The Martin Luther Hat pattern

There is nothing like combining Reformation Sunday and Halloween!  No, really!

Especially when you teach a 7th grade confirmation class like my husband does.

Kevin came to me on Saturday night with a problem.  His co-teacher and confirmands decided that everyone should wear costumes on Sunday morning.  Kevin didn’t know what to wear.  

Fortunately for Kevin, we still have his black college graduation gown and I had a nearly full skein of black yarn.  I Googled a picture of Martin Luther for inspiration and got working.  The hat took 5.5 hours to make, and it looked great.

So, here is my crochet pattern for a Martin Luther hat.


Martin Luther hat (crochet)

You need:

1. Two crochet hooks, J and K

2. A skein of worsted weight black yarn

3. A darning needle

4. Some kind of stitch marker. (I like the huge diaper safety pins.)

The hat:

Rnd 1.  Use the larger hook.  In a magic circle, crochet 6 sc.  Sl in the first sc.  Place the marker in the slipstitch.  Pull the circle closed.

Rnd 2.  Increase in each sc of the round.  Move marker at the end of each row as you move forward.  (12 stitches)

Rnd 3. *Sc in the next stitch, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (18 stitches)

Rnd 4. *Sc in the next 2 stitches, increase.  Repeat from * around the circle. (24 stitches)

Rnd 5. *Sc in the next 3 stitches, increase.  Repeat from * around the circle. (30 stitches)

Rnd 6. *Sc in the next 4 stitches, increase.  Repeat from * around the circle. (36 stitches)

Rnd 7. *Sc in the next 5 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (42 stitches)

Rnd 8. *Sc in the next 6 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (48 stitches)

Rnd 9. *Sc in the next 7 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (54 stitches)

Rnd 10. *Sc in the next 8 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (60 stitches)

Rnd 11. *Sc in the next 9 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (66 stitches)

Rnd 12. *Sc in the next 10 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (72 stitches)

Rnd 13. *Sc in the next 11 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (78 stitches)

Rnd 14. *Sc in the next 12 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (84 stitches)

Rnd 15. *Sc in the next 13 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (90 stitches)

Rnd 16. *Sc in the next 14 stitches, increase. Repeat from * around the circle. (96 stitches)

Rnd 17. Sc in each stitch all the way around the circle.

Repeat rnd 17 for 2″ or until you have an appropriate “poof” to the hat.

Fasten off.

The band:

Foundation row: With the smaller hook, chain 5.

Row 1. Sc in the 2nd stitch from the hook.  Sc in the remaining three stitches.  (4 stitches)

Row 2. Chain 1. Turn. Sc in the BACK LOOPS of each stitch. (4 stitches)

Repeat row 2 until you have a length of 20″ or until you have a band that – without stretching – reaches just in front of one ear, around the back of your head, ending just in front of the other ear.

Fasten off.

Assemble the full hat:

Take the hat and band, and lay right sides together with the bottom of the hat facing up.  (The band doesn’t really have a right side, so you can choose.)  Stitch the top of one end of the band to the hat.  Gently stretch the band and stitch the top of the other end of the band to the hat to secure.  Stitch the top of the middle of the band to the hat.  Then, beginning at one end, stitch across the top of the band and hat until it is fully secure.  

Fasten off and weave all loose thread into the hat.

I hope you enjoy the hat.  Post pictures of the finished product in the comments!





At the Craft Fair and Chili Cookoff

I will have a table at the St. Paul Lutheran Church Craft Fair and Chili Cookoff on Saturday, 10/13/2012, from 11 am – 2:30 pm.  They are located in Neenah, WI by the YMCA on Doty Island.

Come by and check out the photography by Kevin “Bear with God” Grondahl that we have mounted on several sizes of reclaimed tile.  Prices are cheap at $1, $2, $4, and $5 per tile.

All the proceeds will be donated to two communities close to our hearts here at Beyond Rubies: The Peace Community Spiritual Center in a neighborhood of Detroit, MI and St. Paul Lutheran Church.

You can learn more about Peace’s story at  St. Paul Lutheran Church has a web presence too at

We will post some pictures from the event and the children’s fair that will be taking place at the same in the St. Paul basement.

