Saturday, October 22, 2016

My repurposed "Easy Peasy 18" doll panties"

As many of you already know, we sell around 3,000 hooks a year at SICK LIL MONKEYS!  Like our CURRENT SALE at some of our LOWEST prices ever! Get a 6 pack of standard size Bates or Boye hooks sizes F, G, H, I, J & K for just $120 plus shipping!!!!!!! (hooks are filled with "mudd canes" or surprise designs) Hurry this is ONLY available THIS week only!  (Clover Amour sets of 10 $400 and steel sets of 6  - $210 THIS WEEK ONLY.  Ends 10/31/2016 11;59pm EST)

To order just visit here: our SICK LIL MONKEYS Facebook Page

Thursday, September 29, 2016

WIDE Color Pooling

Not long ago, like most of you, I began to see "color pooling" popping up everywhere in our crochet world.  I was very drawn to it,  especially since I have never really appreciated variegated before. Now I saw a way to really enjoy some of my favorite variegated colorways!  So, last week I gave it a shot, and it was neat but I had this fairly narrow piece of fabric, and the first method I read about, i.e. chaining 20 or 24, certainly isn't fool proof, I finished not really understanding HOW I successfully color pooled, and with a piece of rectangle crocheted cloth that was not good for very much.   

Meanwhile, also like most of you, I was reading lots about all of these amazing super scarves! I had a super cool idea  for one I Wanted to make myself , but I needed a wider section of color pooling.....Hmmmmmm.....     

Then two days ago, I came across the article that made my "light bulb click".  I REALLY HOPE YOU will checkout this explanation of color pooling by Ann Mancini-Williams, over at the Glamour4You Blog.  The article is appropriately titled, "Planned Pooling With Crochet Made Easy - 4 Simple Steps".  Once I finished her article I felt certain I knew how to go WIDE.  

Go read her tutorial, and then try working TWO full color repeats for the first row.  In the photos above I added one stitch past my color repeats, but I think my next attempt I will try adding 1 stitch for EACH color repeat. I may even try a full afghan size.  Have YOU TRIED WIDE COLOR POOLING?  PLEASE COMMENT AND  LET US KNOW below! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What IS a Mudd Bubble Hook anyway?

As we grow, we have many fans that have been with us since we began four years ago, and we are happy to welcome many new fans.  At one time we utilized Etsy for order processing, however Etsy doesn't allow me to accurately reflect wait times, and I felt really creatively stifled with a constant list on order.  Etsy has a separate messaging system as well, which some of our customers never check or respond to when we have questions about their order. We understand our hooks are an investment.  The caning takes hours to weeks, the sculpting itself takes even more, then they are put through 5 grades of hand sanding, a mineral oil treatment, and dremel buffing to achieve a truly silky smooth feeling on what we feel is the BEST hook you will ever use.  We take our customers feedback SERIOUSLY.  Over the four years we have even edited and streamlined the sculpt based on YOUR combined feedback.  We are proud to say we have a very successful hook line, but unlike some hook makers with a team of over 20 artisans, I am but one person.  My hands are beginning to argue and dictate how much I can work the clay each day.

Just to give you more background on "us", the hubby, "Daddy Monkey" got a wonderful promotion at his job last week.  He began training this week, and his new salary, however we will have a small delay in the income as it will take about 3 weeks to see the first full paycheck.  When he first applied for this promotion, we had a customer so so upset that the wait times were not reflected accurately.   AFter a few ugly emails, and lots of tears, Daddy Monkey said, "No More.  Your hands hurt daily.  Finish Etsy and then sculpt only when you are inspired, as with the promotion we won't NEED you to sculpt any longer, you can get back to design, and sculpting when your hands feel good."  And this was the plan until we received a phone call late on the evening of 9/15/2016.  His dad has that ugly "C" word.  And they are using very finite terms, and we won't give it power by speaking it.  Suddenly I know I MUST sculpt and nothing matters but getting him to his dad.

