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BTS: Why all the crazy discounts ?!

So… I know that when I last wrote, I mentioned that my next blog post would be about my view on competitors and what role they play in the fiber arts industry… and I am still going to write about that in the near future.  However, I thought it would be best if I talked a little first about what’s going on right now behind the scenes at KnitCrate.

Why all the crazy discounts?!

Let’s cut right to the chase: why all the crazy discounts in the past few months?  And some of them have been a little crazy… up to 90% off some yarns just recently.  Running a business on steep discounts is a recipe for disaster in the long run (as much as KnitCrate is a fun and loving community, it is also a business).  So why have we been doing it?

We have a lot of things planned for our community, and we have already started rolling some of them out.  For example, our new KnitCrate Membership at $24.99 per month, which also gives you 25% off all products in the exclusive Member Central section of our website.  We have been investing quite a bit the past few months in new products for our community, as well as carrying a decent amount of undyed yarns for indie dyers we collaborate with.  In case you didn’t have a chance to read about some of the exciting programs we developed for indie dyers we collaborate with, you can read my last blog post here. Quite simply, we needed to make some room in the warehouse for the incoming products.    

What can you expect going forward?

We want KnitCrate to be the go-to place for affordable hand-dyed yarns… not by relying on periodic steep discounts, but by always having reasonable prices on our site.  How? You will soon start to see the steps we have taken to make sure this is the case.  One of the easiest to spot is the 25% off active members receive in Member Central.  This ensures that active members are rewarded for being part of the community, that you have access to great yarn at great prices even outside of the monthly subscription, and indie dyers are protected and their work is respected.  Going forward, you will still have a few REALLY good sales here and there, but not as often as you have seen recently.  The idea is that KnitCrate prices will be SO good all the time, that you feel you are getting a bargain any time you buy from us.

We have actually been testing this concept on a few products and subscriptions the past few weeks, and it seems that the community really really likes it.  The one issue we have had is that we are selling out of the products and subscriptions too quickly, especially KnitCrate Membership.  We are placing larger orders from vendors, to help make room for everyone who wants a spot; but they are going very quickly.

Better Deals in monthly memberships and subscriptions.

Where you will definitely start seeing these bargains is in some of the changes we are making to the monthly subscriptions. 

KnitCrate Membership at $24.99

Obviously, there is the new KnitCrate Membership, where you receive $58 worth of yarn and patterns for $24.99 plus FREE shipping worldwide. To be precise, you receive two skeins of yarn, 1 knitting pattern by an independent designer, and 1 crochet pattern by an independent designer.  This month we added a little twist: you will be receiving one of the two colors featured below! We will also have some additional pattern options for purchase in case you want to go in a different direction with the yarn.

Artisan Crate now at $34.99

We have recently made some updates to the Artisan Crate, too!  For those who are not already familiar with the Artisan Crate, this is the one we focus on to support our indie dyer community.  We collaborate with both independent dyers and designers to bring you all a really fun project each month. You get two skeins, two knitting pattern options, and a Bonus gift in each Crate!  The retail value for the Artisan Crates typically exceeds $60, and we recently lowered the price from $44.95 to $34.99 to make it even more accessible to our community.   

Artyarns Luxe Crate

And finally, we made some major updates to our Artyarns Luxe Crate.  Based on your feedback, we have changed the Artyarns Luxe Crate from a monthly membership to a quarterly one and changed the price to $99.99 per quarter. We did this for a few reasons: 1) We wanted to make it more affordable for everyone to join.  $99.99 per quarter is the equivalent of $33.33 per month, which is a lot less pricey than the former monthly price of $59 per month.  2) This higher price point also allows Artyarns and KnitCrate to curate full-size skeins of the cashmere, silk, and other luxury yarns you love.  A number of you were not happy about receiving “just enough” yarn to complete the pattern in the Artyarns Luxe Crate.  You would have liked a full 100-gram skein so that you could use it on other projects perhaps.  Well, that’s what we will be doing now.  The next Artyarns Luxe Crate will be going out in December, and we will start selling that kit on December 1st! Keep a lookout 😊

Conclusion

There you have it, folks.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to lift the curtain a bit and give you a sneak peek into what our thought process has been and what we are attempting to accomplish to make KnitCrate even better for you.  As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to me privately at rob@knitcrate.com or on Ravelry at YarnRob.

