the coolest hat ever and sort of tutorial

Last September I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF) in Canby.  I try to go every year because it is so inspiring.  All the fiber, the colors, the textures, the animals, I love it.  It is a great way to get inspired for the knitting season.

This year, I bought some fleece for Lucas and another one for Siena.  Lucas started to spin the one I got him a couple of months ago.  I thought he could spin it, and I’d make him a hat.  DSC_0136 copy

He liked the colors, and he was excited at the idea.  Once he started spinning, he realized it was going to take longer than he thought, but he kept at it.  Sometimes he’d get frustrated it wasn’t spinning as smoothly, but we’d work it out, and I’d help him get started back up again.  He did great.

I thought if he can spin it, I’d knit it together with another strand of my handspun that I have, that way he wouldn’t have to spin all of it, before I can get it started.  I found some brown yarn I hadn’t plied yet.  It was very thin (it was from when I was doing lots of practicing!) and I am not using it for anything, so it was perfect to use for this project.

I think it gave it a little more strength in the parts it needed a little more help.  It give it a little darker tone too, which Lucas liked, because he wants to wear his hat when he goes to Trackers, when they go learn survival and stealth skills up in Mt. Hood.

Lucas spun as much as we thought we needed.  He used the ball winder I have and wound his yarn with my old brown handspun.  It would make my knitting in the drive up and at the side of the pool, much easier if they were already together.

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It turned out a perfect combination of colors.  Lucas was happy, which is the most important part.

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He wanted a regular hat.  I came up with this.


And it was exactly what he wanted.


I casted on some stitches and started knitting in the round.  After few rounds, I realized it was too big.  I started over with less stitches.  For this combination of handspun yarns, I casted on 88 stitches and knitted in the round with double pointed needles, size 8 (US).  Did a rib of 2 knits and 2 purls for about 1.5 inches.


Then I changed to knitting all the way around.  He’d try it on, to see how much further to knit.  I had to undo it a couple of times, but ended up being about 6 inches of knitting around.  Then decreasing to finish it off.  After some math we came up with this:

Knit 11 stitches, knit 2 together, all the way around.  It repeats 6 times.  That makes up for all 88 stitches I started with.  On the next round, I knitted 10 stitches, and knitted 2 together, all the way around.  Next round, knitted 9 and knitted 2 together.  I decreased that way until I had about 8 stitches left (or something like that, I don’t remember now, it was during Siena’s swim meet.) At the end, I cut off the yarn leaving about 5 inches.  I then threaded the yarns through a yarn needle and passed it through the stitches on the knitting needles, closing it and weaving the yarns through.

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We think it turned out pretty cute, and for what I’ve been told (by this cute kid) it is the coolest hat ever!


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Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, was last weekend.

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As I walked around the tables filled with beautiful and wonderful things, my heart opened when most often I was greeted with Please touch! signs throughout the space. Oh well, yes, thank you! I do need to see with my hands. DSC_0034 copy

I loked a little bit before the vendors opened, because I was heading to my first class.

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My morning class was Goat’s Milk Soap Making.  I’ve always wanted to make soap with goat milk, and this was the right time.

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I didn’t get a lot of pictures during the class, because I was paying attention.  But at the end got some opt these photos so I can remember and remind me that I’d like to try it at home now.

I made soap when we first moved to the US, 20 years ago.  I don’t remember the recipe I used, and I really hope I used containers we didn’t use in cooking later.  Not sure I knew exactly what I was doing, and for what I remember, we never ended up using the soap.  I wonder what happened to it.  I think this time, I know a little more, and would love to give it a try again.  I’ll let you know when I do.

DSC_0070 copy DSC_0071 copy DSC_0072 copyThere was lunch and enough time to look around a little more.

DSC_0035 copy DSC_0036 copy DSC_0037 copyOh baskets.  I have a weak spot for them.  I could have brought them all home with me.

DSC_0040 copyThen I took the Natural Dye class.

DSC_0043 copyPainting and stamping silk scarves.  

DSC_0045 copy DSC_0046 copy DSC_0048 copySo many colors.  So much fun.

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DSC_0060 copy DSC_0053 copy DSC_0059 copyThey all turned out so colorful and so beautiful.  I love how they looked outside hanging to dry.

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And then we did an already dyed scarf, using stamps.  I decided to use wood stamps, that reminded me of India.

DSC_0064 copy DSC_0063 copy DSC_0068 copy DSC_0069 copyLots of fun.  I’m glad I decided to take a class (two) at the festival.  I’ve been there before, few times actually, but never taken a class.  I think I’d like to do it again next year.

DSC_0073 copyAnd one more round to see the stores, the vendors, the colors, the animals, the people, the baskets, the knitting, the spinning, the kids, the fibers, the sheep, the wool, the cheese, so, so very much.

DSC_0075 copy DSC_0077 copy DSC_0083 copy DSC_0084 copy DSC_0080 copy DSC_0085 copy DSC_0087 copySome tired kids at the end of the day.

DSC_0089 copy DSC_0092 copy DSC_0081 copy DSC_0090 copy DSC_0093 copy DSC_0094 copyThe sun came out at the end of the day.  Not hot, just warm enough to be comfortable. Everyone was outside enjoying what they do.  What a treat it was.  Now with few things I brought home, I can enjoy my scarves, the soap, the yarn and some fleece to spin.  I’m ready for the autumn months to come.

Last week…

Oh last week was a full week.  A full week, different than it was in the middle of the summer.  This was different.  Last week:

… Lucas lost another tooth.


… I found this chicken sweater and loved it.  Wish we had chickens.

… we are excited a good friend of ours is starting to homeschool.  Love it!

… we picked sunflowers and other flowers in a farm and have enjoyed them at home and shared them with friends.  Love, love sunflowers!

