Jeez-O-Peez!!

Wild. Intense. Passionate. Sassy. Tough.

Words that wouldn’t normally be associated with a 4 year old, yet, for a certain little girl I know, those are her words. She is a spitfire of a girl and she amazes me. She will take over the world one day and it won’t take long for her to do so! She is so sharp, nothing gets by her, and her memory is impeccable. This is Makayla, whose catchphrase is “jeez-o-peez!” She is the daughter of my husband’s best friend, and the little girl who launched my crocheting career!

Three years ago, Michael, my husband, and I were living in Orlando so he could go to school to further his smarty-pants brain. Our friends and family were all at least 2 hours away and Michael and I were (and still are) the definition of homebodies. We didn’t get out much, and for the first 6 months of living there I didn’t have a job, so I spent most of my time in the chair in the corner of our apartment, watching Netflix.

A few months go by like this, and in September an invitation for Makayla’s first birthday party was sent out. Michael and I were going to go and I really wanted to get her something, but I wanted it to be unique. I decided to crochet her a blanket! I found a pattern for a ripple blanket, which I had never made before. As I looked around some more on the internet, I came across a pattern for a jacket that was so adorable and super simple to make. Then I thought “Well, if I’m going to make a jacket, I gotta make a hat, too!” So I found a pattern for a hat that looked really fun! I found out from Ashley, Makayla’s mom, what the colors of her nursery were and I hit up Joann’s (this was before I discovered the magic that is Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn).

It took me so long time to decided what brand of yarn I wanted to use. Growing up, Red Heart yarn was always so rough and scratchy. When I started crocheting I vowed I would never use it. But… when you’re a a little strapped for cash, it kind of becomes your best option. I begrudgingly went over to the Red Heart yarn, just to check it out; there was no way I was going to buy it. I picked up a skein of their Super Saver yarn… and I couldn’t believe it. It was actually pretty soft! I tested it by gently rubbing it on my cheek… nice and soft. Then I let it sit on the crook of my neck to see if I could provoke the itchiness that I knew was lurking somewhere in that yarn. I probably looked a little bit like a crazy person, but it was still soft! I picked out the colors I wanted to use – pink, brown, and cream -and walked around the yarn aisles for another half hour as I came to terms with the fact that I was actually going to buy Red Heart yarn, and then I checked out and left.

I got home and immediately started working! It had been a while since I crocheted anything and was so excited to have something to do. This is the pattern I used for the baby blanket and it works up fairly quickly.

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The jacket was a lot of fun for me. It’s worked as a solid piece that you fold in half, stitch together, add some buttons, and viola! A jacket! It’s so simple. I used Bernat Pipsqueak yarn, which is divine! Here is the pattern.

The hat was the same as the jacket: fun and simple! The hat is crocheted as a rectangle that you stitch together and then cinch the top. I used the same yarn as I did for the jacket, so they would match. Here is the pattern for the hat. I added pom poms, but I do not have the pattern for them anymore. As this was the first time I had made pom poms, I wasn’t sure if they could be put in the washing machine without falling apart, so I wanted them to be removable. Each pom is attached to a length of braided yarn and is tied to the top of the hat.

I also made a headband with the remaining yarn from the blanket! I don’t have the pattern for it anymore, but here’s a picture!

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Makayla didn’t grow too much in her first year, so it was another year before she could fit into the jacket and hat. Also, with living in Florida, there’s only about 3 days in the whole year where a jacket of this magnitude is appropriate!

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I love this girl, and I love that she was the starting inspiration for everything I’ve done in the last few years. She’s going to grow into a wonderful person and will take the world by storm! I can’t wait to watch it happen.

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