A Cute Combo and a Great Deal

A couple weeks ago we drove down to Springfield for our nephew’s first birthday. Though sadly, he got sick so his parents delayed plans. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Missouri the cold and flu season hit hard. My sister-in-law asked for books for boys, since their daughter is into princesses and the like, they wanted to make sure they had some quality boy books for our nephew. And if you know me at all, you know buying books is one of my favorite things to do! So I set about looking for a fun, … Read more…

Where’d My Baby Go?

I turned what was going to be a fall sweater for Rebekah into a spring sweater. After a few attempts, I finally finished it. And once I got the right sizing, it only took me a couple days to make it. But looking through these pictures made me realize how much Rebekah has grown since her fall sweater last year! Time moves so swiftly these days. Every day she is learning something new and her vocabulary is expanding exponentially. She still has her quizzical blue eyes and expressive faces. And her personality has been the same since day one. She is … Read more…

The Color Blue on my Mind

Blue. A serene, peaceful color. The color of Rebekah’s eyes. I’d long been saving some lovely blue yarn to crochet into a sweater for her because I knew it would look beautiful with her eyes. A couple weeks ago I finally decided on a pattern and started. But since December 27th, I’ve had blue on my mind for different reasons. I started reading Fantastic Mr. Fox (Amazon Affiliate Link) to Rebekah the other day. She seems to really enjoy it, though I decided not to read it to her before bed because it gets a tad scary for a 21-month-old! It has … Read more…

A Missouri Heat Wave

I kept spotting glimpses of fall in the turning of leaves and feeling it in the cool mornings and evenings. But this week pounded us with the resurgence of an Indian Summer heat wave. I even considered getting back out the wading pool. It feels odd to be crocheting on leg warmers and a winter hat when our heat index is pushing 100. But I found such easy and lovely patterns for leg warmers that I could resist. I made the simple ones for Rebekah to match her hat. But I think I am going to experiment with this pattern and some sparkly … Read more…

Yarn Along: Winter Hat Ready

I tend to be a tight hooker (good ‘ole crochet joke). But this hat I made for a baby fits my 16-month-old daughter just fine. I decided she could keep it as a warm winter hat. She loves wearing it, even in the summer. I have several projects stewing in my mind, including cute leg warmers for little girls and Rebekah’s fall outfit. I would love to knit her outfit, but I doubt I can pick up knitting that quickly. Meanwhile, I am reading through the moving novel Gilead (affiliate link) by Marilynne Robinson. Rooted in Christian spirituality, it was praised with high acclaim, even winning the … Read more…

Motivation

This week I sent off Benjamin’s blanket with a prayer and good wishes. Lately, I’ve had endless motivation to crochet. Mostly because in the evenings I avoided dealing with our taxes. I spent months attempting to resolve the issues with our 1095-A before we could send everything off. (Last night we finally put on our “adult pants” and tackled them. More on that later.) This week I bordered a light-weight receiving blanket for sweet Annabelle, our friends’ new daughter. She is all that is a sweet little newborn. We can’t wait to celebrate her birth at their shower this weekend. If time allows I will crochet … Read more…

For Benjamin

I keep thinking about starting new fall sweater for Rebekah. Yet, all the sweet new babies entering the world and the pregnant mamas that are due in the next couple months are foremost in my thoughts and prayers right now. As a result, I am crocheting around fleece and cotton blankets, and trying my hand at newborn clothing. As I mentioned last week, my dear friend from church embroidered Benjamin’s name for me on his blanket. I kept his blanket simple and cute, crocheting two coordinating receiving blankets together. This is one of my favorite styles of blanket to make because it is … Read more…

Beauty in the Details

This past week has been full of outdoor adventures: Running barefoot through the grass or squealing as we dart through the sprinkler. I lather Rebekah and I with sunscreen every day. We both have very fair skin. And if she is anything like me, the sun will blister her skin long before she ever tans. This Badger Balm Kids Face Stick SPF 35 – Tangerine and Vanilla works great and smells amazing. Though it is a bit hard to rub in. I worried about finding summer sunscreen that would not irritate Rebekah’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, this face stick hasn’t caused a single … Read more…

