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Button Loop Tutorial

 This button loop tutorial is used for the Wiksten Iris Pullover, but is a great technique for adding afterthought button loops to any knitting - the front of a kid's cardigan, the end of a flip-top mitten, the edges of a buttoned scarf. It can be made to accommodate any size button, and is also an opportunity for a little hit of contrast yarn if you so choose. 

Cropped, Straight Leg Pants for Kids

Toddler Cropped Straight Leg PantsToddler Cropped Straight Leg PantsToddler Cropped Straight Leg PantsToddler Cropped Straight Leg Pants

You know those cute, cropped, straight leg pants that are so popular in women's fashion right now?  Fall is unquestionably creeping in here in Oregon, and the transitional weather is perfect for this style.  So of course I had to make a pair for Iris!

Did you know that a pattern for these is included in our Bloomers pattern?  All you have to do is make the pants version and leave out the elastic at the leg openings, which makes them even faster to sew.  

The crop is built in to the pattern already. For this pair, I used a beautiful black linen and added an extra hem allowance to sew a wide, 2" finished hem for a nice detail. A benefit of adding hem allowance here is that as your child grows, you have the option of letting out a little length.  I also added extra waistband hem allowance to mine to make the waistband wider.  Neither of those changes is necessary for a cute pair of pants though.

Iris is a size 3, but for this version of the pants I opted to cut the size 2 while maintaining the size 3 length in the crotch and leg. This keeps them just a little slimmer. Because sizing down for this pant version works very well, it means you could even use the size 3 to make pants for a child up to 4 or 5 years old. Just be sure to measure the child from waist to ankle to ensure the right length.

Leg Warmers for Spring

Eyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg WarmersEyelet Pattern Toddler Leg Warmers

Ever since Iris saw one of her preschool teachers (a dancer) wearing leg warmers to school, she's been begging me to make her some.  Of course she requested them in "ballet pink" to go with the monochromatic look she favors. I found the perfect yarn, and I didn't have to go far because Purl is my go-to for yarn.  I used their Worsted Twist in Ballet Pink, and it's just the squishiest, cuddliest merino yarn in the most delicate shade of pink.  It was really fun to knit with.

I originally bought a pattern on Ravelry to use, but ended up scrapping it after finding the math to be incorrect.  So of course I ended up doing what I do 9 times out of 10 and made up my own pattern.  Well, mostly.  I had recently bought the loveliest sock pattern, Wildflowers and Honeycomb Socks by Olivia Villarreal, and I decided to use the same stitch pattern.  I haven't made the socks yet, but I highly recommend the sock pattern after having read it.

I'm going to write the pattern notes for the leg warmers here in case you want to recreate them.  Keep in mind these are pretty casual notes!


Size- Toddler (2-4 yrs).  Iris is 3 years old, 50th percentile height and 5th percentile weight.  There's definitely room to grow in these.  To make a smaller or larger size try decreasing or increasing gauge.

Dimensions- 8" circumference, 12" length.

Yarn- 1 skein of Purl Soho Worsted Twist in Ballet Pink

Gauge- 5 stitches per inch with gauge needle.  (If you want to use fingering weight to make them lighter weight, just use the exact directions in the sock pattern for gauge and number of stitches to cast on because the socks are 8" circumference as well.)

Needles- one set of DPN's size US 8 (or size needed to obtain gauge) and one set of DPN's size US 6 (or 2 sizes smaller than gauge needle)


Cast 40 stitches onto smaller DPN's.  Divide stitches between needles and join in the round.  

Work in 1x1 rib for 2".

Change to larger DPN's and work in stitch pattern found in the Wildflowers and Honeycomb Socks pattern for 8".  (Or you can figure out the stitch pattern on your own, but I recommend buying the pattern to support the designer.  It's only $4.)  I made sure to have 4 rows of Stockinette between the ribbing and the eyelet pattern at the top and bottom.

