The Gäst Shawl

The end of my craft show season has arrived! It’s been good, although I sold things I thought would never sell and conversely I didn’t sell much of what I thought would be in demand. Every year brings different sorts of customers, looking for something new.

For example, last winter I knit four lovely shawls from Homespun yarn. I loved them. I like to knit when we are on a long drive as it helps to pass the time. As we did a lot of driving last year I had time to knit four of these shawls.

One went to my mom for Christmas, and she found it very cozy and warm.

Another one I kept for myself, and it has become somewhat of my ‘security blanket’.  It’s warm, it’s soft, and it smacks of comfort in a  “slippers and rocking chair” sort of way.

There were two left, and they just sat in a bag in my office until October of this year. As I was preparing for my first show around mid month, my husband asked me if I was going to bring those two shawls along. I told him I would not because I didn’t think anyone would want to buy them. Also, I would have to charge 40$ for them, and no one goes to craft shows and spends that much on one item. At least not in the area where we live.

He said that I needed a little gimmick, something to attract people to the shawls. For example, the shawl would be just another knitted thing in a sea of other knitted things at the show…unless…unless it was a Guest Room Shawl. Something to put aside for when people come to visit and they find it a little cool.

Yes, he might have something there!

So he wrote up a little ‘Swedish Legend’, and looked up the Swedish word for Guest.  It went something like this:

Gäst Shawl

Legend says that in some Northern

Scandinavian villages, it was

customary to have a shawl available

for guests when they visited, as the

homes were often cold.

The shawl hung near a fireplace

or in a guest room and was

   always returned there when the guest left.

 

I agreed to pin the little legend to each shawl and put them on display.

A star was born!

Those two shawls sold at my first show, and then I went on to make and sell six more throughout the crafting season. People loved them! Actually no one else was selling knitted shawls. The one I made was a type of prayer shawl, very simple and very pretty.

There were different types of people who bought them as well. I had thought that only seniors would be interested. I was wrong.

One woman bought hers because she was going to be 40 soon and the shawl was 40$.

Another person bought one for her mother, whose shawl was old and tattered.

Yet another bought hers because it fit in with her color scheme.

A few women bought them as a gift to present to a friend, relative, or just for themselves.

And one lady bought hers to bring to work because of the air conditioning, and she didn’t want to always wear a sweater.

No one bought a shawl for the guest room, but the little sign with the legend made them stop and look.

I think I’ll knit up a few more of them this year; they were so well received, I may use some for gifts myself.

shawl1

shawl2