Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Drops Today and Your Head Looks Cold!

Remember my recent post about Mass Effect hats? It's ok, go look, I'll wait...*taps foot*

Caught up now? Great!

Now you can have a Mass Effect N7 Beanie of your very own! The newest addition to the Mass Effect universe, Mass Effect 3 drops today (March 6th, 2012) and so does this awesome beanie...you know, in my Etsy shop!

Show your gamer love or gamer pride and get one for yourself or the gamer in your life! There's nothing worse than a cold head while you're trying to game!

From Mass Effect Wiki: N7 is a vocational code in the Systems Alliance military. The "N" designates special forces and the "7" refers to the highest level of proficiency. It applies to marines who have graduated from an elite training program.

So check out the shop and order your N7 Beanie Today! Yay!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hippity Hoppity!

Just in time for Spring and Easter!

Like so many of my projects, this one started with someone asking if I could make a bunny hat. My default answer whenever anyone asks if I can make something is “presumably.” I’ve yet to find something I truly couldn’t figure out. It may not turn out exactly how it was originally envisioned, in fact it often doesn’t, but I can usually figure something out.

This may shock you, but I love knitting. I love knitting for the sake of knitting, I find it extremely relaxing and somewhat meditative under the right circumstances. But what I love most is a good challenge. Custom requests excite me because it gives me a chance to sit down with my needles and really think a project through.

There’s somewhat of a process to it. First there is the research phase. Colors and characteristics are very important both to the client’s preferences and when doing a known character, there needs to be continuity to help make it recognizable. So Google and I get down to business and I find a bunch of pictures to work with. Then I break things down to their basic shapes.

I get a kick out of it, I’m abysmal at math but knitting often forces me to use math skills I thought I’d never use outside of high school. Thank goodness for knitting counters and calculators!

Anyway, once I’ve broken things down, I get to figure out how to knit the shapes I need. At this point this is often straight forward but sometimes I still run into a shape that really makes me scratch my head. So I start my project, think I know what I’m doing, end up frustrated, swear at my yarn and needles, walk away for anywhere from a few hours to a couple weeks, finally figure that it’s easier than I was making it, feel silly for having such a hard time with it. At this point, I usually have multiple knit pieces sitting in front of me that don’t look like much disassembled. It never fails, every time I look at my pieces and how weird they look and think “there’s no way this is going to come together and look right”. But I plough on and start sewing things together and in the end, I’m usually quite happy with what my frustration and swearing hath wrought.

In any event, the focus of this particular blog is not what I go through when creating things, it is rather, this adorable bunny hat! I have always been a fan of any holiday that gives me an excuse to eat ham or leg of lamb (my family’s traditional Easter dinner options). I used to love decorating and hunting for Easter eggs when I was a kid too. So whether you celebrate Easter in it’s more traditional sense or just want a fun way to welcome the spring!

This hat is available in my Etsy shop with three bow options. However, it can be customized in just about any colors that strike your fancy. Just today I got a request for a pink hat and ears with a black bow. So don’t hesitate to comment here on the blog, on my facebook page, or convo me on Etsy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Massively Effective Knitting!

Geek Alert!

The gentleman in the center in the picture above is a very good friend of mine. The two gentlemen on either side of him are his very good friends. All three are very big fans of the video game Mass Effect.
I’m not a big gamer myself; I would rather spend the time knitting! But when my friend asked if I could knit a hat for him with a logo from one of his favorite games, I was all too happy to take on the challenge! The characters “N7” and a little triangle, how hard could it be, right?

 Famous. Last. Words.

For those who don’t know, this is what the logo looks like. 

N7 is some sort of elite fighting force in the game. I’d give you a more detailed description if I knew anything about it. Since I don’t, if you’re really curious, I guess Google is going to be your best friend.

I sat down with some graph paper and tried to chart out the logo. It wasn’t too hard but I had a spot of bother with the 7. Making it proportional to the N and not spacing it too far away was a bit of a challenge. The slope of the triangle with the little…extra block on top was also cause for some consternation. However, I managed to get things charted well enough to at least give it a try.

The first hat was…well it was not the smash hit I had hoped it would be. For one thing, I used too wide a knit which was very unforgiving where I’d made mistakes it didn’t work well with the triangle. It’s passable, but it’s just not right. 

