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Aggie's Afghans
by Anita G. Gorman

I like to crochet afghans. I make them in all sorts of colors and then try to sell them at those craft shows. I have to pay for a table on a Saturday morning at a church hall or a school usually. My afghans take me many hours, and I have to buy the yarn, so I figured that $200 would be a fair price. It's cheap when you think of how many hours it takes to do the afghan, and there is lots of yarn involved.

The first time I set up my afghans I also had some scarves that I knitted. I was charging $20 for them.

I really take pride in the colors I use, colors other people don't always think of. Maybe orange and pink or yellow and orange, or a multi-colored yarn with a different multi-colored yarn. Sometimes people would comment on my colors.

"You do pick unusual hues," one woman said to me.

Another one said, "We don't usually see handmade items with those rather imaginative colors," or something like that. I was proud.

But no one bought anything. I didn't want to lower the price, so I just sat there all day. I lost $50, since that was what it cost me to rent a table.

The next time I was at a craft show, I raised the price of the afghans to $250. It was still a fair price. After all, I would have made much more money working as a waitress in a restaurant. I raised the price of the scarves to $25. I liked that--it made the scarves look so much cheaper than the afghans.

Every time a possible customer came by I smiled and said hello. Someone told me that was important. Eye contact, that's what my friend Janice told me. Always look them in the eye and they'll feel guilty if they don't buy something. That's what Janice said.

There must have been a lot of guilt floating around the middle school gym that day. I smiled. They smiled. We looked each other in the eye. Then they would make a comment.

"My grandmother used to make afghans like these. Pretty much the same pattern. But she never mixed fuchsia and red. That's different."

Another woman said something like this. "My mom used to make afghans just like that. Not with those colors, of course. She gave them away to all her friends and relatives. I still have some. Her colors were more, shall we say, subtle and traditional. You're really brave to combine garish colors like those."

I smiled, but I wasn't sure what she meant by garish. I lost another $50 that day. But I did crochet all day, both times I was at the craft show. I made a lot of progress on my new afghan. It's puce and purple.