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This hat is a combination of several patterns I’ve found around the interwebs. I’ll see if I can dig up links to give credit, but in each case I’ve altered the patterns somewhat.

TLDR: I’m a wordy mug, so if you want, you can skip to THE PATTERN.

The hat itself is an adaptation of the Bicycle Wheels hat pattern from Victoria at sew knit me. I knit kind of tightly, so I use bigger needles. Also, I left off the dingleberry when I made it for my friend, Davey-OH!, who discovered the pattern when I asked him to pick one. Then my kids and all of their friends wanted one after my daughter modeled it for me. EVERYONE loves this hat! I’ve even been stopped at Joann and asked what the pattern is called! I had made so many of these that I was very comfortable with not having to check my gauge again, so I stuck with this pattern, but without the purl rows, to make the beanie part of the bearded hat. (Actually, the one in the pictures was a little short, so now I’m making it longer and cuffing the ribbed part before attaching the beard.)

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The beard is from the Bearded Beanie by Henya at Chicken Stitches. I didn’t use her hat pattern because, like I said, I was already very comfortable with the bicycle wheels one. I did try the applied I-cord mustache on my first try (bearded hat 1.0), but after looking at it, I felt that it lacked a certain twirly appeal that I saw in the numerous mustaches that my daughters seem to have on everything from t-shirts to duct tape to Christmas tree ornaments. (Thanks, James!) Anyway, the beard from Henya’s pattern is fabulous, and contours to the chin in a most magical fashion. It also has a really nice texture with thick yarn, and a beautiful finished edge.Image

And the pièce de résistance, the twirly mustache, is slightly adapted (or maybe that’s what she meant in the first place, but I’m just writing it differently) from Robyn Wade at Sweet Little Domestic Life. When I tried it as she wrote it, it seemed that the numbers were off, but maybe it was a couple of typos. Anyway, I just changed rounds 10 and 11, and also figured out how to knit the pipe cleaner right inside the I-cord because I don’t have the patience to stuff it in there after the fact.

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You can see from my goofy pics (thank you, James!) that the twirly mustache can be bent into whatever shape strikes your fancy.

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THE PATTERN

Beanie

Gauge: 11 sts 17 rows 5″

Size 13 circular needles (or size to obtain gauge)
Size 10 dpns set of 4
1 skein of Chunky or Bulky weight yarn, like thick & quick
Stitch marker (I use a loop of pink wool roving that has kind of felted itself with age)
Tapestry needle or big plastic needle

On circular needles, CO 44 sts. Place marker and join round without twisting stitches. (Although Möbius strips are cool, they don’t make good hats.)

For a folded ribbed edge, *K2, P2* for 10 rounds. For a shorter ribbed edge, do 7 rounds.
(In the picture, I did *K1, M1, K1, P2tog* for the last round as suggested by Victoria, but I don’t do that with the folded ribbed edge.)

K 12 to 14 rounds.

Crown shaping:

K3, K2tog, (*K4, K2tog*) 6 times, K3
K 1 round
K2tog, (*K3, K2tog*) 6 times, K5
K 1 round
*K3, K2tog* to end with 24 stitches
Moving to smaller DPN, K 1 round, dividing stitches between 3 needles
(I usually put an extra stitch on one to hold the marker in place, so I have 9 on that one, 7 on the next one, and 8 on the other one.)
K 1 round
*K2tog* to end with 12 stitches
K 1 round
*K2tog* to end with 6 stitches and snip the tail to several inches long
Using the tapestry needle, pull the tail through the remaining stitches, and weave in the ends.

Beard

Size 10 needles
Bulky yarn (less than a skein)

Weird increase stitch: K1M1 (knit one make one) knit one into the back stitch, leaving the stitch on the left needle, then knit it as usual. Kind of like this video, but doing the back loop first instead of last. http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/bar-increase-english

CO 7 sts

Row 1- 8 Slip 1, K5, P1. Row 9 Slip 1, K4, K1M1, K1. 8 stitches. Row 10 K7, P1.