Hope to see you there!


Fill Their HeartBuckets: Listening

Yesterday’s Inward-Outward:
To Bury Your Pain, by Frederick Buechner

To bury your pain is a way of surviving your pain and therefore by no means to be dismissed out of hand. It is a way which I venture to say has at one time or another served and continues to serve all of us well. But it is not a way of growing. It is not a way of moving through adolescence into adulthood. If you manage to put behind you the painful things that happen to you as if they never really happened or didn’t really matter all that much when they did, then the deepest and most human things you have in you to become are not apt to happen either.

She got her pain out by the end of our last post.  Our sweet girl who had been the target of bullies.  She’s calmed down now.  She’s ready to talk.  More importantly, she’s ready for you to listen.

That’s step two: listening.

It’s going to feel like the easiest thing is to just move on and put the whole thing behind both of you.  If she can just remember that you love and God loves her and bullies are bad, she’ll be find.  Right?

Yeah, that’s not going to help.

Like Frederick Beuchner wrote and I quoted above, putting these experiences away will only manage to hide the pain away.  It won’t allow us to grow.  It won’t allow our girl to grow and strengthen herself for the next time.

May I also pose the suggestion that the next time might not be an attack on your daughter.  It might be an attack on her friend or a complete stranger.  How might your daughter’s experience allow her to stand up for and stand with the next person?

Jesus didn’t hide himself from pain during his earthly life.  He put himself between pain and others.  Jesus walked with those were in pain, and even allowed himself to be crucified and die.  All these experiences with pain so that he could stand with us.  He could say that where you go, I have gone, and I will be with you.

That’s why it is so important that you allow yourself to enter into that painful story with your daughter.  She needs you to hear her experience without comment or advice.  She just needs you to listen.

You can ask clarifying questions. You can nod and use supporting body language.  You can let her know that even if you cry with her, she can tell you anything and everything.  You are with her.

Wait until she has expressed everything before you comment on it.  In our final step, you can help her process and reflect.  Until then, be with her.

Here are three great questions to help the conversation:

  1. What did that feel like?
  2. What did you want to do at that moment?
  3. What are you feeling about yourself right now?

You are doing great.  Good job.  Here’s a prayer to break out if you find yourself wanting to start talking and fixing things instead of listening:

Holy Spirit, wrap your hand around my tongue.  Clamp my lips together.  Make my ears and eyes and hearts open wide.  I love her, Lord.  Amen.


Fill Their HeartBuckets: Triage

She comes home in tears again.  They may be dry.  They may be wet.  But you know the red eyes, the panicked fidget, the defeat in her walk.  They attacked her again.  Now she’s looking to you for answers.

I thought about starting with raising young women strong enough to withstand the relentless cruelty of bullies.  However, I realized that for many of us starting at the beginning is a luxury we no longer have.  We’re in the midst of bullying trauma and need to know what to say.

That’s the problem of being “in crisis”.  You can’t get above it to survey it from a comfortable balcony while it’s happening to someone else.  It’s happening to you.  And your child.  Now.  You are IN it.

So, I realized that I need to start with how to triage the moment of crisis where we have been placed.  What do you do when the child you are blessed by comes to you with THE question: “Why?”


I have no great answers for this.  I’m a survivor of bullying myself.  I still don’t know what the perfect answer is.  However, I can offer what I’ve learned from loving young people and growing into the woman God has made me.

My approach to young people who are in the immediate aftereffects of a bullying attack is three-fold: 1) Triage. 2)Listening. 3)Reflecting.  I’ll explain Triage today.

There is no trick to it.  It’s the easiest step to explain.  However, I think it is the hardest step to do.

Triage is the point where you have to let the chaos subside and your daughter’s adrenaline work itself out.  There is nothing for you to do, but make a safe place for her to do what she needs to do.

She may need to cry with you holding her or stroking her back.  She may need to go for a run or work out.  She may need to be quiet for a little bit and write it out.  All women handle stress and hurt differently.  As long as she is not a danger to herself or others, let her do what she needs to do.

