Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ordering Scale Mail Pouches

Here's a helpful guide to all the options when you're custom ordering scale mail pouches :D
All images can be clicked to see in full screen for much better detail!

Here are the things you'll need to consider in a suitable order:
1. Pouch Size
2. Scale Colour and Pattern
3. Yarn Colour

Each of these is gone through in detail here, so you know exactly what you're getting :) but don't forget that I always e-mail you about what I've interpreted for your order and how I'll be doing it, so you can correct me at any time! Orders do not have to stick to the original ordered description, as long as you reply to me with any changes when I ask ^_^
Got a request that's not covered here, like a custom size pouch? Ask me about your ideas for a more personalised order!

1. Pouch Size
Size (approx opening diameter)
Price
Postage cost
Small (1.5 inches)


£10


£8
[image not yet available :( ]
Medium (2.5 inches)


£15


£8
Large (4 inches)


£24


£8

Since the images might not be exactly clear, here's an idea what they fit;
Small Pouch can hold one set of 7 RPG dice
Medium Pouch can hold 2-3 sets of RPG dice
Large Pouch can hold way more dice than I've ever found at one time to test

2. Scale Colour and Pattern
 
This is the most exciting part! There are a whole bunch
of colour options as you can seeI can make orders
that only require scales I already have quicker!
If you want a rush order please contact to see what my
current stock is - I try to have a good amount of every
colour, but it fluctuates a lot!
Available: RedOrangeGoldGreenBluePurple,
PinkSilvery-gold, Brushed Aluminium,
Mirror Aluminium, Black, Bronze

In addition to plain colours of those just mentioned you can choose to have several colours in a pattern, and all patterns can be adapted for any size of gloves :) any requests are welcome, so here are a few examples to help you imagine what your pattern might look like!
Flame - blue, gold, silver                         Zigzag - green/purpleii
         Flame - red, orange, black          Random rainbow - every colour scale
         Chevron; black, red                      Solid colour - brushed silver
If you would like to be sent a blank scale pattern chart to colour yourself for me to follow directly, just ask!

3. Yarn Colour
Now you know what colour scales you want it should be easy to decide which base colour matches best with your choices.
I have several variegated yarns (with subtle or contrasting variations in colour throughout) and one solid colour;
Solid: Black, White (both contain wool)
One-tone Variegated: Gray, Sky Blue*Green
Multi-tone Variegated: Purple/Black,  Purple/Blue/Turquoise/Green
All coloured yarns are 100% synthetic and suitable for people with wool allergies!
For an additional £1.50 I can get in any of thother colours in the MC Chunky range, ask about setting up a custom order on Etsy (currently not available anywhere else)
Example Images of Yarns
          Black                                        GreenSky Blue

  Purple/Blue/Turquoise/Green                             Grayfffffffffffffffff

If you have any questions still unanswered, or want to ask about anything before you're happy to order, please e-mail sfarfort@yahoo.co.uk or talk to CraftyMutt on facebook!

Ordering Scale Mail Gloves

Here's a helpful guide to all the options when you're custom ordering scale mail gloves
All images can be clicked to see in full screen for much better detail!

Here are the things you'll need to consider in a suitable order:
1. Glove Length
2. Hand Size
3. Scale Direction
4. Scale Colour and Pattern
5. Yarn Colour

Each of these is gone through in detail here, so you know exactly what you're getting :) but don't forget that I always e-mail you about what I've interpreted for your order and how I'll be doing it, so you can correct me at any time! Orders do not have to stick to the original ordered description, as long as you reply to me with any changes when I ask ^_^
Got a request that's not covered here, like a custom length glove, or perhaps scales all the way around? Ask me about your options for a more personalised order!

