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Screen Printed Bags: Let’s Vote!

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a crafter cannot have enough project bags.

In a collaboration with WORK+SHELTER and Ink Whale Design, I’m screen printing project bags! When I was doing craft shows I screen printed The Sweatshop of Love project bags and t shirts and just had the best time, so when Theresa at WORK+SHELTER told me the shelter was able to source organic cotton to make tote bags at the shelter, I didn’t hesitate to put in an order.

I worked with Laura at Ink Whale Design, my friend and go to graphic designer, and Laura at DoogKnits, to create 8 designs. That’s where you come in! We’ll be printing 4 designs and we need your help picking out the best ones.

These bags are made of organic cotton and sewn at WORK+SHELTER, an ethical outsource and training women’s shelter. The bags are 15″ deep and 16″ wide, with 10″ handles and a 4″ bottom panel. Each bag will be $18, with $4 from each bag sale going back to WORK+SHELTER.

So let’s vote!

Hat Print

Hat Print

Holla Knits: Fall Layers

Holla Knits: Fall Layers

Sweater Unraveling

Sweater Unraveling

Yarn and Notions

Yarn and Notions

Yarn Ball

Yarn Ball

Yarn Cloud

Yarn Cloud

Yarn Print - Medium

Yarn Print – Medium

Yarn Print - Small

Yarn Print – Small


Vote for your favorite 2 bags and you can vote as many times as you’d like to before midnight on Thurs Feb 5th. May the best bag win!

Knitting, Crochet, and Embroidery Classes!

I haven’t organized my own class schedule in nearly 4 years. I got away from it because I moved to Minneapolis for a couple years and focused my attention on designing more, but now that I’m back in Chicago there is no reason not to get teaching again, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the swing of things.

I’m starting small, and with help. My friend and fellow designer Laura McDougal will be teaching Beginner Knitting and Next Step Knitting, while I’ll be taking Beginner Crochet and Beginner Embroidery. We’ll both be there to help with Group Knitting classes.

Laura McDougal has been a life-long crafty lady. She’s dabbled in everything from embroidery during her Girl Scout days to basket weaving as a summer camp counselor. Knitting has been her primary focus for the last 8 years. She’s learned a lot along the way and can’t wait to share it with you! You can follow her latest adventures at www.doogknits.com.

Each class will be maxing out at between 5-8 students except for Group Knitting which will be full at 10. All classes are held at Starbucks at Lincoln and Wilson unless otherwise noted. To sign up or to ask any questions please email allyson@thesweatshopoflove.com.

I’m so excited to get back to teaching! And we can’t wait to craft with you soon.

– Allyson & Laura

The Sweatshop of Love’s Winter Class Schedule

The Winter Class Schedule!

The Winter Class Schedule!

Beginner Knitting: Always wanted to learn to knit? This is the perfect time! It’s still cold so you can sit inside and practice your new skillz! This 2 hour class is a great intro to knitting. You’ll learn to knit and purl – the two stitches you’ll be using for all your new projects – to cast on (or start a project) and to bind off (to end a project). Class is taught by Laura. All class times are from 7-9pm and are $30, add materials for $10.

Thursday February 19th
Tuesday March 10th

Beginner Crochet: This is a great opportunity to learn the basics of crocheting! In this class we will learn to make a chain, single, half double, double, and treble crochet stitches, and, time permitting, how to crochet in the round. Class is taught by Allyson. Wednesday March 18th, 7-9pm – $30, add materials for $10.

Beginner Embroidery Project!

Beginner Embroidery Project!

Beginner Embroidery: Learn how to embroider in this fun beginner class! Even if you’ve never threaded a needle we’ll have you stitching up adorable designs in no time. Learn straight stitch, back stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisies, French knots, long and short stitch, and satin stitch – all you need to get stitching patterns and working on samplers. We’ll also talk about transferring patterns, different thread and hoop options, and finding awesome patterns to keep you stitching like crazy. Class is taught by Allyson. Thursday February 26th, 7-9pm – $40 including all materials.

