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

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Superhero Masks, Maker Faire, and Shirts

Introducing the Mask Kits!

MaskPhoto2.JPG

I designed these superhero mask kits and the free freeform mask pattern because it’s my not-so-secret plan to dominate the world by making superhero masks into the new sock. I think they’re as fun and addictive as socks, and with less chance of Second Sock Syndrome.

At the Knit and Crochet Show in Portland last week, I launched these adorable masks, to great applause and appreciation (and, I’ll admit, more than a few weird looks). One of my friends is a photographer and brought his camera along to take snapshots of knitters posing as superheroes. Those pictures are available on Flickr for your enjoyment.

The mask kits cost $12 in the Handknit Heroes store, and they come with the yarn, pattern, and red lenses to make the masks. These are really fun masks to make and wear, and they’re also a terrific gift for the superhero-loving knitter or cosplayer in your life. They’re an intermediate knitting pattern; if you know how to pick up stitches, do some basic increases, and knit an icord, you’ll be able to make this mask.

Meanwhile, I’m sad to report that the free Secret Identity Mask pattern as a postcard has been removed from our web store. We discovered that, despite my best efforts in designing it, the post office mangles it so you can’t actually read the pattern. Not to worry, though– Marc and I are working on a redesign for the card that will be available shortly. In the meantime, you can still download the pattern through Ravelry or in the online store.

We’ll be at Maker Faire 09!

Next weekend (May 30-31), I’ll be at Maker Faire, moving one step closer to that world domination plan! I’m presenting a crochet demo on Saturday afternoon at 1 PM in the TNNA booth. My demo teaches how to create a superhero mask in freeform crochet. If you’re in the San Francisco area, come by the San Mateo County Expo Center to learn more. Even if you don’t knit or crochet, come to the fair– it’s fun and you can learn right there on the spot!

T-Shirts: Back in Stock!

The good news is, the T-Shirts are back in stock! I returned from the show with plenty left for you all!

The bad news is, we’re sold out of the plus sizes and almost all of the youth sizes! This is good news for us, but not so great if you’re a little kid or a big grown-up! The XL size is still available– it fits me, and I wear a size 18 top. We’re out of the Youth Small sizes and Youth Large– I recommend going one size up on those and have the kid grow into them. The Youth Large wasn’t much smaller in size than an Adult Small, so you’ll be OK going up a size with those.

New Stores!

While I was in Portland, I signed up a bunch of new shops who now carry Handknit Heroes, including Powell’s Books for Home and Garden! As always, check the Shop Locator page for the store nearest you!

Shout Outs!

Vogue Knitting and Knit.1 both feature Handknit Heroes this month! Wow! I had completely forgotten the Vogue interview until my friend had me look at some patterns in her copy and I fllipped through the pages and said “Wait– I recognize that image!” Thanks a bunch for the media, to both Vogue Knitting and Knit.1!

Babbling Brook posted about attending the show and picking up her copy of Handknit Heroes.

And Joyarna’s boyfriend guest-blogged about Handknit Heroes from a comic book fan’s perspective.

Free Comic Book Knitting Pattern Day

Today in the US, it’s Free Comic Book Day, when comic book shops all over the country give out free comics to anyone coming into the store. It’s fun and exciting, and a great way to introduce yourself to something new.

Here at Handknit Heroes Central, we take it a step further– we have a super-awesome comic book knitting pattern for you!

The pattern is available in knit and crochet. It’s completely free– you can download it through Ravelry (crochet or knit) or from the Handknit Heroes online store, where it’s available in PDF as well as Mobipocket ebook formats. If you want us to mail you a hard copy, you can buy one to be mailed to you for $1.00 in the store.

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This is a freeform mask for superheroes and subversive crafters everywhere! It’s a quick project that uses up a small amount of yarn to make a really nifty and fun accessory. Planning a late-night crochet or knitting adventure? Hide your identity with a one-of-a-kind creation of your own!

The pattern is adaptable for any weight of yarn in any gauge– information in the pattern uses standard measurements and math to lay out a basic construction for you to follow in creating your own designs and inventions.

The Secret Identity Mask mask is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You can use the pattern, including making modifications and using it for commercial use, provided attribution (credit) is given. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.comicknits.com/contact/.

Shops are invited to use the pattern in classes– it’s a good way to teach working in the round, working flat, increases, and icords (in knitting), as well as the role gauge can play in fitting a garment.

