Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Business Card…Oy Vey!

I am incredibly indecisive. Actually, that’s not true. (see what I did there?)

I am incredibly indecisive about certain things. Chief among those things is templates of any kind. Every time I have ever tried to put together a simple website, choose a color pallet, start up this blog, or make a business card, I have ended up frozen with indecision.

I find one I like…then I find another one I like. Then I find 1 or 2 more I like. So I start fiddling with them, I play with the customizing options and generally end up over working them so I don’t like them anymore. 
Eventually, I narrow it down to 2 or 3 and actually manage to tweak those so I like them.

Then I can’t decide which one I want.

So I put it to a vote. I ask my mom, then I ask a friend, then I put it on facebook and ask all my friends. Usually by this point I have a front runner and least favorite and the majority seems to always like my least favorite and hate my front runner.

So I get frustrated and put it up on a fast moving message board and put it to a vote there. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment. Sometimes the mass polling goes my way and sometimes it doesn’t but usually by them I am so annoyed with myself and the whole process that I have to just walk away for a few days.

Then I come back and remember why I was annoyed.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because, good readers, I have just ordered my first business card! And it only took me 3 weeks to decide on a design!  So here it is in all it’s glory:

I suppose I could show you the runners up, but if I do, you have to be nice and not tell me I’m lame and chose the wrong one…k? I knew you guys would be nice!

So these were a close second and third:

So after I narrowed it down to these three, I couldn't decide so I went back to Vistaprint.com (they made this process quite nice and easy aside from giving me too many options) and started looking through designs again hoping to find something that spoke to me. 

What I ended up with this time is a jumble of confusion. 

I thought for a while I wanted to go a little more simple and formatted this one: 

Then I decided that one was lame and maybe I didn't like the colors I'd been looking at and what I really needed was something totally different from the colors I'd been looking at so I had a brief love affair with this one:

Then I thought...I want some edge and formatted this one and loved it and really really wanted it...but it's not really what I'm going for:

I actually still really like the skulls and I kinda hope someday I find a use for it. But for now I'm happy with my choice and excited about being able to hand out business cards when people ask where they can find me!

So, you may have noticed that there is an Etsy address on all these cards. So the cats out of the bag. I'm currently only using Etsy to set up special listings for special request sales or people who aren't comfortable sending me payments directly through paypal. But soon, there will be an Etsy shop with some pre-made and some made to order.

There will be an announcement and probably some sort of grand opening sale when that happens, I will keep you informed!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ok, who missed me?

So, I know it’s been a while (bad blogger, no cookie!) but I have been busy knitting. Normally that means I have lots of stuff to blog about but lately I’ve been busy knitting more or less the same two things.  Princess Leia and Yoda hats! These puppies are selling like hotcakes…hotcakes that take a week to make. Lately I've been making them in all sorts of sizes and I've even made several people who aren't born yet! I sure hope I start getting some pictures from customers soon!

Anywho, I’m beyond grateful for the business but it’s meant I haven’t had a lot of time to knit other things. I have a few things in the works right now and I have made some interesting things in between so stay tuned for something new very soon!

I’d like to pretend that I can stick to a tri or bi or even once weekly blog post schedule but, lets face it, I can’t. However, dear reader, I shall try to be more dependable moving forward. Come on baby, I know we can make this work!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

There's One (or more) In Every Family.

Hello out there in blog land, I know I've been away for a while but I'm hoping to get back to at least semi-regular posting!

This is my cousin…unfortunately. Without going into too much detail, she and I don’t get along. Recently I found myself in the position of needing to remove her somewhat erratic and destructive force from my life. *sigh* These things happen. I believe very strongly in family but I also believe very strongly that blood is not thicker than self preservation and sanity.

Anywho, I didn’t post a picture of my cousin because I wanted to talk about unpleasantness. Rather, I wanted to talk about the nifty hats I slaved over before cutting her out of my life. I had thought to roll these out over more than one post but I figure I may as well get the cousin related blogging out of the way and move on with my life.