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5 Easy Beginner Knitting Patterns!

5 Easy Beginner Knitting Patterns!

When you're just starting out knitting, the wide world of patterns available to you might seem daunting and unattainable - especially if you're beginning to navigate tools like the Ravelry pattern search for the first time. A search for a simple hat pattern can yield thousands of results, and combing through page after page in search of the perfect one (without being sure of your skills) is time better spent knitting to improve your skills. To help you out, I've put together a list of some great beginner recommendations for knitting patterns – I'll have a crochet version coming out soon, too. 

For knitting, 'basic' skills are basically casting on, knit, purl, and binding off. Some of these patterns do have a little shaping – you can do it! Learning new things is key to developing the skills to make anything you want.  

Purl Soho has a wealth of wonderful beginner patterns of all types - you'll see a pattern from them listed in both the Knit and Crochet section of this blog post for that reason. Even better, many of their patterns are available for free - which means that you can look at them before starting or purchasing. For knitting, I love the Broken Garter Scarf (pictured above). This scarf is a step beyond basic garter stitch and adds a 'repeat' element to your knitting. Repeats of stitch patterns are commonly found in patterns, and this simple one is a good way to teach your mind (and hands) to keep track as you work along.  

  

I love these Simple House Slippers from Temple of Knit (pictured above). Another free pattern, these minimalistic slippers are a great choice for gifts and to keep around your house. I have visited quite a few knitter households that have a basket of cozy slippers in varying sizes right by the front door, and it's so nice to feel like one of the tribe when you come in and slip a pair on! They use circular needles, but you can switch to double points if you've already tried them and feel comfortable.  

I love this Five by Five Cowl (pictured above), designed by Sweet Georgia Yarns dyer, owner, and operator Felicia Lo to show off vibrant, fun, and intense colorways. If you're already collecting yarn but not sure what to do with it yet, this simple ribbed cowl is created by knitting a scarf, then seaming both ends. I have two of these I've knit for myself and I wear them every winter – they're so simple and beautiful, they match everything!  

 

A go-to for many knitters, the Tin Can Knits' Simple Collection (pictured above) is full of easy beginner patterns, from socks, to hats, to sweaters. The Flax sweater, which comes in sizes for newborns up to adults, is a great first-time sweater. There is a little raglan shaping – meaning increases and decreases – to learn, but it won't take long to understand with the well-written pattern and clear explanation of how to do things like separate the sleeves and finish up.  

 

Designer Wooly Wormhead (pictured above) is well known for her innovative and accessible hat patterns, and Chunkeanie is no exception. This free pattern is knit in chunky yarn and works up fast – by the time you get a hang of using the double pointed needles, you'll be ready to make another.  

If you're still not sure where to start, remember that at Knitcrate, we have a wonderful beginning knitting series called Knitcrate Newbies. Former owner Andrea walks you through a variety of beginner patterns that teach you a huge range of skills – a great place to start if you'd like a little extra help. We allow you to access the videos for each class free, or give you the option to order the kit and take the guesswork out of getting started. Find that series here. 

Stay tuned, I'll be back soon with some great beginner crochet patterns! 

 - Hannah Thiessen

Join KnitCrate here! 
 

 

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Tips and Tricks for the September KnitCrate Membership by Dayana Knits!

Tips and Tricks for the September KnitCrate Membership by Dayana Knits!

Dayana Knits for KnitCrate September 2017

Let’s Face It – It’s All About the Yarn

Yes, that’s what we really think about – opening a KnitCrate to see which plush eye-grabbing yarn is lying in wait inside! I’ve gotten to the point where I open the box and use the enclosed intro and pattern cards to shield my eyes and stretch out the surprise.



Well, if you love yarn the most (like me), then the new standard KnitCrate is our box, baby. Inside I found a super high quality, high-value yarn and one pattern each in knit and crochet.


For those of you who still love getting notions and extras, no worries, keep on getting the Artisan KnitCrate for what you love most! 

