We know that it’s only been five weeks, but a lot has happened on the STIK front since the faithful day in March when we started selling knit kits. So we thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane, and give you the inside scoop on how the kits came to be.
At the beginning of March, a lot was changing in the world, and let’s just say, we were uncertain about a lot of things. We didn’t know how this situation would affect our customers, our team, and our community, and in a lot of ways we were nervous.
But on the first Sunday of the Quarantine, Christina posted on Instagram, as she does all the time. “If we supplied all of the materials, would you want to learn to knit?.” She did this “just to see,” because, “it couldn’t hurt.” We were blown away when over 600 followers responded to her question with their emails wanting to learn more.
I was sitting in my living room trying to wrap my head around the amazing response to our Instagram story when I got a call from Christina. She said, “I think we have to do this. Like now.” In that moment, there was a lot of uncertainty in the world, but this was something that made a lot of sense. Knitting is the perfect activity for isolation, plus it’s been proven to help relieve stress and anxiety. Now seemed like the perfect time to teach our followers how to knit.
Beyond supplying the physical materials to learn to knit, we also need to find a way to actually teach people how to knit without physically being in front of them. Christina and her mom, Katie, made great videos on the basics of knitting - casting on, knitting, purling, and casting off. Christina has also added videos showing how to ball the yarn and sew up the cowl. Watching YouTube videos is how Christina learns new (much more advanced) knitting stitches and techniques. She finds it helpful to be able to pause, rewind, speed ahead, etc., so this was the perfect solution.
Lastly, our brand was built around our amazing community, so this would be zero fun without finding a way for our new knitters to connect with each other. We wanted to create an exclusive online community where our beginner knitters could learn tips and tricks, and ask each other questions. In a time when everyone is being forced to isolate, our hope was that this community would give people the chance to connect virtually over a common project. We truly couldn’t have imagined what the Facebook group would become. It now has over 1,400 members and is bursting with positivity and encouragement. The endless support our knitters show to each other brings a smile to our faces every single day.
So how have the kits evolved?
The first quarantine knitting kit we introduced was “The Quarantine Kit - Cowl,” now called the The Level 1 Quarantine Kit - Cowl. Why a cowl? Knitting a cowl is the perfect beginner project because it’s simple, there’s some room for creativity, and it’s quick and satisfying to finish. The kit includes one skein of chunky, 100% merino wool yarn and large knitting needles. We believe that thicker yarn and bigger knitting needles are easiest for beginners to practice stitches. Plus, the thicker yarn makes it easier to cover up or fix mistakes! This kit also comes with a darning needle, which is a small needle used for sewing the cowl together once it’s knit.
Fun fact, knitting is addictive, and before we could say “cast off”, our beginner knitters started begging us for more. They were constantly asking in the Facebook group where they could buy more yarn or find another project. We had no choice but to deliver on a second, more advanced project- a scarf.
This time, we introduced The Level 2 Quarantine Kit - Scarf. Now that our growing community of knitters had their needles, this kit comes with TWO skeins of the same chunky, 100% merino wool yarn and an instruction sheet. It allows knitters to create a longer project with more challenging stitches. The instructions with this kit uses two skills learned with the first kit, knitting and purling, to create NINE different stitches. At the end, you end up with a chunky, yummy, scarf where you can show off increments of all the stitches you learned.
In the weeks following the release of the first two kits, we were noticing that beginner knitters were quickly becoming knitting superfans in the Facebook group. They were going knit crazy - knitting sh*t for dolls, knitting in funny places, putting their knitting on their dogs - they were LOVING it and loving their new knitting friends. So, we thought, what more could bring this community closer together than a matching graphic tee?
This graphic t-shirt, The Knit Happens T-shirt, is a vintage white tee with the phrase “Knit Happens” across the front. The phrase felt right for our quarantine vibe and the t-shirt is perfectly soft and cozy to wear and make you happy all day long. We paired the T-Shirt with the Level 1 Quarantine Kit to create The Quarantine + Chill Kit. Instead of “Netflix and chill,” because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing left to watch on Netflix, you can quarantine with your closest 1,400 virtual knitting friends and chill in your t-shirt while you learn to knit.
This whole Quarantine has been a wild ride for the Sh*t That I Knit team, but we couldn’t be happier with the response to our Quarantine Kits and merch. We were so impressed that the STIK team had to give it a whirl ourselves! Check out our progress in this blog post. We’ve been having so much fun becoming addicted to knitting and I think we’ve all had a hard time wearing anything else but our “Knit Happens T-shirt.” I encourage you to join our amazing community of knitters! I have no doubt that knitting will brighten your day.