What to muse about today?

March 17, 2014 ~ Shamrocks!

Shiny Shamrocks

Last week Teagan brought me home some shiny shamrocks as a present, because I wasn’t feeling well.

Today, we sent the girls off to day care with shamrocks on their cheeks.  They were so excited! We had put them on before the St. Patrick’s day Shamrock run which NayNay and PopPop ran in.  The run was followed by a parade.  Yay!  Both girls were happy to cheer on the runners, and then settle in for the parade.  They are fans of firetrucks and bagpipes.  Lots of the floats and marchers threw candy and snacks at the onlookers.  That’s also a big draw.


Stu didn’t get to stay around for the parade, unfortunately.  He had to get back home and work.  But the girls were mostly good, and LaLa, PopPop and NayNay were lots of help.

The girls missed him, and couldn’t wait to tell him about the race, the firetrucks and the bad man who threw half a cookie at them.  A crazy, drunk man dressed up as St. Patrick on a float for a bar.

Today, they got to wear their shamrock shirts – wear green day at day care! – and Teagan came home with a green derby.  And she found gold (chocolate) coins at the end of the rainbow!

Also, her bruise is turning a lovely shade of green.

Lucky Charm

Ashlin got some tomato sauce on her face, and looked like a back up singer for Adam Ant.  She had a good day, though didn’t get gold coins.  She said the leprechaun didn’t visit her room, though there was some talk of a rainbow…

Back-Up Singer

Ashlin got some tomato sauce on her face, and looked like a back up singer from Adam Ant


February 22, 2014 ~ Hats and Knickers

Hats, K.Swanson picture, donation

Hats made for PatPat’s Hat donation

Look at all those hats!  All of these hats were donated to PatPat’s Hats.  Each one intended to make a sick little kid just a little bit happier.  Make them feel a bit more loved and cared about.  When I heard that someone from day care was collecting hats, I immediately started looking for a pattern.  Hats are fun, quick, gratifying to make.

The yarn I had left over from one of the baby blankets would be perfect for a hat.  I had a bit more than usual left over, as I hadn’t had time to make the add-on bit.  It is acrylic,  washable, one of the few asks the site has.

Of course, I had to Google and search a ton before I found a hat.  I didn’t want to do just the same old hat pattern, I wanted something different, something that would help expand my skills, or just keep me a bit more interested than and around and around knit.

Mistake Mistake Rib hat

I ended up choosing the Mistake Rib pattern, worked up a hat in the 12 month size.  Since I was using a heavier weight than the pattern, it should be good for a 3-4 year old.  While I was going around, I forgot to do the mistake part (knit every other round of rib).  Oops.  So it’s not really a mistake rib, while being a true mistake.

While making this, I tried magic loop, which I found a bit awkward having all the loopy bits of the cable in the way.  Also tried splitting the stitches on four double pointed needles, and that was weird too.  Knitting in a triangle is much easier for me than a square!  Still, I made it through, without too many issues.

I hope someone chooses my hat!


In other news, Ashlin wore knickers all day.  No accidents!  She wore them with a pair of legwarmers that tickled her pink:

Leg warmers AND birdie knickers!!


November 25, 2013 ~ X-Box


X-Box with Hat

A few months ago (yeah, I know!) I made a blanket and hat for my cousin’s baby. At the time, they didn’t know/weren’t telling the gender of the baby.  And baby blankets are so much fun to crochet.  I googled around and found an interesting pattern – X-Box Stitch. It looked like a fun pattern, not too gender biased.  It would work well!

I had a big skein of Loops & Threads in Pee Wee Prints, a lovely blue and green variegated baby yarn.  I had bought it on sale because I thought it was gorgeous.  As I needed something neutral, I decided to use that.  Besides, it’s a really soft yarn.

The pattern was fun.  Almost like a box stitch, but not quite as structured.  It’s a very difficult to see how lovely this pattern is with the stripy yarn.  It’s a series of crossed double crochets following regular double crochets.  Easy.  Fast.  I will use this pattern again in a solid yarn.


X’s and border

I ended up doing a white border using a stitch combo from the book I had on borders – Around the Corner:  Crochet Borders. I’ve used this book often for edging ideas.  It’s always fun to try something new.  I picked edging #150, but added an extra row of half double crochet between the second and third rounds, just to try to make it feel a bit more substantial, more in line with the blanket itself.  I hadn’t done any stitches on the back post, (or front post) before, so that was a bit interesting, but gave the edging a bit of extra texture.

I had a bit of yarn left over after the blanket, so decided to knit a hat to match.  I like trying to use up the extra yarn with something fun and useful. And well, knitting was still very new.  So, a simple umbilical hat.



