Pattern: Easy Child’s Crocheted Ruffle Scarf

This is an easy scarf for the child in your life who loves all things ruffled! It was inspired by the “Mindless Mandala Scarf” from Trifles & Treasures; the biggest difference is that with my pattern you’re only working on one side of the starting chain, which gives a spiral effect.

This works up quickly. I used some Lion Brand Mandala in “Thunderbird” that I had left over after finishing Anselm’s afghan, and I love the effect of the long bands of colour. Between the shape and the stripes, this scarf made me think of turkey tail mushrooms the whole time I was making it.

Anyway, here’s the pattern!

Child’s Crocheted Ruffle Scarf

Abbreviations used:

  • ch = chain
  • sc = single crochet
  • hdc = half-double crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • st = stitch

Materials: Any 4-weight (worsted) yarn with its suggested hook size; adjust as needed if you’d like a longer or wider scarf.

Foundation: Ch 150.

Row 1: Ch 1, turn, 1 hdc in each ch across

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, 2 hdc in each st across

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, 1 dc in each st across

Row 4: Ch 2, turn, [2 dc in first st, 1 dc in next st], continue across

Row 5: Ch 1, turn, 1 hdc in each st across

Row 6: Ch 1, turn, [2 hdc in first st, 1 hdc in next st], continue across

Row 7: Ch 2, turn, 1 dc in each st across

Row 8: Repeat row 7

Row 9: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each st across, fasten off

Happy crocheting!

2020: the year that was

2020, amirite? I feel like that date is going to end up as a shorthand for all of us who lived through it: for coronavirus and cloth masks and toilet paper shortages and social distancing and online church and political scandal and civil unrest and case counts and quarantines and the anti-mask lunatic fringe and allllllllllll the rest of it which, frankly, I’m pretty tired of talking and thinking about. The pandemic fatigue is real. We don’t need another post about why 2020 was kind of a dumpster fire, so here is another take — the things from 2020 that I want to remember as good and lovely. They may have been harder to see, but they were there.

First of the list, of course, is Tertia’s birth — this little bobobean filled a hole in our family we didn’t even know was there. She just slotted right in, and it’s been a joy and a wonder to have a baby in the family this year. She is a cheerful, amiable little person. We are so lucky to have her. And we were lucky in our timing as well — she arrived two weeks before her due date, which meant that we just missed out on the first wave of hospital restrictions. The first pandemic closures, while scary, also meant that instead of taking two weeks of paternity leave before going back to work, my husband was able to work from home for about her first twelve or thirteen weeks. It was a real blessing to have him around for the whole of that newborn stage.

The big kids — as we mostly call them these days — have been growing like crazy. We started formally homeschooling this fall as Anselm entered grade one. Perpetua is doing junior kindergarten and it’s been amazing to see how far she’s come with her letters, numbers, and early math just since September. Recently I did some organizing in the basement that left me with a spare large tub, which meant I could finally get all of our craft supplies in one place; it’s so much easier to do art stuff with them now. Anselm has lost two teeth and Perpetua makes me crack up on a daily basis. I’ve been very glad that they have a close relationship, especially this year when it’s been so difficult (or flat-out prohibited) to hang out with other kids. Right now they are being chess pieces and also in a high-jumping contest and a sack of javelins is apparently also involved (?). I don’t try to understand, I just enjoy.

It was a good year for baking! I learned to make sourdough and challah, sometimes on the same day, and I am happy to report that Sheryl, my sourdough starter, is now nine months old and still going strong.

I also made three birthday cakes this year. A strawberry bunny with strawberry icing for Perpetua, a London Fog cake for my husband, and a rainbow sprinkle cake for Anselm (the interior was yellow cake, with vanilla icing). Now, the ‘rainbow’ inside layers were really only discernible under a camera flash, and I learned that next time I should spring for the good old artificial colours instead of the naturally-derived ones… which apparently do nothing. But it was still delicious!

The decorations? Also strawberry.
The London Fog cake: chocolate cake, earl grey vanilla icing, and salted caramel drizzle — all from scratch!
SPRINKLES.
The colours essentially baked themselves out; without the flash they were just variants of yellowy-brown. Oh, well.

It was a productive year for crochet. I completed 5 baby blankets, 6 dishcloths, 1 shawl, 1 decorative throw, 1 Christmas stocking, 1 hat, and 9 squares for my Eastern Jewels blanket. I also got about six or seven rows in to the 16 octagonal motifs for Eastern Jewels, and started a child’s scarf in the last few days of 2020 which I should finish tonight or tomorrow. It’s a fun, very ruffled self-drafted pattern and I’m looking forward to sharing that with you.

Because we bought our house late in the year in 2019, 2020 was our first full year here, and our first chance to experience the garden in the spring and summer. It was a delight to see all the flowers that came up in the spring, and wonderful to have such a nice big yard for the children to play in. The largest flower bed was extremely overgrown; we dug it out in the fall and are planning to put in raised beds for growing vegetables come spring.

