Birthday Hats and Little Bees


I needed a last-minute hat for my 10-year-old cousin’s birthday this weekend, so I turned to Danyel Pink’s super slouch hat.


I’ve made this hat several times in the past, and people have always loved it. I already knew my cousin’s favorite color of the moment is turquoise, but I thought the hat was a little too boyish.

What cures boyish?



And flowers, of course. I also tried something new! I sewed the sparkly button to the actual hat (NOT the flower), and I crocheted the flower with a big hole in the middle (NOT my usual magic ring) and that means … it’s removable! You can take the flower off if you want. Silly me, I didn’t take a picture.

My cutie-pie cousin put the hat on and didn’t take it off for the rest of the afternoon.


I couldn’t give her a present without giving her sister one, too. (They live in another state and I don’t get to see them much.) So, I opted for the Bright Stripes Beanie by The Adventures of KT and the Squid, and it came out wonderful!


See the matching bling there on the brim? A few notes on this pattern. I was crocheting this for a 12-year-old, but I opted for the child’s pattern, and it was STILL a little big on her. She’s a slim little thing, so maybe that’s why, but I probably could’ve used an I hook and gotten a little better result.

(Or, um, I could’ve simply checked my gauge. I’m terrible! I always skip that step.)

As for books in progress, I finished Little Bee by Chris Cleeve.


It’s a really heartbreaking story about a Nigerian girl and a British woman whose lives pretty much fall apart after their first meeting.

The story is so, so sad, but Little Bee warns us of that right at the beginning — yes, she speaks directly to you, the reader, like she’s telling the story across the table from you. There’s this really lovely comparison between “sad words” and “scars.” Bee says,

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, “I survived.”

So, you know upfront that this isn’t going to be a light read.

You can’t help putting yourself in the characters’ shoes when you read about the horrifying things that happen to them. I had to ask myself, what would I be willing to give up to spare another’s life? Am I willing to harm myself to protect another? Am I willing to do this for someone I don’t even know?

This is the kind of book that’s wrapped up in social issues, so when you’re done, it’s like the author is saying to you, “Now you know there’s a problem. What are you going to do about it?” I think it’s good to get people like me to face up to their responsibilities.

Little Bee, a jungle girl, makes a lot of really interesting observations about first-world people. My favorite:

You live in a world of machines and you dream off things with beating hearts.

Something to chew on.


Do you check your gauge or do you (like me) skip that step all too often?

P.S. See what other people are reading and knitting/crocheting over at Small Things’ weekly Yarn Along!


6 thoughts on “Birthday Hats and Little Bees

  1. Depends on what i am making if I check mt gauge. Usually I check. Peoples tension is all over the place. Plus different yarns, even those labeled the same can have different tensions. The hats are awesome! Never thought to put “bling” on a hat!

    • Good points, Delia! Sometimes even my OWN tension varies when I’m making two-piece things like gloves or booties. I find that I usually have tighter tension on the second item (because I know the pattern and I’m trying to crank it out quickly).

  2. Hi Michelle, I love the slouchy hat you made for your cousin! And your right bling is always to go-to cure! Thanks by the way for stopping by my blog and for the kind words! Have good one!

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