WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! John and I are headed to a movie tonight, so I am writing this update earlier in the day than usual. It feels weird to write when the sun is still up.

This week I got much more progress done than I anticipated. I actually finished Audrey’s socks. Socks for a 2-year-old are such a quick knit I regret not making her socks before now. I hated the yarn in the skein, but love how it knit up.

After I finished Audrey’s socks I started on a slouchy sparkly hat for my sister Kathleen and a pair of socks for John.

I’m almost done with the hat. I hated how the yarn looked in the skein, and questioned using it, but I really like how it looks knit. Maybe the phrase should be don’t judge a yarn by its skein instead of don’t judge a book by its cover.

I’ve only finished about 3/4 of an inch of John’s socks. I had about an inch and a half done before I made him try them on for the second time because I just kept feeling there was something off. He said they fit, but he really had to work to put them on. I gave him a lecture about sock fit (what can I say, I’m super helpful), frogged it, and started again. I’m working with Regia for the first time, and I really like the yarn. It feels rugged, which will be perfect for him.

The biggest news on the knitting front is the cardigan. I actually finished the second sleeve. Now I need to seam it and pick up the collar and bottom ribbing. Every night that I’m home (not often this week) I plan to work on it for an hour. I think that if I put a time limit on it I’ll be more likely to work on it. It’s such a big, clunky project I think I would avoid it if I knew I was going to work on it all night.

I’m debating casting on a pair of Simply SKYP socks for me in some Knit Picks Chroma. I think it would be good to have a project in my car in case an emergency knitting situation arises. My concern is that I would just knit on those socks, make no progress on my cardigan, and not start to make the next sweater in queue for Audrey until she is too big for it. Sigh. The life of a knitter is so hard.

Have a great week!

WIP Wednesday

I have big news: we finished the dishcloth project! My friends and I made over 140 dishcloths for the Des Moines YMCA Supportive Housing Complex. I’m so happy to be done with the project, as a lot of people are about to get some handmade goodness and I’m able to work on knitting projects that aren’t cotton based. I’m going to continue to knit one dishcloth a week for them, so there are always dishcloths available as new residents move in. 20170528_140905

After my Crafternoon meeting on Sunday where we met our goal, I felt a rush of joy thinking about how much knitting I was going to get done. I finished Mary-Claire’s socks, which I had not anticipated doing this week. I love the pattern (school pick up line socks), but I’m not a fan of the yarn – it is not sparkly enough.

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Last night I actually picked up my cardigan and worked on it for a bit. I finished the increases on the second sleeve. I should be able to finish the sleeve this week if I actually sit down and knit on it.

I’m about to cast on another pair of toddler socks for Audrey, this time in Knit Picks Felici in Soft Serve. I don’t really like the colorway, but I am bound and determined to work through some stash, and toddler socks are an instant gratification way to do that.

This week I hope to finish the second sleeve on the cardigan and finish one toddler sock. I am trying to get more done around the house now that the kids are old enough to play a bit without screaming too much, so my knitting will probably slow down a little for now (for the next week or so until I give up on having a clean house).

I hope you have a productive week. If you have any good excuses for not cleaning your house and knitting instead please let me know.

It Gets Easier

Today I checked Timehop and was greeted with a photo that on the surface looks similar to what I did today. It is a picture of the kids in the stroller. It might not look like a big deal, but it was a huge reminder to me of how much things have changed.

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Last year we were in the midst of living with 2 under 2. Audrey was only 19 months old and Elliot was only six weeks old. It was so hard.

Audrey only had a few words at that point. She was used to being the center of our lives and was not happy to have to wait. Elliot was screaming from about 7-9 each night. He napped very little. He would ride in the stroller for 20 minutes (on a good day) until he started screaming. Elliot wanted to eat constantly, which meant I was feeding a toddler and a newborn at the same time, 3 times a day. I was exhausted.

