I’ve been making hats for O since he was a tiny baby and last year we made it through the whole winter with just one hat. It’s looking a little raggedy now though and it was getting a bit small too, so this past weekend, I made him a quick new hat to get us through at Fall and early Winter.
His coat this year is dark gray with black and blue so I picked some soft heathered gray yarn and bright blue, both leftover from other projects. The pattern is basically the same as my Baby Bear and Apple hats, just a larger size for a giant three year old head. And of course there’s a pom pom because they are adorable on little kids!
Easy Pom Pom Winter Hat (3 year old size)
worsted weight yarn, one skein gray, a small amount of bright blue.
(If you need help, my favorite knitting reference book for everyone from beginners to advanced knitters is THIS ONE!)
Using long-tail cast on, cast on 88 stitches with the blue yarn onto your circular needles. Join to knit in the round and knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches in a rib stitch for 1 inch. Switch to the gray yarn and then knit all stitches until the entire hat is about 6.5 inches long.
Round 1: Knit 6, Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Round 2: Knit all stitches
Round 3: Knit 5, Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Round 4: Knit all stitches
Round 5: Knit directly onto 3 of the double pointed needles:
- Needle 1: Knit 4, Knit 2 stitches together, repeat four times.
- Needle 2: Knit 4, Knit 2 stitches together, repeat four times.
- Needle 3: Knit 4, Knit 2 stitches together, repeat three times.
Round 6: Use the fourth double pointed needle to knit all stitches to the end of the round.
Round 7: Knit 3 stitches, Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Round 8: Knit all stitches to the end of the round
Round 9: Knit 2 stitches, Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Round 10: Knit all stitches to the end of the round
Round 11: Knit 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Round 12: Knit all stitches to the end of the round
Round 13: Knit 2 stitches together and repeat to the end of the round.
Cut your yarn, thread it onto a needle and thread it through the remaining stitches, pulling tightly to close. Weave in your ends.
To make the Pom Pom:
Find a piece of stiff cardboard that is about 2 inches wide. Using the blue yarn, wind the yarn around and around the cardboard about 40-50 times.
Slide the yarn off the cardboard and tie it around the middle very tightly with a piece of yarn that is about 12 inches long.
Cut through all the loops with sharp scissors to “release” the pom pom
it will look kind of terrible at first so then trim the ends carefully until it is a sphere.
Use the one long end of that the yarn you used to tie the pom pom to firmly stitch it to the top of the hat. Weave in all your ends.
(we’re in the either super goofy “cheese!” smile or completely refuse to smile at all phase of preschoolerhood… Good thing he’s so cute!)
If you liked this, you may like some of my other posts…
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why I often downplay my skills and accomplishments to others. I’m afflicted with what I call Crafter’s Guilt where my excitement over something I’ve made is dampened by feeling sort of uncomfortable or guilty for doing a good job. I can’t be the only one who feels like this, right?
My wonderful husband pointed it out when he kindly suggested that when people ask me how Little Red Window Design is going, that perhaps I should replace my stock answer of, “Oh, it’s going ok, I guess. Kinda slow but it’s picking up…” with something more along the lines of, “Well, actually it’s going pretty well, I’m making regular sales and getting requests for custom work as well!” which in reality, is much closer to the truth. I mean, I’m certainly nowhere near financially supporting myself like I did with an office job, but I’ve exceeded my (admittedly meager) goals and expectations so far, so why is it difficult to tell other people that?
I notice myself doing this also when I give people handmade gifts or when I show up at a party with baked goods. Because oddly, one of the most common remarks people make, after telling me that they love it, is, in one form or another a statement like, “wow, you make me feel like such a slouch for not making handmade things or throwing a party with diy decorations.” I’ve heard that so many times that I think I’ve absorbed it and started to feel kind of guilty for that. Of course that is not my intention!
Instead of beating myself up about it, lately I’ve been thinking about why other people might feel that way. Is it because we live in this internet world with Pinterest and Facebook where we all post only the best most awesome parts of our lives and so, in a way, maybe even unconsciously we always feel like we’re in competition with everyone else? Is it because, as women, we are told that we should be able to “have it all”. We should be an amazing parent who bakes homemade bread and throws fabulous parties, uses cloth diapers and has not only a successful career, but a fulfilling one! Because really, that is a completely unrealistic expectation.
