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Noelle Knit Hat Pattern

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knit your own (1)

I’m a sucker for simplicity. I love simple designs, repeating patterns, and instant gratification when it comes to making things.

I designed this hat for my friend Noelle to model

for my Etsy shop last year, and it was an instant success. The tall brim section, coupled with the huge pompom, gives the hat instant noticing value.

One of the best parts about the hat, aside from its be

auty, is how simple it is to make! You literally need next-to-no knitting skills. It’s knit flat, and sewn up the seam from the top down. Although, if you really don’t want that seam, you can easily adapt this pattern to be done in the round.

Let’s get started.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5.5 mm knitting needles
  • 1 skein of Beautiful BFL yarn, available from ilexeveryday.etsy.com
  • measuring tape
  • scissors and tapestry needle for finishing
  • pompom maker, if you’re making your own, or a faux fur pompom

First, using the long tail method, cast on 70 stitches.

Row 1: *P2, K2* repeat pattern until last two stitches remain on needle, P2

Row 2: *K2, P2* repeat pattern until last two stitche

s remain on needle, K2

Rows 3-20: Repeat rows 1 & 2.

Row 21: Switch to stockinette stitch, by knitting every stitch in this row (70). This will be the right side of your hat, and the purl side of the stockinette stitch section will be the wrong side.

Row 22: Purl 70.

Continue to repeat rows 21 & 22 until your work measures 8 inches top to bottom. Be sure to finish on a purl row, as the next section begins by working a knit row.

Shape Crown:

Row 1: *K2, K2tog* (decrease one stitch) repeat pattern until last two stitches remain, K2 (53 stitches)

Row 2: Purl 53

Row 3: Knit 53

Row 4: Repeat row 2

Row 5: *K2tog, K1* repeat pattern until last two stitch

es remain, K2 (36 stitches)

Row 6: Purl 36

Row 7: *K2tog* repeat pattern to end of row. (18 stitches)

Row 8: Purl 18

Row 9: *K2tog* repeat pattern to end of row. (9 stitches)


  1. Snip your yarn, leaving a tail about 5 inches longer than the length of your hat. You’ll use this to sew up your seam.
  2. Thread tapestry needle with the snipped yarn, and weave it through the remaining stitches on your needle.
  3. Cinch up the crown of your hat, wrong side out, and bring your edges together to create a seam. Sew down to the brim edge of the hat, tie off, and weave in yarn end.
  4. Attach pompom.

And there you have it! A quick and easy, super fashionable and luxurious knit hat. I’d love to see your creations! Be sure to tag me on Instagram!


Knit . Crochet . Weave

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What’s the difference between knitting, crocheting and weaving?

I take my projects with me everywhere. And I get asked all the time, “what are you knitting?”

When I first started crocheting, I felt the need to correct people. Not sure why, but I was always worried that a real knitter would overhear and be offended that I let people believe I was knitting. Now, I realize most people are actually just trying to make conversation, and don’t need or want a detailed explanation of the difference between knitting and crocheting. They see me playing with yarn, and their curiosity is piqued—about the intended product, not necessarily the means of creating it.

But since you’re here, and while I have you, let me bend your ear on three beautiful ways to make fabric that often get confused for one another. I know there are other fabric-making art forms, but these are the most common.

Here’s the simple breakdown: it all comes down to the tools you’re using.

Knitting is done with two pointed sticks, used to make interlocking loops.

Crocheting is done with a hook, also used to make interlocking loops.

Weaving—well, weaving is a far more complicated ball of yarn to unravel. Fundamentally, it’s the crosshatching of threads to create a cloth. That can happen on many different kinds of looms, and uses a variety of tools. Since it’s fundamentally different, using crosshatching rather than loops, it produces a very different type of fabric, and you’re not likely to see someone weaving while they wait for the bus.

Funny story; I took to crochet like a fish to water. I picked up a how-to book at my local Walmart, and after a quick tutorial from a coworker on chaining and half-double crochet stitch, I was on my way. It made perfect sense to me, and I learned new techniques from Youtube videos and free online blogs. Even the fact that the tutorials and diagrams were for right-handed use and I crochet left-handed didn’t deter me.

Knitting, however, was not so easy. I bought the knitting how-to book on the same shelf at Walmart, but it was as if it had been written in another language. I had expected to breeze into it, given the fact that knitting uses both hands, and that I already knew the basics of working with yarn. It was a slow, painstaking process, and to this day, I’m a better crocheter than a knitter.

