Tag Archives: niece

The Munchkin & Harry Potter (Hat) Love


I have been listening to my friends talk about the birth of their children for years now, I may only be 28 but it seems my generation is okey-dokey with popping them out early. There is no judgement here; they all seem so happy, so content with life. I may experience the pangs of not having a child of my own – by which I mean someone who I carried in my body and brought into the world. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t feel a sharp stab from this fact, being a woman whose body cannot do the one function that can create new life is utterly soul-shattering. Or it would be, if not for my Munchkin.

My Munchkin as Harry Potter - Age 4.

My Munchkin as Harry Potter – Age 4.

This is my niece Gloria, but for the purposes of this blog I will always refer to her as the Munchkin; this is what I’ve always called her and until she begs me to stop I will continue to do so. I did not give birth to the Munchkin, but I live and breathe for her, I would die for her. Isn’t this what motherhood feels like? Like an infinite well of love that will never go dry? She is the primary reason I strive to be a better person and has been since the day she was born.

Oh nostalgia, I am getting away from my point here!

Okay. Tears dried, nose blown and ready to move onward!

It was because of the Munchkin that I have been inundated with Harry Potter for the past 10 years. She LOVED these movies, we watched them so many times that the DVD’s wore themselves out and had to be replaced. I could quote lines from Harry Potter like a devout Christian can recite scripture, and I never grew tired of it. Watching her face come to life in the midst of imaginary worlds filled with magic created its own sort of magic here on earth. As she grew older and started reading the books I was elated at the possibility of continuing that magic, and I was never disappointed.

So as I was pondering Tiny Owl Knits blog and saw a Harry Potter-esq hat…well…my credit card has never jumped out of my wallet so quickly! The Parseltongue Hat may be my favorite Tiny Owl Knits creation due solely to the fact that the whole time I was knitting it was like a lovely trip down memory lane. I have been watching the Munchkin grow up for almost 12 years now (oh God, I feel old) but Harry Potter still reminds me of the magic of childhood.

So I knit, and knit, and knit until I could barely feel my fingers with my brand-spanking new addi-clicks which are as amazing as everyone says. It was the first time I worked a pattern from the crown down which was like a little adventure all by itself, luckily one that didn’t end in a brim that was overly tight due to my overly tight gauge. Stephanie Dosen is a genius with creative, whimsical patterns and this hat was no different. As I saw the snakes and their tongues sliding off my needles, well, I was giddy.

I love this pattern, and I will make it again and again. For now though, I am keeping this hat to remind me that life is magical. I may never be called “mommy” by a tiny little person who kind of looks like me, but I have been called “Rachel” for the last 12 years by my Munchkin, and there is nothing more I hold dear.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there! Mother’s Day may be hard for someone like me but hey, I have a Mom so I get it. Two baby showers this weekend and I won’t have another for a whole 6 weeks!

So friends and neighbors, any patterns/books/music/movies that make you feel like there is still magic in the world? If so, I am dying to hear about it!

Stitch Pattern Week 6 – Bad Books and Doodads


Since I was unquestionably late posting the stitch pattern for last week, I hope this will assuage any worries about my commitment. Ha! That certainly sounded pretentious! Sh!t, so did that! Any-who, with no further adieu, I present week 6 for your viewing pleasure!

Quilted Lattice

Quilted Lattice

Normally, I would share the pattern written by my great-grandmother with a nice – if slightly snarky- correction on how the pattern would be written today. I want to do that for you below (it is down there, promise), but if you can bear with me there is a story that goes with this pattern that I would like to share.

First and foremost, I am honestly going to say that I went right to a stitch dictionary to find out how this pattern was supposed to be written because for the first time she actually included the name of the stitch! Whoopee! Hooray! No Frogging for this girl this time!

Wait…not so fast. If I learned something this week it is not to get overly excited that something may go as planned.

I went to a book I recently found at a yard sale for fifty cents, which seemed like a steal at the time but hey, what do I know? Maran Illustrated Knitting and Crocheting  seemed like a really good starter book for my niece to try her hand at knitting and I was familiar with the brand name, thus comfortable in my ignorance. When I found the quilted lattice pattern it was slightly different on one row from my GG’s dictation, but considering she wrote it in her eighties I went with the book.

Wrong plan. Bad idea. Don’t do it. No. No. No….NOOOO!!!

As it turns out, the pattern in the book was written incorrectly; after much frogging and even more cursing I went to Lion Brand’s website (I’d had it with stupid books with their stupid pages and stupid….stupidness) and found an identical pattern to what GG was attempting to convey in her own chicken scratch way and was off and running.

I love the pattern by the way, it was totally worth the hair loss caused my abject frustration, and as a bonus my niece and I stumbled upon a great DIY idea. This pattern lends itself to perfectly to having lovely doodads hung from the loose stitches, so I am currently doing this pattern again and following the idea born from Lion Brand’s website.

So with another new project on the needles and an epic weekend Scrabble tournament going on between my niece, my husband and I, I am feeling pretty giddy. Loads of work to do but when you love what you do, it never seems like work!

GG’s Pattern vs. Actual Readable Pattern

quilted lace – Quilted Lattice but so close! A name for the pattern! Huzzah!

all wrongs p – Purl all odd rows (Good, good. Cooking with gas).

r2 k2 s5 yth k1. rep. last k – Row 2: K2, *Sl5 wyif, K1* rep *to* till last st., K1 (Luckily I have seen yth= yarn towards heart, so bringing it forward made sense, which made the s=slip fall into place).

r4 k4 lift k drop k5. last rep -1 – Row 4: K4 *Lift lose strand, knit into next stitch, bring lose stitch under strand; K5* . Rep. *to* till last rep, K4 instead of K5. (Dear GG, If you were planning on passing on your patterns, great googley moogley why did you write the stitch transition like this? Was there a maniacal giggle happening as you did this? Devilish glint in your eye? Sometimes I wonder).

r6 k1 s3 yth then k1 s5 yth till last 5 k1 s3 yth k1 – Row 6: K1, sl3 wyif, *K1, sl5 wyif*.  Rep. *to* to last 5 sts; K1, sl3 wyif, K1 (I am getting a handle on you, you old bag. Your odd shorthand is becoming clearer and clearer to me with each passing week. Considering quitting my day job and pursuing a career as a codebreaker for the CIA).

r8 k1 lift k drop k5 last rep k-4: (Really) Row 8: K1 *insert needle under loose strand, knit into next strand and pull off needle and under lose strand, K5* Rep *to* till last rep., K1 instead of K5 (Dear GG, I forgot to ask earlier, why do you hate punctuation? Is there some family history about punctuation doing my family harm? Wish you were alive so I could ask, cause it is giving me heartburn to think about it).

-Almost the End. Promise.-

If you have made it to the end, more power to you. So I shall end this post with a burning question in my mind; Has anyone else bought a book or pattern and had it be completely off the mark? And if so, how did you figure out how to fix the problem?

Thank you again for glimpsing into my families history and my passion for knitting. I must be passionate, otherwise I am just nuts!