1. Glove Length
Length
Price (for pair)
Postage cost
Regular (6.5 inches)


£30


£8
Long (9 inches)


£37


£8
Extra Long (12 inches)


£47


£8

Regular gloves cover your hand and wrist
Long gloves cover up to about halfway down the forearm
Extra Long gloves cover most of the forearm to the elbow

2. Hand Size
This is where you make sure your glove fits. You can choose from any of the basic glove sizes available, or you can choose the "other" option and add your exact hand size to the additional information box you will be given during purchase. (If you can't find it don't worry, I'll make sure to ask when I get to you about your order)

To measure your hand size take a tape measure (or piece of string if you only have a ruler) and wrap it around the knuckles at the base of your fingers. This should be the widest point on your hand not including the thumb. Check yourself against this chart:

Small
6.5 - 7 inch
Medium
7 - 7.5 inch
Large
7.5 - 8.5 inch
X Large
8.5 - 9.5 inch

3. Scale Direction
Do you want your scales to go up your arm towards your elbow, or down your arm towards your fingers?
If you're not sure which, up the arm is my standard as it's a little less in the way of your fingers. Both are comfortable to wear and look awesome, it just depends on your personal preference.
  Up towards elbow                           Down towards fingers

4. Scale Colour and Pattern
 
This is the most exciting part! There are a whole bunch
of colour options as you can seeI can make orders
that only require scales I already have quicker!
If you want a rush order please contact to see what my
current stock is - I try to have a good amount of every
colour, but it fluctuates a lot!
Available: RedOrangeGoldGreenBluePurple,
PinkSilvery-gold, Brushed Aluminium,
Mirror Aluminium, Black, Bronze

In addition to plain colours of those just mentioned you can choose to have several colours in a pattern, and all patterns can be adapted for any size of gloves :) any requests are welcome, so here are a few examples to help you imagine what your pattern might look like!
         Flame - red, orange, black          Random rainbow - every colour scale
         Chevron; black, red                      Solid colour - brushed silver
Flame - blue, gold, silver                         Zigzag - green/purpleii
If you would like to be sent a blank scale pattern chart to colour yourself for me to follow directly, just ask!

5. Yarn Colour
Now you know what colour scales you want it should be easy to decide which base colour matches best with your choices.
I have several variegated yarns (with subtle or contrasting variations in colour throughout) and two solid colours;
Solid: Black, White (both contain wool)
One-tone Variegated: Gray, Sky BlueGreen, Red, Purple, Brown, Sandy
Multi-tone Variegated: Purple/Black,  Purple/Blue/Turquoise/Green
All coloured yarns are 100% synthetic and suitable for people with wool allergies!
For an additional £1.50 I can get in any of the other colours in the MC Chunky range, ask about setting up a custom order
Example Images of Yarns
          Black                                        GreenSky Blue

  Purple/Blue/Turquoise/Green                             Grayfffffffffffffffff

If you have any questions still unanswered, or want to ask about anything before you're happy to order, please e-mail sfarfort@yahoo.co.uk or talk to CraftyMutt on facebook!

Writing Patterns

A lot of my recent work has been going into writing up some of my scale mail patterns into a format that's acceptable for other human beings to understand, but for reasons that I never really realised until after I started trying to write patterns it takes such a long time! Fortunately they go on sale after I've spent months agonizing over the details, so I don't need to worry about meeting deadlines as such and can get on with knitted orders that do have a time limit whenever I need to. But it means that it can be quite difficult to find enough time to sit down and sort out any given part of patten writing...

Learning to Write Patterns 1 - Writing Lists
There are a whole lot of lists that you need to include for a pattern. I want a list for techniques, materials, equipment and a list at the end of resources (but that's nicely tied in with the techniques list), and I can get a bit muddled up just trying to format them all to look the same, let alone make sure they're correct and comprehensive!

Learning to Write Patterns 2 - Being Consistent
My patterns have stages, and each stage would, if I'd just left it, look completely different from the other stages. There are three sections to the knitting pattern I'm writing (and that's just the pattern, not the rest of the information) and they'd all be completely different from each other if I hadn't worked so hard to at least try and make them feel similar. They're very different pattern sections!

Learning to Write Patterns 3 - Making Sense/Not Writing an Essay
This is one of the hardest bits. I want to explain clearly and easily how this chart thing works, but I don't want them to have to read more than a couple of sentences to get it. Similar with each stage in the scale knitting tutorial, and explanation of different sizes and how I've labelled them in the pattern. In the end I usually get it fairly concise, but I'm naturally a very waffly person!
(mmmmmmmm, waffles)
A brief distraction from patterns to tell you there is in fact a real life recipe for Homer's Patented Space Age Out Of This World Moon Waffles in case that photo made you hungry, but fortunately someone else has made it and tried it for you and it's not a great idea. Best stick to normal waffles.

