The Yukon Scarf in Amethyst (…to ETSY or not to ETSY, that is the question)

Introducing: The Yukon Scarf in Amethyst!

scarf3This particular scarf is 44″ in diameter and 5″ wide and loops twice around the neck (as shown in the photo.)

I think that if I’m going to knit things to sell, I’d like to help them stand out in a very crowded market by giving each pattern an individual name. I’ve decided to call all of the moss stitch infinity scarves the Yukon Scarf. I’ll then differentiate them by colour. Thus, this infinity scarf is The Yukon in Amethyst.

scarf1Right now I’m experimenting with different weights of yarn and different needle sizes to see what combination I like the best.

knit 1This one was knit on 6.5mm needles and the weave is quite dense. A larger needle will give it a looser, more open weave. I have one more skein of this, so will try that next and then compare the two.

I see some very expensive scarves for sale on ETSY that look to me like they are made from inexpensive yarns that I recognize as the kind you can buy at WalMart. Now, I’m not dissing WalMart. But here’s a question for you: Do shoppers care where the materials came from? (I’m asking legitimately, not sarcastically.)

scarf2Would it make a difference to shoppers if I advertised that I support local small business and purchase all my yarn at small independent yarn shops (like Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm, or  the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Shop in Whitehorse)?

Of course, the more specialized you get, the more you pay for your materials. And the more you pay for your materials, the less profit you make.  For instance, I paid $20 for this particular skein of very high quality Peruvian fair-trade yarn. So already, the price to the purchaser has gone up to whatever my time is worth on top of that.

Where is the line between making a good quality product you can be proud of  and also earning enough $$ per hour to make it worth the work? (the eternal question of all artists in all genres.)

scarf4I haven’t even gone onto ETSY to see what’s involved in opening a store, let alone figuring out what to charge for my scarves. One thing at a time.

Thoughts? And if no thoughts, what’s on your needles today, eh?

2015 Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge

Happy 5th anniversary to the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge! It’s being organized by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. High Five, Sarah! It’s a lot of work to organize a challenge like this!

Quilters are invited to make a quilt and donate it to one of the charities listed on the Hands2Help website. (But don’t worry if you can’t afford to mail the quilt, you do have the option of donating to a local charity. There are no barriers put in your way if you want to participate.) The object of the challenge is to get quilts wrapped around the shoulders of those who need them.

Extra exciting is that this year, Because You Matter Quilts for Kids is the Canadian recipient! That’s me!! Canadian quilters who don’t want to mail their quilts across the border can mail them to me as an option (if they don’t know where to donate locally or want to contribute to Because you Matter specifically.) How cool is that? !!! Thank you so much, Sarah! I’ll also be posting the quilts I’m making as I go along. I have a special project in mind for Because you Matter this year and I’ll be telling you all about it soon.

Sarah has arranged lots of sponsors and lots of prizes, a linky party, free patterns if you need ideas and all kinds of fun for participants, so head on over to Hands2Help and sign up.  Registration opens today!

catching up

I’ve written so many blog posts in my mind over the last several weeks. Sadly, none of them have made the (sometimes torturous) journey from my head to my fingertips and onto the keyboard.

So while I’m sorting it all out, and just to let you know that I’m still here, I’ll post a little update from the sewing room.

I finally finished The Friendship Garden quilt!

022All that’s left is sewing on the label.

006Goodness, I didn’t know if I would ever finish this quilt! It just kept demanding more and more. It was ridiculous! I’m only going to give you a brief glimpse here. This quilt has an interesting story but it hasn’t had it’s photo shoot yet. And you know me…a quilt isn’t truly finished until it’s had its picture properly taken, lol! So sorry…you’ll just have to wait for it.

011Last September I started taking a class at my local quilt shop (Threads & Paper in Salmon Arm). The class is called A Quilter’s Garden. It is a beginners machine applique class. Let me stress beginners! It’s perfect for me. Exactly what I need, considering that I am still learning how to use my new sewing machine with all its various stitches and features.

012Each block introduces a different skill, such as couching, and sewing on buttons with the button foot. Sadly, I cannot seem to master the button foot.  Consequently, I’ve been sewing on all the buttons by hand. sigh.

014And the couching. Well okay. I admit that my first try at couching was a complete and absolute bust. In fact, I was so nervous to try it that I didn’t even try!  that’s how much of a bust it was! Instead, I decided to totally redesign the block. Completely. This block (below) isn’t even close to the pattern that we were given.  But I love it!

016Did you notice the sweet little diamond buttons eyes? They make me so happy!

017Of course, I like to do things my own way, so haven’t exactly been following the patterns. I’ve kind of carried on doing my own thing..

018For instance, there aren’t any birds in any of the original patterns. None!  Now, I don’t know why, but I really wanted some birds in there! This quilt just begs for birds, don’t you think?

019They’re so tweet!

And yes, I finally did attempt the couching (above). 🙂