Tov Baby Vest

Woolfolk Tov DK. You'll love this yarn. I know you will. I have fallen in love with its amazing stitch definition, easy handle and cuddly softness. But those words don't quite give it the accolades it deserves. It's new this season, is 100% wool, and has a color selection of gorgeous grays, saturated blues, goldy browns, a white, and a plum that is yummy. Don't you love this lovely raisin color? It suits my grandson really well. There is the slightest hint of color movement within each stitch, very subtle, but just enough to add a touch of rustic homeyness to a very uptown fabric. Tov sailed across my wood Caspian Knit Picks (always my number one needle choice) but I cannot imagine this yarn being needle fussy in the least. I did not block the vest because it didn't need it; the well-mannered stitches lined up like little soldiers from the get-go. Also, it's well-priced for what I consider a luxury yarn, so Tov jumped to the top of my list of best DK yarns. I'm looking forward to using it again, a sweater for me, in a cobalt blue I'm swooning over. 

This handsome baby vest pattern is free and so practical. A vest keeps a young one warm without restricting their active little bodies in any way. I knit it in a size two so my almost 5 month old grandson will wear this vest next year. I've already styled it in my mind: jeans and a white crewneck tee. I can imagine him running around on two chubby legs next year, but right now he is content enough to sit on our laps and listen to me sing or watch his grandpa make funny faces. Chubby cheeks, baldy head, and charcoal blue eyes wrapped around a gummy smile. We melt. Just melt.

I know you love wool just as much as I do.
I found this Woolfolk article to be so interesting.
I love knowing that Woolfolk supports
animal welfare and safe land management AND
produces magnificent yarn.

I found Woolfolk Tov DK at

The vest pattern is free from Stitch Studio Design Team

View the Woolfolk pattern collection featuring Tov DK

My Ravelry project page for Tov Baby Vest

Next year he'll wear that cozy vest!

What you don't see behind the camera is my husband making crazy faces. The baby doesn't know quite what to think!

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Christmas room to room

Over Thanksgiving weekend, after the dishes are washed and put away, and after perhaps one day of rest, Christmas appears all over my house! While the turkey stock is simmering on the stove, I play carols, light the fire and begin decorating. This is totally my thing and hands down is my favorite time of the year. Let me take you room to room.

 I decorated the mantles first and I'm so happy with both.
The living room mantle has masses of tiny pine trees and lots of tiny, starry lights.

The family room mantle has more starry lights and two Santas from my mother's collection.

This year the kitchen got the rest of the Santa collection;
 a few from my childhood home and a few from my husband's family.

The dining room has something new: four garlands of zinc leaves from Terrain
 wound with more starry lights. The metal garland is gorgeous and was just what I needed
to refresh my Christmas decorations.

The nativity is on a side board. I'm so happy my mom gave this to me as it holds special memories.
I played with this for hours as a child. 

I think I have banished my large artificial tree forever. It's still up in the attic waiting for the kids to take it one day. Last year I wanted a smaller tree and bought a 78" faux Ikea tree. I loved it and am using it again this year as it's so much more manageable for me to set up and decorate. It does not look real in the least, but it is very pretty with a nice open shape and pretty gray-green color, plus it's sturdy enough to hold my heavy ornaments. Another new addition this year was an update to my tired old Christmas tree lights. We replaced them with pretty incandescent lights from Target and I'm so happy with their white glow. (I used exactly half of what the box recommended for my size tree and it's plenty!) I have a large collection of glass ornaments and pulling them out is like saying hi to old friends. Years ago we invested in a rotating tree stand. It's simple to put up and the lights plug into the base. My husband set it up so I can flick a switch as I walk into the room and the tree lights up and rotates. It slowly revolves and is totally enchanting. I put my collection of painted wooden Wendt and Kuhn angel orchestra and villagers underneath.

There's another faux tree in my knitting room, decorated entirely with handmade ornaments made by me (and the kids) over the last 45 years. I remember making each one. Sigh. Love Christmas memories.