Yarn Along: Sweet Babies

It occurred to me today how far behind I am on making baby gifts. I’ve had three friends and a cousin-in-law have babies this past week alone. And that’s not counting my friends that are due very soon! I need to pull out and set up my sewing machine and spend a couple evenings sewing. After baby girl goes to sleep of course. Pins, scissors, and babies do not mix well! Hopefully I can finish this Angel Wings Pinafore for a friend who just had a baby girl. It has been an easy pattern to follow, and I don’t think it … Read more…

Thomas Locker Wins My Heart Again

Sometimes there are books that appeal to the teacher in me, or the mom in me, or the historian, or poet . . . But rarely do I find a book that wins the whole of my heart. Thomas Locker has a way of stunning me on all fronts. Every page in a Thomas Locker book is a work of art. His landscapes are worthy of being framed–and many are in prestigious museums. I am slowly buying all of his books for our personal collection. Home: A Journey through America (amazon affiliate link) celebrates the beauty of the different places across America … Read more…

Yarn Along: Thinking of Others This Week

This week I am trying to finish up a couple gifts to mail off to encourage some special people in my life. The first is a hanging towel (I will make a matching dish cloth too) for a blogging friend who got married last year. It will only be a year late, so let’s call it a one-year-anniversary present . . . 😉 When I saw this kitchen towel, I knew it would look great in her kitchen, and it reminded me of them. My aunt has recently undergone some serious surgeries for a bad break in her leg and … Read more…

Crocheted Boot Cuffs and the Downside to Spring

As much as I love spring, I am sadly coming to terms with the fact that it probably won’t snow again. New growth is happening everywhere, the birds are singing, and the spiders are becoming active again. In case you don’t know, I am very afraid of spiders. So much so I think I drive Mitch slightly crazy some days. One thing we didn’t consider when frantically trying to find a place to rent last June was that this place is old, the carpet is brown, sealing around doors rotted, the windows ancient, and there are cracks and crevices all … Read more…

Yarn Along: Imaginative Play

One of my favorite things ever is to watch children imagine, create, and play. Many of my own best childhood memories involve imaginative play. Even now, I like to think I have a healthy and active imagination. 😉 Because I love encouraging imaginative play, I have been creating some whimsical crowns. I made this one for Rebekah, and though it turned out a bit tight, it fits great (I am a tight hooker). I decided to make a couple for my friend’s daughters because they are 3 and 5–the perfect ages for imaginative play! But, because I am a tight … Read more…

Hello and Goodbye, All in One Day

This past week we rejoiced with our family and friends who welcomed sweet baby Blake and Eleanor into their arms. Our friends, Andrew and Sonia, gave birth a sweet baby girl Eleanor. I couldn’t resist making her a couple headbands. Here is the first: I am working on crocheting flowers for another headband (possibly interchangeable flowers) and a flower or two to make into barrettes for her older sister, because older sisters should not be forgotten! Be sure and check out other Yarn Along posts here. Last Friday we made the trek down to Springfield for a quick day trip. … Read more…

If Only Life Came with a Pattern . . . Oh Wait, It Does!

In Psalm 142:3 David proclaims, “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” Reading this made me feel both grateful and disappointed. I am thankful that God will breathe strength into our weary hearts and guide us when we are overwhelmed. Still, some days I want a pattern in life to follow that will reveal the finished product. What will the tapestry of my life be? Like the picture on the front of the puzzle box, I want to know how it all fits together. But, oh, how forgetful I can be! God gave us the ultimate pattern to … Read more…

Yarn Along: Finding Beauty and Finishing My Winter Projects

The other day I found myself thinking how all life is poetry if we look close and listen. Even the hard moments. The flecks of color in my cracker, a baby’s cries, dust on the window sill, and the dripping of snow off the house. I am trying to slow down and observe life, especially in the hard moments. There is beauty everywhere, even among pain and tears. Still, it is hard to slow down and see. Though my eyes may be open, my heart is often blind. And some days just don’t get off to a beautiful start. Not because beauty … Read more…

Yarn Along: So Many Babies!

