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Collectable limited-edition plushies of Anxiety, Depression and more, based on the art of Toby Allen.
Collectable limited-edition plushies of Anxiety, Depression and more, based on the art of Toby Allen.
508 backers pledged £29,202 to help bring this project to life.

February-ish Update

Posted by Emily Monaghan (Creator)

Hello all!

Here's what's been going on with me:

First Depression batch almost there

The first 30 Depression Monsters are now at the final stage: attaching the arms and antlers into the backpieces, then sewing the backpieces together, stuffing, and sewing the gap closed. Two are now complete.

It's slow going - four layers of thick fabric, trapping in the antlers and arms already thick with stuffing, the whole body heavy and tugging away from the needle, and the sewing machine groaning like a cat before a bath. Strands of fur make the seam-line hard to see, and there's the ever-present fear of hitting a hairgrip buried somewhere in the layers. I designed the Monsters using cotton - it was the cheapest thing in the shop, easy to work with - and this final stage really shows the limitations of not designing in your final fabric. On top of that, my least favourite job: running my hands forcefully through the fur, looking to be spiked by any leftover pins!

In my head, I think they will be finished by next weekend; which probably means in reality, they'll be finished the week after. I hope to bribe or press-gang some friends into helping me box and transport them to the post office.

I moved house

Last week was a fairly unproductive week - moving in; dealing with a broken boiler; dealing with the cold caused by the broken boiler. But since then, I can already feel my productivity picking up - with the space and stability to work in, and an uninterrupted routine. I'm moments from the library and park, close-by to a local swimming pool and - joy of joys - the City Farm, where you can get fresh eggs. I'm especially excited to try their peacock eggs! I've also already met and chatted with five of my neighbors - such a rarity in London - and waved to a half-dozen local kids, who play on their bikes in the street after school, and keep peering at the window to see what I'm doing.

The other big thing happening on planet Emily is I've finally been referred for a new therapy, after a brief five month wait (to actually begin the therapy, takes an average of ten months - so long as moving to a new borough doesn't mean I have to start the process all over again. Gotta love our mental health system...!). I'm pretty excited, but trying to keep my expectations realistic.

Finally: the studio has been named! I've invited my studio patron to write something about it - it's a fantastic story, and a history I'm really proud to be a part of. Expect that, and some photos, very soon.

Anxiety Knitting Pattern now available!

The Anxiety Monster knitting pattern is finally up on Ravelry. You can submit errors, ask questions, or even upload your own picture of what you've made (please do this! I want to see them). If you don't have the pattern, but want one, you can also now purchase it there for immediate download.

Meanwhile, I'm around halfway through the Depression monster knitting pattern. The Depression Monster is made from five approximately identical oval shapes. It started life as a five-piece sphere, which were then repeatedly tweaked to create a more organic shape. Like the Anxiety Monster, this pattern is made directly from the plushie pattern pieces.

Once this chap's finished, I will be inviting all backers to vote for which Monster gets turned into a pattern next. I really enjoy making them - it's a great excuse for a break when I can feel my sewing get sloppy mid-afternoon, and I know the warmfuzzy of having created something yourself really cannot be beaten.

Next steps

All art prints and Anxiety knitting patterns have now been sent out - so please let me know if it didn't arrive, or if you didn't reply to your survey yet - there's still time, do not worry.

My current goal is to get all Depression Monsters completed - starting with the regular ones, and then the special editions as they require a few extra steps. I plan to do BPD and AVPD next - fewer backers at those levels means the satisfaction of ticking off a whole category is within easy grasp, and I might even be able to get away with not ordering new fabric, relying on leftover samples. Then, finally, starting on Anxiety, which is another large run - I expect to have them in the post throughout April and May, putting us roughly a month/two months behind schedule. If you needed your Monster for a specific date, let me know and I'll try and make it happen.

After March/April, work on the second wave will begin - starting with Social Anxiety, sponsored by Rina Arnel, and followed by PTSD and Bipolar. I'll also be working on Paranoia, sponsored by Luisana Susilo. After all this repetitive work, I'm excited to start designing again!

That's all folks!

Thank you for reading. One thing I have learnt this month is avoiding a scary thing only makes you more anxious; so let me apologise if you have messaged, emailed, or contacted me over tumblr recently and not yet received a reply. I will now attempt to stop avoiding my inbox, armed only with a cup of tea and a packet of Polish hazelnut-and-pumpkin ice cream. I hope you are well and warm, wherever you are. See you all in a month!


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    1. Kim Hollands on

      Hi, Can anyone tell me how to find the survey. Thanks Kim in costa Rica.

    2. David Blockley

      Hi Emily, this sounds very positive. I do understand the inbox phobia, but I hope yours is full of positive vibes about the project. Enjoy the tea and ice cream, and hopefully you are enjoying the journey into the warmer months as down here in the far south Atlantic, winter once again extends its icy grip upon us (then inexplicably buggers off for a day and we get deceptively warm weather to the great confusion of the penguins and people alike).

    3. Tasha Turner

      Thanks for the update. The move sounds really positive. May you have many happy years in your new home.

    4. Kia Beech

      Emily! I have been messaging you but haven't received a response!