"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away." David Viscott

Monday, February 20, 2012

Something Strange Is Going On....

February in northeastern Vermont usually means several feet of snow on the ground with icy cold nights and cold and snowy days.  Not this year.  We have maybe 6 inches of ice crusted snow on the ground, with daytime temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
This is February???
Maple sugar season usually starts around the last week of February, first week of March.  This year it started last week.  Most disturbing of all is the wildlife.  Skunks and raccoon usually sleep through February.  This year they are out and about, starting their mating season very early.

This 'easy' winter has national broadcasters proclaiming how homeowners are saving 10% of their heating costs, not due to fuel prices going down (they've actually risen), but rather due to less heating being required. This mild winter is not unique to Vermont - it appears to be the same across the continental US.

What does any of this have to do with crochet?  Slow sales of wool products.  Hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves are generally all good sellers during the winter months, but not this year.  I suppose some of it can be due to a poor economy, but mostly I blame the weather.

The bright side of all of this is that the warmer temperatures make it easier to focus on spring and summer products, and to work with lighter yarns, such as cotton, bamboo, and rayon.  By starting now, more time will be available to complete entries for the summer fairs.  I wonder if fall will come early this year, too?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crochet! Design Call-Out

Making the adjustment to living in a new home with a new life that includes 5 online courses, I have not had much time to devote to crochet.  Now that things have calmed down a little, I hope to rectify that situation.  This latest casting call may be the jump start I need to start contributing again.

For those of you who don't know, a design call-out or casting call is when a publisher has an idea for a book or special issue magazine, and they need design contributions.  Crochet! magazine is having such a call-out.

The reason I believe this may be the kick-in-the-pants I need to get going is the subject matter: all cold weather stuff!  I have an entire notebook full of designs I have made over the years that I could contribute, with very little work on my part.  I have photos of the finished items because I make them, year after year, for my own family and friends. My primary medium for many years was wool - sheep, alpaca, and llama.

I have tried in the past to whip up something for call-outs.  The problem is, they don't give you a lot of time - usually only a couple of weeks - to submit something.  If they take sketches and swatches, fine.  But some companies want the finished product!  Not being in a position to drop everything to create a design, I have learned, the hard way, to pass on those.

In this case, though, all I have to do is complete the submission form.  Perhaps I will get a design published this year after all!