Afros and Hats

For about 20+ years I chemically straightened my hair. However, when I move to San Francisco, the cost and the fog made me think twice about keeping up this habit. So about 2 years ago I embarked on the journey of transitioning from chemically treated hair to natural hair. I have to say I am really happy I made that decision. I love having the option of big curly wild hair or straight hair. I will admit I am not a “hair person.” I love my hair to be as low maintenance as possible while still looking cute (is this a contradiction?) Therefore, I generally wear some form of Afro.

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However, wearing my curly hair presents a problem when it comes to hats. The hats often end up squishing my hair down, and I get a serious case of “hat head.” Initially, I was quite saddened by this, as I really enjoy a great knit hat. I switched over to making more headbands and wraps, but I longed for a good hat. Especially on bad hair days.

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After a little research I discovered that Tams/Berets were what I needed more of in my life. They have all the appeal of a hat, but they are slouchy enough to accommodate my curls. Tams/ Berets tend not to cover your whole head, which alleviates total hair compression. I have made one Tam so far:

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Nine Dwindling Cables Tam  

This winter I am going to try and expand my hat selection. I am thinking one of these is next:

Veranda Tam by Kirsten Hipsky

Cafe au Lait Tam by Kathryn C

Selbu Modern By Kate Gagnon Osborn

Anyone else have a large hair + hat problem? What’s your favorite hat design/style to make?

California “Snow Day”

No it isn’t really snowing in San Francisco. However, due to “hurricane- like winds” and potential flooding, school was cancelled for tomorrow. Woot woot! A whole day to watch Netflix and knit… Wait do I have enough yarn for a project!?!

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Deep breath! I forgot that I bought a skein of Lion’s Brand Heartland in King’s Canyon on Saturday. Thank goodness for thinking ahead! A whole day and no project would equal extreme knitting depression.

I am making my last Christmas gift of the season using the free pattern Graham by Jennifer Adams. I really like that this pattern is unisex. Depending on how it turns out I might make another for me 😊. Here’s to keeping my fingers busy!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Yesterday morning I was stuck in a rut. I had no idea what to do with my students. I had no time to prep crafting materials for multiple children so I scoured Pinterest for a winter activity. I came across this cute idea of a pipe cleaner Christmas Tree. An activity that is easy to talk during and works on motor skills? Perfect! The tree featured on the Pink and Green Mama blog is a store bought kit so I got to thinking how I could make it from materials I already had. I rummaged through my craft box at work and lucky for me I had all the necessary materials.

Whit’s Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree

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Ages: Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Materials: Green pipe cleaners, wooden dowel, wooden block, hot glue gun, craft beads, scissors
1) Apply hot glue to one end of the dowel. Place it in the center of the block and let dry.
2) Wrap the pipe cleaners around the dowel so that the two ends stick out. Scissors may be used to cut pipe cleaners in half to vary the length of the “branches.”
3) Hot glue a “star” on top of the tree.
4) Give the child some beads and have he/ she string the beads on the pipe cleaners to “trim the tree.”

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Result: The kids loved it! They were actually fighting for the next turn. This tree is easy to make and fun to play!
Warning: Monitor small children when using beads!

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Enter the world of Charles Dickens and revel in a Victorian London where it’s always Christmas Eve…

Who would say no to that description!? Well this past Sunday I went to Dickens Fair and it was AMAZING! The costumes were colorful, the brandy apple cider was tasty, and I got to eat a delicious meat pie. We didn’t dress up in period garb, but walking through the fair made me wish I did. The props and actors really made you feel as if you were in old London. One of my favorite parts of the fair were all of the performances. There were dances, plays, and singing sailors. Everywhere I turned there was something fun and exciting to see. IMG_4704.JPGIMG_4706.JPG

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What things do you like to do to get ready for the Holidays?

Busier that a Beaver

Between traveling for Thanksgiving, report cards, parent/ teacher conferences, and household duties I have been busy, busy, busy. I swear the time between my birthday and New Year’s feels like a whirlwind. Thankfully, I have made time to complete some knitting projects. It is the only thing that is keeping me sane. As of right now there are 4 projects currently being blocked. Thank goodness my boyfriend accepts my excessive knitting because the living room is beginning to be overtaken my my crafting.

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First, I finished my #nakniswemo2014 project. Well I should say almost finished. I am still scouting out for the perfect buttons. I would have been finished earlier except I had some issues.

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The first issue was that I did not think ahead when I decided to lengthen the sweater.  So when I tried it on before working the sleeves I felt like such a dummy. The lower section did not fit across my middle…I forgot to add stitches to account for the larger part of my torso! I ended  up frogging about 3″ back :(. My second issue was that I wanted to make the button bands thicker, however, instead of doing it correctly (measuring and accounting for additional rows) I was lazy and eyeballed it. Guess what happened to the button band? If you said “She had to frog it,” you are the lucky winner!!! All in all I now have a sweater that fits the way I want it to. Morale of the story: Think out the pattern thoroughly before you jump into it.

I finished my Prismatic Scarf awhile ago. However, I am just now getting around to blocking it. I decided to use a neutral color rather than a variegated yarn as I made this for someone in a secret craft swap for Makers for Makers (see group on Ravelry).  I also crocheted a single chain around the edge to jazz it up a bit. The yarn is Rowan’s SoftKnit Cotton that I used for my Flax sweater. I really liked this pattern and will probably make another using variegated yarn for myself. I knitted the piece to a short cowl length and then sewed the seam.  I am sure you can make it in the round as well, but I was feeling like knitting in short rows at the time.

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Sorry for the short and hurried post. I have more work to do and projects to make! I promise I will post more projects soon! Happy Knitting!