Category Archives: sticks + string

Waves & Fish

I know that I owe you, um…what’s the date today?, four (FOUR!) index card posts, at this point. But, you know, if there’s one thing you can count on about me, it’s that you can’t count on me. Heh.

Anyway, index cards coming soon.

For now, you’ll have to settle for some knitting. I started this wrap while we were out of town hindering helping family a couple weeks ago. I finished it over the weekend. The yarn was tough on my hands/wrists (as is often the case with cotton) and the wave pattern started to bore me to tears about a quarter of the way through. But, it’s done!

I ended up with just over half a skein of yarn leftover and, rather than tossing it in my ever-growing pile of yarn scraps letting it go to waste, I decided to make some fishy washcloths for Sir. Judging by last night’s marathon bath fest (where two other bath toys spent a considerable amount of time ‘fighting’ each other for possession of the fishy washcloth), I would say these little guys were a success.

photos : summer wrap & fishcloths by yours truly

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My Monster Army is Complete!

All stuffed and sewn and prepared to do my bidding…muahahahahahaaaaa!

Okay, so my bidding is really nothing evil, but I felt the laugh was appropriate.

Eleven of these little guys will make their way home with Sir’s friends on the last day of school. The twelfth one (Cokie) is already well entrenched in the stuffed creature menagerie that is Sir’s room (remind me to post photos of said menagerie sometime, it is quite impressive).

These were knit following Rebecca Danger’s Monster Chunk pattern – quick and easy (even in bulk).


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Some Girls Get Flowers, Some Girls Hoard Yarn

…and dye it to look like flowers. I would fall into the latter category.

Most of the time, I employ the ‘wing and a prayer’ method when it comes to dyeing yarn. I grab whatever colors appeal to me at that particular moment (usually blues and greens), throw a random mix into the dye pot, and hope it doesn’t come out looking like cat barf.

This week, I decided to try something new – namely, a reasonably well-thought out plan. I decided to create a colorway from a photo (which was lifted from the amazing Deirdre McCormick). Here’s how it turned out.


It doesn’t look like vomit, so I’m calling it a success.

photos : roses by Deirdre McCormick + yarn by yours truly


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Makin’ Monsters

Because I love finding ways to get in over my head (and because I love my son), I have committed to making a dozen Monster Chunks for him to pass out to his friends on the last day of school (which is less than a month away – ack!).

He was very excited when I made one for him.

He named it Cokie. Cokie Monster. Not Cookie Monster. Cokie Monster. Like Cokie Roberts. I really have no idea where he comes up with this stuff.

Anyway, I’ve been working on this project for just over a week and it seems like everywhere I look, this is what I see…



I swear their eyes follow me.

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Rawr! (says the Monster Hat)

Update: Monster Hats and Dragon Hats are back in the shop after the summer hiatus! Find them here.

The Monster Hat has finally made it’s debut on Etsy. It took me for-freaking-ever to get these guys made, photographed, and listed in the shop, but I’m using the fact that I had a ton of custom orders to get through as my excuse for that. I still have some custom hats to make, but I am really trying to get more done for the shop whenever I have a free minute.

I have to say that I love the Monster Hat. I really had no idea how well they would go over when I started making them. I really just designed it because I knew that Sir would love to have a hat that looked like a monster and oddly, I couldn’t find a pattern for what I had in mind. I made three, one of which came out horribly and has been tossed into a box never to be heard from again, before I came up with THE design. I have since had to tweak the design to make various sizes (including adult sizes!). Now that I have the patterns down, I can whip them out fairly quickly, but they are still a bit labor intensive mostly due to the detail work involved.

I have to admit, I was getting a little bored of making the same hat over and over. That is how the Dragon Hat came to be. The Dragon Hat is fun and ferocious and uses the same basic design of the Monster Hat. I currently have one Dragon Hat available in the shop, with more on the way soon.

I am also working on a few other variations that I am very excited about. I just hope I can get them designed and made before winter is over!

I can do either hat in pretty much any color combination and size that one might need. I actually love doing custom hats, so if you know anyone who might want one (or ten), don’t hesitate to let me know!

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I’m Dyeing Over Here

Back in the day, I had a little knitting blog that I kept with a friend. Sadly, the blog went by the wayside. Even more sadly, the friendship did too. I try not to think about either anymore.

There was some good information in that blog though. Somehow, I convinced myself that we had written a yarn-dyeing tutorial and posted it there. So, I started digging through some old files on my computer to see if I could find it. I didn’t. So, I hopped in the Wayback Machine and looked there. And I still couldn’t find it.

I don’t know, maybe I made the whole thing up and there never was a tutorial there. I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t though. Maybe it was just never archived or something. Aaaaanyway…

I used to do A LOT of yarn dyeing and a lot of knitting. After the blog went down in a blaze of bad blood and hurt feelings, I kind of lost my knitting mojo. All of my yarn, needles, dyes, etc. languished in boxes in the basement collecting dust (and the occasional dog hair tumbleweeds).

Since the Great Snake-Making of 2010 began, I have been digging through all of my knitting paraphernalia and have made some pretty sweet discoveries, including tons of hand-dyed yarn that I never seemed to find a use for. The bright colors just happen to be perfect for snuggly stuffed snakes.

I’ve also started dyeing yarn again. I much prefer using my own custom colors to the store-bought stuff I have in my stash. I really want all of the snakes to be one-of-a-kind and using hand-dyed yarn (or a combination of hand-dyed and store-bought) kind of assures that they will be.

If anyone is interested in learning how to dye their own yarn, let me know and I’ll see about finding/writing a tutorial.

photo : silk scarf by yours truly

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My House is Full of Snakes. They’re Filling Up the Living Room.

Sliding down the banister. Talking on the telephone. Inviting over more snakes.

Okay, enough of that. If you get the reference, however, you can be my (and Sir’s) best friend for life. Heh.

For the two (possibly three) of you who may be wondering what I’ve been up to, I have one word for you – sssssssssss. Yes, I am currently knee-deep in snakes. Fortunately, they are of the soft, fuzzy, smiley variety like the one in the photo.

Why am I knee-deep in homemade, felted snakes, you ask. Well, I have one more word for you – guilt.

You see, I had grand plans to make Sir an awesome homemade Halloween costume. The plans are far too top secret for me to share anywhere outside of my head (especially since I may give it a whirl next year), but let me just say, it would have been SWEET. I’m talking, winning a costume contest for originality and wicked awesomeness sweet. But, it didn’t happen. I ended up getting sick. That, coupled with the fact that Sir went completely ballistic every time we tried to put his back-up borrowed costume on him, made the major effort of building him a costume seem pretty unreasonable.

Even though he was happy as a clam in his borrowed store-bought costume (once we finally convinced him to put it on), I still feel like a bad mom. I mean, I’m supposed to be creative, after all.

Enter the birthday party plans.

Sir has a few loves – trains, trucks, music, snakes. Sadly, most of those birthday party themes were already snagged by his friends. Except snakes. So, we are having a snake party. Fortunately, Sir’s favorite types of snakes are either cute and stuffed or springy and stuffed in a ‘peanut brittle’ can. Yep, my kid loves the old snakes in the peanut brittle can gag. I’m guessing there aren’t many parents of almost-two-year-olds who can say that.

So, in addition to designing cool snake party invitations, I was charged with finding cute-not-scary snake party favors for the kiddies. My fruitless search led me down the make-your-own-snake path. And so, I will spend the next month and a half (give or take) knitting, felting, stuffing, and sewing snakes. A few may even slither their way into the Etsy shop.

Hopefully, this will make up for the store-bought costume.

photo : clive le hiss by yours truly

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