Signed Copies, Portland, and the Status of Various Products

Enter to Win a Signed Copy!

H. E. Wintermute (limedragon), the designer for Issue #2’s cute knitted bag, is holding a blog contest giveaway for some of her copies (as a contributor, she received a few copies of the comic book), including some signed copies! Leave a comment on her blog to enter.

I’m in Portland!

I made it to Portland, Oregon yesterday and had a lovely and lively visit at Knit Purl and with Sandy et al from ShiBui yarns. I also visited a local comic book shop, and today, my schedule opened up, so I’m going to do a mini-yarn crawl around town. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone this weekend!

Issue #1 is Now a Back Issue

With the shipping of Issue #2, Issue #1 is now in back issue status. That means you can no longer start a subscription with Issue #1. We don’t sell single copies of our comics online. Why? Because we believe in the greatness of local yarn shops. If you can’t find a LYS near you that carries Handknit Heroes, I strongly encourage you to call around and ask if they do mail order.

However, if you subscribe to Handknit Heroes, you can add a copy of Issue #1 to your order and it will be shipped with Issue #2 (your starting issue). After that, your subscription will run through #5 (I think I just felt a little dizzy!)

You can also now start your subscription with Issue #3. By default, if you subscribe using the form inside Issue #2, your next issue will be #3, because we logically assume if you have Issue #2, you don’t need another one. If you subscribe online or through the shop, your next issue will be #2.

T-Shirts are Now “Backordered”

The t-shirts are not actually out of stock. I took them with me to Oregon, and my shipping guys don’t have any to send out. As a result, you can order them, but they won’t be shipped out till next week. If you want to wait till next week to place your order, that’s cool. We’re releasing a really cool product next week (hint: you can see a picture of it in the ads section of Issue #2) after the show.

Shout Outs

New subscriber Crafty Caffine received her Issue 1 and 2 this week!

Stumbling Over Chaoes gave us a shoutout and mentioned Limedragon’s blog contest!

Issue #2!!!

Issue #2!!!HKHIssue2Cover.png

Issue #2 is at the printer! Marc and I are very excited about this issue, and I think you’ll all be very happy with the continuing storyline, the artwork, and of course, the neat pattern for a cool bag that every superhero knitter needs.

So when can you expect to get it in your hot little hands? Well, we will have some advance copies at the KnitWitz meet and greet and signing on May 1 in Stockton. About 6 days later, our stock copies will arrive and immediately go into archive bags to mail out to our subscribers.

So…. What’s the Delay?

We’re a little late delivering Issue #2, I know, but we have a really good reason. Marc had a new addition to his family in March (cute little Edith), and he rightfully took about 2 weeks off to enjoy the new baby and take care of his lovely girlfriend. Everyone is doing well, and I’m thrilled and send many happy congratulations.

But it’s not all Marc’s fault! I was about halfway through writing Issue #2 when I realized that I was having a really hard time with a major story component. Creating quality story, art, and patterns are our priority here, so I gave myself extra time to write it right. The up side of that is I now have some great story momentum carrying me into the script for Issue #3.

The other up side is that if you were planning to design a mask for Issue #3, you have a little more time. The deadline has been extended by a month, to July 15, since the comics don’t get into your hands until May.

Special Kit: Available at TKGA Portland: May 14-17

As you know by now, I’m going to be at the TKGA show in Portland from May 14 to 17. I’ll have t-shirts and postcards, comic books, and a special, completely awesome kit that you’re going to just love (but which I’m keeping secret… for now!)

If you’re going to Portland, please stop by– we’re in booth #60, right next to the entrance of the marketplace. And if you’re looking to get into the marketplace on the cheap, go here to get a $2 off coupon.

We’re on Facebook: X2

In addition to the Facebook group, we now have a Facebook page. You can become a fan to show your Handknit Heroes love. I’m figuring out how to coordinate Facebook with all the tools I currently use (you know, the ones using open standards, like iCal and RSS?) to share the HKH love there.

Shout Outs!

Misfit Yarn, a knitting feminist blog gave us some love last week!

This is Awesome and slightly related; the knitter being kinneared on the subway is one of our readers! Isn’t that scarf just full of awesome?

This is cool but not related, a knitting webcomic called Pearl Too.

