Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cute Creeper Hat

I've never claimed to be the most tech-saavy person, but after struggling all morning to link a PDF of my pattern for an adorable Creeper hat that I made to my Ravelry (my first design!), I almost feel like just eating the yarn. Instead of that unfortunate outcome, I am going to see if I can just put it in here and be done with the computer frustration for a bit so that I can get back to the tea, fire and knitting that is waiting cheerfully for me. I hope, so hope, this works!

Main color (MC) Green
Contrast color (CC) Black

Cast on 90 stitches in MC (I used cable cast on) on smaller needles
Place marker and join in the round (I used the magic loop method because of ease during decreases for the stocking)
Work K2P2 rib for 4 rows, or until the rib border is 1" from cast on
Change to larger needles for the remainder of the hat
Knit for 2 rows
On the second row place markers after stitch 34 and after stitch 56. The creeper face is worked opposite the join between the markers (22 stitches should be between the markers opposite the join)
Work the creeper face pattern in "round" intarsia (I had to look up how to do this, and am still working on getting consistent results with the "seam" area at the join when switching directions in the round. I recommend looking this up if you haven't done it before )
The face pattern is worked in 24 rows, MC is the background CC is the face. Work the pattern next (written here in text until I can upload a PDF)

NOTE: All the work for this pattern occurs in the 22 stitches between the markers, all other stitches are knit in MC 
Rows 1-4: K5green, K3black, K6green, K3black, K5green
Rows 5-11: K5green, K12black, K5green
Rows 12-15: K8green, K6black, K8green
Rows 16-17: K22green
Rows 18-24: K2green, K6black, K6green, K6black, K2 green

Knit 2 rounds in MC (do this before decrease so the eyes aren't distorted by the shape change)

Decrease for striped stocking cap as follows
MC *K2tog, K10* repeat **until 4 remain, knit those remaining 4 (82 remaining in total)
knit 12 rows MC
Change yarn to CC (jogless join each time there is a color change)
CC *K2tog, K10* repeat **until 8 remain, knit remaining 8 (75 remaining in total)
knit 12 rows CC
Change to MC 
MC *K2 tog, K8* repeat ** until 1 remains, knit (67 remaining)
knit 10 rows MC
Change to CC

CC *K2tog, K8* repeat **until 5 remain, knit (60 remaining)

knit 10 rows CC
Change yarn to MC 

MC *K2tog, K6* repeat **until  2 remain, knit (52 remaining)

knit 8 rows MC
Change yarn to CC 

CC *K2tog, K6* repeat **until 2 remain, knit (45 remaining)

knit 8 rows CC
Change yarn to MC 

MC *K2tog, K4* repeat **until 1 remains,  knit ( 37 remaining)

knit 8 rows MC
Change yarn to CC

CC *K2tog, K4* repeat **until  1 remains,  knit ( 25 remaining)

knit 8 rows CC
Change yarn to MC

MC *K2tog, K2* repeat **until 1 remain, knit (19 remaining)

knit 6 rows MC
Next row K2tog all stitches, until 1 remains, knit
Final row, K2tog all stitches, cut yarn, thread through remaining stitches and close tightly
Make a large PomPom in either color (or both), and attach to the end of the cap
Weave in ends

I'm working on a PDF attachment of the pattern for the face, but since PDFs are giving me such trouble right now, I thought I'd write a text version in the meantime. 

I will update Ravelry as soon as I wrestle my computer beast into shape. If you don't hear from me, I am probably covered in wires and computer parts, eating yarn. I hope you enjoy this one, I loved the results, and a hat that my 5 year old is THRILLED to wear. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you notice any mistakes... Thanks!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A New Direction

