Pompom Hat

I found a solution to my bad pompom making. Have the four year old do it.

She did a good job, and it looks cute on the hat. I never would have thought to add a pompom. I’m glad she requested one.

She likes it a lot. Elliot wants a matching hat, but he would like a red pompom. I think I’ll make that happen for him.

WIP Wednesday

I’ve made some progress this week. I’m about to pick up the gusset on my second Christmas sock. These have been great socks for mindlessly knitting.

We finished watching the Tour de France yesterday, just as I was about to pick up the stitches for the gusset. Now that we’re done watching the tour these will become my playground socks once I finish the Christmas socks. I am surprised I managed to knit one pair of short socks and half of a tall sock while watching a sporting event. Next year I am going to make a tall pair or a shawl while watching.

Audrey has been asking me to make her a hat out of super bulky blue yarn. Well, she is four, so she just keeps pointing to the cake of yarn and asking me to make her a hat out of it. Today I cast on as she was getting ready to go to the zoo. She takes her time getting ready, and this is what I accomplished while she was getting dressed.

The Pattern is Big Comfy Chunky Hat, and in this photo it is inside out. I’m using Burly Spun by Brown Sheep that was leftover from the cardigan I made this winter. Audrey has requested a pompom on top, so I’ll try making one. I have a pompom maker, but they always look wonky. Elliot would like a matching hat, but I would rather not work with the yarn again so that might not happen.

Meanwhile, I want to cast on ALL THE THINGS. I broke my yarn diet and bought a sweater kit. I also pulled some yarn out of my stash to start a Whitehorse sweater. Then the sweater kit arrived and I had selected a different color for one of the contrast colors than I thought, so I went on to order the correct skein and I ended up buying yarn for another sweater. I don’t know the pattern I will use, I just liked the yarn and it was on sale. So, with any luck I’ll knit my way out of the hole before 2020, but it doesn’t seem likely, as I spend most of my time knitting socks and scrap blankets.

Please send any speed knitting ideas my way so I can knit my way out of my yarn diet hole.

State Fair Time

On Sunday I spent the afternoon with Ivy at the fair. I had not been in a few years, so I wanted to check out everything.

We met up in the Fabric and Threads area to check out Ivy’s award winning sweater. It’s Anne’s Sweater from Green Gables knits, and this is the third sweater Ivy has made with the yarn. This is the first sweater that worked out. It’s a good reminder to keep going when you like the yarn but hate the project. I didn’t enter anything in the fair this year, but I feel like I also earned a second place ribbon because I seamed Ivy’s sweater. It took her over a year to sew the underarm seams and pocket seams, so I finished it for her in exchange for her leftover bits of worsted weight yarn.

Winning sweater in green behind us.

After looking over all of the crafts (especially the macrame rat, because why did someone make that?), we headed out of the blissful air conditioning and headed to see some animals.

It was the last day of the fair, so most of the animal barns were cleared out. We did see the largest bull, boar, and ram. I’m not sharing pictures of those, as I doubt you would enjoy seeing testicles the size of melons.

After a walk around the Varied Industries Building to enjoy a little bit of air conditioning we headed up the hill to the Iowa Craft Beer tent. I had 2 cocoa stouts and Ivy had an Iowa wine (do you enjoy cough syrup? If yes, Iowa wine is for you) and a blackberry lemonade cider. By that point I had walked 10,000 steps and was happy to sit down.

We made friends by showing them our cool matching temporary tattoos we picked up in the Varied Industries Building. We both went to undergrad at the University of Northern Iowa and got our MBAs at the University of Iowa.

The Craft Beer Tent has the best view from the fairgrounds. Our little city looks so pretty from the fair.

While we were enjoying our beer it started raining. After the rain cleared off we headed back to the food vendor area to grab something to eat. After a nice slice of pizza we headed over to check out the DNR area. We did a little fishing.

After our fun photo shoot we headed in to the grandstand for the main event: Hootie and the Blowfish with Barenaked Ladies opening. I was completely blown away by how great the Barenaked Ladies were. I will be going to see them whenever they are in town (or in Kansas City, Omaha, or Minneapolis).

I was excited to see Hootie, as I spent much of my college days listening to their music. Their performance was lackluster. There was a lot of mumbling, like maybe they didn’t remember the words. We ended up leaving early to beat the traffic.

It was a wonderful trip to the fair. Do you go to your State Fair?

Northeasterly Update

I’ve been slowly working on my worsted Northeasterly, and thought I would start showing you progress photos in the middle of every month. I really like this project, it’s mindless to knit and it is fun to see the yarn transition to the next color.

It is getting to be quite large, which means it doesn’t move from my knitting chair. I am trying to knit a ball of scrap worsted up every week.

If it were still portable I would be using my new project bag that Ivy gave me today. We share the same sense of humor as 12-year-old boys.

WIP Wednesday

I only worked on one project this week. I blame my lack of productivity on being incredibly busy and my love of self striping yarn. You can tell that I have developed a project bag problem as I was able to pull out a holiday specific project bag for the occasion.

I did manage to do a tiny bit of sewing today, My Aldi quarter keeper was falling apart, so I decided to see if I could sew through fake leather. I didn’t even change the thread in my machine, so it doesn’t match, but I’m still proud of fixing it.

I am itching to cast on a sweater. I’ve been haunting Ravelry and Blueprint looking for ideas. I always add things to my queue on Ravelry, but I never want to make them when it is time to cast on.

I hope you are having a great week and feeling productive.


We just got back from a quick vacation to Omaha. It is our first family vacation with kids, and the first time John has stayed in a hotel with me since our first anniversary in 2012. Because we were travelling with a three-year-old and a four-year old as well as a husband who hates to travel, I decided to keep the vacation plans simple. We went to Omaha (a short two hour drive down I 80) to visit the zoo and swim in the hotel pool.

My low bar vacation plans ended up being just right for us. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in the Old Market district.

They have a pool, which was used with great enthusiasm.

They have a nightly cocktail reception with light snacks. The light snacks included vegetables and hummus, so we called it dinner both nights. Audrey was pleased to have a kiddie cocktail. Elliot didn’t like the bubbles.

After a horrible night of sleep, we headed to the zoo. While buying our tickets I decided to be a big spender and buy passes for each of us to go on all of the rides all day. That was a decision that paid off.

Audrey and I rode the carousel twice.
John and Elliot rode it five times.
Elliot and John rode the train twice.
Audrey and I rode it once.
Audrey and I rode the tram twice.
John and Elliot rode the sky ride once.
Audrey and I rode it twice.

The kids fed the birds. We almost skipped this part, as John and I don’t enjoy tiny dinosaurs flying at our heads. Audrey really wanted to see the birds so I took her in. I am so glad we did. For $1 you get a stick with bird food on it. She was thrilled. Eventually John and Elliot joined us and Elliot had a chance to feed the birds too.

We stayed at the zoo for about five hours. If Elliot was a little older I think we would have stayed all day. The last thing we did before heading back to the hotel for a dip in the pool was visit the stingrays in their pool. This was amazing. I had never touched a stingray before and was surprised to find them so soft.

It was a great day with my favorite primates.

After a quick swim and cocktail reception we surprised the kids with an adventure. Audrey loves horses, so we took the kids on a carriage ride. Audrey didn’t stop smiling once. Elliot was too tired to really enjoy it.

This morning we played at a park and then headed home. It was a nice time away, and I’m glad to be home. Wrigley is glad we’re home too.