Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kitty-Eared Baby Hat Tutorial

Make a cute kitty hat for your baby! This free crochet pattern has both a 0-3 month size and a 3-6 month size!

What you need:
  • 4.0mm crochet hook for 0-3 month size
  • 4.5mm crochet hook for 3-6 month size
  • four stitch markers 
  • a large button
  • 2 colors of worsted weight yarn (50 yards each, just to be safe)
  • yarn needle to weave in ends
  • cute baby to place hat on
Terms Used:
  • ch - chain
  • hdc- half double crochet
  • sl st- slip stitch
  • st- stitch
  • hdc2tog- half double crochet two together (decrease) 
Chain 51. Use the 4.0mm hook if making the 0-3 month size and the 4.5mm hook if making the 3-6 month size. 

R1: Skip the first ch, and hdc into the second ch and every ch down the row (50 sts) At the end of row one, measure your fabric. It should be 13-14 inches wide for the 0-3 month size and 15-16 wide inches for the 3-6 month size. If it's not, go up or down a hook size to meet gauge. 

R2: ch 1, and turn. 50 hdc. 

Repeat row two until your hat measures 4.5 inches long for the 0-3 month size and 5 inches long for the 3-6 month size. 

Now using the end of the yarn sew up two sizes to create a hat. 

Ears: Grab your stitch markers. (see video if confused for visual example) Lay hat flat so each ear is at a corner, and count four stitches from the left side. Place a stitch marker on this 4th stitch. Counting from the st next to the one you just placed the stitch marker on, count 19 stitches to the right. Place a st marker on this 19th stitch. Now turn hat over, and count 12 stitches from each stitch marker, using the previous st marker as stitch 1, and place st markers on that 12th stitch. So you should have a hat with 10 stitches between each marker--12 stitches if you could the stitches the marker is actually on. 

These 12 stitches on each side will make the ears.

(do following rows for each ear)

Ear R1: pull up a loop in the first st, the one with a st marker on it. Ch 1, do 12 hdc. Remove all st markers. (12 sts)

Ear R2: Ch 1, skip ch and first st. 8 hdc. Hdc2tog. (10 sts)

Ear R3: Ch 1, skip ch and first st. 6 hdc. Hdc2tog. (8 sts)

Ear R4: Ch 1, skip ch and first st.  4 hdc. Hdc2tog. (6 sts)

Ear R5: Ch 1, skip ch and first st.  2 hdc. Hdc2tog. (4 sts)

Ear R6: Ch 1, skip ch and first st.  Hdc2tog. (2 sts)

Ear R7: Ch 1, Hdc 2 tog (1 sts) 

(first ear only) Ch 1 and cut yarn.
(second ear only) On second ear, ch 13 for 0-3 month size and 16 for 3-6 month size

Now, hdc all the way around using your second color. Add a button and make a slip knot with your chain to attach! Like all my tutorials for babies, do not leave on baby unattended, as hat could get in the way of breathing.

Happy Crocheting! View this pattern on Ravelry here!

Some Thoughts On Motherhood

Almost daily I am shocked by the fact that I have a child. I catch myself looking at Reuben and wondering why he is still there, or realizing that he is still there and that he is mine. It's weird and wonderful. I am still not used to it but I could never dream of life without him.

It's also funny how many odd expectations I had about motherhood that turned out to be totally wrong. It's like I don't know myself, and on a daily basis I have to reevaluate who I am.

Bed sharing, for example. I waxed eloquent on how I couldn't wait to bed share. I googled safe bed sharing and talked to my husband about it and honestly eagerly awaited the moment I could sleep all night with my son tucked safely beside me. I laughed in people's faces when they told me my little one would die if I bed shared, and I rolled my eyes at the hospital pediatrician who said it was unsafe (my pediatrician is perfectly fine with it, not that her opinion on how I sleep with my son matters). I talked to friends who share their beds with their newborns and they told me about all the wonderful night breast feeding where their little one suckled and they got to sleep peacefully though the night.

I hate bed sharing. And not because it's scary. I mean, the first few times it was a little scary, but I'd done enough research to know how to do it safely and I was not concerned about that factor. I hate it because by the end of the day I am so worn out of having my baby touching me. I just want to sleep by myself with nothing touching me or wanting to nurse. Co-sleeping, on the other hand is so wonderful I could write eons and eons about it. The baby is next to me but in his own bassinet, close enough that he can smell me and I can hear when he cries but far enough away that I can get my own personal space bubble all nice and empty of everything but myself and my blanket. It's bliss.

