Lessons From the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, knitting, crochet, yarnIt’s been an incredible weekend — exhilarating, exciting, educational, an absolute whirlwind, and a lot of hard work.  SpaceCadet Creations was at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, and we had the time of our lives!  And now, as I get the chance to sit down for the first time in days, I realise just how many lessons there were from doing our first show.

Here’s what I learned:

  • How fantastic is it to finally get to meet my customers in person.  Seriously, it is the best!  These are people I see tweeting, people who leave comments on the blog and on Facebook, but there is nothing like meeting you guys in person, discussing your knitting, seeing your projects, and just being able to put faces to names.  Meeting you all was fantastic fun!
  • How wonderful it is to talk to customers about my yarns and get that feedback.  I mean, I do all this in isolation.  Day to day, I work in my studio mostly on my own, with pots simmering quietly and yarns soaking…  And when I pull them out, well, sometimes I think a yarn looks great and sometimes I’m not so sure.  And it was just such an incredible experience to see customers making a beeline for the colourways that were calling out to them, and to hear their comments and get their feedback.  Nothing beats that.
  • That every person has their own unique colour style, their own sense of what works for them…  and you absolutely cannot judge a knitter or a crocheter by her cover.  We had people come up who looked like they might choose calm, quiet colourways but who instead went straight for the brightest, craziest colours.  And others whom I thought would go for the same wild yarns but who instead reached straight for the peace and serenity of the semi-solids.  The truth is, crafters are unique and interesting people, and you can’t box them into categories!
  • That many hands make light work, and work doesn’t feel like work when it’s split out amongst friends.  …With HUGE thanks to the Wednesday night knitters for bagging and tagging, knitting samples, brainstorming, and coming up with some great ideas that made the show a lot better for us.
  • That there is simply no way to show how beautiful, how smooshy, how fibery-lucious a yarn is over the internet.  Great photography is all well and good, but absolutely nothing beats getting to snorgle that yarn in person!
  • The Vendor Hall was HUGE!

    That when you get a look behind the scenes, you realise that the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival is a HUGE undertaking with a bazillion variables that really could all go disastrously wrong, but somehow Barb and her team keep everything under control and pull the whole thing off seamlessly.  And they smile the whole time!  I don’t know how they do it.

  • That you can’t actually go all day without eating.
  • Also, you can’t actually go without sleeping either.  The body will revolt and shut you down.  And that little factoid put a serious dent in my festival-prep schedule.
  • What fun it is to meet and finally get to chat with other fiberisti in person (Hello KnitPurlGurl!  Hello StevenBe!)

  • That StevenBe’s mother and her friend are lovely, lovely women and so interesting that I could have sat and talked to them all day.   Hallo Christa! Hallo Barbara!
  • That I go a bit giddy when I get asked if I’d like to be a guest dyer for a LYS’s yarn club.  YesIwouldYesIwouldYesIwould!!!!
  • What an incredible rush it is to asked by LYSs whether I wholesale yarn   …and how that plants interesting little seeds in my head.
  • That having friends there to show you the ropes, give you tips and ideas, loan you display furniture, and make change when you run out of small bills…  that kind of professional camaraderie makes all the difference!  (With big thanks to Amy, Bloomin Yarns, CosyKnits, Wren&Rita, and GwenErin)
  • How nice it is to be able to bring yarns out of the shop, give them a fresh airing, sell them at the festival, and then have brand new yarns to offer to all my custermers who couldn’t get to this festival.  Look for new yarns to start appearing in the shop in the coming days and weeks!

    All dyed in three weeks!
  • That you can increase your dyeing by 10 times your normal rate and fill a festival booth with stock in only three weeks, but everything else in your life will come to a complete halt.  I really have to get some laundry done before I run out of clothes and some bills paid before they shut off the utilities!
  • That none of this is possible without the support of a great team.  And I had a great team (With more thanks than I can express to my husband, to Natalie, to meine kleine schwester, and to my mum   …and to my dad, who apparently hasn’t eaten in weeks because my mum has been here the whole time!).
  • And, finally, that I love love LOVE doing festivals!!!!!

14 thoughts on “Lessons From the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

  1. Hello to all who attended the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. What a FANTASTIC time I had. I couldn’t touch enough yummy yarns! All the vendors and participants thank you for a wonderful experience. Barb Grossman is a ROCK STAR!!!!

  2. Enjoyed reading your blog about the festival. It was great to see you at the show and to meet your family. Those girls are adorable !!! Your yarn is lovely and I would have never guessed that this was your first show. You are a natural and I look forward to seeing you again Stephanie.

  3. Congratulations! And thank you for this post. It’s so interesting to know what goes on behind the scenes and what you learned from this experience. i hope you have the opportunity to more more of these festivals, and spread the word about your gorgeous products.

  4. How fantastic. It was so exciting to read your blog. I’m so glad you enjoy doing festivals. I can’t wait to get back to that life. My new venture, a sewing and knitting circle, starts on the 8th March. Fingers crossed it’s successful x

  5. your booth was lovely Stephanie, your yarns really fabulous! and your family was nice too! thank you so much for helping me out, thanks also for the kind words of encouragement!

  6. It was lovely meeting you, Stephanie. I also enjoyed catching up with Natalie at your booth at PK&CF. I had such a great time looking at all your yummy hand died yarns & visiting with you both. Your joy of explaining the dyeing process filled me with dreams of dyeing my own yarn sometime down the road. For now, thought, I think I’ll just knit some yarn made by you. : ) Your fun “Easter Egg” colorway is going to look awesome for a new shawl for me. I can’t wait to knit it up & see how it turns out. Thanks so much for talking with me all weekend. I had loads of fun! I’m looking forward to seeing you again. Thank You for all your hard work!

  7. I was at the South Hill Knitting Guild today and someone there showed us the yarn she purchased from you at Pgh Knit & Crochet. It was really beautiful.

  8. It was a terrific event & your booth was a favorite. Wonderful to see all of your colourways up close & in person. Looking forward to knitting up my purchases!

  9. It was so nice to see you there and to see, touch and feel those amazing yarns. Congratulations on your fabulous booth!

  10. Your booth looked fabulous and it was so much fun to peruse your stock in person! Now to figure out what to make with my SpaceCadet purchases and to make sure I have the cash for the Yarn Alliance!

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