This weekend was so cozy.  It was very chilly outside and I found myself doing all sorts of things to prepare for the coming frost.  I was happy to have an excuse to finally wrap up in this shawl.  I sorted sweet potatoes and got them stored, though there are still more to be dug.  I plucked all my marigolds and zinnias for dyeing, and harvested the last of the amaranth.  I’m trying to extract the beautiful pink color from every last bit of it.  At some point though, I have to shift focus to getting yarn ready to sell.  The skeins get a little messy (you can see in the first photo of them on the drying rack) and I usually re-skein them.  Jonny is working to perfect a standing swift to help me move the skeins from one swift to another, making re-skeining a bit faster.  I’m excited about it!

Sunday found me home all day with just Seth and Larkspur while everyone else was at afternoon baseball.  Larkspur was a bit ill, so we had a slow, lazy day.  We worked on planning out Beatrix’s birthday gifts.  Her birthday is in about a month!  I realized that despite the fact I have way too many knitting projects in progress, I needed to cast on her gift and mostly abandon the others if I am going to finish in time.  She wants a blue shawl, so I began knitting this cape thinking it will be easier for her to wear (using finer yarn to get a little girl size I hope!)  I’m going to try to work on it only when she’s asleep so it’s a surprise!

Of course, then I remembered that Job’s birthday is coming even sooner than Beatrix’s!  I don’t have the first clue what we are going to give him.  It won’t be something knitted.  There’s just no time.  Someone mentioned in a comment recently that of all my kids, he is the hardest to read based on photos and what I write here.  I think that must be because he doesn’t have any extremes (yet) as quite a few of my other kids do.  He’s funny, but not extremely funny.  Rowdy, but not too rowdy.  He is pretty busy though and makes huge messes.  He has a way of saying, “Mama” to make me feel like I am the most amazing mama that ever lived in addition to giving long hugs (right after saying “Maaaaaamaaaaa“).  He’s pretty dear.  He loves baseball, having spent a large portion of his little life watching his brothers play.  I did buy him a little foam bat and ball not too long ago.  Of course those same baseball playing brothers broke the bat and lost the ball!

Any fantastic gift ideas out there for a two year old?


  1. Ginny – Can you tell me what weight yarn you are using for Lark’s cape? I’m hoping to make the same cape for my 10 year old, and I’m not sure if I should use light worsted or sport weight? Any thoughts?


  2. I know you will find something perfect for Job! Two year olds are pretty happy with anything! Love the yarn you dyed!

  3. I realize you’re probably not going to read the 58th comment, but in case you do: our two-year-olds always seemed to love bags, purses, suitcases. Anything they could carry around and put stuff in. Your local thrift store will probably turn up a nifty old purse with spangles on it. He can put his trucks in it. Maybe I’m way off here… but our two-year-olds didn’t seem to care much for the crunchy, aesthetically-pleasing gifts we invested in, and veered more towards old purses and toilet-paper rolls.

  4. I love your description of Job, he sounds like a sweet little dear. Don’t you think anything you plan and buy he will love?? Maybe just a big party with family and friends with lots of celebrating!!

  5. Two words – Dollar Tree!

  6. How in the world is he turning two?! I thought my kids grew up fast.

  7. From what I remember, our twin two year olds loved a rice bin at that age. We used one of those long under the bed plastic containers (about 3 feet wide and maybe 6 in deep) to fill up with rice, dyeing some of the rice different colours. We added lots of things to scoop with and things to fill (little play kitchen items). It kept them busy for a long time. You will need to keep a broom nearby though!

  8. Funny slippers are always a hit! If you had the time you could cast on those elf like ones that are felted. 🙂

  9. I just remembered that for our first two-year-old we bought a hamster, which immediately had 14 babies. First-time parents? Bad idea. I think a fish tank with brightly-colored fish was the second child’s two-year birthday present. Better than a hamster, but we weren’t quick learners. I have no idea what the other kids got. Duplos maybe? Books are good. I buy all the younger birthday party kids books — all the classics my kids had. Wooden puzzles? A ball. You’re good at keeping things simple. Little guys like simple.

  10. A backpack. My 2 year olds love their backpacks! They take them all around the house, and on walks. For our childrens birthdays(ages 2,2,4, and 5) it can get tricky, we give them a gift but then they all want to play with it, while the birthday child isn’t keen on sharing his new present just yet. We have found that on each birthday they get 1 or 2 gifts just for them (ie. The backpack) and then any other gifts (trains etc) are for the whole family to enjoy. That way the new toy is given on a special occasion, but it is everybody’s to share right from the start. This has eliminated a lot of conflict around birthdays.

