Hi, my name is Somer Sherwood and I make weird hats. Help me explore the line between art and fashion.
WHO'S THE DAME AND WHAT'S HER STORY?
I love weird hats! Classy Broad is a line of wearable art using the technique of freeform crochet. Current pieces include hats, scarves and other wearables, and with your support, will soon include non-wearable items such as wall-hanging sculptural pieces made of yarn. All items are designed and handmade by fiber artist Somer Sherwood (that would be me), who also writes crochet patterns for non-freeform hats and scarves. The goal of this Kickstarter project is to jump-start and expand the Classy Broad line.
Your contribution buys you some pretty great things, as well as my undying appreciation and gratitude!
THE BIG PICTURE, SEE?
My ultimate goal is to create fiber art using hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn made by fellow artists who source wool and other materials from small farms in their areas, and then to sell the finished products directly to those who will wear or display them, thereby creating an artisan micro-economy. Where it is not possible to use such materials, the goal is to use high-quality, natural fiber yarns purchased from small local companies or small, U.S.-based online retailers.
WHADDYA MEAN, "FREEFORM CROCHET"?
In its most basic form, freeform crochet simply is crocheting without a pattern. When approached from a certain perspective, however, the possibilities of form are practically endless. I tend to approach crochet as a sculptural art and go for three-dimensional forms that also serve a function (such as keeping your head warm). I mostly employ a freeform technique called scrumbling (an odd word, but it seems to fit), which is crocheting random bits and then piecing them together to create the whole.
WHADDYA MEAN, "CLASSY BROAD"?
This is the name I chose in 2003 (when I was really into Prohibition-era slang and was making a lot of vintage-inspired hats). It just sort of stuck, and here we are.
TOP SHELF REWARDS, SEE?
All contribution levels come with a very sincere "thank you thank you thank you!" from me. Some contribution levels even come with some pretty amazing (if I do say so myself) rewards:
- your choice of color
- includes pattern, yarn, crochet hook and yarn needle
- one size fits most
- good for beginning crocheters
- don't know how to crochet? just want the hat? add $10 (by selecting the $35 reward level) and I will make it for you, in your choice of color.
- crocheted mobius strip
- approximately 8" width and 48" circumference
- can be worn as a hood, doubled up or worn down
- cozy wool or wool blend
- your choice of color
- squishy wool or wool blend
- structured shape
- 7" width, 26" circumference
- your choice of two colors
- can be made without the "ruffle" for a more masculine look
- one of a kind, your exact hat cannot be duplicated
- made to measure
- can be made in small sizes for kids and babies!
- your choice of one, two or three colors
- please note that your freeform crochet hat will not necessarily look like the one pictured here
- scrumbled freeform crochet art with three-dimensional elements
- multi-color (I choose colors and yarns)
- size depends on rewards level
- hanging from wood (or naturally shed deer antlers for some reward levels)
- please note that the above image is a collage of various crocheted pieces and your wall-hanging piece will not necessarily look like those pictured here
Contributions of $1,000 and up include the rewards in hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn that I will buy directly from an individual spinner.
NEW REWARD! As of November 16, 2011, I'm adding an extra reward for all backers who contribute $25 or more: a signed photo print of one of the freeform crochet hats I make as a result of this project! The print will most likely be a collage of close-up textural details of the hat.
You may be asking:
Q: Gee, the delivery times on some of these rewards seem sort of "out there." Why?
A: 1) I only have two hands. 2) I make everything myself. 3) see #1. Delivery times will depend on the number of contributors and the level of contributions, and in the unlikely event that I am unable to deliver your reward in the time specified, I will let you know right away so there is no wondering. In most cases, though, I anticipate being able to deliver rewards well before the date specified for each reward.
Q: In the rewards section, what do you mean when you say "choice of colors"? How does that work?
A: Upon funding, you can make your color selection. The color options will most definitely include neutrals like black, white, gray and brown, as well as some of my favorite colors like teal, mustard, cranberry and olive (I tend to shy away from primary colors).
Q: How long does it take to make a freeform crochet hat?
A: It depends on the hat! Some of my hats take approximately four hours to complete, and others can take up to 20 hours! It all depends on the yarn, the size of the crochet hook, and the level of detail. Generally, hats with a lot of frilly detail or a sea creature aesthetic take close to 20 hours to complete. I don't cut corners; this is my art, and each piece deserves to be what it is meant to be.