What am I crocheting? I have a couple baby items I am sewing and crocheting for our nephew Blake. He is due this next month. We cannot wait to meet the little fella! I will share all my projects when they are done, but for now I am working on crocheting a sweet little vest. I am making it 9-12 months in hopes that it will fit next fall and winter. So far the pattern is easy and adorable. But I am about to start the arm holes, which tend to be tricky. When I made Rebekah’s fall sweater I … Read more…

The Pattern for Rebekah’s Flower Headband

I never thought I would be the mom that would want to have matching hair bows for my daughter’s outfits. Well, I am. She really doesn’t wear them that often. And she usually pulls them off and makes a toy out of them. But my recent preoccupation with making hair bows probably has less to do with wanting her to wear them, and more to do with how cheap, easy, and fun they are to make. I experimented with fancy ones before she was born. (Note the red and green bows.) But now I find I have one ribbon style I really … Read more…

Yarn Along

Well, I haven’t made much progress since last week on Rebekah’s sweater. I need to pick up the pace! I keep having grand plans of what I am going to finish before Christmas. I think I need a reality check. 😉 However, on the reading front I am making decent progress. The class I attend on Wednesday nights at church just started reading The Lord and His Prayer. I am a little over half way through it, and I feel so challenged to rededicate to my prayer life. In the churches of Christ, we don’t regularly say the Lord’s Prayer, … Read more…

A Fall Sweater and Mr. Ed’s Hat

I have been working on a fall sweater for Rebekah that I hope will keep her cozy as the temperature starts to drop. Though I have to admit I have not had much time to work on it. Fortunately, when we drive to church, I bring it along to get in a couple rows since it is a 20-30 minute drive. These fall colors have been in my yarn stash for awhile because I originally bought them for a blanket that didn’t happen. But I am enjoying putting them to use now. If I get the hang of sweaters, I … Read more…

An Unlikely Color Combination

I made a small gift set for my brother-in-law’s wedding shower using their wedding colors: blue and purple. When they first told us about their wedding color choices, I was a bit concerned. My mind’s eye couldn’t envision it. But they chose them because Alisha loved blue and Jonathan loved purple. However, I liked their selection because, after all, a wedding melds together two unique individuals, who may not seem like at surface level they would go together. And you know what? Their colors worked together beautifully and complimented one another, just like Jon and Alisha! (Congrats guys!) 🙂 Apparently they are … Read more…

Crocheted Washcloths, Lomah Acres Soap, and The Wizard of Oz?

Lomah Acres

What do these three things have in common? Well, to be honest only the first two actually go together–unless, like me, you enjoy reading while taking a bath! Last week I shared about this crocheted spa washcloth pattern. Above is the finished product tied up with Lomah Acres’ goat milk soaps (I also included a Starbucks’ giftcard because what midwife doesn’t need a little coffee?!). These crocheted washcloths were incredibly easy and fun to make! I also made a dishcloth with this pattern that matched these hanging towels I crocheted for part of a wedding present. The important part is to use 100% cotton … Read more…

Let the Nesting Chaos Commence!

Baby Cardigan

My poor crochet projects and reading pile have taken a back seat to my nesting this week. I’ve barely added a couple rows to this baby cardigan! When we hit 36/37 weeks and realized our daughter really could come any time, we started getting serious about some house projects. However, I hope she waits another week at least because we are right in the thick of the chaos! From this angle the nursery looks pretty bad! I still need to make a changing table cover and obviously put away/hang up some decor. This angle’s not as bad, though still lacking … Read more…

One Stitch at a Time

Psalm 139

Our church recently started a crocheting and knitting class. So far, a variety of ages and skill levels have joined us. But regardless of experience or age, they all have one thing in common: they learn one stitch at a time. Which is why when I pick up a new pattern, I have to take it slow, counting each stitch, and keeping my tension uniform. I found this especially important as I worked on my first crocheted baby cardigan. As I learned the new bobble stitch, I discovered that my counting was off. I had to restart the first bobble row several times … Read more…

Can You Tell We Have a Baby on the Way?

Baby Cardigan

Can you tell we have a baby on the way? We are already 32 weeks?! I can barely comprehend it. Well, at least the 2nd trimester flew by. The 1st trimester felt like it would never end. We are filled with anticipation at the thought of meeting our baby girl: seeing her face, holding her, nursing her, and beginning this new stage of life. Yikes, no “glow” in this picture from 30 weeks. I just look tired! I guess it is a good thing I am embracing more naps . . .  Lately, I have felt a tad overwhelmed. There … Read more…

Yarn Along: Crocheted Hats and Diaper Covers for Babies

Christmas projects are done. Hurray! {Insert sigh of relief}. Well, all of them except for Mike’s socks. He may get those in a couple months. I realized today that almost all my posts thus far in Yarn Along have been about my Christmas projects. My apologies. Though I still have one more late birthday present to make for my dear friend Leah in North Carolina, it was time for something new. Plus, I am getting a bit of baby fever. It hit me that next week we will be beginning our third trimester! I am not sure where the first six months … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Multicolored, One-hour Cowl

