Posts Tagged row counting bracelet

Stitches East Knitter’s Conference

” I have died and gone to knitter’s heaven!”

It was my first thought when I walked in the door. I have never been to a Stitches conference before and I understand that this one was MUCH smaller than in years past, but I was still WOWed!

I was in attendance out of the kindness of one of my wholesale customers, Suzi at knittingranch.com . She invited me to tag along at her booth and bring my ABLETs. How could I turn that down? I had considered going on my own, but couldn’t figure it out what with having to be there all day every day for 4 days and a nursing baby and no help at the booth and the expense… and Suzi solved all my dillemmas in one fantastic phonecall!

So, as many of you know, preparations began in full swing. For about 3 weeks I glued and beaded and chained and packaged whenever I could. I had many dear friends offer their help.  I ended up with about 100 to bring with me.

Well, to make a long story longer…

Friday: Ted stayed home from work to watch the baby.  Rowan and I drove to Hartford early Friday Morning with my basket.  Suzi had said she had a display so I needn’t bring one. Folks rummaged through my basket all day. Rowan worked hard, demonstrating how to use the ABLET and even up-selling for a conversion kit.  I sold a few, not a lot, but enough to break even on my expenses. Comments were all very positive and enthusiastic and everyone seemed to think it was a really neat idea.  Several people liked them enough to slip them discreetly into their bags when we weren’t looking. I was a tad discouraged. I knew a nice display would help, so I plugged through my exhaustion when I got home and slapped a display together.

Saturday: I wrote up a sign “Win an ABLET knitting Abacus drawings at 12:30, 2:30 and 3pm” We had a lot of people sign on to our raffle at that point. 3 times on Saturday an announcement was made over the loud speakers

“So and So you have won an, um… AB… ABLET, um… knitting… abb-ack- oos, please go to the Knitting Ranch, booth 204 to collect your prize.”

It was great for me, because people came over to see what it was all about. I had to demo over and over (no Rowan) and my throat was getting sore, but… By Saturday Afternoon, I heard “OH… so that’s the knitting abacus everyone is talking about.”  WOW.

I managed to give a birthday present to  Rick, one of the editors of  Knitter’sMagazine. It wasn’t his birthday, btw, but my note that I left telling him I had a birthday present for him got his attention enough to get him over to see me 😉

The editor of Moo Dog Knits came over and took my picture. She said she’d call for an interview this week.

Sunday: While the marketplace was much slower,  my sales steadily increased each day. I had to arrive quite late because of dropping the kids at Sunday school. When I got there, Suzi said a bunch of LYS owners had come over asking for my card and that a sales rep had also stopped by interested in talking with me.

By now, many folks new what I an ABLET was and were bringing their friends over and showing them how to use this great new tool.

Since things were a bit slower, I was able to go around and network a bit more. I spoke with several vendors who were all so supportive and enthusiastic. They shared details and ideas for my own booth (maybe next year).

I particularly liked Mocha’s Fiber’s booth, for a small 10X10 space, which is probably all I’d need. ABLETs are quite compact.  Her hand painted yarns are exquisite, btw. If you knit, you must check them out! 

I met a couple who travel the world going from yarn conference to yarn conference who have gorgeous silk ribbon. I bought some to use with my ABLETs and I’ve already made one up with it. I think I’ll be switching, as long as it doesn’t fray.

I even met a charming couple who were LYS owners all the way from Australia!

When the show was ending, I grabbed what was left in my basket and ran through the marketplace handing out freebies to any LYS owners who seemed interested. I probably gave away as many as I sold.  It was such a fun and exhausting weekend. And I have Suzi to thank for it. She agrees, that all in all it was a terrific show for me. She told me that when I’m rich and famous I’d have to pay her booth fee.

Well, Suzi… now you have it in writing! What you did for me deserves a good turn. I hope your business is every bit as successful as mine… um, that is if mine’s successful, cause if it’s not that wouldn’t be a particularly good wish for you, now would it 😉

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Knitting Abacus

knitting abacus display

It’s been a while since I posted, mostly because I have been so busy finalizing my packaging and display for my newest obsession: The knitting abacus. The knitting abacus, or ABLET (ABacus braceLET) for those that don’t know is a uniquely designed row counter bracelet. My Patent Pending status came through a few weeks back and I’ve been busily trying to get all the loose ends tied to get marketing like a madman. The patent is due to the unique design in how this bracelet works. Much experimentation has gone into finding the perfect combination of beads and other materials. The beads slide on the string and stay where you put them until you move them. They don’t need to be manipulated through a loop. (Other row counting bracelets use a bead through a loop technique).

Of course, if you do know me, you know what an ABLET is because I’m driving everyone nuts talking about how much I love them and how I know absolutely anyone and everyone who knits or crochets  is going to want one too! Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here, but I’m seriously thinking that this is as important as blingy stitch markers and fancy needle ends. Personally, I believe it’s up there on the list of must have knitting tool importance right next to calculators and tape measures.

So here’s a picture of my POP display. I’m pretty happy with it so far.  I think it needs paint and some lettering or something to jazz it up a bit!

I have also been working on a new website where ABLETS can be ordered by the thousand, Ok by the hundred… or the dozen, ok fine, only get one, and then maybe another to give to your knitting friend for her birthday.  knittingabacus.com.

ABLET knitting abacusWhat a learning curve that has been! And to think I went to school for this stuff. My site is built through wordpress, so that’s kinda neat. I’m using a shopping cart theme that seems to work pretty seamlessly with wordpress. They claim you can get your store up and running in under an hour… Or under a weekend, anyway!

ABLET packaging, front.Yes, that's a real live bar code, pretty cool, huh! My 100% recycled card is on order and I can’t wait for it to come in for the packaging which will be 99% recycled cardboard and 1% tape.

knit row counter Here is another design… “much sparkly” as my little one would say. It looks gorgeous on. I’ve been wearing it all day to test it out, and the beads still tell me that the date is  the 2nd. Yep, I use mine to tell me the date when I’m not knitting (rarely), ’cause I’m just that ditsy sometimes.

knitting abacus with earrings This blingy row counting bracelet comes with earrings… my daughter’s brilliant idea.

I’ll try and post pics of my wood beaded ones tomorrow, but I’m taking the kids to the zoo, so I may not have time. We’ll see.

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