Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shop Unique. Shop Etsy For The Holidays.

Hey Internet, 

Handmadeology (Facebook page here) is doing a neat promotion called Shop Unique. Shop Etsy for the Holidays. If you didn’t know about this already then you should totally check it out. There’s lots of cool handmade stuff out there, you just have to find it. If you're a fellow crafter then you should support your fellow starving artists for sure.
Here are a couple of my favorite Etsy shops/shops of my pals to feast your eyeballs on:
SouthPawEngraving (Facebook) - He makes a lot of earrings, but he can pretty much do anything from pendants for necklaces to Christmas tree ornaments. He also make things he’s already made in a million other colors. He's the dude behind Jarman Props too and he's making a limited number of Skyrim Iron Shields, which would be great for cosplay or decoration.

Illumine Artisan Works (Facebook) - Cute as shit hand-sewn merit badges. Need I say more? Also manga covers.

Lily Moon Crochet (Facebook and Tumblr) - If I slept on a bed of money I would buy all of these crochet squids and octopi for everyone I know and myself. I would then sleep on a bed of crochet cephalopods.
RatherBeCrocheting - Who doesn’t need a crochet loofa made with love and yarn?

Playroom Rd. Gifts - Ask this girl about custom, hand-painted magnets.

And like my Facebook page. XOXOXOX

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving + Black Friday + Some Updates

Happy Black Friday! I hope everyone's having fun and had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. I spent it watching Cheers and feeding turkey to the cats. Today I'm putting on my knitting pants and getting back to "work."

I've been real busy with custom requests lately! I've gotten so many people in need of bigfoot hats that I'm going to take a moment to make a handful of different ones for the shop. They'll be on sale for the holidays too! I totally associate yetis with Christmas and yetis are northern bigfeet, right? Right. So keep your eyes peeled for those. There will be some Lorelai-style ones (gray and white) as well as other colors too.

I'll also be making a few more Dalek hats, for the Whovians. INCLUDING Baby Dalek hats made with actual baby yarn.

I'm going to be getting started on some other neat custom items this weekend first, including a Game of Thrones-themed scarf and some Star Trek patterns. Yay, Trekkies! For the month of December I'll also be sharing a bunch of new colorwork charts, which is something else to get excited about. Such excitement!

Dark Tower fans, I've not forgotten you! I'm going to make more Beam scarves soon! I just got bogged with those custom requests. I'll be restocking the entire Dark Tower section of the shop with new Unfound and Crimson King hats. And listen, once I've made one of each Beam at least I'm going to write out the pattern and make a nice PDF containing all of the Beam Guardian colorwork charts and the rest of the scarf pattern. It'll be available on the cheap, of course.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red & Green Sale HAPPENING NOW!

Head on over to the Etsy shop and check out the featured items and also be sure to check in each shop section for more items that are part of this festive, holiday sale. It's not even Thanksgiving, but I don't care.

Friday, November 7, 2014

UPDATED Bigfoot Hat - Free Knitting Pattern

UPDATED on 1/9/15 - scroll on down for a crapton of variations...!

I've now made three awesome Bigfeet...Bigfoots...Sasquatch hats (and I'm working on a fourth) using the chart I made a while back. I made a few minor tweaks to the chart after the first hat (shown below). Here's the COMPLETE PATTERN, including that honeycomb-looking business at the top, which I also refined after the first hat. I'm fairly certain the original hat that Lorelai wears on Gilmore Girls is using DK yarn. It's the only way to get the appropriate number of hairy hominids around (I believe there are six). I used worsted weight yarn for all of the hats I've made, so the hat isn't completely identical to the one on the show and it has four mythical beasts.

Feel free to making any tweaks and adjustments to this pattern that you'd like. For the third hat I actually flip-flopped the two colors for the crown of the hat to mix it up (the blue hat below). If you make a hat or two, don't hesitate to share it on the Facebook and please give a shoutout as a link back to this page, tumblr or the Etsy.

What You Need
  • size 8 circular needles
  • size 8 DPNs, set of 4
  • yarn needle
  • stitch marker (optional)
  • worsted weight yarn in 2 colors

Gauge: roughly 4 st per inch makes a hat for average, adult heads

The Pattern

CO 96 stitches using your preferred cast on method in your MAIN color. This color will also be the color of your bigfeet as well as the top of the hat and obviously the brim. Join to form a circle, ensuring none of your stitches are twisted.

