Saturday, March 23, 2013

Business Idea!

Even though we had the first day of spring a few days ago, and it still feels like winter, I must be ready for summer. I had a very pleasant dream last night about going to the beach.

When I woke up, I started thinking about swimsuits. I don't think I need to buy any, because the ones I bought last summer should still fit, but they're fun to buy (or even just look at). My idea last year was to buy separates so I could mix-and-match. I have two tops with different designs and two bottoms that match either top, so it's really like I have four swimsuits. I could even buy another top that matches either bottom and get two suits for the price of one item!

But there doesn't seem to be any line of swimsuits really designed around this mix-and-match idea. So this morning I came up with this brilliant business plan, which is sadly far beyond my abilities to do myself. If anyone reading this wants to steal my idea, please do. You don't have to credit me or anything (maybe offer some stock options so I can cash in when your company makes a billion dollars).

So this company would make swimsuits designed to be mixed and matched. The tops would all be patterned and the bottoms would all be solid, just for simplicity's sake. You could start out with three colors (say black, white, and red) for the bottom. The tops could have any kind of pattern that uses those colors. Stripes, polka dots, flowers, checks...anything, really.

But what would make this different from the other suits on the market is that all of the bottoms would have belt loops, and all of the tops would come with a strip of matching fabric to wear as a belt. This would tie everything together and make it look like that set was designed to be worn together. But then you can change the top and change the belt, and have another perfectly matched suit. It even encourages people to buy everything from your company (instead of also mixing and matching whatever's cheapest).

If you wanted to take the customizing idea even further, you could have the bottoms come with a solid color bow or something to attach to the top. That way you could have designs with only two of the colors, like zebra stripes, that can still be worn with any bottom.

The company could have as many or as few options as you like. In addition to fabrics, you could offer different styles for the tops and the bottoms. Or just keep it simple. I would do this myself, but unfortunately I don't have the sewing skills to even attempt making my own suit. So somebody make this business happen.

Any top + Any bottom = Swimsuit. Who's with me, ladies? I would buy one of everything.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hat #8 (Hat-a-week): Jayne Hat

Man walks down the street in this hat, you know he's not afraid of anything...

This hat is a great way to find other fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly. Fellow browncoats will immediately recognize this as the hat that big, tough guy Jayne Cobb proudly wears after receiving it in a package from his mother.

When I was sorting through my stash of yarn, I set aside the red, yellow, and orange, which was left over from the Jayne hat I made a few years ago. All three colors are Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, so the yarn can be found at any craft store. I used my standard hat pattern for the orange and yellow sections, with an inch of ribbing at the bottom. It should be noted that hats with earflaps usually don't have ribbing--the part that makes the hat stretchy--but it's visible on the original so I included it here. I used the orange until it was about 4 inches and then switched to yellow. When I finished off the main hat, the next step was the earflaps. For the first one, I turned the hat upside-down and picked up 20 stitches. I worked back and forth in stockinette stitch until they were about 3.5 inches. I decreased by knitting 2 stitches together across the right-side row twice (leaving me with 10 stitches, and then 5). On the next right-side row, I decreased 2 more stitches and cast off the final 3. Then I repeated on the other side.

The final step was the giant pom-pom on top. I have a set of pom-pom makers, in 3 different sizes, so naturally I grabbed the biggest one. I used all three yarns together, and when I was done I used the yarn end from the top of the hat to sew it in place.

Pretty cunning, don'tcha think?

My current knitting project is actually not a hat--it's this sweater from a book called Vampire Knits

Photo from Ravelry
Mine is going to be denim blue. I'm working on the lace portion at the bottom now. I will be taking a break from Hat-a-week while I finish the sweater, because I really only have time right now to work on one knitting project at a time. I'll try to post some progress shots on the sweater, though!