aswim in knits

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

bye-bye, Dulaan

I've knit a good bit for charity over the past few years, mostly hats, scarves, mittens, and an occasional vest. Many of these items have been sent to Mongolia. So, when I read today that the (official and sanctioned) Dulaan project is closing its doors, I felt a touch of sadness. But, since the reason behind the closing is a good one -- Mongolia has developed to the point of requiring technical assistance rather than the most basic clothing needs -- I'm pleased.

Of course, there are still many charities who collect knitted goods, so I'll still be knitting! Most of what I knit is from leftovers or scraps. However, some of the items are made from nice stuff, like these Noro hats below.
hat for Dulaan

For some time now, I have been kicking around the idea of selling some knitted items to raise money for charity. (It came up again recently, when a member of my SnB raised the idea in another context.) While warm knitted goods are nice, what most nonprofit groups really need is cash -- money to keep the lights on, pay the people who do the good work, and implement programs on the ground.

I was thinking of an Etsy store, as that seems to be the quickest and easiest way, with little up-front work or cost. I'd list things only when I felt like it, with no real pressure to sell them -- if they didn't sell, I'd donate them as I would have anyways. (Note: I know that there are copyright issues with selling items made from others' patterns -- the Fake Isle hat above is just an example of yarns I have used for charity knitting in the past.)

What do you think? Is it a good idea, or more trouble than it's worth? Let me know -- especially if you have bought or sold on Etsy before.

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  • I didn't know that about Dulaan. I periodically knit hats for area homeless shelters... I think an etsy store sounds like it might be a hassle - but I have a very low hassle threshold! :)

    By Blogger Chris, at 5:29 PM  

  • dude, you could donate them to graceful stitches ( we'd sell them in the shop and then the $$ would get donated to the cancer charity of your choice.

    By Blogger maryse, at 8:31 PM  

  • Maryse's is a great idea! That's kind of sad about Dulaan. I don't know how complicated it is to have an Etsy shop but it's a great idea.

    I'm hoping to get to Yarn Harlot on Thursday. Son #2 has strep, so I'm playing it by ear!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9:30 PM  

  • So sad that Dulaan is gone. I've always admired your commitment to charity knitting!

    Maybe you could find another charity to give the knitwear to? The thing I've always wondered about Etsy -- since it seems like most of the shoppers are other crafty people -- I wonder how well the knit items sell. Most crafty people these days know how to knit and could make a hat for themselves. That assumes that they are willing to do it, of course. And that's the big assumption. Perhaps crafty people do their main craft, sell that stuff on Etsy, and buy crafty stuff from other crafty people to fill in the gaps in their skills or willingness to produce that thing. Perhaps someone can knit, but would rather spend their time making cards. That person would be delighted to buy a beautiful Noro hat, and would likely understand the beauty of Noro.

    Anyway ... long-winded way of saying -- 'tis a great idea and perhaps you could start slowly and see if it works? You could touch base with Dogged Ashley to see how her Etsy biz is going. Her little bags seem to sell out really fast.

    By Blogger FemiKnitMafia, at 10:01 PM  

  • I think it's a lovely idea. Though you might raise more money if the items were up for auction instead of regular sale (with a reserve price set, so you don't end up parting with them for less than the cost of the yarn, of course.)

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 9:58 AM  

  • I think it's a great idea - lots of people like to buy handmade gifts for people, especially around the holidays. I like the idea of going the route of ebay - having a reserve price and auctioning items.

    By Blogger Kim, at 2:53 PM  

  • you know, that's a great sell for charity. I've never used ETSY, but people who do tend to love it.

    By Blogger Nik, at 5:15 PM  

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