It is so much better now. Audrey can now express her needs (usually with words, sometimes with screams). Elliot usually cries for a minute or two when he goes down for the night, but once he falls asleep he is down for 12 hours. His naps still aren’t great, but they continue to get better. As for walks, we can go much longer than 20 minutes. We head out for an hour-long walk when the weather is nice. 20170526_161434

My life is better because the kids are older and can do more. It is better because we are better at parenting two kids after a year of practice. It’s also better because I’ve changed my expectations. Before Elliot we got out of the house at least once a day. That doesn’t happen anymore. My kids don’t nap on the go, so we are at home until the last nap of the day ends, often at 3:30. At first I was frustrated because I wanted to be on the go, but I’ve settled into routine. I would rather have happy, well rested kids than get to the gym or the grocery store.

I love our new normal. I love being able to play with the kids. I love our little family and can’t wait to have many more sun and water-soaked afternoons with them.

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I suspect I’ll be able to write a post just like this one in a year. I can’t imagine how much fun we will have.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Get out and enjoy the sunshine.

WIP Wednesday: Sock it to me

The past week flew, and I think it is because my knitting mojo is back. We are getting close on the dishcloth project, so knitting them is exciting again. Each time I finish one I wonder if it was the last one we need.  My crafternoon group is getting together again on Sunday to see where we are at, and with any luck I won’t have to knit 5 dishcloths next week.  I really should think of a way to celebrate finishing the project.

This week I finished Audrey’s socks. I love how they turned out. I’m probably going to make her another pair in a smaller size soon using the same Purl Soho Pattern.

I’m making my sister Meanest Mommy Knit’s School Pickup Line Socks. I  love the pattern – it really flies and it is easy to memorize. I just made a pair for myself in February and I’m actually excited to knit them again already. I highly recommend the pattern. I’m on the foot of the first sock, and hope to finish the first sock and have the leg started by next Wednesday.  I’m using Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer. I’m usually a fan of Stroll, but the sparkle in this yarn is too subtle (which feels really weird to type). I feel like if you’re going to wear shiny socks they should really pop.

I have not touched the cardigan, and probably won’t. Or….I could make that my way to celebrate being done with dishcloths. When I’m done with dishcloths I’ll start to work on it again. Maybe.

What are you working on this week?

Stash Explosion

My resolution for the past two years has been to end the year with less yarn in my stash than I started with. I was successful last year, and this year looked OK. Until this week. This week things went a little crazy and I added too much to my stash.

It all started innocently enough. My older sister requested a slouchy hat for next winter. She was drawn to sparkly yarn, so I found some at Webs that she liked and ordered it. It is soft and lovely. Now that it is here I’m a little worried that it won’t work for the hat, so I’m going to do a gauge swatch. I usually just wing hats and don’t worry about gauge. They are so fast you can just tear it back and start over if something is off. The yarn is 60% baby fine mohair – beautiful to work with, yet impossible to re-knit.

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The second time I bought yarn this week it was also totally justified. My younger sister took pictures of our kids, so I told her I would make her socks. I was smart and did not put a time frame on when she would receive the socks. Lucky for her, the pictures she took were beautiful, so I’m excited to make her some thank you socks. It’s hard to take pictures of a 2 1/2-year-old who hates the camera and a cranky 1-year-old, but she did a wonderful job.
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I sent her to Knit Picks to look at the sock yarn, because I had a gift certificate that I wanted to use. She found three yarns for me to pick from. I couldn’t decide between the three, so I narrowed it down to two. I think I’ll use the sparkly blue yarn to make her socks as a thank you and stash the other yarn for when I feel like surprising her with socks (probably around 2047).

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I still had some money left on the gift card, so I picked up some yarn to make an Elwood cardigan for Elliot. Now that the yarn is here I’m not sure I like the colors together. I think a gray would have been better with the blue, but not of the grays struck my fancy when I was perusing them.

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While looking around on Knit Picks I discovered that they now have yarn grab bags. For $10 you get at least $20 worth of yarn. I’m not a fan of gambling, unless it is yarn related, so I went for it. I am pretty happy with half of what I got. I ended up with some bulky yarn I’m throwing in my stash to ignore. It would work for boot toppers, if I ever get around to them. I love the chroma fingering weight yarn, and will be making socks for myself out of it. There is only one skein of Felici, so it looks like Audrey is getting more socks, as I would need two skeins to make them for myself. The last item I got was crochet thread, which I will never use. If you crochet and would like it, please let me know. I’ll happily mail it to you.

