Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Addicted to Kickstarter!

Ever since I pledged my first project on Kickstarter to help The Wool Dispensary get started, I've been hungry to find and fund more interesting projects via the site. Late last year, my band successfully raised funds to release the first two 7" vinyl singles in a 4-single series, so I know how hard people have to work to meet their funding goals - it's definitely not easy!

Last year, I funded a project by my poster-making friends Nick and Nadine of Sonnenzimmer to help them create and print a book of their work. It just arrived in the mail at the beginning of this month; it's so exciting to physically hold the finished product in your hands and know that you played a small part in that object becoming a reality. Last year, I also funded a local brewing start-up (which culminated in a beertastic brewery tour right before Christmas), a graphic novel called the Intrepid Girlbot, and a gorgeous quarterly magazine for crafty folk by Susan Gibbs and Jeannie Bloch called By Hand

I swear I'm not saying all of this to brag on myself, but merely so you can see the wide range of projects that are on Kickstarter! I know there has been some negative press surrounding projects that meet funding and fail to produce the thing they are raising funds for, but so far I have been lucky in that every project I've pledged has a) reached their funding goal b) fulfilled their rewards and c) successfully completed their project or launched their company. 

So I am very excited to share the three projects I have pledged my support to this month - I hope you'll consider making a pledge! 

1. 18th Street Brewery (Funding closes February 4)

I found out about this project while touring the Begyle brewery here in town last month. They still have a ways to go to reach their goal, but I hope they make it, since this will be the first Brewery to call Gary, IN home. Even though I'll probably never make it down to that neck of the woods, it sounds like they'll be making some really stellar beers. There's only one way to find out, though!

2. Handspun Single Sheep Breed Yarns (Funding closes February 10)

I randomly came across this project yesterday when searching for other knitting- and crochet-related projects to fund. Naturally, I found it intriguing: luxury hand spun yarns from single-breed fibers? Count me in! The rewards options are really awesome; for $15, I'll be receiving a 2 oz. skein of 100% Shetland handspun yarn. There are tons more options, too - some of the sampler packs were mighty tempting. Aside from the great rewards, there aren't many breed-specific yarns out there outside of the typical Merino & BFL fare. While I love both of those breeds dearly, I think it's great that other breeds will be made available to those who don't spin (though I highly recommend giving spinning a try!).

3. Straker Classics Online Catalogue (Funding closes February 28)

My company (The Wool Wide Web) has been working with Penny Straker, who has been a knitwear designer since the 1960's, to update her website and preserve this piece of knitting history. The next phase of our efforts involve the digitizing of her patterns to make them available as PDF's for sale online. These patterns are unique because they are well-written, straightforward, and accurate. No shortcuts to save space here! Additionally, they are written for weights of yarn, not specific brand names, so any appropriate yarn that tests to required gauge can be used in the project. I've long been a collector of vintage knitting patterns (which are often very poorly written), so these patterns are the best of both worlds - vintage designs to knit with modern yarns! 

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