Communal Scarves & Happy Customers: Vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

Skull ornament on sale at Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Last weekend, a friend and I had a booth at a nearby festival, the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival.
I have sold at a market once before but this time we approached it properly, as though we were attempting to set up a small pop-up shop.  We discussed displays and stock items and I ordered a Stitch Noir banner! 🙂
Having a physical presence, even for a short time, was a lot of work.  Well, having an internet presence is a lot of work too, but this was work of a different kind.
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
I can work on photos and try to ensure that they really show off the product for my etsy store, but displaying product on a table or in a tent…completely different world.

Add to that the weather…it rained all day…so the ideas we had, such as putting the clothes rack out in front of our tent, had to change.  We found ourselves a little smushed in the 10×10 but it was still welcoming and allowed people to come in and comfortably browse.
Flexibility…very important at an outdoor festival!
Early on, I decided that I wanted to recreate something I had seen in Reykjavik, Iceland in July.
In front of the Handknitter’s Association, they had set up a basket with knitting projects in various states of completion.  Anyone could stop and add a row.
Handknitter's Association in Reykjavik - Communal knitting projects out front!
Handknitter’s Association in Reykjavik – Communal knitting projects out front!
I loved the idea that these scarves were made by people from around the world.
Our communal basket was a smaller project, considering we didn’t have such a diverse international crowd, but it was still well received! 🙂
Our communal knitting basket!
By day’s end, it was only a dozen rows or so…but it’s definitely something I’m going to keep doing at the various markets I attend.
So many attendees were delighted to pick up a set of needles and knit a row, or two, or three!  Some hadn’t knit in a decade or more and were happy to show what they could do.
A scarf in progress!
We had customers who really enjoyed the interactivity of the community scarf, as well as others who were happy with their purchases 🙂
My very first knitted shawl found a home!
My very first knitted shawl found a home!
This shawl was a custom order.  Simple, traditional pattern and my very first completed knit shawl.  It took much longer than I originally expected (Knitting takes so much longer than crochet! Who knew?)
but finally headed to its new home at the festival.  Felt so good to finish and to have such a happy customer 🙂
Grumpy bear cowlGrumpy bear is grumpy!
Grumpy…in the way Winnie-the-Pooh is grumpy.
A cowl headed to yet another happy home 🙂
In terms of set up, I was lucky to have a partner in crime who had some great ideas and a knack for display 🙂
Jesika in our lovely booth!
ALL the foam heads in use!
By the end of the day, we were feeling pretty good about our little on-site shop!  Rain and all!
Yay, us!
Thanks to the festival organizers!  Thanks to Jesika for helping me figure out how to set up the booth and thanks to all who visited us at our booth to chat, shop and add rows to our community scarf! 😀

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