As you can see in the first photo, my cousin is sporting some knitwear. She requested three hats of me (and expected to pay next to nothing…really kicking myself for giving her such a good price now) A baby Yoda hat for her infant son, a Green Lantern hat for her betrothed, and a Hat with attached scarf for herself. (Pictured above)

She requested that her hat be made of super soft yarn so I complied despite the extra cost of the super soft yarn (again, kicking myself for the rockin’ discount I gave her.) In order to cut my costs a little I knit the hat and scarf double strand, one strand being softer yarn and one strand being regular acrylic. Still soft and cozy but a little cheaper to produce. (Lol, there’s my trade secret for the day!) I knit the hat and both scarf-flaps separately then seamed and attached. Nothing too complicated but I was pleased with how it came out and so was she!

Next was the Baby Yoda hat, pictured here on my cousin’s little boy. He is rather cute, a pity I will no longer be able to use him as a hat model. Nothing ground breaking here, you’ve seen my Yoda Hats before, but I wanted to show it off on a living model!

Last but not least is the Green Lantern hat. There was a time when there were many Green Lantern fans in my life so I set out to knit a Green Lantern symbol. I posted that on a favorite geek message board of mine which led to what was actually my very first order for knitwear: a special request for a Green Lantern Hat and scarf. My cousin’s someday to be husband saw pictures of that set and had to have a hat for his very own.

So I knit him up a hat and here is his customer action shot…It’s a little beyond me why he couldn’t like…I dunno…put on a real shirt for the photo which was part of the trade for the discount I gave them. Que sera, he truly enjoys his hat and it shows in the pic (see his happy face?) and that does warm my heart. Few things make me happier than seeing people truly enjoy something I’ve made for them.

 Since I’m getting all things related to that chick formerly known as my cousin out of the way, I figured I’d also show the first two baby hats I gifted my cousin with upon the birth of her son. The first being one being a fuzzy kitty ear hat and the second being a boobie!

The boobie hat is actually a story all it’s own, so I will leave it at that for now!

Anywho, Have a good day readers, and appreciate your family, be they blood relations or the family you build for yourself with good friends!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Did I 'Ear You Right"

So in the last post I mentioned getting paid to knit. This post is also about some of the things I’ve gotten paid to knit recently! Ina weird way, this is also very much about getting ears shaped correctly.

So, recently I was tasked with making a Yoda baby hat and a child’s Pikachu hat. I love a new knitting challenge so I did some research to make sure I could put something together and then set about designing these.

For those who don’t know, Pikachu, is a Pokemon. Pokemon is short for Pocket Monster (or so they tell me). If you don’t have children and have never been a child or somehow otherwise managed to miss the entire boat on the Pokemon phenomenon, Pokemon was a children’s TV show of Japanese origin. Pikachu is a specific Pokemon character. As I recall, he is an electric mouse. In general I will only use my own images on here but I figure this is one of those times when a visual aid would be a good thing. So this is a Pokemon and I own no rights what so ever to this image. 

Ok, got it? Good.

So now that you know what a Pikachu looks like, you can see my brilliant work crafting a hat for a child who is a big Pikachu fan! This hat was purchased by a mommy friend for her very cute and sweet and well behaved 5 year old!

I knew basically what Pikachu looked like but I was not well versed so I did a bunch of research. By research mean, I googled the heck out of that little guy. I also looked around at the sort of Pikachu hats others had made. I rarely end up using an actual pattern for anything and I of course won’t sell anything made with someone else’s pattern. But I do like to reference and see what others have come up with, I figure that’s fairly common.

There were several out there but I found many of them were all yellow except for the black tips on the ears and it seemed boring. It’s not like a huge design element but I threw in the black brim to break up the yellow a bit ‘cause that’s how I roll. Speaking of how I roll, the brim can be rolled up so It looks more like a beanie!