Row 11 Slip 1, K5, K1M1, K1. 9 stitches.

Row 12 K8, P1.

Row 13 Slip 1, K6, K1M1, K1. 10 stitches.

Row 14 K9, P1.

Row 15 Slip 1, K7, K1M1, K1. 11 stitches.

Row 16 K10, P1.

Row 17 Slip 1, K8, K1M1, K1. 12 stitches.

Row 18 K11, P1.

Row 19 Slip 1, K9, K1M1, K1. 13 stitches.

Row 20 K12, P1.

Row 21 Slip 1, K10, K1M1, K1. 14 stitches.

Row 22 K13, P1.

Row 23 Slip 1, K11, K1M1, K1. 15 stitches.

Row 24 K14, P1.

Row 25 Slip 1, K12, K1M1, K1. 16 stitches.

Row 26 K15, P1.

Row 27 Slip 1, K13, K1M1, K1. 17 stitches.

Row 28 K16, P1.

Row 29 Slip 1, K16.

Row 30 K16, P1. Row 31 Slip 1, K13, K2Tog, K1. 16 stitches. Row 32 K15, P1.

Row 33 Slip 1, K12, K2Tog, K1. 15 stitches.

Row 34 K14, P1.

Row 35 Slip 1, K11, K2Tog, K1. 14 stitches.

Row 36 K13, P1.

Row 37 Slip 1, K10, K2Tog, K1. 13 stitches.

Row 38 K12, P1.

Row 39 Slip 1, K9, K2Tog, K1. 12 stitches.

Row 40 K11, P1.

Row 41 Slip 1, K8, K2Tog, K1. 11 stitches.

Row 42 K10, P1.

Row 43 Slip 1, K7, K2Tog, K1. 10 stitches.

Row 44 K9, P1.

Row 45 Slip 1, K6, K2Tog, K1. 9 stitches.

Row 46 K8, P1.

Row 47 Slip 1, K5, K2Tog, K1. 8 stitches.

Row 48 K7, P1.

Row 49 Slip 1, K4, K2Tog, K1. 7 stitches.

Row 50 K6, P1.

Row 51 – 58 Slip 1, K5, P1.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Twirly Mustache

Size 10 dpns (only need 2)
Same bulky yarn as you used for the beard
Pipe cleaner
Smallish crochet hook

CO 8 sts (we’ll make two of these)
Bend pipe cleaner in half to mark the center, then place the center behind your work just as you begin to knit your I-cord. Each time you pull the yarn across the back, ensure that the yarn goes behind the pipe cleaner, trapping it inside. It will be loose until rounds 10 and 11, but you can push it up snugly so that the middle is at the bottom of your knitting after the decreases.

Rnds 1-9: Knit I-cord.

The tricky part:

  1. Slide the knitting to the right to prepare for the next round of I-cord.
  2. Insert the crochet hook down through the middle and snag the I-cord ladder (those loose lace-up stitches in back) from the back of rnd 1.
  3. Pull it up through the center, and place the stitch at the beginning of the needle so that it will be the first stitch you knit. The I-cord gets all smooshed, so you’ll need to snug it back down to the center of the pipe cleaner at this point.

Here’s a link to help you get the idea until I make a video of it: http://nonaknits.typepad.com/nonaknits/2005/10/nonas_happy.html
This is easier done than said, and it’s what really gives the mustache character.

Rnd 10: (K1, K2tog) 3 times. 6 stitches.
Rnd 11: (K1, K2tog) 2 times. 4 stitches. Time to snug it back down to the center of the pipe cleaner.
Rnds 12-the end of this half of the pipe cleaner: Knit I-cord.
Rnd penultimate: K2tog twice
Rnd final: Knit

Cut tail and pull tight through 2 remaining stitches. Weave in end (but leave the tail hanging on the thick end).

CO 8 sts.
Once again, place the center of the free end of the pipe cleaner behind your work just as you begin to knit your I-cord. Each time you pull the yarn across the back, ensure that the yarn goes behind the pipe cleaner, trapping it inside. It will be loose until rounds 10 and 11, but you can push it up snugly so that the bottom of your knitting bumps into the first half of the mustache.

