Yarn Wreath

Hey look, it's my 100th post! Blogging is so weird. I am not sure why I do it or why anyone does, really. I guess for me it's to document my own creations and to motivate me to finish more items off my queue. Anyway, cheers to 100 more.

My back door was looking lonely, so I made him a friend. She is green, soft, and comes with three pretty little flowers.

This was a fast project - I started it this afternoon and finished it this afternoon, in between cleaning up bright red vomit (Cough medicine. I am only buying undyed from.now.on.), dealing with sick, crabby children (oh, joy!), and taking shots of Kahlua (joke, Mom!).

The wreath tutorial is from here and the flower tutorial is from here. I added pins to the backs of the flowers so I could stick them right into the foam wreath and reuse them elsewhere if I want.


Cabled Mini Scarf Pattern

My mom found a cowl that she really liked on Craftsy and asked me if I would knit it for her. Of course I said I would! But on Craftsy, they are charging $9.99 for this very simple pattern. Um...what?!? I cannot believe how much people charge for patterns. I looked at the picture a couple of times and came up with my own version. Feel free to save yourself $10 and use mine!

My first attempt, I ran out of yarn, but it is the perfect toddler-sized scarf. I am also including the toddler version in the pattern below.

Cabled Mini Scarf

Sizes - toddler & adult - adult sizes are in parenthesis & really the only difference is the amount of cable repeats you do, to make the length smaller or longer, so you will notice there is no variation in the pattern until the end. Hope that's clear!

Yarn: 1 (2) skeins Bernat Roving or Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick or any other bulky-weight yarn (really the adult version is one skein plus a few extra yards. You will have leftovers!)
Needles: US 11 straight needles
Notions: 1 cable needle, row counter, darning needle for weaving in ends

C12F: Slip 6 stitches onto cable needle. Let hang to front of work. K6 stitches, then K the six stitches off the cable needle.
YO: Yarn over
K2tog: Knit 2 stitches together

CO 26
Edge: K 6 rows

Row 1: K5, P2, K12, P2, K5
Row 2: K7, P12, K7
Row 3: as Row 1
Row 4: as Row 2
Row 5: as Row 1
Row 6: as Row 2
Row 7: as Row 1
Row 8: as Row 2
Row 9: K5, P2, C12F, P2, K5
Row 10: as Row 2

Repeat Rows 1-10 nine (twelve) times, or to desired length.

Form Buttonholes:
Repeat Rows 1-8
Row 9 (buttonhole row): K5, P2, K2, YO, K2tog, K4, K2tog, YO, K2, P2, K5
Row 10: K7, P12, K7

Edge: K 6 rows. Bind off.

Finishing: Sew 2 buttons on opposite edge of buttonholes. Wear and enjoy!

Guess what else? The toddler version shown here is for sale in the shop.

The pattern is now also listed on Ravelry. Cheers!

felt hair bows

As is tradition in my family, after Thanksgiving we get the little ones together for a matching Christmas outfit photo op. It never works out well. Two five year olds, two three year olds and one one year old. Need I say more?

I made some hair bows for the girls, using this tutorial. They took all of ten minutes, five of which was spent locating and warming up my hot glue gun.

(Clara insists on posing this way all the time now. Funny girl.)


rainbows + unicorns

I'm still around, if you were wondering. The final birthday hurrah happened today and I survived (barely). It was Clara's first ever friend birthday party, and every single friend she invited was completely free to come over! Ha. So....we had 16 kids in my tiny house. It was a romping good time. Rainbows and unicorns, people, that is where it's at.

Along that theme...

I used crepe paper and blew up some old water balloons for the decorating. Cheap and effective! I also made "unicorn horns" out of cardstock by using a basic party hat template I found online and cutting a wedge out of it to make it thinner and...hornier? Something like that.

We did a rainbow craft that involved the crepe paper and glueing squares of it to a rainbow template I found online. Pretty cute and the kids seemed to like it. It was almost silent while they were working...very strange with so many kids around.

I made my husband sing The Unicorn Song for everyone...I only know this song because I sang it in my third grade music concert in elementary school. I had a solo in it. That's right, when you are eight, it is considered cute when you sing out of tune, and they want to showcase it. The lyrics are by Shel Silverstein, which I never knew but found interesting! Ben is a good sport...

A rainbow of food choices, one for each color, and some popcorn clouds. Tasty.

What rainbow/unicorn party would be complete without a rainbow cake?

The cake was just a basic sour cream white cake, and I made two batches of batter and divided it into eight sections, coloring six of the sections the colors of the rainbow. I baked them in 8" rounds. I then decided it would be cute to leave the sides unfrosted and to make it a bit wonky (right, that was *intentional*). I used a white chocolate frosting for between layers and at top, and then of course added sixlets. I saw this cake on Pinterest months ago and wanted to do something like that, but then I opted out of the side frosting, so I went for the top instead.