This was only the second hat I’ve knit in the round, so getting that first join done was a bit tricky.  But it went fast once that was done.  Up to the point of the decreases, and the double pointed needles.  They were so not fun. I also had problem with the I-cord, but was able to get something that worked well enough!

Getting the cord long enough to knot wasn’t much fun.  It was awkward, and unweildy.  But at last, it was done.  This had was enough to make me want to avoid DPN’s as much as possible.  But not enough to put me off knitting!  More projects to follow!


DPN’s and i-cord


almost there


November 15, 2013 ~ Mittens and a Scarf



Last week or so, I finished Tegan’s mittens.  I used a pattern from Ravelry – a pattern using double pointed needles.  It was a bit different than the thumbless ones I did for Ashlin, but not too different, and the thumb bit seemed pretty straightforward.

As is usually with DPN’s, the beginning is a bit fiddly, but gets easier after a few rows.  By the time I got a bit of the wrist and lower palm done on the first one, I realized the pattern would be too big for my little girl, so I modified the pattern to be a bit smaller.  (I took a round out before dividing for the thumb, then did nine rounds for the thumb instead of 12, 13 rounds on the fingers instead of 20, one repeat of the decrease pattern for the little finger shaping).  Turned out perfect for the little hands.

Par for the course, I miscounted/misread how to divide the stitches off the needles for the thumb.  The second mitten has the proper alignment, so there isn’t a V on the palm.  I’m sure Teagan will never notice, though I won’t make the same mistake again.


Kitchener Stitch

Another improvement over Ashlin’s mittens was figuring out how to do a proper Kitchener stitch! Woo woo!  I still have a bit of work to do with the tension at the start and end of the graft, but so much better than my first two attempts.

I’m going to work up another set of mittens – one for each girl – using yarn that match the hats I crocheted last year.  Mittens that I won’t mind them getting too wet or dirty while playing at day care.  These mittens, I’d like them to try to keep looking nice.




No V



I also made Teagan a scarf, mimicking the pattern of her hat – a row of purl stitches between a bunch of stockinette.  Initially, I had tried to do some double seed stitches on the edges, but they curled, and I didn’t like how they looked.  Then I tried regular seed stitch, and that still curled.  So, back to a simple garter border.  This curled a little bit, but with a little blocking, stayed flat.

I spent one night fringing both girls scarves.  Somehow that seems to be more annoying to do than weaving in ends though not quite as bad as sewing pieces together.

Eventually, I blocked everything.  Soaked all the hats, mittens and scarves in a pot then stretched them out on my make-shift blocking board.  I used my lace blocking wires to make nice, straight edges on the scarves.  No scallops here!  It was super easy pinning them this way, though threading the wires is a bit tedious.  The hats just had a minimum amount of shaping, as well as Ashlin’s mitts.  Teagan’s mittens, however, needed a bit more shaping.  I still need to weave in the ends on them, but they do look a lot nicer now.  All of them look nicer now.

When people ask if it’s worth blocking knit items –  and crochet – I say yes.  Just about everything I’ve blocked has looked better, more square, more lacy, more even, than before it was blocked, even if it was a light block.


On Wires

I'm blockin' here!!!  Love my blocking wires! #knit #mittens #scarf #hat.



October 18, 2013 ~ A Jester Hat for Ashlin



Before I finished Teagan’s hat, I made Ashlin one.  A  Jester hat! I still need to put the pompoms on the tips, but it’s all done, and she’s so happy.

The pattern is done flat and then sewn up at the end.  It was fun to do – quick garter border then stockinette for a bit, then some M1 increases (new to me!) to make the peaks and then cast off.  The lovey was great practice for mattress stitching up the back seam.  The hardest part – once I got the cast on stitches corrected for a different yarn weight than the pattern – was getting the stripes to line up!

Since I was using a worsted weight yarn, and the pattern called for DK weight, as well as embiggen it for a three-year-old’s head, I needed to compensate a bit.  I used smaller needles, but cast on a few more stitches.

After a few false starts – I really need to learn some of the math behind knitting – I was able to really boogie.  It was fast, easy, even once you got to the peaks.  No counting, except for the first row to place the markers.  Learning the M1 was a bit more challenging, thanks to my knitting style, but eventually I figured that out too.

Once it was done, I did a quick mattress up part of the back just to see how it fit on Ashlin.  I didn’t want to do too much sewing if it wasn’t going to fit.  Ashlin was so excited to try it on, she didn’t quite understand why I didn’t have it all done, right now. Eventually, I was able to wrest it back.  It fit!  A little loose, not quite as snug as it probably should be, but it would be just fine.

Ash wants her #hat now!  Just need to sew it up honey. #knit

Finish already, mama!