Knit the same as the first half. Use the tail at the thick ends to tie the two halves together, and if the pipe cleaner is a different color than the yarn, wrap it around and tie and wrap around and tie a few times to ensure that it doesn’t show.

Assembly

Yarn from the hat and from the beard and mustache
Tapestry needle
Diaper pin or large safety pin

  1. Bend the mustache into a slight upside-down V to leave an opening for the mouth.
  2. Pin the mustache onto the beard, leaving the twirlable ends free, pinning the two thick sections well down onto the beard so it won’t droop, and keeping the center up above the beard for the mouth opening.
  3. Hold the beard up over your chin and pull the sides up like you’re attaching it to the hat, and look in a mirror to check your placement.
  4. When you’re happy with it, cut about a foot or so of yarn, and if it’s too thick for sewing, pull it apart (mine was four strands, and I used two strands for sewing), thread the tapestry needle, and sew through the back of the beard to attach the moustache, removing the pin when you can.
  5. Put the hat on, hold the beard up over your chin, pull the hat down over the sides to overlap, and hold one side in place while you remove it and pin it in place.
  6. Using the hat yarn, sew through the back of the beard into the hat to attach the first side.
  7. Try it on again and hold the other side in place until you get it pinned, and sew this side in place.

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I’ve been all about purple sweet potatoes since I saw them in a bin at the Westgate Import Market this summer. They’re so beautiful, but I think I forgot to take a picture of them in candied form! Ah, there they are, in the purplish pink bowl. They’re not as brilliant of a purple candied as they are when you just nuke them and eat them plain, but they are so yummy! As my niece said, “I don’t like sweet potatoes, but these taste like Christmas should smell!”
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of purple sweet potatoes
    (or regular, if you can’t find purple at an Asian market)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Preparation

  1. Without peeling, cover whole sweet potatoes in water in a big pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are softening, but still firm.
  3. Cool, peel, and cut into chunks or slices into a baking dish.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. In a saucepan, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil, then pour over sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Serve in a bowl, spooning sauce over any dry sweet potatoes.

Notes

I adapted this recipe from one for regular sweet potatoes that called for maple syrup (yick!) for which I substituted orange juice and honey, and then added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I haven’t done a test drive on the amounts above for several reasons:

  1. I have no idea how many pounds of purple sweet potatoes I had. There were two big ones shaped like a human heart (with swirly patterns of purple and pale purple inside) and two long skinny ones (that looked like a purple tree trunk inside).
  2. I first made it with half the sauce ingredients, then realized that I’d forgotten the pecans and that it didn’t look like much sauce, so I made more sauce with the pecans without really measuring. it might not have been quite double the original amount.

Next time I make this, I’ll measure and update if necessary. I might even put the whole bag of pecans in. Yum!

Another cool thing: the sauce takes on this lovely berry color from the sweet potatoes. They look very dark in the picture, but you can definitely still tell that they’re purple!

Yay! Thanks to this Graham Mayor guy on a PCReview forum, even though the features are missing from Office 2007 onward, I can still make my MS Word text really, really obnoxious! Just like in the old days, when I centered everything on my web page and tried to use loudly patterned background images, many animated gifs, and blinking text for highlight!

Yay! In case you too want to relive the joys of multicolored, flashing, blinking, sparkling, shimmering, mummafummin’ marching text, here’s how you can do it!

