Children’s Crocheted Scarf – A Free Pattern

I have been making and selling these little crocheted scarves for a few years now. I started out with making a few for my Miss 4 when she was about 2, and then soon found we had more scarves than I knew what to do with.

A quick and simple crochet project, this is a great beginner – intermediate pattern that should take you no longer than 2 hours from start to finish.

Not a crocheter, but love the scarves? You’ll find a selection of scarves I’ve made in my Etsy store here.

**Please note that I would not recommend these scarves for children under 3 years of age unless under constant close supervision. As with anything else you place around a child’s neck (necklace, bag strap, etc) a scarf does pose a strangulation risk to small children. I would also urge you not to leave a scarf on a sleeping child as this will also place them at risk of overheating.**

Heavy stuff aside, this is a great little scarf for the 3-5 year olds in your life, and with a few alterations can be made in much larger sizes too. I’ve even made one for my Dad!

So without further ado…

A Children’s Scarf Pattern

This pattern is written in US terms. If you usually work in UK terms, please find a handy conversion chart here.

Please use pattern for personal use only, or seek permission before selling products using this pattern.

Materials:

8ply yarn. I’ve used Bendigo Woollen Mills Bloom

4.5mm crochet hook

Darning needle

Scissors

Abbreviations:

Ch: chain

DC: double crochet

St: stitch

SC: single crochet

Sl St: slip stitch

Pattern:

Ch 80.

Row 1: 1 DC into 3rd ch from hook. 1 DC in each st to end. Turn. (78sts).

Row 2-3: Ch 2. 1 DC in base of Ch 2. 1 DC in each st to end. Turn. (78 sts).

Row 4: Ch 2. 1 DC in base of Ch 2. 1 DC in each of the next 11 sts. Ch 9. Skip the next 8 sts and DC in the 9th st from the last DC. DC in each st to end. Turn. (78 sts).

Row 5 – 7: Ch 2. 1 DC in base of Ch 2. 1 DC in each st to end. Turn. (78 sts).

When you reach the 9 chains of the previous row, continue your DC into each chain as you would for the rest of the row.

At the completion of Row 7 you may like to fasten off here for a simple completed scarf, or you can add a SC border with the following step.

The last step: Ch 1. 1 sc in base of Ch 1. 1 sc in each st to end of row. DO NOT TURN. Continuing in the same direction we’re now going to work around the corner. * add an extra 1 sc in the last st and work 13 sc’s across the scarf end*. Continuing around the edge of the scarf, 2 sc in the corner and 1 sc in each st to end of row. Repeat from * to *. Sl st into first st (the beginning of round). Fasten off, weave in ends.

And you have a complete scarf!

This pattern is easy to alter to suit your preference. Add more DC’s to your rows to make it longer, more rows to make it wider, add details on the ends like tassels, or leave it as is. See a few variations I’ve made in my Etsy store.

Happy crocheting!

Abby x

Sydney

It’s been a big week.

The kids and I had colds, I was solo parenting for most of the week, my uni semester winds up today and I had a final assessment to complete before we flew to Sydney on Wednesday. None of those things on their own seem like a big deal, but when you add them all up you need a lot of coffee.

So the week that was…

There’s bulbs popping up all over our yard, and I can’t for the life of me remember what they are, so I’m looking forward to when they flower.

The kids were Where’s Wally obsessed for most of the week.

Miss 4 has been carrying a container of rocks around with her all week and they’ve been arranged in all kinds of interesting ways all over the place. A little container of rocks even made it to Sydney with us!

Miss 4 packed her own suitcase for Sydney

It may not look much, but she has two different types of wand in there, so as my Mum pointed out, she should be able to conjure up anything else she may require!

We flew to Sydney on Wednesday, and though I wouldn’t say the two hour flight with a 3 and 4 year old was ‘easy’, it was definitely much easier than a couple of 16 hour flights I once did with a 1 and 2 year old!

It’s been all puppy cuddles and Sydney things since then…

There’s lots of coffee, no assignments and the adult to child ratio has gone from 1:2 to 4:2. The week ends much better than it started.

How has your week been? Have you measured your days in cups of coffee?

Wishing you all relaxing weekends.

Abby x

It’s been a while

3 years or so.

My last post on Mummy Doesn’t Bake was after completing a quilt for the baby boy I was pregnant with at the time. That little baby boy of mine is now three years old, and though he’s not that much a ‘baby’ anymore, he’s every bit the ‘boy’.

