A Little History and Clarity

Since I started this blog I have had a lot of friends and family ask me what it is all about. The general consensus is that they really enjoy reading it, they love the projects, but don’t really understand what I am doing. So this post is going to answer some of those questions and give a little bit of back story

I was taught to knit a few times when I was younger, mostly by my grandmother, if my terrible memory serves me correctly. It never really stuck though as I would knit for a bit, make a mistake, not know how to fix it and get frustrated. This girl has a lot of give-up in her, so when I’m not really good at something right away, I usually don’t push on. Unfortunately I see that trait in A, I’ll have to figure out how to get him to try a little harder than his mom does.

The first time I started knitting and actually stuck with it was in my final year of university in Fredericton. I was living with my friend Tamara in a freezing cold house, and we were broke. The funds had pretty much dried up over our extended stay at school, though somehow we always managed to scrape together enough money to keep our White Russian supplies replenished. That Christmas we decided to make presents for our families, a cross-stitch for her mom, and a scarf for mine. When I made a mistake Tamara would show me how to fix it, or I would call my mom and she would talk me through it. I eventually finished the scarf, though I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her wear it.

There were a few more hits and misses over the next few years of knitting: a beautiful cabled sweater that is still in pieces in my basement; a hat for a boyfriend that caused me to burst out laughing when he put it on; a false-start on a uterus when I couldn’t quite get the hang of doing i-cords. But eventually I discovered the joys of knittinghelp.com, Ravelry and the gauge swatch and things improved from then on.

Fast-forward about 10 years. I wanted to knit a little hoodie for P, nothing fancy, just a plain hoodie that she could wear over her shirts on cool Calgary mornings. I searched through available patterns on Ravelry (an online knitting world, aka my happy place) but couldn’t find anything that fit what I was looking for. It occurred to me that I could probably figure out how to make one without a pattern, and I had just found a hole in the market that I could probably fill. Fast forward another 6 months or so and you have the Everyday Hoodie pattern I just released.

So what does that mean anyway? I took my idea, did a lot of math and trial and error, and wrote the pattern and instructions for other knitters to make the sweater. I uploaded it onto Ravelry where knitters can find it and buy it if they are interested. I get paid through PayPal and Ravelry distributes the pattern to the buyer. If someone finds the pattern on my blog, they can click the “buy now” button, which will take them to Ravelry where they can buy it even if they are not a Ravelry user.

A lot of people are also asking if I am selling my knitting. While I am flattered, and very willing to do it, the fact is that there is a huge amount of time involved in hand-knitting things. While a pair of booties takes anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, an adult sweater can take up to a month of working in all my spare time. The going-rate for production knitting is 15 to 20 cents per meter of yarn used, plus the cost of yarn, which can work out to as little as $25 for the Boot Cuffs, but $125 for P’s hoodie. A person who understands what goes into the process and values the quality of a hand-made item will generally be willing to pay that price, but others may be offended.

So, to make a long story long, that’s the gist of what I am doing. The blog is here for entertainment, community and advertising purposes, with the added benefit that I seem to be reconnecting with people I haven’t talked to in years, and meeting new people every day. I hope you all continue reading as it truly makes me happy.

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