  1. In Word, at the top left corner, click the Office button, and at the bottom of the menu that appears, click Word Options.
  2. In the dialog that appears, on the Popular tab, select the checkbox to Show Developer tab in the Ribbon, and click OK.
  3. Click the Developer ribbon, and in the Code section, click the Record Macro button.
  4. In the Record Macro dialog that appears, enter the Macro name: animatedFonts, and select Assign macro to Button.
  5. In the Word options dialog that appears, double-click the macro Normal.NewMacros.animatedFonts to add it to the Quick Access toolbar to the right, and click OK.
  6. Enter any text on the page, and in the Developer toolbar Code section, click Stop Recording.
  7. In the toolbar Code section click Macros, and in the dialog that appears, select animatedFonts and click Edit.
  8. In the Microsoft Visual Basic window that appears, delete all of the code in the Normal window and paste in the following:
    Sub animatedFonts()
        '
        ' animatedFonts Macro
        '
        Dim sAnimation As String
        If Len(Selection.Range) = 0 Then
            MsgBox "Select text first!", vbCritical, "No Text Selected"
            Exit Sub
        End If
        sAnimation = InputBox("Which animation? Enter the number: " & vbCr & _
        " 1. Blinking Background" & vbCr & _
        " 2. Las Vegas Lights" & vbCr & _
        " 3. Marching Black Ants" & vbCr & _
        " 4. Marching Red Ants" & vbCr & _
        " 5. Shimmer" & vbCr & _
        " 6. Sparkle Text" & vbCr & _
        " 0. None", "Font animation")
        Select Case sAnimation
            Case 1: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationBlinkingBackground
            Case 2: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationLasVegasLights
            Case 3: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationMarchingBlackAnts
            Case 4: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationMarchingRedAnts
            Case 5: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationShimmer
            Case 6: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationSparkleText
            Case 0: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationNone
            Case Else:
        End Select
    End Sub
  9. Save and close the Microsoft Visual Studio window, and a new button is added to your Quick Start in Word (top left).
  10. Now highlight some text and click the new button. Enter a number from 1 to 6 and click OK!

Woo hoo!!!

Just a quick note for people thinking of trying Chantix. I realize that it doesn’t work for everyone, but it really worked for me. I didn’t even want to quit smoking, and figured I never would. I was a hardcore smoker, but after a couple of weeks of taking Chantix and not even trying to quit smoking, I actually started forgetting to smoke. Forgetting! It was huge!

When I went to work without cigarettes for the first time, it was a little scary, but then I realized how FREE I was! I didn’t have to worry about carrying them around, buying them, finding a place to smoke them, finding a way to get rid of the smell of them (nothing works, by the way).

Over three and a half years later, I am thrilled that I grabbed the opportunity to hold onto that freedom by never allowing myself to ever again “just have one.”

I’m so grateful that it worked for me!

I discovered purple yams at my new favorite little Thai grocery store and restaurant. Mostly I just nuke them and eat them as they are, like in this picture, but today I wanted something with coconut milk and curry. I set out to make soup, and landed on mashed sweet potatoes instead!

  • 1 large purple yam (diced, in pan with water to cover)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon panaeng curry paste (canned)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Cook the yams

In a covered saucepan, heat the yams until the water boils, then reduce heat and simmer until softened, but not complete mush (like they’re easy to stick a fork in, but don’t fall apart much). Drain, even though I hate throwing out all of those antioxidants and vitamin A in that purple water! Transfer to a serving bowl that you can mix them in.

Make the sauce

Shake up the coconut milk to mix the cream and the thin milk. This is only important when you use half the can. Pour half into the saucepan, and add a tablespoon (more if you like really hot stuff) of the panaeng curry paste. Bring to a boil, stirring to mix the curry completely with the coconut milk. It turns a pale pinkish peachy color with bits of red chili, and begins to thicken.

Mix and texturize

To the bowl of yams, add the sauce and the coconut. I’m not sure how much I actually used, but you can do it to taste. I might’ve used more than half a cup… Ideally, I’d use a potato masher, but since I don’t have one, I used a mixer, first mashing the potatoes down a bit with the beaters. Mix on medium until the biggest chunks are gone, then turn it up–you might even get a purple-splotched countertop for your troubles! I like them with nice purple chunks of sweet potato and shredded coconut all through to give them a lot of texture, but again, it’s to taste.

Mmm, lightly spicy, lightly sweet, coconutty texture and flavor, and PURPLE!!! What could be better?

I’ll get a picture sometime when the light is right.

