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Category: Sock Animals

Taming Wild Horses – The Making of my First Pattern Called Pasture Pals

Big News!  Some of you have been asking for years and finally I finished a sewing pattern for my sock unicorn, horse, and zebra!  The pattern is called Pasture Pals and is ready for you to buy today!  To make it an even sweeter, it’s currently 40% off!  Yea!  You can find it here.

And now for those of you who like the long back story and to see variations I’ve made over the years, here you go:

This post is years in the making.  When I first started The Nesting Spot in 2009, I made sock and glove animals.  I loved making them but after my third child was born it became too challenging to keep up with the demand and I didn’t charge enough for my time.  So, I stopped making them to the dismay of some.  I still get so many people coming to my shop in search of them.


I considered creating patterns for my animals over the years but between being conflicted about giving the information away and also the huge hurdle for me of figuring out how to make a pattern, I continued to put it off.  When I moved to Scotland I thought it was time to finally write them as shipping from here is more expensive and complicated. With my unicorn and zebras being among my top sellers I decided to start with this pattern.

I started the process more than once, but each time I’d get stuck at some point with questions like which computer programs would be best to use, should I use pictures or illustrations, how detailed to make the instructions, and on and on.  I would just become a deer in headlights and put it off to focus on other, more familiar items on my to-do list.

Finally last year, almost exactly a year ago, I was approached by a woman who wanted a pattern for the unicorn so she could make one for her granddaughter.  In the past, I told people no or to check back because I had plans to make one, but this time I used it as the push I needed to finally get going.  I do so much better when I have a deadline and the accountability of someone counting on me.

In 2 weeks I created the first draft of the pattern and sold it to her for a reduced rate with the promise I’d give her the full pattern for all 3 animals when I finished it.  Since this was happening in Oct-Nov., which is the busiest time of year for me with making my ornaments, finishing it was put on hold.  Then finally a few months ago after more starts and stops and getting stuck or frustrated I made some leaps forward.

Nothing about this has been fast or easy for me.  It’s really pushed me out of my comfort zone.  Someone might look at it and wonder what all the fuss was about, but for a novice like me it was a lot of work.  With the groundwork laid, I’m very hopeful the next pattern will be much faster to make!

My mom suggested I call the pattern “Taming Wild Horses” because it was such a beast to get done.  I thought it was a clever idea but ended up going a different direction.  But, I am so thankful to say that I did tame those wild horses!  The 12 pages full of instructions, photos, tips and patterns are available for you to make your very own versions of the sock horse, unicorn, or zebra!  They make wonderful baby, birthday, or Christmas gifts.  Or you know, just because.

The pattern is normally $9 but right now it’s on sale for 40% off!  So get it while the price is extra good!  Here’s a little sneak peek at some of the pages so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

I really hope you like it!  Please send me pictures of the unicorns, horses, and zebras you make.  You can email them to me at jocelyn@thenestingspot.com or tag me on Instagram or Facebook.  I’m thenestingspot for both of those platforms.

 

 

Sock Peanut

I was asked to make a sock peanut for a friend because her nephew’s nickname is Peanut and it was his first birthday.  This was definitely a first but it was fun to do.  He’s definitely kid friendly since there aren’t lots of pieces to pull off, just something squishy to snuggle.

Monkey Business

Sorry for the radio silence. It’s been a mixture of enjoying time off, being unmotivated to write anything, not having much to write about, and now getting a bunch of orders which are keeping me busy.   It felt really good to take most of January off.  But it also feels good to start sewing again.  It’s funny, last year I had big plans for the blog for January in the way of making some sewing tutorials since I knew I wouldn’t be making a lot for the shop, but once the time came I just couldn’t get up the energy to make or take pictures of anything.

On one of my recent projects, I was asked to make a train conductor sock monkey.  I had never done one before and was actually surprised to see how almost non-existent they are online. Thankfully, the customer wanted just a hat and scarf (instead of overalls too) which helped to keep the cost down. I hadn’t made a monkey in a long time.  It was a fun challenge to make his little hat too. I found this tutorial online to help me picture how to sew it and then I adapted it to fit a monkey.

