What I Wore- Half Thrifted

 

IMG_8735

Cardigan- Loft via Twice, Cambray- Liz Claiboirne via Village Discount Thrift, Jeans- Loft (almost exact),

Boots- JC Penney, Necklace- Gift

This top half of this outfit is from the thrift shop. The chambray is from my favorite local thrift store the Village Discount Outlet and the cardigan is from the online thrift store Twice. I actually never thought I would buy a chambray shirt until this one even though it is the epitome of blogger style but I had to buy it because polka dots. 

I was searching through my Pinterest style board the and this picture popped out at me because I own all the pieces now so I put them together for casual Friday at work. Pinterest for the win again!

I got my hair chopped off last weekend so this is the last long haired picture you'll see from me (unless I have any hiding that need to be posted). I haven't taken any new outfit posts since I've was sick for three weeks so this one is actually from a while ago. I'm feeling back into a style rut lately. I am putting outfits together but many of them don't feel right to me. Something will be off with the fit or the color combo or something. I think it's because I'm growing tired of my winter clothes (who isn't really) and while we are slowly transitioning to Spring it's still pretty chilly out. 

I'm feeling very picky these days with my wardrobe and since I don't really remember what my spring/summer wardrobe looks like until I start digging it out of the spare closet, I'm not in the mood to buy much. I did get the most amazing pair of white jeans from Loft the other day (they look way better than the picture online). They were 40% off which was good but still more than I would have liked to spend. I decided to keep them because they fit so well and the denim is so perfectly stretchy. I'm on the hunt for a pair of fashion sneakers. I undecided on a pair of converse so I ordered some Keds on Amazon for a steal. Also on Amazon I got a pair of Nine West ankle boots on super sale. I have been looking for a pair since the fall that was the style and price I wanted. The fit seems pretty spot on and they are super cute. I know I can get a little bit of wear out of them because it doesn't really warm up here until May. That's about the time I put all my boots to rest for the summer. 

Lincoln at 16 Months

 

I freaking love this kid. Just like any mother does but really he is the best. We are up to 16 months and although he doesn't change as quickly as he did in the first year, there are still new things he learns every month that never cease to amaze me.

Lincoln has recently become obsessed with animal noises. He only knows "moo" and he thinks it's what a pig says but it's pretty adorable. We have been reading his stories with farm animals and I make all the noises for him. He will pick up his book and say "moo, moo, moo." He also picks up his toy pig and says "moo." And we saw a different toy pig at the store the other day and he started mooing. I've been working hard to switch the mooing over to an oink but he also thinks all dogs and cats are "Abby" so we probably have a way to go lol.

His favorite in the house is still our dog Abby. It's the first thing he says when he wakes up and when we come home from being out. One day last week it was almost the only thing he said all day. He says lots of daddies and mommies too. He know what stuff belongs to Mike and will pick it up and start calling daddy. When he wants something then it's all about the mommies. When he sees food or some other object he wants then it's "mommy, mommy, mommy!" We were at the grocery store in the produce aisle the other day and he got excited and started yelling "mommy" because he wanted some fruit. We ate at the Mexican restaurant the other day and I gave him cheese dip on a chip. He licked it all off and then said "mommy."  So I gave him some more. He licked it off. "Mommy!" And we repeated that until we ate all the dip.

And now on to some of the cutest pictures ever. There was local photographer taking mini session photos for spring/Easter at one of my favorite local second hand stores. Of course I signed up because she was also going to have an Easter bunny. We went and bought Lincoln the most adorable outfit ever. He was a little nervous but did pretty well because there were Easter eggs everywhere and he loved them.

