Aug 14, 2023

Fran, the toy mystery KAL and some new patterns


Sensory Caterpillar is one of the two new patterns that I have added to Ravelry and to Lovecraft. I have created the pattern for Knitpicks IDP program, and the pictured sample uses their Dishie yarn.

My second pattern Calypso Hat and Cowl that I have just added to Ravelry was also created for Knitpicks IDP and it just got published on Knitpicks website as well. The pattern uses Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky weight.  

Link to Ravelry:  My designer page

Link to Lovecraft: My patterns on Lovecraft

Link to Knitpicks: Calypso Hat and Cowl and Sensory Caterpillar

Fran, the next toy mystery KAL will start next Monday, August 21st, 2023. 

You can sign up for my newsletter and receive a coupon code for the pattern and a free toy pattern on my website: Stana's Critters etc.

Also, you can get the pattern for 50% off by using the coupon code: Fran 

The coupon code is valid from today until August 24th, 2023. 

As always, I appreciate your visits, comments and please don't forget to follow me, here or on Instagram: stanascrittersetc

Jun 4, 2023

One stitch at time....

an infinity scarf in the shape of heart made from scrap yarn with small remnants of yarn in the middle

     At the end of April, I had everything ready for the next toy mystery KAL. I only needed few more pictures of work in progress to show what the toy looks after each clue during the mystery KAL. Then something unexpected happened in our lives and I am still trying to figure out the next step. Life goes on and I will be back with the toy mystery KAL in second half of the summer, but I need few more weeks of time to allow me to process my grief. 

Be kind to each other. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, yet full of moments of joy. 

Heart shape made of small heart shaped rocks,

Thank you for visiting.

Apr 29, 2023

Dandelion Honey


photo of small glass jars filled with dandelion honey

These jars are filled with sweet syrup made from dandelion flowers. I remember it as a special treat my mom and grandmother used to make when I was growing up. First time I made it by myself was in the spring of 2020. See the blog post here. Since then, I have continued making the syrup each year in the spring, when the dandelions are in bloom. 

This year I have posted a picture of my dandelions and violet flowers collection and once again I have received request for the recipe. I have included the recipe in my e-book Baba Yaga's House. But if you are not interested in knitting, you may not want to buy an entire e-book filled with knitting patterns and some extras, therefore I have decided to write the recipe here.

This recipe goes back to my childhood. We would gather dandelion flowers and made what we called honey, but it’s rather a syrup. This is a spring time activity, and I would highly recommend leaving plenty of blooms for the bees and other pollinating insects when collecting the dandelion flowers. 

Dandelion flowers (400)
2 liters (0.5 gallon) water
1.8 kg (4 pounds) sugar
Lemon juice (from one lemon)
Orange slices (optional)

Step 1: Collect the dandelion flowers.
Step 2: Wash the flowers. Add them to a large pot with the water. Add the lemon juice and sliced orange.
Step 3: Bring to a boil, let it simmer for 15 minutes. 
Step 4: Cover the pot with the lid. Let it sit overnight in the pot. 
Step 5: Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth or a strainer. 
Step 6:  Add the strained liquid to a pot, add the sugar and bring to a boil.
Step 7: Lower the temperature and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally. The longer you let the liquid simmer the thicker the dandelion honey will be.  
Step 8: Sterilize small glass containers, then pour the dandelion honey inside. Cover. Let it cool to room temperature. 
Step 9: Keep in the refrigerator, and use it as a sweetener for teas, lemonades, etc.  

Thank you for visiting and enjoy! 

Apr 2, 2023

The Headaches of Medical Bills....


a photo of two knitted foxes, a knitted frog and a paper in the background

Another one just arrived yesterday. 

This year has been rather stressful, and my knitting has been mostly on hold. I cannot find the energy or time to knit. The stress of having my husband out of work and without any income since January is not helping. Earlier this month, when I went to an Urgent Care with a chest pain and was refused to be seen, I had to go to ER instead. I was worried about the chest pain, not the medical bills at that time. 

Now the medical bills started arriving. Even though we are lucky to have a health insurance through my full-time job, it's a rather high deductible insurance and we have to pay most of the bills anyway. The unbelievable high medical bills here in the USA force people to create GoFundMe pages as they struggle to pay their regular bills and the medical bills as well, while sometimes they cannot even work. A good friend of mine is dealing with the uncertainty of his child's long recovery from a serious car accident as well as the devastating medical bills the prolonged hospital stay at an ICU will cost. I am truly at loss on how he must feel. Below is the link to my friend's child GoFundMe page. 