A note about Braeden, for his birthday. He turns 4 this week, and is a once in a lifetime kind of kid. I don't know where to start except to say that he is exquisitely smart, shy and anxious. It is hard for me to describe what it is like to raise him... He's the kid that won't answer when spoken to, won't join the game, doesn't want to eat the cookie that was offered and doesn't smile at silliness. He is misunderstood, even by those close to him. Doctors, dentists and photographers freak him out. His preschool teacher asked me if he might be autistic (he's not) and said he was a slow processer (definitely not). He is afraid of stepping on slugs in the rain, trash on the sidewalk and poop on the grass. He is easily tuckered out. He watches Nova, and Bill Nye the science guy. Clowns are his nemesis. He is an extremely picky eater, and would survive on only milk, yogurt and cheese if I would allow it. He likes knock-knock jokes and is crazy about dinosaurs and fossils. He's been planning his birthday party for 3 months and wants a dead-meat cake and a T-Rex cake.
We have been working with a counselor for a few months because he is so anxious. She is lovely and assures us that he is a wonderfully wired, carefully created mystery who will become an amazing grown up. She says it's like Einstein... beautiful and strange and misunderstood. So we work on creating a safe world and on teaching those around him how to see him for who he is, and be patient with space, time and expectations so that he can be himself comfortably. We let him build nests (literally!) all over the house, cuddle in and soothe himself with his blankets and safe corners of the world.
He is especially good at finding and exploiting grey areas of the rules. He is an excellent negotiater, and can often craft an argument that will get him out of trouble. His memory always surprises me, but hasn't yet taught me to be careful of what I say to him!
Right now, he is full of separation anxiety. His world doesn't seem safe and he wants mommy to help him out. He wants to be cared for and carried. He creeps into my bed at 5 in the morning because all night in bed has given him too much space and aloneness. His tummy keeps him up all night before a school day, and sometimes makes it hard for him to eat.
Between the fears and the pain is my sweet and smart little boy, just being himself. David sees his shyness, and right away recognizes the pain of a shy childhood. I am still trying to remember that he is just small and shy and smart enough to know that so many things are out of his control.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's been awhile

Well, it certainly has been awhile since I posted. I doubt anyone bothers to even check in on the blog anymore! Sometimes it seems like everyone else has their muffins in the oven before I even get out the recipe.
Life here is busy like a blizzard. There is the press of constant change, and things to get done, but a feeling of being under a blanket and not being able to get anywhere quickly. And the work that just was finished is promptly being undone and, like the shoveling, must start again soon.
Isaac is 15 months now, running everywhere, and not in the least bit interested in holding my hand. He will hold on if he must, but for the minimum amount of time possible. Braeden was, and continues to be, an enthusiastic hand-holder, and sometimes won't move forward without his hand in mine. I have one wildly enthusiastic explorer headed for the road, and one thoughtfully cautious planner, standing still gripping my hand. It gets a bit tricky at times.
The kids are day and night in so many ways. Isaac is allergic to tons of things, most notably wheat and eggs (with a dairy intolerance). He LOVES food. He inherits my serious passion for eating. Only, there are so many things that he is not allowed to have that he howls in protest when he is not given a bite of something. He just knows he is missing out. Braeden has nary an allergy. His body easily tolerates anything that he deems worthy of crossing his lips. It just so happens that very few things make the cut. He is so particular that we were fine with him playing with Trival Pursuit pieces at 8 months old, because there was NO WAY that those puppies were going in his mouth.
Issac moves quickly and impulsively these days. He is passionate about dirt. For a long time it was part of his food passion, as he would eat any that he could get his hands on. Now he likes to sit, dig, roll in, lay on and, yes (still!) eat the stuff. He dives right in. Right now, Braeden looks at the dirt. He asks me where dirt came from, and why plants always grow in the dirt. He wonders why dirt sticks to the bottom of your shoes and if it has germs in it. He asks what it used to be before it was dirt. He is curious about it, but he is not interested in digging around in it... And so it has been with these two.
I love being a mother to these two. It is so interesting to have given birth to such amazingly different souls. I want to be more like each of them, and their contrast makes each of them shine. Today, right now, I feel so lucky!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good morning photos

I have been sending David pictures of the boys each day that he's been gone. They are fresh from sleep and snuggly then. Here they are.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome back, grumpy pants

