Dec 24, 2013

Happy Holidays

... to all.
Peace on Earth

I wish everyone a wonderful time with their loved ones, cherishing the precious moments together, enjoying each other's company.

Thank you for visiting my little corner where I share my passion for anything knitted, especially toys, and sometimes my random thoughts and ideas.

Thank you for visiting my blog Stana's critters etc where I offer my knitting patterns. Some free and some for a little sum of money, which is used to buy more yarn and therefore creating more of what I love, which allows me to share more with you, my readers, and give away the knitted toys to those who need a little comfort in the darkness.

Thank you for letting me share my passion with you, my readers.

All the best for the New Year.


Dec 21, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Minion Phone Cover

Minion Phone Cover
This is it, my last knitting pattern for 2013. Don't worry, there will be more knitting patterns in the New Year, some are already being test knitted at the moment.

The Minion Phone Cover is 3.5” (9cm) wide and 6 ½” (16cm) long.

To download PDF file with the knitting pattern for Minion Phone Cover click here:

download now

Thank you for visiting.

Dec 16, 2013

Knitting Patterns for Minion Hat and Evil Minion Hat

Here they are  - the knitting patterns for Minion Hat and Evil Minion Hat, available in three sizes which should fit heads of 16”- 22” (41 - 56cm). Finished measurement approximately 16” (41cm) small, 19” (48cm) medium, and 22” (56cm) large in circumference unstretched.

Minion Hat
To download PDF file for Minion Hat knitting pattern click here:

download now

Evil Minion Hat
To download PDF file for Evil Minion Hat knitting pattern click here:

download now

Thank you for visiting.

Dec 13, 2013

Fifi, the Fluffy Dog

Fifi, the Fluffy Dog
This time of year is busy for everyone. It seems that there is not enough hours in a day to finish all that needs to be done. I always start with a plan and a list, hoping that this time I will have finish everything ahead of schedule. Somehow my intentions and plans fell short again and I am desperately trying to finish all the handmade gifts that I would like to give. Yet, I am afraid that one of my gifts will be wrapped with knitting needles still attached to it.

On a bright note, I have finally written up the pattern for Fifi, the fluffy dog. At the moment it is test knitted and the pattern will be available in a few weeks. While I was writing the pattern I knitted a pink version of Fifi, the fluffy dog. It took me three days to knit Fifi thanks to the unexpected snow day we had earlier this week.

Sometimes being inside is a great way to spend the snow days, stay on a sofa cuddled up in a blanket, watch the fire in a fireplace, sip a hot tea or cocoa, and knit. And then, the snow stops falling and we have to go out and shovel the snow, but that is another story.

Thank you for visiting.

Dec 3, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Monster Al and his Friends

Monster Al and his Friends
Monster Al is my favorite monster. It might be because it was my first knitted monster, but also because I used him as a character for my picture book Monster Al , and now he and his friends are characters in my Thesis project Monster Al and his Friends.

In the knitting pattern for Monster Al and his friends I have included the story. You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry or by clicking on this button.

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 29, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Batman Toy

Batman Knitted Toy
I have to admit, I love being challenged to create something special. This Batman inspired toy was created because a young man asked me if I could knit one for him. I could not resist and this is the result.
Of course it is not perfect, but when you look at the toy, it does resemble the original character.
It was after I finished the toy, that I though it might be good to share my notes, and therefore I wrote up the knitting pattern.

You can get the free pattern on Ravelry or by clicking on this link:

download now

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 27, 2013

Black Friday in America

Black Friday is one thing that I still cannot completely understand. Why would I want to get up in the middle of the night and go to a store to purchase something that I don't really need and many other things just because they are on sale? Yet, many people will do that, and then we will watch news about stampede and fights in various stores over TV or any other materialistic object, that  they didn't need in the first place, but they all wanted to buy just because it was on sale.

 I wonder what an anthropologist would say about this tradition in about hundred years.

Anyway, just because I prefer to stay at home, spend time with the people I love, and work on some handmade gifts for them, I still would like to offer some discounts and sales for other people on my knitting patterns.

Therefore, I have a promotion 25% off the price for all of my knitting patterns published in my Stana's critters etc  Raverly Store - here. For the promotion to work you need to use the coupon "happyday"

This promotion works from November 27th until December 4th 2013.

And here is quite a long list of other fiber related discounts and deals which the author Marly Bird compiled together. It contains also my coupon code.

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 24, 2013

Still Minions

Minion Hat

Evil Minion Hat

Minion Phone Cover
When my knitted minions photo was included on the Despicable Me FB page last week, I had to return to the adorable minions.
I was asked to knit minion phone cover. And because I had the yellow and blue yarn out, I knitted hat, and then I knitted the evil minion hat. 
The knitting patterns for all three things are being test knitted at the moment, and will be available next month.
Thank you for visiting.

