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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Wrist warmer redux? Try to say that three times fast!
Back in 2009, I sold over 30 pairs of wrist warmers for my holiday sales. I’m already starting to plan my 2013 fundraising, and I think wrist warmers will be popular again. After all, they are practical, stylish, and worn by people of all ages.
At first, I wasn’t sure what wrist warmer pattern and yarn to use. I knew I wanted a different pattern than I had used in the past, simply because I had gotten tired of it after making 30+ pairs. But, on Ravelry, there are over a thousand patterns for wrist warmers! I searched and thought about patterns for a few weeks before getting “a sign.” A good friend needed to sell some yarn in her stash, so I offered to buy all 19 skeins of her Malabrigo Worsted. I was happy to help her out, and I knew I could use the yarn to knit the wrist warmers.
After narrowing my search for patterns for Malabrigo, I settled on the Malabrigo Hand Thingies by Anne Sahakian. I liked the style of this pattern, and I thought I would be able to get 2 pairs of “hand thingies” from 1 skein of Malabrigo.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I’m loving knitting these thingies. I am able to knit 2 pairs from each skein, and my goal is to use all 19 skeins to make 38 pairs. I’m hoping they will sell like hot cakes!