  11. Our best gift when the kids were that young was a washer/dryer/refridgerator box. We shaped it like a castle and let them color it however they wanted. They played for hours in it and it didn’t cost a dime!

  12. Dear Ginny, your yarn looks amazing! you’re making such a good job!
    Also, every time you post a picture of Intruder, I feel you’re doing this specially for me! I have a soft spot for tomcats.
    My 2 yo daughter loves to scribble, so she received an AquaDoodle. The felt pen is filled with water, so no mess!

  13. DIY lawnmower toy if you don’t have one yet. My dad made one for my first kid when he was two and it is in use non-stop ever since by his younger brother and sister (four years in a row). It is made of plastic top of a real lawnmower, wheels are also real, the bottom part, though, is a piece of wood, painted red, and the holder is from an old kid sized pram. But alternations of course are possible, based on what rubbish you currently own.

    Picture of our lawnmower here:

  14. My 2yo (turning 3 this month!) has loved his toy lawnmower and also his wagon (which he insists on attaching to the back of his tricycle so he can “pull a trailer like daddy”). He got a dump truck around when he turned 2 that he still loves pushing around the yard and filling up with random leaves and stuff. It’s one of those sturdy metal Tonka trucks that can hold up to pretty rough play, even being sat in or stood on.

  15. Job sounds like a lovely little boy. He looks so sweet in your photos of him. I don’t know him, of course, but my own son was fixated on anything with lights at that age. Not toys that lit up, but light fixtures, headlights on cars, etc. We gave him a flashlight on his second birthday, the kind of flashlight with several different settings (blinking, etc.) and that provided endless fun for years! I think it was one of his most successful birthday gifts ever.

  16. My third boy turned 2 recently, and I bout him a kid size wheelbarrow and I made him a Chicken loosely based on the one from Anna Maria Horners book. The wheelbarrow was a hit, but Caspian just loves his chicken more than anything and carries it everywhere!

  17. My 2 year old nephew loves bubbles!

  18. Oh that yarn looks GREAT! You really do an amazing job. I haven’t had a boy two year old for about 31 years, but I remember my boy loved trucks at that age and toy dinosaurs!

  19. Ginny, your blog is the coziest place on the internet. It just had to be said.

    I hope Larkspur feels better, and good luck knitting Beatrix’s present! 🙂 Much love.

  20. Cindy in NC says:

    Any chance your new batch of yarn will include that ginger color I saw in your October 5 post? That color (what do you use to get it?) just says warm and cozy to me.

  21. What gorgeous photos, especially the cat. And all that yarn looks delicious. Casting on a new thing is the best isn’t it. I hope you find the perfect gift for a two-year old. CJ xx

  22. For our sixth child’s two year old bday in June we gave him a toy lawnmower- which he loves and the geometric sorting board (2403) from plan toys. He enjoys the stacking and sorting and order of it. In September he played a lot with his cousin’s fisher price drillin action set. It was very satisfying for him and it is very inexpensive. I think it made him feel powerful to run that drill!
    I might get it for him when our new baby comes as a distraction 🙂
    Ps-. We have always gotten the inexpensive ikea trains and tracks.

  23. do you know this website?
    it’s my most favorite montessori page! it’s in German but the images are very good.
    there are collections of “toys” for every age.
    very helpfull and inspiring

  24. I love your yarn colors… so vibrant and beautiful. Your daughter will love the shawl, such a pretty shade of blue.

  25. We just gave our 2yr old little boy this bath time doll
    and the book “It’s My Birthday!” by Helen Oxenbury. He seems to really enjoy the book. Haven’t tried taking the doll in the bathtub yet but I imagine it will be a hit 🙂

  26. I’m very much looking forward to your yarn sale. Hoping to grab some of that beautiful pink. I missed the notice for the sale last time, and when I saw it you were sold out. I’ll keep a better eye on it this time. Will you give us a 24-hour notice before the restock on your Etsy site? Thanks!

  27. Perhaps a Craftsman Power Tool Set with Tool Belt…. what do you mean? Our son´s favorite activity is to work with my husband. Beautiful yarn, Ginny. I love your photos….

  28. IKEA makes a wonderful Brio compatible train set. Cheap!
    My two year old had the best time with an old, altered fishing vest with tons of pockets. When we’d go for walks, he’d stuff his pockets with “treasure” which I mercifully never had to hold.
    Also, a doll was a favorite. I later sewed a front baby carrier for it which went everywhere with us for several years.
    Cheers to toddlerhood 😉

  29. The most favourite book of our 2 year old is Mamoko…. he reads it at least twice a day! It is a look and see book with character stories woven through it. I highly, highly reccommend it. His other favourite are little matchbox sized vehicles, his very favourite being 2 trucks with detachable trailers that were his Papa’s.

