Category Archives: kids

Super Motorcycle Gloves!!!

Need a quick project?

Grab and old t-shirt. Cut off the bottom and wrap it around your favorite small persons hand with about a half inch extra. Cut a match. Stitch it up the side and cut a hole for the thumb about 1.5 inches down. Grab some fabric paint (I like Jaquard) and paint your design on the top.

Now the hard part. Try and convince your small person that no, they cannot wear them yet because they are not dry. Hang them on the line for a whole five minutes before your small person can’t bear the wait any longer and finally retrieve them, hoping the paint will not smear on anything. (It didn’t).

Now go feel like the coolest mom/grownup in the world and watch your small person at their make-believe finest!




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Filed under crafting with kids, tutorial

There is a reason.

There is a reason that the Skeptic and I don’t sit down often in the middle of the day to have a conversation. At least we don’t sit down for more than five minutes. But after a long day at work we were a bit delusional and thought we could. Math Boy and Knittykid were playing in their new fort in the back yard. Spinner was toddling around the house minding his own business.

So we sat. And chatted. And had a very nice conversation, uninterrupted until the two boys came inside, Knittykid saying “happily, look what we painted!” While Math Boy hid his hands and tried to run upstairs. Their hands were purple. Their clothes were purple. And outside?


They wanted to paint their fort. (You’re looking at the logs from our poor maple tree, lost in the tornado last summer and waiting to be cut up for either firewood or backyard play materials.) It’s not much paint; I think they stopped before going too far, realizing that this was probably not as good an idea as it sounded. What blew me away was how they got the paint out of the cans. Got a guess? Go ahead, think of a good one. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you should know by now it was not with a paint can opener.

Got one?

Ready? A pitchfork. Bet you didn’t guess that one, did you? Makes perfect sense, right? Because, “We couldn’t get the top off Mom, so we just used a pitchfork!” (To poke a hole in the top, of course.)

I am thankful for their creativity. I am grateful for their¬† innovation. I am in love with their spirit. I am blessed with an “idea guy” as the ringleader for my rowdy little trio. And that is why I don’t sit down for more than five minutes, as least not until they are all asleep.

And tonight we will remember to take all the paint out of the garage.


Filed under kids, outside, Uncategorized

Spring Break

It’s for exploring the river with Grandma and Grandpa.

spring break 013
For watching trains.

spring break 021

For tiring out.
spring break 043

And yes, because it’s the Midwest, checking out a giant (world’s biggest?) sunfish.
spring break 039


Filed under kids, outside

That’s Better

Too big…


Too small….


Just right…


Just please stop taking pictures, Mama….

I learned a lot on this project:
-If I set my mind to it I can actually get through a project rather quickly.
-I am a good enough knitter that I can rip down a cable section and re-knit it back up again, all 12 rows, without having to rip out the entire project.
-Always buy an extra skein. I actually cast off the sleeves in a different orange than the Rowan Cork because I was out and the Cork is no more. I seamed up in the contrasting orange and managed to build the tassel from the trimmings of the Cork.
-If I was more mindful of my knitting, maybe I wouldn’t mess it up so much.
-Same goes with knitting while tired.

-Cables really, really should have charts.

-I need to always have two projects to rotate between, just to get a break.

-I’m ready for a sewing binge.

Details at Ravelry.

The boys were very disappointed to discover my medals were only virtual. I’m still quite pleased!


Filed under finished objects, kids, sweaters


People often ask me, “So are you guys going to try for a fourth? You know, maybe you’ll have a girl!” My first reply is usually that a fourth child just might put me hiding under the dining room table with a bottle of something-or-other. But my real reply is that I’ve got nothing against girls (since I am one and all) but I really, really like having a house full of boys.

I like brotherly ice cream thievery.

I love boyish forts, including imaginary bear hunting and some sort of “lost kids living in the woods in the Civil War” game they had going on.


I love grubby little faces full of milk and cereal.


And I love making things for my boys. Enter my second Pebble Vest:



This vest was knit on size 10.5 needles using a handspun yarn I finished a couple of year ago. I was a wee bit short and used some leftover Lamb’s Pride in gray to finish it up. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this pattern.

I did have a realization this weekend about my knitting. Everything I knit these days is for Spinner, who rapidly grows out of it. Time to knit for the big boys so I can get more wear out of them. Enter the Robin Hood Jacket, which will be my Knitting Olympics project. I’m casting on Friday night during the opening ceremonies. Yes, I’m going to try to do this while all three boys are awake and jostling me on the couch for space. Anyone want to place bets on whether or not I even manage to cast on all the stitches? Maybe if Spinner falls asleep early….


Filed under family, finished objects, handspun, kids, knitting

Taking Tea

Because boys will be, um…boys. I decided it’s time to learn some manners…..
Taking tea

We sipped our tea, ate our cookies and tried really, really hard to not get crumbs all over ourselves. So far Knittykid is the winner in the neatness category. Little Man saw no benefit to the exercise and professed his love of sloppiness. Although he did like the fake British accents…..