Forget Me Not Gift Idea

Back in the beginning of December I had a really sweet customer named Megan buy two of my animals, an owl and a rabbit.  She also bought the additional feature of an embroidered name for each of them.  Once she received them she told me what her plans were for them.

She said, “I can’t wait to give them to my mommy-to-be sister. I wrote a little story about the owl and the bunny and framed it for her. The owl is me and the bunny is my soon-to-be niece or nephew. They live 800 miles away and I hope these little guys will be a constant reminder that someone in Texas loves them!”

I thought this was the most clever idea!  Not only was she purchasing one of a kind animals for her new niece or nephew but she personalized them with a story she wrote to go along with them.  Now when the little baby sees the toys and hears the story he/she can think about his/her aunt.  This will be a gift that will be cherished forever.

This idea can be recreated in so many ways and for so many different occasions.  I happen to be partial to the little animals that I make, so if you ever want to try this for yourself come on over to The Nesting Spot!

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have a fun day!  We’ll be going to our church’s annual Fall Festival.  It’s going to be really great.  We carved our pumpkins on Saturday and the kids seemed to enjoy it.  Of course, I couldn’t keep the little one from eating the pumpkin.  Oh well, she’s eaten a lot worse.

To get in the Halloween mood take a look at some pretty sweet costumes over at one of my favorite sites, Modern Kiddo!  I was honored to have mine included in their annual costume parade!   I am always amazed by people’s creativity.

Here is a sneak peak of my 5 ft. creatures that will make their debut this week.  I am pretty excited about them.  

The other day we were pushing the kids on swings at the park and a bunch of college students ran by on brooms on their way to practice quidditch.  That is certainly something you don’t see every day.  Apparently, the college here has its own quidditch team.  Makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Don’t Call Him a Bear

Say hello to Mr. Koala.  He’s the newest member of my glove animal family.

As you can see here he loves lounging around and staring at the clouds as they pass by.

I needed to make his ears appear a bit fluffy so I sewed on 2 layers of sock scraps from my bunny ornaments.  I also used it for the tummy.  Yea for using scraps!

I don’t have a picture of the final look because the hubby has the camera again but the little guy is holding a branch of eucalyptus as requested by the customer which I made out of felt.

Since finishing this little guy I have moved onto making a slew of little bunny ornaments.  They are quickly multiplying just like the real animals.  I will make their bodies and tails and have them ready for the custom orders during the holiday season.  It feels good to get a jump on these.  I will also be making some other ornaments that aren’t for babies in a different shape.

I saw one of my guys was included in this treasury and I laughed out loud.  What a fun theme.

The Bird is the Word

Hope you all had a good weekend.  Things are just starting to get back to normal here.  We enjoyed some family time together since Ken was gone for the last two weeks on a trip with the youth from our church.  It is so good to have him back.  I was pretty much in survival mode with taking care of the kids, working on getting my orders made, and having to grieve for my one of my best friends all happening at the same time.  Thankfully though I was able to spend some of that time at my parents’ house.

One of the orders I had was to make a pink flamingo.  I was on the search for some plain pink socks, which are surprisingly hard to find.  After showing the customer the options, we decided to make it a polka-dotted bird with plain pink legs to break things up a bit.

I wasn’t sure how the neck would work since it is so long but it is pretty stiff and holds up well.  I tried the legs with stuffing in them first but liked the floppier look better.

After the flamingo I made two totally fun unicorns for one of my blogging heroes.  She was pregnant the same time as me when I first found her and I always look forward to her posts to get a good laugh.  I watch in awe as she raises two darling little twin girls and works full time at home as a graphic designer.

I also just found some fun neon green and neon pink socks to make some happy octopi.  Also some gray socks with neon hearts on them.  They are all so 80’s looking and should turn out pretty cool.

Before I go,  my three year old taught me something new this evening.  He said, “Mommy, no in Spanish is ‘no way Jose’.”  I asked him who told him that and he said his cousin…he doesn’t have any cousins.