I’ve heard it’s often the case that a person will prefer one over the other, even if they can do both. And not everyone can or wants to learn both. Sometimes one or the other just makes sense to their brain, and they can create amazing works of art using that technique, but no other. Weavers are an even rarer breed. Maybe it’s because the equipment makes it less portable, or because it requires more spatial reasoning; I don’t know.

Part of the reason I don’t know why weaving isn’t as popular is that I’ve not done much of it. Last summer, my father-in-law and I made a simple loom using scrap wood and finishing nails. I wind my warp thread between the finishing nails, and then use a tapestry needle to weave the weft yarn to make decorative wall hangings. It’s super fun, and often feels like painting, because the point in making a wall hanging is simply to use colour and texture creatively, just for the joy of making something beautiful to look at.

However, I have a goal to learn weaving “for reals” by taking classes at my local weaver’s guild. Wish me luck, my friends! Weaving is a different way of thinking, but I’m ready for the challenge. I have a goal of making myself a coat out of fabric I’ve handwoven. This means, of course, I’ll also need to learn to sew a heck of a lot better than I do now. This should be fun!

The Beginning of the Journey

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My fascination with slow fashion isn’t only a profession of high ideals. It’s an intersection of two innate parts of my personality: the thinker and the creative. I’ve always been fascinated and delighted with the tiny details. From the time I was a child, I would listen to the same piece of music over and over again, reveling in the tone, tempo, cadence. I studied botany and philosophy in school, because I loved to think about the deep things in life, and to dissect the beautiful.

Study New York defines slow fashion as “the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity.” There’s currently a trend in New York and around the world to re-examine the fashion industry through this lens. This speaks to the philosophical side of me on so many levels. I know that even small, gradual changes over a broad swath of people will have a profound effect on future generations and their ideology. That’s how the world is changed. That’s the way to start—and win—a revolution.

That’s also how a life is changed. At least, that’s how my life has changed. I’ve learned a lot over time, and the changes have been gradual, both in my thinking, and in my practice of clothing my family. When I first learned about the detriments of fast fashion, my first response was one of self-preservation: “well, that’s really unfortunate, but I don’t have unlimited funds, so I need to continue to shop at the cheapest places.”

I knew it was a lame excuse. I kept reading. It started to be uncomfortable to walk into fast fashion shops, knowing the price paid by others and the environment so that I could “save a little money.”

Then I started making and selling crocheted accessories on Etsy. I figured I was doing my part to offset my poor purchasing choices, by giving others the option to make good ones by buying my natural-fibre, high-quality pieces. Again, I knew it was a lame justification. Self-awareness is often a gradual process.

Pushing myself to produce items as quickly as possible en masse, while living outside of my own values took a toll on my hands and my psyche. I knew prosperity would never come if I was working in an unsustainable physical and mental framework.

At the beginning of this year, in the dead of winter, I took a step back, spiritually, mentally and physically. I reread One Face, written by my BFF Sarah McDugal. I went to yoga classes, added more nourishing foods into my diet, and all but stopped making things.

It was in the cocoon of this winter quiet that I realized I needed to stop making excuses for doing things that weren’t working in my life. I wanted to be the active ingredient; to do things intentionally, and to enjoy doing them. I wanted to stop hiding behind the mask of never having enough. I wanted to find my voice to say what I need to say, whether anyone is listening or not. I wanted to keep seeking to satiate my curiosity, unbounded by expectations of settling in to the role of “maker of knitwear.”

We shall see where this goes.

Rag Rug Tutorial

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Many households have unused sheets stashed away in cupboards, begging to be given a new life, but if you’re looking for a sweet, down-home addition to your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, and don’t have sheets of your own, they’re easy to find in an array of colours at your local thrift store. Be sure to read labels and feel for texture when choosing the sheets you’ll be working with, as you’ll want to use sheets made with the same materials.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to create your very own rag rug.

First, you’ll need to assemble your materials. You’ll need:

  • 15 mm crochet hook
  • 2 twin or double bed sheets in complementary colours
  • Measuring tape (optional)


You’ll begin by using the scissors to remove any tags on your sheets, and to remove the elastic on the corners, if you’re using bottom sheets, or to remove the folded-over top edge on a top sheet.


Next, use your measuring tape to measure a one-inch width from the edge of your sheet, make an initial cut with the scissors, and begin tearing a strip off of your sheet. Be sure to stop approximately one inch from the end of the sheet. *Troubleshooting: if your strip doesn’t tear in a straight line, simply correct its direction by cutting using the scissors until you’re back on track.


