Thursday, April 14, 2016

What is a KITH? Knifemaker Info

What is a K.I.T.H? 

KITH is an acronym for Knife In The Hat. It is a group event where a number of knifemakers will create knives and put them "in a hat." Then all the contributors will draw one knife from the hat. Members of the KITH can share comments and critiques to help the other makers make better knives. 

Of course, nowadays, a real hat not often used. In the web based KITHs we mail our entry to another participant. The name of recipient is kept private so none of the participants know who's knife they will be receiving.

Generally the KITH will have a theme and some dimensional criteria. For example the theme is Bird & Trout and the makers are required to submit a knife in this style, no longer than 8-1/2". KITHs must always have rules and closing dates.

If you want to organize a KITH among your knifemaking peers, here are some general rules that you may take and modify to suite your needs. I made this random draw invitation for the Canadian Knifemaker Forum


Paring or Bird & Trout Knife In The Hat
4" blade length maximum.
Try to keep it under 8-1/2" long.

Stock removal, forged, with or without bolsters, full tang, stick tang or through tang: anything goes.

Sheath or holder is optional.

KITH ends June 30th, 2016.

  • Each participant will receive a randomly drawn knife in exchange for a knife they enter.
  • As a truly random drawing (from the hat so to speak) a non-participating, trustworthy, forum member acting as Facilitator will generate a swap list.
  • As a participant, you will provide a name and mailing address to the Facilitator, before the deadline, in order to receive the knife being mailed to you. The name and address will not be published.
  • The Facilitator will notify the participant of the name and address which to send their entry (knife).
  • The Facilitator will not reveal in advance what knives are going to what participants. (Super fun this way)
  • All knives must be packaged and shipped, postage paid by sender.
  • Packaging of knives must in a safe way so as to not cause injury/harm to postal workers or recipient.
  • All participants must submit at least 1 photo and dimensional specs of knife to the forum before closing, Friday June 30, 2016.
  • Participants will receive recipient's name and address on or before Monday July 5th, 2016.
We hope to see knives made to the best of the participant's ability.
As usual, critiques and reviews are appreciated.

Please indicate in this thread that you are in.

You can see that the type or style of knife, the size and general rules including dates are outlined above.
Being a random draw, you will need a volunteer to manage the final entries and give out the mailing addresses discretely.

Voting Based Exchange

In some cases, the random draw can be replaced with manipulated exchanges. In larger KITHs, one may have makers of widely varying skills. In this type of KITH, ideally the seasoned makers exchange with other seasoned makers and the newbies exchange with other newbies. The volunteer facilitator uses the results of the participant's votes to create the exchange list. For example: All participants are asked to rank the entries on a scale from 1 to 10. Here we are hoping to setup the exchanges of similarly ranked entries.

KITH Themes

A variety of knife style have been used in KITHs. Depending on your group, the time the members have available and skill, the theme can vary wildly.

Good examples for beginners or time strapped groups:

Paring knife
Stick tang
Neck knife
Small hunter
Bushcraft knife

More elaborate knife themes:
Chef's knife
Push knife

As always, there are legalities that you need to be mindful of. In some jurisdictions certain knives are illegal. 

I hope this is of help is you are wanting to setup a KITH of your own.