Well, my best friend pointed out to me yesterday that I haven't added to my blog since June. Of course, there was a 2 week vacation to Arizona in July (actually, quite lovely) and then the business of returning home. I felt like I was too busy to write, too tired, etc...etc...
But, today I realized that I have been grumpy, not myself, burdened, edgy and stir crazy. I think I was afraid to see my voice in print. As a wise woman once said (Mary Pipher) "if your message is 'life is sh*t, spare the reader".
So, here I've been for a few weeks, edgy and anxious. The kids are hard, the house is a mess and on and on. Then, a blessing came (but disguised as a burden, ha!). My husband, wonderful soul mate, got called away to Wisconsin on a business trip. Gone from 5 am Monday morning until late Friday evening. Ack! A week with the kids with no lunchtime visits, tag-team dinner and bath, help with Braeden while I put Isaac to bed.
What will I do if I am just simply out of energy? How will I survive when I am pulled to the edge?
This sense of needing to have my energy up to take care of the family, the urge to have a sense of sanity and peace, the desperate need to be able to cope with the demands by myself has given me an incredible gift.
I have given myself permission (gasp!) to slow down with the chores, the enrichment, the constant feeling of being 'on the job', and to replace these things with the self-care that will allow me to cope by myself. Today, for the first time in... how long?... I felt at peace. When I came back to taking care of my kids my parenting came from the right place in my heart.
So, I know I'll forget, but here it is in print! We MUST take care of ourselves in order to be the best parent for our kids. Yes, yes... so many things must be done and they are all important, but becoming a rusty, bent nail doesn't exactly help build the house.
So, there it is. I am missing the company of my husband, and his sweetness, but here I am taking care of my two kids all alone for the week, and I am happier in my skin than I have been in awhile. Happy enough to blog again. Thanks Kim!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Uh, oh! It's the COPS!

Yesterday we went to the library to check out some books for the week. For some reason, I thought it would be a quick trip in and out (have I not learned anything in the last 3 years?). I popped a quarter into the parking meter and away we went. We had to push the automatic door opening button. Then we had to take the elevator. Then the stairs up to go to the bookdrop that is outside (that one is more fun, duh!). Finally... movie choice for the week, and then books. (Books are a random impulse choice of whatever is nearest. Anything I like is rejected out of hand, slipped surreptitiously into the book bag and then loved as the favorite once home). We stopped at the fountain outside and splashed in the water, passed the patch of strawberries and had to count all the tiny berries we could find. Up the outside stairs where a long discussion ensured about whether or not a bird would poop on our head (nearly happened last week). Ah, top of the stairs, almost there... but wait! A friendly police officer asks if Braeden wants a sticker. He's shy. He doesn't answer. We wait... finally, YES! He wants a sticker. The officer and I chat about our kids (he has 2 boys also, and don't little boys just LOVE their mommies...) Finally, I drag Braeden past the crane... and find a parking cop. Giving my car a ticket! ACK!
Thankfully, seeing that I am the beleaguered mom who was chatting with her partner, she gives me a break. Smiles and asks me to have a good day. Braeden said maybe he could be a police officer. Cool.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A nursing career for me...?

One fun thing about being married to me (I'm sure David would say) is that I change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. Weekly. Or, more often. This week, what about a nurse? I'm sort of serious, but anyone who knows me would think I was crazy. I am great in emergencies but I swoon at the sight of an infection. Isaac's circumcision was enough to make my knees weak, but I love helping people and am un-phased with almost anything that comes out of a human body. I have fainted in hospitals before, and almost always get light-headed when I'm there. I tend to feel slightly nervous that there are so many sick people there. But, I think I'm nervous because I'm powerless to help.... so, what about nursing? I don't think it's quite a fit, but it is getting close to the thing that I am looking for. Barbara Kingsolver said that happy people have found a way to use themselves like a good tool. I'm now just looking for where I belong in the tool shed.