Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 1000 Amigurumi Crane Project Update!

I've been promising an update on the project, and now the time has come!

New to this blog or to the project? You can learn loads more in my initial post, here, or see all the posts about the project by going to the 1000 Amigurumi Cranes tag.

So! The 1000 Amigurumi Crane project is my effort at a fund raiser for Japan. I designed a pattern to make an amigurumi crane, started a group on Ravelry, and then began to advertise. I really didn't have any idea what to expect. At first, I was kind of disappointed - when I'd first put the pattern up for testing, I got very little feedback, and was feeling very discouraged. But the project has been exceeding all my expectations (except the really ridiculous ones, lol) and I'm really thrilled. It's been rough, because since I started the project I've been as busy with work as I've been in my whole life, and have had very little time to implement some of the things I want to do. However, even with these limited efforts, we've really grown, and fast!

The project has three goals, and I thought I'd just take a moment to discuss how we've been proceeding as regards each one! I say we because at this point, if it weren't for the efforts of others who have thought the project was a good idea, I wouldn't be anywhere at all! It's a group effort, and ya'll who've been helping me out are super awesome!

1. Sell copies of my Charity Crane Amigurumi pattern and donate all proceeds (between 90 % - 100% of the total selling price) to charity.

The amigurumi crocheted crane pattern is available from Ravelry, and you can buy it directly even if you are not a Ravelry member by using this link. Alternatively, I have just listed the pattern on sale from Etsy. Whichever way you choose, the money ends up in my Paypal account, and all proceeds (minus the paypal, Etsy and Ravelry fees) go to the American Red Cross. Alternatively, if you send me proof of donation, I will send you the pattern. THe selling price for the crocheted version is $5.

But now there's even more! The awesome Ravelry member Garilynn thought my project was nifty, and so she has developed two knit versions of the crane, and she's working on more different versions. Both are available from Ravelry, and are $1 each - we each chose how much to charge for our own - and her proceeds also go to the American Red Cross. The original knit version is available here, and a fun and spirited stackable version is available here.

So how have we been doing? As of this morning, I've sold 19 copies of the crocheted version, for a total proceeds of $86.45. On the 30th, I had sold fewer, but I did my first withdrawal and donation! I sent $68.25 to the American Red Cross, from 15 sales!

Garilynn, meanwhile, has sold 100 cranes as of March 29th! She made her first donation of $63 that same day.

So, the goal was to sell 1000 crane patterns, and so far we've sold more than 119! WOW!! She's still working on more variations, too, and I'm hoping to do the same!

2. Sell/coordinate the selling of the cranes made as part of the project to raise additional money for charity.

This part hasn't made it as far, but it's slowly getting off the ground. Now that I'm even a little bit less busy, I can do more to spear head it. I've sold one crane for $5 through an auction on LJ, and have two more finished that I will be listing. Furthermore, several members of the Ravelry group have taken it upon themselves to sell their cranes. One has gotten permission to sell them at the dojo where she works, and Amiamour has listed this one on Etsy! So if you want a crane, there's one up! I'll be listing my two tomorrow. At the moment, the intention is to list all cranes listed on Etsy with the tag "1000 Cranes, so if you want to join in to the selling of the finished Cranes, please use that tag!

And by the way, consider this statement by me to be carte blanche that you all have permission to sell FO made from my version of this pattern. While granted, I couldn't have stopped you anyway, I have been asked for permission, and it's granted. (and of course, please donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice that is supporting relief efforts for Japan! Feel free to post info in the fiscal transparency thread in the Ravelry group if you do so!)

In short, this part of the project is the least far along, but slowly getting up and running. :)

3. Develop a community of caring Ravelry members and other crafters who want to work together to figure out what each of us has to contribute to helping that devastated country.

So, every Seeing how much you all care has really been keeping me going. There's been a lot of community response to my project. Here are pretty much all of the things I know about...

Ravelry Group - I started the Ravelry group right off as part of the project. As of this morning, it's already up to 63 members! 9 folks have chosen to share their cranes with the group, all of which are awesome, and we're still growing every day!

Blog posts: Some of my awesome fellow crafters have been helping bring attention to the project by writing about it in their blogs. Note that the following kudos are in no particular order. ;)

Garilynn, who designed the knit patterns, has written about it twice, here and here - the first is about the original pattern, and the second about the stackable cranes. :)

SmoochPanda, who is herself Japanese and a wonderful ami maker, interviewed me, and she translated it into Japanese for her Japanese-language ami blog, too. I was so thrilled that she helped me out, and reading the translation was so much fun - my Japanese isn't nearly up to snuff to have translated it myself, but is more or less adequate to understand most of something like this, and it was so cool to see how she translated it!

AmiAmour found me only a couple of days ago (That's what I get for not advertising in Amigurumi Army!) but she purchased the pattern and almost immediately wrote a blog post about constructing her own crane, and talking about the pattern. I love that she's posted hers for sale on Etsy, too (I posted the link above).

I've also been mentioned in Tamis Ami and Other Crochet Blog (no longer just Tamis Ami Blog!). Those are all the posts that I know of, but if you've mentioned it, and I haven't listed you, please let me know and I'll add you to this post! :)

I'm also super thrilled to be one of the featured ways to help Japan in the Nerd Wars Giving Geeks challenge for this month. :)

I've been contacted by one woman who is a JET in Shizuoka, and she told me about Cranes for Taylor, Cranes for JETs, which is a crane-making project to honor the JETs who died in the tsunami, including Taylor Anderson, who was teaching in Miyagi and was the first confirmed American casualty from this tragedy. I was very sad to hear that this had happened (I had wondered if any JETs had been impacted, and really hoping that they were all okay...) and wanted to spread the word of this effort to commemorate and remember the young American teachers who've died, as well as every one else.

Edit! I knew I forgot something! Garilynn is running a CAL/KAL for the amigurumi crane that includes fabulous prizes! If you are a Ravelry member, you can read more here. If you're not, hmm...if you're not, you can submit a photograph by posting the link as a comment on one of these blog posts, and we'll add you to the lottery! The prizes are shown here and here. :)

So, to wrap up (though I'm sure I'm forgetting something, maybe multiple things)...thanks everyone!! Keep spreading the word, and keep letting me know how you're helping, and I'll keep organizing from my end. ;) I can't express how much I appreciate the help, and how glad and proud I am that together, we've raised $150 for Japan relief!

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