Brim: 5 to 7 rnds of K1P1 ribbing...more if you want a wider brim. Do whatever floats your boat. I'm not here to cramp your style. I used 6 rnds. To give the brim a finished look, switch to your second color, the BACKGROUND (BG). K all the way around in BG and then P all the way around in BG.

Work this chart 4 times, from left to right using knit stitches for your regular ol' stockinette.

Top and Decreasing: Here's where things might get tricky. You can just make a solid top part if you want, I won't shame you. 

After the final round in MAIN at the top of the chart, you need to begin working the following pattern:

You can shift it to the left or right a bit to position the honeycombs differently, but be sure to maintain the 12 sts. Repeat the first rnd of this chart 8 times around the hat. Begin decreasing in the second rnd of the pattern (I marked each rnd where you need to work decreases in the lighter gray, work even for the other rnds). You need to work the decreases between each honeycomb and it'll work out, I swear.This is a great time to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each rnd.

For the first rnd of dec - K10, K2TOG around;

K all st in the rnd;

K9, K2TOG around;

K all;

K8, K2TOG...this is the first sort of tricky rnd. The first st will be in MAIN, followed by 7 st in BG, K2TOG in MAIN, then repeat and you'll end up with 2 st between each honeycomb.

Continue this pattern until the honeycombs are done.

I kept the hat on my circulars until I finished the honeycombs then switched to DPNs and carried on, alternating dec rnds with rnds of K until I had 8 sts left. At that point, whip out your yarn needle and close that hole. Weave in your ends, so on and so on. Add a pom pom if you want. I used a 3" one of these for the hats that have one.

Happy knitting!

GLORIOUS VARIATIONS (added on 1/9/15)

5-Squatch Hat (Thanks go out to WireMonkey for getting to this before me. Go now and check out her Ravelry page!)

Lorelai's hat had five bigfootsies on it, so you'll want to do this for the most accurate Gilmore Girls-inspired hat. Just drop your needles down to size 6 and use DK yarn. CO 120 and repeat the bigfoot chart 5 times and the honeycomb chart 10 times. Add length to the brim to make a longer hat.

3-Squatch REVERSIBLE Double-Sided Child and Adult Hats

**Siouxsie Stitches created what is basically Double-Knitting for Dummies. Go there and look at it if you want to get started double-knitting. It really helped me wrap my brain around it. Double-knitting colorwork just requires doubling the number of stitches in your colored sections and maintaining the alternating knit and purl stuff...if that makes any sense (this is totally why I don't make tutorials explaining actual skills). It's not as hard as it sounds, I swear.

For a kid's (or small adult) hat use size 5 needles and cast on 144 sts in DK/sport weight yarn. This gives you the 3 bigfeet on either side (72 sts per side). If you need to add length then I recommend making the brim longer. After doing a brim of at least 1" or so you can either create the different texture ridge by swapping your knits and purls or just do a rnd in your alternate color. Then begin double-knitting the bigfoot chart and then you'll need to double-knit 6 of the honeycomb chart (if you want them).

For an adult hat use size 6 (or 7) needles and again CO 144 in DK or sport. You'll need at least a 1" brim. I went with 1.5" because my gauge changes pretty substantially when I double-knit. The needle size you need depends a lot on your double-knitting gauge and your yarn.

I chose not to do the ridge above the brim on the handful of double-sided hats I've made. I also chose to leave off the honeycombs on the crown. Personal preference - nothing more. Both are still possible with double-knitting. You can even still have a ribbed brim.

Woo hoo! As usual - happy knitting! Show me your bigfoot hats on the Facebook page and don't forget to share this pattern with your pals!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bigfeet, Double Knitting and the Quest for the Dark Tower

1. Bigfeet

I promised the internet a pattern for the bigfoot hat. I've made two as custom orders (one without a pom pom and one with a pom pom) using worsted weight yarn, but the original hat is most certainly double knitted using DK. I'll post the pattern for the one-sided knit version this Friday for...Free Pattern Friday! I need to take a stab at making the double knitted version. Mentioning this transitions nicely into my next topic of discussion.

2. Double Knitting

In the meantime, I made a reversible argyle hat and I'm also working on another double knitted hat to get into the groove and make sense of my gauge.

3. Dark Tower

I've got several new Dark Tower items in the shop and I'm working on several more. I needed a break from the Beam Guardian scarves, but don't fret - I'll get to the next one shortly. Interest in them seems to have died down a bit, so I felt I could slow production.

Tower fans, check out the following: