Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Trio of Loki Hats

Shortly after making my first Loki Hat and in between making a pile of sherlock hats, I made a few of these bad boys.   

The gold yarn was the same as the Thor Hat (fitting, eh?) and the green yarn was left over from when I made my own brother a scarf for Christmas (also fitting) and later bought some more of for the Loki Hat and Scarf Set.  You may say to yourself, "Wow, she reuses a lot of yarn."  Yes.  Yes I do.  

A nice flat top.  Sometimes they are perfectly rounded, and other times they go ruffley.  Ruffley is not bad, it just depends on people's taste.  And if the intended audience is male or female.  

     This one was given to a friend I worked with for her birthday.  It suited her perfectly, so what else was I to do?  Always my internal turmoil:  Would I rather wait and sell a thing, or give it to a friend who will use it?  Or will my friend just say, "Oh, that's nice." and not use it, and it would only be used and loved by someone willing to pay for it?  Thus runs my vanity.  I love what I make, and make it to be used heartly until it's worn through (which I make sure won't happen for a long time), but I must understand that not everyone looks at what I make the same way.  

Ok, this one.  The brown one.  This one is simple, with ruffles, and a very obvious Loki pattern.  It's in the shop, miraculously!  

But I don't remember much about the yarn, sorry to say.  I believe it was partially acrylic, which makes it more hardy and washable.  Neat.   

And here we have the mild mannered Loki hat.  The one with easy colors, more hidden helmets, and soft yarn.  AND there is only one row of helmets, without that confusing up and down pattern, which I like, but confuses the eye.  

     This is the Loki hat that really goes against Loki, really.  It's not his colors, nor his attitude.  It's just calm and sweet, which is like the Loki-that-never-was which the hopeless fangirls wish could sometimes be.  It won't, Fangirls.  You know this.  You've read the mythology, it just gets worse from here.  But all the same, we do hope.  

If does make me smile, however to see it.  

     I guess I should get back into making these things. They are easy and fun, but too much Loki is bad for the brain.  Though I do have an Odin's staff pattern I have never used, and I would like to incorporate that sometimes...

Monday, April 27, 2015


Soon after Thor 2 had come out (or was it before?) and knitting this hat, I thought I might turn my hand to the "little g" god of Thunder.  

Both the hammers and the lightning is my own invention.  The lightning is a bit of a pain, I admit, it's like a 40 stitch repeat, but the effect is fantastic.  

The yarn is a bit of the gray from the Sherlock Sweater, (I had a lot of that left over) some gold yarn that was really meant for needlepoint, brown of the same, light gray of some harsh wool, medium gray for the hammers of something softer (dragon sweater remnants?) and the red from more of the weaving stash.  

And there you are.  This one is also in the shop, awaiting your pleasure.

(I just got the most genius idea for a sweater vest with the lightening in the main, and the hammers as a trim around the v-neck.  OoooooOoo.  But that shall be put on the indefinite to-do list, unless requested.  It's hanging out there with the raven sweater, the Winter Soldier sweater, a brown baby sweater, and double knit pot holders.  It's a long list.) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gray Loki Hat the First

The first born of the Loki lot, that has since been sold.    

     I invented the Loki helmet pattern while spending an afternoon dedicated to making avengers patterns.  It still makes me happy, and has a couple little patent pending* tricks in it that I must teach the wider public someday.  Someday, but not yet.  For after all, shouldn't a Loki pattern have both secrets and tricks?

It is made out of the same yarn as my Sherlock Sweater Vest and is quite soft.  The light gray was some left over sock yarn.  

My ever disobliging model didn't want to stand and take pictures, and I had to get him to smile, even if he was facing away from the camera in the main photo.  

He was easily appeased by cookies, however.  

The hat was knitted in a fine frenzy before Thor 2 came out in theaters, and I couldn't wait to see it.  I wore it to the theater, (don't tell the person who bought it!) and had a grand ol' time with my brother talking too loudly and excitedly during the movie at exciting intervals.  