I still had 4 Etsy orders for a total of 14 hooks to finish when I began the sale. As I worked them I decided to start practicing canes, I mean they are mudd hooks anyway, right?  And I think we have found the best solution for both me AND you!  The last 6 mudd hook styles I have made came from one of three places:
1)Practice canes
2) Older canes that needed to be mudded because they were too difficult to work
3) The ends of new canes I have reduced
What this is doing is causing each hook to be more of a surprise design rather than just swirling into muddy colors.  I will continue to work mudds in this fashion, depending on what is on my table or coming off my pasta roller you could get ANY design from an ombre, to a mudd cane, or cane ends.  Here is a photo of the last 6 styles before sanding:

I'm going to keep mudd prices where I have them for now, the sale prices will stand.  And those are:
Any size that I have on hand in Bates, Boye, or Amour:
Bates - $27
Boye $25
Amour  - $40
To order a specific size not in overstock or on hand:
Bates $37
Boye $35
Amour $50
To order any specific cane design, it will be full price as the canes will be limited and make 10 - 15 hooks each. Also just for the ease of processing I am no longer keeping canes and multiple listings for years on end, we will have them and make hooks with them until; they are gone.  If you want to be one of the 10 - 15 we that we make you'll need to order that specific design at full price:
Any size Boye - $45
Any size Bates - $47
Any size Amour - $57

I hope this helps clarify for any of you that may be confused.  We will continue the sale until the day of his dad's event just hoping on a wing and a prayer we get him there.  And if we don't thank you all for trying, and we will have to send Daddy Monkey to visit behind his other siblings in November.

After this sale, I will offer hooks occasionally but will mostly be getting back to hooking.....I HOPE!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ballet Recital Set Release Party

I was down with the flu a while back, and had visions of dolls performing "Swan Lake", once I felt better, I decided I HAD to bring it to life! What happens when you add a little Fun Fur with Red Heart thread, Red Heart Sashay, and Red Heart super saver? THIS is what you get! ;) 

Monday, February 1, 2016

How to Pleat with Single Crochet

I use pleating quite a bit in my designing.  Mostly because I prefer the clean look of it compared to a normal ruffle.  You can find lots of free and paid pleated patterns throughout my Ravelry shop.  (<----click there to go check them out), put at least 3 patterns in your cart ang get 75% off with code: ILIKE2PLEAT

But getting that one row worked to create the pleats can be challenging and confusing.  Here is a tutorial I put together on the basic method.  The number of stitches, or order of the pleating in the pattern you are working on may be slightly different on the stitch counts or directions.  But, hopefully this will give you a basic idea.  This is really just (in one crazy monkey's opinion), a more professional looking option than the traditional method of placing three stitches together in one stitch to gain a ruffle.  Creating pleats will always multiply your base row number of stitches by 3.

For the purposes of this tutorial we are going to build our pleats off a foundation of 8 single crochet stitches.  (This tutorial assumes you already understand how to chain and single crochet rows and rounds.)

The 1st and most important step is locating the BACK RIDGE of your single crochets.  The back ridge stitches can be tricky, and sometimes I drop down one size hook to get them worked more easily. We are going to utilize these loops as a row for stitches, as well as the front loops as a row, and the back loops as a row.  This will give us three places to work stitches off of one row.  In the photo below I placed pins in the hump that is the back ridge of the single crochet stitch.  In this photo I have just completed a row that read "CH 1, turn, 8 SC <8 ST>"  I've chained one and turned in preparation for my first pleat row which reads:

Row: CH 1, turn, SC 4 into the back ridges, turn SC 4 into the BLO, turn SC 8 into the FLO, turn, SC 4 into the BLOs, turn SC 4 into the back ridge <24 ST>

Now, let's break that down into steps and analyze it:

Row: CH 1, turn, SC 4 into the back ridges, turn SC 4 into the BLO, turn SC 8 into the FLO, turn, SC 4 into the BLOs, turn SC 4 into the back ridges <24 ST>

 CH 1, turn (See Photo Below)
SC 4 into the back ridges, (See Photo Below)Turn, Notice the needle showing the next loop we will be using to work (See Photo Below)SC 4 into the BLO, turn, notice the needle is showing the next loops we will work (See Photo Below)SC 8 into the FLO (See Photo Below)turn, SC 4 into the BLO (See Photo Below)turn, notice the needle marking the next loop we will work(See Photo Below) SC 4 into the back ridges <24 ST>  (See Photo Below)

Are you still with me?  Single crochet back and forth CH 1, 
and turn at the end of each row.  Repeat until desired length.  
You should now have a beautifully layered pleat that looks 
similar to this:

The back ridge stitches can be tricky, and sometimes I drop 
down one size hook to get them worked more easily.  But it is 
only ONE row and takes your project from great to EPIC.  
Enjoy adding pleating to your projects to make them just 
one step ahead of the rest!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bubble Hooks - Q & A Session

Hey there Jungle Cats!  It's been an amazing 4 years, and about 2 years of that time we have been making Bubble hooks.  How exciting there are thousands of Bubble Hooks all over the world, shipped to a total of 14 different countries!