September was the month for über-squishy Vidalana Worsted, a superwash hand-dyed 100% merino. There were (2) 110g skeins, each with 180 yards. That’s 360 yards of merino yarn, yesss!



The color was an absolute stunner – a turquoise called “Intensity” toned out with flecks of white, which I personally love.



VIDEO TIP 1: Have you ever bought or received a loosely wound skein? Or, have you opened a skein to peek at the dyeing inside only to have no idea how to get it wound again? Watch my video here to see how to do it!




Included was a shawl knitting pattern by rhyFlower Knits using both of the skeins. It’s a relatively simple body with a sweet trim made in lacy waves. I knew it would have to be a generously sized super-comfy shawl if it were in this yarn.





Looking at the pattern, I saw that it started with a cable cast-on. Fun!


VIDEO TIP 2: Watch my video here to see a tip on how to start a cable cast-on without an ugly slipknot.





One of my issues with shawls that start from the neck and increase downwards (like most crescent shawls, for example) is the lack of elasticity along the edges. It can look really awkward, especially if the shawl increases many stitches quickly.


VIDEO TIP 3: Want to know two easy ways to give your shawl edge a little more elasticity? Watch my video here for some awesome tips!

I mention in the video that there are more effective ways to do this (aren’t there always, ha!). Here’s a tip that requires a little more forethought.

It’s not always the yarnovers that are at fault -- the Make 1 stitches can tighten an edge, too! You can have less yarn-hungry Make 1s by doing a yarnover in the row before the Make 1 stitch.


For example, in this pattern, the increased ends of the rows look like this:


(WS): Purl

(RS): K2, yo, M1R……….… M1L, yo, K2.


To leave extra yarn for the Make 1 stitches, simply:


(WS): K2, yo…… yo, K2.

(RS): K2, yo, M1R (into the yo from the previous row)…………M1L (into the yo from the previous row), yo, K2.


**Remember that you may have to twist the yarnover to get the right M1 direction.**


Well, there is no doubt that this Vidalana yarn is knitting up beautifully and the white flecks are integrating in a really masterful way!



If you want to try a KnitCrate, visit the KnitCrate website and use coupon code “DK20” for 20% off!


And, OF COURSE, if you want to see the finished shawl, you can follow Dayana Knits at any of her social media platforms below:


Blog: www.dayanaknits.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DayanaKnits

Ravelry: www.ravelry.com/people/DayanaKnits

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dayanaknits

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dayanaknits

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dayanaknits

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The Evolution of Knitting in the USA

I've been knitting for over ten years, and I've also been the director of our local historical museum for the past four years.  But, until recently, I hadn't thought about putting my two loves together and looking into the history of knitting.  As a product of today's world, I suppose I just thought knitting was a fun hobby to keep my fidgety hands busy, and I admit that I do love telling people that I've made my own sweaters!

That's not how knitting has always been viewed, though.  In fact, knitting was a very important skill up until the end of World War II.  Knitting was clearly around before the American Revolution, but for the purposes of today's blog post, I'm going to just focus on how knitting has evolved in the United States.

American Revolution
Because most clothing before the American Revolution was handmade, crafts like knitting and sewing were important from a practical viewpoint.  But, it also provided women, who were extremely limited socially at the time, the means to make their own political statements.  While the Boston Tea Party is the most famous example of Americans protesting British taxation, women in the colonies were also avoiding taxation on British textiles by creating their own homespun cloth.  Families, churches, and organizations like the Daughters of Liberty would even hold competitions called "spinning bees" to see who could make the most yarn.

An antique spinning wheel at the Hubbard County Historical Museum in Park Rapids, MN. Photo taken by Megan & Pearls.


My favorite story about yarn during the Revolution, though, is about a woman named Molly "Mom" Rinker, who was a spy.  The legend is that she would hide information about British troop movements in balls of yarn, and would drop them from a rock overlooking Wissahickon valley, which is now known as Mom Rinker's Rock.

