Jess Hutch.

Monday, October 31, 2005


I wish you a most joyous Halloween. Here's a lovely ghost I purchased from bluecalico, of wool and water - she can also be found on flickr. What a sad and serene face, it's just too lovely. Check out her illustrations as well, so beautiful.

More of her ghosts can be found here.

This time of year is always so strange for me - I love the holidays, and my birthday is only a few weeks away, but the darkness, the damp and chill in the air, and the dead leaves on the ground make me feel a bit sad. I was just thinking about how the fall and winter holidays help make it all more bearable - and how!

Saturday, October 29, 2005



Jeff and I dressed spooky for Halloween - actually, for a show we went to last night. But 'tis the season. I loved that black flippy wig, I think I'm going to start wearing it to work, for kicks.

lisa gift

I feel so incredibly lucky to live in the same town as Lisa. We met for dinner the other night and she is so funny, smart, and stylish. We had a lot to talk about - I was going a mile a minute, since I was brilliant enough to drink like 4 glasses of iced tea. Whee! She was nice enough to give me this little bundle of craftiness, and I'm already starting to get ideas. And how about that amazing tag? Thanks Lisa!

Booklet update - I have spoken to the printer, they are shipping the next batch to me early next week. I hope to have them on sale by Friday or Saturday, I will of course provide more info when I know the exact date.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Um... the available copies of the booklet have been sold. Whee. Fortunately I have placed another order with the printer and plan to have more for sale very soon, in a week or so, definitely in time to make toys for the holidays.

I apologize for the delay and inconvenience, but if you send me an email (, I'll let you know when the second printing becomes available.

To answer some recent questions:

*I'm not planning to put the booklet out in pdf form, because the image quality suffers greatly when I made the pdf small enough to send easily. Let me know if this is a problem; if I get a large amount of interest I will consider this option for folks who have no other alternative.

*There are 8 patterns in the booklet, 7 of which are pictured on the cover. The other pattern is a wee snake who is super fun and easy to make. In a few days I will post some images of the toys who haven't gotten a lot of press on this here blog.

*Um, I can't remember. If you have any questions, let me know!

And thank you for your interest! This blog is sort of turning into an infomercial for the booklet, I promise to get back to talking about stamping kits and embroidery and the Nature of Cuteness soon.

UPDATED to clarify - I have a booklet for everyone who has already ordered, I was really careful not to take any orders I couldn't fill. If you emailed me about international orders, I have saved a copy for you and will invoice you when you give me the go-ahead.


Hi there.

I'm so excited by the number of orders I've received! I just want to let you know - I'm filling them as fast as I can, but it might actually take me a day or two to get them out. If you want it rushed, because it's a present or something, please let me know.

But thanks for ordering, it's so lovely to see the interest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ready freddy

To celebrate the printing of la booklette, I have knitted Henry the Bear in my favorite color combination - pink, pinker, and yellow-green. I have named her Jolene; yes, I listen to a lot of country music.

jolene and henry

You can buy the booklet here. Only $8, $1 per pattern. Wow! Plus postage.

If you have any problems ordering, please email me at I will typically send out the booklets the day after they are ordered.

Please let me know what you think of the fruit of my labors, and if you make any of the dudes, please send me photos!


This post is starting to sound like it was written by Fred Milton, Lynda Barry's awesome beatnik poodle. Wow! How deeply #1!

Monday, October 24, 2005


I have been admiring all the lovely stamping that's been going on in the craft blogs I read. Hillary's been doing some amazing stuff with mastercarve blocks, like this sweet apron (hey Mom, the Cooky Book!) and I love these by Sarah of The Small Object, and I saw some others somewhere... I can't remember.

Stamps are pretty great. The best part of working at the library in college was stamping the due date in the book before I handed it to the patron... ahhh.. super satisfying. During college I also discovered the joys of the rubber stamp "Printing Kit" you can purchase at any office supply store. Have you seen one of these? It comes with tweezers, a couple stamp bases, and rubber "type" that you can use to spell out any old thing.

I had taken a class in letterpress printing at the time but wanted something I could use at home. What's really lovely and extraordinary about these, though, is how long they've been around! I was glancing through my trusty reproduction of the Fall 1900 Sears, Roebuck catalog and saw this:

Items like this are often on my mind - things that have stayed the same over so many years, without any kind of fanfare. We don't really conceive of them as "retro" because they just maintain a sort of quiet, unassuming presence in our lives. Things like wooden matches, and decks of cards, and lightbulbs. Knitting needles, too! I wonder if they stay the same because we don't give them enough thought to warrant a change - they are so integrated into our lives, like our thumbs or something - or if it's because they have managed to remain a part of our lives because they are perfect as is. Hmm.