Lincoln easter

Then we moved over to the Easter Bunny set. We had come a little early and walked around and Lincoln was very interested in the Easter Bunny. As soon as I set him down next to the Easter Bunny he had a freak out. He cried and wanted me to pick him up. I know crying kids pictures with holiday characters are hilarious but my poor mommy heart melted and I couldn't let him be upset. I finally convinced him to sit on my lap and leaned out of the picture. The photographer was a miracle worker and with a little Photoshop magic actually got a decent picture with the Easter bunny in the background. So here's my Easter picture of my little man who is afraid of strangers (and bunny costumes.) Hopefully next year won't be quite as traumatizing haha.

Lincoln easter2

How To Modify The Size of a Crochet Hat Pattern


How to modify the size of a crochet hat pattern
I get a lot of questions about how to increase the size of my crochet hat patterns. I tend to crochet a hat for a specific person so I make only one size and when it's done I move on. Although I'm going to try and work harder at making more sizes for my patterns I wanted to share some tips on how to modify the size of a crochet hat. This doesn't just apply to my hats but to any hat pattern you find that doesn't have the size you need or isn't the right size once you finish it despite the size that was given in the pattern.
Option #1: Crochet the hat with a different hook size.
To make a hat bigger go up in hook size and go down a hook size to make it smaller. If the pattern calls for an I hook then try it with a J hook. Bigger hook= bigger stitches= bigger hat size. This method doesn't require you to modify a pattern so it is the easiest but you may not like the look of the stitches with a different hook than was recommended. This also will only work if you want to make a small modification in size. You aren't going to turn a baby hat into an adult hat by changing the hook size.
Option #2: Crochet the hat with a different yarn weight.
Sport, Worsted, Bulky will all create different size stitches. Even different types of worsted weight yarn create different types of stitches. Caron Simply Soft and Red Heart with Love will not create the same size stitches. I always pay attention to the type of yarn used in patterns I am crocheting because it's best to match the weight to get the right results. That being said you can also use a different weight to automatically increase or decrease the size of your hat without modifying the pattern. Like option #1 this isn't going to make a huge size difference but doesn't require any pattern modifications.
Option #3: Modify the pattern.
This is a little more complicated than option #1 or #2 and if you've never crocheted a hat before it might be hard to understand. If you have any experience with crocheting hats then you should be able to catch on.
Most hats follow a basic formula no matter what hat pattern you are using because you start off creating a circle. 
Start a circle by either creating a magic ring, crocheting into a starting chain or joining a set of chains. (How you start it doesn't matter as long as you start out with a circle)
Crochet a set number of stitches (8,9,10 etc)
Crochet two times in each stitch
Crochet once in the first stitch and twice in the next stitch. Repeat around the circle.
Crochet once in the first two stitches and twice in the next stitch. Repeat around the circle.
Crochet once in the first three stitches and twice in the next stitch. Repeat around the circle.
Crochet once in the first four stitches and twice in the next stitch. Repeat around the circle.
Do you see the pattern here? Do you know what the next line would be?
Crochet once in the first five stitches and twice in the next stitch. Repeat around the circle.
etc.
After the crown increases then the pattern is followed by crocheting once in each stitch around. This is the basic pattern for a circle no matter what stitch you use. Based on this formula you can easily add an increase to the crown of the hat. Keep in mind though that if your are going by stitch count you will have to adjust the next row of stitches.
Also, if you are a stitch counter (I am!) it's easy to figure out how many stitches should be in the next increase row. Figure out how many stitches you started with (8,9,10 etc) and add that to each increase row.
