Monday, February 14, 2011

Winners in the Winter

I've not even had my tea yet and I'm blogging.
Last night was the cut-off on the Knit Circus contest and so I had to get my winners notified!
Congrats to LoonyHiker, RetroBaby and Sheila!
Thanks to the rest of you for your comments. I hope that you learned more about Knit Circus and Krafti-Kit.

So, today is the last day for my designers to finish and get their Late Spring designs to me. I'm already in the middle of knitting one of them. It's not a sample but just test knit for myself. Of course, I selected a discontinued yarn (RYC Cashcotton DK) and realized I was going to run out. BUT the Yarn Goddess smiled upon me and I was able to find two more balls in the right DYELOT in California at Monarch Knitting and Quilts, thanks to the internets.

This week I am actually leaving the homestead and heading down to Sacramento. I hate leaving my cats because of their age but I'm feeding Brahms lots and lots of food before I go to get her weight up. She's enjoying the extra feeding and I'm simply glad food still excites her at her age. Of course I'll be bringing plenty of knitting with me for the trip.

That reminds me how much I love kits for travel. It's all just right there. In fact, I became a buyer of kits on holiday many years ago. That was before I knew how to plan these sorts of things, but buying kits on the road can be awfully fun. That was what got me into these little counted needlepoint pieces. Small, light and addictive! If you've never tried them, please give one of this "bargain in crafting" kits a try! You'll especially like them if you like knitted colorwork!

Before I go I've got to finish this re-organization of my office. Later!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Give AWAY!

 Photo by Mitch Da Re
On those days when I get to give stuff away, I'm a pretty happy camper. On days when I get to give really awesome stuff from other folks, I'm REALLY happy.

I finally got the In The Press page up today and one of our glowing reviews was from my favorite online knitting magazine, Knit Circus. Have you checked it out? The way it works is that you basically get to look at the magazine, read the articles, cop some free patterns and a recipe or two. Then, when you find something you've just gotta knit, you can buy the rest of the content? Seriously great concept. The quality is there and the patterns are pretty impressive.

So, I'm happy to say that between today, Weds., Feb 9th and 12 midnight on Sunday, Feb 13th, if you post a comment to this blog post, I'll put your name in a pot for a drawing. I have three prizes to give away:
  • Two Spring Pattern Collections from Knit Circus (online now)
  • One full year subscription to the Knit Circus Pattern collections.
So, two things:
Check out our new In The Press Page
Comment on this blog (and make sure I can contact you, if you win)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sooner Than Later

It's that time of year, solidly in Winter, but planning for late Spring, that can twist one's brain up in a knot. I suppose for those who don't like the cold stuff, it can be an optimistic time. For me, it's generally a time to knit with as much wool as I can!

This year, my first in Washington state, it started out very cold and snowy and then turned to oddly mild. As someone who is VERY weather oriented, this can be a little disconcerting. Of course, because I don't drive, all I hear from others when I complain at the lack of snow is: But you don't have to drive!.
If I drove, snow would not deter me. Of course, that's a huge "if" ;-)

Here's the good news: New Spring designs in the works! I may have just slid in a mitten pattern last week, but I'm working on some samples for Early Spring that will WOW you. As just a tease, I'm posting a bit of some lavender "texture" from my sample pile.
I've found some really talented new designers this year to work with. Some patterns and kits are on the way that I know you'll love. Sometimes I wonder how close to my own personal aesthetic I should stay when it comes to Krafti-Kit. I've come to the conclusion that there's a market for every type of design, and if I'm not enthusiastic about it, how can you be? So, I'm continuing to publish designs that are something I want to make. It not only has to be great to wear, or look at, but the actual process of working up the kit or pattern has to be fun as well. That's my criteria.

As always, drop on by the store and see what's new!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Payment Options

 Here's a detail from one of our great sewing kits. It includes that cute button and everything else you need to make an adorable clutch

Customers have had two ways to pay for their purchases for the past few months: PayPal and Credit Cards. We originally had only the credit card option but I knew that Paypal is very popular for fiber folk who are used to using it for purchasing pattern downloads and much more. So, I tried a bit of an experiment and ran both payment options for a while. Paypay has shown its way to be the clear "winner" of the two, among our customers.

I know that every payment method has its own set of issues, but for Krafti-kit and its growing collection of downloadable patterns, it seems very much the way to go right now.

Sometimes people ask me what the purpose of becoming a "user" on our site means. Well, it gives you the option to receive special sale notices and newsletters. I very often will offer repeat customers special discounts, so don't miss out! I like to reward those who support Krafti-Kit is every way I can. (Have you gotten a special "something" in your packages lately?)

New customers, welcome! Old timers, keep coming back and spreading the Krafti word ;-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anatomy of a Kit

Some kits, like the Oregon Tweed socks above, are pretty straightforward. The yarn from PicoAccuardi Dyeworks is a no-brainer for me as are the LaurelHill needles. I love introducing folks to both of these companies and we use their stuff in our kits because they're just my favorite materials to work with. The pattern in this case is mine so it creates a simple kit to put together, test and get to market!

As you can see by all the bits and bobs here, the Snowflake Bookmark is another one of our kits, but it takes a bit more to come together. This is a kit that's truly inspired by the first "counted" needlepoint kit I ever purchased in Scotland, so many years ago. We wind off just the right amount of each color, plus a little, cut the canvas, backing and give you a couple of needles. Then there's the pattern. I love to graph my patterns for needlework and knitting in Knit Visualizer.

The draw to kits for me is straight from my childhood. I remember ripping open a box, counting all the pieces, the strands, the parts of a needlework kit and diving in. It's still that way for me. About 6 months ago I found the original 1950's loom that I learned in, boxed and waiting for me on Ebay. It was not to be! Heartbroken but still searching for that memorabilia to add to my collection, I am trying to create kits for others that inspire.

Tell me about your first kit love!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

En Vogue

There's a long but boring story as to why it took me so long to show off this great mention in Vogue Fall 2010. But, here it is featuring the Magic Carpet Socks. We liked the part where they asked for a second kit so they could actually KNIT them. How's them apples?

So, let me say again that these socks are an absolute blast to knit. There's just a few bobbles and they're right on the top for full effect. Never let me say a negative thing about a bobble again. I now love them.

The big ad campaign for the Clearance Sale is starting Monday, Nov 1st, so if you've got your eye on something, act now. These are limited addition kits, kiddos.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Anniversary Time

 Here's the handspun crochet shawl that kept me busy for a few weeks this early fall.

Yep, and that means a sale of epic proportion as I make way for new designs and products at Krafti-Kit. We're talking like...half-off most of the store! I love those packages going out. And things are moving quickly out that door so if you like it, snag it.

I also just got my first little newsletter out the "door". It was little, minimalist and I hope that it will be more in the future, but I didn't have time for the learning curve on this one and needed to get it out.

There are so many ways I like to communicate with other crafters. Just a couple of days ago I was on Twitter, chatting with other crafty folks the #craftsocial conversation that happens once a month. We were talking about pricing our work and once we got started, there were so many aspects, the 2 hours just flew. The main take-away points were educating our consumer about how exactly we make what we make so that they will understand what they are paying for. The second big point was to become "activists" for creating a culture in which craft artisans are paid a livable wage or more. Really relevant conversation for everyone there.

I'm going to take a little look through the blog archive here and see what else I can tell you about when it comes to this process of creating kits. But, before I end here I'd like to remind folks that I'm still on my path to turn you all into needlepoint nerds. Free mini kits are going out until I'm out of these babies. The little needlepoint pattern goes in a card for a completely impressive gift when finished.