I made a Thor Hat soon afterwards.  It's only fair, after all.  

*The idea of knitting patents cracks me up.  People have been twisting yarn around sticks for hundreds of years:  no doubt has been done this way by knitters before, and will be done by knitters after words, and each of us will think ourselves quite clever and accomplished. 

Spider hat, Spider hat, keeps your head warm like a Spider hat does...

     This past summer at camp I had several sick sundays, and this was the product of one of them.  It was made out of sock yarn from my failed spider-socks and was made in part in honor of some Spider-man apologist friends of mine. 

These were the socks.  They may not look that bad, but they didn't stretch, which is sort of essential.  

But back to the hat.  In the end, it answered one of my biggest questions.

Exactly how long does it take me to make a hat?

Just as long as it takes for me to watch Wives and Daughters.

The etsy shop link is here, and remember that custom orders are very much so encouraged.  You know, if you want mittens.  Which would be pretty funny, methinks.  

Winter Soldier Beanie and the BUCKY COWL

You know how it is.  A new Marvel movie comes out, I get excited, and make a hat.  

     This is an awfully stretchy one, all wool, made from some yarn bought in Wisconsin when I was last there, and the light gray yarn is Icelandic wool I recieved for my last birthday. 

If you are interested in this hat, the Etsy listing is here.

     I kind of wanted to keep this one.  It's a nice color and I wanted a new hat (and, you know, BUCKY!) but I wore it to the theater one evening (a habit of mine) and found that, stretchy as it was, it was just that much too tight to really work.  Bummer.  

     The best part about it would have been that it is made of the same yarn as my very own Bucky Cowl.  Put them together, and WHAMO!  Full knitted visor.  Though it does make one look like a less than savory character, which I suppose is sort of the point.  But really, I love that thing.  It's fluffy and comfortable on my face, and...  

     ...If you put it on your head it becomes a hat.  I like to pull my hair through it and make is a sort of massive scrunchy. I call it "Sweat Pants for the Head" only my friends tell me that that is the worst marketing name ever and I shouldn't share it with the public. 

     It is It is actually the second one I have made, the first one falling prey to my generous habits:

     Funny story, that, but not for today.  In any case, she is not the one who got the cowl (it was the only picture I had) but a friend of ours, who took a liking to it, and not only keep up our moral when other friends of ours were having a painfully ignorant conversation, but gave me a very knowledgeable and concise overview of the Civil War comic series.  If that isn't earning a Bucky Cowl, I don't know what is. 

    I've made another Bucky Cowl since, but I, you guessed it, gave it away.  But I may start up again.  They are the best thing for keeping your face warm in below freezing weather, though I was reminded one day when I was filling my car with gas that perhaps the girl behind the counter would not appreciate it if I wore it into the gas station.  :)

Star Spangled Man with a Plan Hat

I loved this hat.  I loved it so much.  It was so comfortable.  It felt cushy and just tight enough on the head, but not so much to give you a headache.  Well, for me anyways.  

It was a bit loud, however.  Like, you have to be super confident in your Captain America love.  

Surprisingly, the purple works. 

   Ooo, and for a little yarn history.  Here you have some red yarn from when my mother bought her loom, white yarn from the same, blue yarn from this sort of failed Spider-man sock idea, and this most lovely gray left over from socks.  It It was such cool yarn.  But that's too much inside baseball.  

I was super proud of that top, with all of it's Winter Soldier glory. 

So what happened to this hat, may you ask?  Is it in the shop?  Um, well no.  If you want one, I can put it together.  But like all of my best work, I put it online for a little bit, and then give it away.  This hat was given to a Marvel loving guy I worked with.  