Civil War
Before the Civil War broke out, knitting was gradually becoming a hobby for wealthy women who would knit for charity, as machine-knit items were gaining popularity.  Once the war broke out, however, there was a resurgence.  Soldiers were issued machine-knit stockings, but they were seen as inferior to their hand knit counterparts.  The machine-knit socks would wear out quickly, forcing soldiers to go barefoot, which would result in blistered, swollen, and infected feet.  As a result, many women began knitting socks for the soldiers, sending them to military camps and hospitals with notes of encouragement, jokes, or letters. 
 

World War I
The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, and just over a year and a half later, the war was over when Germany surrendered on November 11, 1918.  While the United States was not involved in the war for very long, the need for knit items was still great.  The Red Cross put out an urgent call for one and a half million each of wristlets, mufflers, sweaters, and pairs of socks.  Just as in the Civil War, the need for socks was especially important.  Because of the trench war conditions, soldiers would spend weeks or months in wet, freezing conditions, and would need to change their socks often to avoid contracting trench foot.

Because there was such a great need for hand knit items, personal knitting during this time was highly frowned upon, as was hoarding yarn.  Knitters were called to either return completed items or return the yarn within twenty-one days (a sufficient amount of time to complete a pair of socks according to officers) to continue providing relief to the men at the front.

 
World War II
Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, American knitters were already picking up their needles for the war effort.  They were preparing care packages of food and knit items for Britain, France, Finland, Poland, Belgium, etc.  Then, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, they turned their attention to American soldiers.  At this time, machine-knit items were becoming much better, and there was a question as to why garments should be hand knit.  As we learned from the Civil War and World War I, hand knit socks outlasted machine knit socks, but that wasn't the only benefit.  Donated hand knits also cost the military nothing, they didn't cause machine wear and tear, and there was a considerable propaganda effect: women who were knitting for different military branches would raise interest in those branches for anyone who saw her, and the woman doing the knitting would feel as though she could directly help the war effort.

This was also when the "First Lady of Knitting" brought attention to knitting for the war effort.  Eleanor Roosevelt was often photographed knitting for the war effort, or at least with her knitting bag. She was the one who essentially began the World War II knitting effort during a Knit for Defense tea that was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on September 31, 1941.
 

Today
Nowadays, knitting is seen as mostly just a hobby, and personal knitting is prevalent.  However, there is still a need for hand knit items.  KnitCrate has partnered with Butterfly Boxes to help donate hand knit items to refugees that have arrived in Oregon.  Each KnitCrate box includes a card asking for specific items, but washcloths, dolls, stuffed animals, baby blankets, and hats are always appreciated.  Make sure to check out http://www.butterflyboxespdx.org/ to get involved.


- Megan Brightwood from Megan & Pearls
Join KnitCrate today and get 20% off of your first crate by using the code PEARLS20

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Knitting For Stress Relief

A Healthy Effect Of Knitting: Stress Relief

I learned how to knit during a very stressful time of my life — when my daughter was born two-and-a-half months earlier than expected. She’s doing great now, but those first few weeks were full of all sorts of stress that I really wasn’t prepared for. Inspired by some preemie hats our family received when my daughter was in the hospital, I asked my mother-in-law to teach me how to knit so I could make some preemie hats, too. I didn’t know it at the time but making those hats probably did more good for me than they did for my daughter.
The symptoms of stress vary from person to person. According to WebMD, they include everything from “becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody” to “chest pain and rapid heartbeat” to “constantly worrying” and a myriad of other maladies. Too much stress can cause or contribute to serious health problems.
The good news is that we have a powerful ally in the battle to manage stress: knitting! Really, most any kind of crafting can be used to help combat stress, but knitting has several interesting aspects going for it. One aspect of knitting that helps reduce stress is the meditative behavior that knitting encourages. The repetitive and rhythmic motions of creating stitches helps develop a calming atmosphere in the knitter’s mind, allowing stressful thoughts to melt away, if only for a few moments. Another aspect of knitting that helps with stress reduction is the fact that knitting can be a distraction. When you’re concentrating on memorizing a pattern repeat, making sure your tension is even, or counting the number of stitches you have on your needles, you tend to push troublesome thoughts from your mind and your stress levels are reduced. Finally, we get the benefits of stress reduction even when we’re not knitting. Once you complete a project, you continue to feel good about it when you see the finished object. Five years later, when I pick up that first preemie hat I knitted, I think about the tiny head that it once fit on. It helps me think back to the time when my daughter was in the hospital and remember not a time full of stress, but a time full of love.
Next time you’ve had a tough day at the office or your family is at each other’s throats, or whatever you experience that raises your stress level, try picking up your needles and yarn and just getting lost in the knitting for a few minutes. It won’t make the problem go away, but it might make you better equipped to deal with it.
Keep on knitting for the ones you love!
- Knitting Daddy Greg