 

My youngest loves Domo-kun, or at least she did last year. Anyway, I made this one out of a super fuzzy yarn–maybe Angel Soft? Ah, yes, Jo-Ann Sensations Angel Hair yarn in Dark Brown. I wasn’t thrilled with the way the black cotton eyes disappeared in all that fuzziness, but Aja was 🙂

  • Size 8 needles and double point needles
  • Yarn needle (big, dull point)
  • 4 colors of yarn (small ball of main color; bits of red, black, and white)

Abbreviations:

MC = main color (brown)
EC = eye color (black)
TC = teeth color (white)
RED = red (mouth color)
S1 = slip one stitch as if to purl
P = purl (with main color)
K = knit (with main color)
ECP (or TCP or REDP) = purl with specified color
ECK (or TCK or REDK) = knit with specified color
CO = cast on (long tail cast on makes a nice edge)
DPN = double point needles
BO = bind off (for a stretchy one, *K2tog, slip back to left needle* repeat to end)

Notes: With intarsia, you make separate bobbins of yarn for each color block (even the same color in different places in a row) so that you don’t have to carry long strands of yarn across in back. In this pattern, we’ll make the following bobbins, but will carry the HC across between the lobes of the top of the heart:

  • about the mass of a baby carrot with TC x 2
  • about the mass of a golf ball with RED
  • about the mass of a baby carrot with EC x 2

We’re slipping the first stitch of every row to make a nice edge for our side seams.

Video tips:

How to make a center-pull bobbin
How to do a long-tail cast on
How to add a color and change colors
How to K2tog (only we’re passing it back to the left needle for our bind off)
How to do side seams
How to make an i-cord

CO: 17 stitches (for a wide phone) using long tail cast on
Row 1: S1, K16
Row 2: S1, P16
Row 3: row 1
Row 4: row 2
Row 5: S1, K3, ECK2, K5, ECK2, K4
Row 6: S1, P3, ECP2, P5, ECP2, P4
Row 7: row 5
Row 8: row 2
Row 9: row 1
Row 10: S1, P3, TCP9, P4
Row 11: S1, K3, TCK9, K4
Row 12: S1, P3, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, TCP1, REDP1, P4
Row 13: S1, K3, REDK9, K4
Row 14: S1, P3, REDP9, P4
Row 15: row 13
Row 16: row 14
Row 17: S1, K3, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, TCK1, REDK1, K4
Row 18: row 10
Row 19: row 11
All even rows 20 to 40: S1, P16
All odd rows 21 to 39: S1, K16

(Try wrapping a cell phone in it to see how long you need it to be.)

BO, leaving a long tail.

To make the arms (make 2):

  1. On DPN, CO 5 stitches.
  2. Make an i-cord for one and a half inches.
  3. Knit 3, yarn-over, and knit to the end (6 stitches)
  4. Knit a couple more rows of i-cord, and yarn over in the middle of another row for 7 stitches.
  5. Make another inch of i-cord.
  6. Bind off.

To make the legs (make 2):

  1. On DPN, CO 10 stitches.
  2. Make an i-cord for two inches.
  3. Bind off.

To make the necklace braid (not shown in image):

  1. Cut 6 strands of yarn 40” long.
  2. Bundle the strands together and tie a knot in one end.
  3. Secure the knotted end (or make your kid hold it).
  4. Separate strands into 3 pairs and braid to the other end.
  5. Knot the end.

To assemble:

  1. Fold the long rectangle in half, uncurling the edges and pressing them together.
  2. Thread the long tail onto your yarn needle and, starting at the top corner, sew the edges together on one side.
  3. When you reach the bottom, put the needle through to the inside, and weave the yarn through stitches to the other side.
  4. Sew the edges together up the other side.
  5. Sew one end of the braid to each top corner of the pouch.
  6. Sew arms on sides of pouch.
  7. Sew legs on bottom edge of pouch.
  8. Weave in all ends and trim braid ends if necessary.