And spinning, because I need a hat. This hat in particular. And I have no cash and not the right yarn, so this will be my first attempt at recreating a yarn that I would normally buy. A bulky yarn, tricky when I’ve been working so hard to spin finer yarns. This will be a two-ply bulky yarn. I hope…..


Filed under family, kids, spinning

Twelve Years

Sixteen years ago this fall, I was just getting to know a shy, goofy boy of 19, who played the bass and tuba and hated studying for music history. Twelve years ago today I married him, and what a blessing those twelve years have been. Last night the Skeptic noted, “it’s nearly half our lives already, isn’t it?” Wonderful to think we could be so very, very lucky.

Our anniversary marks your last chance to get your book review in. I’ve really enjoyed reading those that have entered and have already added a bunch of requests on my library list because of it. Hope to read a bunch more tonight! Remember, I’ll pick one lucky random winner to choose either a handmade needle roll or project bag, your choice of colors. You don’t need a huge review, short and sweet is fine. Old or new books, knitting or sewing, ti doesn’t matter. Be sure to post here when you’re through.

I wish I had some Halloween photos to share from last night, but to be honest the day was one big whirlwind and I barely managed to snap one blurry shot before chasing a vampire, Spiderman and dinosaur our the door and down the street. There were jack-o-lanterns, giant handmade spiders, and treats galore. Today we woke up extra early (@#$% daylight savings) and were already eating candy at 5:08 in the morning. I’m trying a new approach this year. Instead of the careful rationing I’m letting them eat it all. I figure it will already be gone by the end of the day, and out of my life!

So I’ll share the Miss Babs, all plied up for you visual folks. I’m in love it with, my best handspun yet, I think!



Filed under books, contests, handspun, kids, spinning

Happy birthday Spinner!!!

One year ago right now, I was snuggled in the upstairs bedroom with my brand new baby boy. The midwives, doula and our “kid wrangler” had gone home. My mom was getting the big boys down to sleep and the Skeptic and I were enjoying all the newborn beauty.

Today I watched that baby walk across the room, throwing his tennis ball, picking it up and tossing it again. I saw him climb onto a bike (backwards) and try to ride it across the room. I heard him yelling what we’re considering his first word, “gou gou!!” (Go? good? look? ) I wandered around Pizza Luce with him, teaching him that eating chips off the floor just wasn’t an option. He turned down nursing and chose pizza and water from a sippy cup instead. But he did still nurse to sleep, and didn’t mind listening to Obama’s health care speech while going down for the night. He most surely will wake up one more time, as soon as the Skeptic and I sit down to watch an episode of Monarch of the Glenn with a bowl of ice cream. He is my beautiful, happy, joyful boy and a blessing in our life.





Filed under celebrations, kids

Lazy blogger, that’s me….

I am very unmotivated these days. For some reason the very idea of actually getting the camera (finding it, that is), taking and downloading a picture and then writing about it seems like an incredible amount of work. Plus I’m recuperating from Spinner’s baptism and all preparation that went into it. (I made quilted curtains that I can’t wait to show you!)

So today I’m introducing you to my friend Patty’s blog. She is a naturalist and early childhood science educator extraordinaire. You’ll want to add her to your Bloglines for certain! Enjoy!!


Filed under kids


There are lovely moments with boys that I often tell myself, “remember this moment, remember this feeling.” Of course, time goes by so fast and so much happens that it often feels impossible, but I saw one today that I didn’t want to miss:

Little Roofer

Little Man, the roofer….the hammer hanging on his pants, that boyish determination to do something so grown up. We’re having our roof redone this week, and the boys are in love with the crew. Roofers are their newest heroes, so of course as soon as they cleaned up and left for the day Little Man had to go downstairs, get Daddy’s tools and get to work. I especially love the fact that he put on his jeans since I usually can’t get him to wear them. He was sad that I nixed the saw, but said a tape measure and hammer would do.

(Those power lines look frighteningly¬† close to his head, I promise, they’re not!)

We had a visitor due to the roofing:

This baby sparrow was found living in one of the many gaps in our roof, not quite ready to be on his own. The Wildlife folks said it would be best just to bring him to them since there was nowhere else to move the nest and mom probably wouldn’t find it anyway.

My Tour de Fleece is coming right along. I can tell you that respinning something S when you had already spun it Z is worthless. The good news is I had enough red silk hankies to spin more, S style and finish with my plan:

The crazy batt is black and full or silk and glitz, plied with red silk spun from silk hankies. Lovely stuff. I wish the picture showed it as black as it really is.

I’m experimenting with woolen spinning now, and I actually think I’ve got it. I’ll be plying tonight and will show the results soon.


Filed under kids, spinning