Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tiny Bat Has Agreed to Join My Team

Those of you who have been reading for awhile may remember that I'm a big fan of Penny Arcade. Particularly this one (click through to embiggenate):

But also, Tiny Bat. God I love Tiny Bat. I have considered having Tiny Bat emblazoned upon my flesh. Just sayin'.

So anyway, when Stacey aka FreshStitches tweeted that she was going to release a pattern for a "tiny bat" today, I immediately thought of the aforementioned.

Then she posted it. 

And I realized how very easy it would be to make Igor the tiny bat into TINY BAT.

And then I didn't get any work done today.


Eeeep!! I even had self-adhesive white felt in my studio for teeth. I consider that a sign that my day was spent doing exactly what I was supposed to do. Plus it's like, halloween, right? (Halloween is an entire season in my mind.)

(I know, the pins look painful, but don't worry- Tiny Bat is hardcore as shit.) 

A few tweaks I made in order to turn Igor into TB:

- Left the wings shallower, to more closely represent Tiny Bat's own sharply-angled appendages
- The eyes, obvs, are different.
- I added eyebrows, which was actually sort of fiddly and difficult, probably because I am a major crochet noob and was just sort of making it up as I went.
- My gauge was too loose and I was worried the stuffing would show through, so I put the stuffing inside some black fabric. It turned out better than I expected.

The pattern was easy and FAST- I had a little trouble with the self-shrinking cast on (is that even what it's called in crochet? I have no idea) because, like I said, noob... but I just jerry-rigged my own version and it worked fine. The pattern is super well-written with lots of helpful process pics. I have mad respect for what Stacey does- not just because I suck at crocheting and she's awesome at it, but because designing in 3-D is TRICKY and requires major spatial skills. Mine aren't bad- I usually get high scores on that part of the standardized test- but I know it would require me to use some serious brainpower to make animals happen like she does. (This pattern is relatively simple compared to some of her others, but the wings are ingenious.) I'm not used to crocheting or to using other people's patterns and it was still a piece of cake for the most part. (This might be the first time I've actually used a crochet pattern for more than an edging, actually. And it's definitely the first time I've bought and made a pattern the day it came out, haha.)

Anyway, lil' TB is hanging out on Trav's desk lamp now, waiting to give him a wee startle. He makes me giggle every time I look at him. Love it love it love it.


Now, back to work, dammit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Final Countdown

Well, we're down to the last four days of the Kickstarter. This is your last chance to get some good deals on patterns or ebook combos, or pick up some awesome unique prizes! I don't think we'll make our updated goal of $7500 but we're very close to $7000 which should at least allow us to go to one of those cool locations ;-)

Thank you all for bearing with me during this month of pestering, and double thank you to all of you who have supported us by spreading the word or making a donation. You guys rock so hard I can't even express it. Knitters are awesome, man. 

 Next month, we return to your regularly scheduled miscellaneous knitting content- actually it'll be a little more exciting than usual, as I've got THREE different book tours making whistlestops here in Dull-Roar-Ville! All of them very cool, I can't wait to show you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kickstarter Update and Fun Pictures of Relevant Stuff

Here we are, halfway through the month, so I thought it might be time for an update. As you may recall, we hit our goal on day five. The project is open to backers until the end of the month, though, so we've set some new goals- most notably, we'd love to get to $7500 because it would mean we could use some farther-away, overnight locations (travelling with a whole horde of people becomes quite a bit more expensive when they need somewhere to sleep, haha.) Specifically, we're hoping to visit the Alvord Desert:

...and the Satsop Nuclear Plant, which is particularly interesting because it was never completed and I believe you can actually go inside the cooling towers.

In the meantime, I've been taking careful stock of the costume pieces that we already have...

(as you can see, Pog is helping by making sure she's in every single shot.) well as doing some serious internet window-shopping (do you KNOW how many cool leggings are out there? SO MANY) and an absurd number of potential-outfit-sketches. I've also been wandering around Sephora and Ulta covering my arms in eyeshadows and liners, which is more amusing than it has any right to be. Then there's been some pricing out of flights and obsessively combing airbnb for somewhere affordable to stay for two weeks that doesn't have a number in its name (not that I haven't had some good times at Super 8, but if I can stay in someone's quaint little upstairs apartment for just as little, well hot damn!) And of course, I have three more patterns to finish up...

In short, much excitement!

Back over in Kickstarterville, we've still got a ton of great prizes up for grabs. Lots and lots of patterns (including the "Buy two Go Go Malabrigo ebooks, get Doomsday Knits free" deal.) Some luxury handknits, made just for you. Some kits. A fantastic zombie-fied painting. Handspun yarn by yours-truly in your choice of colors. And of course, digital and hard copies of the book. In short... a lot of goodies that will, should you choose to partake of them, help send us to some seriously cool sites. So please, kind citizens of the internet, consider kicking a dollar our way if you can, or perhaps tweeting or pinning or otherwise spreading the word about our lil' project. Every little bit gets us a little closer to mega-super-awesome. (And thank you for letting me jabber on about it so much... soon it will be all updates and no begging, I promise!)