Learning to Write Patterns 4 - Taking Photos
This is the curse of deciding an image tutorial is the solution to the previous point!
Getting a really good photo is hard. Getting a set of photos that look like they are of the same object at different points in the process sometimes seems impossible! Not only do I want to try and get it from a similar angle as the others, a good viewing angle for this particular step, and try and make sure it comes out a similar brighness and colour as the other ones. I know I can edit them pretty easily to match better, but after all the other stuff it's faster to just take several photos of each thing and pick out the best matching set.

Learning to Write Patterns 5 - Getting Distracted
More than once in the process so far of writing patterns I've found myself accidentally wandering all over the internet for much longer than intended, and coming back to the pattern that I remembered I was working on with no idea what I was about to do, or what settings I just put the first bunch of paragraphs on and therefore what setting I need for each of the subsequent sections to match the different requirements. Oops. Pattern writing takes a lot more when you procrastinate as you do it, even if you didn't include the time spent procrastinating!

Learning to Write Patterns 6 - Confidence
It can't be right, there must be more mistakes. Can anybody else proof read this? There must be some mistakes left in it. I never feel like something I've written has fully been corrected, and it takes quite a lot of time to ask anybody nearby to help read something or check that the pictures look the right size. Especially when you want them to do it again for every change of phrase or reformatting!

But eventually a pattern must be finished, and eventually it goes on sale. Which is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking! Despite thinking every time I send it to somebody that they'll e-mail right back with a whole list of problems, errors and parts that are badly written it's really enjoyable to think there are people who will be able to make a new exciting thing thanks to all that time I spent feeling confused over a word document :)

This obviously isn't everything there is when it comes to writing patterns, quite a bit of it's specific to the fact I'm writing patterns that need to accommodate the fact that most people have never knitted with scales before! It'sjust some of the bigger problems I came across in my adventure!
And more patterns are on the way, this was written because I got as far as I could with the coming pattern without taking the tutorial photos, and that requires daylight! Off to do something else now I guess.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Super Simple Knitted Scale Mail Glove Pattern

This pattern has recently been migrated to Ravelry to allow for the new checkout system and instant download on purchase. You do not require an account with Ravelry or Paypal to purchase the patterns here. All patterns are also available at Etsy.

£2.50
  

This super simple pattern is designed for those new to knitting with scales and even new to knitting all together.
The pattern includes comprehensive instructions with step by step picture tutorial for scale knitting in PDF format including two sizes of the blank scale pattern design charts.

If you have any problems or questions about your purchase do not hesitate to contact sfarfort@yahoo.co.uk or send a message to CraftyMutt on Facebook


What Do I Get?

PDF Pattern
- Suggested learning resources for all techniques used, from cast on to cast off
- Step by step tutorial for adding scales as required for the pattern, including images
- Full material and equipment list
- Blank pattern design charts to help you translate your idea into scales
- Four different hand sizes (from 6 1/2 inch to 9 inch) with stitch numbers throughout for each
- Two different glove lengths with pre-made pattern design charts to the correct length
- Options to increase or decrease the standard lengths for custom length gloves
- One blank design chart for the regular glove length to visually design a pattern onto
- One design guide chart for the regular glove to translate visual design into knitted scale order
- One blank design chart for the long glove length to visually design a pattern onto
- One design guide chart for the long glove to translate visual design into knitted scale order

You can also have a free preview of the first page!
Click to enlarge!

How Is The Pattern Delivered?
This pattern is now offered as an instant download via Ravelry - if you have any trouble with this please contact me at sfarfort@yahoo.co.uk, preferably forwarding your receipt so I can sort things out as quickly as possible!

What Do I Need?
Mostly you just need standard knitting supplies.
You will need 300 small aluminium scales to complete the regular length gloves, or 400 if you want to make the longer option first. See the bottom of DIY Scale Mail for suggested scale suppliers!

How Difficult Is It?
If you're reading this section you're probably worried that you won't be able to understand how to knit with the scales, and the pattern will be useless to you. Well fear not! Check out the DIY Scale Mail page again, and this time check out the Knit Stitch instructions which includes a tutorial video. That's all you need! So if you want to make sure you can handle it before you buy the pattern, have a go at what's described in the video, and if you can do that you can knit gauntlets.