Nov 16, 2013

Feeling Famous...... least for a moment until the reality kicks in.

Please, let me explain.
Few days ago I have received a message from a marketing company in U.K. They asked for my permission to use this picture of my knitted minions as a part of one of their promotion activities prior to DVD release of the movie "Despicable Me 2".
 As a thank you for doing that, they would provide a link to the original post (my blog). A great exposure to audience that might not know about my blog otherwise.
For a moment I envisioned thousands of readers suddenly exploring my small corner on the Internet where I share my ideas, knitting patterns, and sometimes my thoughts. For that brief moment I felt as if I am someone famous. But, then reality kicked in and I realized that it is only in my head, and actually I would not want to be famous and experience all that comes with fame.
However I wouldn't mind to have more visitors to my blog, and more people knitting my critters and perhaps give them away to make this world a little bit better, by being generous, and kind, and caring for each other, outside of our comfort zone.

My brief moment of feeling famous can be viewed here.

In a  strange twist of ways the Internet sometime works, the other knitted minion was inspired by my Knitting Pattern for Minions, which the author kindly provided the link to.

And then, I saw another pattern on the Internet, which the person claimed as their own creation, but it looks exactly as my Knitting Pattern for Minions , including the number of stitches, and rows and techniques for body, arms, legs, goggles, overalls etc.

I know that I cannot prevent something like this from happening, the same way I cannot prevent somebody else from trying to sell my knitting patterns that I have provided for free on other web sites and actually charge money for it, but this makes me feel sad and disappointed. Sad for those people who would pay money for something that I offered for free. Disappointed for behavior of those people who would do that. And I have to keep asking myself, Why would anyone steel someone else's work and claim it's their own work, without  properly crediting the authors.
What else would people like this do, to make a little bit of profit from someone else's work?

I know that the world is not perfect and that bad things happen, but if we all tried to be nicer, kinder, more courteous, and respectful then the world might be a better place to live and share.

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 13, 2013

Rejection Letters

Part of my world is filled with submissions. I think of something, create an idea, spend hours writing, rewriting, sketching, etc. Once I feel the idea I want to submit is ready I send it out. It may be a response to a Call for Submission, or perhaps I think that my idea is a fit for a particular place. After, I am left with anticipation waiting for the response.

The happy moment arrives, when my submission is accepted.

Sometimes, a not so happy moment arrives with a rejection.

Rejection letters are a strange phenomenon, they can evoke various feelings in the receiver.

I would divide the rejection letters into three categories.

The first category is basically a version of "We don't care about your submission." Letters and notes like these hurt the most.

The second category is a version of "We don't have space/money/time...(fill in the blank) for your submission, but thanks for sending it." these types of rejections are unpleasant, but acceptable.

And then there is the third category of rejection letters. They usually say something like "Thank you for sending your work to us. It was a pleasure to review it. Unfortunately...." Even though it is a rejection letter, it makes me feel appreciated. Someone actually values my work, effort, time and has the decency to make me feel valuable as an artist, writer, and designer. This feeling makes a huge difference. After receiving this kind of rejection letter, I actually feel a great surge of inspiration to be better the next time, whereas after receiving the first category of rejection letters make me feel like my work is worthless, and therefore even I as a person have a lesser value.

In reality they are all rejection letters, therefore my work was not accepted, however the difference in the way the letters are perceived is huge, at least for me personally.

In the end, it makes me think more about where I will send my submissions next time. Would it be the place where they value the work and the artist, writer, designer, or to a place where they don't really care?

Thank you for visiting.

Nov 6, 2013

Monster Al and his friends

Monster Al and his friends
Monster Al is the first monster I have ever knitted. He started his life as a drawing done by my child, what seem to be a very long time ago. In reality it was fall of 2009.
I must admit, Monster Al has a special place in our lives. I wrote a book about him, which you can read here: Monster Al  and now I am writing second book which will include the knitting patterns.

The book is almost finished and the pattern is test knitted at the moment.

Thank you for visiting.

Oct 27, 2013

E-book "Knitted Monsters in the Closet"

Knitted Monsters in the closet
Finally, my first e-book "Knitted Monsters in the closet" is available.

In this e-book you will find six knitting patterns for all the cute monsters pictured in this photograph.

Tony, the pocket monster can help you organize toys and other important treasures your child accumulate.

Bella and Rose, Dave, Harvey, Roger, and Sam, the slug are knitted toys which travel to live in their new home with children at Rose Garden.

To buy the e-book click on this button

Of course you can purchase the individual patterns as well, here are the individual patterns:

Bella and Rose

Sam, the slug
Tony, the pocket monster
Thank you for visiting

Oct 20, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Minion's tablet or I-pad cover evil version

Minions tablet cover
I couldn't help myself. I just had to make the evil version of Minion's inspired Tablet or I-pad cover.

