Author Archives: craftcafedfw

About craftcafedfw

Ashley is an elementary school teacher in the Fort Worth area who has a vision and mission to bring community members together in the name of arts, crafts, and the greater good. I am in the process of building up the name of Craft Cafe as not only a place where crafters meet to enjoy themselves as they work, but as a community outreach movement to improve the lives of others, namely children, in a variety of ways. Although the idea for Craft Cafe is as new as a spring chick, Ashley is deeply committed to the mission of providing enriching opportunities for children and adults through the arts, crafting, education, and the environment.

Dec 14th: White Rock Local Market at The Green Spot, Dallas, TX

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Mark your calendars for Dec 14th from 8-2pm at The Green Spot in Dallas. The market planned for Lakeside Baptist Church on the 7th had to be pushed back due to the Icepocolypse in DFW!

KKBB and Dye2Spin will be there for our last show of the season. Bring your 2013 Repeat Customer Card for 15% off your entire order.

See you there!

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Your Boot Cuffs will Dazzle with Dye2Spin’s “Cosmic Rainbow”

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Your Boot Cuffs will Dazzle with Dye2Spin’s “Cosmic Rainbow”

Have a skein of Dye2Spin’s Cosmic Rainbow yarn just laying about, all alone and looking for the perfect project? Well, here’s an idea to get you jump started into your next winter weather quick-knit … Boot Cuffs!

I knit these for a co-worker of mine who I know will start wearing them right away. I chose the BFL fiber base for the boot cuffs because it was a little more hearty than a merino yarn. Since she ordered boot cuffs, I wanted to have strength and durability over softness. Don’t get me wrong, BFL is plenty soft, I just wanted to avoid the merino for this project.

As I share this pattern with you, please understand that I am not a pattern designer or writer and I really have no idea about all the info I’m supposed to include or the proper order in which to present it. So, I’ll just write it out the way I think it should be. Any questions, please leave a comment below so others may see.

Simple Boot Cuff Pattern
Level of Difficulty – Intermediate, you must know basic knit and purl sts plus knitting in the round

Yarn: 1 skein 100% BFL Aran weight in Cosmic Rainbow, 183 yards by Dye2Spin
One skein of acrylic/wool blend black yarn (I used a yarn that was considered a “single.” In other words, it was smooth and did not have several strands twisted, or plied, together.)

Needles: 4 US 10 dpns (I prefer bamboo.)

Boot cuffs fit adult size Medium to Large. Pattern can be modified for larger or smaller sizes by either adding four stitches or deleting four stitches from the number you cast on.

Cable Cast On 16 sts on each of three dpns, add an additional stitch on the third needle, 49 sts (16, 16, 17).

Turn your needles to where the tail is in your left hand needle and working yarn is on the right hand needle, being careful not to twist. Needle two is at the bottom of the triangle, like so:

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Row 1: With the fourth needle, insert into first st on left hand needle and K2, P2 until last st of needle 3, transfer last st onto left hand needle. (This helps to have a stronger join.)

Row 2: PM (place marker on right hand needle to mark the beginning of each row), K2tog, K1, P2, *K2, P2* repeat rib patt to end.
Rows 3-13: K2, P2 rib
Rows 14-26: K all sts in every row for stockinette st.
Rows 27-39: Revert back to K2, P2 rib
Cast off knitting the knits and purling the purls.

Viola!!!!! You have some rockin’ new boot cuffs! And you will have the pleasure of bragging to all who ask, “Where did you get those?” that you made them yourself! 🙂

Holiday Etsy Fort Worth Team Sale!

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Staring today, November 30th, you can shop various Etsy Fort Worth shops for our Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday sale! This sale ends on midnight of Dec 2nd, so get it while the gettin’ is good.

Visit Dye2Spin (www.dye2spin.etsy.com) for a Buy 4, Get 1 FREE sale! Just use coupon code: EFWHolidays before checkout to receive your discount. More details are on the website.

Looking for other great handmade products from EFW members? Check out our website http://www.etsyfortworth.com for a complete list of participating shops.

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What to do with your knitting samples or swatches.

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Dye2Spin: Your Stash Supplier

I don’t typically make swatches or samples. I dive right in and try to ignore mistakes as I make them. But, that’s the story with handmade, its the personalization that makes the product great!
Today I’m going to share just a quick tip with you about what to do with all those swatches and samples. Instead of keeping one (unfinished) fingerless mitten in a drawer, or swatches of yarn that you KNOW you’ll never need to measure again, use them to clean your house! That’s right, clean your house with them. Perhaps you could keep a 100% wool yarn swatch near your computer to clean your screen. You could put on one of those acrylic mittens to dust your mini-blinds. You could even use left over yarn scraps to make the center of your next dryer ball project.

Whatever you do, don’t throw them away!  You could use that wonderful wool in more…

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Dye2Spin Podcasts and Limited Release Sock Yarn

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Dye2Spin: Your Stash Supplier

Check out the latest podcast interviews from TapGurl on the Go and The High Fiber Diet featuring Dye2Spin!!!  Both interviews were done on the same day but there were different perspectives and questions in each.