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How to join new ball of yarn seamlessly

How to join new ball of yarn seamlessly

I learned how to knit from my mother, who I believe is the greatest knitter I have ever met.  She always welcomed new techniques and kept her talent fresh.  Some of the early tricks my mother taught me have stayed with me over the years.  One technique I believe doesn’t get much attention is how to join a new ball of yarn to your project.  This seems to get overlooked and it is a very important part of knitting.  Therefore, it is one of my favorite techniques to share.  It’s the way my mother taught me years ago and the way I like to teach my knitting friends. 
 
First of all, when joining a new ball of yarn to a garment, I like to join near the seam.  That way you can hide your loose ends in the seam and not weave them through the actual garment.  If I am knitting a piece in the round, then I knit to the end of my first ball before joining a new ball.  
 
Many sources like to teach that you can knit to where you want to add your new yarn, drop the old yarn and start knitting with the new one.  This technique will most often result in a hole.  
 
(I am showing this technique with two different colors of yarn so that you are able to see the new ball and the old ball.)
 
When joining a new ball of yarn, I knit the final stitch of the old ball and the first stitch of the new ball, as one.  So, knit a stitch with both the old and the new held together and then drop the old ball and carry on with the new.   This will prevent a hole and also lock the stitches together.   You just have to remember to treat this as ONE stitch when you come back to it and not separate the two.  

Happy knitting, friends!
- Leslie Friend

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Join us for the Fall Fade KAL!

Join us for the Fall Fade KAL!

Join us for the Fall Fade KAL 

We always have a lot of fun in the KnitCrate Ravelry group, but we're ramping it up a bit this Fall with our Fall Fade Knit-a-Long. For those of you who haven't participated in a knit-a-long (or KAL, as we like to call it), basically it's a chance for lots of knitters and crocheters from all over the world to get together virtually and make the same project or projects with similar themes.  

For this year's Fall KAL, we decided to take on the popular 'Fade' trend. In patterns that feature this trend, you'll see one color fade into another over the body of the garment or accessory – a hue shift from one color to another. While gradients and ombres certainly fall into the Fade category, it's also possible to do these color shifts using a range of different colors that have a tonal fade (light to dark) but may have unexpected color relationships. Here are a few examples of patterns that are perfect for fade projects: 

Saturate by Mary Catherine Bryner 

Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry  

Fadient Hat by Xandy Peters 

Fade Out Crochet Shawl by Nerissa Muijs 

(Pictured below top to bottom, left to right)

We have a list of different project ideas in the KAL thread on Ravelry you can look at, or you can choose any pattern and create your own fade by changing color throughout the project. The only requirements to participate in our Fall Fade KAL are:  

 

  • At least 2 of the yarns being used in your fade must be from KNITCRATE subscriptions or shop purchases (Knitologie and Artyarns subscriptions also count!)   
  • Your projects should be tagged as #KNITCRATEFade and should be posted in the Ravelry thread, on Instagram with the tag, or both places. (You should also add your project to your Ravelry notebook.) 
  • You can cast on as many fade projects as you like, but only one project per person will be counted towards the grand prize. This is to keep it fair to those casting on large projects like sweaters, scarves and shawls.  

We'll be looking at the thread and hashtag on Instagram throughout the year as your projects change and develop, then drawing the maker of our team's favorite fade project as the winner right before Christmas. The winner will get to work with the KnitCrate team to design a future monthly theme board and custom colorway for an upcoming shipment! 

We hope some of you will join along on this fun event and we'll see lots of beautiful fades as the year progresses. Be sure to share your ideas for fade progressions in the thread and talk with other members and our moderators about your project – group participation is a huge part of the fun. Join us here for Fade KAL ideas and chatter 

 

We can't wait to see your projects!