The ears were interesting, I debated how best to make them look like what I saw in the pictures. I saw all manner of other knit Pikachu ears but often they were flat or too droopy. But a little stuffing and mine seem to sit just as intended. Apparently Pikachu uses his ears to express emotion. It was also beyond cute to see the 5 year old recipient of this hat shaking his head around to get his ears to bounce!

How freakin' cute is that?!

Now on to Yoda.
I figure Star Wars in general and Yoda specifically is prolific enough for me to not need to provide too much explanation or pictures stolen from the interwebs. If you don’t know who Yoda is…well go watch Star Wars, like all of them! Do it now, I’ll wait.

Didja do it? I’ll take your silence as an affirmative.
So the Yoda hat requested was for an infant. Infants can be tricky. See, some kids come out with tiny tiny heads and some come out with really, like freakishly large heads. And eventually, they all grow. So I like to err on the side of caution and go bigger for infant sized hats. If you go too small, the kid may never get to wear the hat. If it’s too big to start with, it’s likely it will fit eventually.

So I did some research. There are two really important components in both these character hats and those were the colors and the ear shapes and details. Pikachu was easy because he’s generally accepted as a bright yellow color with black. Yoda, on the other hand is green. Not just any green, but a sorta mossy, minty green. He’s minty moss green. Actually, the color on the yarn was something like frosted mint. Either way, Yoda is a light green color.

In researching images of Yoda and other designs people had used for their Yoda hats, I noticed a disturbing trend: none of these people knew what color Yoda is! Shocking, I know, but take heart gentle readers! For I have carefully constructed a Yoda hat in about as close to his coloring as one could get.

The other tricky thing about Yoda was the shape of his ears. They aren’t just some form of triangle like a lot of puppet/animal/creature type ears are. They’re all curly and pointy. I looked at what others had done and most of them had weird floppy ears that weren’t the right shape. I was determined to keep this from happening.

Ok, one more stolen image to illustrate the absurd curly/pointiness.

It turned out to be laughably simple to get the right shape (not that I’m going to share trade secrets :-P) and I managed it on my first try. It’s entirely possibly I may never top the awesomeness of the Yoda hat and honestly, I’m pretty zen about that. If you have to peak young, you may as well peak with the greatest of all the Jedi masters right?

So, somewhere between Princess Liea, Pikachu, and Yoda, I seem to have found somewhat a niche in what I lovingly call: Nerd Knitting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Princess Cinnamon Buns!

I’m a bit of a geek/nerd in general. Not the kind who can fix your computer or hack into it or program it. More the kind who cut her teeth on Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, and Spider Robinson. I love sci fi and to a lesser degree, some fantasy. My geekosity takes many forms, from being a knitting nerd to a history buff, but the specific realm of geekdom one of my recent projects involves is Star Wars.

I am a huge Star Wars fan. Han Solo is my first true love. We’re not talking celebrity crush on Harrison Ford, (though I had one of those too) we’re talking full on in love with Han Solo, the rogue with a heart of gold!  

However, this post is not about Han Solo.

Any girl in love with Han Solo at once wants to be and hates the oh so iconic Princess Leia Organa (eventually Solo…that bitch!). And what says Princess Leia more clearly than the ever recognizable cinnamon bun hairstyle? Nothing, that’s what.

Granted her hair looked better in just about every other hairstyle she wore, but when people think Princess Leia, they think cinnamon buns! Ok, they think of the slave costume as well, but I’m talking about hair here, people!

So I thought it would be fun to knit myself a Princess Leia Cinnamon Bun Hat!!! I looked around online and was not surprised to find that others had also tackled this feat. I did not however end up using anyone’s pattern. I tried a few different styles for the buns and ended up using i-cord. But the whole thing, though not very complicated, was improvised by me.

I absolutely love the way this came out…and so did the person who ended up buying it! So the bad news is that I have yet to make a Princess Leia hat for myself (just modeling it in these pics). The good news is that before I even finished knitting this one, I had a customer for it. She absolutely loves it and that honestly makes me (almost) as happy as having one myself. Not to mention, getting paid to knit, which is pretty nifty.