BeerSox Production News! April 17, 2012

For those of you who have seen me anytime in the last 6 months, you have probably heard me talk about expanding production of BeerSox to Peru. It took a fair amount of networking and a fair amount of cold calling/emailing people who I have never met and have some amount of language barrier.

You see, mass production of hand-dyed and hand-knit BeerSox in the US was just plain cost prohibitive. I believe in paying craftsmen fairly and fully. American labor is expensive, and the expertise of hand-knitting is not necessarily culturally pervasive here (though I’m doing my part to spread the love of the craft).

I have always loved knitting my BeerSox and loved moving it to a new level by devising my own hand-dyed colorways. I needed to find a location where hand knitting was a cultural craft and that I felt I could make a difference by commissioning production. Peru came up when I was brainstorming with my father. I mentioned it as a joke, and then, after some careful research, I realized it was a feasible plan based on standard of living and prevalence of expertise. The networking began and soon enough, I was working on making a trip down to Lima for work and reserving a couple hours each evening to meet with various materials and knitting manufacturers. The work part of the trip was intense, 12 hours each day fully focused in class then rushing off in taxis to take care of The Caged Yarn work in the evening. It was a whirlwind adventure and left me with a connection to a wonderful knitting company in Lima. For a large manufacturer to take the time to sit down with me, realize that my scope is small (but growing) and be excited about my product and working with me was just incredible. I left feeling very good about the company’s relationship with their employees, and their excitement and willingness to work with my “baby company” to help me grow into an “adult company” eventually.

After 6 months trying to work out the yarn production and dyeing details, I realized that I would not be able to start small there. With minimum single-color lots of 20kg (about 2,000 BeerSox), I would not be able to do the brewery, company, and organization specific custom runs I was focused on. So I cut it out. I found a US wool mill who was able to send me samples and last night chose and ordered the base yarn for BeerSox. I will be dyeing the yarn myself to send down to get knit in Peru. Dyeing the yarn myself opens up so many possibilities. Smaller colorway lot sizes. I can test dye and knit samples of custom colorways before sending the yarn down to be knit, so the development of custom colorways is more transparent.

So we come down to making the first batch.

Do you want to be in the foundation group of companies and organizations with custom BeerSox or VinoSox?
-The minimum lot size will be 100 for a 2-3 color colorway (after the foundation run, min lot size will be 250)
-Labels can be made with your logo on the small tag in place of The Caged Yarn logo, or as a separate label to be applied alongside it. Small, simple logos work best to not overwhelm the BeerSox or interfere with its natural elasticity. Think twitter avatar size.
-Contact me for wholesale/bulk pricing
-Bulk orders will operate on a half down/half at receipt payment plan
-Retail price will be $20/BeerSox or VinoSox

Please note: TAT will be rather elastic in this first run as we work out the kinks in the import/export process, which is why I’ve lowered the minimums to accommodate a smaller risk/investment. I do not anticipate TAT longer than 3 months.

Either email katie (at) or use the Contact Form to get in touch with me!

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Babar April 8, 2012

So my nephew turned 4 this past weekend & I spent the whole Easter weekend with my brothers, sisters and parents knitting this lovely pachyderm which I edited to fit fingering weight yarn and to be mostly knit in the round.

The knitting pattern is from Woman’s Day and it’s free!




The crown was a last minute affair. I was staying at my parents’ house, so I didm’t have access to my yarn & fabric stash where I had yellow trimmings. I knew just what series of picot triangles needed to be made to knit the crown, so I knit it in the same Madeline Tosh Sock yarn in Tern (I believe) that I used for the rest of Babar. My original plan was to dye the crown over with yellow food coloring, but it came out too muddy. I ended up bleaching it, then dyeing it with food coloring, since it was small & would most likely never really be washed.

Sure, he’s a bit lopsided, but so am I. And sure, his crown is set a-kilter, but I think any modern-day Babar would be.

Good points to the short adoption by my nephew is first introducing him to the Babar books, then taking him to the zoo to see live elephants the next day and talking about them for the next couple days before he got my hand-knit plush toy. Indoctrination is 3/4 of toy appreciation. Plus, he kept “discovering” the partially made parts throughout the weekend and playing with the parts excitedly each time. Ie playing with a partially stuffed torso with no head, arms, or legs at times.

He’s a pretty special 4 year old.

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FO: An Aunt’s Shawl II March 2, 2012

I had two of my aunts request shawls from me at my brother’s wedding in October. Shortly afterward, I took my trip to Peru where I bought some absolutely gorgeous yarn!

I got started on the first of the two shawls, improvising a zig zag pattern and just loved the final result!

It took me a bit of time to get back to knitting the second one. I had BeerSox orders to fill and knit myself a shawl at the beginning of the year.

At long last, the second Aunts Shawl is blocked and finished!




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Finished object: Shifting Stripes Shawl February 2, 2012

It has been a while since I had a good finished object post. After the ramp up to the holidays and lots of deadline client knitting, I decided to take a break and knit some things that were not BeerSox.

I love knitting them and seeing them find their places in the world, but I do love knitting other things like shawls and baby blankets.

So Christmas week, I took on two such projects. The first is a Shifting Stripes Shawl in the Pegasus & North Woods colorway. I loved it so much when I finished it that I decided to keep it. Plus Pegasus is no longer in production.

