Felted Hats go to a Fiber Fair - The Indie Knit and Spin Pittsburgh

Ace Hotel Color Craft Fairs Pittsburgh

Ready to Rock Wool Hats 

Typically, I sell my hand felted hats at local craft fairs, but I wanted to see whether fiber lovers might appreciate my hats.

Booth of Felted Hats all ready to be tried on at the Indie Knit and Stitch at the Ace Hotel PGH
Here's my booth at the Indie Knit and Spin filled with hats. I brought 80 items which are a lot to fit into an 8 by 8-foot space. Seeking ways of cramming hats into small spaces, I purchased a grid wall. It can fit a lot of hats.

Hats by Color

Usually, I mix up the colors when I display my hats, so that colors that pop are distributed among the colors that recede.  But, for this fair, I tried an experiment of arranging hats differently. Can you see how I tried to arrange the hats by color?

I took this idea from my nearby Goodwill Stores which arranges its clothing by color. According to another thrift store,
  • "The reason for sorting items by color is due to sizing differences among clothing stores and many clothing items no longer having a size tag. ...sorting by color remains the most efficient and customer-focused process."
Grouping by color seemed to work well for my varying sized hats. After all, visitors are often looking to find a hat that matches an item from their wardrobe. 
Customer Jacquie wearing her new turquoise beret. Me, on the right wearing my own felted beret
In the above photo, my lovely customer Jacquie and I sport turquoise colored berets. She wanted a hat that picked up the turquoise embroidery of her jacket. Accordingly, this beret matched perfectly. In addition to knitting, Jacquie does beadwork and is now making earrings to go with her new hat.
Fellow Vendor Good Water and Co with her new felted hat with animal ears at the Indie Knit and Stitch
Amazingly, this black and white felted hat was adopted before the show officially opened. This smiling visitor was a fellow vendor at the Indie Knit and Spin. She's part of the mother/daughter duo, Good Water & Co. Avid knitters who couldn't find project bags that they liked, they began to sew their own bags. Now, they have a business sewing bags for other knitters.
Ms. Good Water & Co wore her new hat the whole day and everyone thought it was a sheep! And while it could be a sheep, the original inspiration came from a Hello Kitty room that was part of a long-ago exhibition on Japanese Pop culture at the Sainsbury Center of Visual Art

Other Sheep

However, I DID bring some sheep themed items as part of the Indie Knit and Spin's late afternoon Happy Hour which was an excellent opportunity to give something small, but pleasant to visitors.
My Sheep Brooches were quite popular. Out of the thirty that I made, only six are left. Some folks liked the natural sheep, while others chose the blue ones. Included, of course, is my business card, which the sheep handily pin onto.
Sheep Brooches made out of scrap felt leftover from making felted berets.
Surprisingly, these brooches were so much FUN to make. I used scraps of leftover Merino and Gotland wool felt that I have from making my wet felted hats. The faces and paws of the sheep were then needle felted. I managed to make all of these cuties in one very snowy day. It was _so much quicker_ than making a felted hat. Very satisfying to be this productive.

Verdict for Felted Hats

In conclusion, vending at my first fiber fair was a success. Knitters and other makers were open to wearing hats ~not made by themselves. Plus, I had a great time speaking with all the interested visitors and vendors. Honestly, I look forward to showing at more fiber fairs.
Thank you, Indie Knit and Spin for a great time!

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