I ended up sewing the back up a few times before I got those pesky stripes matched well enough. They needed to be pretty close or the back peak wouldn’t line up as well. For some reason I was off by two stitches, something to do with the garter or cast on row.  Eventually, I got it.

Then came sewing the peaks.  I wasn’t sure how to do them – continue with the mattress, whip stitch, or slip stitch.  The pattern just said to sew following the diagram.  Not really helpful.  Thankfully some lovely, and knowledgeable ladies, helped me decide.  Whip stitch!  I was able to get the peaks whipped up during a nap time!

Needless to say, Ashlin was overjoyed when she came down and saw it.  She moved so fast I couldn’t get a good picture.  And she doesn’t even miss the pompoms.  I may end up not putting them on :D



October 15, 2013 ~ Like a Carousel

Teagan’s Hat

I finished Teagan’s hat today.  Yay! Me!

The yarn was picked out – by Teagan – months ago, before I had the skills to even attempt the hat.  I had fallen in love with this yarn – Adriafil Knitcol – it’s self striping!  I knew I had to find just the right pattern for it.  Thankfully, I found this lovely pattern on Ravelry and knew it would be great for Teagan.  And the yarn.  And it would give me another chance to work on my i-cord.  (For some reason I hadn’t gotten it to work before).

A few days prior, I had worked up a matching scarf using the same theme as the hat – knit a few rows then purl a row.


I really don’t have a good picture of it yet – I still need to block it – but I’ll be sure to take some soon!

The hat was fun to knit up.  I needed to modify the pattern a bit to account for the thinner yarn and needles and my daughter’s larger than 3-year-old head.  For some reason, I have a jog, a loose stitch, where I change rounds, but I’ll figure that out soon enough.  She’s not going to notice!

As I was doing the decreases, I got to practice using the double-pointed needles.  They were very awkward feeling the first time I used them.  But this time it was a bit easier.

Shrinking… Shrinking…

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  I needed to tink out a few rows this morning, to start the decrease rounds a bit earlier.  But the i-cord turned out pretty well, although I need to figure out how to cast off better, this was messier than I’d like.  But for a first success?  Just fine.

When Teagan noticed the hat on the island as she went in to dinner, she squealed!  Grabbed it up, plopped it on her head, and started dancing around the kitchen.  It was not easy getting a picture of her wearing it.  LOL!

Happy girl!

Happy Girl!


This side?


Silly girl

Now, to get her mittens done!  I hope I have enough yarn left over!


April 12, 2013

First hat with first pompon!  #knit #hat #pompom

Hat with pompom

Look! My first knit hat!

I had some left over yarn from one of the first baby blankets I crocheted, I figured why not try to make a matching hat?  Once I figured out how to make the tail long enough to cast on, (but not too long!), and once I got it joined properly, (a bit more tricky than it seemed), and once I got past the first two rows (more annoying to not twist and get the stitches to flow than I thought), it worked up quickly.

The hat was done in two nights?  Or was it three?  Anyway, fast.  Maybe just as fast as a crocheted hat, at least this style, anyway.  And using the  double pointed needles once starting the decreases took a bit to get used to.  Maybe I’ll splurge and get another circular needle and do the trick the ladies at the yarn store showed me.  I wasn’t ready to start that way, I may need to know how to use the double pointed needles at some point.

And I will admit, I enjoyed knitting around and around and around, only needing to think about moving up the stitch marker as I completed a circle.  Depending on the hat, I may like knitting them more than crocheting them.

Once complete, I felt quite accomplished, pleased with myself.

The pompom?  Well, it’s my first one as well too!  I probably could have made it a bit thicker, but I thought I had enough yarn wrapped around the cardboard.  Next time I’ll double it.

I feel like this hat gave me a bit of experience, enough to start the one for Ashlin, or maybe for Teagan for next winter.  With non-leftover yarn, as well.

I’ll write up the other projects I’ve been working on soon…  and the few remaining from Christmas too!

Does it look like a #hat? #knit #round

Knit in the round


April 2, 2013

Birthday cupcakes!  LaLa rocked!

Birthday cupcakes!

Stu had another fun drive into day care this morning.  As he fires up the car,  Take a Walk by Passion Pit comes on. One of Teagan’s favorite songs!  And one of Ashlin’s too.  They both love singing along to the chorus.  Anyway, Teagan barks out a loud, urgent “Dada!” startling Stu. Long pause.  Eventually she follows up with her 27 ums, trying to get all the words that are swirling through her head out. “Um um um um um.  Dada, if this song was written by bunnies, it would be “take a hop” not “take a walk.”

Smart kid.

We had a great weekend.  Saturday was filled with the girls decorating eggs, dinner out (again!) and cupcakes.