My first interview of the day was with KaRi from The High Fiber Diet.  She is the chairwoman of the fiber retreat, Knittin’ in the Mitten happening in Michigan, Nov. 7-10, 2013.  KaRi and I spoke about my environmentally friendly practices, where I get my inspiration, and how Dye2Spin is doing these days.  If you plan on attending Knittin’ in the Mitten, go home with some Dye2Spin goodies and be sure to make yourself some cute hexipuffs!

My second interview was with Carmen of TapGurl on the Go.  She is in my area so I got to do a face-to-face interview with her.  Carmen was one of my very first yarn customers at the Cowtown Indie Bazaar back in March ’11.  She…

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Vote for Dye2Spin with Six Clicks every Day!

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I ain’t too proud to beg!! PUH-LEEEEZ Vote for my yarn business, Dye2Spin! http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/79770

You have the chance to vote six times per day. Each of you can make a huge difference in the number of votes I get, especially if you return and vote every day and tell your friends!

I’m so excited about this opportunity for my business that I’m running a promotion right now: 20% off your entire purchase with the coupon code: SIXCLIX

Please take advantage of this discount! They don’t come around often!

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Dye2Spin: Your Stash Supplier

1000X200 Dye2Spin banner

I was telling one of my co-workers today, “I think this is THE most well-deserved Spring Break I’ve had in my nine years of teaching public school.”  She looked at me and nodded, agreeing that she felt the same.  What a year it’s been!

So I’m diving into my Dye2Spin production studio (i.e. the kitchen) over the next week while I have nowhere to be but home.  More Captain Jack, Midnight Rider, and Lovebird skeins will enter the world.  Shortly after, those products will be available on this very website for viewing and purchasing.

I’m almost tempted to go visit the Shabby Sheep in Dallas to check on my hand-dyed spinning fibers and Bulky Merino skeins that are currently sitting on the shelves, waiting for lovely creatives to adopt them, love them, hug them a bit, and turn them into what they were always meant to be.  Would that make me…

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Part I: Purple Cow Book Talk

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This discussion basically covers the beginning of the book through page 53.  Please feel free to join our talk, even if you haven’t read the book.  These questions could prompt any of our marketing or business-minded friends to give valuable insights.

I’ve jotted down notes as I read through Purple Cow.  Feel free to answer any or all of these questions.  Please copy and paste the question into your Comment so others understand the question to which you are referring.

You may have your own questions or intriguing thoughts; awesome!  Please post your questions or thoughts so others can comment on them as well.

Overall Impression, Questions, and Thoughts on this Section

Remarkable marketing starts with a remarkable product or service, not vice versa.  So, how is your product remarkable or how could you make it more so?  How does it stand out among the competition?  Does this have to do with the story behind you or your product/service (because your story is more important to your customers, brand, and marketing than you think).

Page 4 – The postconsumer consumer reminded me immediately of selling online, particularly on Etsy.  Just when a person thinks they might be the only one doing (fill in the blank) you find someone else who is.

Page 7 – What “good stuff” happens when you create your product or apply your service?  How is your product/service uniquely yours?

Page 13 – “Most people can’t buy your product. They either don’t have the money, they don’t have the time, or they don’t want it.”  Ouch!  What a low blow!  But, this doesn’t mean we’re all doomed, this means we have to be incredibly special to our most important word-of-mouth-marketer-customers so they can do the most convincing and effective marketing work for us.

Page 14 – Don’t go down on your prices!!!!  If anything, go up!  “…if a company came up with a really neat innovation…we’d find a way to pay for it.”

Page 21 – “The new rule is: Create Remarkable Products that the Right People Seek Out.”  So often, I think to myself, “How can I sell to EVERYBODY?”  But, after reading this first section, that’s not good business practice.  The right customers will come back time and again, no matter if I offer free shipping or not.

Page 22 – Who are your Early Adopters?  These are the folks who will sell your product for you to their friends and family members.  And, I thought, a big part of their sales pitch about your product, will include your story.

Page 30 – “…it’s safer to be risky” in the creation of your product/service.  “…create things worth talking about.”  How do you do this in your business?  What could you possibly do differently?  Remember, train your brain to focus on your early adopters as your main clientele, not everyone.

Page 34 – “…make profits and reinvest them in something new.”  Reminds me of how Madonna and David Bowie are constantly in a state of re-invention and putting out something different, new, unfamiliar but familiar.  They usually look different with every new album.  How can you put this principle into your business?

Page 38 – Does your product or service offer convenience?  If your first inclination is to answer “no,” how can you make that into a “yes?”

Page 40 – “How smooth and easy is it to spread your idea” or product?  Have you put your top-selling product through this analysis?  If so, what did you find out about it?

Page 47 – “Why aren’t you cheating?”  Well… its unfair!  So, what unspoken rules are you abiding by in business that can be stretched, molded, broken, or just plain done away with?  And I’m not talking about moral codes or tax laws, but just “rules of business” that you think you must follow.

This was one of the parts of this section of the book that stood out to me the most: “The influential sneezers, the people with a problem to solve – they’re open to hearing your story only if it’s truly remarkable; otherwise, you’re invisible.” How did this statement affect you or make you reflect on your current marketing plan (and we all have one, it doesn’t have to be written out)?