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Monday, March 29, 2010

K is for Knitting


is for







Knitting is one of those things I've always been intrigued with, and though I've never accomplished this skill myself, I greatly admire those who do knit. If I lived in a cooler climate, one would find me happily wearing sweaters year round. Hand-knit sweaters in particular have long been one of my wardrobe weaknesses. I appreciate the time and talent that goes into creating these garments.



In the late 70s and on into the 80s, the clothing company, BEREK, created hand knitted sweaters that were the fashion rage. Many were theme related such as Dog is Man's Best Friend, Sailor's Delight or Halley's Comet, in honor of the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1986. Other designers followed the same trend, and it was common to find hand knitted sweaters. Even though I no longer wear many of my sweaters, I've not been inclined to part with these little works of art. I've carefully stored them with the thought that someday I might transform some of these into throw pillows.




Even though I don't knit myself, I'm fortunately at times the recipient of others' talents in this area. This past Christmas my friend, Kay, knitted this wonderfully warm and cuddly scarf for me. It's knitted in Mano's luxurious blend of merino wool and silk.



Mano yarns are hand dyed to create a marbleized, subtly striated effect. These yarns are the product of Manos del Uruguay, the Hands of Uruguay, which is a nonprofit organization that assembles over 400 artisans in cooperatives throughout the countryside of Uruguay in an effort to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women. You can read more about this organization here. It goes without saying that I treasure this thoughtful gift specifically made just for me, but my appreciation only increased once I read the story of the yarn that Kay selected to use for this scarf.




And such was the case when I recently discovered another wardrobe item of the knitted variety, Sarah Oliver Handbags. A local boutique had received their first shipment of Sarah Oliver Handbags on the day I just happened to stop in. I was immediately smitten. The clutches in the Laurel Collection are knit from imported highland Peruvian wool.




Though available in a choice of colors, 

I selected classic black . . .



with a beautiful brooch 

in the shape of a starfish.





Not only was the clutch a perfect accessory for an upcoming evening wedding I would attend, it was the wonderful heartwarming story of Sarah Oliver Handbags that made this purchase a must. Sarah Oliver, the artistic genius behind these unique handbags, has knitted since she was a child. She first began knitting whimsical handbags as gifts for friends and family. Her unique bags received so much attention that Sarah started selling her bags. As demand grew, she could no longer knit them by herself. When she decided to grow her business of stylish hand knitted bags, Sarah turned to residents of The Redwoods Senior Retirement Community to help produce her bags. She recruited a group of "ageless knitters"! Click on the video above to hear this amazing story of how Sarah Oliver has given new purpose to a group of retirees.

The Purlettes

The Purlettes are a group of ladies who are the backbone of Sarah's company. All residents of The Redwoods Senior Retirement Community, these "nimble-fingered" octogenarians and beyond meet weekly to knit for Sarah Oliver Handbags. They are a group of talented knitters who help produce the high quality bags that Sarah personally designs and finishes.





I'm not associated with Sarah Oliver Handbags other than as an admirer and very satisfied customer, but I am extremely impressed with the business model of Sarah Oliver Handbags. Not only do I appreciate the beautiful designs, the high quality, and the hand crafted aspect of these bags, it is the fact that Sarah has provided respect and opportunity to a group of ladies in her community who otherwise would not have the opportunity to use their talents as productive business partners. Kudos to Sarah Oliver for her vision of a uniquely creative way to grow her business right here in the United States. It's exactly the type of business I want to support!




You can find a list of stores and boutiques that carry Sarah Oliver Handbags or @ http://www.saraholiverhandbags.com

 With a Sarah Oliver Handbag you'll own a unique accessory and give support to a small business that offers a uniquely "Made in America" product. Thank you to Sarah Oliver for permission to use photos and the video.

And don't forget to head on over to Mrs. Matlock's where you'll find a class full of Letter K assignments for your reading pleasure. Thank you, Mrs. Matlock for this fun filled weekly meme. I'm also linking this post to Show and Tell Friday with Cindy @ My Romantic Home. Check in with Cindy on Friday to see what others in Blogville have to share that day.


35 comments:

  1. I've been knitting for probably about five years but I'm not really that good at it. Every Christmas I give knitted dishclothes to family member which they love and have come to expect now LOL. I've also knitted scarfs but that's about it. I would love to learn more. I really LOVE the handbags. That was such a great business Sarah started and how smart of her to get the people in the retirement community to help.

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  2. What a lovely tribute not only to knitting but to Sarah Oliver. (I co-directed the video you embedded - thanks for spotlighting it....)

    cheers.

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  3. Wow what a great work. I do not know how to knit..

    Have a great night..

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  4. I can't knit either but have a lady friend..84 years old that keeps me wrapped warm all winter!

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  5. What a wonderful thing to have those experienced knitters to assist! I am not a knitter -- my brain doesn't work that way for me! I do live in cold country and love a sweater and think my husband looks dashing in them! Also congratulations on your flatware prize! Joni

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  6. What a lot of gorgeous knit items.
    I've picked up the needles again recently and re-discovered the pleasure of knitting while watching TV.
    I love the thought of the Purlettes knitting those handbags!

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  7. Good Morning Sarah,

    The only things that I've ever knitted were house slippers and that was in Jr High Home Ec...but, I did enjoy learning the basic skills. I also admire the talent of people that have mastered the skill. What a great story about the Purlettes!

    Have a great Easter weekend!

