It Gets Easier

Today I checked Timehop and was greeted with a photo that on the surface looks similar to what I did today. It is a picture of the kids in the stroller. It might not look like a big deal, but it was a huge reminder to me of how much things have changed.

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Last year we were in the midst of living with 2 under 2. Audrey was only 19 months old and Elliot was only six weeks old. It was so hard.

Audrey only had a few words at that point. She was used to being the center of our lives and was not happy to have to wait. Elliot was screaming from about 7-9 each night. He napped very little. He would ride in the stroller for 20 minutes (on a good day) until he started screaming. Elliot wanted to eat constantly, which meant I was feeding a toddler and a newborn at the same time, 3 times a day. I was exhausted.

It is so much better now. Audrey can now express her needs (usually with words, sometimes with screams). Elliot usually cries for a minute or two when he goes down for the night, but once he falls asleep he is down for 12 hours. His naps still aren’t great, but they continue to get better. As for walks, we can go much longer than 20 minutes. We head out for an hour-long walk when the weather is nice. 20170526_161434

My life is better because the kids are older and can do more. It is better because we are better at parenting two kids after a year of practice. It’s also better because I’ve changed my expectations. Before Elliot we got out of the house at least once a day. That doesn’t happen anymore. My kids don’t nap on the go, so we are at home until the last nap of the day ends, often at 3:30. At first I was frustrated because I wanted to be on the go, but I’ve settled into routine. I would rather have happy, well rested kids than get to the gym or the grocery store.

I love our new normal. I love being able to play with the kids. I love our little family and can’t wait to have many more sun and water-soaked afternoons with them.

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I suspect I’ll be able to write a post just like this one in a year. I can’t imagine how much fun we will have.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Get out and enjoy the sunshine.

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WIP Wednesday: Sock it to me

The past week flew, and I think it is because my knitting mojo is back. We are getting close on the dishcloth project, so knitting them is exciting again. Each time I finish one I wonder if it was the last one we need.  My crafternoon group is getting together again on Sunday to see where we are at, and with any luck I won’t have to knit 5 dishcloths next week.  I really should think of a way to celebrate finishing the project.

This week I finished Audrey’s socks. I love how they turned out. I’m probably going to make her another pair in a smaller size soon using the same Purl Soho Pattern.

I’m making my sister Meanest Mommy Knit’s School Pickup Line Socks. I  love the pattern – it really flies and it is easy to memorize. I just made a pair for myself in February and I’m actually excited to knit them again already. I highly recommend the pattern. I’m on the foot of the first sock, and hope to finish the first sock and have the leg started by next Wednesday.  I’m using Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer. I’m usually a fan of Stroll, but the sparkle in this yarn is too subtle (which feels really weird to type). I feel like if you’re going to wear shiny socks they should really pop.

I have not touched the cardigan, and probably won’t. Or….I could make that my way to celebrate being done with dishcloths. When I’m done with dishcloths I’ll start to work on it again. Maybe.

What are you working on this week?

Stash Explosion

My resolution for the past two years has been to end the year with less yarn in my stash than I started with. I was successful last year, and this year looked OK. Until this week. This week things went a little crazy and I added too much to my stash.

It all started innocently enough. My older sister requested a slouchy hat for next winter. She was drawn to sparkly yarn, so I found some at Webs that she liked and ordered it. It is soft and lovely. Now that it is here I’m a little worried that it won’t work for the hat, so I’m going to do a gauge swatch. I usually just wing hats and don’t worry about gauge. They are so fast you can just tear it back and start over if something is off. The yarn is 60% baby fine mohair – beautiful to work with, yet impossible to re-knit.

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The second time I bought yarn this week it was also totally justified. My younger sister took pictures of our kids, so I told her I would make her socks. I was smart and did not put a time frame on when she would receive the socks. Lucky for her, the pictures she took were beautiful, so I’m excited to make her some thank you socks. It’s hard to take pictures of a 2 1/2-year-old who hates the camera and a cranky 1-year-old, but she did a wonderful job.
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I sent her to Knit Picks to look at the sock yarn, because I had a gift certificate that I wanted to use. She found three yarns for me to pick from. I couldn’t decide between the three, so I narrowed it down to two. I think I’ll use the sparkly blue yarn to make her socks as a thank you and stash the other yarn for when I feel like surprising her with socks (probably around 2047).

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I still had some money left on the gift card, so I picked up some yarn to make an Elwood cardigan for Elliot. Now that the yarn is here I’m not sure I like the colors together. I think a gray would have been better with the blue, but not of the grays struck my fancy when I was perusing them.

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While looking around on Knit Picks I discovered that they now have yarn grab bags. For $10 you get at least $20 worth of yarn. I’m not a fan of gambling, unless it is yarn related, so I went for it. I am pretty happy with half of what I got. I ended up with some bulky yarn I’m throwing in my stash to ignore. It would work for boot toppers, if I ever get around to them. I love the chroma fingering weight yarn, and will be making socks for myself out of it. There is only one skein of Felici, so it looks like Audrey is getting more socks, as I would need two skeins to make them for myself. The last item I got was crochet thread, which I will never use. If you crochet and would like it, please let me know. I’ll happily mail it to you.

