Monster Knit Rally

Friday, December 30, 2005

We are go for photos

I finished a number of knitted holiday gifts before the holiday, and I even wrapped them, with little gift tags and handwritten care instructions. But they are still sitting in a box in my living room waiting to be sent out. Not my fault. The package is awaiting other holiday gifts which someone else still has not purchased.

So I'm posting some of them anyway, on the assumption that no one is reading this post, and that the odds of the recipients reading it is extremely slim.

Please excuse the poor quality of this photo, but thanks to my parents, at least I have the ability to post photos now. The hat and two scarves in this picture are gifts for a baby, mom and grandmom. Hope they like them! They seem as if they'd appreciate the silliness of coordinated accessories and I'm going to request a photo of them all wearing them together. The dad and granddad are also getting coordinating gifts, but that wasn't really intentional. I just happened to pick out wool from Harrisville Designs for both of their projects, and ended up using some leftover yarn from one on the other. This yarn is awesome. Very soft-spun, so you have to be careful with it (I tore it twice the first time I cast on with it), but looks great knit up. I didn't realize it when I bought it from my local yarn shop, but Harrisville has yarns that look very similar with slightly different contents. I bought three skeins: one was 20% flax and 80% wool, another was 25% mohair, 5% silk, and 70% wool, and the third I lost the label to, so I'm not sure.

Currently on the needles... presents for my parents. These presents are not considered late, since my parents are visiting in a couple of weeks and we are doing some of our holiday celebrating (and gifting) then.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Confessions of a wannabe craftster

Just what the world needs... another knitblog. I am so original. Not that I need an excuse, but I offer the following as sort of an explanation.

When I was younger, I always wanted to start my own craft business. I think even then I dreamed of the freedom to do work I am passionate about, make my own schedule and most importantly, not have to take orders from incompetent, condescending ego-maniacs.

I think the first business empire I created in my head was jewelry making. I amassed a massive collection of beads, charms and findings, but most of it is still in storage in my parent’s barn. I never sold a single item. I did manage to make a few odd creations which I gave as gifts, but that’s as far as I got.

Sewing never really got off the ground, despite various attempts over the years and a large collection of fabric and other supplies which now reside, you guessed it, in storage in my parent’s barn. I do have a few items I made for myself which sometimes elicit compliments (or strange looks) that make it hard to completely give up that dream.

I’ve done various paper crafts over the years… paper making, printing, notebook making, origami, nothing that really stuck, though I’ve enjoyed all of them.

Then there was Friendly Plastic…either you will know exactly what I’m talking about, or you will have absolutely no idea what this crap is. This miraculous stuff came in little rectangles, and you could cut it into shapes, then arrange them and stick it in the oven until it melted together. If you were really slick, you’d pull it out of the oven, then at exactly the right stage in its cooling, you’d press little plastic jewels or fake stones into it while it was still soft. Then when it was dry, you could glue on a pin back or necklace finding and have yourself an absolutely FABULOUS piece of jewelry. With this project, I actually went to the trouble of creating display cards to pin my creations on with my name and the price. I did manage to sell a few of these gems, but only to friends of my mom’s. One friend did buy a batch to put on her felted hats that she made and sold, so somewhere out there may be someone who actually paid money for one of those pins.

I’ve also dabbled in macramé, spinning, weaving, felting and various other crafts that I can’t even remember right now.

I’ve tried to learn how to knit a few times over the years, but it never really stuck until I read Stitch ‘N Bitch – I think it was the combination of clear instructions along with patterns I might actually want to try out.

So now I’ve finally done it. I am prolific enough at knitting that it’s actually possible I could sell my work. I just made my first batch of hats to sell on consignment (six to be precise) and they are now on display at the local yarn store. I came up with a name for my company (Monster Hat Rally, though that may change to Monster Knit Rally as I produce more of other types of items) and ordered free business cards online. The next steps seem to be producing more goods, getting or borrowing a digital camera to get photos of my work online, joining some distros and writing a business plan.

I’d like to expand into some sort of papercraft as well to complement the knitting and keep my interest. I am interested in trying out different kinds of printing (vegetable, silkscreen, woodcut?) which could be done on paper or fabric.

A P.S. of sorts - I wrote this about a month ago, and since then, two of my hats have sold! Don't worry, I won't quit my day job. Yet.