I’m sure that all has something to do with it. But when someone jokingly says my creations make them feel bad, I wish I could tell them, yes, my house might look pretty organized, but I have a secret room that’s supposed to be my office but it’s really where we throw all of our clutter. I wish I could tell them, yes, I may have baked cute little cupcakes from scratch for this party but my preschooler and I ate frozen pizza three nights this week while my husband worked late…and oh yeah, I haven’t cleaned the bathroom in way longer than I’d like to admit. I’m not perfect and neither are you! We all just have different skills and passions and this is mine. I’m really good at making things just like YOU are really good at running or playing an instrument or being a teacher or a doctor.
But more than anything I wish I could explain in a way that people really really understood, why I create. I don’t do it to have the “perfect” gift for someone. I don’t do it to have a “perfect” party that’s better than someone else’s party. I don’t do it to be somehow “better” than anyone else.
And because that’s how I am, in NO WAY does that make me better than anyone else. If you ordered a friend pizza after their new baby came, or bought your mom a scarf for Christmas instead of knitting one, I have no doubt that you care about them just as much as I do. If you bought your kid’s party supplies at Target, no one’s going to have any less fun at the party or feel any less loved.
I create because I like to challenge myself and see what I can accomplish. I create because I’m interested in how things work and are made and designed. I create because I am picky and I want things just so. I create because I am cheap and I want to see if I can do it for less. I create because I truly enjoy it.
I honestly like planning parties, I like painting furniture, I like knitting and sewing. I even actually like cooking most of the time (cleaning up afterwards, not so much). And sure I could buy a new dresser instead of handpainting one, but that wouldn’t be as much fun for me. If I don’t have a project, I literally get twitchy and anxious. I can’t just sit and watch tv, I have to have my hands busy. And if I go too long without making something, I start to feel depressed.
Really what it all comes down to is that I create because, to me, it’s as imperative as breathing. It is part of me and I just can’t not do it.
So I think the next time I give someone a handmade gift and they say that it’s great, instead of shrugging it off as no big deal or pointing out a tiny flaw so that I don’t make anyone feel bad, I’m just going to say, “Thank you, I think it turned out great too!”
I had so much fun making the Apple Tree Felt Board for O (and I may or may not have had a mountain of extra felt leftover, I plead the 5th!) that I thought I’d make another. This time I went with a Farm theme because, at the time, he didn’t really have any farm themed toys and I love to at least try to come up with gender neutral play ideas. Anything to get away from trucks and trains ALL. THE. TIME!
But that’s beside the point, the idea is the same, cover a foam board with felt and then make cute little felt shapes that stick to the board through the magic of friction! And like last time, the only supplies you really need are the foam board, felt, good sharp scissors and glue or a hot glue gun. He’s had this for about a year now, the animals are regularly stepped on, thrown around, shoved in random small places and they are still in good shape. I used hot glue and none of the pieces have come off or anything. So yay for cheapie recycled plastic “felt” from the craft store!
Anyway, here’s the Farm:
The Barn and the Pond are both glued to the background. I thought about leaving them separate but that seemed like too many pieces.
After that it needed a happy yellow sun and of course, a fence, to keep the animals in:
But wait, is there someone in the Barn??
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…
Roasted Eggplant, White Bean and Ditalini Soup is hearty and warm and delicious, perfect for Fall!
If you ask me if I want soup in the summer, the answer is definitely NO. Thinking about soup when it’s warm out and the sun in shining, is just, ick, no thank you. But when it gets to be this time of year, I’m all soup all the time. I cannot get enough. It starts right around the first time it’s cool enough to need a jacket outside and lasts pretty much the entire winter. And then, a glimpse of spring and BAM! Back to salad!
I guess one of the other great things about soup is that it’s filling and lower in calories than some of the other things I cook. So even though it’s delicious, I don’t have to worry so much about it eating it. My favorite thing to do it turn one of our old standby meals into soup. I started with our favorite Roasted Eggplant Pasta, (if you haven’t tried it yet, yum!!!) and while delicious, one of the pitfalls of being vegetarian is the tendency to eat too many carbs, especially pasta. I wanted to capture the flavor but make it lighter, so I made it into a soup that still has some pasta but also some added protein. It turned out so well, I am sharing it with you!
