Toobz

Though I’m done trying to get much more finished for Glenwood, I am going to whip up a few more tubes like this one.

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Knits don’t sell well online. They just don’t. People need to touch them and see them on to “get” it. I sell the hell out of pigtail hats at shows, but online maybe one or two a year. A YEAR. What a difference physical presence makes.

So, since the response to the tubes is really good in person, I’m hoping to make enough to hit the magic number. You know, that number somewhere between five and a bazillion that makes people want to buy something?

I started with one pigtail hat I’d made as an experiment. People loved it, but nobody wanted to buy it. I made a few more and almost sold out. I made even more for Art in the Park and again, almost sold out. Glenwood is getting my finest efforts yet, so cross your fingers. But the tubes get almost as much attention, I am guessing that three is not the magic number, so I’m going for half a dozen or so. I’ve got four currently, and though they take quite a bit more time than the hats, I can probably get two more done by go time.

It’s a practical piece of clothing, when you think about it, and like the hats, I can make them with less expensive yarn on bigger needles and keep my costs down. I don’t ever use crappy fiber. I’m a total snob like that. But there are cheaper options that don’t sacrifice quality. Let’s hope these babies move!

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Spooked by my own junk

Now that I’ve written that out loud, it sounds totally wrong….

Ah, screw it.

Nooo stuff!

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She scares even me. Her eyes are all clouded over and creepy looking. No normal person would want this hanging in their living room. Which is why I love it, and hope it will find a new home at Glenwood. Which is only two weeks away, fyi. Mark your calenders.

In other news, I got paid for the sidewalk sale.

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Lookit all that sexah yarn. Hey, barter is the way, man. I’d have probably just ended up spending any cash she paid me on yarn anyway.

Finished a custom order today as well. Go me! Now cross your fingers I sell it all at Glenwood.

You down wit OCD?

Yeah, you know me.

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Yes, those are sequins. Sorted by color and shape. I’d have sorted by size too, but the hardware store didn’t have a big enough drawer thingie.

My ocd is way ocd-er than your ocd!

And hey, y’all wanna hang out? Come by the Evanston sidewalk sale on Central street tomorrow and Friday from 10 to 6. My favorite yarn store, Montoya Fiber Studio, hired me to be their monkey, so I’ll be there, you can buy yarn where I buy my yarn (Ooooooo…!) and everyone will have a good time. There might even be lemonade.

 

 

Damn my speedy hands

Whelp, that’s the last of the caterpillar scrunch hats.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaCornejaNegra

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What was that, nine balls of yarn? It’s all hats now and dat’s all she wrote. No more knitting till I get some more cash to buy more yarn. Good thing I have the never finished Frankenblanket to keep my hands busy when they’re not painting or gluing or glittering something up. I was, in fact, a hyperactive child. Now I’m a fidgety adult. Nothing wrong with that.

Say Something Hat

One of my more eye catching items also happens to be a good way to use up leftover yarn ends.

Voila, the Pigtail Hat

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The pigtail hat came out of a chance encounter with a girl at a renaissance faire that happened to remind me of Delirium of the Endless. When I told her this, to my utter amazement, she had no idea what I was talking about. Thus commenced one of my favorite things about makin’ stuff. Exchanging tasty information. She told me how to make the hat, I handed her a well loved but still serviceable copy of Preludes and Nocturnes and hopefully Gaiman changed her life, much as he did mine.

You can make Pigtail Hats out of very plain, understated, beige, suburban soccer mom yarn. But I don’t recommend it. It’s got freakin’ pigtails on it. This is a Say Something Hat. Go nuts.

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The pigtails are basically hella big fringe. Which is why it’s a good way to use up leftovers. Fringe takes up a lot of yardage, and the point of these guys is to be kind of a rainbow of fruit flavor, so it doesn’t too much matter if your odds n’ ends don’t really match.

I do, of course, have hats that don’t make you look like you’re down on Fraggle Rock. You can check out the very demure (most of them) acorn pixie caps on my Etsy page.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaCornejaNegra

It’s good to have something for everyone. Though one of the fun parts about having such loud chapeaus as a staple of my collection is that the people who want to buy them? Universally entertaining. No finer way to wile away a slow spell at a craft show than with someone who likes your Say Something Hats. Even ones that don’t resemble mad, punk rock manifestations of a concept have proven to be an absolute hoot.

