For 2016, I returned to an old favorite – the Show Stopper Bracelet. I knit these bracelets from flexible wire and beads, and each one is unique. Every time I wear mine, I get wonderful compliments. Here’s what one looks like:

Bracelet knit with wire and beads

My friend Janine G had been asking me for years if I would make some again, and I decided 2016 would be the year! And I got down to business. I made over 30 bracelets. After giving some away to friends for birthday gifts during the year, I still had plenty for my fundraiser.

Here’s a picture of my table at the Adobe Holiday Trunk Show:

Table of knit bracelets in gift boxes

I sold the bracelets for $40 each. Since my cost of goods was about $20 per bracelet, my profit was $20 for each bracelet sold. As in past years, I donated 100% of my profits to Peninsula Bridge. By doing so, not only do I get to support a great non-profit organization, I also tell people who stop by my table about the group and their mission. 🙂

I also had some wrist warmers to sell this year (like I sold in previous years). Here’s a picture of the full table, with a basket of wrist warmers on the right:

Sales table at Adobe Holiday Trunk Show

Now that I’ve wrapped up my 2016 fundraiser , it’s time to think about 2017. What accessory should I knit this time? Please leave your ideas in a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Professionally, I attend many networking events, and a popular ice breaker is “Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t know from reading your LinkedIn profile.”

My response? “I knit with wire.”

This surprises people. They look at me quizzically. So I elaborate, “Yes, I knit with wire. And beads. And I make bracelets.” If I’m wearing one, I’ll hold up my arm to show them.

Show Stopper Bracelet

Show Stopper Bracelet

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been busy making these bracelets for my 2016 annual fundraiser. Here are some pics:

Interested in seeing how I knit with wire? Instructions and the pattern for this bracelet are here.

Happy Knitting!

–Karen

 

Announcing my holiday fundraiser for 2015: Mink Wrist Warmers!

My sister introduced me to Lotus Mimi, a wonderful 100% mink yarn. It’s a fingering weight yarn that’s softer than cashmere. I was hooked immediately!

An important note about mink yarn. No animals are hurt during the production of this yarn. The hair is cut and combed from the animals and then spun into the yarn.

When my sister showed me the wrist warmers she had made from Mimi, I knew I wanted to make something similar for my 2015 holiday fundraiser. Here are the patterns I explored.

Attempt #1: Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts. Really cute mitts, but I hated making them. I chalk it up to using the magic loop technique with fingering weight yarn. I felt I was going to break the yarn every time I reached the end of a round, although that never happened.

Here’s what they look like:

Pic of my burgundy mink reading mitts

Attempt #2: Work + Shelter Hand Warmers. This simple pattern is worked flat, and then stitched along the sides to create a sleeve with a thumb hole. It’s similar to extra-long sleeves on some sports tops that have a thumb hole built into them. The original pattern is for a worsted weight yarn, so I had to adjust it for fingering weight yarn. I love the simplicity and length of the finished product, and really enjoyed making them.

Pic of my second pair of burgundy mink reading mitts

After showing my sample pair to a few friends to gauge their interest, which was very positive, I decided to declare success! This would be the pattern for my fundraiser.

I’m now busy knitting pairs and pairs of these hand warmers. Interested in buying a pair? I’m selling them for $40. Just shoot me an email at karen@knitoutsidethebox.com.

This cute knit earband caught my eye on the Anthropologie site this winter:

original

I was intrigued by the design. Two loops at each end, one wrapped through the other. Could I re-create it? Perhaps in a cowl that I would be more likely to wear than an earband?

Yes! Here it is:

MesmerizeMe

If you’d like to make one, download my free pattern. Happy Knitting!

I love listening to the Stash and Burn podcast. On a recent episode, they spoke about knitted cozies for to-go cups of coffee. These cozies replace the corrugated cardboard sleeves that you typically find in coffee shops. Just as functional, but more beautiful.

I decided to make some for gifts this year. I dug through my stash of partial yarn balls and made a bunch of them. They’re quick to knit (less than an hour), and I found myself fondly thinking back on the original project I had made with that yarn. Baby surprise jackets for co-workers, cowls for fundraisers, fingerless mitts for gifts. Each one made me smile.

I’m now wondering if the coffee cozies would make a good fundraiser. Here are some ideas:

  • Sell them for $3 or $4? Since I would be making them from just my left-over yarn, I wouldn’t have any out-of-pocket yarn expenses. I would donate all of my proceeds to the charity.

Photo of 10 knitted cozies

  • Sell them with a porcelain to-go cup for $15? The cups cost about $10, which would mean a profit of about $5 each for the charity.
    Photo of a knitted cozy on a porcelain to-go cup
  • Sell them for $20, packaged in a clear plastic gift bag with a $15 gift card to a popular coffee shop?  Again, this would mean a $5 donation to charity for each one sold.

Photo of a knitted cozy in a clear gift bag with a Starbucks gift card

What do you think? Would you buy these, alone or packaged with a reusable mug or gift card, for a gift for a teacher, co-worker, or friend? Or would you buy one just for yourself? Please leave a comment. I’d like to hear from you!

–Karen