Whooooo’s There?

Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I keep telling myself that I’m going to try new things and I keep making owls! I swear, they are growing on me. I’m hooked (no pun intended)!

I had the very great surprise of learning that our daycare provide is pregnant! A big congratulations! We couldn’t be more excited for her and her expectant belly. She is hands down one of the most nurturing, patient, and loving people and I feel so blessed to be able to have my daughter watched by someone like this each and every day. She also has a beautiful little girl who seems to follow in her mother’s footsteps. I know that she is going to be such a wonderful older sister, given the interaction I’ve seen between her and my own daughter.

I thought about what I wanted and I just keep thinking “owl.” This time I tried something slightly different. I made this hat for a 9 month old so that the baby (who I discovered is a girl!) will be able to use it next winter. I recently saw this uber-adorable owl hat from baby gap that was made out of fleece. Now, instead of just a traditional owl head, it also had these patches on the earflaps that served as the owl’s wings. Well, I thought, this is just a fabulous idea and I should try it!

I had a lot of fun with this interpretation of an owl hat.  I love how the little nubby horns makes it seem more like a baby owl, and the little pom-poms instead of the traditional ties, balance out everything.  I hope that the new owner loves it as much as I do and that it keeps her nice and toasty warm!

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Déjà Vu

I know that some of you will recognize this hat!  I was lucky enough to be talking to a friend and when he saw my blog, he wanted to give a winking owl hat to his niece.  Up until now, I had only been making things for kids that I knew personally.  I still wanted to make something personal, so he showed me some pictures of his niece, who is absolutely adorable.  I immediately thought of this wonderful coral-colored yarn that I had yet to use and thought that it would be a perfect complement to this little girl’s deep blue eyes and fair complexion.

As I make more hats, I find that I’m learning little tricks to speed the process along, such as how to introduce new colors to a project more seamlessly.  There’s a great video tutorial here.  This was the first hat that I did this consistently and I found that it made finishing off the hat much easier.  While it pretty much looks the same, I feel that with each hat, I am more confident with my skills.

All in all, this hat went fairly quickly.  I decided to experiment with slightly different proportions from my first owl hat, so you may see some minor adjustments.  There are so many ways to make this hat, I can’t wait to try another one!

Wink, Wink, Guess Whoooooo?

I had the pleasure of meeting two soon-to-be first-time moms in my birthing class who came to be good family friends and our go-to local play-dates. It’s really quite interesting that all three of us ended up having girls and they were all born within 1 week of each other. Since our daughters have been born, we have made a point of meeting up at least once a month to catch up.  I have dubbed our three girls the “3 musketeers”.  This upcoming week is a real milestone for all of us because our girls will all be turning 1 year old!  Time to celebrate!!!!

I still remember the three of us as moms frantically e-mailing or texting each other, asking if certain baby behaviors were normal (weird sounds – babies make lots of weird grunting sounds, random sleep patterns, endless spit-ups, you get the picture).  To mark their first birthday, I wanted to give each girl something that really spoke to me about them as an individual.  Each girl is so unique and wonderful in her own way and I wanted to be able to speak to their emerging personalities.

This week-end, my daughter attended her first birthday party in celebration of the eldest of the “musketeers”.  I remembered on a number of our play-dates how she had a toy owl her parents would bring with them and I thought this would be a great idea for a hat for her!  Armed with this, I started looking on Etsy and other sites to see what others had made.  Wow.  There is A LOT out there.  I started dissecting the various different “looks” and planning my mode of attack.

Now, I have very particular ideas of what makes a hat successful, based on a number of my daughter’s hat successes and fails.  Living in New York, winters can be brutal (although you wouldn’t know it from this past winter).  My daughter survived on a very simple fleece skullcap all winter and I recall looking enviously at babies who had earflap hats.  They didn’t even have to be that cute, they were just functional!  I was always fretting that my daughter’s ears were too cold, especially since when the baby sits in the stroller in a bunting, the friction between the hat and the bunting as the baby moves her head will tend to cause the hat to ride up and cover the baby’s eyes but leave the ears exposed or pop off the head.  So, I decided.  Earflaps and a tie under the chin to hold it in place.

If you recall from my previous post, I had lamented the fact that the Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend had such limited colors.  I decided to try the Vanna’s Choice Baby, which is acrylic, instead of wool, and also machine washable and dryer friendly.  It’s interesting because while these two lines are listed as the same gauge (4) and both recommended a 6 mm hook, I found that Martha’s yarn was finer, which means that the hat with Martha’s yarn would have looser stitching and would stretch more.  This also means you shouldn’t use the two together if you want your project to look correct.  In my opinion, Martha’s line felt silkier and softer.  However, Vanna’s had much more selection of color, and you could cross over to her other lines without having to worry about matching gauges of yarn.  This won me out this time.

That being said, I started working on a multi-colored earflap owl hat with ties.  I modeled this for a toddler’s head since the birthday girl won’t be needing this until next winter, so I hope it fits.  Also, I did use my daughter as a size model and she does tend to have a longer head, so I hope that it will fit its owner correctly!  I had some fun with the owl’s expression.  The birthday girl is pretty sassy and has a lot of spunk.  I thought that the expression on the hat should match that of its owner, so I decided to make it wink, bringing to mind her mischievous character.

I did learn a lot from making this hat and I can’t wait to try out other color combinations and other expressions.  I ended up making the horns and eyes at least 3 times before I was satisfied with their size and proportions.  All in all, I’m very happy with the result and hope the new owner is as excited as I am!  Happy birthday girl!