The Katniss Cowl Coincidence

Can you believe our best selling Huntress Cowl was actually just a coincidence? It’s true!

Here’s the story. It was early November 2013 and my mother-in-law had graciously volunteered to watch our daughter for a few days so my hubby and I could spend some much needed alone time together.

We put on our finest, hit the town, and partied all night! Just kidding – we sat on the couch, sipped wine, and binged watch Netflix – it was glorious. One night as we were on our sixth episode of Sherlock I decided to knit myself something for once. Am I the only knitter that never knits anything for themselves? What’s up with that?

I had gotten this beautiful pewter yarn at Michaels and was eager to work with it. I whipped up the first huntress cowl in two nights, all the while noting the pattern in my pink psychedelic notebook (you know the kind where you look at it and it looks like it’s spinning – yeah – that’s where I keep all the goods).

I wore it back to Virginia to pick up my daughter. While we were there we stopped to see my grandfather-in-law. He was just the sweetest. He told me he thought the scarf was beautiful. When we got back I thought – hey why not – I’ll list it and make reproductions and see what happens. I called it The Silver Fox.

listing photo

Original listing photo for The Silver Fox

A week or two went by – and no one ordered one. Then it all changed. My girlfriend mentioned this little movie called The Hunger Games (you may have heard of it). She was raving about it so I checked it out. When I saw Katniss’ knit cowl I thought to myself – I think I could wrap my Silver Fox Cowl to look like that… I tried it and – Voila! It worked! It didn’t look exactly the same – but it gave you the same feeling – and it was versatile!

Fast forward and now it’s one of our best sellers, and my original pattern for The Silver Fox turned Huntress Cowl is number one in our shop!

So that’s the back story my friends! That cowl has been such a blessing to us – and to think it was all coincidence…although I have a feeling God had a hand in this one. That pattern came to me so quickly and easily – I think I’ll give the credit to Him  🙂

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The Huntress Cowl Product – https://www.etsy.com/listing/169791485/huntress-cowl-hand-knit-cowl-infinity

The Huntress Cowl Pattern – https://www.etsy.com/listing/170787987/instant-download-knitting-pattern-the?ref=shop_home_feat_2

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My design style: As easy as possible for an effect that’s as cool as possible

People often ask me what is my “design style.”  How do you come up with these ideas? How do you make them come to life? What’s your “signature?” What do you want people to think when they hear the name Bo Peep’s Bonnets?

I’ll tell you my friends! I want them to think: That girl creates freaking awesome and original knits in ways that are are so stinkin’ easy.  KNITTINGPATTERN

Before I started writing my own patterns I was so discouraged by my lack of pattern reading skills. I would pull up a lacy shawl on Ravelry, take one look at the 5 page, 8 point font pattern that appeared to be written in Chinese and promptly slam my laptop screen closed.

There’s got to be a better way!!!

When I have a vision for a new design my first thought is always – can I do this while a 5 year is tugging on my sleeve, while the phone is ringing, while my husband is rehearsing a monologue in the background, while I have dinner in the oven, and while I have a Barbra Streisand album on full blast (yes that’s right – I’m 28 and I love Barbra Streisand).

If I can’t know where I’m at in a pattern with all that going on – I figure out a different way of designing it. I’ve discovered the best way is to stick with simple stitches, arrange them in new and fresh ways, and most importantly have a pattern that repeats in some form or fashion. Why? Because the more you repeat – the more you naturally memorize what’s written on the page.

A memorized pattern is a good pattern.

I also love when you can take a simple knit shape and fold/sew/button it in such a way that you have a cowl, sweater, shrug, or wrap that requires you to only knit one piece.

Currently I’m working on a shrug that’s just a huge circle. You fold and sew it in such a way that you have a collar – sleeves – and a back! I’m so excited!