Change back to smaller DPN's and work in 1x1 rib for 2".

BO 40 stitches in 1x1 rib.

So quick and simple!  I loved knitting these, and Iris loves wearing them.

Doll Bed

Painted Doll Bed with Handmade BeddingPainted Doll Bed with Handmade BeddingPainted Doll Bed with Handmade BeddingPainted Doll Bed with Handmade BeddingPainted Doll Bed with Handmade Bedding

Ever since Iris was a year old, one of her favorite pastimes has been putting her baby dolls to bed.  She gently lays blankets on them and pats their backs (sometimes lovingly, sometimes vigorously).  Early on I made her a little baby doll quilt, but we've made do over the last few years by using cloth napkins as well.

Naturally for Iris's 3rd birthday I thought it would be a great idea to gift her a special doll bed so that her dolls could really sleep in style.  No more napping on floors, covered in napkins!  I wanted something special but was really opposed to the idea of spending a lot of money, especially since cost does not always equal quality these days.  My greatest desire was to find the perfect inexpensive antique doll bed that I could refurbish.  Months of scouring Etsy, flea markets, and antique stores left me empty-handed, but I eventually found one when I was back in Iowa visiting.  Unfortunately I was unable to get it back to Oregon without spending a fortune, so I sold it at an antique shop before I left.

A little heartbroken and with an impending deadline, I decided to buy a new doll bed made from unfinished wood that I could paint.  I'm amazed at how hard it is to find a simple wood doll bed!  I finally found this one by Goki online, but it was much cheaper when I bought it.  Not sure why the price has gone up.  It's made of cheap wood, but at least it's light enough for Iris to lift by herself.

My favorite thing about this project is that it was a team effort by my sister, my husband, and me.  We poured some love into it, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out.  I hated seeing the screws at the ends of the bed, so I filled the holes with wood filler before Mindy sanded and Joe painted.  We used leftover paint from our dining room in Sherwin Williams Sea Salt.  There are 3 categories of blue according to Iris: regular blue, "better blue", and "much better blue".  She doesn't care for regular blue, but this one fell into the "better blue" category.

My favorite part was going to Modern Domestic with my sister, where we brainstormed fabric combinations that Iris would approve.  All we knew is that it had to be bright, and it had to be pink.  We ended up choosing Penny Arcade by Kim Kight, Carousel Pink by Rifle Paper Co., and Treasure in Lipstick by Anna Maria Horner.  Then we did some googling and some math and cut and sewed up the mattress, pillow, and quilt.

The project took a bit of effort and more time than I anticipated, but it was really fun and the end product was a hit!  Especially according to my cats.  They just love sleeping in it.  Ha!

The darling little PDC Floppy Bear is one of our most special toys, and it gives me happy memories of the trade I did with Jen Murphy when I was pregnant with Iris.  I say "our" because it's mostly mine.  ; )

My Funny Valentine

My Funny ValentineWiksten SmockWiksten SmockWiksten BloomersPainted Valentine Heart GarlandPainted Valentine Heart GarlandPainted Valentine Hearts

Happy Valentine's Day!  This year it was so fun because now that Iris is 3, I think I have a fellow crafter on my hands!  Last week after a mom/daughter taco date night, we went to the art supply store to get some Valentine supplies.  Then we spent a little time every day for a week working on handmade valentines for her preschool teachers and classmates.  I cut the hearts out from watercolor paper, and she painted them with watercolors and glue and sprinkled them with glitter.  We had a few left over and made a garland for her room.  

Iris is wearing the Wiksten Bloomers and the 3/4 sleeve version of the Wiksten Smock Top + Dress pattern that will be coming out next, so this is a little sneak peek.  You can see the sleeveless top version pictured on the bloomers product page here.  (The knee socks are from Misha and Puff, and the shoes are from Mabo. The adorable Maileg mouse in a box is from our sweet friends Shay and Rafaela.)