5 on Friday: Ending a Knitting Funk

Happy Friday! I’ve been silent for a while over here. I have been busy planning a birthday party for Elliot, spending as much time as possible outside, and pouting about my knitting funk.

What’s a knitting funk? It is when you are depressed about what you are knitting. I’ve been working on the same projects for months and it’s bringing me down. Logically I know that things are moving slowly because I’m knitting so many dishcloths. That project is important to me, but it is tying up my precious knitting time on boring cotton squares. It’s just knitting the same dishcloth over and over again. I’m living Groundhog Day in knitting form.

So I’ve decided to shake off that funk and get back to enjoying knitting. I’ve come up with 5 things that will help me do that.

  1. Limit my dishcloth knitting. I will stick to making 5 a week instead of knitting more because I worry we will never finish the project. As of our meeting last Sunday we had knit 89 of 140 dishcloths. We’re making good progress. I don’t need to freak out about never finishing the project.
  2. Focus on finishing a pair of socks. I have two pairs of socks on the needles, one of which is slow going. I’m going to focus on the faster pair so I actually finish something. I finished the first sock yesterday and it felt wonderful to cast on something other than a dishcloth.
  3. Really focus on working on my cardigan. I am getting so close to finishing it. I just need to finish the second sleeve (I just started it), block it, and then pick up and knit the ribbing for the collar and bottom.
  4. Start daydreaming about what I’m going to knit next. I’m pretty sure it’s a sweater for Audrey, but it might be a cardigan for Elliot. If I daydream about future knitting enough it will almost feel like I’m actually starting a new project.
  5. Wind some yarn. I have several projects I want to knit this year, so I might as well get the yarn ready. I can pull out my ball winder and swift and wind up some yarn cakes. If I’m really motivated I might even start project bags for the yarn, I can include a copy of the pattern I intend to use as well as the needles. I will just need to stop myself from casting on a new project before I finish at least one of the projects already in progress.

Have you ever been in a craft funk? How did you get out of it?

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Toddlers in Kansas City

A few weeks ago my friend Kirsten and I did something incredibly terrifying. We went on a girls weekend with 2 1/2 year olds. It ended up being a really fun vacation. We will be planning another trip soon.

Why did we travel with toddlers? We discussed doing it without any kids, but I’m the one who said we should bring the girls. It was selfish. I knew that John would be fine with both kids, but I also figured I would hear about how hard it was for the next week.

Other than not wanting to hear John complain, I was also genuinely excited to have Audrey and Sophia on our weekend.  They are close in age – only a few months apart, and I want them to grow up as friends. Kirsten is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and I love that we became moms at the same time. Our boys are even closer in age, Elliot is 3 weeks older than Bryan.

So how did we enjoy ourselves with tiny people? We kept them busy, visited kid friendly places, and threw in some fun for us that they would be tolerant of.

The first place we went was Fritz’s Kansas City. After a long drive for both families we thought the girls would be hungry and tired. Fritz’s was a great place to eat, because it is for kids. Model trains run along the ceiling and deliver your food to your table. There is a lot to look at, and it is a noisy place so fussy toddlers fit right in. The food is worse than most fast food, but the kids didn’t mind.

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This is where I learned that Audrey is scared of train rides.

After lunch we headed over to Wonderscope Children’s Museum. This museum is wonderful! We could have spent all day there. The museum is an old school, and each of the rooms  has different activities. Audrey loved the farm room, and would have spent hours in that room and been perfectly happy. Sophia felt the same way about the grocery store room. The gym is still a gym, with lots of toys to run and play on. The girls burnt off a lot of energy playing. We didn’t get to all of the rooms in the time we had slotted for the museum. We will be back, and next time we will plan on spending more time playing.

After running and playing at Wonderscope we headed to Overland Park to do something for the grown ups – we went to A Yarn Shop and More. Kirsten and I are both knitters, and we both wanted to pick up some vacation yarn. The yarn shop had a good selection, but the woman working was far from friendly. I don’t understand yarn shops where the staff isn’t friendly.

The girls were well behaved and excited about the yarn. I let Audrey pick out yarn for socks and I picked up some dishcloth cotton (I’m always running out now that I’m knitting for the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus). Audrey convinced me to buy her a Zebra hat kit, which wasn’t very hard to do. If you are a 2 year old excited about yarn I’ll make you whatever you ask for.

