WIP Wednesday: dishcloths galore

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I might be getting sick of dishcloths. I continue to make one a day, and every day I say I will stop when I finish that dishcloth. Then I decide I should just start the next days dishcloth. Then I just knit it for a little bit. Then I knit 1.75 dishcloths before I put down the cotton and pick up a project for me. I am close to 25 dishcloths, and when I get there I’m taking a week off from the dishcloth project to focus on knitting for myself.

I did get some work done on my Hermoine socks. I turned the second heel and started to work on the gusset. I hope to have it close to finished by next week. I’m probably going to knit a pair of self striping socks next, as I love knitting striped socks. I do not like the yarn I am using for my current socks, so I want to really love the yarn I use next. I don’t want to get so sick of socks that I burn myself out. The last time I did that I took a five year sock knitting hiatus.

I am about 1/3 of the way done with the left panel of my cardigan. It continues to be slow going, but I feel like I’m making progress. I thought it would fly because the yarn is bulky, but the moss stitch slows me down enough to counteract the huge yarn.

Next week I hope to be done with 25 dishcloths and focused on fun knitting. I would like to be close to the toe on my sock and on the first sleeve of my sweater. I would like to start having fun finished projects to share. I would also like to knit faster so I can get through my stash and buy new yarn without guilt.

Five on Friday: Giving the Pacifier Back

A few blog posts ago I mentioned that Audrey was giving up her pacifier. At her last dentist appointment they pointed out that it was changing her bite and said it would be best to give up the pacifier by 3. She’s almost 2 1/2, so we decided now was a good time.

The first few days were filled with screams and tears and pleads for a pacifier. Then she was fine. She wasn’t upset that she didn’t have a pacifier. She didn’t ask for one. There was only one problem. She didn’t sleep. She stopped napping and was not sleeping well at night. She was a wreck.

I caved. I gave it back to her even though she wasn’t asking for it. It is working for us. I’m very happy I gave it back to her, and today I’m going to share 5 reasons I’m glad I gave her the pacifier back.

NAPS – this one is huge. Audrey needs a lot of sleep, so going from a 3 hour nap to not sleeping at nap time meant that she was exhausted, confused, and constantly threw tantrums. I get it, she’s 2, she’s going to have tantrums, but this was a complete change in her personality. The first day with the pacifier back she was so tired she couldn’t sleep. The second day she slept for 90 minutes. Today she slept for 3.5 hours. She’s starting to act like herself again.

Bedtime for Audrey – without a pacifier she played and sang to herself for about two hours before she would fall asleep. With a pacifier she falls asleep quickly.

Elliot’s Sleep – Audrey not having a pacifier at bed time meant that she was making a lot of noise. That kept Elliot up (they share a room). He started crying when we put him down at night. Now that she is quiet when we put her to bed he is quiet too (OK, he always cries for about 2 minutes, and he’s back to that).

Mornings – without a pacifier Audrey woke up when Elliot woke up (about 6:30). With a pacifier she sleeps until 8 or 9. She really needs a lot of sleep, and getting up early was making it even harder for her to sleep.

My stress level – without pacifiers I had a toddler getting about six fewer hours of sleep than she needs. She became, understandably, very difficult to take anywhere. She screamed and cried. She looked like she had been on a four-day bender. I started spending every waking hour worried about her lack of sleeping. Her nap time was so stressful I had a stomach-ache every day when she should have been sleeping. I was too stressed to be a good mom and she was too tired to be a good kid. Poor Elliot and John were stuck dealing with both of us.

So I gave it back. It’s wonderful. I should not have waited over a week to give it back. So many articles I read said to stay strong and not give it back, but had I not given it back I don’t think she would have ever napped again. She’s 2. She needs naps.

I’m not sure if we will try to take it away again or if she will grow out of it. The only thing I am sure of is that giving back her pacifier was the right thing to do.

WIP Wednesday: Dishcloths, Dishcloths, Dishcloths

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How is it already Wednesday? Having a toddler that refuses to nap takes away from my knitting time, but I have managed to do a few things this week. I have done some work on the left panel of my cardigan, and completed about one repeat of the pattern on my sock. For the most part I’ve been focusing on dishcloths this week.

For a few months now I’ve been thinking about tithing my knitting. If I spent 10% of my knitting time working on projects for charity I could make a big difference. That leaves 90% of my time to make things that I want to make for fun. I wasn’t how to get started on tithing, and then I received an e-mail from a Crafternoon friend that gave me the answer. She suggested that as a group we make dishcloths for every resident at the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus.

