The Cozy Checkered Hat

This fun, warm hat is an easy and quick project! Living in the mid-west means chilly Fall weather and freezing Winters. I love coming up with new patterns for my family and friends during this time of year. This cozy checkered hat is perfect as a gift, or just for yourself. Enjoy!


-Lions Brand Thick n Quick, Big Twist, or Buttercream Yarn For this hat I chose to do a different color for the brim of the hat, but you could always make it in one solid color. For the hat in the picture I used Lions Brand Thick n Quick yarn in ‘Black’ and ‘Fisherman’.

-#15 circular needles (16 inch)

-Tapestry needle for weaving through and tying-off.

With Black Yarn

CO 40 sts. (30 stitches for a toddler size hat)

Row 1: *K1, P1*

Row 2-5: repeat row 1

Change yarn color to ‘Fisherman’

Row 6-11: *K5, P5*

Row 12-17: *P5, K5*

Row 18-23: *K5, P5* (for a toddler size hat stop here!)

Row 24-29: *P5, K5”

Weave ends through and tie off. Make a pom pom, or use a store bought one to finish it off!


Spiral Slouch Hat

Well, what do you do when it is -34 outside? No, that is not a typo! It was really -34!!! If you live in Minnesota, you stay inside and make a nice warm hat! My goal with this hat was to make something that was cute, but also would keep me from getting frostbite on my ears! So, here we go…


Lions Brand Thick n Quick yarn

Size 15 circular needles (16 in.)

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Pom Pom maker (if wanted)

*If making for a child I would use size 13 knitting needles (16 in) and make 4 less rows before tying off!

CO 42 sts. on your circular needles.

Row 1 : Use a stitch holder and *K, P*

Row 2-5: Repeat Row 1.

Row 6: K, m1,  then K until the end of the row. (43 sts. total)

*This is where our spiral pattern begins! The pattern is off-set which makes the spiral carry up the hat. What I mean by that is the pattern is a 6 stitch repeat, but we will have one extra stitch in our foundation row . Just keep doing the repeat and every row will start one stitch earlier than the row below it. If it doesn’t make sense, trust me it works!

Row 7: *K4, P2*

Row 8-23: Repeat Row 7

Row 24: *K2tog, K2, P2*

*Using a tapestry needle thread your working yarn through the stitches on your circular needles. Pull stitches together and tie off.

Here is where you can make a pom-pom if you like (I made mine using the Clover Large pom-pom maker.) Another option is to buy the faux fur pompoms and sew them on. I have bought mine on Amazon as well as at JoAnn Fabrics.


“The Arctic Hat”

(A Cable Twist Hat Pattern)


Buttercream yarn in the color ‘Sage’ (I have also used Lions Brand Thick n Quick yarn, as well as Big Twist yarn for this pattern)

#15  16 in circular needles

Tapestry needle (for weaving through and tying-off)

-If making for a child I would use a #13 knitting needle. Skip row 6 which means that you will be working with 42 stitches.  I would also repeat the cable pattern 3 times instead of the 4 times that the adult pattern calls for. 


Knit stitch

Purl Stitch

Cable stitch: Place 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold front, knit the next 2 stitches, knit the stitches from the cable needle.


Cast On 42 stitches

Row 1: *K1, P1) across

Row 2-5: Repeat row 1 for 4 times. (this makes a 1X1 rib for the brim of the hat)

Row 6: * K6, m1*  (49 sts. total)  (if making for a child skip this row)

Row 7: *K4, P3*

Row 8: *K4, P3*

Row 9: *Cbl stitch, P3*

Row 10: *K4, P3*

Row 11: *K4, P3*

Row 12: *K4, P3*

Repeat Rows 9-12 (it’s a 4 row cable pattern) 4 more times. (If making for a child repeat 3 times.)


Cbl stitch, p3

*K4, P2tog, P*

*K2tog, K2, P2*

-Using your tapestry needle, weave ends through, pull, and tie off!

As a finishing touch I usually add a faux-fur pom pom or make a pom pom out of yarn with my Clover Pom-Pom Maker.


DIY Projects

Personalized T-Shirts!


As a mom, I love my kids more than they will ever know. With this in mind, I decided that if I broadcasted my love for them on a t-shirt, they might see my love…and potentially be traumatized by it!

