Down to the Wire — in the best way!

I’m prepping up a storm right now, because I’m delighted to announce (belatedly!) that I will be a vendor at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show in (eeek) less than three weeks.

Find me at booth 23 with One Geek To Craft Them All!

I’ll have DPN cases and box bags:

Pile of fabric double pointed needle cases in several prints

Photograph of stacked box bags in a variety of fabrics

I’ll also have a lot of drawstring bags, which I’m still frantically sewing up:

Stack of drawstring bags inside out half-sewn with coral fabric and rotary cutter

Come by and say hi! And watch this space later this week for a very exciting announcement!

Label Review

Today’s blog post is a product review. Dutch Label Shop reached out to me some time ago and offered me the chance to try out their custom woven labels in exchange for a blog post, positive or negative: whatever I had to say, they wanted to know.

I’m delighted to be able to say that I really like these labels.

My previous solution for labels in bags was printable fabric. I’d print out a sheet (pictured below) and cut each label out with a rotary cutter and ruler, then iron them all in half. Definitely less expensive than buying labels, until you factor in time. And, honestly, I don’t think they look nearly as good.

Sheet of printable fabric with KnitSpinQuilt printed repeatedly

Dutch Label Shop worked with me to create custom text labels (they also do images, and stock labels) that suited my needs.

Two woven labels reading KnitSpinQuilt and giving the KSQ shop URL

These labels, which I had made to my desired size, are sturdy, look professional, and can be customized on both sides, which means I can have my shop URL on the tag, saving anyone who wants to look me up the step of googling my name.

The insides of the labels are clean with good floats, and I haven’t had trouble with fraying yet — and I’ve used nearly 250 of them so far.

Image of the inside of a woven fabric label

But of course, a label can look great on the table, and not look so good on a product. I needn’t have worried about that, either – the way these are made, I added a seam allowance to be sewn in, and I think they work really well.

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I think the legibility of the smaller text might be improved upon in future orders, but I also created labels that are a technical challenge for the weight of thread they weave with, so some of that difficulty is on my head.

The process of creating the labels was a cinch: I went to their site, customized what I wanted on a web form, and uploaded the images. Their customer service reps have been responsive, and I’ve been pleased.

I know some bloggers do sponsored posts without telling you they’re sponsored: I never have and never will. One of the things I was very up front about with Dutch Label Shop when they asked me to do this blog post in exchange for a coupon was the fact that if I didn’t like their product, I’d still blog about it, and speak my mind. They were fine with that — and it turns out they were right to have faith in their product.

If you’d like to try out Dutch Label Shop, I’m happy to be able to give you a referral code: knitspinquilt15, which will be good for 60 days from today.

Lady Astronaut-Inspired Bags!

One of my favorite authors, Mary Robinette Kowal, is releasing two lovely books in the Lady Astronaut of Mars universe: The Calculating Stars, and The Fated Sky.

I cannot wait to listen to the audiobooks of these books: Mary is an embarrassingly talented writer, and has been tweeting all kinds of amazing details about her research at NASA for the books.

So when I saw this fabric, I knew I had to make bags inspired by the books:

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These bags are available in my Etsy shop, and as always, 30% of the ticket price will be donated to the Hispanic Federation.

 

Puerto Rico & Hurricane Maria, 2017

I usually talk about crafting on this blog, but I thought it would be a good idea to talk about why I choose to donate 30% of my Etsy shop’s proceeds to charity — and why I’ve chosen the charity I’m currently donating to. (It’s the Hispanic Federation and specifically their Hurricane Maria disaster relief efforts.)

Many of you will remember Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, all of which hit in 2017. There was a huge push for recovery in the continental United States, but the damage from Maria, in September of 2017, was worst in Puerto Rico — which is part of the United States, albeit not a state. 

Now, nine months on, the recovery efforts are hobbled and struggling, federal funds aren’t being disbursed in a timely fashion, the estimated death toll of 4,600+ is more than double that of Hurricane Katrina, and Puerto Rico is still getting far less press attention and funding. 

So here’s some reading, in case you’re interested in what’s going on. 

The Guardian’s account of Hurricane Maria’s death toll and another article that details the fact that Puerto Rico is suing to get a more accurate death count — because the federal government is still insisting that only 64 people died, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. 

A bipartisan commission is being called for to investigate federal disaster preparedness in the case of Hurricane Maria.

Even FEMA’s own records tell a different story than what is being pushed by the federal government. NPR says that FEMA is blaming the storm, rather than it’s own lack of preparedness, despite an appalling lack of pre-storm prep.

I chose the Hispanic Federation as my charitable recipient this year because of its strong record in working closely with communities on the ground, its good charity navigator score, and the fact that it has a history of working in Puerto Rico, which means infrastructure already in place. 

Check out its work in Puerto Rico Disaster Relief here.

As always, I’m in graduate school, and I’m not stipended anymore. I literally can’t donate on my own, but I can turn my skill into money to donate, if you all help me out by shopping with me.  I know there are a lot of options out there for stitch markers and project bags: more every day, it seems like, and a lot of really awesome makers to be discovered. 

In case you’re wondering, I’ve done my first donations of the year through Network for Good — Google is matching donations to the Hispanic Federation right now at a 1-for-1 match. 

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That $500 that you all helped me donate so far this year will be matched, and will be $1000 donated in total, because Google is matching up to $2 million, and as of the time of this post they’re not there yet.

And as always, thank you all for helping me put my money where my mouth is. 

Summer Critters Update

Summer critters and news about Puerto Rico fundraising.

KnitSpinQuilt is celebrating the incipient summer of 2018 with woodland creatures! Hedgehogs and owls have simply stolen the show for this particular update.

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These prints — especially the hedgehogs — were really popular at the Moms and Makers Market on May 12 in NYC. If you’re a fan, check the shop out ASAP!

Each bag is fully lined with white Kona Cotton fabric, and each color of top is cut and sewn in batches of four (for the medium bags) or two (for the large bags). When each color of these bags is gone, it’s gone until the next batch is sewn up, so grab them before this shop update sells out!

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As always, 30% of the purchase price for everything you buy from KnitSpinQuilt is donated to the Hispanic Federation for Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts, which are still sorely needed even after all this time: The projected deadline for 100% restoration of power in Puerto Rico has passed, and restoration of power has really not been achieved.

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Celebrities such as Lin Manuel Miranda (author and star of Hamilton) have been championing this cause: I figure it’s the least I can do to donate a bit to the cause of helping people get their homes and everyday lives back. I’ll be posting an article about the situation in Puerto Rico later this week: keep your eyes peeled, because it’ll include other ways people can help out, as the next hurricane season approaches all too soon.

KnitSpinQuilt Update & News

Some news for you today.  First of all, there’s a shop update on Etsy!Goldfish dice bag

These goldfish bags are limited to only five more — ever! — so if you like them, snatch them up now!

I’ve been sewing up a storm, and here are some of the bags that are going out in the mail soon:

Three drawstring bags

Second of all, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be vending in person at FlameCon in Brooklyn this August!

FlameCon Logo

I’ll be spending a fair bit of time prepping items for that this summer, and there will be a couple of FlameCon exclusives that I’ll tease in late July / early August.

But don’t worry: I’ll also be stocking the shop more fully this summer than I have been for the last couple of months: turns out that working two jobs is less time-consuming than working four!