It’s that time again and this month we are excited to bring you a giveaway that truly embodies the knit and crochet community spirit. JennieGee’s designer hand dyed and screen printed ‘Keep Calm and Carry Yarn’ project bags are a must have for any fiber artist. Being product and graphic designers by trade, we were drawn to JennieGee’s story of how these clever craft bags came to be.
” I arrived in Brooklyn in September 2009 for the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Packed among the few possessions I brought with me were screens I’d made with a design idea: “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn.”
I came up with the idea while working at Home Ec Workshop, a yarn and fabric shop in Iowa City, Iowa. Based on one of my favorite posters, from WWII Britain, it expresses just how much knitting gets me through stressful situations. But with my preparations for graduate school, I didn’t have time to do anything with it.
My academic program discourages working while in school. Sounds financially irresponsible, right? That’s what I thought. But our course load was so heavy, I couldn’t find a job in New York City (especially in the terrible economy) that paid a living wage and was flexible around my class schedule. I hardly had time even to look. After the first semester, it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to find a living wage job that was flexible around my schedule. So I listed a few of the posters I’d printed on Etsy. My friends spread the word, and the message caught on.
I progressed on to the project bags, which I had the idea for some time, but it proved difficult to find a source for colored cotton bags. In the end, I had to choose between sewing them myself or buying white bags and dyeing them. I chose dyeing them, and they’ve become my most popular item.
My master’s program had a strong entrepreneurial component, and my Etsy shop proved to be an object lesson in a lot of the topics we were learning about, like reaching your audience, marketing, and pricing. I ended up doing my thesis about knitting, and my professors were all amazed at how the knitting and crochet community connects online, supports good design, and cares about how things are made. Whether you knit, crochet, spin or do something else with fiber, I hope “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” touches you, too.”
When chatting with JennieGee she spoke to how after each move since, it’s been the knitting groups she finds that have helped her re-establish her community.
“It’s been very heartening to be able to make a living making things for a community I feel so strongly about and identify with. My grandmother originally tried to teach me to knit when I was 12. It didn’t take at that point. And though she wasn’t around anymore when I was 22 and decided to try to teach myself, I think those original lessons made it easier to learn from a magazine article. “
1 Random Winners receive:
1 large “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” Project Bag – color of their choosing
Buzz over to JennieGee’s Etsy store, and then comment on this post “where this bag would come in handy”. This will enter you into the random drawing. Entries must be received by March 31st. Simple as that!
JennieGee has been kind enough to give all Rewind readers a limited time discount. Simply type ‘REWIND’ in the coupon code at check out to receive 15% off anything in her Etsy store.
Spread the Word:
Pay it forward. Feel free to share this giveaway on other blogs, sites or social media!
Please also check out JennieGee’s talent on her graphic design website!