This morning we met my friend Todd at the zoo. My kids call him Uncle Todd. I call him Hot Toddy. Everyone loves him.
Todd was running a few minutes behind, so the kids and I played at the park until he got there. The park is for big kids, which doesn’t slow Audrey down. She loves to climb.
Once Todd arrived we headed in to the zoo. We went our regular route, with the added stop to see the new okapi. Elliot loved talking to Todd about everything we saw.
He also loved talking to the baby lions.
The biggest treat for all of us was riding the camels. This is going to be a once a summer treat for us, as it is $6 a person. We all loved it. Audrey got off the camel and immediately asked to go again.
After the camel rides we decided to head home. It was so hot we needed to get out of the heat for a bit.
I love having a zoo pass. It makes going to the zoo for an hour something that we can do every week.
Happy Wednesday! I have so much to update you on this week. It is hard to believe that last week I only had one pair of socks on the needles.
I was so excited to finish my margarita socks I jumped right in to a new pair of socks. This time I went with Skimmer Socks Revisited, I want socks that don’t show when I wear Chucks. I really hope they won’t get sucked down into my shoe, a common occurrence with purchased no-show socks. I am almost done with the first sock – I just need to add the top rib. I would have finished it by now, but I don’t have a 40 inch size 0 needle in my possession. I ordered one and it should get here later this week. Once it arrives I should be able to finish the sock in less than an hour.
Because I’m stuck until the new needles get her I cast on a pair of simple 3×2 rib socks for John. I’m using Yarn Geek Fibers Super-Geek in the Grace Hopper colorway (you might remember it from the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival post). I love how these socks are knitting up. I think John will get a lot of use out of them. I’ve made a lot of progress on them as they are so easy to pick up when the kids are playing. I got about an inch done at the library today. It was enough knitting to make me think I should take the kids to play there more often.
I’m not just knitting socks. Inspired by the Knitting Monk podcast where he talks about finding the opportunity in what you have, I dug into my stash and found some yarn I bought last year when a local yarn shop was closing. I was in a mad buying frenzy because the yarn was half off (HALF OFF! THEY WERE PRACTICALLY GIVING IT AWAY!!!!). I picked up some Ella Rae DK Merino Superwash in colors I thought would make a nice cardigan for Audrey or Elliot. I was searching for patterns on Ravelry with the yardage I had and I realized I could make a sweater for myself.
I cast on a Caramel sweater a few days ago. I didn’t swatch it. I am just going to knit until it is about four inches long and measure gauge then. If it doesn’t work I’ll tear it out. I didn’t want to wait to get started on the sweater.
The rows are long, so it is not good for knitting until after bed time. I’m very excited about this sweater as it is colors I never would have picked for myself – grape purple and mantis green. I think it will look great over my gray t-shirt centric wardrobe.
Working on the cardigan also makes me feel good about my yarn diet. If I weren’t on a yarn diet this yarn would have languished in a tote in my basement for 10 years until I decided to donate it. Because I am buying less yarn I’m more likely to work with what I have.
I hope I have a lot of progress to show you next week. Have a great week – I hope you get to start a fun new project too.
It was very hot here today, over 90. That didn’t stop us from heading to the Beaverdale Farmers Market. I love that a 10 minute walk takes us to our neighborhood market. On Tuesday nights I don’t have to worry about cooking. I know we will find food from a vendor to enjoy.
Tonight we passed our ice cream neighbor on our way to the market. He was headed out to run an errand, but he opened his garage door and pulled over to tell me to just go into the garage and take whatever treat we wanted. He said to leave the door open because he would be back soon enough. I took him up on it – Audrey had a mini drumstick, Elliot had a popsicle, and I had a Schwan’s orange push pop.
After enjoying our frozen treats we walked around the market. None of the produce called to me, so we just had dinner. The kids split a pizza and I had a papusa. We have Tuesday night picnics down to a science. I keep a picnic blanket in the stroller trunk. We spread it out in the shade of the median of the road the market is held on.
I have learned to order the kids a margarita pizza without basil. Audrey won’t eat pizza if it has green on it. If we are out in public it isn’t worth that battle. The people at Parlo Pizza are great at making pizza for kids. Their pizza is wood fired and gives it an excellent crunchy crust. Because they knew it was for the kids they didn’t cook it as long so the kids could easily bite through it. They also cut it into more slices so the pieces were kid sized. Elliot really liked that, and served himself several slices.
Audrey had a good meal and then rested and looked at the clouds. I think she would have happily stayed there all night had I not made her get up so we could get home to air conditioning
Yes, it was ridiculously hot today, but it was so much better than a frigid day in January. Summer is short, and we’re trying to soak up as much of it as we can. I hope you are too.
I finished the scrap yarn shawl knock off! I love how it turned out. It’s incredibly warm and cozy. I was so excited I took pictures when the house was covered in every toy from the play kitchen, trucks, and books. Please ignore my floor.
I will probably be making one of these for myself. When I do, I will be casting on 100 stitches instead of 110. I think shorter sleeves would suit me as my kids leave most surfaces in my house sticky and I don’t want to drag a sleeve through muck.
I had a lot of fun working with Mary-Claire to determine what she wanted and picking the color order. I loved creating the pattern and using my knitting skills to build a basic wrap on my own. It was very rewarding.
Are there things in knitting you always have to look up? After over a decade on the needles (I like how that makes it sound like my knitting is a dark, drug related problem) I have allotted brain space to most abbreviations and concepts.
The one exception is M1R and M1L. I almost always have to look them up. I never remember which one is which. A few months ago I learned a phrase to help me remember: I LEFT the FRONT door open, I’ll be RIGHT BACK. That phrase has helped me remember right and left increases for months.
The problem is, I just looked it up and Twist Collective is the only source I found that has you knit through the front of the loop for a left increase and the back of the loop for the right increase. Craftsy, Purl Soho, and Tin Can Knits all say it is the opposite. It turns out my handy phrase is wrong.
I’m trying to decide if knowing it is wrong is enough. I might be able to say the phrase and know I should do the opposite. I could also try to come up with a new phrase. Do you have any advice for remembering how to make one right and make one left?
For the non-knitting readers who have no idea what I’ve been saying for the past four paragraphs, here is a picture of my kids playing at Union Park. They are too small for this park, but the don’t believe it.
A dear friend of mine lives on her family farm just outside of town. This morning the kids and I hopped in the car for the short 20 minute drive to her house. They had an amazing time (so did I, as I got to hang out with Ivy).
First Audrey helped feed the bottle calf.
Then they brushed some calves.
Elliot wasn’t too sure about being around the animals, but he loved checking out the trucks. So did Audrey.
As we were packing up to go back to town Ivy sent me home with some corn and chicken from their freezer. Earlier this week she and her mom took me to Coscto to pick up a new deep freeze, so they knew that our freezer wasn’t as full as it usually is. Iowa sweet corn is something special, and I cook chicken at least once a week, so I was thrilled to add the haul to our freezer. In fact, I should go pull out some corn for dinner tonight….