Obama cozy

By | September 19, 2012


We all have our own opinions, but I’m a strong supporter of President Obama and his bid for reelection.   And after I heard about his staff’s homebrewing efforts, I knew I wanted to make him a beer cozy, to show my appreciation for all his hard work these past handful of years.

To make the cozy, I first crocheted a red, white, and blue beverage cozy.  Then I cut the logo out of felt and hand-stitched each piece together.  The felt badge is attached to the cozy with flexible glue.


I mailed two cozies to the White House, so the President and Michelle can kick back and enjoy an frosty Ale to the Chief together.  I know it could take ages to get make it through the bad-mail-detection department, but it can’t hurt to send it on its way, right?


I can’t afford to donate much to Obama’s campaign, so I wanted to offer a couple cozies for sale as a fundraiser. There are only a few available, but you can find them over at my Etsy store.

However, if you want your own beverage to proclaim its support for Obama, you can make one yourself!  Just download this PDF tutorial for instructions.

Make Your Own: Obama Cozy

Go Obama!

Photo Tutorial: How To Crochet A Beverage Coozy

By | September 19, 2012

Beer cozy tutorial - 13

A couple years ago, I went on a camping trip up on Guanella Pass.  It was Labor Day weekend, and at over 10,000 feet, it was pretty chilly in the evenings.  I was crocheting next to the campfire, and my friend Mike asked me to make him a mitten.

”Just one?” I asked.
”Yeah. My beer keeps freezing to my hand.”

So of course, I did my best to make him a mitten.  But I was just learning to crochet and had never worked without a pattern before.  After a few failed attempts, it dawned on me.

”Hey, Mike?”
”Can I just make the beer a mitten instead?”

And so, the crochet beer cozy:

After years of making these things, I’ve perfected the pattern.  It stretches to fit both a can and a bottle.  It protects your frosty goodness from the hot sun, and prevents frostbite on cold mountain evenings.  And best of all, it’s easy to make!

I think this is a great beginner project, and you only have to know a handful of stitches: chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), double crochet (dc), and half double crochet (hdc). So let’s do this.


First, you’ll need to collect supplies.  I like to use worsted-weight acrylic yarn because it won’t shrink and it’s machine-washable.  This pattern is designed for a J10/6.00 mm hook.Beer cozy tutorial - 1

An aside: do you say “cozy?”  Or “koozie?”  Or “koozy?” Or “mitten?”  I always thought they were called “cozies,” but Mike insists on “koozy.”  I’m going with “coozy,” in an attempt to please everyone.  Or no one. Hard to say.

Anyway, start by making a magic ring:
Beer cozy tutorial - 2

Ch 2; double chain (dc) directly into the ring 10 times (10 dc + ch = 11 st).  Be sure to overlap the tail as you work.
Beer cozy tutorial - 3

Grab the tail and pull gently to close the magic ring.
Beer cozy tutorial - 4

Join with a slip stitch (sl st) to finish the round.
Beer cozy tutorial - 5

Chain (ch) 3 to start the second round, then 2 dc into the next stitch.
Beer cozy tutorial - 6

2 dc in each stitch around, and one additional dc in the base of the chain for a total of 22 dc.
Beer cozy tutorial - 7
Join the second round with a slip stitch and ch 2 to begin the next round. 1 half double crochet (hdc) in each stitch around for a total of 22 stitches (21 hdc + ch = 22).Beer cozy tutorial - 8

At the end of each round, join with a sl st and ch 2 to begin the next round.
Beer cozy tutorial - 9

At this point, you’ll be able to see the structure of the coozy take shape.  Keep going for 11 rounds up from the base.  If you forget how many rows you’ve done, just count!  In the center photo below, I’ve done 9 rows – 2 more to go! As you can see on the right, there’s only a small seam visible up one side.
Beer cozy tutorial - 10

When you finish the 11th round, join with a slip stich, cut the yarn, and pull through. Tug gently to tighten, but not too hard…you don’t want to cinch the top of the coozy too much!
Beer cozy tutorial - 11

Thread with a large needle and weave in the ends. Carefully off clip the ends closely.  And you’re done!
Beer cozy tutorial - 12

And that’s how you make a…
Beer cozy tutorial - 13


These things are super easy to make and you can customize them however you like. And of course, if you don’t feel like making your own, check out my Etsy store! In fact, you can even buy this neon green one!

