How to value your knitting.

This afghan (which was made by my husbands great aunt for her sister in the early part of the last century) is a perfect example of a project that can only be considered an absolute labour of LOVE as it is knit entirely of garter stitch sections in FINE, 4 ply fingering weight yarn. When it comes to placing a value on reproducing such a knitted project, it is without price (as most of us would die of boredom long before it was done).

We have so many amazing knitters that we meet each day, and also many who are extremely competent yet all of these craftspeople and artisans often feel shy about answering this rather sensible question asked by those who don't know about such things: "What would you charge to knit....(whatever) for me?"

Despite the fact that anyone who would even consider taking on a knitting or crochet project for money must absolutely LOVE knitting, and be fairly enamoured with the concept of a bit of a challenge in their knitting, it shouldn't take away from the reality that you are giving up a substantial number of hours of your skilled work to produce something for someone who absolutely must realize how valueable that work is.
What I'm saying is: don't be shy!

The people who are asking you to knit something for them usually fall into one of 2 categories: the first might remember the beauty of the handknit article that they received in their past and recognize how rare it is to have someone care enough for you to produce such a garment and are willing to pay accordingly. The second group is associating your work/ability and the finished project with the pair of mitts made of sayelle left over from 1973 that they saw at the church bazaar last fall for $3./pair.

My advice is don't even consider the project unless the person is willing to accept the fact that it requires good quality yarn. You deserve to enjoy the feel of what you're doing. Then when it comes time to charge for your labour, you should at least receive the equivalent price of what was paid for that good quality yarn. (I can almost guarantee that it won't net you much more than $1/hour but at least it's something.) If the pattern is in anyway complicated, altered, hard to understand, boring beyond belief or inordinately time consuming then you should charge twice what the good quality yarn is worth for your part in the process.

A group of women in the UK have really gotten it right and came up with a great way of dealing with this dilemma in forming Grannies, Inc. a company that knits and sells custom designed beanies to the hippest of the young skiers, snowboarders and other hipsters on the British Isles. The company charges (and charges well, I might add) for their hats and the ladies don't need to be embarassed.

Keep it warm. Their latest product, which is this collection of tea cozies inspired by favourite TV shows in Britain. The cozies cost 45pounds (pardon my lack of familiarity with the symbols on my keyboard) but you can order and download the pattern for just 2.50pounds.
Take pride in what you create and share that enthusiasm and pride with those who don't have the skill, knowledge or time to do it for themselves. You deserve to be recognized as the skilled artisan that you are.


The Fall Line Up of classes.

We have a wonderful list of classes for the next few months, most of which were suggested by our customers.
Take the time to go through them and contact us to register or if you have any questions. Registration for any of these classes can be made in person, via email wooltymekingston@gmail.com or by phone: 613-384-3951
The fine points: Classes must be paid in full at time of registration to ensure your place.
Refunds will be issued only if the class must be cancelled. Should you not be able to attend, a credit can be issued for a future class.
2 Dates to choose from:
Sat. Sept. 11th 10am-2:30pm or Sat. Nov. 27th

If you can knit and purl then you can learn the techniques required to knit socks in any size, using any weight of yarn.
$45. Includes all materials.

2 Dates to choose from:

Sat. Sept. 18th, 1-4pm or Sat. Nov. 20th 1-4pm
Traditional RUG HOOKING

Learn the basic techniques of beautiful traditional rug hooking using yarn, fleece and cut strips.
$45. class $45 material kit.
Students must bring a 10"-14" hoop or frame.

Sat. Sept 25th, 1-4pm
For those who are familiar with knitting on 4 needles this class covers a simple, practical "toe up" method and "afterthought heel" so you can expand your sock repertoire and make socks that fit every time.
$45. Material list available at registration.


