Season Debut Fall 2010

Published by Gwynne under on 11:26 PM
October's First Friday was a remarkably hot and unbelievably busy way for Bewilderknits to make our debut for the new 2010-2011 season. When we said last Spring, "We really need to start our season earlier than December next year," we really hadn't been thinking about things like 100 degree nights in early October.

In terms of foot traffic, I hadn't known what to expect, because the politics regarding First Friday street closures went on all summer - I guess, while we were knitting - and the final word was: no more street closures. The apparent upside of the street closures had been the "Wow! There's loads of people!" effect which is just generally fun. The downside had been that there'd been vendors last fall reselling imported wholesale items made in Nepal. While the knitting was not a bad product by any means, it wouldn't have been very fair to compete against that booth. Particularly when I found the products they were selling on the interwebs for wholesale prices of $3 apiece ... Not to say people shouldn't buy products from Nepal, but First Friday needed to figure out what it was trying to be, and if the big idea was "Local and Handmade," then they should stick to that. In order to raise enough money to pay for the street closures, they weren't capable of being too selective about the vendors.

By not doing the street closure, so many booth vendors like ourselves needed to partner up with the local businesses, and this was, from what I could see, a pretty cool thing. There were SO many artists set up in front of Revolver Records. MADE had so many vendors out front that Cindy had to build a map of her yard so everyone would have space for their displays. What I liked about this set up was that only local handmade booths were likely to get any real estate in this situation. This meant that all the people we met at booths, like Chadwick who was next to us with his Broke Street Jewelry, were the people who make the items they sell.

In Chadwick's case, the jewelry of the night was bangle bracelets and rings and earrings made from recycled skateboards. Very nice.

October 1st is nowhere really near Halloween on the calendar, but in First Friday Fashion, of course people acted like it was. I determined I need to take more risks with fashion down there. I'm beginning to feel old and conservative. Shay caught a picture of this really creative steampunk guy with his family. I was very fond of the neon green goo and the obvious time spent on the details of his shoulder ... thingies.

And we ran into Nathan Blackwell who was wandering around with some of his zombies, who were further Halloweenifying the place by handing out flyers promoting Zombie Team Building. Shay plays a part in the Squishy Studios production (in a rare non-zombie role), and so does fellow Bewilderknitter Cora (as a zombie). Though I won't post photos of the undead on our blog. I trust you know what they look like. They're everywhere, after all ...

 We did a redesign of our booth layout since last season, since we had so many items this year and felt the need to use more of the space. The credit goes to Cora, actually, who drew  -  to scale and printed out in xerox copies  -  a new T-shaped layout and brought it to a Bewilderknits meeting! 

We also decided to do a big upgrade of our tablecloths. Cora and I bought some snazzy upholstery fabric and sewed them all up on hot summer weekends, along with velvety covers for our boxes that we set our heads on.

Also, I got all inspired one big-garbage day in the neighborhood and snagged a big fallen tree branch from a neighbor's tree-trimmings. I had a vision for it, and executed it with the help of Karen's felted bags.

 At first, we all thought we were going to die from the heat ... and also experience no foot traffic. Who wants to look at wool in 100 degrees? But then Karen looked at her phone and said it was actually only 99 degrees, and that must've made all the difference in the world because wow was it crowded! And we weren't the only ones with cameras.

I was super happy (like I always am) when someone with big hair came up to try on one of my ginormous knitted hats. He stuffed all of his dreads up inside it and everything fit.

We sat behind the booth celebrating every rare breeze and weaving in ends and adding on buttons to new projects.

Then we packed up the van at 10:30pm and tried to get some sleep to prepare for the next morning's farmers market. See you next time!


coracoracora said... @ October 6, 2010 at 11:55 PM

Great blog Gwynne! Even though it was super duper hot, I still had a great time. I'm really excited for the season to begin (and the weather to cool down)! :)

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