Anyway, buy any reproduction of a Sears catalog you find, from any decade, they are fascinating and lead to deep thoughts like the above.

Big news: the booklet will go on sale tomorrow evening when I get home from work. I got them in the mail today and boy do they look snazzy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Cough, cough, cough. The cold/flu/whatever ended last week, but it was nice enough to give a body-racking cough as a parting gift. I am no longer Jess; I am only Cough.

I got some meds from my doctor, and a coworker (who was a doctor in China) heard me coughing and was nice enough to bring me some traditional Chinese herbal syrup, which helped minimize the irritation. I loved the packaging so much I decided to post an image.

Sorry to whine, I'm really doing okay, nothing some antibiotics can't fix.

Right now I'm working on an Actual Knitted Garment, when I'm not too busy busting a gut. A pullover, knitted from the top down on circulars - my favorite sweater-making method. I'm sort of making the pattern up as I go along and it seems to be working out okay. I'm knitting it from the mess of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk I received as a Christmas present last year, in a lovely shade of celery green, and I think it's going to be a keeper. Once you feel this incredibly soft yarn you will want to buy several hundred pounds of it, in order to make a pile of it to jump into and roll around in. I have calculated that this would cost a few thousand bucks, but man, would it be fun.

For those of you joining me courtesy of boingboing, welcome. I will let everyone know if I have any toys for sale in the coming months. In the meantime, there's always my booklet of toy patterns, available next week (eee!). I've heard from many people over the past week or so and I am so overwhelmed and pleased with their kind words and interest in my wacky toys. I couldn't believe how many guys wrote to tell me that they want to learn to knit just to make a robot! That's pretty neat.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Oh my, how I am loving these knitted toys by Hannah of electric biscuit fame. They're reenacting some pretty gory scenes from the classic zombie film, Dawn of the Dead. Whenever you can take something as wonderful as knitting and combine it with the awesomeness of zombies, I'm totally on board.

More here.

If you haven't seen this movie - really, you must. Most of the action takes place in a mall, and the director cleverly (but subtly) compares the zombies heading toward the mall to the average American consumer. The best line, by one of the zombie-hunters: "This was an important place in their lives."

For my part, I love malls. Well, I hate them, but I love them, it's sort of hard to articulate. Jeff and I were just discussing how, as kids, we'd daydream about being able to run around a mall after hours, running through the aisles and playing with toys. Jeff and I didn't know each other back then, so this must be a fairly common suburban fantasy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

more booklet info

Wow, everyone, thanks for all the nice comments!

I have this weird thing about image-less posts, so here's a squirrel I was hanging out with recently.

Anyway, the booklet will be available on October 25th or so, at which point I'll put up a link to a page on my website with a paypal button. I decided not to do preorders - when I realized that the more copies you order from the printer, the cheaper each copy gets, I kind of went overboard. Heh. I'll be 70 with dusty boxes of booklets in the garage! So I'm sure there will be enough.

Plus, I want to see the finished product before I put it on sale - I'm a superstitious creature.

Okee dokee. I've got the flu and the ibuprofen's wearing off.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Hi there. I have been super busy this week, finalizing everything for the booklet. It seems strange, but getting all the patterns standardized and getting the layout right was harder than actually designing and knitting the toys.

So now it's done, it's off to the printer, and it should be on sale around the 25th of October or so. It will have 8 patterns for all sorts of wacky knitted toys, plus some illustrations.

Here's one dude who will be in the booklet. He's a doll and a pillow, for those folks (like me) who are always trying to get more utility out of their toys. His name is Squarey, because that's probably what his name would have been had he been a character on Pee Wee's Playhouse.


So. To recap: booklet, on sale in a few weeks, Squarey pattern included, Pee Wee's Playhouse. Oh yeah, and the booklet's title is "Unusual Toys for You to Knit and Enjoy" and believe me, the wackiness doesn't stop there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

things to look at

I'm not feeling very writey today... but here are some fun and lovely images of things that have been in my world recently (and always, in some cases). Image heavy, sorry...

irritable signs


sunset strip

n judah ramp