It’s that time of year.

UPDATE: As of 8/5/17, the pattern has been removed due to a DMCA takedown notice per Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. Boooooo. 😦

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now Christmas season is in full swing. I scowled when I saw Hobby Lobby putting up Christmas paraphernalia before Halloween even started. I just about ripped my car stereo out when our local soft-pop station started the 24-hour Christmas music a week earlier than their usual start date of Thanksgiving Day. I’m a certified Christmas Grinch, and for all the other Grinchy hookers out there, I present to you all again my little Grinch pattern:

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For those of us who need a little stink, stank, stunk for this season, here’s my free Grinch pattern again to add a little grump to your holiday season. Also: two years later, a ravelry user with an eagle eye noticed an error in my pattern! If you’re going to make a little Grinch, note the following:

Rows 7-9 of the Grinch’s body should be as follows:

Rows 7-8: Should be SC 24 around
Row 9: Should be [SC 2, dec 1] x6 (18 stitches)

Otherwise happy hooking to everyone out there! And to everyone who’s hooking up a storm for holiday gifts: godspeed, and may your giftees appreciate your carpal tunnel-inducing efforts.

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Wanna make a Grinch? Now you can!

UPDATE: As of 8/5/17, the pattern has been removed due to a DMCA takedown notice per Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. Boooooo. 😦

Christmas has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a spirit of giving floating around. FOR BEHOLD! I HAVE A PATTERN FOR YOU ALL!

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Make a Grinch!

I wrote up a pattern, and then I went to create a Ravelry.com account, since that seems to be the popular place to post free patterns. And then I discovered that apparently I already had an account. I HAVE NO MEMORY OF THIS.

Whatever the case is, the pattern is uploaded and good to go here. Happy hookin’, everyone!

“Stink! Stank! Stunk!”

When it comes to holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving reign supreme in my books. Free candy! Fun costumes! Stuffing yourself silly until you pass out! So when it comes to Christmas, I’m somewhat of a scrooge. It’s not that Christmas has been bad to me…I’ve had plenty of great Christmas mornings growing up, but I feel like Christmas as an adult becomes a different ballpark. And I feel like anyone who’s worked retail or customer service around this time of year knows that the holiday season tends to bring out the WORST in people. THE. WORST. Stir in having to hear Christmas music on loop for 10 hours a day, and well, it’s enough to turn anyone into a Grinch.

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The biggest Christmas grump of them all. Maybe adding some holiday cheer will make things better?

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No? Gosh you’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!

The thing that I LOVE about “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is how towards the end, even after the mean ol’ Grinch took everything Christmas-related away from the Whos down in Whoville, they still came out and sang with glee like nothing happened. To which the Grinch said:

“How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!”

And he puzzled and puzzed, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

Because Christmas ISN’T about the frantic shopping, the ridiculous “see how much more money you can spend than your neighbors” light displays, the songs that get incessantly drummed into your head, the parents shouting at their kids to smile for the camera while they’re crying uncontrollably in Santa’s lap – it’s about being with those you love and sharing a time of kindness and goodwill that frankly, should be happening every day of the year. And sometimes it takes a movie like How The Grinch Stole Christmas to reaffirm to real-life Grinches like me that amidst all the commercial craziness, no, Christmas doesn’t come from a store, and yes, it really does mean much, much more. Spend time with the ones you love, be kind to strangers in the street…celebrate until your heart grows 3 sizes too big. From a real-life Grinch, wherever you are, and whoever you’re with, may you all have a very merry Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night I came back from sandy beaches in Puerto Rico to cold, wet weather in Houston, and now I’m here in even colder and wetter weather in Atlanta. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This past weekend I got to see my best friend get married to the woman of his dreams, and now I get to surround myself with family and stuff myself silly. If that’s not a week packed full of things for me to be thankful for, I don’t know what is. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving with a giant feast or with a quiet night with a bowl of instant noodles and time with your favorite loved ones, be thankful for all that you have in life, and have a happy and safe holiday!

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Gobble gobble!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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He lives in the shadows. He is the dark knight.

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And he’s the hero we deserve. But not the one we need right now…

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…because he kind of has a problem keeping track of his limbs.

Poor business zombie. Yet another Halloween mishap.

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Maybe next year, my undead little friend.

But hey, missing a limb has never stopped this guy from making SUPER awesome costumes year after year:

DAT LEG LAMP. Have a happy and safe Halloween tonight, everyone!

“It’s a magical world.”

I’m not a morning person. AT ALL. But one of the few things I liked to do in the mornings before going to school in my teenage years was to read through the comics section of the newspaper over breakfast before setting off for the day. Calvin and Hobbes was one of my favorites, and I still remember clipping out the last strip that ever ran before Bill Watterson retired.

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So when my friend asked me if I could make a little Hobbes for her husband as a Christmas gift, it was pretty much an immediate “HOLY CRAP, HOBBES, YES!” After doing a bit of research and using some elbow grease, a little mischievous tiger was released.

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He nosed through my things…

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Raided my pantry…

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That was my girl scout cookie stash, you jerk!

Hung around in random places…

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And just made a big mess in general.

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It’s a magical world out there, and he definitely did his share of exploration before landing in the hands of my friend’s hubby on Christmas day. 🙂

Bill Watterson was (and still is) adamant about not commercializing his work. He felt that it cheapened the value of his characters and took away the spirit behind his work, which is why no Calvin and Hobbes toys were ever produced. He could have become rich from merchandising, but he felt that the integrity of his work mattered beyond any money he could have made from T-shirts and mugs:

“Characters lose their believability as they start endorsing major companies and lend their faces to bedsheets and boxer shorts. The appealing innocence and sincerity of cartoon characters is corrupted when they use those qualities to peddle products. One starts to question whether characters say things because they mean it or because their sentiments sell T-shirts and greeting cards. Licensing has made some cartoonists extremely wealthy, but at a considerable loss to the precious little world they created.”
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I feel like a lot of us could learn a thing or two from Mr. Watterson’s philosophy. Keep your heart in your work, and most of all, keep exploring.

A gift that’s meant to be broken

My dear friend Linda loves penguins. She also loves the color purple. So when I first started crocheting 2 years ago, one of the first things I made was a little purple penguin for her:

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Unfortunately, some assholes decided to steal her car this year. And they took her little penguin with it.

So I struck back at the assholes by making her a new penguin for Christmas.

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But I also added a little something extra:

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“Crack me open to see what’s inside!”

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Peekaboo!

Her penguin has a tiny new friend!

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Very tiny indeed:

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These little surprise eggs were so easy to make. And so fun to watch people crack them open.

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So THAT’s where stormtroopers come from.

I’ve written up a short tutorial for these little eggs at instructables.com. I wasn’t able to post this earlier because I couldn’t spoil Linda’s Christmas gift surprise (ah, the perils of holiday craft blogging), but if you need a REALLY last minute gift idea, give these a try! Or heck, screw the holidays and just make ’em for fun. Who doesn’t love getting a fun surprise now and then? Otherwise, everyone have a happy and safe Christmas eve today and a merry Christmas tomorrow!

Post egg-cracking photo of tiny penguin is by Linda! Because I obviously couldn’t get a post-cracking photo before giving it to her. 😉
Pattern for big penguin found via Lion Brand Yarn (registration required, but it’s free!).

Pattern for tiny penguin found here, but I used half strands of yarn and a C-sized hook.