- Hannah 

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This is KnitCrate

At KnitCrate, we are always fervently searching for ways to share the love of the fiber arts with as many people as possible, from those who are already avid enthusiasts to those who are just curiously thinking about giving the fiber arts a try but don’t know where to begin. Part of this involves making the fiber arts more accessible to everyone by making it more affordable for everyone.  It also involves being proactive about working with independent dyers and designers and compensating them for their hard work, so that we can bring a truly unique experience to our community.  I strongly believe that introducing more people to hand-dyed natural yarns (and the fiber arts in general) helps everyone in the industry, from Local Yarn Shops to independent designers.

As KnitCrate continues to grow thanks to our amazing customers and community, I believe it has an obligation to be a greater source for good in the industry.  In this letter, I hope to explain how KnitCrate plans to do this. In particular, I would like to talk about how we are working to introduce the fiber arts to a wider audience by making it more affordable for more people, how we support independent dyers through various initiatives we have launched, and how we work with designers to ensure they are compensated fairly for all the work they do.

More accessible to everyone by making it more affordable for everyone

One of the most frequent comments we see from customers and would-be customers wanting to try hand-dyed natural yarns for the first time is their shock at how expensive those yarns can be. For those new to knitting or those venturing away from the big box retailers for the first time, the price of a hand-dyed skein could be a little scary.  And it is not that they do not see the value in all the hard work, effort, and creativity that goes into hand-dyeing the yarn… quite the opposite… they see it, they want it, but they cannot afford it…or they are not familiar enough with hand-dyed yarns to spend the money and give it a shot.

The situation I describe above occurs every day, and it is a disservice to everyone in the industry, especially the customer.  This is someone who won’t physically touch, smell or see hand-dyed natural yarn (at least not as soon as they otherwise would have); they may never venture into a Local Yarn Shop; they may never go on Etsy to search through the shops of various dyers; they may never go to Ravelry and search through the patterns featuring one of their favorite hand-dyed yarns. 

What we need is a way of introducing people to hand-dyed natural yarns at a price that is reasonable and not off-putting at first glance.  Because once you get your hands on one of these skeins and start working a project with them… once you do that… there is no going back.  You instantly see what all the excitement was about.  You now realize that $24 per skein is not too expensive.  The Local Yarn Shop you used to drive by on the way to the market is now a place you want to stop in at to see their selection.  You can find a whole new universe of independent dyers on Etsy or on our shop that you want to explore. And you can find even more inspiration in the patterns you are now browsing through on Ravelry.

The new KnitCrate Membership

This is why we have made the decision to launch a new line of KnitCrate yarn available on our site and are also launching a new KnitCrate Monthly Membership on September 1st.   Our intention is not to replace the independently dyed yarns we have traditionally featured, but to complement them.  Having an affordably priced option for our customers will bring more knitters and crocheters into the community, who can then be introduced to the many independent artists we work with (either through our Artisan Crate monthly club or through our online shop).

The KnitCrate membership is a little different from our other monthly clubs, but it is great for those who need more affordable options or as a gateway for those venturing into natural hand-dyed yarns for the first time.  Members pay $24.99 per month and receive a heap of benefits:  you receive a monthly project kit (valued at $58) which includes 2 skeins of hand-dyed yarn, 1 knitting pattern, and 1 crochet pattern from that month’s exclusive KnitCrate yarn and pattern collection, free shipping on that month’s kit ($5 value),  25% off all products in a new members-only section of our website, 25 reward points for each month you are a member, and free video tutorials with tips & tricks paired with that month’s project.

This KnitCrate membership also gives us the opportunity to work with more designers every month.  Each month, we will have a collection of patterns to go with the featured yarn.  Members will receive two patterns out of the collection as part of their kit, but you can also choose to buy another pattern from the collection on the website, as well as purchase more yarn at a discount if the pattern chosen requires more yarn.  With this membership, customers are able to support more designers more frequently than we can afford to do with any of our other monthly clubs.