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Today I justified buying yarn because one of my local yarn shops, Hill Vintage & Knits, is closing and yarn was 50% off. It is always sad to see a LYS close its doors, especially after a week of binge buying yarn on-line. I worked through my sadness by buying yarn. I picked up some yarn for yet another striped sweater for the kids and some Regia for socks for John.

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Now I’m on a yarn diet until I get a few projects completed. I keep telling myself that once the dishcloths are done I’ll fly through projects. Hopefully that happens.

Have a great weekend! Now go buy a bunch of yarn so I don’t feel like the only binge yarn shopper.

 

WIP Wednesday – Toddler Socks

Happy Wednesday! It was a stormy afternoon here. We lost power for 3 hours here. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to post, as I’m really excited about the socks I’m working on and wanted to share them with you.

When Audrey and I were in Kansas City for our weekend away with friends I let her pick out some sock yarn. I’m finally getting around to using the yarn – Anzula Luxury Fibers Nebula in Garnet. I’m using Purl Soho’s Toddler Socks pattern, which I picked because it’s a simple sock. I’m using pink sparkly yarn, so I wanted the pattern to be basic. I’m making her to 4-5 year old size because she has big feet for a 2 1/2 year old and I don’t want to make her socks that don’t fit next winter (or only fit for one year). I’m fairly confident she will still like the yarn when they fit.

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Book for scale – without it the sock looks like a normal, adult sock

I have one sock done, and just about an inch of the leg done on the second sock. They are for little feet, so I expect the second sock to be done by next week.

I finished 5 dishcloths again this week. My group is meeting in a week and a half. I hope that we will have met our goal of one dishcloth for every apartment in the Des Moines YMCA Supportive Housing Campus. I plan to continue to knit one dishcloth a week so that there are always dishcloths for welcome baskets when people move in. After months of knitting at least 5 dishcloths a week one dishcloth will be a breeze.

I haven’t touched my cardigan. It has been in the upper 70s and 80s here, so knitting a big cardigan hasn’t really felt right. It might hibernate until winter. I haven’t decided. I’m not sure I can justify having two sweaters in hibernation, but the allure of putting it to the back of my closet and casting on a new sweater for one of the kids is incredibly tempting.

I’ve been feeling good about my knitting progress lately. I really hope that feeling continues. Being able to see the light at the end of the dishcloth tunnel has made such a difference. I can’t wait to start working through some of the goodies in my stash (said the woman who may have placed two yarn orders this week).

I hope you are feeling like you’re making knitting progress to!

WIP Wednesday: Progress

I made so much progress this week! I actually finished two pairs of socks! After several weeks of simultaneously working on many projects I decided enough was enough and finished my striped socks (I did a simple 3 x 2 rib).  I love how they turned out, and will be wearing them a lot once wool sock season starts again in (hopefully) six months.

I also finished my secret pair of black socks. I hadn’t mentioned them much because I wanted to surprise my dear friend Laura with them. I gave them to her tonight and she was thrilled. I used the Simple SKYP pattern (thank you for the recommendation, NothingButKnit). I loved the pattern, and will be using it again with another color of yarn.

I knew Laura would love black socks, but I didn’t know how hard it is to knit with black yarn. You can’t see it, and it made me feel about 97 squinting to see the stitches. At one point I dropped a stitch and had to use a miner’s head lamp to find the stitch to pick it up. My husband got a chuckle out of watching me knit with extra lighting.

I am still working on dishcloths, but I am a few days behind my goal due to my decision to finish the socks. I also shoved the cardigan to the side. I’ll be picking that up again now that I don’t have any socks on the needles.

That’s right. No socks on the needles. I know. It’s shocking.

This week I’m going to focus on dishcloths, the cardigan, and maybe starting some socks for Audrey. It feels wonderful to actually finish a project!

What are you knitting this week? Is there anything amazing I should be knitting?

WIP Wednesday: Slowly but Surely

I’m starting to feel a little better about my knitting progress. That is probably because I finished the gusset on my second striped sock. I think I’ll be able to finish it by next week. I am very excited to be on the cusp of finishing a project.

The dishcloths continue to go OK. They are boring and easy, and I’m starting to worry I’m knitting some bad mojo into them with all of my thoughts about being over making them. I’ve made 46 so far, and I think I would even be over making projects I adore by the 40th.

My second sleeve is going slower than expected, which is actually a good thing. I haven’t been knitting on it because I’ve actually been out of the house doing fun things. On Sunday and Monday I was busy enjoying time with my cousin instead of knitting on the cardigan. Last night I cooked a dinner that ended up being more labor intensive than I planned and wasn’t able to knit after the kids go to bed. As soon as I post this entry I’m going to start working on it. It is starting to feel like I will eventually finish it.

I am itching to start a new project, but I’m going to try to stop myself until I finish the cardigan. It remains to be seen if I can hold off on casting on.

I hope you are making progress on your crafts!