My Little Dragon

In keeping with the horned-hat theme (see my unicorn hat here), and because my daughter loves dinosaur-type creatures, I made her a dragon hat!  For two days she wouldn't take it off, inside or out, and I had the pleasure of watching a tiny dragon roar around my house.  Nothing better than watching my baby wear and be excited about something I made for her!  Plus, it's a lot easier to laugh at the mishaps of toddler life when said destructive toddler is dressed like a dragon.  Toddler empties the contents of the silverware drawer while you're trying to cook dinner? Frustrating.  Dragon empties the silverware drawer? Well that's what any dragon would do, don't you think?  Maybe I've been inhaling too much acrylic yarn fumes...

A few pattern notes: I freehanded the pattern and used Lion Brand Homespun, Red Heart Super Saver, and Lion Brand Hometown USA.  The tassels will need to be redone because they've frayed too much (darn LB Homespun and it's fuzziness) and I'm thinking of adding some ribbons into them because, ribbons.

I've got another hat hot off the hook for Mr Pickle that I can't wait to show you all...tomorrow!

Happy Crafting.

Swing Thing for Little Miss Thing

Hot off the needles is a new sweater for my little girl.  There's a chill in the air that is best kept at bay by handknits, especially mama-made handknits.  The main color is a beautiful mystery yarn dyed by my talented mother-in-law and the contrasting purple is Shine worsted by Knit Picks in the color Crocus (I think).  Pattern is Swing Thing with a few modifications. I cut out the first section of garter so the neck would be more open and probably did a few more things that I forgot to write down.  I'm terrible at record-keeping when it comes to knitting!

I love how it gives the Peppa-Pig-pajamas-inspired-outfit a little bit of a boost in the fashion department.  Have I mentioned that my toddler is dressing herself? And that she will only wear two tops, both of them Peppa Pig tops?  We're all about freedom of expression and whacky outfits in this house, but I'm not doing pink laundry every two days so she can wear Peppa nonstop.  Luckily this sweater was a hit and she hasn't seemed to notice that Peppa is not on the front.  Whew.

In other news, my husband and I celebrated our fourth anniversary yesterday. And by celebrated, I mean we saw each other for about an hour before bed. But that was enough and it was lovely. Today we're hoping to go do something fun and silly like bowling if the toddler allows.  I'll leave you with my little love note to him because we're sappy like that.

To K: A year ago, on our last anniversary, I bought this yarn for socks. I also bought a skein for myself. As you can see, only one sock is finished. It's orange (because you're fun, fashionable, brave, and appreciate a good yarn sale), they've been pulled off the needles many times by our toddler (because she is), and it's knit with so much love and so many memories. I took this knitting with me when you had surgery and on so many car trips around Europe. It has certainly been the year of wool for me. In another time of our lives all four of the socks would be finished like they should have been today (or yesterday, but who's counting?). But this is the time that we are in and all the things that have kept me from finishing the socks are all the things I've loved and experienced with you and our growing (crazy) family all year. Here's to four years of weirdness and passion and to many more. I love you.

Happy Crafting!

Sewing Love

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I've been on a refashion roller coaster this week as I've been prepping our wardrobes for fall; Long sleeves, leggings, and chai lattes are coming, people! Something that makes me deeply happy is wearing partially or wholly homemade clothes. I feel like when I reuse or refashion pieces of old clothes I'm lowering my carbon footprint, diminishing my spending, and exercising my creative mind.  At the thrift store I collect clothes with designs, colors, and materials that appeal to me or are in fashion, then bring them home to cut up and re-purpose in a way that looks good and works for me.  I also have a strange addiction to collecting sewing notions like lace, ribbon, and buttons for fancying up old or cheap pieces in my wardrobe.  Matching the parts together and finding ways to reuse old materials is fascinating and such good fun.

This week I raided our giveaway pile of clothes looking for an old button up shirt which I turned into an adaptation of this Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress from the Purl Bee.  The yarn was remnants from a bonnet for my daughter and is a soft cotton.  Then I took some scissors to an old, stained, lace pajama dress and used the hem to lengthen a new sweatshirt/sweater so that it would cover my (growing) bump without being utterly scandalous.  I love how a bit of lace can make anything look a bit more fabulous, don't you?  After that it was onto one of my husband's old T-shirts.  I turned a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt into a dress for my little miss.  It fits her with room to grow and it gave me a wonderful, low-risk opportunity to practice sewing knits (tricky, tricky).  If you'd like to make one for a little person in your life, you can find the tutorial here on Instructables.  Really, who doesn't have an old t-shirt laying around that could use a new life?

Between all these lovely sewing projects, I had a few dates with my crochet hook and some Caron Simply Soft.  I can't tell you just yet what those flower squares will become, but I think they'll make something whimsical and lovely for fall. I always seem to need a few flowers in my life when the clouds come to stay and the cold creeps in each winter.

What are some of your favorite ways to refashion old clothes?  Do you cut up your old tshirts for household rags or weave them into rugs?  I'd love to hear your suggestions and stories so please drop me a line.  If you leave me a link to your own refashion blog post I'll certainly pop over and have a look!

Happy crafting.

Easter Outfits

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCHello my friends and flowers! Easter weekend in Germany is nice and long. With stores closed for Good Friday you can't help but start a nice relaxing weekend early.  And a relaxing weekend (if there is such a thing when you live and care for a toddler) is just what I needed after the veritable crafting fit I'd had the week prior.  I don't know what possessed me to think this, but a week before Easter I decided that Little Pickle and I needed matching skirts for an Easter egg hunt.  And matching skirts turned into matching outfits complete with shawls.  And then Papa needed a matching bow tie...and as you can see, I spent a lot of time at my sewing machine this week. Thanks to a very patient Papa who kept Little Pickle at bay while I sewed the fiddly bits and a very curious little one who is still happy to sit in my lap while I sew the easy parts, I was able to get them all finished. Alas, the Easter egg hunt was not to be.  The weather was cold and wet and a soggy, teething toddler did not sound appealing to any of us so we stayed home and baked!  The Osterbrot turned out marvelously.  It was my first time using a German recipe and I was very pleased with how infrequently I needed to open my dictionary to get through it. (You can find the recipe I used here.)  I wanted to buy an Osterbrot from our local bakery so that I had something to aim for, but apparently it's more of a Bavarian treat and we live farther north.  No matter, it's delicious either way.

I hope you all celebrated this weekend in whichever fashion you like and for whichever reason suits you best.  Spring is truly upon us now.