Playful Woolly Toppers has been a book that I've had difficulty concentrating on. Not through any fault of the book or the theme or the Hats, but mostly because life has been life. Fighting an ongoing legal battle and not knowing whether you're going to loose your home or not does tend to disrupt the flow. The plan was always to knit at least 2 samples for each design, and this extra sample knitting has proven to be a really useful thing during those times when I haven't been able to concentrate - they've helped keep me in touch with the ideas without requiring full brain power. For a book to be at it's best, to feel complete, it needs you to stay focused and love every minute of it. Fall out of that zone, for whatever reason, and it can take months and months to find your way back into it. Or at least, that's how it works for me. And every time I've come close to loosing my flow, I've knit another sample.
And naturally, I've ended up with rather a lot of samples!
I have 5 Sproutlings.
And 4 Elfdans
And 4 Kabouters
And 4 Moreas (a yet unpublished PWT design) to name but a few.
I only really need 2 of each - the largest and the smallest - so methinks a sample sale will be in order later in the summer.
The reasoning behind making at least 2 of each has been to show that the patterns for these Hats come in a range of sizes (which you all know, but folks seeing my Hats for the first time might not!) and to give examples of different colourways, to help folks visualise the Hat on themselves or a friend or relative. Having extra samples can be especially useful for exhibiting, too.
Finding portable and lightweight display stands for baby Hats has been nigh on impossible. Polystyrene balls, for instance, maybe be lightweight but are too bulky. The folding wig stands that I've used for a good few years now only come in one size, which I found both frustrating and fascinating. And being determined to having matching stands, and being even more determined to display these little Hats on suitably sized stands, Tom and myself set up exploring what options we had for having some of these wee things made.
Weighing things up, we found Shapeways to be our best option. It's a 3D printing community, where folks with some knowledge of 3D upload their designs and have their stuff made right there for them. It's not cheap, and I will confess that 10 of these little stands has been the single most expensive part of my display, ever (which still unsettles me. I'm too set in my frugal ways). But to see them like this, to have the display elements so uniform and lightweight and travel-friendly and future-proof, pushes all of my Happy buttons. 10 of these little stands fold flat into a space roughly A5/1/2 Letter size and weigh less than 100g between them. I kinda wish I'd have had the forethought and courage to have them made years ago, as they'd have paid for themselves already. But hey, they'll get plenty of use going forward.
Don't the little and large head stands look so cool together?
We're almost ready with the display units for TNNA, and all of the marketing and printing is done. The first real draft of the book has gone off to my fantastic editors, and this week sees me finalising all of the interior photos. I've had a rotten cold/flu virus thingy for about 9 days now, but I'm bored of being ill and snotty and feverish, so I'm getting on with work anyway. Before anyone nags me, yes, I am looking after myself! (mostly) There are only so many duvet days I can handle before cabin fever kicks on (that'll be not very many); this over-active brain needs to be put to good use.