And that little baby girl I used to write about? She’s now my chatty, bubbly, FOUR year old ‘kindy girl’

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Those who’ve walked the path of young children will understand why the posts stopped. The foggy years of babies and toddlers are incredibly rewarding and ridiculously exhausting, and only now as I tentatively step out the other side of that fog, do I feel I have anything to give to a blog again.

I’ve renamed the space ‘Abby Sewell’, simply my name, because for however accurate the ‘Mummy Doesn’t Bake’ title was, three years gained wisdom has taught me that defining myself by what I was not, was not a particularly inspiring way to live.

So here we go again. The content will be a little the same, a little bit different. The baby content is out, the funny things my kids say is probably in. I’m still crafting, reading, gardening and getting on my high horse about social justice issues.

If you’re still interested please stick around. If REALLY interested find more of my oversharing on Instagram and a few of the things I make at Etsy.

For now I’ll leave you with the treasures retrieved from my pockets after the walk home from Kindy today, my ‘big kids’ being all cute with each other and the very clever weed that popped up in my front lawn, sporting pretty pink flowers, therefore guaranteeing I wouldn’t pull it out.

Weeds are sneaky. Watch them…

Abby x

 

 

Alexander’s Outing: A book activity

 

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I’ve got a little bookworm on my hands. Which suits me just fine!

She loves Where is the Green Sheep? (see here) and brings it to me constantly during the day to read to her. With a huge selection of Children’s books in this house, I decided it was time we explored some new titles.

So we started with Alexander’s Outing by Pamela Allen

alexanders outing cover

Alexander’s Outing is the story of a duckling called Alexander who did not pay attention when walking with his mother and the other ducklings. When crossing the road, Alexander falls down a hole in the road, and the story then follows how people try to help get Alexander out. Eventually they discover that by filling the hole with water, Alexander can float to the top and out of the hole again.

alexanders outing image 2

Miss E enjoyed this story, particularly because we have quite a collection of rubber ducks and she knows what a ‘ducky’ is, and that it says ‘quack quack’.

Using our collection of rubber ducks, I came up with a little water play activity to play with after reading the book.

alexanders outing setup

I gathered my supplies:

  • Baby bath with a little water in the bottom (you could use a large container, kitchen sink, bath)
  • Rubber ducks
  • Plastic cup
  • Container to fill (I used a medium sized mixing bowl)
  • Towel for catching all the spills

and stripped Miss E down to a nappy and T-shirt, because she was always going to end up soaking wet.

IMG_8230We put a duck in the bowl and slowly filled the bowl with water, making the duck rise to the top.

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We repeated this a few times with different ducks, and different levels of success at tipping the water into the bowl and not onto ourselves (Miss E, not me!).

Then we had some free play, which was mostly just a lot of splashing and tipping water everywhere, but a lot of fun on a hot day!

alexanders outing play2

I’ll repeat this activity when Miss E’s a little older, with rubber ducks, balls, leaves, rocks, toy cars etc, so that we can explore the idea of what sinks and what floats.

and now we go back to the book collection to find some more activities we can link to books!

Abby xx

 

Motherhood

I’m going through a Jodi Picoult stage at the moment. I’m currently reading Perfect Match and have just finished Vanishing Act. They’re a nice simple read and I always get hooked quickly, then read the whole book in a few days.

When I came across this paragraph in Vanishing Act, I had to capture it. It’s exactly right.

book quote

It made me think of those first few days after I had Miss E, when I realised that I would never again, for the rest of my life, stop worrying about this little person. The thought was so exhausting on that third baby blues day, that it made me cry.

Exhausting as all that worrying is, and will be, it’s absolutely worth it 🙂

Abby xx

 

Books for Babies

book collage

I’m a bit of a book nerd, and Miss E is well on her way to becoming one too. Our Children’s book collection is a little crazy, between my love of picture books, my old picture books, the books I’d collected as a teacher and the books Miss E received at our BaByQ / Book Shower, we’ve got just a few.

There are these in her bedroom:

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and these in the lounge:

lounge books

and then the novels that are a bit beyond her at the moment, are in the spare bedroom.

We like to read together snuggled up together on the couch, or both laying on our bellies with the book spread out on the floor in front of us, and sometimes we lay on our back and I hold the book open up above us. I don’t think it matters a whole lot how you read to your baby, just so long as you do.

