Once again we will bring our beautiful beads and kits to the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival. This is a great show with wonderful teachers and this year it's in a larger hall with better lighting!
After that we're driving out to Colorado for our first ever show in Loveland! We will be vending at YarnFest and are looking forward to spending some time in the mountains with great friends new and old.
Finally we roll into Allentown, PA for our first time at the Steel City Fiber Festival! We might be a bit tired, but we are psyched to be able to have our beads ready for all you fabulous folks there!
We are completely revamping our booth for Rhinebeck this year! Our amazing beads are now hanging up and what a tantalizing sight they are!
We are now using hand-dyed yarn in all of our patterns. June Pryce Fiber Arts and A Hundred Ravens are busy dying deliciousness for us even as I write this. Want to have a peek at one of our exclusive colorways? Of course you do!
Now we bet you want to see what you can make with this yummy yarn! Here are three of our newest pattern additions and, you guessed it, they all have beads!
So, have fun at Rhinebeck. Remember to bring your handmade sweater. Eat lots of fabulous food, and come see us in Building B Space 4! We can't wait for this weekend!
It seems everyone is talking about #FairFiberWage. It started with teachers being offered contracts for a large show that were not fair. The contracts pushed all of the risk in paying teachers from a shared one to one shouldered mainly by the teachers. The teachers talked, and many decided that they were not going to teach for sub-par wages. Out of these discussion, a hashtag and larger discussion was born. Maybe you've been following it on Twitter, or Facebook, or Ravelry. We wanted to add to the conversation from the prospective of a vendor.
It is rare that our dollars can make a difference on an immediate and personal level. Luckily for us, the fiber world is one place that this is true. You can spend $2.50 for size 6 seed beads at Michael's and you get beads. At Michael's you support a corporate machine that bargains suppliers down to the most rock bottom prices. You can spend (on average) $10 for size 6 seed beads from me. Cheap? No. Choices? Over 200 colors. And we answer questions about how to use them in your fiber work, and we know which beads work best on what yarns, we have patterns and kits, and we bring them to fiber shows and you can match them to your yarn, and we help you to match them, and we are knitters and crocheters who understand your obsession. When you buy from us you have a direct effect on our wages.
We are a family business. When you buy from us you're supporting Ryan's (age 13) drum lessons, Ross' (age 16) bass guitar lesson, Daxton's (age 4) pirate obsession., and Felix's (age 18) college education. You are helping to family to live and be happy. We don't do this for the money. Seriously, we will never get rich doing this. We will be able to home school and work with customers we love. You are the reason we are doing this. We truly love to share our beads and our knowledge with you. You are buying beads, yes, but you are also buying our years of expertise.
When a show charges us exorbitant fees to vend, we can't afford to do it. For large shows, we spend about $1500 on booth fees, $100 on gas, $300-$500 on hotel rooms/Air B&B, $1000-$3000 on stock, and about $50 a day on food. (Our costs are even higher if we have to fly to a show and ship our beads.) Like all vendors, we cut corners: we bring food to eat in the hotel room, we rarely stay at the venue hotel, we rarely go site-seeing, we drive up to 12 hours a day to get to shows sometimes for 2 or 3 days in a row. This doesn't count the prep we do for shows (ordering, sorting, tagging, etc) and it doesn't count the non-monetized parts of doing a show such as listening to customers who (far more often than you think) tell us about their problems and home life, ask for advice on selling their creations, need us to stand next to them and help them decide which beads go with which yarn. We don't mind these parts of our business. In fact, these things make our days more interesting, but they are also emotionally draining. Sometimes (rarely) the show producers will give us a care package with water and snacks, or pay for us to have help with load-in and load-out, or have coffee/tea available in the mornings, or have pizza or cake during set-up. These little things make us ridiculously happy.
If the show doesn't have teachers and classes to draw students, our take home pay is considerably less and we might (and have) lost money doing a show. There is a need for teachers to be paid fairly so that the show model works. We want fiber shows to do well, not only because we want to earn a living, but also because we are knitters and crocheters, spinners and weavers ourselves. We want to be able to learn from the teachers, buy from the other vendors, and still feel like we are being treated fairly. We are consumers of the show experience as well as being part of creating it.
So, what do we actually earn at shows? After spending about $4,000 we are generally happy to clear $5,500. This means we walk away with $1,500 on average. Disclaimer: These are our figures and don't necessarily reflect what other vendors make.
We do this about 20 times each year. Along with web sales and trunk shows, this is how we put food on the table and a roof over our heads, and we consider ourselves to be very lucky because lots of vendors have "day jobs" in addition to vending.
So, where you spend your fiber dollars matters.
We are grateful when you choose to spend them with us!
