Infinity scarves are here to stay, and based on what I see at stores like Anthropologie, there’s a trend towards multi-colored, richly textured ones. I decided to knit such a scarf from a beautiful yarn called Bamboo Bloom Handpaints. It is a lovely, soft combination of bamboo, wool, and acrylic.
I’ve been searching for just the right item to make for my knitting fundraiser this year, and I think this is it! It meets all of my criteria: an quick-to-knit accessory in high-quality, affordable yarn. I bet they’ll be popular. And I know I’m going to have fun making them.
Would you like to make one as well? Download my free pattern. Enjoy!
I knit all year round to create accessories to sell at my yearly holiday fundraiser. And as much as I love knitting, I equally love tallying my profits and writing a check to a deserving cause in my community.
This year, I’m happy to announce that my check will be going to Peninsula Bridge, an organization that promotes academic and personal success for motivated middle school students from under-resourced communities in the San Francisco peninsula area. I’d heard of Peninsula Bridge for years, but only really understood its impact this past summer through the eyes of my son. He was a teaching assistant for their five-week summer school, which gives the middle school students an academic boost when they return to school in the Fall. Not only do these kids hone their math and english skills, they also get to hang out with high school teaching assistants, like my son, who serve as role models. For many of these middle-school students, they will be the first in their family to attend college, if they go at all. They are inspired by the teaching assistants, who talk about their plans for college, make it cool to learn, and have fun all day long.
The check I write will be modest, but hopefully it will help this great program to continue growing and making a difference.
As regular readers of my blog know, I knit to raise money for a few charities that I care about. Each January, I choose an accessory to make, and either create an original pattern or use one by another designer. I then knit a number of these items to sell to friends and co-workers the following December.
I’ve been doing this knitting fundraising for years now, and every summer I hit a breaking point. The novelty of the pattern wears off, and I get bored and burned out. I declare that I can’t make another one.
I recently hit that point with my 2013 knitting. For this year’s fundraiser, I decided to make fingerless mitts, using Anne Sahakian’s pattern for “Malabrigo Hand Thingies.” I love working with Malabrigo yarn, and fingerless mitts are popular in Northern California where I live. For many months, I was happy making the mitts. I plowed through my stash of Malabrigo, looking forward to seeing each new colorful skein turn into a beautiful pair of mitts. But, then I hit that point. I had made 29 pairs of mitts, and I couldn’t stand to make another pair. I was done.
Here’s the “mound of mitts” I made before hitting the breaking point:
Next, I need to set pricing. These are adult sized, and made from 100% soft merino wool. I’d love your feedback: would you pay $30 for them, knowing that all of my profits will go to a good cause? Please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts. Thank you!
Last month, I wrote about my new Autumn Cabled Purse pattern. I’ve been thrilled with the response to this pattern – many of you have downloaded it, queued it in Ravelry, or told me in person how much you like it. Thank you, all!
Since then, I’ve been reflecting on my design process for this pattern. It all began when I decided to work with a spool of 100% wool from my stash. The wool was too scratchy to be made into a wearable garment, so I decided to knit a felted something. Its rusty color made me think of autumn, which made me think of cabled sweaters. With these design constraints — make a felted something with cables — I began the design process.
The worst thing a designer can hear is an offhand “Just do whatever you want.” That’s because designers understand the power of limits. Constraint offers an unparalleled opportunity for growth and innovation.” — Scott Dadich, Creative Director of Wired Magazine, Design Under Constraint: How Limits Boost Creativity
I know that I need limits to boost my creativity. In fact, I’m planning to dig through my stash for yarn that will provide me with design constraints for my next project. Stay tuned!
Ever since I was asked to make a purse from an accidentally felted Eileen Fisher sweater last year, I’ve been thinking about making more “upcycled” sweater purses. I’ve been seeing really cute ones on Pinterest, and spotted this one at a high school basketball game:
I know I want to make some!
To get started, I created an Upcycled Sweater Purses Pinterest board to collect ideas. I have a couple of wool sweaters that were headed to the thrift store, but are now in a plastic tote, waiting to be upcycled. I just need some time to dig in and have fun!
Accessories, especially purses, are always popular items at my fundraising boutique sales, and I think upcycled sweater purses would be a big hit. Do you agree?