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… we had fun swimming and hanging out by the river.


… we missed Mark while he started work again and we are still winding down our summer.

… Mark made 12 meals and wrapped and froze them.  So now we can just pop them in the crock pot or the oven whenever we want to.  They are marinating, and ready.  Such a great idea for this time when our days are getting busier with everyone’s activities.  I’m so glad he did it.  Thank you, thank you, oh my!

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… we picked from our garden:

  • 10 lbs of tomatoes
  • 2 cups of basil
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 8 cucumbers
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 1 bell pepper

… we canned:

  • 15 quarts of tomato sauce.


… we’ve been enjoying the fermented pickles and dilly beans.  So good!  but I need fridge space now… now, that’s becoming the problem.

… I went thrifting with friends, and Siena came along for part of it, and found great treasure I’m super excited about.

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this one is especially fun, since Siena has been wanting to make baskets, and I’ve always wanted to do it too!  Maybe we’ll learn better this year.


… and I’m especially excited about this great find.



Yes!  A new (to us) spinning wheel for just $25.  I couldn’t believe it, and couldn’t pass it.  And I’m so excited it fit in the car together with all of our camping bags and boxes we had that weekend.  (Thank you Mark for doing your magic in packing the car!)  This will be perfect for us to have another spinning wheel to teach Siena and Lucas in.  I’m excited! Can you tell?

… I loved the freedom of homeschooling and hearing my kids still laugh and play outside.

… I made two apple crisps with the last of our apples.  One for us, and one for our friends who have a beautiful new addition to their family.  We are all very excited for them, after many, many years of waiting and planning.

… I received a new cookbook to try.  Will share more when I decide and try something from it.

… we went to the “Not Back to School” (homeschool day) at our amusement park.  The kids had lots of fun.

… I got a flat tired in my bike (though not too far from home) and after weeks thinking we should all learn how to change a tire because you never know.  Yup!  You never know when you are going to need it.  I just walked home.

… we got a taste of autumn, when the rain came in buckets during one night.  Now, we are back to summer-like weather.  But you can feel autumn is just around the corner.  You can just feel it.

… we bought a coconut and had it as we did in India.


It amazes me how many memories we have from our months in India, and how very often it comes up in our days here back home, even after 2 years later.

Hope your week was beautiful and full with what you like, and this coming one, a great one getting started.


:: this moment ::

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule



If you’d like to leave a comment and a link to your moment, we would love to see it. Have a beautiful day.  Thank you for coming to see us!


As I look through other blogs (from the northern hemisphere) I’ve realized how much I’m missing fall.  I do love this (that) time of the year, at home.  For me it’s a time where you finish things and get ready for something new.  The cooler weather that brings us more inside.

Finishing the summer garden and preserving all we can from it and what we can find in our local farms and farmer’s markets. Time to finish canning those apples from our back yard. The last jams and jellies and whatever else I’d try this year.  Getting ready for a new season that brings our bodies inside our homes a little more.  The start of new classes and routines.  Autumn for me, since having kids, seems even more ‘the beginning of something new’.   Maybe it’s just the beginning of new schedules for all of us.  But it’s also a time where we usually start making and doing new things.

Though we are enjoying new fruits and foods here in India, I miss ‘the making’ of things.  There’s something really satisfying about picking your own fruit or vegetables (even better if it’s from your own garden!) and then making something to eat when is cold outside later in the year.

Having those jars filled with great flavors, made at home, is something we’ve done since we got married and we were just learning to have our own home, almost 18 years ago.

Making and preserving your own food.  I don’t think it gets any better than that.

So while I’m trying to adjust to the hotter days, and not really having a home to fill up with goodies for the winter, I’m still missing ‘making’.

So when I learned a couple of weeks ago that our new friend here in the school had a birthday coming up, made me get going in the winding of a new ball of yarn.

Even in hot days, I pick a spot in the living room that I can knit.  Under the fan usually, with it turning at max, so it feels cooler and it feels OK to have wool strapped around my fingers.

This is what I made.

Fingerless gloves or wrist warmers.

It’s this pattern from Knitty by Cheryl Niamath. I really like it.  I’ve done lots of these pairs for other friends and for myself.  And I really enjoy how they come out each time.

This time I’m using thinner yarn, fingering weight in 100% superwash.   It’s the only other yarn I brought with me to India.  It’s MadelineTosh Merino Light Silver Fox and I’m really enjoying knitting with it.  I’m changing the pattern some to make it work for thinner yarn, but so far so good I think.

Even in the 90 degree days we are having now (still), when knitting wrist warmers is not on top of my mind, it’s still fun and makes me feel a little more productive when many things around me are not under my control.  And most of all I love having yarn in my lap. Oh, I do miss autumn.

For cooler weather they will be great I’m sure.

And because our friend is a special friend, Lucas also wanted to make her gift.

This is a hand made book.  With Lucas’s hand made paper he did at Paperwork Class few weeks ago.  We added some blank pages inside and Lucas helped me sew the spine with a Japanese binding.

He made a drawing in the first page with all of us in it and The Fort.

Lucas was so excited to give it to Ros that I don’t think we were all inside the house before he handed her his present.

He was so proud of his present and it turned out so pretty!

Siena was also making.   I had seen the idea in The Magic Onions a while back.  I had it saved and knew it would be a great present for someone one day.  And here we are.  A rice pillow with wishes of good dreams and a relaxing moment while we are each far from our own homes.   A little bit from India (rice) and a little bit from Portland (Echinacea herbal tea) to our new friend from England.

And of course, a card.


Ros, thank you for a beautiful excuse to make things!

Happy Birthday Ros!

And I hope you wished we could see you in Portland sometime soon.

Happy Making to you all!