End of summer in the garden

By | September 14, 2012


Early summer, we blindly chose some neat looking plants at the nursery and plunked them in the ground in a bed that’s under our second story deck.  And they all survived the summer!


The poor bed is in a bad spot.  It gets blasted for a few hours of high-altitude sun for a few hours each morning before being abruptly plunged into deep shadows.


These little pink ones did pretty well, but I wish I could remember what they are!  Vincas, maybe?  I deadheaded them a couple times, and they’ve been in full bloom all summer.


The catmint did pretty well too, though it didn’t grow as tall as some I’ve seen down the hill.


Bruce was dying to get some coral bells, so we purchased this cute little “Chocolate Ruffle” variety.  We put in the ground, and immediately, half of its leaves withered up and fell off.  Seems to be doing okay now, though.


This lupine was the Boy’s selection.  It flowered once, and then sprouted a teensy second bloom later in the summer.


These bleeding heart ferns were the only thing in this bed before this summer.  I think the little one in the front is an off-shoot of the one in the back, but I’m not sure.


These hostas are in nearly complete shade, but they’ve been doing just fine.


Well, except this one.  The dog slept on this one.


And this poor thing is a mess.  But I think it’s supposed to look like that.

All in all, I’m calling this summer’s adventure in landscaping a success!  Now if I can only get some vegetables to grow next year…

Colorado Love Flag

By | May 16, 2012

A couple of years ago, I dreamed up this image:

Heart Colorado


Inspired by the now iconic Oregon Love image, the Colorado Love Flag represents the Rocky Mountain way of life that so many of us love. I love Colorado, and I want everyone to know it.

I’ve been seeing the real Colorado flag everywhere these days, and I want to see the Colorado Love flag everywhere, too.    I had a bunch of stickers printed up, and I’ve been selling them over at Colorado Love. I even toyed with the idea of securing a trademark and starting a business, but I’m honestly, I’m too busy for that these days.  I’d still love to see the Colorado Love Flag everywhere, though.

So, I’m providing a high-res file of the Colorado Love Flag, distributed under a Creative Commons license, for you to download and play with.  Put it on t-shirts, hats, bags, whatever you want.  If you do make something, I’d sure love it if you’d send me one.  Send me a picture or a link and I’ll link it up on my Colorado Love website.

Colorado Love Flag – Large size – 1350 x 900 pixels

Creative Commons License
Colorado Love Flag by Miriam Lynah is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Meet Jakob!

By | January 12, 2012

Gnomes - Jakob - Etsy photos (2)

Jakob is one of the river gnomes, a group noted for their extraordinary bridge building abilities. A sheep herder by trade, he has now turned over much of his flock to his son, Atticus. Now, Jakob enjoys cultivating his prize-winning orchids and over-indulging in crossword puzzles.

Jakob on Etsy

Salaries of US college graduates are in sharp decline! Oh, and by the way, woman still make a whole heck of a lot less than men.

By | November 12, 2011


I just read this interesting article on BoingBoing about how the average salary of college-educated US men and women are in sharp decline.  There’s an accompanying article by economist Michael Mandel that asks what policymakers can do to try to reverse this downward trend.  Interesting stuff.

But then I took a closer look at the numbers.  Wait a minute.  Men’s salaries are down, sure.  But they are “down” to $59,000.  Now take a  look at the graph of the female college grads.  The highest average salary for a woman?  Way back in 2003…topping out at $58,000.

Yup.  At our most lucrative time in history, ladies, we were still making $1,000 less than the lowest average salary for men in the last 10 years.

This is a particularly striking example of how poor data visualization can completely obscure a huge pattern in the data.  By putting the graphs side by side, we assume that they line up.  But in this case, they definitely don’t.  Let’s take a look at them on the same scale.

College grad average earnings - Both genders

This is just a quick and dirty mock-up, but I think you get the picture.  Now here’s, MY question, policymakers…what can you do about this?