How we collaborate with designers

This is as good a segue as any to talk about how we collaborate with designers.  Designers are one of the biggest sources of inspiration for our community, and it is important to protect the integrity of their work and ensure they are compensated adequately. We want KnitCrate to be one of the leaders in this regard.  This is why we have developed several programs that designers can choose from if they would like to work with KnitCrate.  I believe transparency in the industry is important, so we have our compensation structure listed openly on the homepage of our website for all to see.

We have multiple programs for designers where KnitCrate pays designers directly, ranging from flat fee exclusive designs to shared royalty structures, but one of the programs we are most excited about is the Designer Marketplace.  Designers can take advantage of our active knitting and crocheting community and sell right on the KnitCrate website via the Marketplace Portal. They can upload any pattern they have designed using any yarn and sell it to our community on the KnitCrate website! Proceeds from any pattern sales done through the Marketplace Portal go 100% to the designers; KnitCrate does not take a cut at all. Designers are able to monetize their hard work by placing their patterns in the KnitCrate community, the KnitCrate community benefits from having a rich library of patterns for inspiration, and we as a business benefit by selling customers the yarn and supplies needed to bring that inspiration to life. 

We have a pretty wide variety of programs because we want designers to have options and pick and choose how they decide to participate with us.

Supporting independent dyers

If it weren’t for the interplay between designers and independent dyers there would be no KnitCrate today.  Every month our team collaborates with both dyers and designers to present you with a finished project that until then had only existed as an idea in the minds of its creators.  It was the very genesis of the first KnitCrate monthly crate ever shipped back in 2012.  Since then we have worked with hundreds of independent dyers. 

As we grew, indie dyers could gain exposure to an ever-increasing community.  However, our larger sized orders also meant dyers had a larger bill to cover when buying undyed raw yarn, dyes, etc. in preparation for our order.  That could prove untenable, especially for up-and-coming dyers.  Hence, KnitCrate saw an opportunity to go to fight for the dyers.  We worked out special partnerships with select mills to produce a range of high quality, cruelty-free (no mulesing) yarn bases that are ideal for dyeing with natural or acid dyes. We actually offer yarn to KnitCrate featured dyers free of charge! For dyers who opt to dye on one of our bases, KnitCrate ships the undyed yarn to them (we cover shipping to and from), they dye the yarn, ship it back, and we pay the dyers a commission of $4-$5 per skein on average.  That amounts to $15,000 - $20,000 in costs that KnitCrate absorbs for the dyer.  This really gives up-and-coming dyers an equal footing with their more established counterparts.  More importantly, it introduces our community to new exciting dyers and dyeing techniques that they would otherwise be missing out on.

Access to these undyed yarns isn’t limited to indie dyers who collaborate with KnitCrate in one of our monthly crates. We built out a website dedicated to supplying dyers with reasonably priced, ethically sourced undyed yarns so any indie dyer could take advantage of the savings KnitCrate could bring them. In speaking with a lot of dyers we have worked with, it became apparent that their options for sourcing undyed yarns at true wholesale prices were quite limited.  We wanted to do what we could to help fix that.  Therefore, www.dyersupplier.com was born.

We have other programs dedicated to independent dyers, from carrying their yarn on our shop to featuring them in one of our monthly crates.  A complete listing of our programs is available to everyone to see on our home page.

Conclusion

Sometimes at KnitCrate, we do things that seem counter intuitive.  More than a few of our designers were surprised by our decision to let them make 100% of sales through the marketplace.  Some find it a bit weird that we have a link on the top of our site to a Local Yarn Shop Directory when we are an online business (we have only put up a listing of US shops so far… international shops will be up in the near future).  But here is why we do it the way we do.  When designers and indie dyers are put in a position that their odds for success are higher, everyone in the industry wins. If we can get someone interested in hand-dyed yarn by providing an affordable line of KnitCrate yarns and membership club, we are bringing someone into the fold who may otherwise not have partaken in the dialogue. If we can help our customers find a local yarn shop that they may not have known of (or find one when they are traveling), we are helping the independent dyers whose yarn is sold in the shop.  In doing so, we are also helping the Local Yarn Shop.  If more people are aware of what a great resource their local yarn shops are, that means more people are having a dialogue about natural hand-dyed yarn.  That’s more people that may one day be part of our KnitCrate community.  The online world and the offline world can do more than co-exist.  We can actually help each other, and the more one grows, the more the other grows. 