Can we also talk about my taste buds? They have seriously changed. And it's weird. It's like I'm discovering food I've eaten my whole life for the first time. For one, I've hated popcorn my entire life. Entire. Life. Suddenly during pregnancy I craved popcorn with the undying love of a teenager. It's bad. I still, even 3 months postpartum, can't get enough of the stuff. I ask my husband to pop me a bag almost every night. Last night he said we were out and I almost cried. It was that bad.

I also like coffee. Let me repeat that. I like coffee. What is wrong with me? Who am I anymore? I have never ever ever liked coffee. But it tastes AMAZING. Please help. I remember how it used to taste, like bitter hot stuff. But now it tastes like the nectar of the gods and I even dream about drinking it. It started when a Muse (local coffee shop) employee gave me a coffee for free when I was out with two friends. I tried it and it was so good. I thought it was just that particular kind or something (it was an organic columbian dark roast) but then yesterday I tried Chick-fil-a coffee and it also tasted like the nectar of the gods. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

Some things that I used to like I don't anymore. Like raisins. I just put raisins in my oatmeal and now I am wondering why on earth I would ever do that. It seriously is like I regenerated and have to figure out what in the world my new taste buds like. I know how the Doctor feels now every time he regenerates. Raisins are disgusting.

I hope this does not happen every time I procreate, or it's going to get old fast.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let's Play Catch-Up

I've been knitting and crocheting a lot more than I thought I would, after baby. Mostly simple things, but I am about to make myself a pair of tardis mitts (from this pattern) to satisfy my complex knitting craving.

First off I finished the black cowl that I wanted to crochet for slow fashion october. The yarn is not locally sourced but it is 100% wool and I did hand-make it, and that satisfies me. I love it. It's very very warm and I will wear it a lot this winter, and in many winters to come. And true to it's nature it goes with literally everything. For the few things it does not go with...well, I've already ordered yarn in the color "wine" to make myself a burgundy one. As a bonus, it doubles as a breastfeeding cover as well.

I know I already blogged about these gloves, but I finally took more professional photos and I still love them. They are cozy and an easy crochet project for an evening.

I also made more hats. The black one is a Christmas gift, and the purple one was just a I-have-yarn-and-free-time project. Or more like nursing busywork, because I don't really get free time anymore with an infant. At least not like before.

I love knitting. I love crochet. I can't wait to make more things, all the days of my life, and to teach my children the love of fiber.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It is a fact that my body is not the same as it was before pregnancy. This is a fact that I have to accept but honestly it bothers me almost every time I look in a mirror. I am not one of those people that thinks pregnancy destroys bodies. Pregnancy changes bodies, as does life. And everyone's body reacts differently. Mine had, according to my doctor, a rather extreme reaction to the 10 pound 6.1 oz human I expelled in July.

I have been trying to work hard to change my body. So far nothing really has changed, but it's only been 6 weeks that I have been exercising, and 13 weeks since I gave birth. Also, juggling working out and a small human and household chores and self care and all the other things I want to do is hard. Specifically since I either must put small human down or have my husband hold him while I exercise. Small human has opinions about being put down, and daddy is tired . Just like I am tired. So I don't get to it many times and, obviously, this makes me feel even better about myself. Not.

I try to make the best of it. And the thing is I don't feel ugly, so don't leave me a comment telling me I look great or beautiful or something, because I do feel pretty. I just also feel fat and lumpy. I was just so sure that breastfeeding would help me lose weight. I was so sure I'd have energy to exercise. I was also sure that I had the will to stop myself from eating 3 muffins in the middle of the night when up with Reuben.

I think the one thing I've learned through the whole pregnancy and birth and 4th trimester is that I really need to stop having expectations. Help.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Crochet Openwork Gloves

A viewer on my youtube channel actually gave me the idea for these fingerless mitts. I love them! They are crochet in the round with worsted weight yarn and a 4.0mm crochet hook.

You can view the video tutorial here and download the written PDF pattern here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Favorites / Most Worn

My favorite piece of clothing has to be this pineapple sweater. I love it and wear it once a week! I am not sure why it makes me so happy, but it does.