  30. My son turned 2 last month and we got him a wagon with his grandparents. His brother and sister got him some trains and he had the biggest smile when he opened those! Anything with wheels has always been a winner with my boys!

  31. Your yarn looks amazing! I have dried some amaranth hoping to try it out. My natural plant dye books don’t offer much info on it. Any suggestion? Your posts inspired me to dye yarn again after many years. Thanks!
    What I remember my son liking best from his two year old bday was a room full of balloons. Simple fun. He wasn’t that into many toys really. I tried but best loved in the long run were the books and balloons.

    • I extract the color from the blossoms using sunlight only (fill jar with them plus water and sit in sun for about two days-no longer or it stinks). For the other parts, I have been pouring boiling water over then letting it sit. Too much heat and the color goes.

  32. A little wooden cart thing to gather treasures on his walks or stick kitty cats in for a walk 😉

  33. Heather M. in AL says:

    My 2 year old boy loved trains, tractors, excavators, dump trucks and garbage trucks, but his very, very favorite thing as a toddler was pirates and big ships. He also loved dressing up — mostly as community helpers (police, fire, marching band drum major – we have a lot of parades in our small town), pirates, and cowboys/Indians. I’m sure sweet Job has some interests that could inspire excellent gifts.

    P.S. Lovely yarn — I adore all the colors you’ve created. You are a yarn artist! Your site is one of my favorites every day. Thank you for being real.

  34. That blue yarn is just spectacular. I think your daughter is going to absolutely love that shawl!

  35. Anything with wheels… son also enjoyed a homemade board with a variety of locks, keys, etc. Plastic animals…wooden blocks….oh and the yarn looks awesome!

  36. Just got back from the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. How wonderful that was. I got some powdered plant dyes and some plant dyed yarns which are pure inspiration.
    I gave my daughter those little german farm animals for her second birthday. (Agway has them, usually).
    They were a hit. Many years little we still have them and pull them out when guests with small children come to visit.

  37. Melissa L. says:

    my 2 year old adores her little sandbox

  38. Megan Wahl says:

    we love our wheely bugs!

  39. What is that beautiful blue yarn? Such a lovely shade!

    As for a gift…books, books and more books!
    A current favorite of the two year old I know:

    Also, this –

  40. I would say a nice boy doll , firetruck or farm

  41. Dump truck definitely (the $20 Tonka one has held up very well) or a tricycle!

  42. My gosh, those knitting projects and that yarn! Makes me jealous. I wish I lived closer so I could just watch you knit and learn the magic. 🙂

  43. It’s so great to see how you and Jonny work together and support each other to work on different projects. Some of my favorite gifts from my husband are “custom” things he has made just for my specific projects/interests.

    Isn’t it funny how the older ones always love to play with the younger ones’ toys? At our house the kiddie plastic basketball hoop was monopolized by the over exuberant teens (and sometimes Daddy) (who of course had regular sized basketball stuff of their own)!

  44. Ginny, I just want to say, that yarn is so beautiful! I too studied Botany and did some dying in college, but your yarns look simply magical! I can sense the love just in the photos. Let us know when they go up for sale…knitting with them must be a wonderful experience.I’m picturing myself with some poke berry yarn in my hands just to take it all in. So good. Beauty all around. Thanks for sharing it all with us. Just curious, what mordant are you using?

  45. A “2yr old” gift that has been used daily for years in our home.

    I set out only C, E,G, C bells when I need a break from dissonance.

    • Another option that you might find an occasional fun change when you need that break would be to set out C, D, F, G, and A.

  46. We found Bruder trucks (from Germany) via a friend of ours…they are like the old fashioned metal trucks and excavators and all that our daddies or grand-daddies had. They are pretty amazing, and very hardy. They are bit on the expensive side but we’ve felt like the investment was worth it. They stand up to a lot of abuse!

  47. Lovely post and that yarn….eye candy. How do you store your sweet potatoes? I find they dont keep as long as I’d like.

    • Our pantry is very cold, sort of cellar-ish. I keep them there. What I am not good at is the whole curing thing. I find that I can’t create the necessary conditions so I don’t even try.

      • thanks for the reply. We have a cellar but it needs some work. I’ve always stored them in the cooler garage. Hoping the cellar makes the difference! (when we get it done that is) ha

  48. McKell S. says:

    Trains, definitely trains.

  49. 2 year old boys in our family get trains. Trains, trains and trains.

  50. Two year old boys like hooks, buckles, simple locks. I think I saw something like that on the Magic Cabin site. Oh, and dump trucks!
    What a nice weekend you had! I love the yarn hanging there, so colorful. I hope the swift comes swiftly!

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