Next Step Knitting: You can knit and you can purl, but how can you turn those two stitches into a project? Next Step Knitting will take you through how to increase and decrease stitches, preparing you to make anything from a hat to handwarmers! Bring that special project you’ve had your eye on and get started in style. Class is taught by Laura. Thursday, March 26 7-9pm – $30, add materials for $10.

Group Knitting: Come get help starting a project, finishing a project, picking a project, picking materials, or learning something new! Stuck on your project? Bring it in and we’ll help! Want to make a hat but can’t knit in the round? We’ll help you get started! Whatever you need we’re here to help. Knitting can also include crocheting and embroidery! Whatever you need help with. $15.

Sunday February 22nd, 10-12pm
Saturday March 14th, 10-12pm
Thursday March 26th, 7-9pm
Sunday April 12th, 10-12pm

One on One Classes: Is there something you are interested in knitting that you don’t see listed here? Pick a project or a new skill and email me to set up a one on one class! I generally schedule classes weekdays from 2-9pm and weekend days in two hour blocks between 9am-4pm. Send me a few dates and times that work for you and I will match our schedules, pick a time that works for both of us, and give you a class outline. One on one classes are $25 per hour; most classes are two hours long.

Sneak Peek: A New Hat Design!

I’m very excited to be releasing a new hat design next week!

New Hat!

New Hat!

I haven’t put out an independent design in a while, which is a dirty shame because I love being able to do my own thing at my own pace.

One Pattern Two Hats All Cute

One Pattern Two Hats All Cute

Scrounge up about 190 yards of your favorite worsted weight yarn and some size 9 needles because you’re going to want to cast on immediately! Look for the pattern next Thursday.

Holiday Round Up: IT Crowd Cross Stitch

WIP * WIP * WIP

WIP * WIP * WIP

I’m taking a quick break from a massive overhaul of TheSweatshopofLove.com which has been neglected since iWeb died. The biggest job which I’m putting off (duh) is building my own ecommerce site for my pattern sales. I’ll get to it!

Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?

Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?

It would be extremely useful to have my own IT department to do all this website building for me! Not to be confused with The IT Crowd, who would not be able to help me. I actually had to call bluehost tech support this morning and was actually a little disappointed he didn’t tell me to turn it off and on again.

SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I found the pattern at Wee Little Stitches. I used scrap floss that I had from my stash, and decided to go with more of a beige-y background color for the aida cloth, and I love how it looks!

This project was always going to be for PT since we watched a LOT of IT Crowd throughout our relationship, originally it was going to be for Christmas but it kind of rolled into his birthday present (sorry PT!), and I’m told it’s sitting on his desk at work as a talisman against computer issues.

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WIP: Hufflepuff Crest Cross Stitch

Hufflepuff!

Hufflepuff!

I got this fantastic Hufflepuff crest cross stitch pattern for Christmas/my birthday from Shane’s parents and I basically haven’t put it down since.

So Close!

So Close!

I ran out to get all the right colors right away and have been blowing through it. The pattern comes from the Etsy shop The World in Stitches, and she’s got all the houses and even kits! It’s pretty great.

I’ve gotten a lot of comments about my Hufflepuff-dome since starting this crest. I’ve been Hufflepuff since I got into Harry Potter when Order of the Phoenix came out in 2003, and 12 (whew) years latter I’m still a proud Hufflepuff. Every few years I take another quiz and it always comes out the same! I’m cool with it, and other closet Hufflepuffs should be, too!

From the Hufflepuff Harry Potter Wiki Page:

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil
—The Sorting Hat

“Hufflepuff is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its founder was the medieval witch Helga Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses; valuing hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members. The emblematic animal is a badger, and yellow and black are its colours. The Head of Hufflepuff is Pomona Sprout and the Fat Friar is the House’s patron ghost.

Hufflepuff corresponds roughly to the element of earth, and it is for that reason that the House colours were chosen: yellow represented wheat, while black was emblematic of soil. The Hufflepuff points hourglass contains yellow diamonds.”

Founded by a woman, all about hard work and loyalty, and respectful of nature and the earth. Also you get the Fat Friar as your patron ghost so we’re also super into food! What’s not to love?!

I’m sure I’ll have my crest finished and up in my house displayed proudly soon!