We had a companywide meeting recently where there was a lot of 2024 talk (2024!)—so, yes, we blew past thinking about Christmas 2022 a while ago. It’s still a little surprising, though, when stuff we talked about a year or more ago suddenly starts showing up via the men in brown.
Trying to forecast the knitting/craft-adjacent things that people might love is one of the more interesting challenges in Holiday Shop planning. Some of us are better at it than others. I predicted that both potholder looms and last year’s “Window Stars” supplies would be complete disasters and we’d end up with shelves and shelves of them in January, but ohhhh, I was wrong. Potholder looms did so well two years ago that they’ve been part of our year-round permanent lineup ever since. And last year we sold every last window stars book we stocked (and emptied out suppliers worldwide as well). In other words, I am a terrible predictor … but if you wanna listen to my stock tips later, I do not mind going on about that a bit.
It’s hard for me to think about crafting at all, honestly, without (cue harp music) remembering when I was in high school and the art department budget was slashed to zero (some things never change). On the first day of class, the art teacher—Mrs Burroughs—put together a little list of things we could choose to do for the semester:
- Pencil drawings of a skull model. The same skull, over and over for an entire semester, from every angle.
- Pointillist pen drawings of a skull. Not a different skull. The same skull.
- Drawings of imaginary things prompted by our own thoughts, which might or might not have to be skulls.
- Dried apple head dolls.
I was confused by the appearance of #4 on the list (and not just because she thought we MTV-addicted 15-year-olds might like to do that), but when I asked how the school could afford supplies for apple head dolls (and apparently nothing else), Mrs Burroughs said “Oh, I have an apple tree. I’ll bring in the apples and we’ll set them on the window sill to dry and then in six weeks, we’ll make dolls. In the meantime, you can draw skulls.” Apple head dolls it was.
Anyway. This year, MDK has a lot of interesting things lined up for you, none of which I can tell you about. But the (newly-moved-for-the-third-time!) shelves at Atlas are slowly filling up again. New things for you to learn! New things for you to make! The MDK staff has a lot of various crafts in their backgrounds, though: weaving, sewing, painting, illustration, photography … each of us has a particular thing we advocate for during the shop meetings.
Some of us are more persuasive about our pet passions than others, and you will be able to discern the winners later this fall. Without giving anything away, I will be over here pouting, quite confident that MDK has once again missed the boat on paint-by-number portrait kits of Charles Nelson Reilly. You’ll see. YOU’LL ALL SEE. You’re also super lucky I’ve kept my mouth shut about my mad apple head dollmaking skillz.
Speaking of compatible crafts, knitting loves sewing, and this week’s prize is The Act of Sewing by Sonya Philips.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.
Step 2: Have a favorite craft you learned in your school years? Whether or not it involves skulls and apples, let us know in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, September 11, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.