No, you caught me. It is not cool enough for a jacket. 🙁 That was staged because it was so cute with the cowl. It’s probably 85 degrees out currently . . . still. But by the end of the week we should be in the 70s! Woo-hoo! I wish I would have written down what brand of yarn this was because I loved how soft and workable it was! Once again I followed an easy, one-hour cowl pattern. I really need to start branching out from cowls . . . but almost everyone is getting one for Christmas! I keep … Read more…

Easy One-skein, Two-hour Cowl and a Family Vacation to Boot!

Yes, I am still on my easy cowl kick . . . I decided I would make one for all the females on my husband’s side of the family. I am stealing this idea from my Aunt Sheila who made all of us cowls last Christmas on my mom’s side. This pattern is wonderfully simple! Plus, unlike my last cowl, which was simple and chunky, (see below) this blue one has a more decorative stitch to it. One of my favorite things about the blue cowl was that it only takes a couple hours to make, and it takes less than one skein … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Blue-hued Cowl

You may notice a theme developing with my crochet projects: Easy. Even though I want to advance to more difficult projects, (including learning to knit), but we have traveling and are now hosting family in town. Two of my favorite things! But they do not leave much room for complicated projects. Also, we are still trying to organize a “how to crochet and knit” group at church. Thus, I am trying to find an arsenal of simple crochet projects to teach. So, I am sticking with a cowl, though a different pattern than the last one (I still need a … Read more…

The Joy of Finishing a {Simple} Baby Blanket

I love the feeling of finishing a crochet or sewing project. Sometimes, I allow myself to do a few easy projects, just because I can finish them faster, which gives me momentum and motivation. I just finished a two-sided baby blanket. I sewed it together, blanket-stitched around it, then added a crocheted border. If you look closely, you can see my mistakes in sewing it together; however, I am quite content with how it turned out! After going around the blanket with a single crochet, adding two in one spot every four stitches on the corners (to help it lay … Read more…

Receiving Blanket with a Crocheted Blue Trim

After finishing the cowl, I did not dive right into a new project. Mostly because everything I wanted to start required buying supplies, and it was the end of our September budget. (In other words, no money to buy crafting supplies.) As a result, I went back to my tote of leftover yarn and once-started projects. I realized I had two cute receiving blankets that I could sew together and then crochet on a border. I picked blue for the border, even though it will be for a girl, because it actually matches both sides, and partly because it is … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Cowl and “I am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak

  As I talked about last week, I have been working on easy Christmas presents. I recently finished this chunky cowl, or infinity scarf. When I hear “cowl” I think of Batman. It was SO easy and fun to make! I could not refind my pattern, sorry! But I found something similar, that I think I will like even more. I am going to try and make it soon. It is basically the same idea but bigger so that the infinity scarf can be worn more than one way. Check out the pattern for Pavement Infinity Scarf. As always, check out … Read more…

Simple Crochet Projects for Christmas

  I realized the other day that I am hopelessly behind on Christmas gift making. I decided to look for some quick and easy patterns. I have a couple friends who want to learn to crochet and I thought they too may want to make some easy Christmas presents! I remember learning to crochet by doing simple hats, blankets, and scarves. I love “on project” learning where you master a new skill and have a finished product to show for it. I am hoping my friends will feel the same way. The scarf I am working on has many rows and … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Baby Presents and A Northern Light

I have a lot of pregnant friends. So I decided it was time to try my hand at crocheting baby clothes. I also have a lot of leftover baby yarn from past projects that I need to use up. This project is barely started, but I am excited about trying to make baby clothes. It will hopefully turn into an Angel Wings Pinafore. I also recently finished, wrote a blog review, and attended a library book club over A Northern Light. Great teen historical fiction novel. I would highly recommend it. 🙂   This was my crochet project from last week. I … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesdays

Love to knit or crochet? Need a little extra motivation some days? I know I do! When we lived in York, NE I had friends from college and church that I could get together with to crochet or craft. Whether we talked for hours while we completed our projects or put on a movie, it was a fun and productive time! I have yet to find such a group here, and as a result, my motivation has waned. I love to crochet on my own, but time has been scarce lately. However, these are all just excuses. Recently, I discovered … Read more…