Since opening Bapsicrafts, I’ve filled and sold at least a hundred knit items for now-warm people all over the world. By now the process has become automatic—another safe space to meditate (which is just the kind of thing I was going for).
Here’s how each Bapsicrafts item is typically made, from start to finish. I took the time to document an order made for a good friend of mine in Canada for this post.
Planning, Materials— It always starts with an idea. Most of the custom orders have a simple pattern-color combination, so I’ll pull up the pattern I wrote for the particular design(most have been memorised by now), order the yarn and get going.
This customer wanted something more specific, and he was diligent enough to pull up reference to help me get an idea of what he was looking for—a striped Chullo style hat, with a red and gold color scheme. He also wanted 100% wool. After I understood the request, I set up a listing and got to hunting for the perfect yarn.
I chose an Andean wool, seemed fitting for a Andean style hat.
Stitching — This is easily the longest part of the process. For a hat you’re looking at about 7-8 hours usually, or about 4 for a pair of wrist warmers, typically done while I’m watching a show or reading a book! Since many completely custom pieces are designed from scratched or improvised, it can take even longer to get just right. I had to frog quite a bit of the work to make sure everything fit as planned. In total I think this hat took about a week on-and-off to create, not counting design sketching and the like.
Special Touches — I always like to add a little something that makes a custom piece just that much more unique. In this case I added a crocheted border to handle the stockinette stitch curling, and to better balance the red and gold color relationship. I also set up and braided yarn to use for the tassel part of the hat, which was really fun to do!
Hand washing — After everything’s just right, bound off, with every end woven in and knotted, I’ll wash the piece with a hand made soap, reshape, and leave flat to dry. This soap in particular is the previously blogged Wool or You bar by Sweet Tea N Biscuits. It smells like heaven.
My Signature — After allowing it to dry for a day or so, I'll 'sign' my work with a hand sewn label. I source my labels in small batches from the lovely Michelle Ruyle of Inked Papers, a small business based right here in the United States.
Wrapping it up — After all of that, I have the pleasure of carefully wrapping the piece up like a little gift, including a personally handwritten note and some care instructions. I prefer to keep the packaging simple and minimal, but still meaningful. Here, I had enough yarn left over to make a little bow to match the color of the hat. Then it’s just taking it to the post office! The finished piece will take its long journey to its new owner.