Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Sample SaleEveryone loves a good sale, right? As I prepare for my holiday boutiques next week, I’ve started pulling out some knitted items to offer as discounted samples. Here’s what I have so far:

  • A few cowls that I didn’t sell last year,
  • Two Desert Meets Sea necklaces, left over from the fundraiser at my hair salon,
  • A true sample: my first attempt at the Tangible Twists wrap, and
  • Another sample: a purse I knit from ribbon yarn, which I didn’t love enough to make more for my fundraising.

I’ll put them in a basket with a “Sample Sale” sign, and mark them at 50% off or more. I bet these bargains will attract people to my table and help me raise money with items that are otherwise just taking up room in my closet.

If you are a crafter, what would you put in your sample basket?

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I hadn’t purchased novelty yarns since the felted purse craze, when I incorporated a lot of it into my designs. But, the new metallic ruffled yarns have been catching my eye! As I look ahead to next year’s fundraisers, I’m thinking about knitted purses. I’m looking for an updated style, and ruffled yarns may be just the right material to create a fun evening bag.

The ruffled yarn by itself does not have enough body for a purse, so I decided I would knit it with a chenille yarn. At my local craft store, I found a great ruffled yarn: Premier Yarns “Starbella flash” in the Marble colorway. They also had the right shade of chenille: Patons “Bohemian” in Casual Cream. (I didn’t think of taking a photo of the yarns before I got started, hence just the small ball of the remaining chenille!)

Yarns used for the purse

For my design, I chose to start with a basic Japanese Knot Bag. I like the simplicity of the knot bag style, with its built-in handles that draw through each other to close the purse safely. No snaps, buttons, or zippers needed. Here’s a photo of one that I recently purchased:

Purchased Knot Bag

After doing my gauge swatch and experimenting with the ruffled yarn, I wrote down some notes and started knitting. It was a quick project, and I’m happy with my finished purse!

My knitted Knot Bag

My knitted knot bag, closed over my wrist

I published the instructions as a free download on my pattern page.

If I were to make some of these to sell at a fundraiser, how much should I sell them for? Please leave a reply below. Thank you!

–Karen

Tangible Twists Infinity WrapI have some exciting news to share with you. The first is that I created a pattern for the Italian-inspired infinity wrap I wrote about a few weeks ago. I’ve named it “Tangible Twists.” The second is that, unlike my other patterns which are free downloads, I’ve decided to sell this one. Why? Well, from now through the end of 2012, I will donate 100% of my proceeds to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

As some of you may know, I grew up on the coast of Rhode Island, and I have family that still lives there. While their homes survived with little damage, my mom’s store was severely impacted. The photos of the devastation are so hard to see. That corner of the world holds such a special place in my heart.

After the earthquake in Haiti, I remember hearing about knitting pattern designers who were donating their proceeds to the relief effort. I was so impressed, but I couldn’t join in because I had never designed anything. Now all of that has changed. I have 12 free knitting patterns! And, I’ve tackled my most difficult pattern designing effort with Tangible Twists. It’s time to enter a new phase of thinking differently about knitting for charity, by raising money with pattern sales.

I don’t know how much I will be able to raise, but I am confident that any amount will help.  Please spread the word!

The pattern can be purchased from my store on Ravelry.

–Karen

Tangible Twists Infinity Wrap

Back in September, I made the “Felt Simplicity” necklace  from a single burgundy felted bead, and subsequently wrote a post about how it needed more color. I am happy to report that I finally added that spark of color!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Interweave’s Knitting Lab in San Mateo, CA. At the marketplace, I found some hand-dyed wool roving in just the perfect olive green. And the vendor was willing to sell me just the small amount I needed for two beads. It cost me exactly 55 cents.

Back at home, I first strung two metallic charms on either side of the burgundy bead. I then made the olive green beads, first by knotting some roving around the necklace cord, then needle felting it into a ball, and finally finishing it by rolling it in my palms with hot soapy water. Here are the before and after photos:

Necklace with one bead

Necklace with more beads

What do you think?