A knights and dragons birthday



Worth turned six in February. He requested a “knights and dragons” birthday.worthInspired by Pinterest, I cut flames from a sheet of red poster board. Stuck to the door with painter’s tape, it became an opportunity for Worth’s guests to “breathe fire” and get their photos taken.


Worth wanted a dragon hat, so I used a basic hat pattern to sew a black hat from fleece, then added fleece ears and spikes and some greenish-yellow felt eyes. Worth has worn his Toothless-inspired hat in both cold and warm places (like to bed) quite frequently since I made it, so I felt good about his its reception. dragon-cake

My mother totally outdid herself with an enormous, amazing dragon cake!cannonballs

And what’s a knights and dragons party without some castle-storming food? Or something. I also cut shields out of cardboard and spray-painted them silver, then let Worth’s friends decorate them with paint as a party activity. I thought these turned out cute but I somehow never managed to get a photograph of them.

Notice my oldest daughter (above) is wearing a tiara. Apparently she felt that her role at a knights-and-dragons party should be royal princess, subtly outranking Sir Worth at his own event. We did manage to talk her down to lady-in-waiting, however, with the help of paid duties involving the herding of six-year-old boys and shield paint cleanup. Shew!

A spring scarf


2016-04-03 11.14.54 saroyan saroyan2

Sometimes projects come about in odd ways. For example, last year I bought a shirt I liked, then immediately got a stain I cannot lift up by the neckline. Fast forward to this spring, when a knitting friend and I did a yarn swap and I ended up with a pretty ball of Cotlin by Knitpicks, in whisper. I decided I wanted to make some sort of springy neck thing to wear over the shirt to cover up the stain. Of course once I found the perfect pattern, Saroyan by Liz Abanante, I realized I needed to buy more than one ball of yarn. So I bought two more balls of yarn, knitted the project, then put it on and decided I no longer liked that shirt with the stain. Or at least not with the pants I was wearing. Which might eventually mean that I need to buy new pants, but today it just meant that I wore the scarf with a different shirt. A happy ending!

A pom-pom hat


hat-back hat-front

I’ve never done much colorwork. It is intimidating to me to juggle multiple balls of yarn since I have a toddler who may jump in the middle of whatever I’m doing at any time. I did brave it for this hat, and fortunately it went quick enough that no children had time to get too tangled in. I didn’t use a pattern but got the motif from the Knitting Stitches Visual Encyclopedia. I should have taken a photo of the inside of the hat because that was what I was most proud of. I sewed a basic beanie out of white fleece, then knitted the hat and stitched it to the fleece beanie. Now I have an extra-warm fleece-lined hat!

A chevron scarf


scarf scarf-on

It is an unfortunate truth for me that I really love wearing scarves but I do not love knitting them. I get so impatient doing the same things over and over! But I really wanted a scarf to wear with my purple coat, so I gritted my teeth and made this one this winter. It was worth it–I love this squishy, warm scarf! This pattern suggests using two self-striping yarns. One of my yarns, Chroma worsted in Avalon, self-striped but my other, Preciosa Tonal in Stormy, changes colors but not exactly in stripes. They worked well here anyway. I used the ZickZack scarf pattern but changed it a bit by doing yarn-overs (thus making eyelets or holes in the scarf) instead of knit-front-and-backs.

An Easter hat, part 2



This is my now 10-year-old in 2009, wearing the brand-new bunny hat I crocheted for her that spring. I also crocheted the border of her homemade dress and a cape, which she refused to wear.

bunnyThis is the same hat on my 2-year-old yesterday. The crocheted border caught in daughter #1’s shoe and fell off during Sunday School 7 years ago, so although I saved both dress and lace, I pulled out neither for this Easter. (Bygones, right?) And the little cape that was so unloved back in 2009 later became a dress up box staple and was used so much it became ratted and tangled and was eventually thrown away. But the hat! It got a second life, right? And it was really nice to see it on daughter #2 this Easter. Happy Easter!

A hat and an ice pack


aqua-hat aqua-hat-back

This is a hat I made for my daughter’s friend. I didn’t use a pattern just did a ribbed band, three rows of purl, a knit band, three more rows of purl, and then every-row decreases for the crown. I used Red Heart Boutique Treasure yarn and was unimpressed with that. Really I knew better than to buy yarn from a big-box craft store, but the color was pretty and I was weak. I gave the hat a nice soak in Eucalan before I gifted it, so I hope that took care of the itchiness. It did look cute on the recipient.2015-12-22 16.07.33

This was another gift I gave recently. We use 7 inch square flannel baggies (really kind of like tiny pillow cases) to make ice packs when my children get hurt. We slip a plastic baggie of ice into the flannel bag and hold it over the injury, and it miraculously heals 90% of real and imaginary boo-boos. I’ve made these as gifts before, and gave this one to my cousin for Christmas. I’m pretty sure it’s not fun to open a boo-boo ice pack as a gift, but hopefully it comes in handy in their home as it does in ours. Because boo-boos are going to happen anyway, right? And it’s nice to have a low-budget, no-chemical miracle cure that won’t hurt and might genuinely help too!

A chunky crocheted cowl


cowl cowl2This is a cowl I made with some bulky yarn from KnitPicks. I used the pretty “Tell Me” cowl pattern by DROPS design, but changed it around a bit to use the bigger yarn. I just did fewer repeats. It worked up very fast and is soft and cozy. Wearing great big, chunky cowls feels a a trend mostly embraced by women younger than me, so the first time I wore this out in public I felt a little self-conscious. But then I got hit on by someone slightly younger than me at the Subway, so there you go. Crochet this cowl, get hit on at Subway by slightly younger men who can clearly see that you are toting around three children and have a wedding ring. Hmmm.