Sock It To Me Monday

I finished Audrey’s Rose City Rollers Socks in Rainbow Dashing by Yarn Geek Fibers. I love how fast these socks knit up. Audrey is very happy with them.

We’ve had a lazy morning. Instead of running errands, Elliot and I made sourdough crackers seasoned with Herbs de Provence. They are delicious, but the best part by far is having him as a helper in the kitchen.

I hope you are having a good start to your week. It’s going to be hot here this week, so I imagine we will be very lazy this week.

Sourdough Success

I am currently in the groove with sourdough. I remember to feed my starter. I don’t hesitate before throwing away some of the discard. I’m even finding recipes I like.

I usually stick with Cooks Illustrated or King Arthur Flour for all of my baking recipe needs, but I haven’t loved their sourdough options. I picked up a copy of Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa and it has changed my sourdough world.

The cookbook is worth it for the cinnamon sugar sourdough waffle recipe – if you enjoy mini donuts at fairs and carnivals you would love these waffles. I wish I would remember to take a picture of the waffles, but the waffles are devoured before I remember to take photos every single time. Everyone in my family loves these waffles, even John, who is a self-proclaimed pancake snob. The waffles use discard, so I usually make them once a week when I’m feeding the starter.

I’ve also made country farmhouse white sandwich bread from Raffa’s book. It was delicious, easy, and perfect for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (we eat a lot of those in this house).20190311_1037518648076420246029432.jpg I made the best bread I’ve ever made using another recipe in the book: Decadent Chocolate Chip. It has a flavor similar to pain au chocolat, which means I’m in danger of eating a loaf of bread in a day. This is going to be my going to a brunch and bring a fancy gift bread from now on.20190312_0852566909099110063027743.jpg

In addition to baking enough bread to feed an army I’ve been getting the kids outside as much as possible now that it is above freezing. We went to the zoo yesterday and I snapped this tigertastic photo.20190311_1232406824261146548530294.jpg

I hope your week is carb filled and above freezing too.

Polar Vortex Sanity

On Tuesday the kids spent the day with their grandparents. John’s parents are in town and are wonderfully active in the kids lives. It was nice to have the day alone to run errands.

There is one downside to kids spending the day with the grandparents – the rebound day. The kids are jerks for a day while they return to their normal routine. Normally that isn’t an issue, we get to the Y in the morning to play and head to the library or run errands after nap.  If I keep them busy they don’t have time to whine. That wasn’t an option yesterday, when it was so cold it wasn’t safe to leave the house.

I knew when I dropped the kids off at John’s parents that I was going to be stuck inside with the kids for at least the next day. I decided desperate times call for desperate measures and headed to the best used kids clothing shop in town. I wasn’t there for clothing (although I picked up plenty of that while I was there too), I was there for the toys.

The kids both love playing with trains, and I figured I could find a few things to keep them busy and happy.

I picked up two Chuggington DVDs. To be honest, Elliot likes Thomas more than Chuggington, but I find Chuggington much more entertaining, so that is what I grabbed. For $7.50 I knew an hour of our afternoon would be spent quietly watching Wilson, Brewster, and Koko.20190129_1253339156189037722863986.jpg

I bought a bag labelled “wooden trucks” for $3 because it looked like there were trains and steamrollers in the bag.  I was thrilled when I took them all out and realized how many great things were in the bag. Two fire trucks that work on train tracks? A coal car? This bag was a find! 20190129_125307372028915116665781.jpgI splurged and bought a $9 train set because it looked like the tracks were compatible with ours, and John and I had just talked about how more tracks would be a good idea. 20190129_1254402761611533544886417.jpg

On Tuesday, when tucking Audrey in, she asked what we were doing the next day. I told her we would be stuck at home because of the weather, but I had a few presents to make the day special. I meant to say surprises. I know that telling a four-year-old about presents at bed time is a pretty silly thing to do. She I should wrap the presents. I told her I probably wasn’t going to wrap the surprises. She said I should wrap the presents in Mickey paper. We have Mickey paper in the basement. Little kids take a long time to unwrap presents. I decided I could fill more of the day if I wrapped everything up.20190129_1940232258677396229103897.jpg

Before John went to work I had him give him the kids the train tracks. I didn’t want to get all of the credit for the amazing present filled day. 20190130_080013.jpg

The kids played with the train while I made breakfast. We had a special Polar Vortex breakfast of cinnamon rolls. I really threw all of my rules about healthy eating out the window yesterday. I’m glad I did.20190130_0908491080547745430193338.jpg

After breakfast I let them each open one present an hour until they were gone. Because of naps, that worked out to be a present every hour they were awake until dinner. They were really happy.