In order to be true to our mission of sharing the love of the fiber arts with as many people as possible, it is critical that we help everyone in the industry succeed…. yes… even our competitors (more on that in my next post).

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to email me at rob@knitcrate.com or message me on Ravelry at YarnRob.

 

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August "Vintage" Sock and Crochet Crate Reveal!

August

Take a trip back in time with our Crochet and Sock Crates this month!

August "Vintage" Crochet Crate 
This month's Crochet "Vintage" Crate will have you ready for any get down! Each subscriber will receive 3 Balls of Sugar Bush Yarn's 100% Extra Fine Super Bulky Merino in the "Lazuli" Colorway. Each Crate also comes with a wire "Unravel" bookmark handcrafted by Charlie & Crew as well as a beginner Chill Cowl Pattern and an Intermediate/Advanced pattern designed by Katya Novikova. Scroll to take a closer look at these goodies.
Unravel Wire Bookmark by Charlie & Crew
Beginner "Chill" Cowl by Katya Novikova
Intermediate/Advanced Souffle Cowl by Katya Novikova
August "Vintage" Sock Crate
Slide into the cozy nostalgia of Vintage! This month's "Vintage" Sock Crate was inspired by the ever alive 60's and 70's. Experience delicacy in the form of foot warmth with this luxurious yarn milled and dyed by the Ewetopia Fiber Shop. This month, each Sock Crate subscriber will receive one skein of 420 yards of fingering weight yarn (80% SuperWash Merino & 20% Nylon) in either the SwallowTail colorway or the Maple Bloom colorway. Each crate comes with a set of 7 Donut Stitch Markers handcrafted by The Little Shop of Clays as well as the SwallowTail Sock Pattern designed by Kathryn from the Ewetopia Fiber Shop. 
Set of 7 Donut Stitch Markers by Little Shop of Clays
SwallowTail Sock Pattern by Kathryn Ashley-Wright

Like what you see?? Get yours today by clicking here

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August "Artisan" Crate Reveal!

August

It’s time for another fun month of our KNITCRATE Artisan Crate! We know you’re just as excited as we are about Fall being right around the corner and prime knitting season getting started (sorry, those of you in the opposite hemisphere -- we can’t help it!) It’s still just a touch early for us to break out Pumpkin Spice lattes or scarves, though. But it's jusr early enough to start planning knitting projects, right?

We picked two colors to fit with our Vintage theme: Mountie Mango, which is an incredibly flattering coral pink, and Bison, which is an olive-toned neutral.

Each Artisan Crate comes jam-packed with 3 balls of Sugar Bush's extra fine super bulky merino wool in either of the colorways pictured. They also come with 4 sassy postcards by Red Fox Designs as well as one beginner Texto Cowl Pattern and one intermediate/advanced Avantage triangle scarf pattern. Scroll to take a closer look at this month's goodies!

For extras this month, we’ve sent a set of four ‘punny’ animal greeting cards. It’s getting to that time of year where it seems like there’s always a need to send a little ‘thinking of you’ out into the mail, so we thought it would be fun to restock your shelves with some cute cards.

Of course, being chunky yarn, the patterns this month will be speedy knits. Both of them come custom-designed for us by Corinne Ouillon and are already in Ravelry:

 

Avantage, shown in the Mountie Mango, is a cozy shoulder wrap to toss on once the weather gets a little chilly. it can also be worn like a cozy bandana and tucked into the front of your coat -- perfect for when you don’t want to deal with a scarf. A casual cable pattern gives it a great texture, too.

 

Texto is a chunky cowl with just the right amount of texture to keep you interested. The high relief stitches are just basic knits and purls and are very beginner friendly, plus you’ll learn new techniques, like a three needle bind off! The fabric is fully reversible so it’s almost like getting two cowls in one!

 

We hope you love it! If you haven't gotten yours yet, you can subscribe today and get a free Artisan "POP" Crate!

Click here to redeem this offer! 

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