We aim to read one book a day with Miss E, though it’s often more than that. Matt reads as many books to her as I do, because we want her to see that it’s important for everyone to read. We’ll probably make an even bigger deal out of Matt reading to the kids if and when we have a little boy one day, so that our little man grows up knowing that reading is just as important for boys as it is girls.

Amongst the many books we own, these are the ones that we read over and over again:

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Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd.

This was one of my favourites when I was little. I can remember it being the first book I ever borrowed from the school library, when I was five years old. Miss E loves it too. I think it’s because it rhymes, is repetitive and Hairy Maclary and his pals are dogs, and she loves dogs!

Each time we read this book, we talk about the dogs, and how Penny is a dog too. Babies learn so much from talking about what is in the book, as well as reading the story. We’ve now come to the point where Miss E looks to Penny continuously when we’re reading books about dogs. She’s made the connection between books, and real life!

The next three books are board books. I find board books are great with Miss E, because I’m not precious about her bending or tearing the pages, and if she wants to put the corners in her mouth she can go for it!

wonkey donkey

wonky donkey open

The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith.

I think this one might be just as fun for Mum and Dad to read, as what it is for little ones to hear. Another repetitive, rhyming book, The Wonky Donkey is also great because it’s silly. Our copy also came with a CD with the story recorded in song. Bonus!

i went walking

I Went Walking by Sue Williams.

This is a nice quick book. The illustrations are simple, and the text is repetitive. It talks about common farm animals, so we talk about the noises those animals make, and show her any stuffed toys that match. Perfect for little people!

Again, this book has a dog in it that happens to look a lot like Penny, so maybe this is why Miss E likes it as well!

where is the green sheep

green sheep open

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox.

Rhyming, repetitive and silly, this book has you looking for the Green Sheep the whole way through. Miss E loves the illustrations in this book. We have a fluffy green sheep toy that we play with after reading this book, and sing ‘Baa Baa Green Sheep’ and ‘Mary had a little lamb (whose fleece was green as grass)’.

Yes, we definitely love our books in this house, and we’re so happy to see our little girl following in our footsteps!

Abby xx

The Princess and the Pea

In an effort to save money, I’m trying to hand make as many gifts as possible. So that I don’t find myself caught out at the last minute without a gift, I’ve started making some gifts to put away, ready for a rainy day.

I found the idea for this gift on Pinterest a couple of years ago, but only got around to making it for the first time just recently. Find the original idea as I saw it here.

I made a simple Princess and the Pea playset, to be gifted with a copy of the book.

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Using some fabric scraps, and bits and pieces I already had, I made eight little mattresses for the Princess to sleep on, and one little princess.

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As you can see, I didn’t worry too much about making the princess perfect. I tend to make a lot of my projects with a lot of trial and error, no measuring, just going by eye. Sometimes, I get wonky results, but it doesn’t bother me too much. Half the appeal of handmade toys is that they are not perfect. I doubt a kid would mind anyway!

Of course, it wouldn’t be The Princess and the Pea without a pea would it? I added a marble to the bottom mattress as my ‘pea’, and for added interest, sewed a little maze pattern into the mattress for the pea to pass through.

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I’ve only made one playset so far, but I’ve bought three copies of the book, so it looks like I’ll be making a couple more to put away in the gift box too. One will probably be for Miss E when she’s old enough, the others will become gifts for someone else.

princess n book

princess and book

I’m pretty happy with this little project. It was quick, easy and a lot of fun. I can’t wait to make some more!

Abby xx

 

 

Buying gifts for little people

toys

It might only be July, and a long time until Christmas, but I’m just about all done with Miss E’s Christmas shopping already. Having almost all of our families birthdays in November and December along with Christmas, makes it a very expensive time for us. We clearly planned Miss E well, with her birthday falling in between Christmas and New Year! So I decided I need to be organised well in advance, if we don’t want empty wallets at the beginning of January.

I’ve done most of my shopping at the toy sales this year, planning out what I would buy before I walked through the door. Walking into a toy sale with all those bright coloured, light up, noise making toys can be overwhelming, I needed to make sure that I knew what I wanted, before I went in.

I came up with some criteria, then checked the catalogues and made my list.

Here’s some of the criteria I was looking for:

  • Nothing that requires batteries, has lights, moves automatically or has automated voices/plays music. I don’t want Miss E sitting passively and expecting to be entertained by her toys, she should play an active role in entertaining herself.
  • Should promote imaginative play and open ended activities.
  • Some outdoor play equipment.
  • Help develop fine and gross motor skills.

