The Whole Knit & Caboodle

Barely coherent ramblings of a yarn-obsessed stay at home mom

Plastic Canvas Reindeer Basket

Remember waaaaaay back (haha, about 11 posts ago) when I said I was one of those crafters who does anything?  I come by it honestly.  Take a peek at the reindeer basket my mom made and sent all the way from Nova Scotia!  It’s made of plastic canvas.  I don’t even know how many of these she’s made, I remember her making them when I was still living at home ten years ago.  She sent it filled with chocolate and clothespin reindeer ornaments she made with my niece. ❤

Plastic Canvas reindeer candy basket

Plastic Canvas reindeer candy basket

This may be my last post before the New Year, I hope you all have a safe and Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday.  I have so much stuff to share in the New Year, I hope you’ll drop back!

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Free Skull Appliqué Pattern

Whoo!!  Orders are finished until after Christmas!  I cut it pretty close and pulled an all-nighter last night (probably the first intentional all-nighter since my University days) and powered through most of the remaining orders I had.  The last stitches were sewn this afternoon.  Phew!

Two of the orders I had were for hats that were Monster High themed.  I’ve seen commercials for the dolls but I don’t know if there’s a show about them or if they’re just a line of toys.  They seem to be really popular- even my 4-year old niece was asking for “Monster Barbies” last year for Christmas.

It took me a couple of tries but I finally came up with a design I was happy with.  It works up quickly and I thought it would be a nice “first free pattern” here on my blog.  If you have any issues with/questions about the pattern, please feel free to shoot me an email at

Please excuse the poor artificial lighting :S

Please excuse the poor artificial lighting :S


Materials Needed: 

Small amounts of white and black worsted weight yarn

Ribbon/yarn in your choice of colour for accents (if desired)

Gauge:  Not terribly important.  With a F/3.75mm hook, my appliqué measures approx. 3″ x 2.75″

With an F/3.75mm hook and white yarn, chain 4.

Sc in second chain from hook.  Sc in each of the next two chains.  Finish off (I’m sure there’s a better way of doing this but because I’m running on no sleep and my brain has gone to mush from all of the orders I’ve been working on I can’t think of one right now).  This is the skull’s “chin”

With a new strand of yarn, chain 3.  Picking up the “chin”, work 2 sc in the stitch you worked before fastening off (joining in this stitch will allow you to use one of the ends to secure the gap that is caused by joining the two pieces). Sc in next st, 2 sc in last.  Chain 4, turn.

Working into the back of the chain, sc in the second ch from the hook and each st to the end of the row.  Ch 1. Turn.

Sc in first st, skip next, sc in next 7, skip next st, sc in last.  Ch 1. Turn.

sc in first st, skip next, sc in next 5, skip next st, sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

2 sc in first st, sc in next 5, 2 sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

2 sc in first st, sc in next 7, 2 sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

2 sc in first st, sc in next 9, 2 sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

Sc even.  Ch 1.  Turn.

Sc in first st, sk next st, sc in next 9, sk next, sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

Sc in first st, sk next st, sc in next 7, sk next, sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn.

Sc in first st, sk next st, sc in next 5, sk next, sc in last.  Ch 1.  Turn. Finish off.

Weave in ends and close gap made from joining chain with chin section.

Join black in any stitch and sc evenly around appliqué.  Finish off, leaving a long tail if attaching to a hat or other item.

Eyes (make 2):

Ch 3.  Sc in second ch from hook.  Sc in last ch.  Ch 1.  Turn.

Sc in both sts.  Finish off.

Attach eyes.  Embroider nose and add eyelashes and a bow if you’d like.

What’re you going to do with your skull(s)?  I’d love to see your FOs!


Knittin’ Pretty

I thought I’d post a Christmas stocking I made this summer (yes, this customer was proactive!).  It was funny to be: a) Knitting while it was SO hot out and b) Doing Christmas orders so early but I was happy with how it turned out and the customer was SO pleased with it.  I even lined it so it wouldn’t get stretched out of shape over the years.  I may revisit this one when things slow down and make some for the fam 🙂

It was lots of work but so worth it!

It was lots of work but so worth it!