For this project you will need approximately 1 ball each of medium worsted yarn in purple (I used Caron Simply Soft Grape # 9610 )  and black yarn, 1 ball of Fun Fur or other novelty type of yarn in color matching the body of the minion (optional) for hair, remnants of white, black and grey colored yarn, two buttons.

Tablet cover is 8 ¼” (21cm) wide and 11 ½” (29cm) long.
I-pad cover is 8 ¼” (21cm) wide and 9 ½” (24cm) long.

To download the PDF file with the knitting  pattern click on this button

download now

Thank you for visiting

Oct 18, 2013

Work in progress.....

Fall colors scarf
I am not a big fan of greens and browns.
While I was visiting my family, I took a trip to a small local quilting and sewing store, my mom's favorite. They also had some yarn for sale. I did not wanted to buy any yarn, I have way too many at home. But I kept looking at this particular yarn and was mesmerized by the swirls of color. I just had to buy it, not knowing what I will do with it.
The yarn is really thin, and the needles I have to use are thinner than skewers or tooth picks. The progress is really slow, and because I decided to use stockinette stitch the scarf curls onto self, and therefore I need to make it really long. I have run out of the first ball of yarn, but luckily the store had one more ball of yarn. Now, I can finish the scarf.

Thank you for visiting.

Oct 12, 2013

Tony, the pocket monster....

Tony, the pocket monster
....lives in our closet. Tony, the pocket monster fits perfectly on the closet door, and her body is full of pockets of various sizes. These pockets help to keep all the important stuff neat and organized.  My child's room looks much cleaner now. I can actually walk in without the fear of stepping onto something randomly dropped on the floor, forgotten in the midst of busy playtime.

Knitting Pattern for Tony, the pocket monster is coming soon.

Thank you for visiting.

Oct 5, 2013

Another Giftaway

My FB page Stana's critters etc reached 111 likes. I really like the number, and therefore I am offering a gift away of these pumpkins. Anyone who will leave a comment explaining why they like my FB page will be entered into the lottery and the winner will be randomly chosen on Friday October 11th 2013.

Good luck to everyone.

The winners were announced. Congratulations to all and thank you.

 Thank you for visiting.

Sep 29, 2013


I believe that each and every season has its magic, and I like them all. However, when the heat of summer gives away to foggy misty mornings, intertwined with warm sunny days and cold evenings I enjoy it most. As a knitter I am happy that I can finally wear some of the garments that I have made in the past, and I dream about what  I would love to knit next. As a photographer I love the colors in nature around me and I have a sudden urge to capture the beauty of every leaf. The weekends aren't long enough for everything and just I wish that schools would give vacations on those beautiful days before the winter arrives and forces us to spend more time indoors then outdoors.

Thank you for visiting.

Sep 15, 2013

The Big Picture

Monster Al and his friends
Few weeks ago I have returned to school again. I feel like a perpetual student since I have been attending schools for such a long time. It is a running joke in my family, that I will graduate about the same time as our child. I hope that this is not the case and I will reach my goal long before that. This semester I am working on my Thesis project. Since I am creative writing major I had the freedom to pick my Thesis in the creative field. The travels and adventures of Monster Al and his friends will be subject of my Thesis Project, and the knitting patterns for them will be included.
I am so excited to work on this project and make the knitting patterns available around the end of this semester.

I have not forgotten The Book Project, my book of more then twenty knitting patterns that I started to work on during my last semester. In my na├»ve enthusiasm, I thought that I can have it done before the new semester begins. As always, life happens and the work is not done, yet. However, I did not stop working on The Book Project and the book (or e-book) of knitting patterns will be available as soon as everything is done and ready.

Last, but not least, I wanted to mention my knitted monsters project. An e-book with several knitting patterns for cute and cuddly monsters is in the works and life permitting should be available shortly. The monsters created for this project will travel again to  Hope Garden.

Thank you for visiting.

Sep 6, 2013

Serpentine Scarf

 c. Willow Yarns
Some time ago, I have submitted an idea to Willow Yarns, and the idea turned into knitting pattern for this beautiful cabled scarf.
In a way it is still novelty for me to work with yarn companies. I enjoy the occasional collaboration for several reasons. First of all I get to feel like a professional knitting designer. I also get to try and work with different yarns, that I would not otherwise purchase, because I have way too much yarn in my home already. And last, but not least I actually get paid for knitting and writing up the patterns.
I like to play with the idea of turning this passion of mine into a business. But realistically it is too time consuming, the wages are too low for the time that goes into the whole process of turning an idea into a knitted item and knitting pattern, and even the prices for finished items are not fair in a sense of how much went into the whole process. But I enjoy knitting way too much to stop. So  I keep on dreaming, and hoping that perhaps one day it might happen. Because we never know what awaits around the corner.

