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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Story of Om Nom Nom Part 1 (Again)

I want to thank everyone for your well wishing and your understanding during the other day's, "day of silence."

I tried once before to explain the story/beginnings of Om Nom Nom Studios / Pro-Portional Designs. Because it's a bit complicated and long I'm going to do my best to make it as short as I can. But the story will most likely span 2 posts.

Technically I learned to knit when I was five years-old from my mother, the only other knitter in a family full of crocheters. Watching too much television can lead to the same results as reading too much WebMD before a doctors visit - you very well may think you know something you know nothing about. So at five years-old, after finding my mothers knitting needles and some yarn I attempted to knit all on my own. Knitting turned out to be nothing like cartoons make it seem and I suppose my mother found her little girl failing miserably at knitting as a result of watching too much cartoon knitting.


See how the mouse holds those needles and the results of his knitting just cascade down ever so nicely? I've never seen anyone hold needles this way.

Knitting didn't become something I "officially" did every, single day until October 2008 when I lost my youngest brother-in-law in a car accident. He was only 13, and losing him not only devastated the family I had only married into two months before but what seemed like at least an entire county.

My husband and I spent a lot of time at my in-laws house, sleeping on the couch just to be near the family, and to help in whatever ways we could. The boy missed a lot of work and I missed a lot of school at first. Our neighbors were nice enough to clean my house for me while we were so rarely there to help and (many of) the people of Perry County, Ohio were kind enough to bring non-stop food to my in-laws house to make sure everyone had something to eat.

Eventually the boy and I had to return back home, back to school, and back to work - doing our best to move forward. Being an unemployed student left me with more free time than I cared for and I was in need of a distraction. I had the incredible urge to make a blanket to keep my hands and mind occupied. I told the boy of my plans and made sure it was okay if I went and bought yarn to make a blanket. Up to this point everything I ever knitted were garter stitch scarves made from yarn procured at Wal-Mart.

After consulting google for yarn stores in the Columbus area I found four: The Yarn Shoppe, Heavenly Creations, Temptations, and Knitters Mercantile. The only one of these that was currently open on Sundays at that time, was Knitters Mercantile, frequently known to area knitters as, The Merc.

The Merc was full of so many yarns that I had no idea where to begin. Ultimately I chose (I believe) one skein of Rowan Big Wool for my blanket. Never having made a blanket I had less than no concept of just how much yarn goes into the creation of a quality blanket. Having now made this "mistake" I recommend against using Rowan anything, let alone Big Wool to make a blanket unless your last name is Trump, Rich, Gates, or something of the like.

Let's pause to do a little knitting and financial math here shall we? A no frills blanket can easily take 2000 yards of yarn or more. Rowan Big Wool costs about $15.00 per skein. One skein of Rowan Big Wool contains 87 yards of yarn. To create a blanket requiring roughly 2000 yards of yarn, using Rowan Big Wool that contains only 87 yards of yarn per skein, leaves you needing at least 23 skeins of Rowan Big Wool, at the rate of $15.00 per skein, this leaves you spending around $345.00 on your blanket before taxes.

The TARDIS blanket was never completed. It was to be my first intarsia project, but I chickened out, and the skills I used to create the "illusion" of intarsia I later learned were below sub-par and never would have made it in the long run. It wasn't long until I visited the yarn store I originally wanted to go to, Heavenly Creations. It was there that I initially met Wendy (who now runs Dollfoolery) and Amy (of "I Can Knit That".)

Wendy, introduced me to the oh-so-deliciously-soft-and-warm yarn, Malabrigo, my very first day in that store. Amy, sparked my interest in Tim Hortons. I decided to make a Dr. Who scarf and at Wendy's "here-touch-this-stuff" I chose to make it out of Malabrigo. This epic scarf that takes a lot of people a significant amount of time to knit until completion only took me 6 days in my grief. In the picture the 12.5 foot long scarf (unblocked) is folded over and wrapped with a giant slipknot.

I lost a lot of weight knitting and grieving. When I wasn't in school I sat on my couch listening to audio books and knitting - pausing only to eat oranges. Eventually, I was back to knitting in class (something I hadn't done since high school.)

My lust for all things Whovian lead Amy to remember me as "the Doctor Who girl".

First sewing machine project shown above - giant plush TARDIS.

Very soon my projects started branching to the non-Whovian in nature: Sweaters inspired by paintings like The Scream, Waterlilies, and Starry Night. I started making so many items that I didn't think I'd have room in my house or in my schedule to wear and enjoy them all. It was then that I opened my first Etsy shop. And it was a tremendous flop.

Around the time I made my own version of the "Roll-ups" (sushi scarf) pattern that can be found in Debbie Stoller's "Son of Stitch 'n Bitch", it was on. All I could think of was food in yarn. I was bursting with ideas of things I could make. I started out by looking online to see other sushi scarves people had made and then to see if any of my other ideas about food in yarn had already been done. Low and behold some of them had. This is when I discovered Twinkie Chan and honestly my bubble burst, I felt like I couldn't sell my foodie creations if someone else had already opened their own store a couple of years before me.