Today, what we’ve got comes the wonderful world of crochet. Tell grandma to tune out, because you won’t find any afghans blankets or fuzzy pjs here. Since December of last year, Punk Rock White Trash has been bringing horror to handmade goods and feeding brains to her crochet Zombies. Stick around for your chance to win one of these and any other of her fine knit hats.
Give me a few sentences to a short paragraph telling about who you are. Kinda like a mini bio.
PRWT all stemmed from this random insult that I decided to make into something positive. I have been an "artist" all my life I used to sketch and draw all the time as a kid. [However,] in my adulthood, I don't sketch much. I had been searching for some creative outlet for some time and [that led to] hand embroidering onesies for my youngest son which we decided to try and sell. I [also] designed a logo with a punk rock black sheep and we dug it, so I decided to put it on some t-shirts to sell. That never really got off the ground; and in the meantime, we had the site URL just sitting there. A friend of mine posted some of her crochet stuff on Facebook and I was like... I could probably do that. So, I went and got a ‘teach yourself’ to crochet kit and between that, a bit of practice, and some youtube, I learned how to do some stitches. Now, here I am making zombies (and other assorted monster hats) for those who are cool enough to see how cool they are! :) [It] took about 5 months to get good at making stuff, but I like it. Currently I am holding down two jobs and crocheting to make ends meet for my two kids. Gotta love this economy right?! :)
Where can people buy your stuff?
Well, currently you can place orders through Punkrockwhitetrash.com, or link through Zombiehats.com. We also had a review written about our hats here. For those who don't necessarily want a zombie or macabre style item, you can go to Gnatsknits.com where I do hats for children and babies. I have a Facebook for both the PRWT and Gnat's Knits. I am in discussions with other possible vendors who may carry some of our items, such as: Angry, Young, and Poor, some local vendors, and you guessed it, Zombies and Toys. We will see...
Do you have any plans or pipe dreams for your store?
Oh yeah! Who doesn't? I really want this to be something that I can do on a full time basis and stop working (externally) all together. That way I can stay home with my kids. It would be nice to be able to transition to position where I design the hats and then employ more people to continue to make them (by hand, of course). That would enable me to have the time to design and expand the product line. As far as definite plans, I am just creating more items for people to buy. In the works are a Dracula plush, a mummy, and some nerdy gamer stuff (as I am a gamer nerd at heart).
Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
That is kinda unsure and hazy at the moment. I definitely hope to be a bit more successful with the PRWT site, adding new items to the store, and possibly getting picked up by some other alternative clothing sites. If i don't get picked up by anyone I would love to make the site like the "Etsy" for the macabre. I think that would be super fun and interesting.
How big do you plan to grow this thing?
As big as I can... go big or go home!
Do you create custom knits for your customers; or, are you trying to stick to the goods found in your online store?
Oh I totally love doing custom orders. It challenges me and makes me work. I really love it when I make something for someone and they tell me its exactly what they pictured and what they wanted. That makes me feel great about it. I love customs and have said if you can think of it I can probably make it.
How much time goes into each one of the hats/things you make?
Depends on what it is... I have gotten the hats down to an art so it takes a few hours to make it all and sew it all on. The hobo bags take a really long time sometimes a whole day possibly a day and a half. The hair bows and small things take like half an hour if I am left alone to just crochet. If it's a custom, and I have no clue what I am doing, things take longer as well... also having to stop working to tend to the kids hinders progress.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Oh, I am not sure really where it comes from. Some ideas are suggestions from other people and some are just things that I see. I have always loved zombies and one night I was sitting in my living room, with Z and T stuff everywhere, and I was like, “Hmmm. I bet I could make a zombie hat.” So I did! Same with the monster hats. I have movie monster posters everywhere, and again, I was like, “A Frankenstein hat would be awesome. Why not do that?!” So there you have it; my living room is my inspiration.
Here’s the obligatory favorite movie/book/game question.
That is a hard one... favorite movie would have to be Fido. I love the different take on the whole zombies genre and the 50's look and feel about it. If not that, then the original Night of the Living Dead. My favorite zombie book would have to be The Stupidest Angel: A tale of Christmas Horror by Christopher Moore. It is HYSTERICAL! My favorite game is probably Plants vs Zombies. I still haven't gotten all my achievements!
Man, I loved FIDO. It’s too bad it got such little exposure. I loved how when FIDO would just snap and eat someone at the park, Timmy was pissed. Not that his neighbor was dead, mind you; but, that he might get busted hanging out with his parents’ Zombie when he shouldn’t be and it could get him in trouble. Neighbors, who needs ‘em?
Good ol’ FIDO. That makes me wonder. What was your first exposure to Zombies?
I don't really recall. I have always loved horror films. As I recall, the first one I saw was the exorcist (I was 8 and NOT supposed to see it). I have always loved zombies and Night of the Living dead was a film I could watch again and again. When I didn't have cable I watched it all the time. Zombies are the party monsters and as Romero has said, “You can't die in the zombie apocalypse unless you just don't pay attention.” (which is comforting to me in some twisted way.)
So, what is it about Zombies that drives you to create?
I love zombies and how each one is so different you can't ever do anything wrong with them. The hats and dolls that I make can be twisted any which way and look ragged, yet still really cool. Sometimes the flaws add character, so I like the no-pressure aspect of creating zombie stuff.
Do you have any favorite artists or styles of art?
I love pretty much all art. I really love anything vintage looking or knitted/crocheted. I have always liked hand made big comfy sweaters and hats scarves things like that. I am a fan of just about any kind of interesting self-expressive art. There is a girl, her name is Rachel Betty Case, who makes things out of what she calls 'human ivory' (aka fingernail and toe nail clippings) and I find that fascinating. I have also seen chandeliers made from real animal skulls which I would totally have in my house. I am into anything obscure and kinda macabre.
Alright, Gnat, when things get really bad and you get bitten, do we take care of you the old fashioned way; or, leave the disease to run its course?
I won't get bitten because I pay attention, but if by chance I did let me change... I think it would be cool to be a part of the horde.
If someone was gonna make a toy out of you... well, a toy with your likeness (toys made out of real people would be gross), would you be a zombie or survivor? What accessories would you come with?
Survivor and if you could call them accessories I would have my 2 kids, a machete and a med kit. The smaller of the 2 kids would have a papoose that you could strap him to my back to allow free swinging zombie chopping action.
Alright, now for the freebies! Up for grabs is a one-of-a-kind light green Zombie hat which may or may not resemble the mascot for a certain site we all know and love. Also, the artist has been kind enough to offer a second prize: Your choice of any hat (and only hats) from the Punk Rock White Trash or Gnat’s Knits line of crochet. To enter to win the Zombie hat, send your name and address to email@example.com. If you’d like to have your chance at the hat of your choice, include a photo (taken from PRWT or Gnat’s Knits website) and put "contest 2" in the subject line. You can enter both contests, but can only win one of them.
Thanks, Gnat, for taking the time to be a part of this year’s UNDEAD BAZAAR. It’s always fun to find out how and why people pick Zombies. Your hats are awesome, and that’s not to mention the ‘Alien Dog’ you made for my son. I’m sure there are a few 90’s Nicktoons fans out there that would appreciate it as well. For everyone else, check out Punk Rock White Trash and Gnat’s Knits for all of your hand made soft and fuzzy needs and stay tuned for Saturday’s artist feature right here on Zombies and Toys.