A fashionably fierce sweater craft

Kids sweater craft: Princess and the Pony

Princesses are everywhere these days.

Disney has overrun the toy aisle, Pandora stations and the playground.

Now, I’m not a hater: I adore certain Disney movies, and Peeper’s first movie was Cinderella. But I can’t help but notice that a lot of princesses are, well, passive.

That is not the case with Princess Pinecone, the titular royalty in the picture book The Princess and the Pony.

A princess book with sass

Princess Pinecone lives in a society of warriors. But her parents haven’t quite caught on: They give her cutesy sweaters instead of cool warrior presents like shields, spiked belts or—what she truly covets—a fierce warrior horse.

When her birthday rolls around, she does get a horse—sort of. Princess Pinecone gets big-eyed, doughy pony who farts too much.

But she can’t give a birthday present back, she figures, so she keeps the pony. What happens at the next warrior brawl surprises everyone.

Getting crafty

After reading The Princess and the Pony about a hundred times, I made a book-inspired craft for Peeper. And I’m not the only one: Check out the brute-inspired crafts at the Raising Fairies and Knights Monthly Crafting Book Club!

Monthly Crafting Book Club

Princess Pinecone and the rest of the brutes in the book come to realize that cute can be strong, and you don’t have to be just fierce or just adorable—you can be both.

So Peeper and I created a fashionably fierce sweater craft.

This sweater craft is great for fine motor skills—though if your little is as young as Peeper is, she may need a little help winding the yarn around the paper.

Princess sweater craft

It’s also very open-ended. There’s no “right” way for the sweater craft to look: The process of winding and stamping (and hand-slapping, if you’re Peeper) is much more important than the final product.

After all, process art helps young kids feel more confident, since they don’t “fail” to make their project look identical to the model one, writes the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

So hit up your library for a copy of The Princess and the Pony, then join us for some cozy—and fierce—fun.

Kids sweater craft Princess and the PonyKids sweater craft Princess and the Pony

Fashionably fierce sweater craft


  • cardstock paper
  • yarn
  • painter’s tape
  • paint
  • cotton balls


  1. Cut out a sweater shape from a sheet of cardstock.
  2. Tape one end of the yarn to the “back” of the sweater. Then have your child wind the yarn around the sweater. (You may have to help by guiding her hands or playing out the yarn.)
  3. When your child is done wrapping, tape the tail of the yarn to the back of the sweater. This will secure the yarn so it doesn’t move.
  4. Squirt out as many colors of paint as your child would like. Invite her to stamp the paper with a cotton ball (it’s so cozy, like a sweater!). The more she paints over the yarn and fills up the white space, the more contrast she’ll get.
  5. When she’s done, untape and unwrap the yarn. She’ll see the white lines left by the yarn—giving her a striped sweater!

Don’t forget to try out the other The Princess and the Pony crafts at the Monthly Crafting Book Club!

Princess and the Pony monthly crafting book club

To arms over leggings

Chances are, if you’ve seen me in the last, oh, four or five months, I haven’t been wearing pants. I have officially embraced the no-pants revolution and am rocking leggings just about erry day of the week.

Unfortunately, my new way of life is being attacked on all sides. First, there was the blog post heard ’round the world—you know the one I’m talking about, in which the writer vowed to abandon all stretchy fabric to avoid inspiring lustful gazes.

(Is it just me, or does that justification fall dangerously close to the she-deserved-it argument that says a woman’s outfit triggered her rape?)

Now, lawmakers in Montana want to ban yoga pants in public—at least flesh-covered ones (which, insanely, would make that transcendent video of Sergei Polunin dancing to Hozier illegal). I hesitate to call upon the Right’s go-to argument of the slippery slope, but HB 365 would pave the way to legislating my sartorial choices and comfort, regardless of the color of my leggings. After all, Republican David Moore added that yoga pants “should be illegal in public anyway.”

Perhaps women should go back to wearing floor-length skirts at all time—heck, they should just stay in the kitchen, where they definitely won’t risk giving any men-folk impure thoughts. Maybe that’ll be the next bill.

In the meantime, though, I’ll continue wearing leggings because I damn well want to.

I’ll wear leggings because they allow me to chase after my daughter and because they don’t have belt buckles that dig into her back when she sits on my lap.

I’ll wear leggings because they’re comfortable and they feel good. Even if pants and skirts aren’t exactly corsets/Spanx/Chinese foot binding, they’re not always the most comfortable thing to slip on, and I reserve the right to pass on them.

I’ll wear leggings because I want to show my daughter that women should wear whatever the eff we want. We are responsible for ourselves; we are not responsible for others’ feelings and thoughts. We do not have to restrict what we wear to moderate what someone else might think.

I’ll wear leggings because sometimes it’s all I can do to brush my teeth and hair, and getting dressed in an actual outfit is just too much.

I’ll wear leggings because politicians and prudes don’t want me to.

Join me—or not—but let’s all call out ridiculous attempts to legislate women’s bodies and what we decide to put on them.

Viva la leggings!
Viva la leggings!

PS – I loved “How Accepting Leggings as Pants Made Me a Better Feminist.” (To wit: “My leggings epiphany has shown me that I need to tell my Creepy Subconscious Slut-Shaming Cave Dweller to shut up. Judging a person based on what they wear is weird and wrong. And in the case of women, it furthers sexual objectification and the idea that appearance is a woman’s most important characteristic.”) Yes, yes, yes!

Snap-on baby bow ties

My friend from grad school always looked snappy. Whereas I tended to teach in jeans and a sweater, Erica sported bow ties. So when she and her wife announced they were expecting, I knew exactly what I wanted to make them.

Their beautiful baby girl was born in December, but I just now finished her gift. Better late than never!

Behold—onesies with interchangeable bow ties!

interchangeable baby bow tie onesies Read more