Pink wallet makeover

By | November 11, 2011

A certain little girl turned six years old this week, and we decided she was old enough for her very own wallet…even if it’s only to hold her ever-growing collection of credit card-shaped pieces of cardboard that she pulls out of the recycling.

November 2011 - Pink wallet makeover (1)

We picked up this plain Jane pink wallet at Savers.  It has lots of pockets, a change purse, and it even has a calculator inside.

November 2011 - Pink wallet makeover (3)

But, there’s a problem.  It also has a bad case of Stuck-on Price Tag-itis.  Paired with Peeling Vinyl Syndrome, this can be a terminal diagnosis.

November 2011 - Pink wallet makeover (11)

But dressed up with ribbon, sequins, and one old earring, now it’s even better than new.

November 2011 - Pink wallet makeover (13)

Peeling Vinyl Syndrome cured!  And the girl loved it.

Colorado Love Flag

By | November 3, 2011

Colorado Love flag - Outside border - small

The stickers are finally here!

Dirty Subaru

My Subaru is very, very happy.

Do you love Colorado, too? Get your very own over at Colorado Love.

Window lattice to scarf rack :: a tutorial

By | October 11, 2011

Scarf rack 1

When Bruce bought this house, it came with lattice on every single window (to, ya know, complement the shutters and porch balustrade with heart-shaped cut-outs).  He pulled down most of them years ago, and they resurfaced recently during the Great Shed Cleanout of 2011.  With a  little white spray paint and glue, I repurposed two of them into this great scarf rack.

You can do it too!  Here’s how:


DIY Scarf Display Rack



Window lattice
Spray paint
Hooks (for installation)

Locate some old window lattice.  This lattice was made of plastic, so I’m hoping that means less snagging as I pull the scarves on and off the rack.

Scarf rack 2

Spray paint the lattice a color that matches your décor.  We don’t really have a décor, so I went with white.

Let the paint dry overnight.  Just to be sure, I decided to forget about the project for about 10 days.  The paint was really dry.


Stack the pieces together, overlapping them to create a pleasing geometric shape.


Find some industrial strength glue that you opened a couple years ago.  Muck around with it until you manage to extract some still viscous glue.  Ew, I said “viscous.”

Use said glue to glue the pieces together.  Forget about the project for another several days.


We used these long-stemmed hooks to mount the scarf rack on the wall.  This one went in a little crooked but you can’t tell once all the scarves are on there.  I recommend using some wallboard anchors if you can’t find (or don’t feel like looking for) a stud.

Scarf rack - finished (4)

Ta da!  It’s getting cold around here, so this project is finished just in time for scarf season.

Crochet aspen leaves :: a tutorial

By | September 28, 2011

Uncut aspen trees - actions applied

It’s autumn!  Up here in the mountains, the leaves are already starting to turn and it’s cooler every day.


Okay, I’m lying.  There’s been near record-breaking heat and it feels just like summer.  But the leaves really are quite pretty this time of year.






In honor of my second favorite season, I decided whip up a pattern for these crochet aspen leaves.

Whip up.  Hee hee.  Oh, ha ha.

So it took a little longer than the phrase “whip up” might lead you to believe.  But I still managed to watch a whole bunch of football while I worked this one up.



Wanna give it a try?


Crocheted aspen leaves

Aspen leaves 2_thumb[5]Materials:

Yellow worsted weight yarn
Size H/8 (5 mm) crochet hook
Tapestry needle


Round 1:  Ch 4, join to form a ring (or use a Magic Ring).  Into ring, sc 9, join

Round 2: Ch 2, work 2 dc in each of next 3 sc, then [3dc, 2dc, 3dc] across next 3 sc, then work 2 dc into last three sc, join

Round 3: Do not chain! Sc in next dc, ch 3, sc in next dc, join with a slip stitch and bind off.  Weave in ends and you’re done!

Now I need to decide what I’ll make with all of them…  A scarf?  A mobile?  A garland?  What are you going to make?

If you do make something, leave a little note in the comments – I want to see what you come up with!