Jess Hutch.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


pocket guy
Visiting my family is always nice, and as an added bonus I get to spend some time with the Ghost of Crafting Past. For a long time my friends and family were the only ones who got to see the fruits of my creative labors, mostly in the form of birthday or Christmas presents, so when I visit them, it's a little walk down memory lane. A few years ago it was all about felt and embroidery for me, so I made this little fellow for my sister. I especially like his antennae and his little pocket.

Seeing stuff that I made Way Back When is fun, it gives me an opportunity to see how my style has changed over time and how I've been obsessed with the same weird stuff for quite a while.

Ahhh, the holidays. I got a Print Gocco from Jeff, woo woo! Just in time for the manufacturer to announce that they will not be producing it anymore, or any of the supplies. Drat. Save Gocco!

I'm planning to do little prints of my fellows. I think it will be super fun. Any tips or suggestions?

Oh yeah! To those coming over courtesy of cute overload, I welcome you. I love that blog, they seem to have the same attitude about cute that I do - it hurts to love it but you MUST LOVE IT.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I find the tree-in-the-house thing to be the strangest of the holiday traditions. Strange, but really lovely. I'm always up for shiny and bright things...

I remember laying under the tree as a kid and looking up through the branches and lights and just loving the colors and reflections. The Time-Life Christmas record with Robert Goulet, Barbra Streisand, and Doris Day would be playing (I love Barbra's version of Jingle Bells - "JIN-gle-bell-JIN-gle-bell-JIN-gle-allll-the-waaay") and I would feel so content.

Our tree doesn't have as many ornaments as my parents', but we're working on it. We've got some vintage, thrift store finds, like this beautiful globe with the set-in starburst, and this jolly Santa.

I've also discovered that many of the holiday items sold at Walgreen's or other drug stores are very similar to the vintage stuff I've found - I wonder if the manufacturers understand that many folks are looking for stuff they had when they were kids, or if it's just easier to use the same molds? In any case, glitter and fluff will always be around for the holidays.

I have to admit that I'm also a fan of the Hallmark ornaments - my Mom has been buying them every year for, well, ever, and although I'm not as vigilant about it, I love to go and look at all the fun little things they have to offer. I always come close to buying whatever Star Trek character ornament they have, then end up with the Barbie travel case. I'm a complicated woman. This year I couldn't resist this incredibly charming miniature - it's a wee, wee basket (about one inch wide) with a wee sleeping mouse inside.

Seriously, how cute is that? (Click on it for a larger image.)

So Hallmark's got my number, what of it?

One thing we don't have many of is hand-made ornaments - I gotta get on that. Where's that Shrinky Dink?

This time of year also means calendar-purchasing. I was so pleased to see that Camilla Engman has a gorgeous calendar available - go look (click on "shop", then on "calendar"). Beautiful.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

jan messent

It hasn't been very thrilling around here lately, has it? I've been spending a lot of time on the booklet, getting it printed, filling orders, etc. Not much knitting or designing has been going on, hence the dearth of crafty photos. Sorry about that - I plan on catching up with my ideas (I got a million of 'em) during my holiday break at the end of the year.

In the meantime, I can suggest some great music to fill orders to (or just to get through any task): Puffy Amiyumi, Love, The Sonics, and Sleater-Kinney's latest album. Hot cha, I'm like a little order-filling automaton when listening to these energetic performers.

A few posts ago I talked about Jean Greenhowe, whose knitted toys are really sweet and cleverly designed. I'm a big fan of her stuff, and I also wanted to check out the work of Jan Messent, whose books I'd seen for sale on ebay and on other online stores. Well I finally purchased Knitted Historical Figures, the book I was most curious about, and it does not disappoint. Check out the photo of Madame de Pompadour here (1721-1764) from the book, such details! I really love this doll - although my stuff tends to be very stylized and simple, I really respond to this sort of spectacular embellishment. Plus, the pink! I had been thinking about designing a knitted lady in a long dress for a while and this sealed the deal, perhaps I'll work on her next.

This book also features patterns for an Egyptian couple, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, some Pilgrims, an Old Testament Rabbi, and some Victorian folks. Most feature all sorts of lovely trims and adornments. Highly recommended. Just do a search on ebay or google and there you go.

The booklets are going out as fast I can, as of this afternoon I'm completely caught up. Whew!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

still more 'lettes

You can get your red hot booklets here, now...

And when all of those are in the mail, I'm going to sit back, relax, watch "The Year Without a Santa Claus" and all the other Rankin Bass movies I've tivo'ed, and enjoy the season. Yay!

Monday, December 05, 2005


Hey! I have a pattern in the new knitty! Check her out - her name is Kate, and she's a kitten in britches.

To explain the kitten in britches thing - apparently, at some point in the past, if you were to ask a particularly witty person "what's that for?" they might have answered "cat's fur to make kitten's britches". This kind of pun (for/fur) is incredibly humorous to me, as is the image of a kitten in pants. You can read more about it here.

I hope you like Kate, and if you make Kate, send me a photo. That would be marvy.

Also, I will have more booklets up for sale tomorrow at around 6pm, California time. When you visit the booklet page around that time there will be buttons you can click that will allow you to purchase the book through paypal. Make sure to click the right button for your area of the world!