When you’ve reached approximately one inch from the end of your sheet, stop tearing, turn, and use the scissors to make another initial cut, this time running along the bottom edge of your sheet. Continue this process at each corner, making continuously smaller rounds until you’ve turned the entire sheet into one long strip.


Wind this strip into a ball. Snip any annoyingly long loose threads, but don’t worry about getting every loose thread. They add to the charm of a rag rug, and most will be contained by the stitches you make when crocheting.


Tear the second sheet into strips using the same method, and wind it into a ball.


You’re now ready to begin the crochet step of making your rag rug. Make a slip knot with the first sheet, insert your hook, and chain 2.

Insert hook into first chain, single crochet 10 in same loop, joining last stitch to first using a slip stitch.


Chain 1, which will count as your first stitch in round 2. Make 2 single crochet in next stitch. Repeat this pattern of 1 single crochet, then 2 single crochet in the next stitch, all the way around. You should have 15 stitches in total in round 2. Do not join first to last stitch.


We will now work in continuous rounds, working in multiples of 5.


Round 3: Work 5 sets of *single crochet 2, 2 single crochet in next stitch* for a total of 20 stitches


Round 4: Work 5 sets of *single crochet 3, 2 single crochet in next stitch* for a total of 25 stitches


Colour changes can be done at your discretion. An easy way to do a colour change is to simply cut your strip at the end of a round, leaving about a 3 inch tail, and tie your new colour to this tail. Crochet as usual. When ready to switch back to colour A, cut and tie as before.


When you’ve reached your desired size, slip stitch the last stitch of your round to the first stitch, tie off, leaving about a 3 inch tail, and weave in the tail.


Two twin sheets will make a rug approximately 2 feet in diameter. Of course, you can choose to continue with your rounds, working in multiples of five, until you’ve reached your desired size. Keep in mind that, with successive rounds, the strips have further to travel, and simply adding two more sheets will not yield an additional two feet of diameter in your finished product. Be sure to gather as many sheets as you will need before beginning a project.


And there you have it! I hope you enjoy making your rug. Drop me a line with your creations if you can. I’d love to see what you’re making!

What I Want to Say

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I wrote this in the afterglow of Christmas, and saved it privately, unsure of whether it was worth sharing. But I reread it tonight, and I do think it worth sharing. I still feel the truth of everything I wrote that night. Much love!

It’s Christmas night. Actually, it’s the wee hours of what we call Boxing Day in Canada, “the day after Christmas” back home in the States. Either way. It’s the day reserved for holiday hangovers of several varieties.
My “holiday hangover” has been a long time coming. I’ve been going full tilt for several months now, trying to figure out how to handle success. And while tasting success comes with a high, it’s also a bit messy. I’ve learned quite a few things this year:
1. Planning ahead is always a good thing. So is flexibility.
2. Losing sleep negatively affects creativity and productivity, no matter what “they say”. Also, exercise is important, even when it’s not urgent.
3. Always be gracious.  
4. Multitasking is the bane of productivity.
5. Collaboration totally rocks.
6. Every idea has its time, and if a great one lands on you, just to flutter away to someone else, be grateful that you were noticed by the universe. Your turn will come again.
7. Always be yourself. Full stop. Not a unicorn, or a mermaid, or any other funny thing on a T shirt. There’s more to you than you might think.
Tonight, I took some time to search YouTube for some dyeing inspiration, and stumbled on Hue Loco, by a girl named Nicole. I fell in love with her authenticity, her ability to just chat with friends virtually about things that excite and inspire her. And it got me thinking about what I really want to say just right out of my head and heart. 
I want to say “thank you” with all my heart to every person who is a part of my life. I have a wonderful, growing tribe of artisans, both locally and abroad. I’m not even kidding when I tell you I’m grateful every single day to have found “my people.”
And I want to gush about all the ideas I have in my head and in production. Some are far on the horizon of reality, but they’re so fun to mold and shape in my mind! And it never fails, when I talk with a friend about an idea, it grows and morphs and gets closer to reality right here, right now.
I want to tell you how much it means to me and to my family when you purchase from my shop; the hope it infuses into my life. I’ve seen memes going around about how a small business owner does a happy dance when you order from them, and I can tell you, it’s true. The struggle is real, my friends, just as I know it is for you, and every purchase breathes hope into me for a brighter future for my daughters. I want nothing more than to be able to fund their childhood and their future education while being at home to raise them. That dream is becoming a reality, slowly but surely, and it’s fueled by hope.
So, my friends, that’s what I really want to say. I have lots of photos for future posts about the dyeing, spinning and making process. They’re going to be really fun. And I have some exciting plans for creative collaboration with other designers, photographers and bloggers in the new year. I can’t wait to share those things with you, too. 