If you want to read more about this issue, we suggest reading these blog posts:
What does it cost to hire top talent in fiber arts? I’m glad you asked. -Abby Franquemont
The great teaching kerfuffle -Mary Beth Temple
In Response to Diane Piwko on Fair Fiber Wages -Abby Franquemont
No Apologies -Mary Beth Temple
Risk vs. Reward: The True Costs of Fiber Teaching -Miriam Felton
Fair Fiber Wage, a look from the other side -jacey boggs
Labour Day -Laura Fry
Show Time: Teacher Compensation at Larger Venues -Annie Modesitt
I Used to Hire Teachers -Beth Smith
Love gradient yarns? We do, too! After so many of you came to us to get matching beads for your lovely gradient yarns, we decided to create 10 Bead Sampler Kits. Each one comes with 5 tubes (approx. 25 grams/200 beads each) of different color beads that look amazing with gradient yarns. They come in cool zippered pouches that are a great place to store your beads and other knitting accessories.
Check out how fabulous these beads look with gradient yarns from two of our favorite hand-dyers.
A Hundred Ravens makes this beautiful Hecate Mini Set and we've paired it with our Purple Passion Bead Sampler.
They look fantastic together if you put the darkest beads on the lightest yarn or match the darkest beads with the darkest yarn.
And who could resist this lovely Dragonfire gradient from June Pryce paired with our Amber Waves Bead Sampler?
Check out all 10 of our Bead Sampler Kits. At only $32.00 each they are the perfect complement to the gradient yarn in your stash, and if, by chance, there is a gradient you'd like to see that isn't one of the ones we have made, drop us a note and tell us. Maybe your colorway will be the next one we do!
We'll be back on the road in September and we'll have new beads, new colors, and lots of Bead Sampler Kits. See you then!
We are so excited to be back at Maryland! We’ll be in Booth N-5 with Art for your Feet.
Debuting this year we have our brand new Spin Kits! always wanted to spin with beads? Here’s everything you need in one handy package: 100 grams of roving, 15 grams of beads, and a big eye beading needle (to put the beads on the roving)!
Just look at all fluffy goodness. It even comes with 100 beads already threaded on the roving! Did we mention the roving is hand dyed by our good friend Susan at A Riot of Color?
Also debuting at this year’s festival is our Fancy Beaded Boot Cuff pattern hot off the presses!
Of course we’ll also have some great new bead shapes including these cool rounded triangles that fit on any yarn up to and including aran weight. Yes, you read that right! Aran weight! We’ve tried it!
Just wait until you see the amazing colors! Can’t wait to see you all! Only 2 more sleeps!
We're very happy to announce that we will be teaching at the 12th Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival this weekend.
On Friday March 4th from 12 to 3pm we are teaching Knitting with Beads.
We will show multiple methods for adding beads to your projects and talk about what beads are good for what types of fiber. You will start to make a beaded cuff bracelet. This is an easy project that lets you focus on the beads instead of any complicated directions. If you can knit, you can make this beautiful, sparkly, soft bracelet. Come and have fun with beads and learn to make this spectacular but easy bracelet for yourself in many colors and then for all of your friends and family. You will also want to add beads to all of your future projects once you see how easy it is! This class is open to all levels, students must know how to cast on, knit and cast off.
On Sunday March 6th from 9am to 12pm we will be teaching Basic Kumihimo with Beads.
In this class you will start with learning all the basic skills needed to do Kumihimo. Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braiding technique that is very simple and easy to learn. You will learn how to measure your strings, prepare the disk and make a braid. You will then move on to playing with beads and begin a stunning elegant fully beaded Kumihimo bracelet that looks so complicated. In reality it is incredibly easy! Detailed instructions are given during the class. You can’t take the instructor home with you, but you can take her highly detailed and easy to follow written instructions with you when you leave the class. So easy you will find yourself braiding every bead in sight!
There are still a few spaces available for each class, but you must register on site.
Of course we will also be vending and have an amazing selection of beads, kits, and supplies for knitting and crochet with beads including our brand new selection of triangle-shaped beads in lots of colors! These beads sold out at our previous shows this year, so make sure to get yours early.
So, where is this show? Why it's in the fantastic city of Pittsburgh!
Friday March 4th 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday March 5th 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday March 6th 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
3rd floor – Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom
1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Booths 89 & 100
This is our first time in Pittsburgh, so we look forward to meeting all of our Pittsburgh fans and enjoying your lovely city!
See you on Friday!
We love coming out t the West Coast in February! Not only does it get us away from the cold that has settled across New England, it also gives a chance to see all of you and show you what's new for the new year! We have amazing new yarns, kits, and beads all packed up and ready for you to take home!
One of our newest kits is a completely stunning shawl created exclusively for us by Dana Freed from Well Done Experience. She captures the colors and feeling of New Mexico perfectly.
Of course we also have brand new beads and yarns for you to use in your wonderful knitted and crochet creations!
