10 Things Vendors Want from Craft Show Organizers

By Kim Ryan
Owner/Artisan, Kim Ryan Makes

Since I began my small business just over a year ago, I’ve sold my handmade knits and totes at quite A few markets across southern Ontario. I’m happy to say that most of the markets were well run and well attended.

Most market organizers focus on making a great experience for the shopping public. which is important, but it’s equally vital to ensure the concerns of market vendors are considered too.

Here then are some of my tips for keeping market vendors happy… Continue reading “10 Things Vendors Want from Craft Show Organizers”

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New Product: Woolly EDC Pouch

wolly
Woolly Every Day Carry Pouch: Great for for traveling or for those days when you don’t need to carry a full purse

By Kim Ryan, Owner/Artisan, Kim Ryan Makes

My husband carries around a lot of stuff…wallet, keys, phone, small flashlight, pen knife, space pen (in case you need to write a memo in zero gravity). Maybe it’s a guy thing, but hubby says he likes to be prepared for life’s minor emergencies.

Apparently, toting around emergency items is now a thing and it’s called  Every Day Carry (EDC for short). There’s even websites and Pinterest boards where guys post pics of the items they carry and how they carry them.

My husband, for example, likes to keep his stuff organized in a very outdoorsy looking EDC pouch (NOT a man purse as my husband likes to point out). This got me to thinking…why not make a pouch that’s equally as functional, but a little more fashion forward. Enter the Woolly EDC Pouch… Continue reading “New Product: Woolly EDC Pouch”

Explore Toronto: The Leslieville Flea

leslievillefleaWhat: Leslieville Flea
Where: Distillery District, Fermenting Cellar, 28 Distillery Lane Toronto
When: Sunday February 17, 2019, 10 am – 5pm
Why: To check out great handmade gifts and vintage finds

By Kim Ryan
Owner/Artisan, Kim Ryan Makes

I vend at the Toronto’s historic Distillery District  on a regular basis, but am always suprised by the number of Tortontonians who have never visited this unique, free attraction. Time to change that. Continue reading “Explore Toronto: The Leslieville Flea”

10 Great Canadian Knitting Blogs

By Kim Ryan
Owner/Artisan, Kim Ryan Makes

I subscribe to lots of knitting blogs. They’re a great way to get ideas, share information and stay in touch with trends in the knitting world.

Since I live in Canada, I have a special fondness for Canadian knitting blogs since they often blog on local issues that don’t always involve wool and needles.

Also, Canadian’s are known worldwide for being  a pretty funny bunch and most of the blogs below do have a large serving of that dry Canuck humor. In no  particular order of preference, I present to you my choice of 10 Great Canadian Knitting Blogs… Continue reading “10 Great Canadian Knitting Blogs”

6 Steps To More Hygge in 2019

hygge

By Kim Ryan
Owner, Kim Ryan Makes

With long, cold winters and rain most of the rest of the year, you’d expect the people of Denmark and Norway to be a right gloomy bunch, but you’d be wrong. In fact, Danes and Norwegians consistently place at or near the top in rankings of  the world’s happiest people. 

What’s their secret to happiness? According to our Scandinavian friends it all comes down to Hygge (pronouned Hoo-Gah)…basically a quality of coziness that makes one feel content and comfortable. Here’s a few ways to achieve greater Hygge in your life… Continue reading “6 Steps To More Hygge in 2019”

Merino Vs. Alapca: Which Yarn is Best?

merino alpacaBy Kim Ryan, Owner – Kim Ryan Makes

For the past decade or so, I have been knitting with only two products: Merino wool and Alpaca fleece. For me, these are the Rolls Royce of yarns. Yes, they are a bit more expensive than other yarns, but they more than make up for the extra costs in warmth softness and several other key factors.

The Basics

Merino wool and alpaca fleece are natural, sustainable products (i.e. good for the environment). Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, an ancient breed originally from Spain, but now raised worldwide. Alpaca Fleece comes from the Alpaca, a native of South America and a member of the cameloid family (Cameloids also include camels and llamas). Alapacas are also bred worldwide, including Canada.


Softness:

If you were to put a bunch of different yarn samples under a microscope, you would see most are made up of a series of scales. Generally speaking, the larger the scales, the itchier the material. From the photo below, you can see that plain wool (far left) has  large, protruding scales which makes it pretty darn itchy.

wool_fibers

Fine wool (Merino) and Alpaca have much smaller, flatter scales, making them much softer – ideal for people with sensitive skin.

Polyester yarn has no scales since it is a chemically treated and extruded petroleum  product (Yuk). Polyester is certainly soft, but because it is a petroleum product, it lacks many of the important qualities (i.e. breathability)  found in natural materials

Alpaca, to most people, feels closer to the silkiness of cashmere than to Merino wool. A fine merino wool though is still pretty soft …about twice as soft as regular wool.
Softness Advantage: Alpaca Continue reading “Merino Vs. Alapca: Which Yarn is Best?”

A Healthier Tote: Beeswax to the Rescue

By Kim Ryan, Owner – Kim Ryan Makes

A few years back I had an allergic reaction to some cosmetics I had just bought. My eyes swelled up, my face broke out – in fact it got so bad that I had to go a local clinic to get treatment.

Returning home, I went through my make-up and found they contained a wide range of questionable ingredients – ingredients that  seemed more suited to being stored in a landfill than being put on my face. Since that health scare, I’ve become far more selective of the products and ingredients I let into my house or near my body. Continue reading “A Healthier Tote: Beeswax to the Rescue”