Along the lines of personal growth and just being yourself, by BFF Sarah McDugal wrote an amazing book about living in alignment with your values, and shedding the masks we all tend to hide behind. Want to read it? Find it here: www.livewithoneface.com

It’s a Beautiful Thing

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This week, I’ve been meeting with bloggers nearly every day. It’s one of the really fun aspects of what I do: I get to have coffee with interesting people, get to know them, and give them things I’ve made. Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting down with Stephanie from www.allaboutami.com to talk about yarn. I got to get a glimpse into the life of a blogger, learning about the care and attention that goes into preparing every post. She really is incredible, and if you’re at all into making things with yarn, her blog is a treasure trove!

In our conversation, I mentioned that I feel like this business with wool is a calling on my life. But it felt so weird for me to say that something so frivolous as fashion and crafting is a life calling. Yet, there it was, this deep soul conviction, spat out on the coffee table between us. She said she felt the same, and the conversation drifted on.

Later that evening, I opened Facebook to find news of Trump’s supporters wishing they could take away women’s rights to vote, because apparently he would be elected if only men could vote. That, to me, was the last straw in this whole debacle of an election. I don’t care whether you like either candidate; taking away anyone’s constitutional rights is never okay, no matter why you think it’s a good idea. I shut down the Facebook app on my phone, and didn’t log in for the rest of the day.

But as I sat spinning yarn late into the night, I realized that maybe there is something to this whole “calling on my life” thing, and I have Donald Trump’s reality star bizarro world to thank for my newfound clarity. In a world so bitter and teetering so precariously toward dystopia that a man like Trump can make a legitimate run for the presidency, it is desperately important for thoughtful people to make beautiful things.

I’ve heard that Estee Lauder excelled during the depression, and that sales of red lipstick are never higher than during economic hard times, and I’d always just figured maybe it’s human nature to try to show a brave face to the rest of the world, even when you’re starving and miserable. But I don’t think that’s the case. I think women buy red lipstick during hard times because they need to create beauty in the midst of the darkness, chaos, sadness, trepidation. And sometimes, the only thing you can make beautiful is yourself.

There is so much darkness in the world right now, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by it. It’s easy to let the words, attitudes and actions of politicians, reality TV stars and strangers on the street creep into your heart and steal your light. It takes real, genuine effort to hold onto your light. You have to give it fuel constantly, just like you have to fuel a fire. But it is so worth it to do so. Because that light is the only antidote to darkness. Because as you produce and create beauty, it spreads to others around you, like frost creeping across a pane of glass.

So, my maker friends, be proud of who you are, and what you do. I’m sure proud to know you, and to be one of you. Share your work, your passion, your light with those in your circle, and expand your circle to include others. We are changing the world, whether it seems consequential or not. And, to borrow a phrase often repeated by Mr. Trump himself, “it’s a beautiful thing.”

Where Credit is Due

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I posted on Instagram a few minutes ago about having grace, even when people promise you the world, and give you an atlas. It’s true, there’s a lot of need for grace when you’re running a nbusiness and dealing with people. Because you’re going to screw up, and they’re going to screw up. It happens.

But sometimes, magic happens, despite the screw ups. And it’s never because of just one rock star. I think that’s why there are so many impassioned thank you speeches at awards shows. Because any time magic happens, it’s something sublime; something that’s bigger than each person who participates, but yet you know that, without each of those people, the magic just wouldn’t be there.

A few weeks ago, I felt magic happening. It practically vibrated from my fingers, and even brought tears to my eyes in the midst of the work. I had a photoshoot with Jillian Schecher, a local Edmonton photographer, using three of my friends as models for my Fall 2016 collection. It was fabulous. Nickol did hair and makeup, Jillian made the light come alive, and my girlfriends stepped outside their comfort zones and played it up for the camera.

I thought it fitting that one of the models, who totally killed the dewy, fresh-faced look even while pouring sweat under piles of luxurious wool in mid-August, was my friend Noelle. She was my first customer, and was the first to encourage me to start an Etsy shop. I did so many things wrong at the beginning, and I know I’m still making mistakes. I’m one of those “accidental business owners,” who has just kind of thrown things at the wall to see what would stick. But I never would have started throwing if it hadn’t been for Noelle.