In other news, OMFG IT'S FALL YAAAAAYYY. At least here in Michigan. There have been a few unpleasantly hot moments over the last few days but you can definitely feel the "cool and crisp" underneath. As someone who dresses for fall all year 'round, I'm pretty excited.

(Flickr pictures featured are used under the Creative Commons license. Thanks photo-people!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bespeckled Craftsy Workshop!

This is definitely the most days I've ever posted in a row, haha. When it rains it pours, I guess.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say that my A Most Bespeckled Hat workshop is now available on Craftsy!

It was the Mystery Knit-Along for August, and was only available to KAL members, but now it is public :-) If you've been considering dipping a toe into stranded colorwork, this is a great way to do it! The workshop includes the pattern, very thorough step-by-step tutorials (heavy on the photos), and you can ask questions on the dashboard to get help from me or from other workshoppees. So far the response has been very good (except a few folks who didn't like the Frank Ochre yarn that came with the KAL kit,* anyway) and I'm excited to start easing my way into the instructor role. (Could actual in-person classes be in my future? I DON'T KNOW! MAYBE!)

Even better, the workshop is currently on sale- $11.99 instead of $15.99. Yippee! I have no idea how long that price will last, so if you're interested, grab it! The workshops never expire- you can work through them at your own pace and revisit them as much as you like.

In conclusion, hats are great and learning is fun. Also: pom poms.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chutes, and also Ladders

Yay I can finally show you my KnitCulture Studio Club hat!!




It's more complex than my patterns usually are, in that it involves charts and two-stitch twists and what-not, but I actually found it pretty intuitive and was able to watch just as much horrible netflix'd tv shows as usual while knitting it (that's my barometer for difficulty, haha.)

Right now it's only available through the KnitCulture Studio Club, which you should definitely check out- it comes as a kit, and this yarn is THE BOMBEDEST. Cashmere + glitter = winwinwinwin. There's also a lil' bit of an interview with me over there, if that's what you're into.

(Should the club be out of your budget (or should you be a cashmere-and-glitter hater), fear not, the pdf will be released in a few months. But this yarn is totally worth it!)

You can check it out on Ravelry here!

Yippiee! I could see some more of this traveling-twist-stitch stuff in my future, whatddyathink?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We did it!!!

The next time someone underestimates the power, passion, and scope of the knitting community, I want you to tell them this:

We raised $5000 in just five days- not just for a knitting book, but for a decidedly niche knitting book. That's a niche within a niche. And still, we cranked it out like it was nothin'.

Yup, just after 2 am this morning, we hit our goal!

You. guys. are. amazing. We are knitters, hear us roar. Thank you, so much, to every single one of you who donated, retweeted, or just sent some encouragement our way.

So what's next? Well, the funding is open for another 25 days, and we still have lots of prizes left. I've put up a few more milestones and what each one would provide for us. Believe me, we'll find a good use for every last red cent! It'll only get better and better.

We've also added some new prizes over the last few days! We've got some handspun yarn (by yours truly), a shawl knit just for you from Sarah Burghardt from one of her amazing patterns, and one more opportunity to name a pattern in the book. We've also got lots of fun things left from the beginning- tons of patterns from our designers, some kits and handknits, and the awesome Purl, The Zombie Killer painting. The $30 donation level gets ya both Go Go Malabrigo and Go Go Malabrigo 2, as well as Doomsday Knits, making it a pretty great bargain that has been popular so far.

So yeah, let's keep this party rollin! The (30-day-long) night is young. (Isn't that a vampire movie?) You can check out the campaign here, laugh at my miserable video skills, and see if any of the rewards pique your interest. If you can't or don't wish to donate but still want to help, we'd love a tweet/stumble/pin/wall post/blog mention :-)

In the meantime, it feels good to finally exhale, and know that these shoots will definitely be able to happen, all because of you wonderful people. And don't worry, my month of shameless whoring will be over soon enough, and I will retreat into my lair to cook you up a shaping-up-to-be-pretty-awesome book!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I am frankly astonished that I managed to sneak this guy in, with all the book-designing and Kickstarting and misc-stuff-I-committed-to-perhaps-unwisely-but-I-got-excited-okay? But it's here! And hooray!!



I love this hat because the wide, double-thickness brim means it will actually put up a good fight against the biting winter winds we get here in Michigan. I'm also digging the weird, quasi-experimental decreases and the simple textures. Subbing the picots out for a purl row will butch this hat right up, for anyone in your life who isn't the "picot" type but who still needs warm ears.



And apparently, it just looks good with glasses.

Check out Brimley on Rav here


Monday, September 3, 2012

More Studio Club Sneak Peeks!

I am positively itching to show you this project. It's like...fleas of excitement.




I can tell you this much: Its name is "Chutes, and also Ladders." It involves charts, but relatively intuitive and non-scary charts. And it will be available very soon as part of the KnitCulture Studio Club, which looks like a darned awesome club to be in. (It will be released for non-members a month or two later.)

Also, Sarah tested it and gave it her official seal of approval, so that oughta count for something ;-)

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