Archives for the month of: March, 2012

White-on-white bead and wire knitted necklaceEach time I wear my Desert Meets Sea necklace, I get so many compliments. Recently, I wore it to a performance at my son’s school, and another mom asked if I would make one for her with all white beads. I loved her idea, and offered to make one if she would make a donation to the 8th grade scholarship drive for the Hamlin Midwife College. She generously agreed. (Thank you, Dianne!)

To make an all-white version, I chose the same freshwater pearls I used in the Desert Meets Sea necklace, as well as two sizes of round white beads carved from shell. Here are the beads I used:

White beads

I’m thrilled with the results! I am also experimenting with other color combinations for the Desert Meets Sea necklace, including reds, pinks, and purples. It is proving to be a versatile pattern.

Pic of three necklaces in different colors

What is your favorite color combination? I would love to hear from you!

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Photo of bracelet with the silent auction sheetThis past weekend, my son’s 8th grade class held a silent auction to raise donations for a scholarship to the Hamlin Midwife College in Ethiopia. In a recent blog post, I shared that my son knit some Show Stopper Bracelets for this auction. The bracelets were a big hit! The bidding started at $30, and they ended up going for between $35 and $75 each. In total, the bracelets contributed $335 to the auction. Plus, a parent who lost out to a higher bidder asked my son if he would make an additional bracelet, which will result in another donation to the cause.

Needless to say, my son is thrilled that he raised so much with these bracelets. He also auctioned his services as a car washer. I’ll have to remember to ask him which is more fun: knitting bracelets or washing cars. I know which one I would choose.

Picture of signed tagI am reading “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. Well, actually, I am listening to the audiobook version so that I can knit at the same time. Yesterday, I was reminded how Steve Jobs insisted that the entire Macintosh team sign their work of art: the original 128K Macintosh. He asked the team to sign their names on a piece of drafting paper, which was then engraved into the mold for the inside rear panel case.

Similarly, I believe hand-crafters should sign the works of art that they are putting up for sale. If an item is purchased as a gift, the recipient will see the signature and know that it was not mass-produced. If the buyer is keeping the item for themselves, the signature can send a signal that they are purchasing something unique and hand-made.

What is the best way to sign knitwear? My usual approach is to create tags from heavy card stock, onto which I sign my name and neatly write the care instructions. I like using a metallic gel pen on black or dark brown paper. I have also printed the care instructions onto business cards, using my ink jet printer and perforated business card stock from an office supply store, and then signed my name on the back of the cards.

Picture of signed tags

I would love to hear your ideas for how to sign knitwear and other hand-crafted items. Please post your comments. Thanks!

Picture of four handknitted braceletsEach year, the 8th graders at my children’s school identify a community service project. After learning about the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, my son’s 8th grade class chose to focus on the goal of improving maternal health. This spring, they are educating the school community about this cause and raising money for the tuition required to send one woman to the Hamlin College of Midwifery in Ethiopia. I’m so proud of them!

For fundraising, they are selling t-shirts, holding a “parents’ night out” babysitting event, and running a silent auction. My son, who is a skilled knitter, decided to make some “Show Stopper Bracelets” for the auction. As I wanted to support the effort, I knit one as well. In the photo, you can see our finished bracelets. We hope that they will generate at least $40 each at the auction.

You can read about how to make a “Show Stopper Bracelet” in one of my previous blog posts, which includes a link to my free pattern. These bracelets are unique and beautiful, and selling them is a great way to raise money for a charity that you support. I would love to hear about any you make, for yourself or for a fundraising effort.