See?  It suits him.  :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Craftsman, Not Artist

Here is my new Etsy About Page:

Once upon a time my family was having a New Years party.  They were always day long, open house affairs with lots of good food, hilarious conversation, with everyone jamming into the kitchen even if there was plenty of room elsewhere.  I stood to the side one evening (I couldn't have been more than 13 years old) and my Mom's friend, Sue, asked me if I wanted to learn how to knit.  Sue is a smiling, petite woman with curly hair and round glasses, and an acute case of what she calls "Crafting ADD", where she learns a new craft, sewing, spinning, embroidery (in later years she would teach my mother and I how to weave on two of her three looms), silk painting, whatever she could find, and then work at it until she is an expert.  She told me to grab some yarn and needles (while there were no knitters in my family at the time, we were crafty enough to have the supplies floating around the house) and sat me down in the same kitchen to learn how to knit.  She taught me a long tail cast on, and then pulled it all out so I could do it myself from the beginning.  She told me it didn't matter if my knitting was a mess, because my hands didn't know what they were doing yet, and I may want to frame this little piece of knitting because I'll never be able to knit like that once I get the hang of it.  She kept telling me to relax my shoulders, and that I would hurt myself if I was too tense, and how sometimes she had to pull the yarn off her own needles to tell herself it really doesn't matter if she drops a stitch.  And I knit.  I really did.  And it was wonderful
   I had had a little foray into crochet, but that didn't really work for me.  Mostly because I couldn't follow a pattern, and I made many flower pot like hats out of three strands of red heart yarn.  But this was new, and fascinating.  I knit that little piece of red fabric, and later I made scarfs.  It's all you can do, after all, when patterns are still a confusion to me, and I can only knit in squares from whatever comes out of my head.  So I knit that scarf, and since I no longer had Sue to guide me, I dug up a book that could teach me how to purl.  I was on a roll then!  Then I learns what knitside and purlside looked like, I knit myself a checkered scarf (I was so proud of that thing though I couldn't figure out why there was a hole there that didn't pull out.  I realized later it was a yarn over that snuck in.)  I "discovered" ribbing, and how it stretched, and made a whole scarf out of my "new" invention.  I even did this sort of slip stitched tube on one needle.  But then I took things to a whole new level:  I bought garbage bags of discounted, faded blue yarn, and decided I would make a blanket.  Again, I didn't know anything about patterns, so I cast on something like 400 stitches on size 10 needles and hoped that was enough.  It was MASSIVE.  I made 20x25 squares, and knit like there was no tomorrow, no do overs.  I was so proud when I could show it to Sue, and she smiled and said, "Anne, you made fabric!!!"

   Then came knitting patterns online.  It would have been around or before 2008, when I was watching Doctor Who and David Tennant was the coolest thing since the slurpee machine.  I found a website that was full of crafts that people had made about the show, and sure enough there was a pattern for the wristwarmers Rose Tyler wore in "Doomsday."  I wanted to make them so bad.  After all, there was the pattern, I could get the yarn, and there was nothing, nothing at all to stop me.  In one fell swoop I learned how to cable knit, knit in the round, and read a pattern, and I sat down to Miss Marple and made it so.  I was ridiculously pleased.

   Things only jumped off from there.  I paused from knitting to other things, jewelry making (I spent most of my time rearranging the glass beads into pleasing color sets anyways), embroidery (So. Many. Flower sacks.) and a bit of weaving.  But knitting remains my favorite, all with the mantra "It doesn't matter how long it takes, it can happen.  It may not happen like you wanted it in the beginning, but if you have yarn and a basic theory, it can be done."  Then I learned two at a time socks, and the joy of the circular needle.  After that, I found my great crafting love, fair isle, which I am still smitten with years later.  I am so very grateful that God has given me this work to do, even as a hobby, to be able to make beautiful things, for others as well as myself.  Let's face it, if you knit as much as I do, keeping it all for me is utter nonsense.  A girl can only have so many beanies before her friends and family have her committed.  So thanks for keeping the craftsmanship alive.


Shop Owner,
Avid Butter Spreader

P.S.  My friend Sue has an etsy shop too,  etsy.com/shop/FantasyTartans