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Can I please have this yarn?

The fourth thing we did was head back to the hotel to swim. The girls were pretty exhausted by this point, but they enjoyed their 15 minutes in the cold pool.

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Sometimes you post an unflattering photo of your child because it is a better picture of your friend.

We stayed at an Embassy Suites, and it worked out great. They have a cocktail reception, so we had a light dinner of snacks (and margaritas for Kirsten and me). In the morning we took advantage of their breakfast buffet. Our suite had a door between the bedroom and living area. That made it easy for Kirsten and I to drink wine and knit into the wee hours of the morning (OK, it was 11, but that is really late for me). It also made it possible for Kirsten and Sophia to get up and going in the morning like they are used to (at 5:30, a full 2 1/2 hours before Audrey and I got up).

Our last stop on girls weekend was the Zoo. Kansas City has a wonderful zoo, we were there for hours and didn’t see it all. Kirsten and I got in a 4 mile walk and the girls loved seeing the animals. I think we will plan on staying longer the next time we go.

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I can’t wait to convince Kirsten to do another girls weekend. Where should we go next?

WIP Wednesday: meh.

I’m in a bit of a knitting rut. I’m still knitting, but I’m not passionate about anything that I’m making. I started back with dishcloths on Saturday, and bound off my 5th today. I’m looking forward to working on other projects for a few days.

In addition to the dishcloths I actually finished the front left panel of my cardigan and started on the first sleeve! I also frogged the small sock and restarted it. I only have a few inches done, but I should make some good progress tomorrow.

I did finish a project that wasn’t a dishcloth. It felt good to get something on and off the needles in a week. When I was in Kansas City I went to a Yarn Shop and More in Overland Park. I love taking Audrey to yarn shops, because she gets as excited about yarn as me. She likes to squish it. She likes to smell it. At the shop she fell in love with a DMC Top This Zebra kit. I’m never one to turn away from a good excuse to buy yarn, so I bought it for her.

I made the puppy hat for her last year and I hate how it turned out – it is short and a little small. I made her the adult size hat so that her piggy tails will fit under the hat. She’s a fan so far.

Next week I hope to make 5 more dishcloths, turn the heel on my sock, and finish half of the panel on my cardigan. I’m ready to start thinking about what I get to cast on next.

 

WIP Wednesday: Dishcloth Vacation

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25 dishcloths done! I finished the 25th one on Friday and I have LOVED having more time to knit fun things. I made a lot of progress this week. I’m hoping I’m ready to dive back in to dishcloths when I start working on them again on Saturday. I’m going to try to knit another 25 before I take another vacation from them.

I am so close to finishing the left front panel of my cardigan. I thought it would be further along, but I was carried off in a sock fever.

I finally finished the terra cotta poop socks! I have had several people tell me they like the colors, but I can’t bring myself to gift hand knit acrylic/nylon socks. Hand knit socks should be lovely to wear, not hot and icky. I wore them today and confirmed that they to not breathe at all. They are really comfortable, so I’ll get over the sweaty feet issue and wear them around the house.

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I’m a big fan of Knit Picks Felici yarn. I love how the stripes work up. It is addictive to try to get to the next row. I started these socks on Monday, and they are flying. I’m almost done with the gusset. I’m going to have to remind myself how fast they are to knit when I restart them, because I’m about to frog this entire sock.
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Why? Because I thought I was so good at casting on I could start a sock while the kids ate lunch. I was wrong. I was distracted and cast on 60 stitches, not 65. I didn’t realize it until I was past the heel flap, so the sock is currently uneven. I can get the sock on, but it is too tight, so instead of just reworking the flap, turn, and gusset, I’m going to start over. I am going to have a nice glass of wine and tear it all out. I’m debating starting it again right away (after just one glass of wine – I don’t trust Wine Sarah to cast on socks) or just focusing on my cardigan.

Next week I hope to have completed 5 dishcloths, the never ending cardigan panel, and either restarted the striped socks or started a hat for Audrey that she picked out last weekend in Kansas City (more on that on Friday).

Have you ever made a dumb knitting mistake? How do you avoid making dumb mistakes?