The Supportive Housing Campus provides affordable efficiency apartments for over 140 people transitioning out of homelessness. As the residents move in they are given a basket of items to make their apartment a home. Every home needs a dishcloth, and a handmade one will hopefully let the residents know that someone cares about them and believes in their success.

There are a lot of dishcloths to make, and I have committed to making 5 a week until every resident has one. Luckily my friends are also knitting for the cause, so it is daunting task, but doable. Hopefully by summer we will be done.

This week I’m going to continue to knit dishcloths. I’m also going to work on my socks here and there. I’m hoping all of the dishcloth knitting will inspire me to pick a new project that I’m actually excited to knit.

If you want to help us knit for this cause let me know. We will happily take help to make this happen.

 

5 on Friday – Downtown Cedar Falls

I travel to Cedar Falls once a month. The kids and I (and John, if it’s a weekend) visit my parents. I love catching up with them, but also enjoy it when they babysit and I get to head downtown to enjoy the town. I don’t get a lot of time alone during the day, so handing off the kids to my parents for a few hours is really wonderful.

I love checking out the different spots downtown, but there are five places I adore.

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Vintage Iron Co. has all sorts of things for when you need to buy someone a gift but you aren’t entirely sure what they would like…fancy candles…decorative items….jewelry….this place has a lot of variety. I always go and look at their greeting cards. It’s hard to find good cards, so I stock up when I find them. I bought 10 cards the last time I was in. If I have ever given you a funny card, chances are I got it here.

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Do you find yourself watching the Pioneer Woman and thinking you wish you could dress like her without looking funny? If yes, Little Prairie Girl is the store for you. They have cute, flowing tops that don’t look dumb. Their prices are reasonable. and they have a wide (XS-3X) size selection. I have purchased a few items from the store and every time I wear one of them I get complements.20170304_135658.jpg

SingleSpeed Brewing is fun to visit if I’m hanging out downtown with John. They have decent beer, a cozy space, and bike art on the walls. I loved a poster there so much I tracked down the artist to buy a copy for John for Father’s Day.20170304_135055.jpgMontage is my favorite restaurant in Cedar Falls. Their Asian slaw is delicious and I would love to have their recipe. Ditto on their spicy whipped sweet potatoes. John and I went there for dinner the last time we were in Cedar Falls. We discussed just getting one of every side and skipping the entrees, not because they aren’t good (they are delicious), but because the sides are delectable.
image-20161108_133131-COLLAGEIf you follow me on Instagram you already know of my love of Cup of Joe. It is my #1 absolutely must visit place. It opened my senior year of high school, so it has been around for a long freaking time. I studied there in college. I caught up with friends when I visited town in my 20s and 30s. Now I visit to knit by myself for an hour or two before exploring town. I love it there. If I lived in Cedar Falls I would be there every day.

There are many more wonderful spots in downtown Cedar Falls to visit. It would be a great spot for a weekend girls trip. Start your morning at Cup of Joe, shop, have beer at Single Speed, then head to dinner at Montage in your new shirt from Prairie Girl.

What are your must visit spots in Cedar Falls?

WIP Wednesday – Not much Progress

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Happy Wednesday! This week I haven’t been doing much work on knitting, as Audrey is giving up her pacifier and that has been very exhausting for everyone in the house. Instead of knitting I’ve been having a glass of wine and playing around on my phone in the evenings. I am beat after dealing with a very sad and cranky toddler who refuses to nap. I’m hopeful that the situation will improve soon and I’ll get back to knitting.

Despite the lack of knitting, I did meet the goals I set for knitting last week. I finished the first Hermoine’s Everyday sock and have a few repeats done on the leg. I finally finished the front right panel of the cardigan today and started the left front panel. I hope to have it halfway done by next week.

I hope you have been more productive than me this week. Did you complete any projects? Can you relate to taking away a pacifier?

WIP Wednesday: Ugly Socks

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This week is flying. How is it already Wednesday? I’ve made such little progress on my knitting I’m going to share a story about knitting to make up for the fact that I have so little to show this week.

Last Saturday I was at Cup of Joe, my usual coffee shop in Cedar Falls. It was crowded, so an older couple asked to share a table with me. I welcomed them and then got back to working on my sock. The man seemed very interested in knitting and asked me all about the time it takes and the cost of the yarn. He was surprised, as most non-knitters are, that knitting is such an expensive hobby. I was wearing a hand knit sweater and he asked how much the yarn was for the sweater. I shared that it was $200 (knitting is a hobby, it is entertainment, it is not cheaper than buying your clothes). He was surprised.

