Horseshoe Holiday Market, 2013

Well, after so much anxiety and nerves and meltdown and build-ups, it was finally time for the holiday market. I tell ya, it seemed as if it was over just as soon as it started! Those were the fastest moving 8 hours of my life!

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Here I am (we are– the Boy is snuggled under that blanket!), booth set up, waiting for the market to open. We had 15 minutes to spare, which was great considering the fact that I still had several things to tag once we got there. I had already practiced my set up at home which turned out to be a great idea because that saved us a lot of time that morning. I mainly just needed to make sure I was staying within my quarters but somehow not having things feel claustrophobic. Which I hate. I’d poured over so many blog posts and articles that said to have all of your items up front; customers don’t like to feel as if they’re walking into a cave. But I liked the “C’mon in!” vibe my little space had. Plus, I had a nice variety of items, so I wanted things to be in their own little sections.

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This table was kind of my miscellaneous area, although I had it right toward the front. Here I had candies (which were a big hit) and business cards, smaller gift items, like tea cozies and crocheted ornaments, and individual drop spindles. This was the “hook ’em” table, if you will. And while yes, there were several people who came and snatched candies without so much as a glance, most people were more drawn to the granny square blanket and from there interest and conversations were sparked!

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Next was the table completely dedicated to fiber: hand-dyed braids of combed top and spindle kits which included 1oz of fiber. I think next time around I’ll have the fiber on the table where the sign is hanging, but it didn’t seem to matter.  Since this wasn’t a “fiber fest”, most people didn’t know what in the world the fiber was– several people tried wearing it as a scarf or tying it around their heads as a headband (which was pretty hilarious). But again, it got the conversation going. People were astounded by the process of me actually dyeing the fiber, spinning the yarn, and then knitting things! Despite the fact that most customers weren’t spinners, some were, and I sold quite a few braids! I was even visited by a mother and daughter who bought fiber specifically to make felted balls for a garland on their Christmas tree! That said though, it will probably benefit me to double up on yarns and finished knits for a non-fiber related show.

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Lastly was the table that held the finished knits along with handspun yarns. I had full-sized skeins as well as mini-skein sets (in the yellow bowl) and “KnittingFX” sets (on top of the red bin). Both the yarns and the knits did well, but for next time I hope to have a wider range of yarn weights; most were worsted or fingering. And also, more adult-sized hats! The only hat I had was the one I wore throughout the day (I didn’t plan to, but it was really cold in that building). So of course, that was something that lots of people asked about.

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And here I am with my staff, trying to stay warm. Seriously, it was freezing in that building.

So, all in all, it was AMAZING! Things were extremely organized and everyone was so friendly and encouraging. Despite the cold, the atmosphere was great and I am really blessed to have been able to participate. I learned a ton and am looking forward to many more shows and markets in the future!  If you’re local to the Denver area, I’ve got one more market this season with the Denver HaHo, Sunday, December 15, 1pm-7pm. Hope to see you there!

Progress

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Slow and steady wins the race, right? I certainly hope so, because I’ve been feeling like a snail lately…

I’m making some great headway in my show prep, trying my best to use each snippet of time I get in the wisest ways possible, but also remembering: one day at a time. Which all sounded great until I realized the holiday market is exactly one month away! But, typical me, it just isn’t right if I haven’t put myself under some sort of time crunch. Luckily, I’ve been maintaining my peace and grace throughout all of this, my husband has been a huge help, my kids are keeping me excited (although they think I’m participating in a “crab show”), and I’ve got a soild foundation of cheerleaders looking forward to seeing me succeed. So things are equally as awesome as they are crazy.

Here’s a sneak peak at some yarniness:

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Hope everyone is having a glorious fall so far! Back to work I go! Happy crafting!

 

Help Daybreak Dyeworks put on a show!

Hi friends! Things have been one step away from plain ol’ crazy around here! Funny thing is, it’s only about to get crazier! Besides the normal hustle and bustle that comes with the change of seasons and approaching holidays, I just received some amazing news at the end of last week:

Daybreak Dyeworks has been accepted as a vendor in an upcoming holiday market!!!

