Shop Update on knitspinquilt.com!
I've been sewing up a storm and will be updating the shop on Monday, January 16 with a bunch of new bags, both medium drawstring and bitty bags -- and perhaps a few new bags in a sweater project size.
Hello, all! I've been quiet because keeping up with Etsy orders, school, and work has been keeping me quite busy, but I've got some news to share with you!
First of all, in 2017 I'll be fundraising for Doctors Without Borders. The work they do around the world is sorely needed, and their charity ratings are excellent and overheads are low.
Secondly, I've been thinking about moving the shop to a new platform for a while: the fees Etsy charges take more of my fundraising profits than I'd prefer, and so this year I've taken the leap to a new site. You can now find the shop at knitspinquilt.com. I've done the math, and moving to a Squarespace backed shop will allow me to donate a larger percentage of my prices to charity.
I'll be transitioning away from Etsy gradually: for now I'm letting listings expire as their time comes, and I'll be setting up new links on social media to direct traffic to the new site over the next two months. I hope to have everything moved over by the end of April, 2017. New products and exclusives will be released on the new site over the next few weeks and months.
You'll see when you visit the new site that I've changed the percentage I'm donating to 30% of purchase prices. This is because I have had so much more traffic than I ever expected, and I simply can't afford to donate materials costs and overhead anymore: you have helped me donate $3,000+ to charity since 2015, and I love that so very much, but since materials and overhead are the majority of my expenses, I can't do that out of pocket anymore. Grad school stipends at my university are generous, but NYC cost of living isn't low!
I will always be transparent with you about what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, and why. Please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them!
Join Spin City and Knit Spin Quilt at the Kings County Fiber Festival on October 8!
I've been busy with the start of the semester this fall - I'm teaching modern European history (French Revolution to Brexit) and keeping up with my own research and dissertation deadlines. But I had time to make up a few little bags, which will go up in the Etsy shop soon. For now, have a picture of them hung up at Woolyn, a new (awesome!) yarn store in Brooklyn, which I absolutely adore.
These little bags are just the right size for a tin of stitch markers, a Chibi yarn needle holder, a tape measure, and a few other miscellaneous notions. Or for a couple sets of d20 dice! They're also great fun to make up.
If you want a bitty bag, you can buy one at my Etsy shop, KnitSpinQuilt, which is how I fundraise for the Flint Child Health Development Fund. I have time and a lot of fabric - other people have money. By making bags, charging a #FairFiberWage and donating my time and materials, I've been able to raise more than $1,800 for FlintKids so far this year, which blows my mind.
Some of you may remember that I made a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt a few years ago as a wedding present for friends, and another one for a friend's baby. The larger quilt was queen size: here it's being held up by my father (6'4") who is standing on a chair:
The smaller quilt was for a baby:
Both were made using the Quiltville Scrappy Trip pattern.
I initially thought about doing a pieced back for the large quilt, and I've had blocks 12.5"x12.5" cut for ages with no purpose. Instead I decided to use them for a new, small, scrappy trip around the world quilt.
The newest quilt will be a lap quilt, in differently-formatted blocks: they're blocks of 4 instead of blocks of six. The colors are a departure for me, and I'm not sure I'm going to want to keep it in the end, but it's been really soothing to get back to my machine for a quilting project again.
While I was abroad this summer I visited the Wollmeise store in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm: I'll post more of a summary of the visit in a week or so when I've sorted out all my photographs. For now, I wanted to post about an exciting fact: we've hit $1,500 in the fundraiser for the Flint Child Health Development Fund!
In celebration, and because some friends asked, I've added a new product to the shop: manatee drawstring bags.
I've also added box bags to the shop for the very first time, starting with the manatee print. They're available lined in mustard, teal, or coral, just like the drawstring bags above.
I'm delighted to be able to turn my time and fabric into donations, and want to thank those of you who have been along for the ride. I'm exploring getting my stitch markers into shops, and can't wait to share a couple of non-fundraiser projects with you in the near future.
I'm fortunate enough to be traveling for research this summer, and doubly-fortunate enough to be staying with friends for much of the trip. I'm doing research for my dissertation and visiting London, Oxford, Paris, and Munich. Right now, I'm staying with a friend in a rented house in London, with a lovely back garden:
In that picture, you may have noticed my drop spindle. I had to finish spinning that project to clear off my spindle because today, as many of you may know, the Tour de France began - which means that the Tour de Fleece also began. Here's what I'm starting with:
The rainbow is a 35% mohair/65% silk blend, and the blue is a Polwarth/merino/silk/alpaca/stellina blend. Both are from Hilltop Cloud, because I thought that I should buy fiber from UK suppliers while I'm in London. It turns out that VAT is about the same as shipping to the US, but I'm loving the fiber so very much that I can't be sorry.
A few months ago I agreed to barter for quilting services: I would quilt an acquaintance's quilt top, and she would pay me in yarn and fabric. Life intervened, and she was very patient as I proceeded to have zero free time around the holidays. But now it's done! Here's the front, post-washing:
I stitched in the ditch to emphasize the swirly quilting:
The back (pre-washing, and quite wrinkly) shows the outline of some of the curves slightly better:
If you look carefully on the right-hand side you can see a sleeve for a dowel, so the quilt can be hung from a wall. I'd ordinarily do corners, but this was so wide that I was afraid it would sag in the middle.
I'm delighted to have this done and in the mail back to its owner - and can't wait to get a box of yarn and fabric in exchange. Now if only the postman would show up to pick it up the way the USPS says they already have!