This great idea came to me when my son Cade, the oldest of our five kids, turned 13 this year. Unbeknownst to him, we all were wearing shirts that said I ‘heart’ Cade. As we sat down at the restaurant of his choice, we all took off our sweaters and proudly showed off our shirts! His face was bright red, but he was smiling. Well, I think that he was smiling!

An added bonus to making these shirts is that you can wear them to your children’s sporting events, school concerts, and even to just go grocery shopping! I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and tell me what a fun idea this is!

So, lets begin!


T-shirt (I’ve used cotton, cotton blends, etc. and had great results with all)

White, Black, and Red fabric paint…NOT puffy paint! (I buy mine at JoAnn’s Fabrics)

Paint brushes (the size of the brush bristles determines the width of the lettering)


After buying your shirt, wash and dry it. If you paint the shirt before washing it, the lettering will pull against the fabric, making it look lumpy. (No one wants to look lumpy!) Next, place something between the front and back of your fabric…I used my husbands magazines! This will ensure that the paint doesn’t bleed through onto the back fabric.

Choose your paint colors. For light shirts, I use black paint, and for medium to dark shirts, I use white paint. I always use red for the heart. This is just my preference due to the fact that four of my five kids are boys and didn’t like the idea of pink hearts!

Paint your lettering. GO SLOW! I like to place a piece of tape across where my lettering will be to make sure that I keep the letters at the same level. After the lettering gets tacky dry…roughly 15 minutes, I do a second coat. This is especially important when painting with white paint. If you are nervous about your lettering, I do have one trick you can do. Start your lettering using a thin brush. This enables you to ‘mess-up’ a little, before going over the letters with the thicker brush. (When all else fails, find a friend who has a steady hand and bribe them with chocolate…thats how I end-up doing shirts for friends of mine!)

Let the shirt fully dry before wearing or washing. I usually wait 24 hours. After wearing the shirts, we wash them in cold water, and dry on our regular drier setting. If for some reason the lettering still comes out lumpy I throw it back in the drier to get warm, then I lay it on a flat surface with an encyclopedia on top of the lettering. The heat and the pressure of the book will help flatten it out.

This is a super easy and fun project. You will be amazed at how many people will comment on your shirt…seriously! The only downside is that when you make them for one of your children, suddenly they all want you to wear one for each of them!

My last tip is for those times when you are going to an event that more than one of your children are participating in. Two of my children wrestle in the same league. It is way to much work to wear one shirt, run to the bathroom and change, and then wear the other shirt, so that each boy can have me wearing their shirts. What I did was buy a long sleeved shirt, and on the front I painted I ‘heart’ Wrestlers, and down each sleeve I wrote each boys name! Problem solved!!!


Muscle Pain Roller

DSC_0661As and active family of seven, you can imagine how many muscles aches we have in our house. Whether the kids have growing pains, muscle injuries from wresting meets and volleyball tournaments, I felt that I was constantly giving them over the counter medication. Luckily for me a friend introduced me to Young Living Essential Oils. Now, let me explain that I was EXTREMELY skeptical of what I thought was a  ‘tree-hugging hippy’ waste of my time. Well, call me a tree-hugging hippy, (please don’t) but I was amazed at how fast I was able to bring relief to my children as well as myself!

If you search out sites on the internet, you will find hundreds of oil recipes. I caution you to do your research!!! Some recipes sound great until I verify the oils being used in my reference book. (If you don’t already have the Essential Oils Pocket Reference [sixth edition], by: Life Science….GET IT!) Amazon carries it, and I use it everyday! It has information on almost every ailment such as hair loss, to more serious diseases.  Even though I have been totally converted to believing in the healing properties of oils I, in no way, think that it is okay to discount medical advice. I use oils as my first line of defense, before moving forward to traditional over the counter medications, and doctors visits.

So, after making you read all of this, here is my Muscle Pain Roller Recipe.

In a 10ml amber (or other dark color) roller bottle. combine the following:

Cypress                          10 drops

Black Pepper                 4 drops

Idaho Balsam Fir         4 drops

Lemongrass                   4 drops

Peppermint                   5 drops

*Fill the remainder of the roller bottle with the carrier oil of your choice (I used grape seed oil). Place the roller top on the bottle and roll away!