Sat. Nov. 13th 1-4pm
Everything you ever wanted to know about using circular needles for all of your knitting projects. Use long needles for small hats, mitts and socks with the "Magic Loop" method. Learn how 2 circular needles worked together can make any project in the round a breeze. Try out the different materials in circular needles including Addi TURBOs in regular and lace styles, Chiao Goo PREMIUM RED series, and Clover BAMBOO needles.
NOTE: $30 for "OTHER SOCK TECHNIQUE" participants. $45. for others.

Fri. Oct. 1st 6:30-8:30 and Sat. Oct. 2nd 1-4pm
These Part I weekend sessions are for those who are ready to go beyond the knitted scarf and want to develop the confidence to select the right yarns, choose the right size and learn to read patterns correctly.
$45. class. $20-$40 materials to be purchased on Friday evening. Material list available at registration.


Sat. Oct. 16th 1-4pm


Part II will show participants how to finish their cardigan begun in Part I. Button bands and button holes, sewing seams and inserting sleeves will be covered.
NOTE: $30 for Part I particiants $45 for others.

2 dates for this very popular workshop.
Wed. Oct, 6th 6:30-8:30pm or Wed. Nov. 17th 6:30-8:30pm

Bring your finished sweater pieces and learn the best way to pick up stitches, sew seams and give your garment that professional finished look.
$25. Sign up early, space is limited.

Wed. Oct. 20th 6:30-8:30pm
Learn the techniques used to block knitted pieces and the best way to achieve a beautiful polished look to your project.
$15. Bring your knitted pieces for demonstration.

Sat. Oct. 30th, 1-4pm
This most basic of techniques for spinners is a great introduction for fibre-holics into the satisfactionof creating your own yarn. Surprisingly easy and fun.
$45 class $10 materials.

Wed. Nov. 3rd 6:30-8:30pm
Learn how to achieve beautiful colour work by stranding 2 yarns of different colours. THis class will include an introduction to "continental knitting" in order to achieve the two handed Fair Isle knitting method. Chart reading and finishing tricks will also be covered.
$30. class Material list available at registration

Sat. Nov. 6th 103pm

Those who are feeling uncertain about finding their way around the internet for knitting help will love the workshop introducing RAVELRY the site that has it all. Free Patterns, yarn descriptions, technical help, friends, informatio of all kinds.
$30. class No materials necessary.

Introducing the class for which we've had so many requests:
Part I Sat. Oct 23rd 1-4pm
Part II Sat Dec. 4th 1-4pm

In Part I you will learn the beginning skills of designing your own patterns by incorporating the beautiful stitches found on-line and in stitch dictionaries to create your own unique shawl or baby blanket. Basic knitting and pattern reading skills required.
$45. class Material costs will vary.

Part II will teach the basics of finishing your beautiful blanket so that it is equally appealing on the front and the back. Picking up and finishing from a provisional cast on will be covered as will working a crocheted edge.
$30 for Part I participants. $45 for others


Knitting Designers

So I've been really lazy with the blog this summer, having fun on a trip to the Maritimes and getting things organized for the fall.

When I was preparing the August Newsletter I was so impressed by the designs of Laura Chau, a wonderful knitwear designer from Toronto, and we're really pleased to feature some of her patterns in the store. They've been going well. Alana discovered this new pattern from Laura that's now available through Ravelry called Cityscapes.

Then I started thinking of some of the knitwear designers from the Kingston area who have had patterns published over the past couple of years and I spent spent some time browsing the Kingston Group of knitters on Ravelry and came up with these examples. Hope you like the line up (and this is just a few of the talented artists in our area).

Cathy Broughton's Diamond in the Rough

Deb White's Silk Bathrobe from the book: No Sheep For You

Maria Leigh's Picnic Cardigan

Robin Hunter's
Pinwheel Cardigan

And our latest addition to the group of Kingston-connected knitwear designers, Elizabeth McCarten will be featured in the next edition of the Twist Collective with this gorgeous men's zipped cardigan called Sandridge.
Link to her blog and you'll not only get the inspiration that contributed to the creation of this sweater but also see the cleverly reinvented version of it as a lady's coat with a flattering A line silhouette (also available on Ravelry).