Here are some articles that guided my thinking before I came up with my criteria.

http://mamas-in-the-making.com/2012/06/starting-the-toy-revolution/

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/10/better-toys-for-busy-babies/

That said, we already own some toys that break my own rules. Bought by me before having Miss E, and before I’d thought this through, or as gifts from friends and family. I haven’t thrown these toys out though, I just limit their use to ‘once in a blue moon’, or when I’m desperate for a few minutes peace to finish my lunch before it’s cold, or have a shower.

Do you have specific criteria for the toys you buy your children? If so, what would you add to my list?

Abby xx

4 Helpful App’s for Mum’s

4 helpful apps

I’m no technology whiz, by any stretch of the imagination. That’s probably obvious by my use of the technical term ‘technology whiz’. I do however own an iPhone, and kind of know my way around it. Since becoming a Mum, I’ve found a few apps that I love and have helped me out along the way.

Here are some of my favourites:

What to Expect

This is a great FREE pregnancy app. You’ll get weekly updates on how your baby is progressing, what size they are, new developments etc. Along with the millions of books I read, I really enjoyed having this app to tell me what was happening that week in my pregnancy.

The Wonder Weeks

This is a paid app ($2.49 in Australia), but I truly believe it was worth what I paid for it! This app is designed to support the Wonder Weeks book (which I do not have) but works well on it’s own as well. This app tracks the weeks of your babies life from birth to almost two years old, and explains when they are experiencing ‘Wonder Weeks’ or developmental leaps. I’ve found this app helpful in understanding why my baby is unsettled and frustrating easily at times, and I’ve found myself picking up on new developments (i.e. following moving people with their eyes) as they’ve been happening, because I’ve been reading about them on Wonder Weeks.

Tinybeans

This is by far my favourite FREE app. A photo sharing app, designed for parents to share daily photos and videos of their little people with family. I originally downloaded this app, just so that I could share regular photos with interstate family members, but with a husband who also travels regularly for work, this app has been so handy. By putting all the days photos and videos on there, family can stay connected, see how she’s growing, and we’re not overwhelming Facebook and Instagram with thousands of updates all the time. You have complete control over who sees your photos and videos by sending invitations via email to those people you want to share with. For me, the only people able to view are Matt, Miss E’s grandparents, aunties and uncles.

The pictures are displayed in a calendar format and everyone receives a daily email telling them when there are new photos and videos available. There are also options to keep records of height, weight, and milestones on the app, but I haven’t bothered much with that. I get a message on my phone at 6pm every day, reminding me to upload if I haven’t already for that day. It takes me a few minutes a day to share these, but means so much to all of our family, all of whom are addicted to this app!

Fitbit

This one is not just an app, but a wrist band you also buy. It’s a bit of an outlay, I’m lucky I received mine as a birthday gift. I have the Fitbit Flex, a wrist band I wear 24/7, that records how many steps I take a day and also records my sleep. I have found it most helpful for recording my sleep. Teamed with the app, you can record and look at your sleep patterns and how much sleep you’ve had. As a new mum, getting up many times in the night, I’ve found this great for telling me exactly how much sleep I’ve had. When I get up in the morning and read that I’ve had 3 hours sleep, I know that I need to take a nap at some point during the day when Miss E is napping. If it tells me I’ve had 5 or more hours sleep, I figure that’s enough to survive on, and I power on. The image below is a screen capture of the app one morning when I hadn’t had a very good night of sleep!

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The main purpose of a Fitbit is to record how many steps you’re taking. The goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day. You can keep track of how many steps you’re taking through the app, and the wristband will vibrate and light up when you reach your goal. A few other cool functions that I’ve yet to use are:

  • you can set an alarm on it that will gently vibrate to wake you in the morning.
  • you can also record how many calories and glasses of water you’ve consumed each day.
  • it tells you how many calories you have burned.
  • you can share your data with other friends who have Fitbits.

and to think, all those years mothers mothered without smart phones! Ha!

Abby xx

On the verge of motherhood

 

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38 Weeks pregnant today!

While everyone else can hardly believe that Christmas is only a week away, I’d be struggling to remember if it weren’t for the giant Christmas tree in my lounge room.

My mind is consumed by the thought that some time in the next two weeks, I’m going to become a Mum! I’m hoping for sooner rather than later.

I’m excited and terrified at the same time, aware that I have so much to learn and that my life will be changed forever.

Hurry along little lady. We’re all looking forward to meeting you soon!

Abby xx