Commissioned Shawl

My first "official" order came in about a month ago from a coworker. He was looking for a knitted piece he could give to his fiance for her birthday. Her favorite color is purple, so that definitely needed to be included in the design. 

I got to work sketching out a few ideas. My first thought was a triangle shawl, knitted top-down. I wanted to have a repeating pattern that brought in new colors as the shawl was worked, ending with a large and squishy garter-stitch border, echoing the first color.

Madelinetosh Merino Light is one of my most favorite yarns to knit with. I used colorways Dahlia, Astrid Grey, Flashdance, and Charcoal, mixing the lovely shades of purple with beautiful neutral greys. I played with high and low contrast in the shawl, using as much of the darker purple (Flashdance) as possible. 

I didn't have enough time to find a model for the shawl, so my husband took a few photos of me wearing it (photo credits: He's available for booking!). I'm so pleased with how it turned out, I may just make one for myself. I'll update this post too when I get photos from my coworker :)

If you want your own knitted heirloom, please click on the "Commissions" link up above, and send me a note! I'd love to work with you to design your own one-of-a-kind garment to treasure.

My first sale

Wow, what happened to January? It's already February 1, and I'm currently writing this while I'm on a business trip to Michigan. Like any person trying to start a side gig, it can be tough to stay focused and keep all the plates spinning. Sometimes I'll take small steps (like tweaking my website here and there), sometimes it will be big leaps and bounds. The main goal right now is to move forward for the purpose of raising money for our future baby. 

Speaking of small steps, I sold my first item! I sat next to a wonderful gentleman named Remington on the plane ride to Minneapolis. As he sat down, he noticed my knitting and struck up a conversation. Normally I'm one to keep to myself on the plane, but knitting in public has a way of either confusing people or sparking a conversation. Remington and I talked for the entire plane ride, discussing knitting, his ski trip, our day jobs, etc., all the while continuing to knit and finish the hat. We joked that the hat looked like it wouldn't fit a child--I was actually a little nervous for a minute! As we began our final descent, I was able to bind off and weave in the ends. I had Remington try it on - it fit! I told Remington he should keep it - it looked great on him, and it was a way to say thank you for being a great neighbor on the plane. He insisted on paying for me though, and eventually sneaked some cash in my project bag. I was thrilled! It was a humbling moment, and a plane ride I will remember for a long time. More importantly, it was a push forward to continue on this journey and work hard to make beautiful items for people to love. 

Remington's new NoahNoa hat

This leads me to a few quick shop updates! If you've checked out my site recently, you may notice a few changes. One, the welcome page no longer says "coming soon!" We're here! Second, I have a picture up. I know, more are needed (those are still coming soon). Third, I'm accepting requests for commissions. Until I get some of my finished products done, I'm actually in a great place to become a "knitter-for-hire." So, for those of you who don't knit (or don't knit yet!) and are looking for a handmade gift or treasure, feel free to submit a request. I'd love to create your very own NoahNoa knit to enjoy!               


Benjamin Holladay-McCann
Hello, world.

Hey there. My name is Ben, and welcome to NoahNoa Crafts! I'll be your host for the next five minutes on this blog (or less if you get bored and click elsewhere). But while I have you here, let me tell you why we're here. 

My husband Erik and I are starting a family. Well, trying to start a family. We decided that we would like to start a family through surrogacy, which is both exciting and challenging. You see, surrogacy costs a lot of money - well above $100,000 on average. Our budget right now is $120,000, and we are about 25% funded. So, we have a long way to go to make this dream come true. 

We are looking for a lot of way to bring down this cost and burden. Despite having great jobs and a decent amount of savings, $120,000 is a lot to ask for without either waiting years upon years to grow our savings even bigger, or take out an extraordinary loan amount (with extraordinary payments!). So what are we doing about it? Well - a lot. Like a business trying to increase profits, we're trying to both lower our expenses and raise our savings. There are a lot of creative ways to do this - shop around for IVF clinics, look for discounted programs and services, find an egg donor on our own, apply for grants and donations, even crowdfund (which you can do right now by clicking that "Donate" button above!).

But speaking of creative, that leads me to this site. By day, I'm a CPA and database guy. But my creative passion is fiber crafts, including knitting and dying yarn, and I'm starting to explore weaving (and even spinning!). This seemed like it would be a great way to raise a little extra money - by creating knitting patterns and finished goods for good people like yourself to enjoy. 

I used to have a manager who would ask us "what's the first incremental step to get this project going?" Well - for NoahNoa Crafts (more on that name in a future post), this is it. I have a little ways to go before I'm fully ready to launch the shop, but over the next few months you can follow the journey here on the blog. I'll be sharing both stories on the surrogacy journey and the creative endeavor. To be notified of any big news, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter below. 



Benjamin Holladay-McCann