Monday, June 15, 2009
Karen Snyders started “KaratStix” in the spring of 2007 with a plan to make tools for knitters and other fiber artists from earth friendly bamboo.
She came up with the name KaratStix as it pulls together many meanings: 1) KARen And Tom STIXrud – Tom Stixrud is Karen’s brother and has been a major supporter/helper/laser machine operator and much more, to help KaratStix become a viable operation 2) Karat = gold and Stix = bamboo and 3) KaratStix sounds like “carrot sticks” and it was Karen’s pursuit of a healthier lifestyle by becoming a “vegan raw foodist” that she believes opened up the possibility of realizing her dream to becoming an artisan.
The designs are all drawn and laid out/configured on a computer in Karen’s studio which is in her home.
She then emails the finished files to her brother Tom who will laser (sort of like sending a print job to a printer only this is a laser and bamboo is the paper) the order onto the bamboo and he’ll give each piece a sanding with a mouse sander to prepare it for the next step.
Karen then picks up (or Tom drops off) the pieces for the order(s) and then colors them with colored pencils if it is a design with color.
After the coloring is done, the pieces are then varnished with a few coats of polyurethane and once that is thoroughly dry, the pieces are sanded and buffed by hand.
She then attaches the hardware if required and the order is then finished. Karen enjoys all of the work, but most of all, the coloring when she can see the finished order finally come together as she imagined it.
Karen is most of all passionate about her customers/friends – she sends a warm thank you for each and every one who has shared so many wonderful stories and become a part of what makes KaratStix not just about an artist creating tools, but about making it possible for knitters to express themselves – as their creativity and their passions are so often the inspiration for the art.You can see more of her work on her flickr here.You can also purchase her tools at yarny-goodness,and Scout's Swag.
In The UK check out Socktopus.
One person will win the socks rule guage keyring and little sock stitch markers pictured above.
There will be 3 ways to enter:
1) Check out Karatstix and come back and leave a comment telling me what you like.
2) Blog about the giveaway and link back to it and leave a comment with the link.
3) You will get an extra entry if someone leaves a comment saying they came from your post of this giveaway on your blog.
Deadline to enter is Midnight June 24th