However, since it was a free hat, I oh so graciously told my friend to suck it up and wear it. He actually did wear it some this winter but I don’t blame him for wanting a better one, which I will make for him eventually! Anywho, he showed his hat to his friend who loved it. We chatted a bit about what would make the pattern work better (it’s so cute when non knitters sit there and try really hard to understand what I’m talking about). He decided to order two hats, one for himself and one for his brother with the new and improved logo once I figured it out.

Since I had the incentive of getting paid (I know money is evil and all but it is a good motivator! So is being able to do nifty things like buy more yarn!) I set right to work re-tooling the logo. It took some time but I shrunk it down, which really helped with the letter and number, and made it as a patch that I sewed onto a black beanie instead of knitting it into the beanie like before.

I was much happier with the second atempt, it gave me a much clearer logo. My customers were also very happy with their hats which led to these lovely photos modeling them! 

While you're here, you should check out the Etsy store! New things have been added and more new items will go up this week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank You, Come Again!

Well, since the Etsy shop is now up and running, it seems like a good time to talk about what is currently listed! I am slowly but surely getting new things ready to list so keep an eye out for that but today we’re going to take a little walk down memory lane.

There have been a lot of changes in my knitting in the 3 or so years I’ve been doing it. It is only recently that I finally got good at knitting in the round. This means that everyone I made, I had to figure out how to knit flat. I scoured the internet for hats that could be knit on straight needles. I stumbled upon the directions for this design (Go look, I'll wait!)

But I wanted something more basic so I could add other adornments. It took a good deal of searching but I finally found a pattern that worked on straight needles and on circuluars! Woohoo!

So I figured out the pattern and made my first beanie and was sooooo very proud of myself! Then I decided it was boring and needed ears! The thing about knitting is that it actually breaks down to a few basic shapes you can make with the knit. The rest it about breaking things down into those shapes and figuring out how they fit together in order to make them out of knit. Animal ears, for the sake of knit purposes, are different variations on triangles or half circles. Making them look like ears has a lot to do with yarn choices and finishing. 


Anywho, animal ear hats are pretty popular these days but there’s another knit hat design I see a lot too, the Mohawk.  I see a lot of yarn Mohawks when I look around for interesting hat patterns and when I check out the local hat shops. I’ve even made one myself…lemme tell ya, building the Mohawk part of those hats is murder! Takes forever! But I set out to do something a little different. I took the spike pattern I had previously used for my dragon scarf. Shrank them down and stuck them on top of a hat. I like the more traditional Mohawk (can you use the word traditional with Mohawk?) hats but I like the spikey look of these better. It’s not exactly a Mohawk as I’d envisioned, looks more like a dragon or dinosaur hat which is A-ok with me!

I have of course branched out quite a lot since those early designs but they are where I got my start with nifty, fun hats and I think they’re cute. I’ve made a couple for myself and wear them often and there are a few out there bought by others and given as gifts by me! So check out the store, they are on sale at $15, I normally charge $20 for a new ear of spike hat! That’s five whole dollars off people! The deals around here are just craaaazy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Etsy...Finally!!! Etsy.com/shop/SweetVonPea

Ok, so I've been away from my blog for a while. Yes, dear readers, I realize this is a common theme for me. If it makes you feel any better, when I'm being a bad blogger, I'm being a good knitter!

In any event, I am back, for now anyway, and hopefully fairly regularly as I have lots of projects to share and such! For today though, I am happy to announce that after a bit over a year of selling behind the scenes, I have finally actually listed stuff in my Etsy store! Yay! One person wave in honor of me!


So there you have it, my Etsy shop is finally live! For now I am working on photographing and listing all the things I currently have in stock, soon I will list the already fairly popular made to order items like the Yoda, Leia, and Hello Kitty hats (stay tuned for a blog about Hello Kitty hats!). Also, hopefully coming in the next week or so will be listings for fun Easter themed hats and bunny ears!

For the time being, I am still taking requests for just about anything you can think of so don't be afraid to drop me a line and ask if I can figure out how to make something. The answer is usually yes! In the meantime, check out the shop, new things are going up every couple days!