Boardwalk Infinity Scarf (minus the infinity part)

Nov 21, 2016

Pattern: Boardwalk Infinity Scarf, by Danyel Pink
Hook: US I / 5.5 mm
Yarn: Caron Cakes in Gelato

Just before we moved, I finished up a test run on the Boardwalk Infinity Scarf. I'd picked up a Caron Cake, and wanted to try it out on something that had an easy-to-memorize pattern, something I could potentially make on repeat for gifting this holiday season.

I altered this pattern in just one way - I didn't make it into an infinity scarf. Instead, I added fringe on the ends, making it a regular scarf that can be wrapped around your neck at least two times (like I did in the picture).

The yarn cake has 383 yards, and I didn't use all of it. In the end, I had enough yarn left for three baby hats.

After I first finished the scarf, I thought that if/when I made it again I'd make it thicker, maybe actually make it an infinity scarf even. I wasn't sure I liked the long stripes of color this skinny scarf pattern gave me.

Now, however? I love it exactly as it is. I plan to cut the fringe for the first side before I begin crocheting so the fringe matches, and then I'll just go and go and go until the scarf is around 7 feet long. Then I'll cut fringe for the other side, attach it all, and call it good!

I've got three more of these Caron Cakes, and if all goes well I may just pick up a few more even - this is the perfect scarf to give to literally every female on my list! The yarn is 20% wool, so even this skinny it's super warm, and the length is perfection!

Bath Towels And Bus Passes For Homeless Vets

Nov 9, 2016

With winter coming, there is about to be an influx of homeless folks hitting shelters for help. Whatever your thoughts about homelessness in general, I hope that we can all agree that the problem of military vets being homeless in America is a tragedy.

In my conversations with the folks at the Omaha VA Homeless Outreach Center, one thing they say they always need is bath towels and bus passes. So let's shower them with both.

Why Bath Towels?

As homeless vets come to the Homeless Outreach Center, one of their most frequent requests is for a shower. They want to wash the grime off, just like the rest of us. But the HOC is always short on towels, and are constantly having to ask people to wait for towels to make their way out of the washer and dryer before they can shower.

Why Bus Passes?

One of the other most pressing needs at the HOC is bus passes. As homeless folks try to navigate their city - to find employment, places to live, food to eat, etc - they may not have reliable transportation. They will need to rely on the bus system to get them where they need to go, but may not always have the money to pay for a bus ticket.

*  *  * 

These things are inexpensive. These may be things you already have lying about the house. These are things that can make a huge difference in the life of someone who is struggling.

If you live in Omaha, I will be collecting bath towels and bus tickets until Thanksgiving. You can bring them to me at school or at home!!

If you don't live in Omaha, look up your local VA Hospital's Homeless Outreach Center. There is one in almost every major city. They will for sure need these things. Drop them off, make a tangible difference in your city.

Off The Needles: The Léogâne

Nov 7, 2016

Pattern: The Léogâne, by Debrosse NYC
Yarn: Loops And Threads Cozy Wool (pewter, 2 skeins super bulky)
Hook: P / 11.5mm

I finished this infinity scarf before we moved, and have been meaning to take pictures for about two weeks now. Turns out, it can be hard to find time to take pictures when you're packing, moving, and then unpacking! ;)

Now that we're a little bit settled in (although a long way from done unpacking ...) I found some time over the weekend to get this scarf out and snap a few pictures. Louise wasn't as into getting her photo taken as I was, but we powered through. For posterity. And fun.

The Léogâne is the perfect "learn to crochet" infinity scarf - it's fun and fast, uses two skeins of super bulky, and can be gifted a million times over.

Next time I make it (for holiday presents) I think I'll chain about 8 fewer before joining in the round, however. I love the pattern and the way it looks, but it felt a bit long around my neck once I wrapped it twice. Since the scarf will stretch with time, I know that if I make it smaller it won't make it unwearable for others, and it will be a piece I love even more.

Seriously - with just a few weekends left before the holidays, I'm about to kick things into high gear, and this one is about to be gifted on REPEAT.

If you're not a crocheter, you can buy the finished piece from DeBrosse in her shop!

Saying Goodbye To 3030

Oct 28, 2016

 Today I drove away from 3030 for the last time as a resident. Last night we signed papers and officially purchased our new home - the best home, down the street from best friends, near the schools we wanted, and so much more. 


3030 is the address I have lived at the longest. So much has happened here, I could write a book full of memories. Maybe I will. 

If there were a book, then, consider this the ultimate spoiler alert. Because everything happened at 3030 ...

This is where I had my first real and true and serious breakup. It was heart crushing, even though it was the right decision. 

This is where I lived when Grandpa T died. I collapsed onto the floor for far longer than I can remember, and had to haul myself up and get it together to go back to Chicago to say goodbye. 

This is where I lived when I met Zach. He kissed me for the first time at the top of the stairs, leaned against the banister. I knew the second our lips touched that he was my forever. 

We were in the living room when Zach proposed to me, with a ring inside a Mama's Pizza box. It was perfection, and I was totally me, mad that there was pizza sitting on the table but he wasn't getting plates! He dropped to one knee as I opened up the box to grab a slice of pizza, and everything was different. And perfect. We still have the top to that pizza box. 

We were huddled in the bathroom together two days before Christmas trying to read a pregnancy test - that's how we found out we were having Owen. 

3030 is also where I got fertility shots for both kids, slung over the bed sobbing at the pain and the hormones and the injustice of it all while Zach had to give me injections. It still feels unreal that it ever was difficult, looking at our two monsters. 

My water broke with Owen on the floor of our family room. I said, "did my water just break?" And I gushed a river of amniotic fluid while Zach spun in circles like a husband in a rom com. 

This is the house we brought both Owen and Lou home to. The house where they took their first steps, threw their first tantrums. 

This is the house where I struggled through morning sickness and afternoon sickness and evening sickness and middle of the night sickness while I wrote my first book.

This is the house where everything started. But it is just a house. Some walls, some paint, a lot of renovations. It is the four of us (plus some cats ...) who have made it a home.

And so now we go to Jefferson Circle. To a new house we will make our home, make new memories in. 

I cried rivers of tears as I drove away this morning, saying goodbye to this amazing house. I will miss her - she was amazing. But I am excited for our next home. 

Refuge Hat Pattern

Oct 24, 2016
FINALLY sharing the Refuge Hat pattern! I've been using this for months now, and keep saying I'm going to get it written up, and then .... life. But yesterday I got the whole thing written up, so today you get to meet Refuge!

This isn't a pattern that no one has ever used before, by any means. It borrows from the Shanti Hat pattern for the brim, and from a few other crochet hat patterns I've seen around for the body. But rather than just continuing to share a few mods on Instagram each time I share a photo, I wrote it all down, turned it into a PDF, and am sharing it for free!

Here are the official deets from Ravelry, and you can also DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN here!

Perfect for donation, the Refuge Hat uses HDC throughout to create a thick and comfy texture that will keep your head warm in any conditions. Make it in wool or acrylic, cotton or blends, and donate it to every place that accepts hats!

Approx 140 yds worsted weight yarn.

I have used Vanna’s Choice, Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool (pictured), Cascade 220, Caron Simply Soft, and more! HOOK: Size US I / 5.5mm hook

Darning needle
3 HDC x 3 HDC= 1”
18” unstretched - fits most teens/adults

BPDC = back post double crochet
CH = chain
FPDC = front post double crochet
HDC = half double crochet
RND = round
SL = slip
ST(S) = stitch(es)
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