My most worn clothing item is probably black leggings. I wear a pair of black leggings at least 5/7 days a week. They go with everything, and they keep me warm--I would call them my most functional clothing item. Usually I sleep in them too.

I don't wear this sweater with just leggings. I usually dress it up like this!

I am really enjoying slow fashion october so far!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Does the World Need More Love Letters?

I received this awesome stationary kit from blogging for books. I love stationary, but since baby I haven't had a lot of time to write letters, and I thought perhaps this would jump start some correspondence.

The stationary is cute but not overbearing, and I was surprised to find it came with awesome stickers to close up the envelopes. I have loved the few letters I have been able to send since having a baby! The paper is quite thin, but usable. I was expecting it to be a little thicker.

The prompts are all on one page, and I didn't really look at them as I had my own ideas for writing.

In short, this is just stationary. Buy if you need some to write some letters!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Capsule Wardrobes are Stupid

I think capsule wardrobes are stupid. I'm sorry, I do. They sound so dull and monochrome to me! I mean, I can see the use if you are traveling and have to fit a weeks worth of clothes in a carry-on, but other than that, no. No thank you. I love my variety and color and I need way more than two pairs of leggings because who has time to do laundry every other day and Reuben certainly isn't going to realize I only have one more pair of leggings and decide not to spit up all over me right before I am about to leave for church.

I also don't want to be known as "the lady who always wears ____" where ____ is the base of my capsule wardrobe. I mean, I know a girl who does this capsule thing. And she always wears the same two colors. And the same shirt every other Sunday. I want more options than that.

And I don't want to just jump on some minimalist bandwagon because it's hip or mainstream. I feel like 50% of the people who tote this capsule wardrobe nonsense do it because they think it sounds cool. And that definitely isn't me. I am the girl who wants to look like a rainbow one day but the next decides to wear a little black dress. (Wait who am I kidding I wear leggings and my kid's body fluids mostly, but hey, a girl can dream, right?) Regardless, I love having more than 30 pieces of clothing. I love it. And I feel absolutely no shame in that fact.

I think sometimes that people are afraid to have nice things. Or to let people know they enjoy having nice things, like it makes them look bad or something. Today's youth or millennials or whatever you want to call us always seem to want to one up each other in the suffering category. We talk about our gluten free diets or our paleo journeys and sneer over our Starbucks at each other, comparing our lives to see who is giving up the most, who is suffering the most. And it's not about that.

You know, I enjoy having a full closet to pick and choose from and that isn't going to change, and it does not have to. Owning more than five cardigans is not a shameful thing. What the whole minimalist movement is missing out on is the fact that having more than 10 sweaters in my closet is not an unpardonable sin. There is not some magic number of clothing items that summons Nirvana or will turn you into a zen goddess--and there is equally not a number that suddenly makes you a scrooge. 

And that's my thoughts on that.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Slow Fashion Goals

After reading a lot of the other slow fashion october goals--all I can think is they must not have babies. I don't mean this negatively in any way. But it is true that taking care of a small child does take up a majority of my time. It's blessed time, and I enjoy it with the kind of joy that only God can give, but it is time that I am not able to devote to fashion.

So yes, it's the honest truth that my goals would be a lot different if, say, I'd participated in slow fashion october last year. This year with Reuben I am lucky if I get 30 minutes to crochet in the evening while daddy holds baby. Usually daddy time is spent by me in the shower or washing dishes or eating food sans baby. There is a reason Reuben goes though so many outfits in a day, and yes it has to do with his ability to projectile milk--but it also has to do with the fact that I eat while nursing a lot (don't worry, not hot things) and thus my son also wears my food on occasion. It's a give and take relationship. More give from me at this point, but he's cute so I don't care.

So I have to think reasonably, because I know I don't have a lot of time. My slow fashion goals right now are to finish this black scarf I am crocheting. I've made a lot of colorful neckwear in my years as a fiber artist, before I finally realized I need something that goes with everything. Thus I'm making a chunky black wool scarf. It will serve the purpose of keeping me very warm and I'm sure I can wear it with 99% of my wardrobe.

