Autumn Shawl


Two weeks ago, the lovely ladies from my knitting group and I, took a little road trip to Mont-Tricot in Sutton, QC. A beautiful yarn shop with a warm and inviting owner that I had met at the beginning of summer.

Money is tight, so I wasn’t going to buy anything, but there was a yarn there that caught my eye and I just couldn’t leave it behind. It was a 50/50 Merino wool and silk lace, hand dyed in Canada, sold by sweetgeorgia yarns. It is the “Autumn Flame” colourway which is not only perfect for the season but some of my favourite colours in deep oranges and burgundies. Not only that, but it was also the perfect length and weight for a project that I had been wanting to start. So I bought it and didn’t even have a hint of buyer’s remorse.

The pattern that I had found was a crocheted butterfly stitch “prayer shawl” on Ravelry. It is a free pattern that is worked top-down and with rows and rows of butterflies. Not only is it my first shawl, but it is also my first lace project, and it was a perfect pattern to start with.

For the border I decided right from the start that I was going to use brown. Before buying the yarn I had just ordered some brown Merino to spin and I knew that they would look great together. I think I was was right. Here is the brown that I spun up. 60g/300y of lace weight merino. It is not as soft as the merino/silk mix, but it is plenty soft and the border gives a great weight to the shawl letting it drape beautifully.

Handspun Brown Merino wool



As for the border… it took me a long time to figure out what to do and a lot of searching. I finally found this pattern on Ravelry and was able to adapt it to the original shawl with a few changes. I love the way that it turned out!


This may be my first shawl, but it will not be my last. I love the look and I love the warmth that is bring especially with the season changing and becoming colder. I was also working on this shawl at my grandmother’s house as I visited and helped my mom. So I will always see her in this piece when I wear it.

Isn’t it beautiful!



Cat Ears and Tail… (Crochet Pattern)

Wilhelmina the cat

Wilhelmina is often a cat… or a horse.. but mostly a cat and can spend hours being one.

Now that I am crocheting, I thought it would be a great way to make her some ears and a tail.

The cat's on the table...

I looked for some patterns but I couldn’t find anything that looked like what I wanted so I decided to make it up as a went along.

Wilhelmina with her new cats ears and tail

I am going to do my best to write this out because as I said, I made it up as I went along and I am still not 100% sure how to write one yet and am doing this from memory, but I will try my best. Hopefully at least it will be a starting point.

The tail was quite easy.  ( I used worsted weight yarn and a 5mm hook)

  • Round 1 : Make a magic circle (or chain 3 and join with a sl st) chain one, and then HDC (half double crochet) six stitches into the circle and join with first stich. (6 hdc)
  • Round 2 :chain 2, 2hdc in each hdc and sl st in starting stich (12 hdc)
  • Round 3  : chain 1, hdc in each sc and do not join or turn but continue going around and around until you reach the desired length. (I made it about 19 inches)
  • When you are the length you wish, with the working stitch completely to one side, squeeze the circle together and sc across the top so that is closes the tail. chain one, turn.
  • HDC the next 4 rows and TO leaving a long tail (you will use it to sew the tail on the belt)
The belt…
  • Chain as many stitches to achieve the desired length for the waist plus another inch or two for where the button-hole will overlap, chain 2 and hdc into the second chain from hook.
  • Row 1: HDC across the whole row, chain 2, turn
  • Row 2: HDC in 2nd stitch, sl st through next two stitches  this will create the button-hole) HDC until you reach the end, chain 2 and turn.
  • Row 3: HDC in 2nd stich, HDC until you reach the stich before the 2 sl st in the previous row. 2 HDC in that stitch, skip the 2 sl st and then HDC in the next stich and to the end. chain 1, turn.
  • row 4: SC in the next 6 stiches and then join to the 3rd row with a sl st (this is reinforce the top of the button-hole without widening the whole belt… though you can HDC and go to the end if you want and have a wider belt)

Sew a button onto one side of the belt and then sew the tail into the middle of the belt.


I close my eyes!

Now the ears…

The headband was actually a knitting mishap where I messed up half way through and did the opposite that I was supposed to. Instead of unravelling it, I made it into a headband. It is about 4 inches wide and tapers at the ends where they meet and is K, P for half and just P on the other.
You can use the same instructions for the belt to make the headband though, minus the button-hole it you don’t want it… just chain the length you want it to be and then crochet the rows in sc or hdc until you get the desired width.

For the ears themselves… (make 2 in the inner ear colour and 2 in the outer ear colour)

  • Round 1: Make a magic circle or chain 3 and sl st to join. SC 6 in circle, tighten the circle (where the magic circle comes in handy)
  • Round 2: [SC, chain 2, SC] in same stitch, SC in next, [SC, chain 2, SC], SC in next st,  [SC, chain 2, SC], SC in last stitch. Join with sl st to first st. chain 1.
  • Round 3: SC in same stitch, SC in next stitch, chain 2, (should be above the last chain 2) SC in next 3 st, chain 2, SC in next 3 st, chain 2, SC in next st and join to first st and TO. ( I then tied both loose yarns together in the back of the ear and cut the ends off)
Place the inner ear and the outer ear together and SC around the whole outside to join the two together and make the outlining ear. TO leaving a long tail.
Sew the ears where you want them to be on the headband.