KnitLuck has a really thoughtful review of comic books from a knitter/feminist perspective. The article prompted me to send an email to Marc thanking him for remembering our heroes are 16 years old– they have the bodies of 16 year old girls, not cover models for Super Juggs. I will definitely check out Fables, too!

One of our shops, Hill Country Weavers, posted a shout-out for the comic this week. They’re in Austin, Texas, if you’re looking for a local shop!

I’ll call the review “lukewarm” from Lifetimes Short Now, but I really liked it for the rather in-depth nature of exploring the feminist side of geek crafts.

And one of my favorite magazines, Bust, gave a really nice, detailed overview of the comic.

Craftnectar gave a quick shout-out this week. While visiting, I also found her really great pictorial on the Oak Park, IL tree sweaters.

I want to give a shout-out to The Royal Empress, but the blog is protected, so I’ll just have to say “hello, and thanks for the shout out!”

BikeRackCosy.jpg

Finally, I stopped by the Yolo County Knitter’s Guild yesterday in Davis, California for their bi-monthly meeting and sit-n-knit, which was lovely and fun. Afterward, I had coffee and lunch in downtown Davis, where I spotted this nifty little bit of knitted graffiti. Mad props to the anonymous bike-rack-cosy knitters of Davis!

Stitches East, T-Shirts, and More!

Whew!

What a week! Just 6 days after opening the online store, the company hosting my web space changed all of my servers, causing all email to bounce, the online store to stop working, the updates blog to cease working… everything broken! This all happened at 2 AM on Easter, leaving me somewhat in the lurch! 36 hours later, I was receiving email again, but if you sent anything to me via the Contact Us form, I didn’t receive it and, unfortunately, I never will. The good news is, if you sent in a subscription order, we did receive those because PayPal has a record of it, and your order has already gone out in the mail.

Meanwhile, the t-shirts were on their way to us, I was confirming several events, and not having my email was very, very difficult. I don’t know about you, but I clearly store about half of my brain on my computer!

The T-Shirts Are Here!

T-Shirts01.jpg The T-shirts have arrived at the shipping center and the first orders are already on their way to happy customers! More importantly, though, with the shirts in hand, I was finally able to tweak the shipping calculator to be more accurate (I’ve also refunded any overpayments on shipping from the initial pre-orders). Thanks to everyone who sent in feedback and suggestions on getting our shipping into sanity levels. In general, if you buy 1 t-shirt, you’ll be charged $4.90, 2-3 t-shirts you’ll be charged $7.10, and up from there. Child’s t-shirts are about half the weight of adults, and plus shirts are a little more– for example, ordering 4 adult sized shirts is $7.10, but 4 plus-sized shirts is the next price bracket.

International shipping is, as always, expensive, ranging from $11 for 1 shirt to Canada to $53 for up to 10 shirts worldwide.

On almost any t-shirt order, we can squeeze in a postcard pack or 2 without pushing it into the next price break.

Our stock numbers for shirts and postcards are accurate in the database. If you are able to place an order, it means that we have enough of the item in stock to ship to you.

Events

Looking at my October travel schedule, I saw that I’d be flying back from London just days before Rhinebeck… and New York is a common stopover from London, right? So I’m going to extend my stopover by a couple of weeks, go to Rhinebeck as an attendee, and then…. show at Stitches East! Knit Princess and I have decided to share a booth, so we’ll both be there with tiaras and superhero masks, ready to sell and sign comic books all weekend long! So, the upcoming show calendar is:

Issue #2: Coming SOON!

Issue #2 is coming soon– it’ll out at the end of April– probably shipping on April 29th or 30th. I may be hand-carrying them into Stockton for the Knit Witz event, even! Once we’re shipping Issue #2, you won’t be able to start your subscription with Issue #1 anymore– you’ll have to buy it as a back issue, and only subscribers can order back issues from our site. Everyone else has to go to a yarn shop and buy it from a retailer (but you were going there anyway, weren’t you?)

We have a cute pattern for Issue #2, one which will give you a little bit of a challenge without being impossible (I promise). It uses an eco-friendly yarn from o-wool, and I think it’s a great project, and perfect for summertime.

Shout Outs

KnitPicks is having a blog contest to win Issue #1 and some yarn to go with it!

This is Unrelated but utterly cool. Hey– I have a few mask patterns if they’re interested in more ways to hide their secret identities!

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