The hallway that leads to our bedroom is a room in itself. There are two sets of window seats and at the end is a bank of drawers where I keep my shawls, ponchos and purses. I usually keep cookbooks and family pictures on the shelves, but at Christmas it gets a good thorough cleaning and is decorated with Christmas glitter. It's a private spot as only we use this hallway and it puts a smile on my face when I walk by.

Also retrieved from the attic is my son's old-school high-chair. Our new little guy is almost ready to sit in it. We put him in it on Thanksgiving but he almost fell out with no safety features built in! We'll have to wait until he's a little older. In the meantime it looks pretty in the kitchen housing an old German village.

Here's our little bear.

Isn't he the most darling thing?
We're so looking forward to making Christmas memories with him!
I'd love to hear from you!
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popsicle toes, a free knitting pattern for dolly

This pattern is 100% inspired by the darling French Macaroon sweater that is offered for free on Ravelry from The Noble Thread. I love that pattern so much, and have made a few, that I even designed a baby hat, Tiny Tot, also available for free, to go along with it. When I first saw the sweater and hat on my infant grandson I knew I would have to make it into a doll sweater too. I love knitting for dolls! This sweater and hat will fit an 18" American Girl Doll or similar.

The pattern is free and simple to make. It's knit in one piece in garter stitch and requires only a small amount of seaming. I think you'll enjoy it and I imagine you'll be able to knock one out before Christmas! 

Thank you to my very kind and talented testers. I put the word out on Facebook and within a few minutes I had a dozen helpers. Thank you for your valuable input.

Get the free patterns at these Ravelry links:

for an 18" doll

available in 6 sizes, newborn to 4 years

available in 4 sizes, newborn, baby, toddler, child

The free pattern for the sewn skirt is here.

Happy Knitting!
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Santa's Helpers, a no-sew tree ornament

I love to make one Christmas ornament a year and cannot wait until little Carter is old enough to help me. This year's Christmas craft is no-sew easy-peasy, but a young child will need help from an older child or adult. I used a glue gun, but if you are working with young children I recommend using a quick-dry glue rather than a glue gun. You may have these supplies already, but I'm giving you links in case you need to shop for a few items. You'll need wooden spools for the body, 1.25" wooden head beads for the head, red and white striped pipe cleaners for the legs and arms (here is the link for assorted colors), assorted beads for the hands and feet, fun colors of yarn to dress the body, white eyelash yarn for the hair, felt or ribbon for the scarf, and felt for the hat.  This would be a great school or party craft.

Cut an 8" piece off a 12" pipe cleaner, fold in half. Dab a bit of glue on top of the fold and stick into spool. Put remaining 4" piece of pipe cleaner behind spool. Wrap yarn around the spool body to affix. When he is as fat as you want him, snip and affix end with glue at the back. 

Add a dab of glue to ends of pipe cleaner and poke bead hands and feet through. Glue heads to top of spool. I couldn't find a link to the bead heads with the glasses. I must have found them at a garage sale; I found them in one of my craft boxes. 

For scarf, cut 7" lengths of 3/8" wide ribbon, or cut strips of felt to size. Wrap and tie around neck. You may need to add a dab of glue to make the scarf lie down nicely. Trim to size and snip little notches into the ends.

I unearthed my protractor and made a 5.25" diameter circle template from paper.

For hats, cut out circles in felt and into three equal pie wedges.

Make a thin line of glue around the forehead and all around the head. Wrap eyelash yarn two to three times around and affix with another dab of blue at the back. Shape felt into cones to fit head, overlapping edges and dabbing with glue to close. Place a line of glue to the inside of the hat rim and place on head. If desired, add tiny pompoms to top of hat and tiny red beads for noses.  
Lastly, glue a hanger to the top. Top it with a small circle of felt to hide the glue (not shown).

Hang on your tree!

I made a variation above and below. The hats were made by cutting a 2 1/8" square of felt, folding in half and closing sides with tiny whip stitches. The fur trim on the hat is an extra fuzzy pipe cleaner. 

Here are links to more of my Christmas crafts:

Button Snowmen

Woodland Elves

Christmas Pixies and Whosical Trees

Wooden Angels

Christmas Dollies 
A complete list of my free patterns and tutorials is here.

Happy Crafting!
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