There were a few hours there where I really questioned the present every hour thing. My kids are too young to really understand the concept of time, so they were constantly asking when they would get another present. It was still worth it, because Audrey kept saying it was like Christmas or her birthday. She was so happy.

They spent the day playing with trains. 20190130_1518065517078184032299551.jpgAnd the afternoon we watched a new Chuggington. The whole time Elliot was never far from the red train from the new train set. He is convinced it is James from Thomas.

Audrey does not think it is James, and told me that the red train doesn’t have a face, so it isn’t really James. I said I agreed with her and she said in a disgusted tone “Why did you even think it was from Sodor?” So the day was great, and I found out my daughter thinks I’m an idiot for not knowing that a plain red train is not from the Island of Sodor, home of Thomas the Tank Engine.20190130_1633142754530273106048696.jpg

I will do this again, ideally when they have a better understanding of time, but before they understand that I just spent $20 buying used toys to wrap up to make our day better.

We were stuck at home today, but the trains kept us busy. Tomorrow it will be a balmy 23 degrees. That sounds much better than the -24 we had yesterday.

Christmas

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. If you celebrate I hope all of your Christmas wishes came true. If you don’t celebrate I hope you enjoyed a quiet day at home alone drinking tea and watching movies (that is what I would do).

We were busy. The kids are still recovering from such a big change in their schedules. So am I, actually. We spent the Sunday before Christmas to Christmas at noon at my parents. After that we headed to John’s parents house for the night. They live in Des Moines, so we were able to spend Christmas night in our own house.

We went to church on Christmas Eve. The kids were actually good, thanks to the fancy coloring books I picked up in a panic an hour before mass when I realized I forgot to pack their quiet toys. Shockingly we remembered to take a family picture after church.

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Elliot wore his Harvey cardigan.

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The kids got what they asked Santa for. For Audrey that was an alarm clock and a stuffed unicorn. Santa brought her the unicorn of her dreams (and my nightmares). Kathleen made Audrey a unicorn horn, so she has taken to wearing the unicorn horn and carrying her unicorn around with her.

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Elliot never had a straight answer for what he wanted. He asked for “nothing” when he was feeling especially scared of Santa. He also asked for red presents. He got a red tractor. He is a big fan of tractors. He loved showing it to my Dad.signal-2018-12-25-083356701356889241158006.jpg

I didn’t take many pictures this year (most in this post were taken by Kathleen). I think that is because I was too busy shoving fudge into my mouth. I’m sad Christmas is over, but I’m delighted to have the treats out of my house.

Now on to the New Year. Where does the time go?

 

Peace Project 2018

I finished my Peace Project 2018 Cowl earlier today. I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the pattern was to knit.

I made a few changes to the pattern. I used DK weight instead of sport weight, because that is what I had in my stash.  didn’t adjust the needle size to accommodate for the thicker yarn, I prefer a dense cowl for Iowa winters. I only did 5 repeats of the small triangles, because I was making this for Audrey and little kids have little necks. I did not do an i cord bind off because the cowl is so dense I thought it would look weird, and also I just didn’t want to do it.

Audrey likes it and wanted to wear it when we went to look at Christmas lights tonight. Now to find a project to knit for my mother-in-law that takes less than a week to knit….

WIP Wednesday: 48/52

Happy Wednesday! Good news on the sweater front: the buttons don’t look as bad when the sweater is on. That is great news, as I have reached my limit for button sewing for the year. 

I finished the first Up All Night sock in the Elliot colorway. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this pair (when I eventually finish them, probably months from now).

I took the advice from your comments, and started candy cane socks. I love how fast self striping yarn works up. The socks are looking a little more Waldo than peppermint, but that is fine with me.

I also started the Project Peace 2018 cowl. Project Peace runs until December 21, ending on World-Wide Knit for Peace Day. I love the idea of the project. I don’t love the pattern. It just isn’t something I want to wear. The pattern calls for sport weight, but I’m knitting it with DK from my stash without any adjustments. I didn’t do a gauge swatch – it’s a cowl, what is the worst that will happen?

I’m thinking about casting on a bulky weight hat. I’m meeting my brother at the Kansas City Zoo this weekend. I think that if he will hang out at the zoo with me when it is below freezing he deserves a hat. Just because he deserves one might not be enough to get me working on it however, it all depends on how the rest of the week goes.

Have a great week! I hope you are productive!