The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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July, 2010

Ebook and Pattern Sales Report (But Fun!)

(Yikes. What a title. The (But Fun!) I threw in there doesn’t even really jazz it up. An exclamation point just looked stupid. No one would exclaim after saying that.)

I’m Michigan bound today! My Amtrak (kill me) to Holland leaves at 5:20 and I’ll be rolling in around 9:30pm. My mom called me yesterday to alert me that Edy’s is having a huge sale and to ask what flavors of ice cream she should pick up.

So yes, it’s going to be an awesome stay in the mitt.

I’ve been chatting to you lately about my pretty minimalist lifestyle – my spending less lets you live happily making less philosophy –  so I wanted to break down my pattern sales for those of you who might be curious about it. I know I was before I started trying to sell my patterns!

I went into producing this ebook with no expectations whatsoever. I know The Sweatshop will not make me a millionaire and I don’t want it to. I love it and it’s a bonus that I’m starting to be able to live off my work. This was my first try, my first try of many!, and the more patterns I write the more people I reach the more money I make from doing what I love. At least that is the plan.

So! The Summer Tour of Knitting Patterns Ebook went on pre-sale May 31st to a select group of my long term knitting students and supporters for a discounted rate of $12. Then it went public on June 1st for $18. On July 1st I released the patterns individually and their cost ranged from $2-5.50.

After two months of availability, here are my sales numbers:

Ebook Pre-Sale = 15 copies at $12 = $180

Ebook Sales at Full Price = 11 copies at $18 = $198

Individual Sales = $49.50

Individual Sales includes 6 copies of the Twin Cities Headband, 4 copies of Baby Sweater Buffet, 1 copy of Caitlin’s Cardi, 1 copy of Traverse City Tube Top, and 1 copy of The Loop Entrelac Tank.

I’ve made $437.50 on this project, and counting. I would absolutely call that a success!

Larger successes:

1. There has only been one mistake found and reported back to me and it wasn’t even an error in a pattern portion of the ebook.

2. Knitters that I don’t know are out there knitting what I’ve designed! Reading my words and making things that wouldn’t exist with out me. That blows my mind.

3. I have relationships with knitters now that I would never know if I didn’t write these patterns. They found one of my patterns, they liked it enough to purchase it, they knit it, they shared that process through the magic of the internet, and now we are part of each others lives.

The bottom line is that I had no expectations going in, so sales exceeded my expectations. But more than that is the knitting community’s reception of my patterns exceeded my expectations. I’m addicted to writing patterns that people want to knit. I want to see their pictures and read their thoughts! I love it.

So I’ve got to use this information to help me write better patterns in the future. This was my first try, and I’m going to make each next product better and better, which should lead to more sales and views and interest and, above all, more people knitting my designs.

I’m leaving in a few hours for a 5 week working vacation because of you! You motivate me to be better and better at what I love doing, which is a solid equation if you ask me.

The Sweatshop of Love NYC Meet Ups!

You know I can’t go a whole month without hosting a knitting event! The Sweatshop of Love has been exclusively Chicago based since 2006. Exclusively Chicago based until now, that is!

The Sweatshop of Love NYC Meet Ups:

Knitting in the Bar

Chicago Sweatshoppers have been known to knit in bars, and now that silliness is coming to Floyd NY. Please join me Thursday, August 12th at 7pm at Floyd NY – 131 Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn – with knitting needles in hand!

From experience, bring an easy project. After a couple beers those stitches start looking WEIRD.

Knitting in the Park

Picnic knitting is a blast! Can you think of anything sweeter than sipping lemonade in the sunshine while knitting away? Swing by McCarren Park in Brooklyn Saturday, August 28th at 2pm with a blanket and your latest project for some outdoor knitting and sunbathing. Exact location to come!


Both of these events will be opportunities for you to come with your knitting questions; with patterns you need help reading, with techniques you can’t figure out, with projects you are stuck on.

Haven’t knit in years? We’ll get you started again! Knitting expert? Come and make some new knitting friends!

Sound like fun? It will be! Email me at allyson [at] thesweatshopoflove [dot] com to get on my mailing list. Forward this to people you think would be interested. Email me if you are planning on coming or if you’ve got any questions.

I can’t wait to knit with you!

Tying Up Loose Ends

I’m inching ever closer to my Chicago Outie 5000 date (FRIDAY! HOLLA!), and somehow I find myself ahead of schedule.

When you give yourself so a nearly impossible amount of work to do, knowing full well that it will be nearly impossible to finish, and then finish it… well. It’s inspiring. It inspires me to stop thinking I can’t do things. It inspires me to just try, because you don’t know if you don’t try. I went into this Renegade To Do List thinking that I would try to do it, and whatever I got done before I left I would bring and it would be fine.

But I did it all. 150+ fabric buttons. 61 kit bags. 40 completely new kits – designing, knitting, stuffing, finishing. 68 total kits completed and ready to go.

Next up? My In-NYC To Do List. Then my Post-NYC To Do List. My ebook to do list. My fall class schedule to do list.

But am I worried? Not in the least. I finished the big one. I’m pretty sure I can do anything.

I wanted to note that I’m closing The Sweatshop of Love’s Etsy Shop Thursday since I won’t be around to mail anyone anything. If you want something get it now! Whatever is left after Renegade will be posted in September.


There is nothing like a pre-trip trip! A week before I take off on my Midwestern/NYC Summer Tour, Rachel, Tara, Katie and I drove up to Milwaukee for the weekend!

Bloody Mary and Chaser at Commet Cafe Milwaukee WI

With Bacon!

You know you did something right when all your pictures are of food. We stopped at Comet Cafe for enormous amounts of delicious food.

Darts at The Swingin' Door

We ate lunch and played darts at The Swingin’ Door, easily the coolest bar in all of Milwaukee.

Brewers Game at Miller Park!

Free Aprons!

Pudge Rodriguez!

We went to Miller Park for a Brewers game and got to say hi to my kitty Pudge Rodriguez‘s namesake, who is now playing for the Nationals.

Cutest Date Ever

Run Chorizo Run!

Thanks, Milwaukee, for being such an amazing host! Weekends like this just cement my undying love of the Midwest. And it was a great way to spend some time with my favorite ladies before I run away for a while. Yay amazing weekend!

Renegade Prep: Fabric Covered Buttons

Fabric covered buttons are practically a staple here at The Sweatshop of Love. If something needs buttoning I fabric covered button it.

Super Cute Fabric Covered Buttons!

So naturally I want to pimp their greatness at Renegade!

TONS of Buttons

This weekend I made 84 3/4″ buttons and 63 1 1/8″ buttons. They are pretty simple to make but painful and time consuming, which is why you’d much rather have me make them for you than you do it yourself! My fingers are still numb. I had no strength left toward the end and had to get my hammer out to finish the last of them.

Fun Fabric=Fun Buttons!

The 3/4″ buttons will come two in a package for $3 and I made at least 6 buttons with each scrap of fabric. The 1 1/8″ buttons will come individually for $2 and I made at least 4 buttons with each scrap of fabric.

Just like when I was finished sewing my kit project bags, I never want to make another fabric covered button ever again. And just like when I was finished sewing my kit project bags, I wonder how long that will last.

Things are getting checked off the list! T-7 days until my trip starts!