Threads: Embroidery, A Wrong-Size Knitted Hat

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a maker, a crafter.  I sewed dresses for dolls, cross stitched bookmarks and made friendship bracelets with threads taped to my knee on long car rides.  As I became a Mama, I made things differently, crafted more.  I knit with a babe on my breast, I sewed with a babe in a sling, I drew while my babes slept.  Finished projects, once I became a Mama, came at the cost of dishes piling, laundry stacking, sleep evaporating.  Because I value the work, the process, and the product, it was always alright.  Most of the time.  To be honest, I can think of whisper-swearing my way through laundry’s put-away with a head lamp near midnight just the other day since the afternoon had cultivated holiday gift making.

As our girls grow, I watch as they watch me.  Sometimes it’s hard to make time, to get up from a project and do what needs to be done for the home only to wish I was still at it.  I’m trying to be a better model for them.  As our girls turn that corner from baby to little girl, I hold my breath at what they’re capable of.  It’s astounding.

I believe it’s so important for the just-learning-to-write/read child to work with their fingers.  Holding a needle today is holding tomorrow’s ink.  I really believe fine writing follows.  Fiber work is so important.  The girls and I are doing a lot of it together now, and it makes my heart swoon.  There’s felt animals and finger knitted leashes all over our house and I couldn’t be happier.

The other day at the thrift store, we found a $1 pink ring and a packet of cross stitch squares for $.75.  In a shoebox at closet’s top shelf, we found my childhood embroidery kit with tangles of yarn, unfinished friendship bracelets, needles and thimbles.  Lucy was over the moon.  She immediately got a pencil and drew a girl outline on the cloth.  As she worked, she drew more detail before threading the needle.  I loved her process, her thought.

She was unstoppable, a bit like me when I walk the house with a skein in my hoodie pocket, walking and knitting all the while in the zone.  I can’t explain how good it feels to see so much of me inside her.

Hours passed, and she spoke of grass and clouds and all the other ones she’d make soon.  She wants to enter this one in the Fair, once it’s finished of course.  I think she’s on to something, and it feels good to know this work makes her happy, this work is because of me and all I’ve done around her since I carried her in my tummy.

If we give them time, materials, and space, it’s amazing what our babes can create.

I’m a thoughtful knitter.  I always know the recipient before the project starts.  I think of the individual or cause the entire time I’m knitting, imagining their joy in the item.  I love how the yarn slips through my fingers as it stacks upon itself to completion.  And I’m a bit broken hearted if the item doesn’t fit, or if the item isn’t well received.  It’s why I could never, ever mass produce and sell my knitted goods.  My heart would hurt if I sent them to strangers far, far away.  Strange, I know.

I knit a swatch gauge, I stopped along the way to measure.  Somehow, somewhere the hat got out of whack.  It’s a pattern I’ve memorized, knit dozens of times.  And now, giving it to someone else almost feels like cheating.  Here’s a hat I knit with someone else in mind.  I hope you like it.   Drastic, I know.  This one just took so long, let’s hope I find the right one to pass it along to.

joining Ginny for yarn along.


  • Alma says:

    Oh my this was lovely! My Lucy is 4 and is always interested in what Im knitting. I have taught her the basics on how to crochet a chain so far. This is a great project for her too as I ma getting back into embroidery myself.
    I also believe in the magic of fibre and hand made and the many creative doors they open.
    If anything else I would rather be knitting or crocheting… I wish there were enough hours in my day. I was considering doing a giveaway of a cowl I just made for my blog’s first anniversary . I am always apprehensive about giveaways, any thoughts?
    I love your hat and Lucy’s embroidered doll.

  • Tracey says:

    What a darling you have there and her embroidered doll is so sweet.
    I am the same kind of knitter as you and think of the receiver of the gift with each stitch, I think it means more.
    PS- I received a sweet package in the mail, thank you, it’s beautiful.

  • Libbey says:

    Thanks for the ideas for Oliver…I ended up finding a knitting doll (painted like a boy!) at Ositos, and we do it together. It’s a little complicated for him yet to do it alone, but together we’re making a nice long leash for the cat.

  • dig says:

    Oh I am SO impressed Miss Lucy! That little embroidered girl makes me smile huge.


  • Thanks for stopping by! Your little lady did a marvelous job! I’ve been enjoying crafting with my daughter as well. This afternoon we’re working on a felt & needle felted mug cozy for her daddy. 🙂 The hat is beautiful, so I’m sure the recipient will love it. And all of that love will just go right along with it!

  • Summer says:

    love this post… I can’t wait till my baby is at an age to be dreaming up projects and then putting those hands to work with needles and thread or whatever else she may want to try. Having her and seeing all of you blogging, crafty mamas makes me want to learn more… knitting has always been one I’ve wanted to learn and then pass on to my children.

  • I love the handwork. I have definitely been there with a knitted project that didn’t turn out right. You will make the right decision, I’m sure! It’s lovely, even if it didn’t turn out like you planned!

  • Cory says:

    I am VERY much wanting to learn to cross stich/handstitch. And partially so I can teach it to my girls.
    You are deepening my inspiration with those pics!

  • Angela says:

    Wow, they are amazing just like their mama! I love watching the kiddos create. I had to chuckle at your whisper swearing. A lot of things go by the wayside as we try to create. I can totally relate. Thanks for sharing. Oh and love the hat too!

  • MJ says:

    I have never embroidered anything, but your little girl is so inspiring!! Wonderful! And now I have your feed, YAY!!!!
    Have a great holiday my friend!!

    • jenn says:

      Thank you for telling me my feed is back up.
      I wasn’t really into embroidery until my five year old said it’s like drawing with thread. That, in fact, sounds intriguing. Happiest of holidays to you, too.

    • Carley says:

      Eso eso! empieza a coger forma física que con esos PEAZO tacos que te has montado en la XT ya tengo ganas de seguirte. Felicidades por blog, a ver si te lo curras, eh! Saludos y hasta la prxblima.AóertXT600

  • Cory says:

    I just started to embroider something for the first time this last week. It’s very addicting! My oldest (6) is at it too.
    I hope your holiday is lovely.

  • Katie says:

    I adore these photos of Lucy, and your words, of course. Love her enthusiasm and expression taking shape with thread. You’re such an awesome mama, Jenn. xo

  • Claudine says:

    I always marvel at the magic that happens when littles are given some supplies — and most importantly some space!

    What a wonderful post!

    And I love the work you have done on your blog, it looks so fresh and inviting!

    Happy New Year to you!

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