Knitcircus Yarns is bursting at the seams! When I began dyeing yarn in my basement three years ago, I knew I loved gradient self-striping yarns, but didn't know how much everyone else loved them, too!
Thanks to the support of our wonderful customers, Knitcircus Yarns has grown into a bona fide business putting food on the tables of six employees.
When I began dyeing, options for self-striping yarns were extremely limited, and I passionately pursued techniques for a continuous gradient (no knots) in new color palettes. After a number of trials and errors, I figured out how to make Knitcircus gradients a soft, Merino-wool-based reality (in 84 gradient colors and counting....). Every day, I can't wait to dye yarn and see the color saturate the fibers, tweaking each gradient recipe until the colors balance just right.
Soon, the lovely and competent Amy J joined me to help skein and cake the yarns. Response from our fabulous customers continued and we've been able to add colorways, clubs and new dyeing techniques.
We created Matching Socks Sets, breaking a 100g ball into two separate cakes, with gradients dyed to match every stitch exactly between the two socks. The company grew to four people and we expanded our custom order cababilities.
Last fall, we perfected a dyeing technique unique to Knitcircus: Gradient Stripes socks sets! Gradient Stripes knit up in short one-to-three row stripes which change color without repeating from cuff to toe. Unlike most handpainted sock yarns, these do not cycle through colors multiple times.
An Over the Rainbow Gradient Stripes cake begins with yellow-and-orange stripes, then orange-and-red stripes, red-and-purple stripes, purple-and-blue stripes finishing with blue-and green stripes. When people see the socks, they think you have to alternate two yarn colors, but the truth is, you just knit along merrily in Stockinette stitch and the yarn does the work for you!
Once we started offering Gradient Stripes Socks, orders went through the roof, leading to our busiest holiday season ever, and we've expanded into wholesale at a few select stores. Believe it or not, I've been running the operation out of my home this whole time, with six workers at Knitcircus Yarns now!
The talented and dedicated Knicircus staff proved flexible, but sometimes the Circus feels more like a Zoo. With our cats, small fluffy dog, kids shooting baskets and drinking juice boxes, and me switching into Mom Mode as soon as 3:00 hits, it's tricky to work here. School-day constraints make it hard for my staff to put in the hours they need and finish orders for our generally very kind and patient customers. It's an understatement to say we've outgrown the space (plus, I think my family wants their house back).
It's time to move our kit and caboodle to a nearby professional space that allows us room and time to produce more yarn faster AND bring in the community for shopping, classes, retreats and events. Instead of just Knitcircus Yarns, we'll be Knitcircus Studio!
The Evergreen Building space includes a retail area for Knitcircus Yarns and the opportunity to host pop-up shops by local craft-based businesses. We'll have not one, but two classrooms for hosting retreats and classes by the likes of Amy Detjen, Susan B. Anderson and more local luminaries.
As it happens, Amy Detjen, nationally-known knitting teacher and author, and my Knitcircus Podcast co-host, has joined Knitcircus as our Marketing and Technology manager! Her deep knowledge of knitting techniques and ability to communicate them in an engaging way makes her a sought-after teacher at events like Vogue Knitting Live. The Knitcircus Studio will give local students a chance to spend time with Amy and other tri-state knitting and crochet experts (Madison has the largest Knitting Guild in the country and a surprising number of knitting professionals).
We'll host tours and day-long retreats for Knitting/Crochet Guilds, and events like holiday Craft Fairs, charity open houses and craft book signings. Related sewing, beading, writing, papermaking, felting and other classes will be offered, too.
Most importantly, the new space will allow us to GET YARN OUT FASTER! With the possibility for working late afternoons, evenings and weekends, our staff can have more flexible hours. With improved facilities and workflow, we'll dye and ship your yarn more quickly.
This Kickstarter community is essential to this huge step, covering the first few months' rent while we're getting everything moved. The studio needs one-time upgrades like more electrical, a new stove, adding plumbing, ventilation and a new utility sink...not glamorous, but necessary. We're counting on you to make this move happen!
If you make the campaign wildly successful, we'll be able to purchase tables and chairs for the classrooms, comfy chairs and display shelves for the store, better ball-winding equipment, industrial-strength drying racks, a computer that doesn't shut off at its own convenience, storage shelves, more yarn-on-cones to dye and packaging and shipping supplies. Oh, and Amy wants some white boards...
Thank you in advance for all of your generosity. We've gotten this far with the knitting community's support and we hope you'll work with us on a studio that can start giving back!
More special rewards are coming! We'll unlock more exclusive prizes as the project moves along.
Would you like more than one reward? No problem! Select one of the rewards first, and then add up the total amount of all the rewards you'd like and enter that as the total amount you're going to pledge. Then come back to this page and click the "Contact Me" button under the "Back this Project" button on the top right side of the page and let us know which combination of rewards you'd like. After we receive your message we'll send you a confirmation and you're all set!
The Juniper Lemon Shawl is one of my most popular shawl patterns, and we've re-formatted it with all new photos! You'll receive a digital download just in time for summer knitting.
GRAND CANYON SHAWL
Our new address will be on Grand Canyon Drive, so I took inspiration from the majestic rock formations, river, clouds and sky for this crescent one-skein shawl. Nobody but our Kickstarter backers get to knit with this exclusive pattern! We'll reveal the photo a week from our kickoff date.
Special stitch markers! Handmade by the Knitcircus crew, these beaded stitch markers are snagless rings with securely-fastened beads. They'll be available just for Kickstarter backers in the exclusive Grand Canyon colorway.
Our most popular yarns! You have a chance to knit with some of our continuous, self-striping gradients in the colors our customers love best. These also come with the exclusive Grand Canyon Shawl pattern.
Inspired by out new address, the Evergreen Building on Grand Canyon Drive, we're offering exclusive kettle dyes, speckle dyes and gradients only for our Kickstarter backers! Watch for new photos every day for the first six days of the project.
Not a knitter? We can knit things for you! Choose the rewards for knitted socks or scarves if you want to participate and get nice things without lifting a knitting needle. We'll make the socks to your specification so they fit perfectly.
Visit us in the Studio! If you're within driving distance of the new building in Madison, Wisconsin, join us for a special studio tour with other backers, a family-style lunch with the Knitcircus Crew, or special classes with Amy or Jaala.
Available anywhere in the world! If you're a knitter, you can choose any technique you'd like and Amy Detjen will make a special how-to video dedicated to you. Or, if you like cute things, our mascot Sasha will perform a trick on camera just for you!
Risks and challenges
We're waiting for our landlord to put a bathroom, extra electric and additional plumbing into the space, and that could take longer than anticipated. If additional permits are needed, we will have to accommodate those changes or additions to the building.
Sometimes it happens that our suppliers run out of or discontinue the yarn bases we use. If this happens, we'll send out a survey to anyone affected and suggest a different yarn base so we can complete the rewards.
If need be, we can stay in the house until everything is ready at the studio. The funds will still allow us to invest in equipment, undyed yarn and computers to help our work go faster while we're waiting.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)