For example
Start with 10 stitches.
Rnd 1= 10
Rnd 2= 20
Rnd 3= 30
Rnd 4= 40
etc
Start with 9 stitches
Rnd 1= 9
Rnd 2 = 18
Rnd 3= 27
Rnd 4= 36
etc
There may be some deviation to the basic formula if you are not crocheting a regular beanie type hat. If the hat is a "slouchy" hat then it may be a little more complicated to modify after the crown increase. Also some pattern are crocheted from the brim up or in a square shape so the modification would not work for those.
Now that we've talked about modifying the pattern, how do you know what size your hat should be?
The easiest way to figure this out is to try the hat on your head (or your subject's head) as you crochet. Unfortunately that only works when your subject is readily available. If you are making your hat as a gift then you have to do some guesstimating. 
If you Google crochet hat sizes, there are lots of charts for hat size out there and they all vary a little bit. This one from Woolly Wormhead is one of my favorites.
I have found from personal experience that I like the look of hats that stretch to fit the subjects head. I like to crochet a hat a couple of inches smaller than head size to get the tight stretched look. For example, my head is 21 inches but when I make a hat for myself I will make it 19 inches because of stretch. On the other hand if I am making a hat for a baby I will only make the hat an inch smaller because that little head will grow very quickly and I want the hat to last as long as possible. 
Keep in mind what yarn you are using too because different types of yarn (cotton, acrylic, wool) have different amounts of stretch.
So now that you know what size hat to make, how do you know when to stop increasing?
I always keep a soft tape measure in my crochet bag because I use it all the time. You can measure the crown of your hat a couple of ways. I use the easy cheater way and measure around the circle. Usually I use a piece of yarn to wrap around the circle and then measure it with my tape measure.
The more accurate/mathematical way is to measure the diameter of the circle and multiply it by 3.14 (pi). 
What if one round is too small and next is way too big?
Now this gets a bit more complicated. If I really want to change the size of a hat, then I figure out the size of my stitches. 
Hat circumference divided by stitches = stitch size. 
Let's say I made four rounds of a hat with 40 stitches. The measurement of the circumference is 16 inches. 16 divided by 40 = .40. Each one of my stitches =.40 so now I need to figure out how many stitches would create the size I need. Let's say I wanted a 18 inch hat. 
Hat circumference divided by stitch size = number of stitches
18 divided by .40 = 45 stitches. So I know that I want my last increase round to be 45 stitches. This means that I will need to start my hat with 9 stitches and have four rows of increase to get to 45 stitches. The first round would be 9 stitches, 2nd- 18, 3rd- 27, 4th- 36, 5th- 45.
Not all examples work out so tidy so sometimes you will have few more or less stitches than is ideal.
Last, let's talk about the hat length.
This can tricky to get the right length but very easy to modify. I find that most charts give lengths that are too long so I usually go with the shortest recommendation. More stretch in the hat does require a little bit longer length though to make up for the stretch. It's easy to add a few more rows to hat if the stitches are all the same. If there is a variation in stitches (like in my crochet ribbed beanie) you may have to do a little guess work to add in the stitches at the right place in the pattern and still make it long enough. That's also why you should never be afraid to rip out (or frog) your stitches and try again. Modifying and designing patterns can take a lot of trial and error. If you are trying to finish something quickly it can be frustrating but it's also very satisfying when you get it right.
I hope this helps you to understand better how to modify a hat pattern and the next time you need a different size you give it a try. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help!



















