Isn’t she adorable?

My little kitten...Cat ears

mona liscatFunny face

Writing the pattern out was actually easier than I would have thought, but I might have made some mistakes so don’t hesitate to point them out if you see them 🙂

note: please do not sell items that are made from this pattern unless you buy the License,  and if you do make something please give due credit and send people back to this page. Thank you!


Not everyone can crochet or has the time to do so, so if you want to make these items and sell them, you may purchase a license to do so.

-One Limited Commercial License = One pattern / tutorial

One License must be purchased for each person who makes or sells the tutorial / pattern (so if two people are making them for an etsy shop of craft fair, both must buy the license)

I still retain copyright on the tutorial / pattern itself.

Lastly, when selling or listing the item, design credit must be given to A hippie with a Minivan with a link to this site or pattern.

Also, if you wish you may send me the link to your shop so that I can send people to you!

By purchasing the license, you agree with the terms

Thank you! and happy sewing!


New Hats…

On Tuesday I shared this picture of a project that was on my hook at around 8pm just before I wrote the post: beginnings of a hatIt was my first “real” pattern and I was wondering how it would turn out though I was really liking the results… I put Wilhelmina to bed and went back to it and did another two rounds and realized that the pattern was not going to work out for me because even the smallest size was too large for my little head (hats rarely fit me because of that) so I took a deep breath and unraveled it down to about the 3rd round and started again from there. I deviated from the pattern after that for a few rounds to keep the size from getting bigger by adding a few decreases and then got back on track and adjusted the rest of the pattern logically because the stitches no longer matched and it was much easier than I would have guessed. By 11:00 I was done. I did it! I made my first hat, and not only that, I made a hat that actually fits me well (I think!)

My new HatMy new Hat!

Then, today, as Willa napped on me, I whipped up another hat in her size from a different, but similar pattern. All in her nap which was about 1 1/2 hours. We all have small heads here so I might pass this one to one of the boys and make her another a bit smaller but I love the look!

Willa's new hatWilla's Hat

Busy, busy, busy…

I have been loving this crocheting thing.

Seriously… why wasn’t I doing this before?!

Here are the squares that I have been working on that will I will sew together to make a blanket… I have 10 out of 30 done and ran out of yarn in this colour so I need to find another skein and I might make 15 of those in a green yarn that I already have. These are so easy to do and very repetitive so I do them to fill in gaps or when I want to work on something without really thinking about what I am doing…

Here is a crown I made for Wilhelmina with yarn that she had chosen. It isn’t as lopsided as it looks and was a very quick project to make.

here is a better picture of it… though Willa was not wanting to look at the camera…

Here is a head band I made for myself. It has many mistakes if you look up close but it was a great way to learn how increase and decrease and once it is on it looks quite nice and the mistakes are not too apparent. I can’t believe how little time it took to make!

This is one project that I started to work on and I am taking a break from at the moment… it is a scarf that is knit and has two crocheted panels… (I just realized I took a picture of the back of the project… oops!) I have the 6 flowers done which make the two crocheted flower panels and have knit 2 of 3 panels that make up the rest of the scarf. I just have to cast on the middle (and longest) piece and start working on it again. honestly though, I am loving crocheting much more than I like to knit at the moment but I will do it soon.

Finally, this is what is on my hook at the moment… It’s about half way done and is looking great.. I can’t wait to see how it will look once finished!


More Crafts

During the daytime I find it hard to get into the sewing room. I mean, I don’t mind when Wilhelmina is with me, though she does get into everything. But it is when she is not with me that I worry what she is getting into because she is the type of kid that is always getting into something.

So during the day, while the kids are doing their own thing and I have done what I want to do around the house, I either read, which doesn’t work for long because I am always interrupted or I am on the computer and honestly I am getting sick of it. The computer is such a waste of time. I read the news, read a few blogs, go on Facebook, search for things the kids ask me, check a few random sites, get lost on Pinterest or Foodgawker, watch a TV show online etc… but really what I am doing? Not that much… at least nothing that I feel really good about at the end of the day.

So I decided that I would get back into Knitting and Crochet. I have known the basics of knitting since I was a kid, but I have never really made anything more than a swatch, and I tried a bit of crochet a few years ago but didn’t really get far into it. I had the tools that were passed down to me years ago, and I am now taking the time.

I got all of my things out last week and used one day to practice knitting using the Stitch N’ Bitch book that my friend Gen passed on to me. I had never really lost the technique but I just got my hands used to the motions again.

The next day I taught myself how to Crochet.

I started by the basics: making a chain, single, half-double, double etc and then after not long, I made my first granny square.


I am now working on a different type of square that I will be able to piece together into a blanket. I love being able to do something that I have something to show for at the end of the day and that I can do when I am with the family and not hidden in my sewing room. I also love that I can do it and it doesn’t matter if I am interrupted.

What is also great is that Colin is interested in learning how to knit now and Wilhelmina has been playing with a ball of yarn and crochet hook and wants to do like me. Maybe this will catch on.

Go to Top