Here is the link to the Serpentine Scarf pattern:
Serpentine Scarf

Thank you for visiting.

Sep 1, 2013

Minions again

Minions tablet cover
I must admit. However cute and adorable the minions are, I have reached the point of being tired of knitting them. It doesn't mean that I will never return to the cute minions, but for a while I need a break from yarn in yellow, blue, black and purple. All those unfulfilled requests for minions must wait for a while. I need to hold and work with different colored yarn for a while.
Thank you for visiting.

Aug 26, 2013

Lego Men Crayons

Lego Men Crayons
I was busy with a slightly different project. For the past week or so, with some help, we peeled old crayons, broke them into small chucks, fit them inside a form, and baked them in the oven. It was a long project, but in the end we have created an army of Lego men.

Now, you may wonder why on Earth would we need this much of crayons. Well, our local library is trying to raise money to pay for renovation. The money the town set aside to finance the renovation is not enough to cover the cost of renovation and the Friends of the Library and many other people are trying hard to raise enough money to cover the difference. It has been a long process and the goal to reach is still far away.
My child wanted to help since library is our favorite place to visit. Therefore we began  the melting and baking. The crayons were nicely wrapped and are now on display and available to buy at our small library. The only thing left is to hope that people will buy the bags with colorful crayons and the money will help at least a bit to reach the goal.

Thank you for visiting.

Aug 18, 2013

Eyeball and Huggly

Eyeball and Huggly

Eyeball and Huggly are my newest knitted monsters. These two cuddly critters are the result of collaboration with two young artists.
It has been a long process, longer than I anticipated, but the results are delightful.

It started some time after my child draw the image of Loopy and I knitted Loopy based upon the drawing. We had two visitors whom  love to draw. I made them an offer, if they draw their own critters, then I would knit them. The two young artists took their job very seriously and draw many beautiful pictures. Together we picked the yarn, and I started to work on the project. It took longer than I wanted, but I managed to finish the toys in time to make a unique and original birthday gift for the two young artists.

Thank you for visiting.

Aug 4, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Minions (evil version)

Somebody turned bad......



The Knitting Pattern for evil version of minions is available now.

You will need less than a ball of sport to medium weight yarn in purple color (I used Caron Simply Soft Grape # 9610), 1 ball of Fun Fur or other novelty type of yarn in color matching the body of the minion (optional) for hair, less than a ball of black yarn. Also remnants of grey yarn and white yarn. The finished minion is approximately 9" (22cm) tall.

The pattern is available as PDF file download on Ravelry or here.

download now

Also if you would like to knit the original minions
here is the link to my pattern:

Minions - part 1
Minions - part 2

Thank you for visiting.

Jul 28, 2013

Knitting Pattern for Minions Tablet or I-pad cover

The knitting pattern for Minions Tablet or I-pad cover is available.

You will need approximately 1 ball of yellow and less then 1 ball of blue yarn, also remnants of black, white, and grey yarn all in worsted weight. Also you will need two buttons.

Tablet cover is 8 ¼” (21cm) wide and 11 ½” (29cm) long.

I-pad cover is 8 ¼” (21cm) wide and 9 ½” (24cm) long.
The pattern is free and available for download on Ravelry or by clicking here:

download now

Thank you for visiting.

More Minions

Minions 2
As I mentioned in my previous post, for me this month is all about minions. After I finished the two minion toys I wanted to make more, but also I wanted to create something new. 
I thought of our current obsessions with anything electronic and it just seemed appropriate to make a tablet cover inspired by minions.
The knitting pattern is almost done and should be available for everyone within the next few days.

And of course my next project is going to be the purple minion. I have already picked the yarn and I cannot wait to cast on.

Thank you for visiting.

Jul 21, 2013

Minions everywhere......

It seems to me that ever since the movie "Despicable Me 2" has been released I see minions everywhere. I have been asked to knit a blue version of minion, and I just wanted to make the yellow minion as well. Also I was asked to knit the purple minion which I cannot wait to create.
I have to admit, for me, the month of July is all about minions.
Here is the link to my pattern for minions so you can knit your own minion:
Thank you for visiting.

Jul 11, 2013

Donation to our library

This is my third year that I donated knitted toys to our library for summer reading raffle. Children read, and for ever fifteen minutes they read they earn one raffle ticket. There are various prices on display each week during the summer reading program. Children can place their raffle tickets to a box next to the price and the winners are announced each week.

I wonder, which avid reader will win these knitted toys.

Thank you for visiting.

Jul 3, 2013

Stana's critters etc.

Table display
A dear friend of mine asked me to participate in an event organized by Buddhist center in western Connecticut. The event was devoted to animals.

I had a table to display my knitted toys, and flyers for anyone interested to take home. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in a serene location. It felt like a treat.

Thank you for visiting.