Week Highs and Lows


Oh man it was a crazy week last week. I'll start off an a high note. I went to an amazing and inspiring conference for work on Thursday last week. It was all about women in leadership and I learned so much. I really appreciate how the company I work for now takes the time to reinvest in the employees by holding events like this. It was a great day until I came home...
I got home a little bit early and almost made a stop for some mommy time at the store but seeing my boy won out. When I picked him up at the sitter's she said he had slept for six hours and had been cranky and pulling at his ears. This was after Mike had said the same thing the night before when I was at the gym and my mom had also commented that he was tired and pulling at his ears. The pediatrician was still open and I drove right over. Luckily there was no ear infection but little explanation for the tiredness and fussiness, until the pediatrician noticed that Lincoln's was getting his eye teeth. This would explain pretty much all his symptoms, plus he is still getting over his cold. I gave him a dose of Tylenol for the pain and he was pretty good the next day. Until Friday night...
We went to dinner and Lincoln starting fussing, then we made a stop at Kohl's and he cried. The. Entire. Time. We were "those parents." You know, the one with the screaming kid that everyone is looking at and judging. Needless to say our trip to Kohl's involved throwing a bunch of stuff in our cart and leaving much sooner than anticipated. He fell asleep on the way home. Then woke up and cried for a couple more hours until Mike finally got him to take a dose to Tylenol and he fell asleep around 11:00. Not a fun night.
Saturday involved more Tylenol but by Sunday he was back to his old cheerful self. And clearly happy that we decided to stay in most of the day. Only one tooth popped through so that means we have three more to go. Ugh.
Then Sunday night our oven broke. It had already been repaired once before so we decided it was just time to get a new and better one. So off to Lowe's we went and bought an amazing five burner gas stove with convection heat and steam cleaning. I didn't even know these features existed in stoves. It's going to take two weeks to arrive so it will be cook top and grill cooking for us until then. I think we are both pretty exited to have this stove arrive though. We've never had a nice appliance before but we use our stove almost every single day so we wanted something better than the cheap bottom of the line one we had.
And our other news for the week has to do with out front yard. We have an amazing old tree out in front of our house in the tree lawn. It's huge and clearly been there forever. Unfortunately it's been slowly dying the past couple of years. Last summer about half the branches were dead. Mike has been worrying about it for some time and we've talked about getting it cut down. Cutting down huge trees is no joke. It's insanely expensive so I've been dragging my feet on it. Well, Mike decided to call the City to take a look at the tree and they are going to cut it down for free and give us a replacement tree next year. I'm so relieved we don't have to pay for the tree but I'm also so sad we are going to be losing all the privacy that tree offers us in the front yard. On the other hand, my front garden beds will gain a lot more sun so maybe I will have more luck growing the flowers I've always want to grow. I'm still going to miss that tree but it's becoming a hazard and it's better to get rid of it than have a huge branch come crashing down on our house or cars.
tree
I'll end on a high note too. The weather is finally, kind of warming up. We actually got to go on a walk outside! Lincoln loved his wagon and cried when we were done. We need a few more 40 degree + days and we might actually see the grass again. Spring is kind of, sort of getting here. We will probably get another snow storm or two but at least the end is near and it's not a moment too soon. I think I speak for all of Northeast Ohio (and maybe all of the Midwest) when I say we are sick of winter.
Lincoln wagon







What I Wore- Marsala and Brown

 

Marsala and Brown

Cardigan- JC Penney, Button Down- Thrifted, Pants- Express via Ebay, Shoes- Life Stride, Necklace- gift

A cute combination that I wore a couple weeks ago. This deep red cardigan seems to be the trendy red color with the ever changing name. Maroon, Burgundy, Oxblood, Marsala. Whatever it is called I like it and even though there are technically pink dots in this button down I still think it works. It's really funny because I saw Jen at Fashionably Employed wear pretty much the same color combination, after I wore mine (but clearly before I posted about it.) Initially I was like "Oh I really love that color combo." Then I remembered I had just worn something really similar. Clearly great minds think alike!

Anyway, I mentioned last Monday that I was sick but was on the mend. Well I was completely wrong because I got worse on Tuesday and ended up at the doctor with an ear/sinus infection. So after a round of antibiotics I am almost better. I was really wondering if this blog post (or any post for that matter) was ever going to happen. This sickness and the cold temps have really worn me out and I am so ready for the tiniest hint of spring. Temperatures in the 30s right now have me rejoicing. Although every time we get some warmer temperatures we get pounded with snow. I am wondering if I will ever be able to walk outside without my boots on again. 

Then to get even more random with this post I have been getting a lot of requests to share different sizes for some of my crochet hats so I am making it a goal to get that done. I feel bad for not responding to people's requests but increasing the size of hat isn't always that simple (plus I've been a sick mess for the last week.) I am going to work on a men's version of my crochet ribbed beanie and then some smaller baby versions. Then after I get that done I want to make more sizes in my crochet bow hat. I just need to pick out some yarn and get to designing.