Okay, some caveats here. I don’t like to work from charts, so I sat down and wrote out the pattern for my whole chart. To make the chart, I used this handy dandy grid generator from knitPro 2.0: http://www.microrevolt.org/knitPro/. You can upload a picture and have it spit out a grid!

Also, this is my first attempt at writing a pattern. I hope it’s clear!

  • Size 8 needles
  • Yarn needle (big, dull point)
  • 2 colors of yarn (small ball)

I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton, but I think any worsted weight yarn would work.

Abbreviations:

MC = main color
SC = skull color
S1 = slip one stitch as if to purl
P = purl (with main color)
K = knit (with main color)
SCP = purl with skull color
SCK = knit with skull color
CO = cast on (long tail cast on makes a nice edge)
BO = bind off (for a stretchy one, *K2tog, slip back to left needle* repeat to end)

Notes: With intarsia, you make separate bobbins of yarn for each color block (even the same color in different places in a row) so that you don’t have to carry long strands of yarn across in back. In this pattern, we’ll make the following bobbins:

  • about the mass of a tangerine with SC x 2
  • about the mass of a baby carrot with MC x 4
  • about the mass of a baseball with MC

We’re slipping the first stitch of every row to make a nice edge for the side seams.

Video tips:

How to make a center-pull bobbin
How to do a long-tail cast on
How to add a color and change colors
How to K2tog (only we’re passing it back to the left needle for our bind off)
How to do side seams

Rows 1 and 3: S1, K14
Rows 2: S1, P14
Row 4: S1, P4, SCP5, P5
Row 5: S1, K3, SCK7, K4
Row 6: S1, P2, SCP9, P3
Row 7: S1, K1, SCK11, K2
Row 8: S1, P1, SCP11, P2
Row 9: S1, SCK13, K1
Row 10: S1, SCP13, P1
Row 11: S1, SCK13, K1
Row 12: S1, SCP13, P1
Row 13: S1, SCK2, K2, SCK5, K2, SCK2, K1
Row 14: S1, SCP1, P4, SCP3, P4, SCP1, P1
Row 15: S1, SCK1, K4, SCK3, K4, SCK1, K1
Row 16: S1, SCP1, P4, SCP3, P4, SCP1, P1
Row 17: S1, SCK1, K4, SCK3, K4, SCK1, K1
Row 18: S1, SCP2, P2, SCP2, P1, SCP2, P2, SCP2, P1
Row 19: S1, SCK6, K1, SCK6, K1
Row 20: S1, P1, SCP4, P3, SCP4, P2
Row 21: S1, K2, SCK3, K3, SCK3, K3
Row 22: S1, P1, SCP11, P2
Row 23: S1, K1, SCK1, K1, SCK7, K1, KCK1, K2
Row 24: S1, P1, SCP1, P9, SCP1, P2
Row 25: S1, K1, SCK1, K9, SCK1, K2
Row 26: S1, P1, SCP2, P7, SCP2, P2
Row 27: S1, K2, SCK2, K5, SCK2, K3
Row 28: S1, P3, SCP7, P4
Row 29: S1, K3, SCK7, K4
Row 30: S1, P4, SCP5, P5
All odd rows 31 to 65: S1, K14
All even rows 32 to 66: S1, P14

(Try wrapping a cell phone in it to see how long you need it to be.)

BO, leaving a long tail.

To make the necklace braid:

  1. Cut 6 strands of yarn 40” long.
  2. Bundle the strands together and tie a knot in one end.
  3. Secure the knotted end (or make your kid hold it).
  4. Separate strands into 3 pairs and braid to the other end.
  5. Knot the end.

To assemble:

  1. Fold the long rectangle in half, uncurling the edges and pressing them together.
  2. Thread the long tail onto your yarn needle and, starting at the top corner, sew the edges together on one side.
  3. When you reach the bottom, put the needle through to the inside, and weave the yarn through stitches to the other side.
  4. Sew the edges together up the other side.
  5. Sew one end of the braid to each top corner of the pouch.
  6. Weave in all ends and trim braid ends if necessary.