Monday, July 20, 2009

KOALA Caddie™ Yarn Craft Apron

This week's featured artist is Mary of Koala Caddie. Mary is based in Onset, Massachusetts, at the beginning of Cape Cod and she has been selling on Etsy since mid-March 2009.

How did you choose your shop name?

I named my shop for my creation, the KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Apron. I designed this apron/tote to offer yarn lovers a smarter way to knit and crochet. The name combines the form of the marsupial koala with the function of a golfer’s caddie.

What is your specialty and what drew you to it?

My favorite craft is crocheting. However my idea for the KOALA Caddie calls on the sewing skills I learned from my mother. Using the finest materials and working with care on a useful product bring me satisfaction and joy. This idea is a gift and I am very grateful for it. Bottom line, though, it’s all about the fabric!

What inspired the “birth” of this item?

The arrival of my grandchildren saw a resurgence in my crocheting. After a while I had a list of things that annoyed me: interruptions, fuzz on my clothes, pet fur in my work, early rows fuzzing from friction, and plastic bags holding skeins of expensive yarn. Other things made me cringe: a project falling from a lap onto the floor; a shedding pug heading towards a work in progress; a child’s sweater pulled from a plastic bag in a germ-laden waiting room. I said to myself, “There has GOT to be a better way!” I developed the KOALA Caddie to offer just that: a new and better way to knit and crochet.

Does this item have any personal significance to you?

This KOALA Caddie is made from fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett for Westminster Fabric. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Annual Meeting of the Greater Boston Knitting Guild in May. I presented him with a Caddie made from one of his wonderful fabrics, and he kindly autographed another that I will treasure. I have a post about this event in my blog at

What is your favorite part of the process of creating your item?

I have to be honest – I LOVE choosing the fabric and selecting the perfect coordinating satin, snaps, and cordlocks. I get a mental glimpse of the final product and then I’m just “itching” to get started on it.

Please briefly describe a workday in your “studio” and how you created this item.

I am an early riser. After coffee I make the Caddies I’ve chosen for that day. There are about a dozen steps in the process. I make each one from start to finish and try to make at least two each day. In addition to sewing, I mail new orders, prepare for demos, and update my shop or blog. I love setting my own schedule and agenda. I always check my Etsy favorites for new fabric listings and I read the Storque faithfully, leave comments, and convo other sellers.

If this item is part of a special line that you do, has there been an evolution in your process? For example, if we were to compare the first one you made to this one, what differences would there be, if any?

The first yarn craft apron I made looked like something Florence Nightingale might have worn during the Crimean War. It was about 3 times the size of the current Caddie and even had a bib. I was using buttons and elastic loops where I now have fabric tabs with snap closures. I have streamlined and simplified my design while adding touches that enhance its utility and versatility. I’m sure this process will continue and I’m excited to see where the path will lead. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my KOALA Caddie Yarn Craft Apron with your Etsy Team.

CONGRATULATIONS to Mary for winning the GRAND PRIZE of the Cultured Expressions 2009 Fabric Challenge!
See her winning entry here :
Love it? Contact her and she can make you one!


Cathy said...

Love Mary's shop! Her caddie aprons are so creative!

UberArt said...

What a great product! Love it!!

elise said...

Wow, I can see why she loves to pick out the fabric. They are all so beautiful, what a great product.

Emily said...

Wonderful! Your items are beautiful.

Newfangled said...

The caddie is such a great idea! Wonderful article.

Tracey Gurley said...

What a great idea and beautiful too!

Brandy said...

Oh dear. I think I'll be putting a "koala caddy" on my Christmas wishlist. I can't wait for hubby to make a face and ask what that is, LOL.

Great article!

ennaneve said...

Great interview and lovely aprons!!! So creative... I've never seen anything like it!!