For anyone interested in this pattern, it’s a free pattern on the Bernat website.  It’s listed as an intermediate pattern which scared me a little bit (and I’ve never used so many colours at the same time!) but you never know you can do something unless you try, right? 😉

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Gotta catch ’em all!

Phew!  Less than two weeks from Christmas and I’m still hard at it!  I still have lots of orders but I know I’ll have them all finished in time.  I’m very lucky to have so many trusting (and patient!) customers.  I’ve been crocheting/knitting so much that my hands/arms/shoulders are sore but there’s no rest for the wicked right?

I don’t think I’ve watched an episode of Pokémon since I was a teenager and was babysitting kids who watched the show but I was asked to make a couple of Pokémon hats- a Pliplip (penguin) and a Teddiursa (bear).  Don’t ask me what they do because I honestly couldn’t tell you.  I’m very pleased with how they turned out though.

With most of my character hats, I do the faces in appliqué.  This is what makes them look so clean.  It takes more time but it appeases my OCD.. haha.

Gotta catch 'em all!  (And yes, I googled that.. haha)

Gotta catch ’em all! (And yes, I googled that.. haha)

This order will result in two happy little girls with very warm heads this Christmas! 🙂

Other than orders there’s just been a lot of the usual- tree decorating, card addressing, gingerbread house decorating.. although I think “On Top of the Microwave Dive” is a bad area of town, one of the gingerbread men has gone missing  (perhaps he was enjoyed with a glass of eggnog) you’ll be seeing his face on little gingerbread milk cartons before too long!


“Making” Friends

I’ve been crocheting hats for two years now, since my daughter was born.  I’m quickly becoming well known in town as someone who does nice work and the orders start pouring in around the beginning of September.  Living in a semi-arid climate (read: desert-like climate- there are times when you actually see tumbleweeds blowing around), I don’t get too many hat orders from April to August and I was wondering what I could make when the weather is too warm for them.  Recently I found the answer.  Plush toys.

I had a request for Pascal from Disney’s Tangled (the little chameleon guy) and after taking a peek around Ravelry and Etsy I couldn’t find a pattern I really liked. Come to think of it, this seems to be a recurring theme in my adventures in crochet.  I think I’m going to stop looking for patterns all together.  It will save me a step and I’m always happier when I come up with a pattern of my own.

Pascal almost seemed like a fluke.  He worked up so easily and I don’t really remember having to “frog” anything while working on him.  Before too long I had the pattern written up and it’s now one of the best sellers in my Craftsy shop.  Here’s a picture of the little guy:

Don't you just want to hug this guy??

Don’t you just want to hug him??

He was really fun to make.  A few months back I had someone ask me to make them a Toopy and Binoo plush set.  Toopy and Binoo are characters of a French-Canadian children’s show called (what else?) Toopy and Binoo.  I had been planning and pondering them for a little while, working on them on and off (a nice break between hats/rush orders/family/life).  The customer who ordered them has the patience of a saint- she said she was not in a rush for them, she just wanted them for the end of the month.  I was up until 2 the other  morning working on them and YESTERDAY- the very last day of the month- I finished them.  I’m really quite happy with both of them but Toopy took the most work and figuring.  He stands about 15″ tall and though I’m not a fan of the show, I REALLY love him.  I don’t have a picture of Binoo that I’m happy with so I’ll add one later.

Toopy- from the front and from the side

Heeeeeeere’s Toopy!

Whenever I make something I’m particularly proud of (always for someone else of course), there’s always a fleeting moment where I think “I want to keep this!!” I have no idea what I would do with a 15″ plush mouse- it would probably end up going to my daughter who has too many toys as it is.

Anyway, he took a long time to make but looking at him now I’m glad I took the time, paid attention to the little details (ie the french knots by his nose) and really worked to make him as true to the cartoon as I could.  Plus the lady who ordered him is THRILLED which really is one of the best feelings I can imagine. 🙂


Just thought I would come back and post a photo of Toopy and Binoo together.  I was able to get them to stand up together (the other photos I had of Binoo had him propped up with a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… haha.  My customer stopped by to pick them up and her reaction to them in person was AMAZING.  Definitely one of the highlights of my day! 🙂

Toopy and his pal Binoo