A word about broth, stock and salt first. I usually don’t use store bought broth. I never remember to buy it and it’s often high in sodium anyway. And to me, vegetable broth often has pretty strong herb flavors that don’t always compliment what I’m trying to make. But if you’re a broth fan or have some you need to use up, by all means, substitute it for water! But make sure you leave out most of the salt in the recipe!! If you use water, like I do, add salt to taste. But be very careful if you substitute regular table salt for Kosher salt;1 tsp of regular salt would be MUCH saltier than 1 tsp of Kosher salt, they are not equivalent!
Roasted Eggplant, White Bean and Ditalini Soup
1 medium eggplant
1 large onion
1 green pepper
4-5 cloves of garlic in their skins
1 14 oz. can of white beans (Cannellini, Great Northern etc.), drained and rinsed
1 cup small pasta like ditalini
4Tb tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
The juice of 1/4 of a lemon
1 to 1 1/2 tsp of KOSHER salt
7 cups of water
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash your eggplant, cut off the stem and slice it in half the long way. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet greased with olive oil. Peel the onion, cut off the ends and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Wash your green pepper, cut it into large chunks and discard the seeds and middle. Lay the onion slices, the green pepper, and the garlic cloves (still in their skins) on the cookie sheet and spray the tops of everything with olive oil or cooking spray.
2. Roast until the Eggplant is very soft, the garlic cloves are soft and the onions and peppers are soft and caramelized around the edges, between 30-50 minutes. Things may finish at different times (especially the garlic) so watch carefully.
4. Add to a big soup pot with a little bit of Olive oil and the beans. I know…roasted eggplant is not the most gorgeous thing to look at. I promise it will look better at the end and taste delicious. Really.
5. Add the tomato paste and herbs and cook for a few minutes to caramelize the tomato.
6. Add the water and salt to taste and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes until the mashed eggplant has pretty much dissolved into the soup.
7. Bring the soup back up to a boil, add the pasta and cook just until the pasta is al dente. (6-9 minutes). I love Ditalini pasta for this soup, it’s the perfect size and shape!
My Halloween Costume week continues with another flashback to my DIY Little Cowboy Costume! This time, it was O’s 3rd Halloween, he had just turned 2 and I didn’t know what he should be (and he was still too little to care). And then my aunts went to Arizona and came back with the cutest little cowboy boots of all time. I mean, they were really truly adorable! So I figured, well then of course he has to be a cowboy! When you get real life mini cowboy boots, you better show them off!
It was actually a really easy costume too. He already had a cowboy hat
floating around. I just glued a star made of craft foam to the front. He also had skinny jeans (toddler skinny jeans are like my favorite thing ever!) and a plaid shirt. So all I really needed to come up with was a Cowboy vest and a belt with a belt buckle.
To make those, I stopped in at my local Joann’s and found this fabric that kind of looks like leather, but is really some kind of coated cotton meaning it is cheaper and easy to work with. I couldn’t believe my luck! Would I use this kind of fabric for a home dec project or something that would get used a lot? Probably not. But it was PERFECT for this. I thought I would end up with some of that thick vinyl pleather, guess it was my lucky day!
The belt is just a long strip of fabric with d-rings on one end and I made the belt buckle slide over the belt with little loops. It’s just a rectangle of craft wood from my stash painted “gold” with a star on top. Super easy.
The vest was a little more complicated because I didn’t have a pattern and I’d never made a vest before but I just based it off a shirt he already had for the basic shapes, gave it a little bit bigger armholes, and it worked out great! And of course it has fringe on the front and back!
I love costumes like this because it was really adorable but required minimal effort, O was comfortable AND it still looked cute even when he put on his coat. It makes me so sad when someone has a cute costume and then it gets all covered up by a winter jacket!
The best part of the whole Halloween was that at this age, (barely 2) O was still kind of unintelligible a lot of the time, but when you asked him, “What does a cowboy say?” He always gave us an enthusiastic and beyond adorable, “YEE HAW!!!!”
