A Birthday Spectacular

Today was Rich’s 30th birthday. I think he’s good and sick of me telling everyone he’s turning thirty, but I think it’s wonderful. A new decade! Think of all of the ick and messes and figuring out who you are and where you want to be when you’re in your twenties… it’s DONE! And now, it’s a fresh set of years with so many Big Things already done and our little family facing it together. We had a wonderful, relaxed day of simple meals, The Muppets movie, a shopping (browsing, really) trip, and cheerful and cooperative babies.

A very happy birthday to my best friend and sweeeeeeet love!


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Naptime Craft: Springtime Baby Sweater

WHERE have I BEEN, you ask? Well, after a crazy run of brother-in-law’s wedding, my family visiting, sick babies, and general craziness and havoc, I’ve had my hands full. But I have not been idle! Actually, that’s not entirely true. With the change of seasons, I got a little craft-stuck: I could not, for the life of me, think of anything to make that wasn’t a big fluffy scarf or mittens or some other wintery thing. Plus, I was bored of making the same ol’ projects. So I decided, what the heck. I’ll give something more complicated a try. How ’bout a baby sweater? Sure. And if it’s a disaster, I’ll rip it all out and wind the yarn back into a ball and never speak of it. It will be my disastrous little secret.

So I hopped on Ravelry and searched through their patterns, automatically tossing out anything that was knitted (duh, since I don’t knit), super girly, or super complicated-looking. This left me with just a handful of patterns, two of which I thought had the most potential. Then I got freaked out by the prospect of sleeves, and piecing it together, and ending up with something inside out… Which left me with the Bombay Love pattern from Yarny Days. And PEOPLE, this pattern ROCKS. It rocks in an all-caps, italicized kind of way. It is adorable and so easy it’s shocking.

This short-sleeved little sweater is crocheted in one piece from the top down. There is nothing to piece together, no separate sleeves to make, nada. And it’s worked in double crochet, so it goes very quickly. As usual, I made a couple modifications of my own, but nothing major to the pattern.

Here’s what I used:

  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn in Seaspray (for the sweater) and Red Barn (for the edging and closures). It uses less than one skein for a whole sweater!
  • A size J-10 (6 mm) crochet hook
  • A large-eyed needle
  • 2 buttons

A few notes:

  • You can easily change the size of the sweater by changing hook and/or yarn size. Mine is larger than hers (worsted weight yarn and a J hook gave me a sweater that I think is 6 month size, meaning, it was a little small on my boys) but it took a couple tries to get it the size I wanted. I started another sweater, again with worsted yarn, but this time with an H-8 (5mm) hook and it’s more like a 0-3 month size.
  • The pattern author recommends 2 sc in each corner when you’re doing the edging, or the edges will curl. I’m still having a little curling, so I would recommend 3 sc in the corners.
  • I sewed on my buttons so the sweater front is crossed over the other side. I like this look, plus mine turned out a little wide, so this made it narrower. For a very chubby baby, this might make it too slim.
  • The pattern author made her sweater closure by knitting a cord with double-pointed needles. Like I said, I don’t knit, so you have a couple options. You could buy a little bit of cord or ribbon, or (and this is what I did), you could crochet a simple closure. Here’s how I made mine: ch 26; leave enough chs to make a loop that your button can pass though; sc in each remaining ch and fasten off.

So gather your yarn and head over to the Bombay Love pattern at Yarny Days. Get a move on!


Filed under Naptime Craft, Projects and Crafty Things

Naptime Craft: Baby Leg Warmers

If you remember my Fashionable Lovelies post a couple weeks back, my brother-in-law is getting married this weekend. Both boys are in the wedding (because it would be pretty awkward to only include one twin) as ring bearers; they’ll be pulled down the aisle in a little sled the bride-to-be fixed up for them. This means FANCY clothes for my baby monkeys—and all white. I looked everywhere for white baby pants. I decided, finally, against sewing pants, since they would have to be lined to not be see-through. The only pairs I found to buy were either a) too thin or b) too holy-cow-these-tiny-pants-are-$40-per-pair expensive.

So what do you think I did? Bought a big skein of white yarn and made 2 pairs of baby leg warmers. I looked at all the crocheted baby leg warmers patterns I could find, like this one and this one here, but finally settled on this one from Alli Crafts. It’s a little fancier-looking without being too girly, and W O W, did it work up fast! I will definitely make these again for a baby gift, maybe with a little matching hat?

Here’s what I used:

  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn in White (I barely made a dent in 1 skein after completing 4 leg warmers.)
  • An H-8 (5mm) crochet hook
  • A large-eyed needle

Then go visit Alli Crafts for the pattern. And while you’re there, you really should check out her many other awesome (and FREE) patterns!

Work in progress: You can see the neat ribbed effect from the fpdc.


I used Alli Craft’s own modification to fit 6-9 months. My boys wear 6-9 month clothes and this fit perfectly with the yarn and hook I used. (Her original pattern was much too small for them; I tried it first and pulled it out. Great for a newborn, though.)


I did add a ribbed bit to the top cuff to make it look more finished. Here’s what I did:

  1. After completing your final round, join with slip stitch and chain 6.
  2. Turn, single crochet in back loop only beginning in the 2nd chain from the hook. Slip stitch into the top of the last round.
  3. **Ch 1, turn, sc back loop only in each sc (5 sts). Ch 1, turn, sc back loop only in each sc (5 sts); slip stitch into the top of the last round.
  4. Repeat from ** all the way around the leg warmer. Slip stitch through back loops of first and last rows to connect. Weave in ends.


I recommend a nice, soft yarn if your baby will wear these more than once. The Red Heart is fine since they’ll wear them once, but it isn’t very soft.


Filed under Naptime Craft, Projects and Crafty Things

Ash Wednesday

Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth: Grant that these ashes may be to us a sign of our mortality and penitence, that we may remember that it is only by your gracious gift that we are given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Selection from the Ash Wednesday liturgy, taken from The Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

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Naptime Craft: Chunky Cowl

Yes, I know, this post is late (again). However, this time I have the really fantastic excuse of having had a baby throwing up yesterday, which is pretty much a get-out-of-jail-free card for anything. But he’s fine today, so I’m only one day late!

This cowl goes so quickly. You could almost do it in your sleep. I actually made it bigger than I wanted, and ripped it all out and started over, and it still only took a quarter or two of the Super Bowl. I used one ball of bulky yarn, which was plenty big- and you know I love my one-ball projects!

Here’s what I used:


I used the Openwork Crocheted Cowl pattern from the Lion Brand site; just click the link to go straight to the pattern. (You may need to have an account and be logged in to view it.)

Getting started:

Here’s what the double crochets look like close up:

Note: I added a few chains to the foundation row because my yarn was little thinner than the yarn pattern calls for (bulky, instead of super bulky).

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The Loves.

Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: “We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.” Need-love says of a woman “I cannot live without her”; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection — if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.

C. S. Lewis
The Four Loves

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Ink & Squid! I hope you know how much you are loved today.

All images copyright 2012 by Ink & Squid. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Holidays, Just for Fun, Life, The Boys