Ruth brought all the simmer and quiet poise that only a redhaired musical theatre actress can bring. She brought a touch of runway to the shoot, and made every piece she modeled come alive with a sense of fashion and timelessness.

Shea’s playful and creative personality just shines through every single picture of her. She wore the neutral tones collection, but there was nothing neutral about the poses she struck! I mean, really, how many models can make fingerless gloves look unique and amazing in Etsyland, where just about every knitwear seller has a selection of fingerless gloves? But Shea pulled it off!

I’m so excited for the official launch of the pret-a-porter Fall Collection on September 1st. If the pre-launch showing is any indication, this is the start of something very, very magical. *cue orchestral swell*

Messy Success & Straight-Up Failure

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I had to laugh it off when a well-meant friend referred to my adventure with ilex.every.day as my “sort of” business. The fact is, it’s true: I’ve “sort of” seen some successes. I’ve also seen a lot of failures. I’ve had a steep learning curve, and until lately, I’ve hesitated to call what I do a real business venture, comparing myself to others I perceive as more successful.

But here’s the thing: sometimes, the hard work comes long before the payoff. I’ve spent night after night coming up with patterns, dyeing wool, and comparing suppliers for quality, reliability, and price. I’ve lost sleep working night shifts to earn the capital to invest in a new spinning wheel, photography and inventory. I’ve had to put a brave face on when I’ve received rejection letter after rejection letter for handmade craft shows.

But I’m also more excited than ever about turning my unexpected passion into a tool for supporting my family while raising my children, and meeting the ever-present need in the world for beauty.

I’ve recently added a collection of yarns I’ve dyed over the past few months. Each hank represents a mile marker in my journey through the experience of motherhood coupled with small business ownership. Into Deep Water reminds me of the time in March of this year, when walked from the white sands into the deeper waters of the Caribbean, and attempted to body surf with a long-time friend. Pink & Blue Boo reminds me of celebrating Easter despite weeping for the loss of baby dreams all during the Easter church service, and then choosing to dye a pretty yarn to remind myself that baby dreams can still come true.

There’s a huge mile marker coming up: a photoshoot with a real professional photographer! Just the thought gives me butterflies. I swing from excitement that I’ll finally have the beginnings of a beautiful portfolio, to anxiety that my pieces won’t stand up to the scrutinizing eye of the camera. So far, the best cure for the roller coaster is consistent work: dyeing, spinning and finishing pieces.

And really, that’s the cure for all my doubts and butterflies. It has been all along: just work. Make dream yarns a reality, and make dream garments a reality. Somewhere, someone else is dreaming of the same thing, wishing someone would make it for them. That’s the person I want to meet in the marketplace. And every time I meet a fellow dreamer who recognizes my dream, my heart leaps, and it’s not about the exchange of money for product; it’s because of that recognition between souls.

All my success to date may be messy, and the straight-up failures may totally outweigh the successes, but until I’m done spinning dreams into beautiful reality, I’ll keep working.

Kindness Always Comes Back

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There’s a whole lot of potential in a ball of yarn. It can inspire, or bring simple joy, or become something meaningful and transcendent in the right hands.

Summer is barely upon us, but for once, it feels like spring melted into summer in Edmonton back in early May. Personally, I have loved every bit of the unseasonably warm weather, but our province has suffered tremendous loss as a result of the hot, dry weather spring brought. Fort McMurray, a city north of us, was evacuated and devastated by wildfire, and lives have been completely and often permanently changed due to the tragedy.

While at first, I heard daily reports of the heroism and bravery of the firefighters, I soon had to turn off the radio and limit my exposure to the news, because the thought that my own family could have been in the same circumstances, had the fire been here, haunted me. I kept making mental lists of what I would grab on my way out the door, if we were suddenly told to leave.

I wanted to help in some way, to make a small contribution to the massive effort across the nation to support the brave people of Fort McMurray.

One afternoon, while at a get-together of local fibre artists, I overheard a spinner talking about all the yarn she is likely never going to use, and I thought of all the yarn in my own stash that, let’s be honest, I’ll never actually use, although it is great yarn. Most of it was purchased before I learned to spin, and before I learned the advantages of natural fibres over synthetic. I figured if I personally was stuck in a situation where I didn’t have the comfort of my own home, I would be going crazy without something to keep my hands busy, and likely others would be feeling the same way.