[I added some dark cocoa powder and chocolate chunks to turn the leftover two sections into chocolate-chocolate chunk cupcakes (for another time).]

As favors, I ordered some unicorn horn lollipops off of a cute little Etsy shop. (They are in the teapot in the above picture.) They were adorable and the kids loved them. I am not a big fan of spending hundreds of dollars on a kid's party, and I am happy to say that I didn't spend much at all on this one. I even got the rainbow plates at Target on clearance for $1/pack in the summer. Whew! I am glad it's over now. The fall birthday marathons are exhausting! Now, on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

We had a family photo shoot a couple weeks ago, and I had to make Oliver some suspenders to tie my mustard yellow color into everything. One of the pictures:

I am working on a mini cabled scarf tutorial for you knitters out there. Coming in the next week, hopefully!


Dress Pants

I made Oliver some dress pants. The pattern is from Sewing for Boys, and is called Little Heartbreaker Pants.

They are wool. I love the red pocket lining...

He is tricky to sew for because he is big around the waist and not super tall yet. He wears a 5/6 waist and a 3/4 length. These work though and there is room to grow. (blurry picture, messy house)

We are having some family pictures taken on Saturday, and I think these will be in the ensemble. I love/hate dressing the family for photos. Clara will be wearing this skirt that I won, in the mustard color pictured, and I think I will sew her a fitted collared shirt to go with it...maybe. No clue for Ruthie, Oliver's top half, the husband, or myself. I have five days to figure it out. A visit to Goodwill is in my future.


Bearded Toddler Hat

Doesn't he look happy?

This is my little neighbor. He reallllly wanted this bearded hat, can't you tell? Luckily for him, I made it with a detachable beard (it is secured with buttons on the inside of the hat). In case you are wondering why he is also wearing a pumpkin costume, it was Halloween when he tried it on.

The hat pattern is the Classic WWII Watch Cap. I cast on 88 stitches to make it a bit smaller than an adult small.

The beard and moustache I adapted from several patterns I found on Ravelry (mostly this and this). The hat yarn is Ella Rae Superwash Wool. The facial hair is Lion Brand Organic Cotton.

Oh, Angie, if you read this, I forgot to tell you you can machine wash and dry it. That is SO blog worthy, isn't it?


Pocket Bunting Advent Calendar Tutorial

Can you believe it is November? You know what that means--it's almost Christmas!

I have had this Advent calendar idea on my mind for over a year now. I knew I wanted an Advent calendar that was a bunting, but with pockets to fill with treats, activities & nativity scene characters (I recently won an awesome set of Nativity people from Simple Simon & Co).

I did a search online for one like what I wanted, but surprisingly, nothing exists! Obviously this was a sign that I needed to make a tutorial. Enjoy!

This supply list is actually enough for two three (holy cow!) advent calendars, so if you only want to make one, half (or third) the quantities.

wool felt bundle (I bought the Holiday pack here), or approximately 1/2 yard wool felt in color of choice
1/2 yard wool felt in contrasting color for the backs/top edge (I bought gold from Joann's)
advent calendar numbers, 1-25 (got mine here)
cardstock to make two triangle templates
sewing machine + thread

1. Make your triangle templates. I made mine in Powerpoint. I simple drew a straight line, 4.5" long, then made a horizontal line 4" across, to make a "T." Then, I connected the ends into a triangle and printed 2 copies. I then cut them out and cut 1" off one of the triangle tops to make it smaller than the other. (does this make any sense at all? lol) If that is too confusing, you could just print my PDFs. front & back

2. Once you have your templates, start cutting your wool felt. I first cut my fronts. I cut the felt into 3.5" strips, then cut my triangles, to maximize felt use. I then did the same with the backing, cutting 4.5" strips, then into triangles. You will now have lots and lots of triangles (25 fronts and 25 backs for each calendar).

3. Cut your back felt "leftovers" into .5" strips (make them as long as possible) for hanging your bunting. Sew together to make a really long strip. I very slightly overlapped the edges and sewed a straight stitch to connect them. At this point, you might decide to break your calendar into two smaller buntings - for example two buntings, the upper bunting made up of 12 triangles, the lower of 13 triangles. Layout your back triangles along the strip to see how long you want it. Make sure to include extra strip at the ends to hang it up.

4. Lay out your front triangles in the color pattern you want.

Attach the numbers to the fronts. I sewed mine on, but you could certainly glue them on. To be honest, sewing them was a pain in the rear! Sticky back numbers are sounding pretty smart to me right now...

5. Sew your front triangles to the back triangles. Don't sew the top, only the sides! You want it to be a pocket, remember.

6. Making sure to go in numerical order, sew your back triangles to the top strip, lining up the top edges.

7. Hang, fill, and enjoy your countdown to Christmas!

I would love to see your finished calendars if you decide to use my tutorial. If you like mine but don't feel crafty, you are in luck! I am selling an extra one in my Etsy shop.