That was a normal knitter to non-knitter cost discussion. What happened next was not. What happened next was so odd I wish I had been prepared with a better response. He asked “Does your husband know how much you spend on yarn?” I responded in the affirmative. He said “That is nice of him to let you spend that much on yarn.” He then followed up with “Do you work outside of the home?” I said no. He said “Then it is extra nice of him to let you spend that much on yarn.”

I sat there stunned. How do you respond to such an antiquated, sexist comment?

Anyhoo. Happy International Women’s Day.

This week I’ve been working on a few projects. I don’t have a l lot of passion for any of the projects at the moment, so I’ve been doing things like reading and cleaning instead.

I’m about halfway done with the right panel of the cocoon cardigan. I’m starting to get into the groove on this one, but it requires me to pay attention to where I’m at, so I can’t knit it while the kids are awake.

I started on a pair of black socks and promptly discovered why people don’t knit socks with black yarn. I can only work on them in bright light in pants that are not black, lest my vision goes the way of Mary Igalls. I’ll share more about those socks in a few weeks, if I can bring myself to work on them again.

About one day into the black sock vision loss debacle I cast on a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks with some Berroco Comfort Sock. I changed the ribbing to 2 x 2. I could tell you that I made the change because Elizabeth Zimmerman says that 2 x 2 ribbing is the stretchiest, but really I changed the ribbing because the yarn is the color of terra cotta poop and the yarn is 50% nylon 50% acrylic which makes me want to fly through the socks and a 1 x 1 rib would make me poke my eyes out with my knitting needles.

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How did I end up with this yarn? It was given to me by Ivy when she destashed. When I accused her of buying poop colored yarn she assured me that it was given to her by her aunt when she destashed. Her aunt had received it from someone else who was destashing. I’m the fourth person in possession of this yarn, and the only one cheap enough to make socks with it.

I’m not sure about the acrylic/nylon blend. I’m usually a natural fibers snob. I like some nylon in my socks, but my feet start to sweat just thinking about a 50% nylon content. Neither fiber is exactly breathable.

I’m continuing to knit these because I’ve convinced myself that they will be good around the house socks. I’ve come to terms with the colorway by convincing myself that it is an homage to late 80s Aztec sweaters.

If I hate the color and yarn so much, why am I making socks with it? Quite simply it was the first sock yarn I saw when I looked at my stash. I have enough sock yarn in my stash to make about 20 more pairs of socks, so when I’m done with this pair I can make a luscious pair with Lorna’s Laces, Malibrigo, or Madeline Tosh. I will deserve it.

I hope I’m on the second sock next week and on the left panel of my cardigan. I’m looking forward to starting a project I adore soon.

I hope you were more productive than me this week!

5 on Friday: Spring

5-on-fridayHappy Friday! This week, when I haven’t been knitting socks or taking care of a sick kid I have been daydreaming about spring. We have spent a lot of time outside this winter, and I anticipate being outside even more once it is warmer. There are so many things to look forward to about spring. Here are five things I’m looking forward to.

Long Walks

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably noticed that we are out walking a lot. Both kids love going for long walks, which can be hard in the winter because it is so cold. I love our stroller, and I can’t wait to hit the pavement even more when spring gets here.

We have the rain cover for the single Indie, and I am contemplating buying the double rain cover. There are so many times I want to go for a walk but it looks like rain so we stay in, only to have it not rain. Curses! If I had the rain cover we would just go. I don’t care if I get wet.

Bike Rides

Elliot turns one in April. At that point we will start using the bike trailer to do short family bike rides. I’m probably not going to ride far with them (that’s a lot of weight to pull when you haven’t been on a bike in two years), but I plan to bike to the library all summer.

Picnics

Audrey is obsessed with tea parties and picnics. She thinks one of the coolest things ever is sitting at a picnic table. I hope to eat outside as often as possible starting this spring. It could be tough with Elliot, but bringing our travel high chair will help.

Baseball 

Last spring my life was too crazy to pay attention to baseball. I’m looking forward to watching games this summer. We are going to take the kids to Sec Taylor to see the I Cubs play at least once this season.

More Light

Once we spring forward I will be relishing all of the light in the evening. More light leads to grilling and patio time at our house. John and I will sit by the fire after the kids go to bed and catch up on our days. It’s always a good time.

What are you looking forward to about spring?