New Pattern on the Block

Hey guys, guess what? I’ve got a new pattern out!

My Princess Elsa by Melissa Mall

Greg challenged me to make an Elsa doll, even though no one in my house is a big Elsa fan. (Ivy is, at this point, rather indifferent to princesses. She really likes teddy bears and baby dolls, though!) And you know what? It was fun!

My Princess Elsa by Melissa Mall

I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to make ‘girl’ dolls. This is, for instance, my first project with rooted hair. It was time consuming, but I really did enjoy it.

My Princess Elsa by Melissa Mall

For more pictures or to purchase the pattern, visit Inner Child Crochet!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite ‘fancy’ breakfasts. I often make this when family is staying over or when I’m in a holiday mood. It’s a recipe of my own creation: so many recipes of this type are just jam-packed with sugar, so I decided to experiment until I found something less sugary that would work. (This recipe has about as much added sugar per serving as a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.) Everybody loves it! It’s buttery, creamy, and full of fruit – add a dollop of whipped cream and you have a hot, decadent breakfast that has at least some redeeming nutritional value.

This makes about ten servings, but look out – people are likely to want more than one!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal


  • 4 1/2 oats
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 3/4 c melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 c frozen blueberries, thawed
  • spices, to taste

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Butter or grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except spices.
  4. Add wet ingredients (minus berries) and stir together.
  5. Fold in berries and add spices to taste. I like to add cinnamon and a few dashes of nutmeg with my blueberries.
  6. Bake 45-60 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.

This recipe works beautifully with many different kinds of fruit. I’ve personally tried it with apples, peaches, “mixed berries” and mulberries. Fresh or thawed, it works just fine – just add whatever spices or flavoring you prefer with each fruit. It’s so good!!!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

You know you want some.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

Just the Easy Bits

I had a lot of the purple yarn left after I made Ivy’s hat. A lot. As in, nearly a whole skein. And, since I like purple, (and there was so much of it) I decided to make a hat for myself. For some reason I was in the mood for knitting, but you know what? Casting on is so obnoxious. It’s easily my least favorite part of the whole process.

So, I decided to bypass the cast-on entirely by setting up the crown of the hat in crochet. It’s a strategy I’ve used before in my Hybrid Hat, but as you can see, the effect is quite different with a thinner yarn, some stockinette, and a bit of slouch.

Just the Easy Bits by Melissa Mall

See? Crochet at the top, stockinette down the sides, and ribbing at the brim. It’s quite a comfortable slouchy beanie.

Just the Easy Bits by Melissa Mall

Here’s a view of the top of the hat.

Just the Easy Bits by Melissa Mall

This was a nice, relaxing project. I can crochet circles in my sleep (well, nearly) and once you have the crown the right size, you just stick your needles through the stitches and knit around until it’s nearly long enough, then add a bit of ribbing and cast off.

Looking to make your own hat doing just the easy bits? Here’s some directions.

You Will Need

  • Lion Brand Heartland [100% Acrylic, 251yd/230m per 5oz/142g skein] color: Hot Springs (1 skein)
  • H/8 (5.00mm) Hook
  • Set of 5 size 8/5.0mm double pointed needles OR 16″ circular knitting needle in the same size

Gauge: 16 sts/22rows = 4″ in stockinette


Rnd 1: Ch 3; make 12 dc in 3rd ch from hook. Join rnd.

Rnd 2: Ch 2. [Dc inc] in each dc around. (24 dc) Join.

Rnd 3: Ch 2. [Dc in next st, dc inc in next st] around. (36 dc) Join.

Rnd 4: Ch 2. [Dc in each of the next 2 dc, dc inc in next st] around. (48 dc) Join rnd.

Rnd 5: Ch 2. [Dc in each of the next 3 dc, dc inc in next st] around. (60 dc)

Rnd 6: Ch 2. [Dc in each of the next 4 dc, dc inc in next st] around. (72 dc)

To switch to knitting, remove hook and put live loop on needle. Pick up one loop from each st around. (72 sts) If using dpns, distribute stitches so 18 are on each needle.

K around until work measures 8″ from crown.

Work in k2, p2 rib for 2 inches, bind off in patt. Weave in your ends, and wasn’t that easy?

Just the Easy Bits by Melissa Mall

I still have a bunch of purple yarn left.