Lunch Improvements

I haven’t been meal planning lunches for the kids lately. I haven’t needed to. I think it just took three weeks of planning and trying new things to help me come up with creative menu ideas on the fly. We haven’t been eating chicken nuggets or fish sticks lately, which was my goal. The kids still aren’t eating many vegetables, but I’m trying.

Oh, I’m trying.

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Cucumber Spider

I have two meals that the kids will eat consistently. The easiest is English muffin pizzas. Toast an English muffin, top it with sauce and cheese, then broil it until the cheese melts. Add a vegetable and a fruit. Easy peasy.

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The meal that is most often requested is “cocktail party” dinner. Audrey asks for this for almost every meal. It is small bits on a plate, like you would eat at a cocktail party. Karen gave me the idea to put meat and cheese on a pretzel skewer, and it has been a huge hit. I try to do something fun to the plate every time, today it was mustard sunglasses for dipping the turkey.

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I am pleased that the kids are not eating as many chicken nuggets. Now that we’ve discovered cocktail party lunches I’m having fun changing them up. I’m always looking for new things to add to the rotation, so if you have any ideas send them my way.

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SYSKO Update

I’ve been making lots of progress this week on the scrap yarn shawl knock off. After talking with Mary-Claire I’ve updated the dimensions to 43 inches X 32 inches. That means I cast on 121 stitches on size 15 needles. I’m working each stripe for 5 3/8 inches.

I’m already on the second color.¬†20180618_1314092381898100813536120.jpg

The row of stockinette in the midst of all of the garter stitch is by design. I don’t like how it looks when you switch colors in garter stitch. I think the change in landscape will add a nice bit of visual interest to the finished garment (that is my fancy way of saying it will keep it from looking like she is wearing an afghan).

I hope to be on the third color by next Monday. I might be even further than that, as I am having so much fun working on this I can’t bring myself to pick up my socks.

Yarn Guilt

Do you remember yesterday when I told you I was OK with going over my allotted yarn within my yarn diet? Apparently that was a lie.

Last night I was up for three hours in the middle of the night stressing about buying so much yarn. It isn’t because I won’t use it (I will use it). It isn’t because I can’t afford it (I can afford it). It is simply because I am breaking the rules I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

I am now very tired and looking forward to going to bed early. I can’t change the fact that I bought the yarn. I can make darn sure to get a lot of knitting done this summer. If I knit fast enough I should be able to be in the black again by the end of August. I hope I sleep better tonight. I do think losing sleep over buying yarn is pretty ridiculous and will probably keep me from going off budget ever again.

Knitting makes me crazy. I’m not the only one, right?

Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival

You guys. The Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival was amazing. It was so much more fun than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really great. It was like all of my favorite parts of the state fair were in one air-conditioned building without massive crowds. It was lovely.

I loved the hall of breeds. The most interesting to me was the Jacob sheep, because of the four horns. We also saw Corriedale, Romney, Cormo, and Rambouillet. I have knit with wool from most of those breeds, and it was cool to see them in real life. It felt like seeing a celebrity (I might need to get out more).

My favorite sheep was a Shetland. I got to hold her. I wish I would have brought a bigger purse, because I think I could have stuffed her in my bag and taken her home.

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Next to the sheep there was a big market. It was the biggest market I’ve ever been to before. We walked around for over an hour. We met incredibly friendly vendors. We are now planning a trip to Colorado to learn more about alpacas.

In a shocking turn of events, my attention span for perusing yarn ran out before the market selections did. In the end, I bought yarn from two booths, both of which I also bought from at Fiberpalooza. Their booths were as beautiful as their yarn. I want to make the shawl that was on display at the Yarn Geek Fibers booth.

I bought one skein from Yarn Geek Fibers. I bought a skein of her Super-Geek (75% Corriedale Wool 25% Nylon) in the Grace Hopper Colorway. I love that she names all of her skeins after scientists. Grace hopper was a computer scientist, and the yarn is destined to be socks for my computer geek (John). Her skeins are generous at 113 gr, so I might be able to make Audrey a pair of socks out of what is left over.

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I bought two skeins at Garden Wool & Dye Co. (formerly South Dakota Yarn Co.). I bought a skein of her sustainable merino (100% sustainable new merino wool). in the colorway milkweed. I was drawn to it because it is the color of a raspberry push pop. It is dyed using cochineal, which is extracted from insects in a process that sounds gross but makes pretty yarn.

I also bought a skein of 100% Cormo wool from Minnesota in a medium-wash denim colorway that is dyed with indigo. The sheep that that skein is from is named Dalai. I used some yarn from the same farm when I knit my diamond girl hat earlier this year. I’m looking forward to knitting with that wool again.

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After shopping and cuddling sheep we were ready for a good meal, so we headed to The Cafe for an amazing brunch. After one passion fruit bellini I signed up for the Garden Wool & Dye Co. CSA. For $90 you get one skein of yarn in the weight of your choice every month for three months. You pick a color when you sign up. I signed up for blue, but I’m thinking green may have been a better choice.

Had I not signed up for the CSA I would have been within my yarn diet. I am OK with that. I don’t plan on buying much more yarn this year, and I plan on knitting a whole bunch, so I’m sure I’ll be back in black by the end of the year…

….unless I go to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in September.

Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival Prep

Tomorrow morning I’m picking up Ivy and we are heading up to Ames for the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. I’m trying to be more conscious about my purchases, but I’ll probably go crazy. Garden Wool & Dye¬†Company will be there, and I’ve been debating joining her yarn CSA since it was announced. Seeing her yarn tomorrow might be enough to convince me to do it

In addition to prepping myself emotionally to spend lots of money on yarn, I’m putting my plan together for what to bring for the day. It’s going to be in the upper 90s with a heat advisory. I’m planning on bringing a big water bottle. I’m going to wear shorts and a light shirt and pack lots of sunscreen. I’ll probably wear my huge ugly sunhat too. I hope the market is air-conditioned, because it would be hard to check out the yarn when I am sweating profusely.

I can’t believe how hot it will be tomorrow. I’m sure it will be fun, but it would have been even more fun if it was cool enough to wear pants.

Pancake Molds

Last winter my friend went to the Disney parks in Florida and brought the kids a pancake mold. I had never used one before, but after using it a few times I was hooked. It helped me make perfect Mickey pancakes.

Last week I discovered that Williams Sonoma makes pancake molds. I immediately ordered a set. Why? They make a giraffe mold. How could I say no to that?

The set came with a giraffe, monkey, and elephant. They are not as easy to use as the Mickey one, as you have to remove the mold when you flip the pancake. It will take a few tries before I get the batter the right consistency to pour easily into all of the limbs.

I now want an even bigger griddle to fit more pancake molds on at a time. John might be getting a pancake griddle for Father’s Day. I am sure he would be thrilled with that.