Wow!  Our FREE pattern offerings are growing by Tarzan sized leaps and bounds!  Here's a handy spot to swing through the jungle freebies a bit easier:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

No Snag Ergo Hook Case - A FREE Pattern

I really wanted a crocheted case that the end of my hooks would not pop through. I also market a larger ergo size hook line that make my hooks hard to fit in normal cases. So I designed this to toss in my crochet bag and not snag my hook on it’s own case!

No Snag Ergo-Hook Case

Monday, January 25, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM

A few months ago we hit the milestone of 12,000 fans on facebook!  To celebrate and thank all of our loyal fans in the jungle,

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM - January 23rd Co-Featured designers - Briar Rose Boutique and Mumbles Mummy

January 23rd Co-Featured designers - That's a BONUS Jungle Cats!  Be sure to read on about a THIRD freebie today from yours truly!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM - January 22nd Featured Designer Alliecat's Hats and Crafts

January 22nd Featured designer - AllieCat's Hats and Crafts

Raelynn is that amazingly gorgeous face you see all over the place on design photos.  

This is her in the feature photo for her "My Fair Lady SunHat" Pattern here.

Some of us are lucky enough to gain her as a tester occasionally, when she isn't too busy with design, her close knit family, which OF course includes the family dog who may be bigger than the teenager in the family!  Raelynn, is an amazing designer, and the biggest hit I ever gave at Christmas was in 2014.  As a "gag" I intended to give my Brother in law some "hair".  AllieCat;'s Hats and Crafts "FUN-ky Hat Visor" pattern was PERFECT.  I made it and ordered and OHIO State Buckeye's patch to iron on the front just so he would wear it at least once.  Well, little did I know, he would LOVE it!  It is his favorite gift to date.  I highly recommend you make one for a family member in law yourself! ;)  Get it here for less than $3!!!! 

I am also over the moon about her "My Fair Lady" collection.  I own most of it, and I am determined I really am going to make the "My Fair Lady Hooded Cowl" for myself this year, and I mean it this time!  LOL!

And today for us Raelynn has her awesome Haylee Ear Warmer/Visor pattern for FREE just today 1/22/2016 12:00 am EST through 11:59 pm EST.  PLEASE make sure you cart updates to free before checkout.  No refunds, exchanges or transfers.  And be sure to give Raelynn a like and hello on FB for joining our Celebration party!

Wait!  Before you go!  Don;t forget we STILL have the Finale giveaway with new entry options daily.  That's a chance at the yarn bowl, or a $25 Red Heart Bag, a tape measurer, OR even 6 bubble hooks in a hand crochet case made by ME!!!!!

Read about our 1/21/16 Featured Designer  - Kaleidoscope Art&Gifts HERE
Read about our 1/20/16 Featured Designers  - Cre8tion Crochet and LauraMae's Crochet HERE
Read about our 1/19/16 Featured Designer  - Sweet Potato Crochet Creations HERE
Read about our 1/18/16 Featured Designer  - Sweet Potato 3 Patterns HERE
Read about our 1/17/16 Featured Designer  - Forever Stitchin HERE
Read about our 1/16/16 Featured Designer  - Little Mee Creations HERE
Read about our 1/15/16 Featured Designer - Yarn medley's From The Heart HERE
Read about our 1/14/16 Featured Designer - Fromm Me to You HERE
Read about our 1/13/16 Featured Designers: Made By Mary & Glamour4You By Ann HERE
Read about our 1/12/16 Featured Designer - Darcy's Crochet Creations HERE
Read about our 1/11/16 Featured Designer - The Hookeraholic Crochet HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM January 13th featured Designers - Made By Mary and Glamour4You By Ann

January 13th Featured Designer and Bonus Feature:

Today I am honored to have two amazing ladies to tell you about.  The first is Made By Mary, and the second is Glamour4You By Ann.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM January 12th featured Designer - Darcy's Crochet Creations

January 12th featured Designer:
I am so excited to announce our next featured designer!  January 12th, 2016 guest yarnie is Darcy of Darcy's Crochet Creations.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Celebrating 12K with SLM January 11th featured Designer - The Hookeraholic Crochet

Featured Designer January 11, 2016:
Our wonderful January 11, 2016 featured designer is the Hookeraholic Crochet.