So, where do you have to go to get your hands on these yummies? Glad you asked! We'll be at:
Seattle Yarn (For a Trunk Show)
Wednesday February 10th 4pm to 8pm
5633 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Madrona Fiber Art (Free and Open to the Public!)
Thursday February 11th 8:30am to 6pm
Friday February 12th 8:30am to 6pm
Saturday February 13th 8:30am to 6pm
Sunday February 14th 8:30am to 2pm
Hotel Murano 1320 Broadway Plaza
Tacoma, WA 98402
Friday February 19th 10am to 6pm
Saturday February 20th 10am to 6pm
Sunday February 21st 10am to 4pm
Santa Clara Convention Center
5101 Great American Parkway Santa Clara, CA 95054
***Our Booth: 314***
We can't wait to see you! In the meantime, keep warm and happy knitting!
Daxton was very excited to pick our lucky winner out of the hat and he was excited that he would be on the computer! Congratulations to Daxton for starring in his own video, and to our wonderful winner Laura Edelstein! See you Vogue Knitting Live!
Now that the holidays are over, we've been busy getting ready for Vogue Knitting Live. If you've never come to VKL, it's 3 days of non-stop fun and we want you to be our guest! Read on for a chance to win a Free 3-Day Pass!
There's a Good Measure Fitting Station at which Deborah Newton gives you the first tool for making garments with a custom fit. by helping you find your measurements. Deborah herself will be there Friday 6:00 PM–7:00 PM and Saturday from 3:00 PM–4:00 PM. This is always a big hit and lines do form, so get there early.
There will be a Knitting Belt Demonstration at which June Hemmons Hiatt and Hazel Tindall will show this ancient technique for speedy knitting. If you are wondering what a knitting belt is, you're not alone. We had to check Hazel's web page and learned that a "knitting belt is used with double pointed knitting needles and is worn at the right side, about waist level, or lower. Where a belt is worn depends on the length of the knitting needle and should be adjusted till the knitter is comfortable. The right needle is pushed into one of the holes in the belt pad, again wherever it's comfortable. This keeps the knitting needle anchored as the stitches are worked."
Of course there will be raffles throughout the course of the show and Bead Biz will donate a fun prize which we hope you'll win!
There will also be an amigurumi scavenger hunt on Sunday in the Marketplace. Attendees will search the Marketplace for the hidden amigurumi, in hopes of finding one and winning a prize. Now, we're not saying there will be one in our booth, but it's a definite possibility!
If that's not enough, you can help make music with knitting needles. Dutch-born, Wales-based composer Jobina Tinnemans will demonstrate how knitting needles can create a beautiful soundscape.
On Sunday you will even be able to try out oversized yarn and gigantic needles!
If that's not enough to entice you to the Big Apple, Bead Biz is offering one Free 3-Day Pass to all the fun! That's $25 worth of knitting fun all for free!
Just leave a message with you name and email and we will put all your names in a hat and pick the lucky winner! The winner be chosen on Wednesday, January 13th at 1pm, so only those who sign up by 11am Wednesday, January 13th will be eligible to win.
If you want to increase your chances of winning, post a link to this page on your Facebook or Twitter account and be sure to tag Bead Biz in the link for an extra entry or two.
Facebook: @Bead Biz http://www.facebook.com/Bead-Biz
Twitter: @Bead_Biz #BeadBiz
Make sure to tell your friends!
See you At Vogue Knitting Live!
We've been busy getting ready for NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. Of course we're getting our layers of clothing together and choosing (as if one could choose!) what yarns we can't leave without. We're happily making plans to meet up with friends and enjoy each other's company. We have been organizing our beads, and yarns, and kits so that we have enough for all of you, but we're also busy putting together some special Rhinebeck treats for all our wonderful friends and customers!
The first treat we have are some amazing new bead colors! A friend of ours closed his bead business in NYC and we scored lots of new and vintage beads that are perfect for knitting, crochet, and spinning! We have been putting them in tubes and labeling like crazy. Now you probably want a preview. We can arrange for that!
We've also commissioned a very limited number of hand made glass sheep, alpacas, and rabbits from the extremely talented Maureen Henriques at Pumpkin Hill Beads. We are busy making these cute little guys into amazing earrings. Want to see the cutest glass animals in the world? Of course you do!
We are also making labels for our limited edition beaded yarn. According to one of our spinners this yarn is made of an "awesome fiber blend [that] felt like butter." Can't get much softer than that! And it looks amazing too! See for yourself!
We have one more treat in store for you! How about $3.00 off your admission to Rhinebeck? Sounds good? Just save and print this coupon and present at the gate when you arrive!
We can't wait to see everyone this Saturday and Sunday! Come by our booth in Building B Space 4, say "Hi!", and check out all of the wonderful things we have waiting for you at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival this year!
We're just a couple of bead chicks who found fiber and came over to the dark side. It's OK though, we brought cookies :)
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