Finally

At last, a sunny day!

Besides the epic bummer a solid month without sunlight is (ok, I’m exaggerating slightly, but we have only had about four days of sun in an entire month or more of clouds, so only slightly) ya can’t photograph stock. I don’t happen to be blessed with a single room in my house that has decent light, or a professional set up for stock photography. So I gotta wait on the sunshine and take it out into my yard. Not fun in winter in the first place, but when you can’t post stuff on your Etsy page because you don’t have decent light it is frustrating as all get out.

But finally nature has consented to work with me, and the new caterpillar scrunch hats are up. Here, check em out…http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaCornejaNegra

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I have to charge more for them than my acorn pixie caps, cuz they’re made on smaller needles and take more than twice as long. They’re also made with spendier fiber. The softest, silkiest merino wool you ever did feel. Stuff so soft you wouldn’t believe it was wool. Given that, they should be twice as much, but alas, that is not the world we live in. Yep, folks, if you’re gonna make stuff for a living, you often have to be content with paying yourself sweatshop wages, so you’d better like what you’re doing. This is no gig for wimps.

There’s more to come, cuz I’ve got five more balls of yarn, so if you’re in love but don’t see the color you like, check back. Or message me for a custom order.

Stash killer

Awhile back, I knew this wonderful woman named Donna. We worked together at a candy store in the French Quarter. She was in her sixties, and tart as a lemon. The perfect example of a Sassy Old Lady. I have been wonderfully fortunate to have encounters with these women throughout my life. Sassy Old Ladies always have something to say, so pay attention. They tell bawdy jokes, make inappropriate comments, cuss like sailors when it’s warranted, look the very picture of respectability when it’s not. I will be one someday if I’m lucky. I mean, I have too many tattoos to look truly respectable, but then again, the world is changing, so you never know. My bestie works for the government, and he tells me of these “generational sensitivity” classes they have to take, where they are taught not to discriminate against people with tattoos and piercings, and told that’s just this generation’s method of self expression, which has no bearing on their level of education or affiliation with biker gangs.

If the federal government can get with the program, so can everybody else, m’kay?

Anyway, back to sassy Donna. Donna was also a knitter. A much more accomplished one than I at the time. And I was talking about this huge pile of yarn I’d accumulated, that I had no idea what to do with. You fiber junkies know what I’m talking about. The Stash. The infamous hoard of balls and skeins of yarn that you pick up because they’re on sale, or some well meaning but craft ignorant pal gives you just one of, or something so delicious you couldn’t help yourself.

If you’re not careful it’ll take over the world. My stash was getting to that point. I had four baskets in my relatively small apartment jammed to the tops with a totally mismatched accumulation of delicious fibers. And I’m complaining about what to do with them when sassy Donna says, “Why don’t you just knit a shawl?” Eh?  So she offered for me to come to her apartment and show me.

Now, we’ve seen the pretty shawls out there. Little shrug-like affairs, or large lacy affairs. They’re attractive, but you wear them in early fall or late spring. The shawl Donna taught me to make is a solid, tight weave you can wear out into the 40s if you’re so inclined. And I have. And best of all, it ate up like 500 yards of fiber. They take awhile, as by the time you get to the wide bit you’re working with 300 or so live stitches per row, but what a way to empty the stash. My largest one took 800 yards, and is so warm I’ve been comfortable down to 37 degrees. I checked a thermometer.

I’ve got a few for sale here at my Etsy shop…http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaCornejaNegra, if you want to check them out.

They are not cheap, because they’re not made with cheap fiber, and they take forever to make. Here’s a custom one my friend had me do.

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That sucker is waaaarm. I could make one with Lion Brand or something. Then it would be much less expensive. But like all 100% acrylic yarns, it would age badly, and not be anywhere near as warm or beautiful. If someone custom orders one in all acrylic fiber, I’m happy to do it. I’ll make a shawl according to what the person ordering it wants to spend, same as the nichos. But if they want my two cents, I’ll tell them to spend the money on the good stuff, and it’ll get them an heirloom piece. My pal there will be able to pass that shawl on to her daughter, in good time.

I’ll never forget Donna or the stash killer shawl pattern she passed on to me. And every time I make one I’ll think of her sassy, snarky, wonderfully inappropriate self, and hope she’s well, wherever life has taken her. Cuz that’s how it should be.