers. And ‘organising’ is probably not the best word, because organising craftspeople, and I class myself in this, is an art right up there with herding kittens and trying to rearrange clouds. And now I’m trying to prepare myself for the inevitable – the lovely customers, the fellow knitters, are a joy – of course. But there’s also the ‘I can make one of these myself, so can you let me have it cheaper?’ / ‘you can get these in Asda for £2.50’ brigade. Sigh.

Will be back once next weekend is over. Possibly traumatised.


10 thoughts on “I’ve been a bit quiet…

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety

    I just took some hats and mitts to the local museum for commission. There were some slight raised eyebrows at my prices compared to stuff that was already there. I had to explain (and point out it’s on the tags) these are wool, hand spun, hand dyed, hand knit original designs, not crocheted with a big hook acrylic from *MalWart* (name changed to protect the guilty) hats. So you have my sympathy regarding the minority contingent 🙂

    1. kate Post author

      That sounds almost identical to several conversations I had last year – interestingly, and maybe depressingly, not in the summer when the visitors are my main customers…

      I could put this down to economic advantage, jobs being thin on the ground round here and most of the Christmas customers being (relatively) local, if it wasn’t for the fact that these comments all came from people in the sector of the local population best described as wealthy, incomers, retirees… Not all are like that, of course – far from it. But they assume an importance out of all significance to their numbers once you’ve made the same point three times in an hour.

      1. Spade & Dagger

        Perhaps you could advertise your USP with a very big printed sign on your stall that states the important facts about your items being hand spun etc etc. Some strategically placed, large photos of yourself at the wheel, handling fleeces, knitting etc could also help. Then when they still ask for a discount, you can save your breath (& patience) by just pointing to your sign !!!

        1. kate Post author

          I’ve got limited space, so I was thinking of some piece of heavy weaponry – perhaps a trebuchet and then I could aim it from a distance and they wouldn’t know what had hit them, 😉

          The really irritating thing is that in one case I know the perpetrator quite well. Have no idea why she behaves like this, it’s very odd. She never used to, so I suspect there’s some other agenda that I know nothing of…

  2. spinningsheepfeathers

    Kate, any of us who have done art fairs have gone through the same impossible customers. It’s good to change the subject immediately and then ignore them is they persist!! Some annoying people you just can’t be nice to!!

    1. kate Post author

      I shall pass on your compliments – he does love to be admired!

      (Even if I used to bribe my brother to carry him into places like my College so I wasn’t seen with him…. the shame of it!)

  3. Annie Cholewa

    I’ve been quiet too, but with less interesting reason.

    Do you think perhaps that those who don’t spin and knit etc. really have no idea of the amount of skill and time etc. involved? I think you need to shamelessly employ some advertising speak. Artisan made, buy local, limited time offer, exclusive design … I could go on 😉

    1. kate Post author

      I’m absolutely convinced that you’re right – and we joined in with the ‘buy local’ campaign on our website (harlechcraftfair.com) and our twitter feed (@gwyneddhandmade) has links to the Just A Card thing too. It was markedly better this year, perhaps people are taking the message on board generally. And we were very, very busy. My stall looked as though the Mongol Hordes had swept through by Saturday closing.

      But, but there are other factors such as the ‘I can make that myself, can you let me have the pattern’ approach – one incident (no, I made it up) – and the ‘I like that but there’s one on that stall over there very like it which is cheaper’ line. We really are going to have to do something about our Idea Thief… we’ve tried reason and another smallholder has tried violent argument and shouting, but — well, let’s just say she’s ripped off the person who organises the craftspeople. End of?


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