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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!

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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!

Picture of 3 strands of black rolled necklace with charmsAs I continue to explore the world of knitted jewelry, I have come across examples of multi-strand I-cord necklaces. They are beautiful, and I wanted to make one. I did not, however, want to knit the yards of I-cord that such a necklace would require. So, I decided to experiment with knitting rounds of stockinette stitch, which theoretically would roll into a tube. The experiment was a success, and I love the finished product!

As you can see from the photo, I made a set of three necklaces. After casting on each one, I threaded some charms onto the knitting needle, joined the stitches into a round, and then knit about an inch in stockinette stitch. Detailed instructions are available in the pattern I posted.

I am also making a second set of necklaces from some red sport weight yarn I had left over from another project. Here is the work in progress, after I cast on the stitches and put the charms onto the needle.

Work in progress: picture of a red necklace after it was cast on

The charms I am using are Cousin Trinkettes “Metal Bead Flowers.”  They are cost effective and look great, but I would like to find charms with a larger hole. (The trinkettes don’t slide along the knitting easily.) If you make these necklaces, please let me know what charms you used. I look forward to hearing from you!

Close up of charms threaded onto the needle