I also love knitting for the ones I love. My daughter, hubby, and my two cats Buddy and Harry have inspired some of my best selling creations. I designed my best selling cat hat after a day of snuggled up with my furry friends and watching my favorite Doris Day movie Pillow Talk (that’s right – I’m 28 and I love Doris Day). That design has led me to my biggest project to date – I’ve designed custom cat hats for the upcoming feature film Jem and the Holograms (more about that in a future post)! P1100763

Lastly, I always love to work with super bulky yarn. It’s all the rage right now and I love that it knits up fast. There’s just something about a chunky knit that feels so modern. I love when you can see each big beautiful stitch. I’m a stickler for perfectly even tension. I always say a hand knit item should look like a machine made it but  with the love of a persons hands added to the mix. LANCASTERPDF

One more thing – I stay true to myself! I only knit things I would wear. Things I would want my daughter to wear. I truly believe that when you design what YOU love other’s will love it too. Let’s face it – we’re all fabulous in our own ways. We all have something different to offer. I create what I love and I hope you love it too.

You can see all Bo Peep’s designs by visiting her shop – www.etsy.com/shop/BoPeepsBonnets

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How knitting saved my life

Okay so maybe that’s a little extreme – but I used to be an actor so I like the added drama. This was the situation – my husband had just lost his job, my mom had just been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer, we had a 2 year old – and I didn’t know what the heck to do.

My mom lives 4 hours from me so I felt helpless. I couldn’t go there everyday to help and I didn’t know if she was going to make it through the chemo. I had just seen my Grandma lose her battle with uterine cancer and I couldn’t bare the thought of losing the other the woman in my life who I held so dear.

My mom, me, and my daughter after her first chemo treatment

My mom, me, and my daughter after her first chemo treatment

We needed money. My husband had been working as a professional actor for a decade and now there was no contract to be seen. Despite the financial woes all I could think was  – I have to help my mom – I have to help all the people who are going through chemo – I have to do something – and I have no money to work with (don’t worry it gets better).

A shop had just moved in down the road called Sweet Charity (which is now Fresh Vintage by Amy if you want to check it out). They sold artisan made products that were dedicated to giving back. Immediately, I knew what to do. I walked down to the shop with 5 handmade hats and a mission to donate one free hat per five sold to Nemours Children’s Hospital. The owners graciously excepted my work (which is a far cry from what I offer today) into the shop and the rest is – as they say – history.

One of the first hats I ever sold

The first hat I ever sold on Etsy

The first five hats I took down to Sweet Charity - oh how far we have come!

The first five hats I took down to Sweet Charity – oh how far we have come!

The demand for product got bigger so I started to sell on Etsy. The need for donation hats that could be shipped straight to patients became apparent so I coded my own website that would allow that.

All of a sudden I needed to hire staff, order in bulk, turn my cat closet into a knitting studio, and knit round the clock. God had turned what I had seen as curse into a blessing. I had all the money I needed to completely fund the charity thanks to my wonderful Etsy customers and I had enough left over to help pay the bills.

My knitting studio

My knitting studio

Now for the important part – my mom is healed! After extensive surgery and two years of chemo she is alive – beautiful – and healthy! Praise the Lord! As for me I must also praise the Lord. I am able to stay at home with our daughter while running a legitimate business.  A business that I would have never thought of had difficulty not struck our lives.

Me and my mom a few months ago

Me and my mom a few months ago – in matching hand knit cowls of course

So be encouraged my friends. Someone high above and mighty is looking out for you. He loves you. He cares about you. And he will provide for you.

Work hard. Pray hard. He will show you the way.

Some of our popular current designs

Some of our popular current designs

BO PEEP’S BONNETS

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Hello Friends! Welcome to Bo Peep’s Bonnets – A hand knit hat and cowl company in the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania!

Bo Peep’s Bonnets was born out of desire to help cancer patients feel and look their best as they go through chemotherapy. When my mother started chemo treatments for ovarian cancer in the early fall of 2012, I found myself scouring the web trying to find fashionable and comfortable knit hats to keep her warm. There were lots of great places to get fabric head wraps, but I couldn’t find any companies that provided winter hats for free. That’s when it dawned on me to take my love of knitting to the next level! I would sell my hats on Etsy and use the profits to buy the supplies for the chemo hats.

And Viola! Bo Peep’s Bonnets was born! I’ve expanded my style and company as the years have gone by and now you can find everything from hipster beehive hats, to chunky knit cowl with oversized coconut buttons, to mom and daughter matching hat sets, easy to follow knitting patterns, and so much more!

I’m always adding new products and patterns so check back often to see what’s new!

Thanks to your purchases, I can keep my business and my charity running.

Blessings and good health to you all! Thanks again for shopping!

Love,

Danielle AKA Bo PeepDanielleKeetonHeadshot