WIP Wednesday

This week is simultaneously dragging and flying. I cannot explain it, other than to say I have no idea what day it is.

Do you remember The Song that Never Ends? These are the socks that never end. If I don’t keep working on them they will go into a knitting bag never to be seen from again, so I keep plugging away on them. I am to the gusset of the second sock, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve pulled out the yarn for my next playground socks in the hope that it will inspire me to get working on these.

I cast on a pair of Twizzler socks to work on while we watch the Tour. We still have five stages to watch, so I should make some good progress on these before they become normal socks that I can work on whenever I want. I love this pattern, which is really easy to memorize. The yarn, which I bought at Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival this year, is beautiful to work with. I’m using 100% SW BFL for these socks, so they probably won’t last long, but they will be lovely while they are here.

I said I wasn’t going to buy fabric until my trip in September, but something came up. The Iowa State Fair is going on right now, which is a huge deal. I normally don’t go, as I find it expensive, exhausting, and annoying, but this year I’m going. My friend is taking me to see Hootie & the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies, two great bands I loved in college. I decided if I’m going to the fair I need a state fair dress, so I went to the store to find some hot dog fabric. Then things got out of hand.

I do have some unexpected time to sew, as I cancelled our trip to Cedar Falls this week. Yesterday Elliot was hit in the teeth in a backyard swing/running Elliot collision. He is OK, but his lip is swollen and he is clearly in pain. Last night his tooth was loose, but it is OK now. So, not a great reason to have extra craft time, but I’ll take it.

Mr. Fat Lip

I hope your projects are going well and your house is injury free.

Camel Hat

I finished Elliot’s camel hat last night. It is a hit. I decided to go with textured camels, and I don’t love how they turned out. He doesn’t mind them.

He wore it to the zoo this morning. It was 85 degrees (about 30 degrees C) when he finally took it off. It is so rewarding to make something that is loved.

It is very difficult to photograph the camels, but just trust me when you see this picture. They are there. Kind of.

Now the big question: Will I cast on another hat or actually pick up the shawl I want to finish? We shall see.

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?