Worth turned six in February. He requested a “knights and dragons” birthday.Inspired 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.
My mother totally outdid herself with an enormous, amazing dragon cake!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Daphne needed new mittens, and shouldn’t a girl who gets new mittens get a hat to go with them? I used the Little Scallops pattern for the hat, but chose unwisely because the tidy little scallops were obliterated by the identical color pooling from the variegated yarn I used on the crown. Oh well! It’s still cute enough, and she’s happy and warm. This was really cheap acrylic yarn I got on sale from KnitPicks and it’s not impressive so I’m glad I didn’t pay much for it. I thought it would be similar in quality to their Brava yarn, but instead it was rougher and duller. That said, it made pretty good mittens for a 2-year-old because it is cheerful, it washed up reasonably soft, it’s warm, it hasn’t pilled, and it launders nicely.
A few weeks ago I made my daughter this blue hat. I had only glanced at the lace chart and not at the instructions, and thus knitted the edge pattern incorrectly. I wasn’t unhappy with the result, but I wanted to do it again the right way, and plus I wanted a hat for myself out of it this time. I used some half-skeins of wool in my stash. The pattern is the edge-of-lace hat in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. On my daughter’s hat I made decreases for the crown instead of following the pattern, but for my own I followed the pattern just to see how it would look because I’d never made a hat with sewn-off crown in that way before. Basically you just knit the hat as one big tube, then sew off the top and stitch all the corners together. I actually really liked the extra fullness this gave the top of the hat. It is more flattering on me, I think, than a more fitted cap. But lest you think this project went just as I wished, let me confess this: I also also knitted mitts based on the wrist-warmer pattern associated with the hat pattern, but they were too big, so I gave them to my neighbor! Now she has pretty mitts and I have a pretty hat and we must never wear them in the same place at the same time.
Dorothy got a new blue hat to start out this chilly January. It was really supposed to be my hat, but sometimes that happens. The yarn is a delicious, wonderful, hand-spun, hand-dyed wool from Block Island, Rhode Island. A friend sent it as a souvenir of her trip. I’ve held on to it for six months while I waited for the right inspiration to hit, and when I came across the edge of lace hat pattern in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders I decided that would be it. I got a new black coat for Christmas, and I thought the pop of bright blue was just what it needed. The first problem with my execution of this plan was that I only read the first line of the pattern, which says to do the eight lines of the lace pattern twice. And I followed the lace chart completely through–twice. The edge was pretty, but not a bit like the photo I’d been drawn to in the book. I looked more closely. I was supposed to have put a straight knitted row in between every row of the lace chart, and the chart itself represented two repeats of the pattern. Oops. So my lace is unique. That didn’t bother me so much given that what I ended up with was still pretty, but my blue-eyed Dorothy had been watching me knit this and thought it was so nice, and then when I tried it on the color wasn’t very good for me. It made my autumn colors and green eyes look sickly, which is never the look I’m going for. Then I popped it on my daughter’s head and it was gorgeous. The blue is just the right color for her eyes and porcelain skin. So there you go, a hat for Dorothy. I have some heathery purple yarn left over from some other projects and I think I may try the hat again in those colors for myself. And I’ll enjoy my handiwork in a place I can see it better, on the head of my oldest!
I hope my mother doesn’t mind appearing in this blog post! I didn’t actually intend to inflict a posed photo on her, but happened to catch her trying on her new set in this bottom photo and thought it was nice, so I’m including it unless she asks me to take it down. I was going to knit my mother some fingerless mitts for her birthday, but she didn’t know it and bought herself a pair on Etsy. Apparently all instances of me knitting or intending to knit fingerless mitts are just destined to somehow go wrong. Anyway, I crocheted a hat and scarf for her instead. I’d bought the nice hand-dyed wool at a fiber festival a few years ago and never found quite the right project for it, but the colors look great with my mom’s green coat and greener eyes. She’s the best, and she deserves a lot more than a hat. There are very few other single factors in a woman’s life that can make as much of an impact to her quality of life–at basically any age–as having a great mom. If my girls think half as highly of me some day I’ll be lucky.
On a lighter note, we’re having one of those Christmas years where the tree needs to be up on a table where small toddling monsters can’t pull it down. Worth and Dorothy don’t remember having small trees before; they only remember being able to chose large trees the last two years. I’d like to say they were concerned about the safety of their baby sister and understood the charm of the small tree year, but in reality Rob finally offered them $2 each if they’d just shut up and act happy about getting a little tree. That worked. Merry Christmas indeed!