We had each girl color eggs separately, first Teagan then Ashlin.  I was hoping to minimize the chaos!  Teagan did great, listened pretty well and had fun.  Ashlin had a blast coloring her set of eggs, though we needed to adapt a bit.  Getting the eggs out of the cups wasn’t too easy for her, and she may have dyed her fingers orange.  Still, she thought she was teh bomb, and really enjoyed it.

Coloring eggs

Yellow one

Coloring eggs










Ashlin didn’t quite understand about the candle on her cupcake though, that maybe she shouldn’t try to touch the fire. She went and put her finger in. Poor baby.  She got over it quickly enough though, cupcakes totally take all boo-boos away.

Sunday, we had our egg hunt.  We hid eggs in pairs, and told the girls that if they found any, they could keep one and give their sister the other.  It worked pretty well!  Often they went together and Teagan would hand over one of the two eggs.  Ashlin was pretty happy to let her, though every now and then she’d go off on her own and find an egg, which she’d let Teagan come over and pick up.

There!  #egg #hunt #easter


I got them!  #egg #hunt #easter #hat

I’ll get them!

Breakfast was fun, lunch was better.  It was followed by a special cake my mom made.  The girls loved it!  Ashlin wanted to eat the entire ear!

I think they both had a good Easter!

#goof in a #easter #bonnet

Goof in a bonnet

Om nom nom #bunny #cake!

Bunny cake!


January 7, 2013

New colors

Christmas presents to be!

Two of the crochet projects I made as presents were a hat for my sister and a scarf for my mom.  Over Thanksgiving, my sister joked that if I made her a hat, she would wear it.  So, I made her a hat!

After much googling, I eventually found a pattern that I liked, and thought she would too.  All the yarn I had picked out for my sister was not as thick as this pattern calls for, so I needed to increase the stitch counts, and play with the number of rounds.  After much trying on my head for size, I got an “adult” size, and one I thought would fit her head.

It's a hat!  Really!  #crochet #hat #flower

Hat with flower accent


While searching for a pattern I thought she would like, I came across an interesting way to accent a hat – to make interchangeable flowers, or accents.  I chose a button that would be small enough to button an accent flower over, but not too big.

As long as the center chain is about 6 stitches round, it should fit over the button.  I made three flowers, using different colors from the ones I had selected for her “pallet,” wine red with grays.

#crochet #hat with changeable #flower #accent.

Hat with flowers


The scarf I did for my mom was done with the colors I had picked out for her.  Purples.  The stitch is a stacked shell, from one of the books that a co-worker lent me when they pushed me to start crocheting.

Once I got the hang of the stitch, the scarf worked up easily and quickly.  It’s a bit of a yarn eater, so I actually ran out of yarn before finishing.  NOT fun at all.  Then I couldn’t find the purple I needed at the local stores.  Waiting to get to the big store where I got the original skein gave me the time to get the hat and another project finished, so, I guess it was a good thing.  Knowing how much yarn I’ll need is something that will come with practice.  I knew I had enough for one of my mom’s presents, but not the two combined.

Yesterday, when we met up in the city to celebrate Three Kings day (without telling Teagan!), my mom was wearing her scarf.  Made me feel great!

Had to put away the #crochet #scarf. Ran out of yarn :(

Purple shells


October 19, 2012

Girls in #crochet #hatI’m not sure if anyone has noticed the girls hats…  the crocheted hats?  The hats I made?  I made them!!  I relearned how to crochet, and then how to actually do more than just single crochet a blanket, and maybe do a chevron pattern.

A few ladies at the office encouraged, well, pushed and prodded more like, to start up again once they learned that I wanted to make a few baby blankets for my expecting friends.  Over lunch times, they helped me, showed me step by step how to make a chain, turn, then single and double crochet stitches. You Tube has some lovely videos that helped as well – with left-handed crocheters!  I used the goal of making Teagan a scarf and hat set to learn.  Then Ashlin needed a hat for her ginormous head.

Teagan’s scarf:
Fringe for a little princess

I did a simple fringe on hers, as she is absolutely guaranteed to play with it.

And her hat:
#hat is done!  #crochet

She has pulled the ears a bit, and it’s getting out of shape.   I am glad I didn’t do too much embellishment on it, as I’m not sure it will last the season.  Oh, well, I can always make her another.

Ashlin’s hat:
Ash's #hat #crochet

I loved the curly tops on this pattern. I needed to adapt it a bit, embiggen it, as the only pattern I could find was for a newborn.  My Little Miss and her big head can fit in her sister’s hats. Also, all childrens (and some adult) hats need ears of some sort.

Ashlin wasn’t convinced at first:
No #crochet #hat!  Ash doesn't like it :(

But eventually she changed her mind, and won’t leave home or day care with out it!
Chillin' with my #hat and beep beep!