I’m so excited and so honored to have been chosen! This show is kind of a “big deal” for local small businesses,  and the date and venue couldn’t be much better. The fact that my tiny little shop was picked to participate was such a boost in confidence, because I tell ya, there are definitely days when this seems all for naught!  I feel like this was just the little boost we needed here at DBDW, and it couldn’t have come along at a better time!

That said, I’m humbly coming to ask for help from the community. Thankfully, I was able to cover the cost of my booth fee to participate in the show, but still need a little help gathering the funds needed to produce inventory for the big day.  Any Etsy sales between now and then would be a huge help, but I’ve also started a donation campaign with gofundme.com for anyone feeling inclined to help. Starting this fibery business has been a long dream of mine, and participating in this show is a big step for the growth of my brand in my local community. So, if it’s within your means to do so, please consider giving a donation and helping us to put on a great show this December!

Thanks so much everyone, and stay tuned for (constant) updates on planning, progress, prep, and everything in between, leading up to the big show! Happy crafting!

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

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Hey folks! Is it just me, or is time passing by at lightning speed? It’s only gonna get worse, what with the approach of the holidays and the fact that 4/5 of us have birthdays coming between now and Christmas! Good news is, I’ll have plenty of reasons to take lots of photos, so I’ll at least have some recollection after it all blurs past.  Another good thing is that I haven’t lost any of my crafting mojo! I’ve lost most of my focus and forgotten completely about prioritizing for said birthdays and holidays, but I’m making, nonetheless. Starting with spinning!

That there on the bobbins is my The Sky at Sea colorway (from my Lazy Days of Summer series). I’ve not done much traveling in my life, but whenever I enter into that season, I’d love to go to a place where you can just barely differentiate where the sea ends and the sky starts on the perfect beach horizon. This was a two ounce sample that I’m spinning completely from end to end, and then I’ll Navajo-ply it on itself. This is another skein I’m working on as inventory at the shop, along with these:

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As usual, I’ve got several WIPs going at once, but the one I’m most excited about now is this:

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It’s Granny-mania here at headquarters! I was doing some deep cleaning yesterday and realized just how much scrap handspun I’ve stashed up since last year, whether it was the remnants of FO’s or some of those earlier, not so pretty skeins from when I first started spinning. I decided a great use for them would be granny squares for a big, scraptastic blanket, something I’ve always had on my bucket list, but hadn’t ever attempted. This is a great way to pursue this goal, and for cheap– a blanket like this would be SUPER expensive if I was buying yarn specifically for it. Another plus: granny squares are SO forgiving, especially of those first wonky skeins of handspun! I’m pretty excited about the outcome and hope to have it done in time for Christmas, if not sooner.

I’ve got a few FO’s for y’all:

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This is Zuzu’s Petals, knit out of some of my early handspun. I actually dyed the yarn after I’d spun it, which helped me to achieve this fun variegated look. I was a wee bit short on yardage, so I couldn’t complete the lace chart, but whatevs, I love it!

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This is The Age of Brass and Steam, also out of handspun. I churned this out in a matter of the week, as a part of A Yarn Loving Mama‘s spin-along/knit-along in honor of this pattern. And that week included the spinning and knitting. Talk about instant gratification! Sadly, it just isn’t my color, so it’ll be gifted. I started with 4oz of BFL top that I dyed in big chunks of red, grey, blue, orange, and a bit of brown. I split the braid in half, then ran each half through my drum carder which gave me this awesome color blending, which is exactly what I wanted, I just think it’ll look better on someone else. So here’s a tip: if you ever get stuck with a braid of fiber that just isn’t doing it for you, or you want to avoid super obvious striping, run it through the drum carder for a more subtle, tonal effect.

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One down, one to go! This is the Paulette tunic, and this particular one is for the 3 (1/2) year old. The yarn is KnitPicks bare, something or other, that I hand-dyed (and eventually over-dyed) this lovely autumnal shade of red. This pattern is so cute! Super quick and easy, and very easy to modify, which I did; I kept the eyelet pattern only on the bottom portion and never realized until much later that there were supposed to be buttons on either side of the neck… So, funny story, once I finished this (and it’s been done for weeks actually), I gave it to the 3 (1/2) year old, beaming inside, so proud of myself. Her response? “Let’s give this one to ‘the kids’ and then you can make me a yellow one!”

