this is why i fail marketing 101

I think you’re supposed to post links when other people are kind enough to publish your work on their own blogs. I just remembered that. Seriously, I flunk every blog test out there.

I sent in a story to Globejotting this spring during Dave Fox’s 100 Hours of Humour (yeah, that’s how he spelled it; he’s gone rogue), for one of his flash humor writing contests on the theme “Road Trips”. I didn’t win and he published it anyway, because he’s awesome that way. So thanks, Dave!…six months later.

Lumberjacks & Roosters

let’s agree this post didn’t happen

IMG-20130505-00299A couple of weeks ago I trekked out to the Montgomery County fairgrounds to see the 40th annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

As a crocheter, this was an exciting – if nerdy – opportunity to see beautiful yarn from small local farms and shops – the real wool, not your general craft store acrylic. (Acrylic has its advantages; namely, that it won’t cost you $300 to make your own sweater, but it’s just not as pretty.)

I had no idea how nerdy it would be, however. I don’t card or spin, I’ve never seen raw fleece, and I genuinely had no idea what most of these people were talking about most of the time. If you’re going to make a statement like, “I love my Ashford Joy, what do you do?”, then I’m going to need some more contextual clues. I needed a demonstration of how a drop spindle works, and saying, “oh, she’s plying right now, not spinning” does not actually provide any more clarification. I did like the sheep shearing – I love that the farmers put little blankets on the sheep afterwards so they’d still be warm – and the sheepdog herding demonstrations. I liked petting all the cute sheep, and learning about all the different breeds and how different their wool was, on and off. Hey, did you know it’s illegal to import sheep into the U.S.? But not to artificially inseminate U.S. ewes from British or New Zealander (or wherever) rams, to diversify the breeds raised here? (Think about that next time you’re on a flight from London; somebody there has a carry-on full of sheep semen. Maybe you could be a little nicer about slamming into other peoples’ bags in the overhead compartment, no?)

And – obviously – the funnel cake. Funnel cake never goes wrong.

I did not like the fact that crocheters, AS USUAL, got short shrift. Everybody’s all about knitting. Knitting, knitting, knitting. I do not get the anti-crochet bias out there. Knitting Schmitting, I say. Crocheting is easier and faster. Don’t act like knitting is hipper, because it is not. Just as many grandmas knit as crochet. And if you spin, you just cancelled out any hipness and delved deep into…I dunno, Game of Thrones-esque dorkiness there. (And I say that as someone who now totally wants to learn how to spin…possibly on an Ashford Joy, whatever that might be.) (Also, I now watch Game of Thrones, so maybe that’s not making the point I’m trying to make here.)

Anyway. Of all the booths with books, amongst hundreds of knitting books, I found approximately 5 crocheting books, and 3 of them were about Tunisian crochet, which is basically half-knitting. One of them was an entire book of Jane Austen-era clothing, which is so useful for all those Dress-Like-Jane-Austen parties I’m going to these days. [Though I note there is a movie coming out soon, Austenland, about exactly those people, so they should get a copy.] And even when you find books that claim to be knitting and crochet, look at the patterns: 3/4 of them are knitting, and the projects tell you all you need to know about the author’s opinion on crocheting. The knitting projects are cute sweaters and scarves and the crocheting project is some kind of batwing spider dress Morticia Adams – and no one else –  might be caught dead in. Or spend a second googling knitting and crocheting patterns, and see what comes up first.

Knitting Project: cute baby hat!

Knitted baby hat

Adorable! You’d make this!

Knitting project: pretty sweater!

Knitted gray sweater

Cute! You’d wear this!

Crocheting project: seriously terrifying blue scarf!

Don't act like you would have been ok with this in the 70's either.

Just…you would have been ok with this in the 70’s, all right?

Crocheting project: Victorian hand gloves!

There could be some occasions for these.

There…could be some occasions for these…

Crocheting project: Look, I am telling you that there *are* non-crazy, cute, completely practical crocheting projects out there.

...probably the same occasions that require spats.

…probably the same occasions that require spats.

Crocheting project: Yeah, I don’t know.

Crocheted angel dolls

Ok, let’s forget this whole conversation ever happened.

Other than to agree on one thing, knit or crochet:

Knitted bikini

(This is the knitted one, if you were wondering.)

Crochet bikini

(Crocheted one, which you have to admit is a little better, as far as that goes.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wool bikinis are just stupid.

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