I’ve always been a sucker for bonnets and when I saw Larissa Brown’s new bonnet eBook, Love Bonnet, I wanted to knit them all. Problem is, I don’t have many infants to knit for these days, and needed a larger size.

So, I have created a larger bonnet pattern, based on Larissa’s “Juniper Bonnet”, which is a free pattern.  Hoping that the bonnet for older kids and toddlers in bigger sizes will be the new trend, so I can knit some more….. a natural transition from the earflap hat and sock monkey hat fads this past fall and winter.

Call me “crazy,” but the bonnet is so practical…great hat to wear with ponytails. In the Nordic countries, all ages wear ski bonnets…just because it’s called a bonnet, doesn’t mean it’s for babies.

This one is trimmed in a little dove gray cotton and knit with about one skein of soft grape wool and alpaca for Easter, which is rarely a warm time in New England. The bonnet doesn’t have to be tied, but the ties can hang down, like the older children usually prefer to wear them.

There are five repeats of the feather and fan in this larger bonnet pattern. The finished size of this one is about 17 inches around and will fit up to a six year old.

If you are interested in this larger size feather and fan bonnet for toddlers, kids, and older heads, please subscribe to this blog and let me know by leaving a comment. I also plan to write a larger bonnet pattern for a plain stripe design.

For Larissa’s Juniper Bonnet pattern, written for infants, click here.

Happy St. Paddy's Day

As I write this, everyone is at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Newport, RI. I can picture this sunny day, the streets awash in green crepe paper and hats, Irish knit sweaters, babies and young girls with shamrock-painted faces, and guarded flasks of Jamieson in herringbone vest pockets. I hear police car sirens resonating over and over, even from here, the other side of the hill, leading the parade to its end at the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), where the celebration will be capped off with a traditional American – Irish boiled dinner, corned beef and cabbage.

AOH was created to protect Irish Catholic priests under the rule of English King Henry VIII, and it became a club, more or less, organized in early 19th century America as a way for the immigrant Irish to band together against the established Boston Brahmin “No Irish Need Apply” (NINA) directives, to promote forward thinking, interact and find work in their oh, so new world in America. There were two Hibernian organizations on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island, originally, the first organized downtown in 1876.

James Bradley, who sailed across the Atlantic from Ireland at the turn of the 19th century, was a founder (according to the gold watch he received) of the uptown Hibernians, formed to educate and enrich the lives of new Irish immigrants, which met at the old Music Hall on Thames Street. James Bradley was Brad’s (my husband) grandfather, for whom he is named.

For over forty years, there has been nary a St. Patrick’s Day morning that Brad, as one of six children from a large Irish family, didn’t ask me, “Do you have the recipe?” referring to his cherished corned beef and cabbage, which is the traditional staple St. Paddy’s Day dinner, at least in the U.S.

I have always answered, “yes,” thinking: “What is there to do but boil the darn thing, chop the root veg and serve it?”

It always tastes the same, like a boiled dinner. The brisket has either cooked down to nothing or ended up too stringy for consumption for the past 43 years.

Last year on March 17th, low and behold, like clock-work: “Do you have the recipe?”

“Yes,” I answered, dreading the same inedible result. (more…)

Have decided to knit a few more large hobo handbags for felting. They are really fun to do, and the results are always a surprise. Getting more than one ready for felting at the same time, saves hot water when it’s time to felt. I’ve finished the knitting and crocheting for the first one . It’s called: “The chicken or the egg?”…It’s a favorite saying of a certain pragmatist I know, and I found all the theme ingredients for this recipe in my fabric and yarn stash. Follow this blog for a free pattern for a felted tote bag.

chicken or the egg felted hobo bag

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A knitting pattern for a warm earflap balaclava hat with a monkey face and ears—

Sock monkey stuffed animal toys have been around since Victorian times, believe it or not. Victoriana became enraptured by monkeys and their exotic world in the 1890’s. When the Rockland, Illinois wool work sock factory started making socks with red heels, that’s how the arts and crafts creation got his red mouth and behind.

Rockland still celebrates a “Sock Monkey Festival” in the 21st century.

Last winter when my granddaughter’s middle school friends latched onto the sock monkey hat craze,  I designed this sock monkey hat knitting pattern with earflaps for Charlotte, who is  eleven years old. The pattern has now been knitted for adults, teens, and children alike.

Cheeky sock monkey hat pattern (more…)

As a New Year brings hope and promises of good cheer, I’m wishing “Happy New Year” to all on this eve of 2011. To celebrate…a new Wattery Totteries design for a baby owl hat with three baby owls.

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Have just included a schematic for stitches for the 3 button shawl, and wanted to include the free knitting pattern here. It’s a similar one to a very popular 3 button shawl as featured on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathy Lee long ago.

aishlings-shawl1-e1531684709561.jpg

A very easy knitting pattern, great for beginning knitters,  just a rectangle you can add your own creativity to. Very versatile in the different looks you can get by buttoning the shawl differently, and a most practical knitting project for spring and fall.
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When the bluebirds come back and the maple syrup starts to run, with bright sunny days, you’ll want to get outside for a while and take care of March garden chores. (Autumn care included as well.)

Yesterday, I did just that, raked up a few leaves and found these: // Pretty slim pickins’, signs of spring are hard to find these days.
But then continued on to the perennial vine, one of many in this garden, clematis, and the rose bush that it grows through. (more…)