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…
It’s Halloween week and I thought this week I would share some homemade costumes from years past. One of my favorite is definitely O’s very first Halloween when I made him a tiny and adorable Newborn Baby Bunny Costume! He was about 2 months old and I remember that making this costume was literally the first even remotely artistic thing I had done since he was born. I was exhausted (as parents of newborns are known to be) and I still wasn’t feeling ready to leave the house a lot. I thought about it way too much and decided I was going to make a Baby Bunny Costume out of only things I already had in the house! I remember making this in my bedroom on the floor while O was napping next to me, trying desperately to finish before he woke up. It was a truly Make it Work kind of project. Tim Gunn would have been proud!
The hands and body were easy. For the onesie, I cut an oval out of pink felt and stitched it to the front to be a cute little belly. Then I made an easy white yarn pom pom and stitched it to the back. O was still in the stage where we held him a lot,if you had a little one who spent a lot of time lying down in a swing or bouncy chair or something, the tail obviously wouldn’t be comfortable for them.
To make the little mittens, I just roughly traced the size of the hand out of felt, cut two of the same shape, sewed around three sides and turned them right side out. Then I added the little pink paw pads. They didn’t stay on that great and if I had had the time or the energy, I might have added some elastic. But you know what, for the three seconds that he was willing to keep them on, they looked cute enough!
To make the bunny ears, I remember i really struggled trying to figure out what to make them out of. I thought cardboard at first but that wouldn’t really hold it’s shape. I didn’t have pipe cleaners. I didn’t want to use wire because I was afraid it would poke his little head. And then, deep in sewing supplies I found some leftover plastic boning! It was perfect, it held a curve but wasn’t tight and didn’t have sharp ends! I covered it in felt, I think I made the ears out of boning too? And then stretched felt across those as well. And again I used a little felt flap with velcro under the chin instead of elastic because I was a nervous new mom! Elastic might strangle him! (Actually it might, I probably would still not use it) The strap was enough to keep the ears on but it was not at all tight under his chin.
Are you dying to see a Baby Bunny yet? Ok, don’t die of cuteness and then say I didn’t warn you!
Look! He has a little pink nose and a real carrot!!
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…
So every year I say to myself, “Self, it’s fine, you don’t need a Halloween costume. The holiday is really just for the kids, who cares if you have one? You don’t really love dressing up anyway.” So I focus on O and have a lot of fun figuring out his, and then, without fail, at the last minute, I realize all my friends are dressing up and I get all worried about being a big party pooper. This year I knew we had both a Halloween parade and a Halloween party at O’s music school to go to where one set of parents were dressing up in full size Mickey & Minnie costumes, so I figured I could at least put a little effort into it.
I decided to be SuperMom (thank you Pinterest for providing me with a thousand good ideas!) because I already have most of the things you need for the costume, all I had to figure out was a superman shirt to go under my button up shirt. So I went to Target, the most magical place in the world. I headed to the men’s department because I thought I had seen a whole section of novelty tshirts up there and it turned out, Hallelujah! They had a superman shirt! Unfortunately it was $12.99 and they only had Men’s XL. As I am known to do, I said to myself, “Self, you can just make your own Superman shirt for less. Don’t spend $12.99 for a shirt that’s way too big and you’re going to have to cut up and sew to fit!” Then I turned around and there, a couple shelves over, were plain tshirts for only $6.99! And they happened to have perfect superman blue! I grabbed a Small and headed home to raid my craft closet. (Wish I had looked early enough to order this!)
I was hoping somewhere I had some red and yellow fabric but the best I could come up with was half a 9 x 12 sheet of red craft felt and even less yellow felt. But I made it work and guess what? It turned out cute!
To make my Superman logo, I first sketched it out on a piece of paper. If you can see the fold lines on the paper, I was too lazy to go get a ruler so this was my quick and easy way to make sure the shape I drew was symmetrical and even! It worked out perfectly!
Then I taped the paper to the felt and carefully cut it out with an exacto knife.
If I had more yellow felt I would have just cut one big yellow shape and glued it behind the red. But I didn’t have enough. So I ended up using the cut out parts of my paper stencil to cut little yellow pieces that fit into the red like a puzzle. I don’t totally recommend this method because it was kind of a pain in the you know what. But it ended up working.
When it was dry, I sewed it onto my tshirt with red thread and I was done!!
p.s. I NEVER wear my glasses in real life but obviously glasses are required for the costume, so this is like a once in a lifetime pic!