I've been quiet here, but I've been crafting up a storm behind the scenes. I've knitted several shawls, and just blocked the three of them. First up is a semicircular shawl in a handspun merino/yak yarn from Spunky Eclectic:
Next up, New Hope Creek by Naomi Parkhurst (gannet designs).
In sewing news, I've done two hedgehog bags (Spoonflower print): Custom listing here for orange or teal or grey tops - or others!
We've raised $200 for water in Flint this year and $700 for FlintKids.org - and I couldn't do any of it without you.
Keep posted for a handspun handknit shawl that I'll be raffling off in mid-May for charity.
As always, thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best!
Last year I knit 11 pairs of socks - and gave them ALL away. This year, I've knit 3 pairs of socks for myself so far.
I've also made some new stitch markers. The oak leaves are one-offs, but the little green balls glow in the dark, and I have other colors of those that I'll be making up soon.
Since I last posted about this we've raised $317.50!
But - and here's where I ask your indulgence - sending monetary aid isn't enough.
Please, if the issue of lead levels as high as 4,000 parts per billion (it's an emergency at 15 ppb!) scares you, if the idea of an un-elected "emergency manager" poisoning the water supply of an entire town who had no recourse, no way to vote him out of office makes you mad, write your elected officials! If enough of us make enough noise, we can get Michigan's government to move faster on this horrifying issue. If you don't live in MI, you may not be able to write to those senators, but you can write your own and let them know you care and want them to care, too.
I've done so. It's a small thing, but it's how our democracy is supposed to work.
In the mean time, however, I'm going to keep making things, donating my time and my stash to something that I truly believe is a national disaster and crisis. With your help, if you like the things I make and buy them, we can do something small - and possibly something really meaningful - for the people of Flint, MI, who are really hurting. And you get a nifty handmade gift out of it, too!
All income (not profits: 100% of income) from January and February 2016 will be donated to Water Aid for Flint, MI, via the The Mission of Hope Shelter and Pastor Bobby Jackson, and the GoFundMe setup here: https://www.gofundme.com/rjp53vz8 Help me raise money to provide water to the kids of Flint, MI, where the water has dangerously elevated lead levels.
KnitSpinQuilt on Etsy.
Hello, all, and welcome to KnitSpinQuilt.
My first finish is a DPN/knitting notions roll I made for my mother. She loves the subway fabric from City Quilter, here in NYC, so I'm always looking for an excuse to make her something out of it.
I'll be adding more images over the course of the day of hand-woven dishtowels for my sister, and socks for my mother, father, and sister's boyfriend. So keep your eyes peeled, and check back often to see not only my updates (I'll tweet the pictures too) but also to check other people's linked finishes!
If you haven't done this before, here's how to participate in TGIFF:
- Link up your fantastic finishes here and please -- please -- visit the links above and below yours (or more!) and comment on other people's work! We thrive as a community when we receive feedback on our work.
Sneak peek of projects shared: (click the InLinkz button above to click through and comment on blogs!)
Hello, all! This Friday, December 25 -- Christmas Day -- I will be sharing some finished projects with you all. I know it's a busy day, but perhaps you might want to take a break from your holiday celebrations to share photographs of finished gifts that you've had to keep a secret until they were opened! I'm planning on posting the linky party and then updating it with mid-unwrapping-pictures of presents I've woven, knitted, and sewn.
Not familiar with TGIFF? Click the image below to go learn more about it, or come back on Friday and participate!
Another baby quilt - this one using up scraps from the Little Prince baby quilt I made last month.
I had extra 5" squares of yellow and grey, so I decided to make a half-square triangle quilt. I had just enough triangles to put them in two corners, and used scrap grey for the borders.
The backing is the same as the Little Prince quilt - just enough of it left, too!
And I used strips of the backing fabric for the binding - Riley Blake cottons really seem to like being bindings in my hands, so I'm pleased with how it came out:
The stitching is a little awkward - I attached the binding to the front instead of the back, but I'm still pretty pleased with how it came out.
Now to find a baby for it to go live with!
Linking up to TGIFF!
I participated in my very first Ravelry swap this fall as part of the Knit1Geek2 podcast group. I'll link to my swap package later, when my recipient gets their box, but for now I'll just squee about the box I got in the mail today! The guidelines were:
- Something handmade
- Something local
- Something geeky
Man, did my swapper do a great job!
Here are the wrapped packages:
Here's a closeup of the pin she included, which is knitted and embroidered and just knocks my socks off. It's even more beautiful in real life:
But best last: the handmade item. I got a BEAUTIFUL alpaca lace shawl. Oh my god, the picture does not do this justice. I am SO DELIGHTED, I had to wear it today. It is SO LOVELY. It glitters in the light, and the pattern is just beautiful.
In summary: Thank you, swap partner! You rock!
This quilt is approximately 40" x 40" finished, and is a disappearing nine-patch pattern, which I modified slightly from the tutorials I saw online, and also just sort of eyeballed. I used 5" squares -- the solid greys are charm squares from a Kona charm pack, and the others are from fat quarters. I ordered the Little Prince fabric from Spoonflower, and fussy cut the planets out in the center of the squares. I might have arranged them slightly differently if I had been planning better (I don't like how the two planets are right next to each other) but I'm overall quite pleased.
I used a walking foot and grid-quilted it by freehand-eyeballing the diagonal grid. It's not perfect, but this is a baby quilt -- it doesn't need to be 100% even, it needs to be functional, and I think the wobbliness is okay here.
I used the same fabric for the binding and the backing: a Riley Blake wiggly chevron stripe, which I adore. The corners came out so nicely!
Overall, this project probably took about 7 hours, start to finish, and was a great way to take a day off. (I'm working Saturday and a half-day on Sunday this week, so I took Friday for myself and made this.)