Crocheting and Knitting for Selling

Since I started selling my crochets and knits at the local art center, I've really had to think of my craft differently. I also make prayer shawls for my church which is a ministry or charity and my goal is to turn in at least one shawl per week. That changes depending on how busy my day job is.

Now, as far as selling my work, the art center has a quarterly change out date for all artists. You come in on that day to replace any of your pieces and/or bring in new work to display. The next change out date is September 1st so I've got about two weeks left to get some new things made. And, I've been pondering over what to make... pocket scarves for the Fall, chunky knitted wraps, or home decor like weaved pillows...I even am contemplating making some art journals. My enemy is time. There just enough of it!

When you make for charity, it's different from outright selling:
  1. The costs of supplies are up to the artist. Unless you're a part of a group where people donate yarns and other supplies, typically the artist has to have monies to buy more yarn. 
  2. There are typically certain rules when making for charity. For example, when I make prayer shawls, I don't add a lot of fringe on the ends in case someone is in a wheelchair. That could be a safety issue. I also try to limit making things in wool because we have some ladies that are very allergic to it. 
  3. Profit is not a consideration. If any donations are offered to the artist or charity group, it's used to buy more yarn but not as compensation or revenue hence the reason for making for charity.
  4. No tight deadlines. There may be a timeframe for certain charities like around the holidays but typically you can take as much time as needed to make something. I think the hospitals and other places are just so happy to receive handmade hats, mittens, scarves, and shawls; whereas with a business you have to constantly make new items to replace what's not selling. Customers want to see you keep up with new trends and they're always looking for something new and different. That can add additional pressure especially if you don't create full time. 
So since I'm a part time crafter, I decided not to have any lofty goals for selling. For now, I want to make extra money to buy more yarn and craft supplies. Who knows what will come of it?, but it's nice to showcase what I make and to have already sold a couple of pieces. 

This piece is my first crochet "boomerang" wrap for sale at $25. Forgive the bad photography! I got done with it late at night and I just grabbed my cell phone to take some quick pics! Next time I won't do this at 2 in the morning!

I made it with Caron Simply Soft yarn, my new fav for shawls. This is a really easy pattern because you're only working one side of the shawl throughout the whole pattern and it gives an asymmetric shape to it which is pretty popular in fashion. I see a lot of tops, dresses, and skirts asymmetric and even some trench coats. This is my new go-to shawl pattern because I can get one done in just a couple of nights :)

For the next change out, I'm working on a pocket shawlette. I'm making the pockets now and it's time for scarves since Fall is around the corner. Hopefully I've got enough time to make about four new items. 

If you're in the Florence Oregon area, come see my display at:
Florence Regional Arts Alliance
120 Maple Street, Florence, OR 97439