This is hard for moms who are used to actively protecting our young.  I know my first instinct is to send out an attack squad on whoever hurt the one I love.  I want to dissect the situation and get it solved and resolved.

However, that is usually the last thing our children need from us in the first moments after trauma.  We want it, because it makes us feel better.  Being with our children and letting them experience their pain is painful for us too.  And it is necessary.

When the tears are gone, when the rage has stopped, when she is ready to talk, then we can begin to listen to her experience.  Until then, I offer a prayer for Triage use.

The Triage prayer is intended to center you, focus you, and invite the Holy Spirit to fill every molecule of space in the safe, comforting environment you are allowing your daughter to inhabit.

Creator God, love her.  Jesus our savior, heal her.  Holy Spirit, comfort her.  Make me wise for her.  Make me calm for her.  Amen.

~ Mackenzie

Fill Their Heart Buckets: Let’s End Bullying!

One of the reasons my sister and I started working on Beyond Rubies was our personal experiences with bullying in our lives and the life of our precious daughters.

While my toddler has only been pushed around and doesn’t understand the meaning behind the cruelty in some older kids’ words, Kathleen’s eldest is not so lucky.

Kathleen posted on Facebook that her MamaHeart broke last night as she cried for our gorgeous, brilliant, loving girl who was again the target of “Mean Girl” attacks.  Kathleen’s question again was: “How do we make it stop?”

Jesus tells us repeatedly to love our enemies and to refuse to add further violence into the world He loves.  Yet, how do we teach our sisters in Christ to do that while preventing them from being destroyed spiritually and emotionally?

We’re going to focus on ending bullying at this summer.  Each week I’ll be posting resources, devotions, activities, and stories that will help us equip our sisters and daughters to face bullies with full Heart Buckets and the boldness of God’s love in their lives.

Do you have stories or tips?  Email them to:

With faith, we can move mountains.  Let’s get to work.



Trying to be a Healthy Mom

I am not the first mom to be caught between wellness and duty.

It is amazing how well I started to get healthy.  I had all the tools.  I had the fear of God put into me by medical professionals.  I had the will.  I had the blog.

Now, months later, I am only down a few pounds and a few habits.  What happened?

I gave in to my  inner Duty Monster.  The Duty Monster popped up and taunted me with allegations of familial neglect.  How dare I care for myself while my family needed me to focus on other things – like job hunting, emotional support, toilet cleaning?  How dare I put myself first?

Now, I know that duty and caring for one’s family is a good thing.  In fact, it is a call that God gave me to fulfill.  I love my family more than my life.  I would surrender my life for my family in a heartbeat.

However, my family doesn’t need me to die.  There is no gun pointed at their heads.  No zombie apocalypse that I must ward off with my blood.

In fact, I’ve come to find out that they want me alive and healthy.

Here’s the trick: to balance caring for my family with caring for myself, because I can’t serve them or serve God if I am dead of a heart attack at 35.

So, you are on notice, Duty Monster.  Don’t bother this week.  I’m not listening.



Permission to Forgive

My journey to wellness begins with a road of permission-giving.

In fact, I think there is a toll booth every 500 ft where I am asked to pay myself in permission to care for myself, to put myself first, or to have fun with something deathly serious.  I’ve been stuck at the most recent booth for about two weeks.

The attendant requires me to give myself permission to forgive.

I’m not a great forgiver.  I can say the words.  I can even mean them.  However, I have trouble living into a new way of being in which that person or people is forgiven.  It would require me to be ok with trusting them again.  It would require me to relearn how to be vulnerable without being patronizing.  It means releasing control, even if I get hurt again.

Jesus said if you approach the altar and realize your brother or sister has something against you, you are to go make things right with your brother or sister, and then come back to the altar to make your offering.

I reread that passage from the Gospel of Matthew last night.  Also, I read the exchange between Peter and Jesus where Peter wants to know how many times he needs to forgive someone.  Jesus seems to be saying that you forgive forever. Like Jesus forgives us even though he knows we’re going to hurt him again.

I’m still at the toll booth.  But I can feel the tightness in my heart slipping away.  How can I make an offering of my life if I’m holding so much so tightly?  It is hard, but I believe I can be healed.