Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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April 2009
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What I’ve been doing

Last week, we went to Davis, California. I finished editing the comic book and sent it to the printer (and then today I re-sent it because of typos. More typos). I pretty much had my head buried in the computer during the comic book work, but Thursday I took some time away and went to the local knitting guild and had a lovely time, knitting and chatting and everything. Which is really what it’s all about. Afterwards, I wandered around downtown Davis for a while, saw some awesome knitting graffiti, bought a comic book, a usb cable (my cell phone battery was about dead), and a new sketchbook because I’ve nearly filled up my old one.

I’ve been working on some superhero masks this weekend as well– the crochet ones go very fast. The knit ones take 2-3 times as long. Now, you know how much I knit, and how fast, so if I’m knitting something and I think it’s taking a long time compared to crochet, then you know– it just takes longer! That’s one of the reason to choose crochet over knitting. Well, that and the fact that it’s so danged easy to freeform in crochet. With only 1 live stitch at any given time, you can pretty much go anywhere you want to.

Been reading, too– the book I’m reading is long, though, because it’s an omnibus. It’s a vampire romance…. the writing is so-so, and unfortunately, the sex scenes…. well, let’s put it this way. I read the first one, blinked, and when I got to the lead up to the second sex scene, I thought “oh, please please please– let the story fade to black!” Blessedly, it did. Writing like this really makes me appreciate it when a writer is very comfortable writing the hot and heavy steamy scenes.

Anyway, then yesterday, I discovered that some time ago, some spammer exploited a vulnerability in my blog and recently used it to turn my blog into the invisible land of spammy links. *sigh* RSS and cross-posting still worked, of course, so nobody noticed. 🙂 I spent some time yesterday morning fixing the blog and securing it, and today I decided it had been too long (3 years?) since I’d changed all my passwords on all my accounts. So that’s what I did today. And that’s my PSA for the day: When’s the last time you changed your passwords?

Paperless: Fail

I signed up for paperless billing on my T-Mobile account:

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Fail.

In unrelated news: My web hosting company decided to move all my servers at 2 AM yesterday morning, completely breaking every server I had, including email (which bounced), web services, everything. And they notified me…. by email. At 2 AM on Easter Sunday. And then, apparently, they took the holiday off, because I submitted my first support ticket to them at 5 PM when I found out about the problem, and have not yet had any kind of reply from them. Although most emails seem to be going through now. Maybe. I hope.

I’m a Tolstoy Novel!

Here I am, ready to graft the almost-done socks….

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Notice the poor, bare feet– in dire need of socks!

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I went with a strategy of separating the stitches, but not separating the socks before grafting. I grafted the inside sock first, then the outside sock:

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When done, it looked a lot like I had completed a sock!

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Oh, what’s this?

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Turn the outer sock inside out, and…

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Look! There’s another sock hiding inside!

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No wai?

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WAI!!!

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Because I was struggling when I first started these socks, I moved to the heel fairly quickly. As a result, they are more like anklets:

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Which is totally fine, because I like anklets, and these socks fit just fine. Perfectly, even– nice and snug without being tight! I lurve them.

Alladin shares his lack of amusement with my socks. What has him so annoyed? The answer is obvious: with the socks done, I am no longer playing with string.

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Not to worry, Alladin. I have plenty more knitting where that came from!

Pre-order your T-Shirt Today

T-Shirts!

I mentioned previously that the t-shirts were being ordered. They are at the printers right now, in Iowa, busily being turned into awesome t-shirts, but you can pre-order them in our brand new online store!

Please note: the store is brand spanking new, so if you stumble on a bug or have trouble checking out or anything, please don’t scream! Just hop over to our Contact form and let us know so we can get the virtual Raid can out!

We had to play with the color quite a bit to get them to be printable, but they’re definitely on their way. They won’t be here in time for you to get one for Easter. But they will be here in time for you to wear one to Stitches South or Maryland Sheep and Wool.

Here’s what the t-shirt artwork looks like:

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That’s on a white t-shirt, centered on the front, and in a pretty big size. There’s nothing on the back of the shirts. Get a sharpie and have your friends and knitterly pals sign it or write their superhero names on it!

And here’s what the post cards, which we’re going to offer in the store in packs of 6, look like:

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The differences are subtle, but there. Personally, i think they both work well for their mediums– the brighter colors for the t-shirts, and the more varied colors on the cards.

Eco-Choices: Saving the World a Little Bit at a Time

At the Handknit Heroes shipping office, we have, from day 1, wrapped everything in plastic. The shop orders are shrink wrapped. The subscriber copies are in plastic archive-quality comic book bags. Why? Well, probably because we launched in January, the rainiest month in Santa Cruz, where the shipping office is. There’s no guarantee that your package will get to you without a few rain drops, but we do our best to make sure the comic is protected.

See, the shipping team– they’re not knitters, but they care a lot about the products that go out the door. Dave is an awesome comic book fan who has all his Marvel Zombie comics displayed on the walls of the office, so he steered the “how would a comic book fan want their copy to arrive” discussion.

In the shop orders, we shrink wrap because doing so prevents the comics from sliding around and getting damaged, so that’s a no-brainer.

But all that plastic… I had to think long and hard about whether or not it was necessary when we sell t-shirts, or kits, or post cards, either through the mail or when we do shows. I mean, t-shirts might get damp in transit, but hopefully, they’ll dry once you unpack them. And when I take them to a show, I want people to be able to touch them and see them in their glory. And what about when I’m at a show and someone buys a bunch of t-shirts and kits and says “do you have a bag?” I mean, some people don’t carry cloth bags– or they already filled theirs with yarn and needles and spindles and stuff!

I worry about all those plastic bags, too. How much plastic can we really tolerate on this planet? As a consumer, I use plastic all the time, and my plastic grocery bags are my garbage bags for all our household trash, so at least I’m re-using them. But as a vendor, the impact of that has the potential to be much greater.

I did some searching (both soul and Internet) and made some choices. Our kits (coming soon!) and postcards will be packaged in see-through biodegradable plastic bags. We won’t wrap t-shirts in plastic unless it becomes necessary for delivery reasons. And when I go to knitting shows, I’m going to hope everyone brings their own bag, but if they don’t, I have biodegradable corn-based shopping bags for those who need one. These bags are probably 2 to 3 times more expensive than their planet-destroying alternatives, but I genuinely believe that, if I want to write “Knitters Save the World” on every comic book that I sign, I better stand by those words.

Kits? Did you say Kits?

Yes, it’s always been my intention that the non-beginner patterns should be available as separate bonus patterns or kits, and boy, do we have a great one for our first kit, let me tell you. Well, don’t let me tell you. I can’t tell you– not yet. But soon, my friends. Very soon, you will be able to buy a really awesome, incredibly fun kit from our shop. In fact, it should be ready just before Issue #2 ships out the door!

Shout out

Lion Brand gave us a great little shout out on their blog this week. Hooray!

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