of the Quilt and Craft Fair. I am, once again, helping friends who have a stall there. They sell interesting yarns and useful knitting needles, crochet hooks and other items which are difficult to source elsewhere. I help because they come from interstate and make no profit in coming here. They just feel they should include our little outpost in the mix of fairs. A familiar face (unfortunately mine) on the stall can encourage people who do not know them to stop, chat and perhaps try something new.
I had to familiarise myself with some new yarns very quickly. They come from a weaving company in Thailand - silks in brilliant colours, pale colours, natural colours. Some are smooth others are textured. They are the sort of thing you have to stroke to understand what you might be able to do with them. No, there are not always patterns. It is a problem for some people but not for others.
My friends do sell a few patterns. One of them has written some simple ones herself. It always amazes me that confident knitters apparently need a pattern for a garter stitch scarf but they seem to want them, perhaps because the yarns are so different.
I have also written a number of patterns for shawls and vests. Any money made from these goes towards the funds for my friend who runs a centre for unaccompanied children in Africa.
But no, there is no pattern for that vest I made from metres or yards of French knitting! I tell people what I did if they ask. I am fascinated by people's reactions to this. Their reactions raise from "I couldn't possibly do that" to "Oh, I see. I don't crochet but I do knit so perhaps..."
I can crochet but I do very little of it. I find it much more difficult than knitting so I am happy to encourage people who "don't crochet" but do knit!
And other knowledge comes in useful. One woman I spoke to breeds alpacas. She has been dyeing some of the yarn she has been spinning. I was able to tell her where to find powdered food dye - much more economical than the liquid dye you can buy in the supermarket if you want to dye yarn with food dye. She wrote down the details with the intention of calling in there on her way home.
Someone came with a photograph of something she had made from her purchase last year and we all felt pleased for her. She started to chat to another customer and the two of them went off to have lunch together because the first was going to show the second how she does something. I will explain some things in my sleep tonight. I will probably count out change as well.
Day one has finished. There are three to go. I will be exhausted at the end of it but it will be worth it because people are going away with things to make or things that can be used to make other things.
I'll go back to my normal day job next week and know that there are people who will have started their projects - and who will be planning to come again next year. I might even manage to do it myself if they need me.