I also want to pare down my closet more. I mean, I've done two big closet purges in the last two years. In the first one I got my two closets down to one. In the second big move I threw a lot out that I just don't wear anymore.  Now with a baby my style and my body has changed and I am once again overwhelmed with what I have. I don't have 30 minutes to put together an outfit anymore--I need to be quick and I can't spend a lot of time searching through all my tops. I need to pare down more for the simple reason that I can't see anything in there. I've enlisted a friend to come over and help, because I need someone who can be ruthless. I'm excited to see the results.

These goals may seem small and simple, but with a baby, a husband and a house to keep in order they are large to me! I am really looking forward to this October--I love setting and meeting objectives. There is something so satisfying in checking things off a list. Annnddd I might be letting my type A show.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Rules for Holding my Baby

I'm going to step up on my soap box and outline some rules that I think (snobbishly) that everyone should know before holding a baby. Specifically mine, but whatever.

  1. If you request to hold my newborn and the first thing you do is attempt to put your mouth on his skin, hair, or fingers I will go full helicopter mom on you. Be prepared to listen to a lecture if you even look like you are about to kiss my child. Because germs. And eww.
  2. Do Not Put You Hand, Fingers, or Other Object in my kids mouth. I legit slapped someones hand away from Reuben's mouth in his second week of life as they attempted to stick their FINGER in. It was an automatic, no-thoughts, panic slap. I even apologized afterwards. And then I lectured them.
  3. Don't scream when my baby spits up on you. Because he will cry from the loud noise that just happened right next to his ear and then you will feel bad. But I can (sort of) understand this one--I mean, it surprised me the first few times he decided that mommy needed to wear his body fluid. But I will laugh at you. And then I'll help you clean yourself. This is why I have an extra shirt in my diaper bag. 
  4. My kid makes funny faces when he poops. I will tell you this if he happens to do it around you. I am sorry. Actually I will mostly talk about my kid. I mean, he is a Big Deal. I'm sorry if I appear to have no life anymore. Just a fair warning--if you hold him, I'll probably start telling you cute poop stories about him.
  5. If you do not know me or my baby and I am in Krogers shopping, do not squeal about how cute he is and try to touch him because I will react like you are attempting to kidnap my child and then the wrath of God shall decend down upon you because how dare you
  6. If you come to my house and ring the doorbell I will secretly start planning on ways to interrupt you when you are sleeping, like sounding a loud alarm in your house during your nap time. 
  7. Don't be surprised if he cries and when you hand him back he stops crying right away. I am the amazing milk thing. Hear me roar I mean, milk. It's a softer sound but just as cool a superpower, trust me. Don't take it the wrong way, and don't think Reuben doesn't like you. He just likes me more. I squeezed him out of my vagina, so I win.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Slow Fashion

I have always loved fashion. I'm not sure when it started, but I love shopping for clothes and I also love to check out what other women are wearing, even if it is not something I would particularly don. The idea of a well put together outfit is enthralling to me.

When I first heard of slow fashion, I thought it was kind of an elitist thing. I mean in order to afford handmade and fair trade clothing you need a serious amount of funds. Either that, or you are really poor and have no choice but to make your own clothes. I know now that slow fashion is much more-- from mending to knitting to just being very selective about your closet, the term is broad enough for most people. The only thing it isn't is fast fashion.

I don't sew many clothes, and I have not yet knit a sweater. I like to create my own accessories. From hats, to gloves, to hand-dyed scarves (that I'm wearing here!) I love to make my favorite outfits pop with something I've created.

Slow fashion first peeked my interest in high school, when I got tired of the cheap, fall-apart fashion that permeates the teen scene. I mean, it was so easy it took the fun out of it for me, not to mention that everyone was wearing it and I didn't want to be like everyone. I wanted to be unique. At this time my mom was the main provider for our little family and I thrifted most of what I wore. I loved Goodwill and the Salvation Army back then, and wearing "last years" fashion didn't bother me in the least. My style felt eclectic and I loved that most my clothes were preloved (I thrifted the shirt I am wearing in these pictures). The things people would throw away! They were my treasures, and I enjoyed searching for just the right piece to add to my teenage wardrobe. It was like a adventure, hunting through all the trash to find a gem, and I was hooked.

Now at 29 years old I don't shop at Goodwill anymore--mostly because I think I have a really complete closet and I don't need any excess. Anyway, this month I am so excited to participate in slow fashion October! Pictures brought to you by amazing baby naps.