My friend's child GoFundMe Page

I still hope to host the toy mystery KAL sometimes soon. It might take a bit longer than I anticipated, but there are more than 300 other knitting pattern that I have created over the years, which you can either purchase or are available as free patterns. See all the places where you can buy my patterns on my website. Stana's Critters Etc

As always, I am grateful for any purchase you make as it helps me to continue to create one stitch at time. 

Thank you.

Mar 11, 2023

A brief note


An infinity scarf in a heart shape knit up from many colorful pieces of yarn on a wooden background with legs of a dog

Hello everyone,

Every day I keep thinking about sitting down and writing a blog post. Yet somehow it has not happened yet. My knitting adventure has taken a brief break over the past few months. I tried to keep up, but life got busy with other things and there were days when my knitting needles were left untouched, and I couldn't manage to make a single stitch. It wasn't that I lost a joy from knitting and creating, but the time just wasn't there. Life happens sometimes. 

We all try to do our best, and as I am adjusting to everything, I try to find few moments here and there and continue with my knitting adventure one stitch at time. 

My new toy mystery knit-a-long is slowly getting ready, and I hope to have it all done soon. So, we can have some fun mystery knit-a-long towards the end of this month. 

a rainbow colored textured knitted caterpillar

Sensory Caterpillar is my latest knitting pattern created for Knitpicks IDP program. When I have more time I will add the pattern to Lovecraft, Knitpicks, and Payhip. In the meantime, you can get the pattern on Knitpicks website, along with the yarn. 

Thank you for visiting.

For some little snippets of my life, you can follow me on Instagram: @stanascrittersetc

Dec 23, 2022

All the best....


a heart shaped knitting in progress with a dog's feet in background

to you all, who continue to read my blog throughout all those years, or who stopped by to check out my free knitting patterns. I hope that your year of 2022 has been a good one and you are going to have pleasant and safe last days of this year. 

As another year is coming to an end, I look back to what I have accomplished as a knitwear designer. When I started this blog in March 2011, I didn't know what to expect and where my knitting journey will take me. It has been eleven years since I published my first knitting pattern. Although it didn't turn to be my full-time profession, I still continue to create and publish knitting patterns. As I mentioned in my newsletter, I am creating at a slower pace than before. Life is full of surprises. 

photo of knitted swatch, a sweater in blue white yarn and colorful pencils and notepads.


I hope to create another toy mystery Knit-a-long for the beginning of the next year, and also some new wearable items as well. In the meantime, you can still browse my previously published 320 knitting patterns and I hope that it will inspire you to keep on knitting, one stitch at time. 

All the best for the New Year!

Thank you for visiting and reading.

Dec 1, 2022

Winter Cowl - Malabrigo Quickie


a detail of knitted 3D honeycomb pattern in malabrigo fingering weight yarn

Winter Cowl is my latest published knitting pattern. It is a part of the popular Malabrigo quickie program. The pattern calls for one skein of Mechita yarn. 

You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry: Winter Cowl 

Payhip: Winter Cowl

and soon it will be also available on Lovecraft website. 

I love how the honeycomb pattern creates a 3D appeal yet is simple enough for new knitters to cable knitting and I really like the polished look of I-cord edges. I have created this pattern for Malabrigo quickies, and the cowl uses one skein of fingering weight yarn. At first, I made couple swatches of the honeycomb pattern in heavier yarn weight, and I really liked the 3d appeal to it. But when I made the same pattern in the fingering weight the 3D appeal kind of disappeared and I had to adjust the pattern to keep the 3d visual appeal even in the fingering weight yarn. You can see the different swatches in the picture bellow. From left to right it is the fingering weight yarn, sport/ DK and worsted/ Aran weight yarn. 

a variety of knitted swatches with honeycomb pattern in different yarn weights and yarn colors.
Bellow you can see the two samples of the fingering weight yarn cowls in Malabrigo Mechita in two different colorways. 
a knitted cowl in blue fingering weight yarn

A knitted cowl in Speckled fingering weight yarn

Thank you for visiting and reading.