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Today I justified buying yarn because one of my local yarn shops, Hill Vintage & Knits, is closing and yarn was 50% off. It is always sad to see a LYS close its doors, especially after a week of binge buying yarn on-line. I worked through my sadness by buying yarn. I picked up some yarn for yet another striped sweater for the kids and some Regia for socks for John.

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Now I’m on a yarn diet until I get a few projects completed. I keep telling myself that once the dishcloths are done I’ll fly through projects. Hopefully that happens.

Have a great weekend! Now go buy a bunch of yarn so I don’t feel like the only binge yarn shopper.

 

WIP Wednesday – Toddler Socks

Happy Wednesday! It was a stormy afternoon here. We lost power for 3 hours here. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to post, as I’m really excited about the socks I’m working on and wanted to share them with you.

When Audrey and I were in Kansas City for our weekend away with friends I let her pick out some sock yarn. I’m finally getting around to using the yarn – Anzula Luxury Fibers Nebula in Garnet. I’m using Purl Soho’s Toddler Socks pattern, which I picked because it’s a simple sock. I’m using pink sparkly yarn, so I wanted the pattern to be basic. I’m making her to 4-5 year old size because she has big feet for a 2 1/2 year old and I don’t want to make her socks that don’t fit next winter (or only fit for one year). I’m fairly confident she will still like the yarn when they fit.

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Book for scale – without it the sock looks like a normal, adult sock

I have one sock done, and just about an inch of the leg done on the second sock. They are for little feet, so I expect the second sock to be done by next week.

I finished 5 dishcloths again this week. My group is meeting in a week and a half. I hope that we will have met our goal of one dishcloth for every apartment in the Des Moines YMCA Supportive Housing Campus. I plan to continue to knit one dishcloth a week so that there are always dishcloths for welcome baskets when people move in. After months of knitting at least 5 dishcloths a week one dishcloth will be a breeze.

I haven’t touched my cardigan. It has been in the upper 70s and 80s here, so knitting a big cardigan hasn’t really felt right. It might hibernate until winter. I haven’t decided. I’m not sure I can justify having two sweaters in hibernation, but the allure of putting it to the back of my closet and casting on a new sweater for one of the kids is incredibly tempting.

I’ve been feeling good about my knitting progress lately. I really hope that feeling continues. Being able to see the light at the end of the dishcloth tunnel has made such a difference. I can’t wait to start working through some of the goodies in my stash (said the woman who may have placed two yarn orders this week).

I hope you are feeling like you’re making knitting progress to!

WIP Wednesday: Progress

I made so much progress this week! I actually finished two pairs of socks! After several weeks of simultaneously working on many projects I decided enough was enough and finished my striped socks (I did a simple 3 x 2 rib).  I love how they turned out, and will be wearing them a lot once wool sock season starts again in (hopefully) six months.

I also finished my secret pair of black socks. I hadn’t mentioned them much because I wanted to surprise my dear friend Laura with them. I gave them to her tonight and she was thrilled. I used the Simple SKYP pattern (thank you for the recommendation, NothingButKnit). I loved the pattern, and will be using it again with another color of yarn.

I knew Laura would love black socks, but I didn’t know how hard it is to knit with black yarn. You can’t see it, and it made me feel about 97 squinting to see the stitches. At one point I dropped a stitch and had to use a miner’s head lamp to find the stitch to pick it up. My husband got a chuckle out of watching me knit with extra lighting.

I am still working on dishcloths, but I am a few days behind my goal due to my decision to finish the socks. I also shoved the cardigan to the side. I’ll be picking that up again now that I don’t have any socks on the needles.

That’s right. No socks on the needles. I know. It’s shocking.

This week I’m going to focus on dishcloths, the cardigan, and maybe starting some socks for Audrey. It feels wonderful to actually finish a project!

What are you knitting this week? Is there anything amazing I should be knitting?