Six of us pooled our yarn, patterns, knitting needles and crochet hooks together, and we put out the call to anyone from Fort McMurray who wanted to come and take yarn and tools.

Now, I’ve spent my career in a helping profession, and I spend many hours volunteering in my community every year, but I have to say, I haven’t been so personally touched by a small act of kindness toward my community in a very long time. I had the privilege of being the connection point for the ladies who came to get yarn. I got to meet them, hear their stories, see pictures of the devastation of their homes, have coffee with them while their children watched cartoons with mine. Our contact was brief, but it was sweet. There was a shared understanding that we are people who create with our hands, and no amount of external devastation can take that from us.

I came away with new friends: quality people with resilience, courage and the readiness to be “Alberta Strong,” because that’s who they were long before they had to be.

After each person left with their bag(s) of yarn, a quote from a childhood story resounded in my spirit: “kindness always comes back.” It didn’t take much effort for each of us to share our extra yarn. In fact, our craft spaces were probably overdue for a good spring cleaning. And sure, it was kind of us to share. But I was so blessed by the return of kindness. I got to see, up close and personal, the generosity of the community of crafters I’m privileged to be a part of. Each girl showed up at my door with a box of yarny goodness, and an eagerness and excitement to know that their gift was making a difference for a fellow crafter. And personally, I came away with new friends: quality people with resilience, courage and the readiness to be “Alberta Strong,” because that’s who they were long before they had to be.

Now that all the yarn has been given, I like to think on the beautiful things that’ll be made as a result of these brief connections: baby things, children’s accessories, maybe even little gifts to themselves. The only limit is really the imagination of these strong, capable, creative people. Because, really, there’s a whole lot of potential in a ball of yarn.

Slaying (and Making) Dragons

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I only had a few days of unfettered jubilation over the home pregnancy test that showed positive, before worry beset me. Call it intuition, but I just felt something wasn’t right. And as much as I wanted this baby, whom we had been trying to conceive for nearly two years, I couldn’t help but feel a growing sense of doom. I went for test after test, all of which showed up just hanging on the low edge of normal. At eight weeks, we had an ultrasound and saw our little butterfly baby’s heartbeat. I thought surely my doubts would be assuaged by this very hopefully sign. But when my symptoms changed a few days later, I scheduled another ultrasound, this time to discover that the baby’s heart had stopped, and the fear that had haunted me for 5 weeks was true: I had miscarried yet again.

That evening, as I sat in a state of mingled numbness and tears, I got a message on Facebook asking me to make an adorable little amigurumi dragon for my cousin’s new baby. Thinking life must go on, I accepted the order, and the next day, began pulling the yarn together for the project.

Now, the pattern for this dragon isn’t particularly difficult, and I thought it might be a good project to carry with me through the experience at the hospital and subsequent recovery rest time. How little I knew of the depths of grief this miscarriage would pull me to!

I made–and remade–the head for the dragon twice before I set it aside in total frustration. I could not keep track of my stitch count to save my life, and therefore could not get the shape correct! When I was gifted a ticket to Florida for some rest in the sunshine to recuperate, I found some lovely soft cotton yarn there, and decided maybe a new start with new, shiny and delicious yarn would be just the ticket for making this dragon. It *sort of* worked.

When I got home, I found I could actually count again, so I finished up the head in a few hours. But I just had no heart to make him. He was a reminder of the empty feeling, of the quiet slipping away that was too profound for words. And yet, he was also a reminder that miracles do happen. He was a gift for a baby boy whose mama and daddy had wished for and waited for, and I wanted to infuse him with love and hope, because I know from experience what that wishing and waiting is like. Here he is, eyeless and seemingly begging to be finished.

Just as I have had to make it a discipline to get through each day without falling into self-pity while still honouring my journey of grief, I used this little dragon as a tangible piece of that discipline. I worked on him every day–just a little bit. One round, one piece, or simply just adding some stuffing; slowly but surely, his parts were filling my project bag.

Today, he got assembled. He’s a little rag-tag. Turns out, my stitch counting was still a little off on some things. But that’s what this journey has been about for me. I’ve thought some days I was feeling at peace, hopeful for the future, when something simple and mundane would pick the scab on my heart and drench my face with tears. So, in all his adorable imperfection, I’m happy to be sending this dragon to a sweet little boy with all the promise and potential in the world. I hope he feels the love and hope that his gift brought to me.