Friday, October 28, 2011

Name that hat!

I sure am happy that I asked for help on this one!  I was totally stuck trying to figure out a name for my latest knitting pattern, but after I asked for help on my Facebook page yesterday, sixteen people chimed in with plenty of fun names to choose from!  Now the hard part: we need to narrow it down to one.  Please vote for your favorite and feel free to share a link to this post on your own Facebook wall so your friends and family can get in on the vote!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Sock Monkeys

So I've learned something over the past year: some people LOVE sock monkeys. When my photographer friend, Kara asked me to make her a sock monkey hat she could use with babies that she photographs, I didn't quite "get it". I asked her, "So you want a hat that looks like a sock monkey head on top of the baby's actual head?" She insisted that she has seen pictures on the web and that it was cute, so I trusted her. I wasn't able to find a knitting pattern to make one (all the patterns available at the time were crocheted) so I thought I'd see what I could come up with on my own. I've had the pattern up for sale for a little over a year now and of the 756 sales I have so far in my Etsy shop, I bet the sock monkey hat pattern is at least 400 of those sales. So I'm glad I listened to Kara on this one because I'm 100% sure it never would have occurred to me to design such a thing without her suggestion!

I've been hard at work for the past 6 weeks trying to catch lightening in a bottle again. My sock monkey hat customers are by far my friendliest customers and I have received more e-mails than I can count over the past year from them. Many times, they're just complimenting the hat & saying it's the best one they've seen. Lots of people have told me they like my pattern because it's "not creepy like lots of sock monkeys are". And I've had a hand-full of people ask me to design other patterns to go with the hat, most often a matching sweater.

I thought about the design for a long time because I couldn't quite see it in a way where it wasn't over-the-top gaudy. In the end, I decided to write a pattern that would give the knitter 3 options: first, they could just knit the roll-neck raglan in "sock monkey colors" and be done with it. Option 2 is to do the duplicate-stitch design (shown on the baby) to make a small monkey face on the chest. And option 3 is to make an intarsia square that you then crochet (or sew) onto the sweater front. So, 3 options for varying levels of how much you want your sweater to scream "SOCK MONKEY!" and 3 options for level of difficulty (for the record, this is as easy a sweater pattern as you'll ever find and the only thing I consider remotely difficult is the intarsia square option.) I hope people like it!

Now I'm working on re-writing the hat pattern using the same yarn that I used for the sweater so people can truly make a matching set. I'm also adding 2 adult sizes to the hat pattern because it was previously written for newborn - preteen (I had no idea I'd get so many requests from people to help them modify the pattern for a teen or adult!) I have to have it done by the end of the month because I have a yarn shop owner near Madison, WI waiting for my sock monkey hat & sweater patterns. She is going to package them with yarn and sell the kits at a special event day the shops in her town have planned.

If you're a blog reader who plans to purchase the new sock monkey sweater pattern in October, use the code "11spring" at check-out to get $1 off!