What Do I Not Get?
You do not get any ready made scale charts to use, the charts for examples shown on this page are not included; you get the knitting pattern to make gloves and blank charts to design your own patterns with.

Also the legal stuff:
You do not get permission to sell this pattern as it is or in an adapted form, or give it away for free.
You do not get permission to make and sell items made by this pattern, although the technique of knitting with scales itself is allowed - you can design your own items that include scales using the technique described in the free tutorial whether you buy the pattern or not. Only the pattern itself is protected.

What Can I Make?
Gauntlets, of all colours, lengths, and sizes!
Click an image to enter full size gallery!





Monday, 24 September 2012

Actual Progress on Scale Mail Gloves Pattern

After a lot of messing around, asking all sorts of people for help, adding things in and taking things back out, and correcting mistakes every time I thought I'd finished... I think this is the final version!

Well, I'm still not 100% sure that it's error free, but within days the pattern to make yourself scale mail gloves will be on sale. The first page (in all it's low-res printscreened glory) is free, check it out:

Yes, the reason it's free is because there is no actual pattern content there
But at least you know what you'll need before you go and buy the pattern

The pattern itself includes the step by step "how to add a scale to a knit stitch" instructions with brand new photos to illustrate the steps, with suggested reference material for everything you need to know to knit them from the complete basics, as well as scale grid files for you to plan your scale patterns onto! And, obviously, it includes instructions on what order to do stitches in order to end up with a glove. It's like some sort of magic.

So I'll be working on rolling out that in a few days - there should even be a "buy it now" button with the pattern information on the DIY Scale Mail page, so you can buy it directly on the blog using your Paypal, or from Etsy (where it will cost a bit more due to Etsy taking some of the money every time I sell something) using an Etsy account with Paypal.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

CraftyMutt Returns With: How Much Will My Scales Be?

Custom scale orders are my favourite thing! Recently I did these:


 Yes, that is twelve inches of all around scaly goodness

And soon I shall be making another set of twelve inch gauntlets with the standard scale placement up the back. I'm hoping to add an official option for this very soon, replacing the old "short" gloves that weren't used.
(I am pre-emptively going to list here that standard 12 inch gloves will cost £30, and with all around scales will cost £44 - other length gloves with all around scales cost to be calculated when asked for)

But! I am always being asked how much different options will be, and until now it has been very vague how I am making my calculations. But things are changing!
I now have a sparkly new Price Calculator. This is basically an excel spreadsheet where I put the prices of all my current items and calculated the base cost and cost per scale of the items, then made a shiny sheet with spinners and sliders for me to input the scales and difficulty of each item and come out with a price!

As you can see it's happily calculating the price of
one pair of long (9") gloves, which require 400 scales

The items are currently split into glove items, which will be selected for any orders that most closely resemble gloves (basically having two related pieces that make up the item) and pouch items for that which resembles a pouch format (being one item using all the scales). There are complex patterning bars for if somebody asks for something that is particularly difficult or fiddly, and even a discount button for any bulk or large matching set item orders I might get.

In other important news
I am attempting to move over more to CraftyMutt's Etsy with respect to scale mail orders. Anybody not wishing to make an account in order to buy through Etsy is still welcome to buy through the less rigidly organised route of e-mailing me (or whatever other means of contact you prefer) and sending me money and their address through paypal, but I''ve put up custom order listings for each of the glove sizes and soon the pouches to handle custom orders as simply and safely as possible.
It's also so that people who would be interested in buying scales but who don't have any reason to trust this random internet person with the unstructured and un-guaranteed method can buy scale stuff through a well established, customer protecting website. Ready-made gloves that were made without a pre-determined owner will also get listed there, as well as miscellaneous items, like my original little cute knitty creature style things and probably these little ones -

Two little baby dragon-wyrms!

So that's most of what's happened related to the crafts recently. An awful lot of not-very-reliable internetting has been going on too, but I'm certain I've replied to every question about items fairly soon after they happened, through whatever means they were sent! If you've asked about anything and I haven't replied I'm sorry, there's probably somewhere I forgot to check, please remind me over on CraftyMutt's facebook!