FYI: “the kids” = Goodwill

Nothing but beanies and mittens for her for awhile. But, that’s what’s going on around here! Have you started any holiday crafting yet?

❤ Dawn

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

 

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Talk about a hiatus, eh? Sheesh! I’ll admit, things were a teensy bit crazy around here for a few weeks, but with a new season, comes a change of pace, and I’m looking forward to both! And lots of pumpkin-flavored treats🙂 The good thing is, I’m still spinning! Pictured above is a bobbin full of sweet, Strawberry goodness on 100% Merino, but in actuality, I have three bobbins in rotation right now, switching them in and out as the mood strikes:

 

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The front bobbin is the start of some Internet Celebrity on 100% BFL that I’d been hoarding for myself. It’s only 2oz worth of fiber, so I’m thinking I’ll spin it all onto one bobbin and then Navajo ply it and hopefully end up with some decent yardage. Same goes for the Strawberry. Both of those will likely be set aside as inventory at Wild Yarns (whose grand opening is TODAY! SQUEE!!). The fiber in the middle was gifted to me by the lovely Stephanie of the Intertwined Stitches podcast, waaaayyyy back when I was still a hopeful Harry Potter House Cup participant. I’m pretty sure it’s Corriedale, and is getting spun into a simple 2-ply and knit into a Hitchhiker (which she also gifted me the pattern for some time ago). She basically spoils me as if I’m her only daughter.

Over in my Ravelry group I’m hosting a handspun KAL and have a new FO to show for myself!

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This is the Spring Hoodie pattern by Purl Soho knit up in some handspun SW Merino from Sweet Georgia. This was an easy enough pattern, and I may even knit another for myself! It’s essentially a cowl, but with defined hood shaping (as opposed to just being a really big cowl that you can pull over your head). I modified things a bit, as the pattern only comes in one size, and that was HUGE on my little one. There’s also supposed to be some kind of I-cord edging all around the opening, and the top of the hood is kitchen-er’d together, but neither of those things were happening for me. By the time I got done with this thing, I had a killer headache, so I just did a 3-needle bind off to graft it together and skipped the I-cord jazz altogether. The Kid didn’t mind one bit. Her favorite part of the whole thing is the pom-pom on the back (also of handspun– staying true to the KAL)!

Other FO’s you might have missed:

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My mom’s birthday socks

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A beanie for Jr.

Have you gotten started on your winter or (dare I say) holiday knitting yet? You better get to it! Happy crafting🙂

 

 

What’s on the Wheel Wednesday!

 

 

For today’s post, I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things for the Yarn Along! Join us there, or leave a link in the comments below, showing off what’s on your wheel this week!

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The wheel is clear today, and  I think The Queen deserves a day of rest, because she’s been working hard! My thighs deserve a bit of a rest too, for that matter. Up there, you have 792 yards of lacey goodness, my friends. Dance Fever, 2-ply, 100% merino.

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Ain’t she a beaut?! This has been my best yardage to date, and I must say, I’m pretty proud. I’ve already picked out a pattern for her too; a little ambitious for me, but how can I not knit this into something absolutely magnificent!  And speaking of knitting with handspun, I do hope you’ll join me over in my group where I’ll be hosting a Back to School Handspun KAL running alongside the Must Stash ladies (so, yeah, double dip it up)!

In other news: an FO!

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…sort of. Still gotta weave in those ends!

And my most favorite WIP this week:

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Paulette is working up quick as lightening, quite possibly because I’m using the wrong needle size, but no matter. Chances are, I’m gonna have to frog the whole thing because of a shortage of yarn (since the needles are too big), but hey, maybe not! We’ll see what happens. This one is for my 3 y/o and now that I think about it, I think I accidentally cast on for the size 6 (instead of 4)… Anyhow, the yarn’s some self-dyed (over-dyed actually) Knit Picks-something-or-other in my Strawberry colorway.

That’s it from me, for now! What are y’all working on? Whatever it is, happy crafting!