It started out a few months ago. To keep myself from going insane waiting for the VA to give me a final job offer (it took 3 months...), I decided to work on my knitting. I learned to knit in high school. I had a fabulous AP Eng/Lit teacher (Mrs. Miles!!) who told me I needed to learn to knit because I was too stressed out (true statement). I learned the basic knit stitch and made scarves galore. I tried to learn to purl but for whatever reason, just couldn't get it.
Fast forward 9 years and one day I opened the knitting book Mrs. Miles gave me and one my mom had bought me for Christmas years ago. I read through them, because yes, I read instruction manuals and books; you'd be surprised just how handy they are (and usually I was the one who would crack them open when trying to assemble something because my mom hates to read them)! I decided I would learn to purl because once you get the knit stitch and purl stitch, you can do anything. So reading the knitting books and watching a few YouTube videos later, I got it! Then I practiced a few different stitches and after a couple of days, decided I needed a real challenge. I was over scarves and wanted to make hats because it was starting to get chilly outside and who doesn't love a cute knitted hat? Well a few more knitting books later (first time knitting in the round!), many, many circular knitting needle purchases later, and the discovery of both Ravelry and a local yarn shop, and exploring Michael's and Jo-Anne's, I found a simple pattern, some yarn to match the gauge and made my first hat. And then another, and then decided to try cables.
I was hooked. Delighted!
Shortly after we moved to Spokane I met a new friend at church who conveniently lived only a couple of blocks down the street and who also had just moved to the area. We became fast friends. Tilly is very talented with graphic arts and design. One day she told me about a pop up shop she did with a friend in Utah last year and said we should do one. I think we were both joking when we said we should. But then we kept talking about it and then one day decided to just do it. Actually, I believe the original motivation for the shop was for my "schnauzer fund" because I was telling her how much I wanted a schnauzer puppy and maybe if I could earn some money, Mark would let me get one. We decided I would sell hats, Tilly would sells cards, and we would also sell some fun holiday gourmet cookies. We set a date, set up a timeline, discussed our products/decorations/location/time/prices and off we went. For two months I knit my fingers off (I have a callus on my left pointer finger) and we had weekly "business meetings" to discuss our progress, how we would advertise, packaging, quantity, etc. It was fun. I don't consider myself business-minded, in fact that kind of stuff always bored the tar out of me during college, but I was having a blast. Plus it gave me something to do and something to look forward to.
Well the day, Friday, Dec 5th, finally arrived. We made all of our deadlines and were pretty impressed with ourselves. It was a lot of work. I did business projects in high school and college but had forgotten all of the small things that come up. But I am pleased to give a little shout out to all my dietetic foodservice classes and rotations because doing the prices, correctly increasing recipes, and making shopping lists all on a budget was a piece of cake. I ended making about 28 adult hats and 4 baby/toddler hats (threw those in for fun) and Tilly had a really cool selection of holiday cards and recipe cards. We made 5 different kinds of cookies: giant chocolate peanut butter cookies, chocolate peppermint wafers, raspberry almond thumbprints, gingersnaps, and black and white cookies.
Homemade Christmas bags!
Overall, it was really fun. Our biggest challenge was advertising it. We're both new to the area so our network of friends isn't very large. We did advertise with flyers and such but there are so many stipulations these days: is it a fundraiser? For profit? Donation? Religiously affiliated? Politically affiliated? We couldn't hang a flyer at the local library! Seriously? If we do it again next year, hopefully we'll know more people and we agreed that we need to improve our advertising. Our next challenge was predicting how much to make of everything since we weren't sure how many people would come. We had TONS of left over cookies so we'll be giving those away, thank goodness for the holiday season! Would I do it again? Absolutely. Plus, if we did it next year, we'd have a whole year to plan instead of a couple of months.
Now, I have quite a few hats left. If you are interested in any, send me an e-mail at frecklesknits at gmail. They are $25 each for an adult hat (includes $5 shipping) and $10 each for a baby hat (includes $5 shipping). If you buy more than one hat, you will only have one $5 shipping charge!
First come, first serve basis! I can add pom poms to any of the hats that do not have one. The adult hats are generally made for one size fits all.
I do accept personalized orders! I'm working on some headbands, baby hats, and personalized hat orders now.
Made to fit a toddler (1yr+) and does stretch
Made for a newborn or premie
Etsy shop in the works! (Eeeek!)
P.S. Check out Tilly's online shop NOW OPEN!!!!