Q: How do you decide what a hat is going to look like?
A: Often, I don't know what a hat will look like until it is nearly finished. I usually begin with one piece, then add another piece, then another. Once I have part of the hat finished, I decide which is the front of the hat and continue from there. I find that once I start crocheting, the hat tells me where to go -- and I just follow along to see where it leads.
Q: I like the beanie at the $25 level, but I don't crochet! Can I just get the hat itself instead of the crochet-your-own kit?
A: Yes! Please add $10 and I will be happy to make it for you. (Select the $35 reward level.)
Q: What's all this stuff about creating micro-economies?
A: I believe this is particularly relevant now, when there is so much turmoil over big business, corporate interests and the loss (or perceived loss, depending how you view such things - I'm not choosing sides here) of the Great American Dream. What if we all stopped shopping at Wal-mart? What if your next TV was purchased at a mom-and-pop electronics store instead of Best Buy? What if we stopped buying clothes made in sweatshops? What if we changed our expectations of the true cost of the things we buy? Does buying a knit cap at H&M for $5 mean THAT's how much a knit hat should cost, everywhere? Or can we re-align our thinking by focusing less on having more stuff, and more on having quality stuff? Can we choose to vote with our money and to contribute to the personal economies of small handcrafters and local business owners? I don't know about you, but I'd sure like to try.
Simple: yarn, yarn and more yarn! The really good commercially available stuff is expensive. And the really good, handspun, hand-dyed stuff is even more expensive. I make all rewards by hand, so in a way the funds are also paying for my time to make each reward. Other costs associated with this project include printing, packaging and shipping. Any money raised over the $1,500 funding goal simply means I will be able to purchase more supplies (yarn) from other artists and make my hats and other accessories with higher quality materials. And all contributors will benefit from this!
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Bath Tub Gin: My eternal gratitude, the good feeling of knowing you are contributing to someone's art, and your name listed on the thank-you area of my website.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Lime Rickey: $1 rewards, plus a handwritten thank you note and social networking following/linking on Twitter and my blog.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Salty Dog: $10 rewards, plus the Seattle unisex hat DIY crochet kit (Includes pattern for the Seattle unisex beanie and yarn, in your choice of color, one size fits most. Skill level required: beginner). International backers, please add $5 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Not-so-Salty Dog: Don't crochet? Just want the Seattle hat? I will make it for you! $10 rewards, plus the Seattle unisex hat, made by me in your choice of color. International backers, please add $5 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Sidecar: $10 rewards, plus the chunky infinity scarf/cowl in high quality wool or wool blend, in your choice of color. International backers, please add $5 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
Old Fashioned: $10 rewards, plus the Portland cowl in high quality wool or wool blend, your choice of (two) colors. International backers, please add $5 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
Pim's Cup: $10 rewards, plus your choice of ONE of the following: freeform crochet hat in high quality wool or wool blend yarn (you choose size and one, two or three colors, I do the rest) OR an 8"x10" freeform crochet wall-hanging piece (hanging from wood). International backers, please add $15 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
Manhattan: $10 rewards, plus freeform crochet hat in high quality wool or wool blend yarn (you choose size and one, two or three colors, I do the rest) PLUS an 8"x10" freeform crochet wall-hanging piece hanging from wood. International backers, please add $20 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
Gin Martini, Extra Olives: One of nearly everything, in handmade, hand-dyed yarn that I source from an individual spinner or small yarn company: the DIY kit for the Seattle unisex hat, the chunky infinity scarf, the Portland cowl, a freeform crochet hat and an 8" x 10" wall hanging piece. International backers, please add $30 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
Champagne: $1,000 rewards, plus a medium freeform crochet wall-hanging piece (24" x 36") hanging from your choice of wood or shed deer antlers (deer antlers that are shed naturally). International backers, please add $50 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
Champagne and Caviar: $1,000 rewards, plus a giant freeform crochet wall-hanging piece (48" x 64") hanging from your choice of wood or shed deer antlers (deer antlers that are shed naturally). International backers, please add $70 for shipping.Estimated delivery:
- (40 days)