Sunday, February 1, 2009

To Honor Lavinia's Fifth Birthday

Last year, we took Jonas and Lavinia to the National Mystery Museum for her birthday (as well as arriving two hours late to her fancy dress tea party). This year, there was no mystery museum, sadly, and we arrived 3 hours late to her fancy dress tea party. Despite our late arrival, Aleks had been getting ready for days. The night before, he protested Anna's request that he dress as a fairy and had mama type on her facebook page that he wanted to go as Darth Vader instead. She said that was okay, but he dressed as a fairy and had me take a photo so she could see just to satisfy her. So, Anna, if you're reading, here is Aleks' fairy costume trial:I'd been getting ready too. Since we're low on funds, I handmade presents for Lavinia, including this hat, which I sort of made up. I based it on the Umbilical Cord Hat in Stitch N' Bitch, but changed it. I'll post the pattern at the end of this post.
I'm not thrilled with the leaf pattern I made up, so for the next version of this eggplant hat, I'm using this pattern instead. Handmade presents are of course so much better and this was all made with stuff I just had laying around, which is even better.
By morning, Aleks had changed his mind about being Darth Vader and decided to go as a king instead, sporting the crown we'd made.
This is my favorite self-portrait he took, though the circles under his eyes look dreadful.
Finally, after mama slept all day because she was terribly tired from knitting Lavinia's hat all night the night before, we got in the car to head across town.
Bastian also dressed as a king, sporting the crown we made last winter.
Lavinia was all dressed up in the fanciest of princess costumes (though Jon thought it looked as though it were made of curtains, so I called her Scarlet O'Hara). She tried out our crown right away. Everyone loved it.
Here is the first present I made for her: a princess cape out of green satin with eyelet embroidery and a gold ribbon tie. Again, this is all just scraps from my bin o' craft crap.
It suits her well, I think.
Aleks also made Lavinia a cape, using tape and bits of things from my craft crap bin. Here, she models the hat I made. I'm just thrilled that for making up the changes to the pattern, it actually worked. I'm really not much of a knitter at all.
Lavinia's Aunt Heidi modeled our crown as well.
Since it was a fancy dress party, Anna wore cat ears. I suppose that's fancy. At our house it would certainly count.
I am always a very fancy lady and thus wore my tiara.
Lavinia got a tiny violin (or as Jay calls it, The World's Smallest Violin) for her absurdly short arms. Anna bartered lessons for her too, which is completely awesome.
She looks so precious and as though she knows at all what she's doing. The dress is perfect with the violin.
Cake time. Fancy strawberry cake.
And birthday wishes.

Late that night, Jon and I stuck around while the children dozed so we could play with Anna and Jay, who we hardly ever see anymore. We watched YouTube videos, which we seem to do a lot. Jon and I drove home at 4 in the morning (isn't that absurd?!?) and I started my first Month of Poetry poem on the car ride home, having realized it was now technically February.

Eggplant Hat Pattern

Using a US 9 16" circular needle, I CO 72 sts. K 1 row. Join ends, being careful not to twist the sts. K until hat measured roughly 6" or looked big enough for a five year old.

Next row: *K9, pm (place stitch marker); rep from * to end.

You should have 8 groups of 9 sts between 7 markers.

*With a dpn, K 18 sts off the circular needle and onto the dpn, being careful to slip the st marker between the sts; rep from * 3 times more. When you reach the end of the row, you will have placed 18 sts and 1 marker on each of 4 dpns.

In each successive rnd, you will k tog the last 2 sts before the marker or the end of the needle as follow:

Rnd 1: *K7, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 64 sts.
Rnd 2: *K6, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 56 sts.
Rnd 3: *K5, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 48 sts.
Rnd 4: *K1 in MC (purple), K2 in CC (green), K1 in MC, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 40 sts.
Rnd 5: *K1 in MC, K2 in CC k2tog; rep from * 6 times, K1 in MC (cut MC, tie off), K2 in CC k2tog - 32 sts.
Rnd 6: *K2 in CC, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 24 sts.
Rnd 7: *K1, k2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 16 sts
Rnd 8: *K2tog; rep from * to end of rnd, remove markers - 8 sts.
Rnd 9: *K2tog; rep from * to end of rnd - 4 sts.

Slip rem 4 sts onto one dpn. Knit 6" of I-cord. Break yarn, thread it onto a yarn needle, and pull the length through the remaining 4 stitches, drawing the I-cord to a close, then draw the loose end down inside the I-cord to finish. Tie the I-cord into a knot and weave in any loose ends.

For leaf embellishment as is (next time, I'm using this one instead):
CO1 st. K1, Bar increase 1.
Row 2: K1, Bar increase 1, K1.
Row 3: K1, Bar increase 1, K2.
Row 4: K1, Bar increase 1, K3.
Row 5: K1, Bar increase 1, K4.
Row 6: K1, Bar increase 1, K5.
Row 7: K1, Bar increase 1, K6.
Row 8: K1, Bar increase 1, K7.
Row 9: Knit.
Row 10: K7, k2tog.
Row 11: K6, k2tog.
Row 12: K5, k2tog.
Row 13: K4, k2tog.
Row 14: K3, k2tog.
Row 15: K2, k2tog.
Row 14: K1, k2tog.
Row 15: Bind off.

Break yarn, use end in yarn needle to attach leaf to hat. Repeat leaf.

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