What else, what else? I blogged some, I wrote some, I had a poem published, I read some wonderful books, and I continued to enjoy and achieved some personal goals in my favourite game. The recovery from my c-section was uneventful. I discovered, after nearly a year of living here, that there is a pull-out cutting board under one of our kitchen counters. Broadly speaking, we have been healthy, and even happy.

2020 had a lot of challenges. It’s been, at times, scary, frustrating, and lonely. But there are always things to be grateful for, even amid the other stuff. And I am grateful.

A few recent crochet pieces

None of these were intensive enough to warrant their own posts, so here’s a quick roundup.

1. Hat for Tertia

I started by following the pattern for this hat from Five Little Monsters, but I got bored/annoyed eight rows in and just freehanded the rest. Yarn was Lion Brand Mandala in ‘Thunderbird’ (left over from Anselm’s afghan) and I used an I/5.5 hook.

She thinks wearing hats is hilarious. It’s the best.

2. Dishcloths!

I wanted better dishcloths so I bought some scrubby cotton yarn and whipped these out over a couple of evenings (not pictured: a few more that are either in use or in the wash). It was a good chance to also get in some practice with changing colours! This is Red Heart Scrubby Cotton in the colourways ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Blissful Print’. I used a G(4.25) hook and they’re all just simple half-double crochet squares.

3. Tertia’s Christmas stocking

Only briefly alluded to in my Christmas-rehash post, here is the thing itself, hung by the chimney with care. Obviously it’s got her real name underneath my hasty scribbles; this was the first year I remembered to do the embellishment before crocheting the two sides together. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, it was much easier that way. Yarns were random basic acrylics from my stash (probably Red Heart and/or Bernat) and I probably used a G hook. Maybe. I don’t know; I just wanted to finish.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake

We had this for breakfast on Christmas morning and it was delish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf french bread, stale
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Directions:

  1. Cut french bread into cubes and place in large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a second bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add blueberries, pecans, and liquid ingredients to bread cubes. Stir/fold with spatula until bread is soaked and nuts/berries are well distributed.
  4. Grease a 9×13″ casserole dish. Pour bread mixture into dish; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning, remove dish from fridge. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F. Serve warm.

Merry & Bright

It was Xmas — Xmas with its mantle of white snow, scintillating from a thousand diamond points, Xmas with its good cheer, its peace on earth — Xmas with its feasting and merriment, Xmas with its — well, anyway, it was Xmas.

“Caroline’s Christmas, or, The Inexplicable Infant”, Nonsense Novels, Stephen Leacock

It was Xmas — sorry, Christmas — and we modestly feasted, went to church-on-the-couch, zoomed with the relations we’re not allowed to visit, and generally worked ourselves into various over-sugared, over-stimulated, over-tired tizzies. There were stockings and presents. There was pie. Some mistakes were made (in case you’ve ever idly wondered whether silly putty is easy to get out of a lite-brite: it’s not). All in all, it’s been a reasonably satisfying Christmas all round. We even woke up to fresh snow yesterday morning — although it has been too overcast to do much in the way of scintillating.

True to form, after having nearly all of 2020 in which to complete Tertia’s Christmas stocking, I finished it on December 23rd (this may be a personal best). I love having a family set of stockings, but I hate making them. There is nothing more boring than projects worked entirely in single crochet. Nothing. But I pushed through with the help of Downton Abbey and Holiday Baking Championship, and her stocking was hanging from the mantel with the others come Christmas morning. We’ll call it a win.

The other big news vis a vis Christmas actually has nothing to do with the holiday, except that it happened on it: I did some laundry. That’s not news in itself, goodness knows how much laundry it takes to keep this house running, but what was unique about this load was that it evidently also contained a sparkly red crayon. This crayon was washed. And then it was dried. I only found this when I pulled the load out of the dryer and found that all of the children’s clothes had glittery red wax spots on them. Merry Christmas to me!

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, here is how to deal with a crayon that’s gone through the dryer:

  1. Wash everything. Use your hottest water and longest cycle, plenty of detergent, add some OxyClean if you have it, as well as at least a cup of baking soda. This took the spots off 90% of the clothes. Hang things to dry if you haven’t cleaned your dryer yet.
  2. Second round: spot-treat the clothes that are still stained with OxyClean and run them through again, still with the hot water and baking soda. This took care of very nearly everything, and the one pair of pants that still has visible marks on it also has some paint stains from before, so I’m not too bothered.
  3. To clean the dryer: run it for a few minutes so that it gets hot and the crayon bits soften, then open the door and scrub the surfaces with dryer sheets. You will have to do this several times since it gets progressively less effective as the machine cools. Don’t forget the back wall of the dryer, the inside of the door, and all the other little crevices where wax can hide. Once you think you’ve got it all, run a load of damp rags through to make sure.

And that, dear readers, just about sums up our little Christmas en famille. May your days be merry, your jammies be seasonal, and your dryers remain wax-free. Here’s to 2021.