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Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders to ever write it down until this week. I'm part of a Facebook group that is specific to knit hats which allowed me a great source of pattern testers so I could be sure I was putting out a good product.

If you know anything about my creative tenancies it is that I like to give people options so just like in my crochet pattern I give THREE different versions of this new hat I named after Minnesota's first state park - Itasca.

The Itasca is a beginner friendly hat that can be knit in one color, two, or three. It fits ages 6-100 due to a stretchy brim. (Shown here on a seven year old)



One of my new favorite yarns is Loops and Threads Copenhagen because it is self striping. I followed the one color pattern for  the hat on the left and if I want more of a fair isle look I will use the two color pattern and use the Copenhagen yarn for the middle section. 


You ca…
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School Spirit Beanie Crochet Pattern

Beat those winter blues and cold winds with this a FLEECE lined brimmed hat! It seems like everyone is wearing a beanie these days - me included, but I don't want to be wearing the same one everyone else is so I wrote my own pattern and use a different color scheme for each one I make. 





Get your very own copy of the crochet pattern on Ravelry!
Now YOU can make your own School Spirit hat! Those that tested the pattern loved the texture it creates and the stretchy brim makes for a great fit. At only $2.99 and with 3 patterns in 1 you are sure to have your very own unique hat at the next winter activity you attend!

The pattern comes with instructions to make this cozy fleece liner that has people grabbing them as fast as I can make them.

If you aren’t a crocheter and want to order a hat please contact me via Instagram or on Facebook by searching 4MamaBear. I take custom orders too. There is still lots of winter left here in BearCountry and I bet where some of you live too!

Free Valentine’s Day Printables for school

We love to do something other than candy for school Valentine’s Day at school and thanks to Pinterest there is never a shortage of inspiration! Click here to see some of the ideas that made it into the Blogosphere from our family’s Valentine’s.....it is too hard to pick a favorite because they all bring back memories of when my kids were so itty bitty! This year I have a teen, a preteen, and a 1st grader but that won’t stop me from doing something punny for their class Valentine’s. I’m so glad I looked through my old posts because I’d completely forgotten about the easy teacher valentine idea and with TWO male homeroom teachers this year I was stuck on what to do! In my shop I sell bookmarks that make great teacher gifts too, but I have already given those to the teachers we have this year, but I’m pretty sure nobody will mind a second batch of mini muffins!
One of the posts I wrote showed a graphic I made for the You Rock! Valentine but it didn’t have a file you could download - so he…

New shampoo for a new year!

Happy New Year from BearCountry! We are in the middle of a cold snap where the temps spend more time below zero than above. That means hats and gloves every.single.time we walk out the door for even the shortest trip. Thankfully we’ve been able to avoid catching any of the lice that has been making the rounds in our school district because keeping up with regular laundry is hard enough - let alone washing outerwear too! Research has shown that tea tree oil repels lice and so we’ve been using a tea tree oil shampoo from Maple Holostics this winter to give us every advantage against those annoying buggers! 
Our family has fine hair so we have to be careful to use hair products that don’t weigh our hair down with build up. It is important to us that products we put on our skin are safe and not full of chemicals or sulfates. That is why when Maple Holostics contacted me about reviewing one of their products I didn’t hesitate to volunteer. I didn’t tell anyone in our family though - just sw…

Canoe camping with kids

I've been sharing highlights from our recent trip to the BWCA on Instagram. The spot we go is perfect for families with young kids because we car camp and do day trips up river a couple of portages.  We've taken this exact canoe/camping trip three times now. (Elsa was 3 the first time!) This year was our first with 2 canoes and the first time Grandpa joined us since the boys only trips from when Sam started going to the BWCA when he was seven. It was starting to get pretty crowded with FIVE of us in one canoe! Speaking of canoes....here is our 'new' one - she is older than I am, but nothing beats a Grumman! Wait...I take that back - everything beats an aluminum canoe in the weight department.Enter the Spring Creek Manufacturing portage yoke. Brian portaged 8 times one day and was still smiling thanks to the great portage yoke that doubles as a middle canoe seat. They are a Minnesota company too which is pretty sweet for us!Along with the highlights from day 3 I thought…

Have a good morning!

It's back to school season and whether your kids start before or after Labor Day new routines are on every mom's mind these days. Today I'm sharing my routine for staying on track with our busy schedule and how I start my morning off in a way that motivates me to get things done. I have this cute sign in my design shop that says, COME HERE YOU BIG BEAUTIFUL CUP OF COFFEE AND LIE TO ME ABOUT HOW MUCH WE ARE GOING TO GET DONE TODAY.If only that weren't so close to the truth!  Some days that IS how life works in our house, but it does make for a very prickly MamaBear by the end of the day if I don't have anything to show for my day! I work from home and am solely responsible for my time. That gives me great freedom, but also great responsibility. If Mama don't do it, it doesn't get done! Enter my morning routine....If I don't exercise first thing in the morning it just isn't going to get done, so at 6am I pop in a DVD and fumble my way through the 25 m…

My favorite campstove

Car campers and backpackers typically have a completely different set of camping gear, but when you travel with three kids, a husband, a dog, and a canoe then packing light like backpackers do applies to car camping as well. Eighteen years ago I bought a Coleman duel fuel stove and had to replace it this summer before our trip out west. We searched REI, Amazon, Gander Mountain, Fleet Farm....and read review after review. We had a pretty specific set of requirements and I'm happy to say we found a stove that met them in every way.WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR:Under $75Didn't require expensive fuelRefillable fuel tankCompactLong lastingSturdyI found this Coleman duel fuel 533 campstove on Amazon for $65. There are a LOT of stoves to chose from but we knew we didn't want to have to buy fuel canisters 'just in case' (That kinda defeats the purpose of compact if you are bringing fuel canisters that are as big as the stove!). We have a special fuel bottle that holds 17 ounces…

How to organize Nerf guns

If you are the mom of boys you know that they will inevitably turn something into a gun. I was dead set against toy guns in our home until I learned that tidbit about having a son. Enter the Nerf gun. Now that Sam is almost 13 he has amassed a small arsenal of weapons and I was at my wits end trying to keep them assessable yet out of the way. That is until a relative posted a picture of the Nerf Gun Wall she made for her boys.
No more guns in the floor? No more searching for bullets when friends come over to play? Sign me up!
This is a very easy DIY project that is very affordable! I picked up a variety of pegboard hardware at Home Depot and played around with what hooks worked best for each gun. You'd be surprised how a couple little hooks can hold a big gun! In fact, the biggest gun is hung with only one small piece!Be sure to find the studs when hanging the heavy tag board. (I bought two pieces for $7 each at Home Depot.) Studs are 16 inches apart so once I found one (by tapping …

A CLEANING SCHEDULE FOR BUSY MOMS

It's the first Monday in April and I couldn't think of a better time to get back on track with my cleaning schedule after a dreary couple of Minnesota months. I don't know about you but after Christmas it is easy for me to fall into survival mode. I do the bare minimum in housework and ignore the dust in favor of another Netflix show and a new crochet project. It leads to a downward spiral of feeling yucky about how my house looks and going through the motions is not how I want to live!Last week the kids and I took made a 1,000 mile journey to a number of MN State Parks we hadn't hiked at yet. It was great to get some fresh air after a long winter and spend quality time together.We hiked almost 9 miles - including over the headwaters of the Mississippi!


We returned from that trip with fresh eyes and fresh resolve to get our home back into shape so when the weather gets nice we can dash out the door to ride bikes, take the pup for a walk, or get dirty in the garden witho…