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  8. Hi sarah,
    I well remember handknitted sweaters in the'80's. Princess Diana started the trend in the UK with a sweater which featured a small white lamb and then we all had to have one to wear with our white, pie crust collared blouses!
    The Sarah Oliver purses look wonderful and the Purlettes are amazing.
    Thanks for another very interesting post, my dear friend.
    ~Maggie~

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  9. I've never had the patience or dexterity to knit, but so admire those that do! I LOVE those hats. And the story behind the Sarah Oliver handbags is wonderful (love the one you chose BTW) Great post! Kathy

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  10. I crochet...scarves and the like, but wasn't until was 50 that I had someone teach me the basics of knitting. I just wanted to be able to make the needles move and create a swatch of knitted whatever.

    I quickly forgot how. I think it requires a bit of patience and a younger mind! :)

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  11. So informative, Sarah! I would love to find some Mano yarns to work with...they look lovely!
    Thanks for telling us about the purses, too. What a wonderful story!

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  12. Neat post on knitting. I'm so glad to learn about the Mano yarn and the Purlettes. Fun, informative post. Thank you.

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  13. What a wonderful story, but I couldn't get the video to work. I've never been able to knit or crochet, so I enjoy seeing other people's work.

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  14. those are very cool handbags :D

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  15. I have tried to learn knitting more then once...but I am two left thumbs for sure!

    This story of the handbags is heartwarming.

    To offer purpose to a group of people who might otherwise fill their days with sadness is amazing!

    Thanks for this heartwarming K post!

    Happy K day!

    A+

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  16. Thanks for sharing this lovely story of Sarah and her Purlettes and for spotlighting knitting. My dear Grandma Vivian who would have been 98 last Sunday was a ferocious knitter. She died 2/25/10 and I miss her. I grew up wearing sweaters with the label "From the knitting needles of Vivian Schnebly". She would have made a great Purlette.

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  17. Sarah, I just read more about these bags, and they are gorgeous. What a fantastic business.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Sigh, I wish I had some sort of talent, anything would do, knitting, sewing, jewelry making, I can't do any of it and am so in awe of people who can..

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  19. Oh I love this K for knitting. I never thought about that.Happy Easter

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  20. I enjoyed your K post :) . I like to knit; but I'm not very good at it just yet ;) !

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  21. Great idea to choose a K-word like knitting and then spotlight a crafter who helps other crafters!

    Best wishes,
    Anna

    http://annasadornments.blogspot.com/2010/03/abc-wednesaday-kalphabe-thursday-k-k-as.html#links

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  22. knitting now there is a skill. I wish I could do better than LONG scarves thank you

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  23. I can knit ... just not well ... i really wish i could knit as well as the Purlettes, now they have talent. Those purses are gorgeous and I admire the skill put into the making of them!

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  24. I love this story & the Purlettes. Lovely idea & certainly brings new life to the older gals ...

    Happy Easter!
    TTFN ~ Marydon

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  25. I don't knot either, but admire those who can.
    My friends have a little group called the Knit Wits. They have a nice visit and tea after they fo their knitting.
    A blessed Easter to you..
    K is for Kathleen too!

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  26. Sarah, What cute handbags! And what a neat story! Thanks for sharing it with us! :-)

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  27. I cannot believe I did not think of knitting. I just learned how 2 weeks ago and am enjoying it. Somehow I do not think I will ever be good enough to do anything you have pictured in you post though. Thanks for stopping by!

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  28. Hi Sarah.. What a fun post! I have crocheted, I am too tense to knit!
    I love the story of the Purlettes they look like a feisy group! What a great business style Sarah Oliver has... very classey!
    Thanks for visiting!
    Bella

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  29. What an interesting story and from a person who doesn't knit! Thanks for dropping by my blog! PAM

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  30. Thank you for visiting my site and your friendly comment. Thats so nice of Rherta to give you the hint to my blog. I had a look at your blog with all the nice things, yes we share a lot of preferences like faience and pewter. Welcome as a follower - I will follow your blog too.

    What I love is the collage of The Purlettes. Hopefully we will be so happy looking women in that age. I like that clutch with the starfish brooch. Very elegant.

    Wish you a happy Easter.
    Johanna

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  31. I have to add something: Retta, please forgive me. My fingers did not hit the right keys when they should type your name. They sometimes do what they want.

    Wish you a happy Easter.
    Johanna

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  32. I thought I was a Knit-wit. Now, I feel as though I could qualify as a Purlette. How cute!
    Congratulations on winning the flatware!
    Happy Eastaer!

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  33. I can't knit either so I've been enjoying the spoils of my mom's knitting and getting new socks from her!

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  34. very sweet post, Sarah.

    I thought about you this week and almost bought you something so I'll probably go back and get it. If it's still there I'll req your address and get it to ya soon. It was a great little easter egg shaped box with a hyacinth branch and the word too. I shouldn't have doubted my 1st instinct.

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  35. How lovely! I also admire those that can knit! I can crochet and sew, but knitting ...whew! I actually posted a photo of the one and only thing I ever knitted! I was learning and reading a how-to knit instructions as I was going! I am still amazed that I finished it and I think that I better "frame" it for proof! haha

    Thank you for sharing about Sarah Oliver handbags...

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (I am once again tardy! thankfully, sweet Jenny let me into class...so now I'm trying to get to all the K posts, before it's time already for the L posts! I'd love if you get a chance to stop by mine.)

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Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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