“You Should Open a Shop”

My dad has a few sayings. Dads always do. Those corny lines that make everyone in the family roll their eyes and groan but actually, nobody really minds because what’s been said is kind of sweet.

With three daughters (and a son) I suppose you could say he’s had his fatherly work cut out for him. We still laugh at the way any time one of us would present ourselves with a new outfit, or hairdo, or shoes his response, no matter what was to say ‘hmm, cute.’

He delivered it almost dismissively. Probably he had no real view on said outfit but had to say something, because he was dad and that’s what dads do.

His other favourite saying is in response to something handmade. A meal. A knitted item. A sewn item.

When presented with something handmade he’ll declare, ‘You should open a shop!’ He’s said it to me about my knitting for years. It’s a mark of acknowledgement for craftsmanship I think. A way of saying ‘what you’ve made is good enough to sell.’ I think neither mum, nor I, have any desire to actually open a shop but given he knows nothing about the knitting or the sewing, I think we take it as his way of saying he likes what we do.

As I made this bag today, I heard him saying ‘you should open a shop’ and I smiled. As with my knitting, the desire to open a shop of any kind is about as far away from my mind as possible, and I have very little in the way of skill yet.

I named this post for my dad and the countless times he’s ever uttered those words.

This bag is called the Two Kates Project bag and I’ve made four of them now. This is the best one yet, which is just as well because it’s a gift.

Red 'Two Kates' Bag

I even put a label on it.

Bellsknits Label

Utterly satisfying. But Dad, I’m not opening a shop. Not even a cute one.



21 thoughts on ““You Should Open a Shop”

  1. Great post! And a lovely comment from your dad. Family rituals and sayings are such an important part of life, I think and they should be remembered and celebrated!

  2. I have to say this is what I am told all the time – but I don’t want to knit for money – I want to knit for pleasure
    I love that bag – I made a version of it for a swap a while back but I think I need to make myself one now….

  3. Awww such a lovely post, and I love your Dad’s comment also! You’re not even tempted towards an Etsy shop? I am sure you would do really well if you ever chose to go down that path, but sometimes a hobby is a passion because it is a hobby, its not a obligation or anything.

    I too love the little labels, if you can remember where you got them from let me know!

  4. i thought of “the castle” too! a lovely and affectionate portrait of your dad here. i couldn’t imagine making things to sell either – we know how much time goes into them and would never get reasonable recompense. the red bag is lovely, nice shape.

  5. You’re dad didn’t audition for ‘The Castle’ by any chance? I’m one if 3 daughters and relate to your post a lot. Love your fabric too!

  6. Hey Bells. Love this post. Especially the comment from Dad. The whole “cute” comment was discussed here in the office the other day. And as I was telling my collegue (who is a father of a girl) what my dad used to say whenever we asked him how we looked, we came to the conclusion that it was a brilliant comment. It was a safe statement that could get him in very little trouble. My collegue knows he’s “Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t” when it comes to his daughter. i think he will take on Dad’s wise words.

  7. When I had a bad hair day, my dad would say, “How much would you charge to haunt a house?” He loved me, but didn’t have a clue that jokes could hurt. I say it to myself now when I have bad hair. It reminds me affectionately of him.

    Your bags are awesome! Love that perky red and white fabric.

  8. Hi Bells, I am pleased that is the way you see me, I have heaps more sayings, just ask me any time. It amazes me how my children see me, ask Adele about the video she sent me for my birthday, it says it all, on how she sees me too. I just loved your post, maybe I too should open a Dad’s Favourite Saying Shop. Love from your dad. xox

  9. How very Daryl Kerrigan of your dad! My husband is like that. Unlike you though, I fantasise about quitting my job and opening a shop. Perhaps not full of stuff that I have made, but of handmade lovely things, and yarn, and books . . .

  10. Cute bag and even cuter labels!!! I sometimes want to compliment someone’s craft by saying it looks like it comes from a shop, and you explanation of your dad’s sentiments is what I want to say!!

  11. I love your label – it’s great. I don’t finish anything nearly enough to be able to justify buying labels, but these are so, well, cute and lovely and I want some of my own!

  12. Great fabric! I like the labels too – I got some ages ago to sew in my gift knitwear, but haven’t used one for a long time. Must get them out again.

    I don’t think my dad had any sayings. But he did have a range of whistles and noises (which was not as weird as it sounds written like that!!)

  13. Having had no relationship with my parents after I reached the age of 18, I am sometimes a little envious of women who have fathers who seem to appreciate them and their endeavors. It is also nice to see women who appreciate their parents.
    While it does sound like a lot of work, opening a shop doesn’t sound like a bad thing. After all 😉 you don’t have to make all the stock yourself!

  14. Well, it is very cute, and people pay lots for cute these days. Of course, the idea of making stuff to sell is completely foreign to me as well, mostly because I have enough trouble finishing anything for me. But you are doing such great work with your sewing, who knows where it might take you!

  15. I just had to laugh – the comment *I* got all through my childhood, from Mum in particular, was “You could sell those!” … similar concept 🙂

    Your seamstress skills are improving in leaps and bounds – what a great bag!

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