Here are a few progress and complete shots of it!





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An Aunts’ Shawl December 1, 2011

So a couple months ago, I received requests from two of my aunts for shawls that were light turquoise/green. I told them that the shawls would probably end up being backburner projects and they’d take a long time to finish. But I’ve finished the first of two!

I went on my trip to Peru just after the requests and I kept my eye out for appropriately shaded yarn. I picked out these two lovelies. One in and alpaca and silk blend, the other in alpaca and space dyed.



I held them together to give it some variation in shade, while maintaining a constant color as well. I made a couple of swatches.


I decided that a combination of garter stitch and random zig zags would work. I didn’t necessarily want the zig zags to be all exactly the same length, but have the same width.

And so I knit.
And Myks (who is sadly missing) helped.



And I finished just after Thanksgiving weekend which I dedicated to shawl knitting. I blocked! Don’t you love the transformation that blocking performs on a rumply just-knit lacework piece?





The second will be similar, but not exact.

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Weekend recap November 9, 2011

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to have a booth at the Houston AIGA Ctrl+Art+Delete.

It was a gorgeous day and I had a great assortment of shawls to sell.

I’ll let the shots of my booth setup and transport to speak for themselves.





And my neighbors mccheeks mayhem and orange is the sun



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Peruvian Adventure! Dos October 25, 2011

I had the opportunity to meet with a representative from Michell while in Peru. I walked in to the shop and was immediately in a land of a knitter’s dream.

Walls of cones of Alpaca!





Some of which I had to have because Alpaca in the states doesn’t come cheap. And when you’re in the Alpaca nation, you stock up.



I ended up ordering and getting delivered almost 8 kg of alpaca and baby alpaca and baby alpaca/silk yarn in lace, fingering, and DK weights.

I’m already planning a shawl for my aunts which they ordered at my brothers wedding.



I’ve been looking for ways to expand my BeerSox production because I am limited in my capacity for large orders. So I also met with a couple reps from handknitting companies, but I’m still gathering information, so I won’t tell you too much about it except that it’s promising and exciting!

I’ll leave you with the newest shifting stripes shawl in a rather fun and bold colorway. Still a work in progress with a goal! I’ll have a booth at the AIGA Ctrl + Art + Create event on Saturday, November 5, 10am-2pm. Come by the Heights Theater on 19th street and support your local arts!


PS registration for my November-December knitting course is open! Register Here

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Peruvian Adventure! Uno October 24, 2011

Did you miss me?

I totally missed writing posts. But I had zero free time while on my trip, and multi tasking time was low.


From 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, I was in a project management course for my work. Yarn stores in Lima are few, you can find mostly knitted, crochet, and woven accessories rather than yarn. But I was undaunted and I had done my research.

So let’s start at the very beginning. I packed and brought samples and projects enough for the week.

On the plane, I finished a seed stitch shawl. However, I made the mistake of starting the shawl with the color that had less yarn. This means that I ran out of yarn halfway through the bind off.


But it’s okay, I had the second color to bind off with to meet in the center.


And I had this tiny amount left of Socks that Rock lightweight yarn. I completed two seed stitch shawls with two skeins of yarn. Talk about waste not want not!


I also finished the LSU BeerSox


On Sunday, I went tooting around town with the brother of one of my dad’s friends. We had amazing ceviche at a restaurant right at the beach!




We also went searching for yarn, but, alas came back empty handed.

Later that night, I went to dinner with a woman who designs carpets and rugs. The restaurant was right up onthe edge of the cliffs at the oceanfront.


I’ll continue the adventure soon!

Don’t forget, registration for my knitting course is still open! register here

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Categories: Yarn love!

Wedding sweater update! September 23, 2011

Just thought I’d post an update on the wedding sweater. I hated how the as written border was turning out on the sweater. I tested a number of borders and decided on this simple leaf border. It undulates, it’s organic, and it’s the right thickness.

I have to finish the border and the sleeves this weekend so I can have it nice and blocked by the time I leave for the wedding!


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Wedding Knitting September 9, 2011

My brother is getting married to his wonderful fiancĂ©e in a scant few weeks. The wedding dress has arroved and I’ve started on a shrug for her to wear if there’s a nip in the air in Boulder at the beginning of October.

Most people don’t have the opportunity to get to know a future sibling-in-law quite as well as I have gotten to know Jehnna in the past four months. We all live together in my little home. She works at a salon in the neighborhood and I get my hair done by her. She does an excellent job of bringing the blonde out in me without the big brass band! If you’re in Houston, you should really check her out, she’s at David, Etc. in the Heights.

Anyways, back to the jacket! I had acquired some gorgeous natural alpaca off of Destash for Cash and hadn’t used it. It’s the perfect creamy color for the wedding while still being chunky enough to be a bit unrefined. The wedding is simple, natural, and has a lot of slightly rustic, slightly vintage charm to it. Old windows and frames, empty bottles, and natural flora.

I ran through a few ideas with her as to the shape she’d like and then I perused the knitting mags I had lying around. I wanted a pattern that had lace in it, but could be upscaled for the yarn. It’s about a DK weight.

I found a pattern for a lace jacket in Vogue Knitting Fall 2010. It’s got a great motif and I’m looking forward to adapting it further. My only concern is if I’ve made the armholes too small.

Anywho. This is where it stands now.


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