5 on Friday: What’s on my Needles

I like to have several options when I want to pick up my knitting. I want my knitting to fit my mood. If all I had was a sweater on the needles, what would I do when I didn’t want to work on that sweater? I usually have only 3 active projects at a time, but conveniently for me I currently have 5 kitting projects on the needles.

Scrap Yarn Blanket

I’m using the Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis (iMake). I’m using sock yarn and size 2 needles. Each square is about 2 inches. I make one square each day, usually in the morning. For special events (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) I use the same yarn three days in a row – the day before the special day, the special day, and the day after the special day. That way when we look at the blanket we can see where we were. I love being able to see Audrey’s birthday, or our anniversary when I look at the blanket. There is also a large chunk of the same yarn for when Elliot was born.

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There aren’t many projects that allow to knit in hope and memories the way this one does.

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Elliot insisted on helping.

Socks

I’m still working on my Up All Night Socks by Lisa Beth Houchins. I’ve already told you how much I love these socks. If you are a sock knitter, I strongly suggest you give them a try. dsc_0011

A Slouchy Cardigan

Pattern is Cocoon Cardigan Sweater by Yarnspirations. Sigh. This cardigan should be easy and fast. I suppose it would be if I could bring myself to pick it up more often. Moss stitch is just so boring. I’m still on the back, which needs to be 28 inches long. So far I’m at 20 inches and I keep reaching for socks instead of this. Maybe if the yarn were smooshy I’d reach for it more? Please give me advice on how to get myself to knit this.

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Retirement Cardigan

Pattern is Turkana by Anne Kuo Lukito knit in Manos del Uruguay FINO. I call this my retirement cardigan because I’ll be retired by the time I finish it. It is gorgeous yarn, a lovely green that is so soft (70% extrafine merino wool, 30% silk) and wonderful to work with.

Why the slow progress? It is hard to pick up because each row takes 15 minutes. It’s a lot of work to pull it out, figure out where I was, and get a row knit. Once I get it out I remember how much I love it. It’s like going to the gym – when you are in a regular routine you know how great it feels to work out and you wan to keep at it, but when you miss a few days you get lazy and fall out of routine. Even though I don’t knit on it enough, it is my second favorite project. It is so honored it is stored in my Loop knitting bag Ivy brought be back from London.

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Dishcloth

I just noticed we were running out of dishcloths, so I started my favorite pattern, Garterlac Dishcloth by Criminy Jickets. This is a fun knit, but after I cast on I remembered it involves thought, so I’m not going to be able to work on it when the kids are awake.

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Elliot tried to eat this pattern.

With any luck I’ll be down to 4 projects again soon. I need to designate some sweater time to get back on track with my cocoon sweater.

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. Let me know if you have anything you would like to hear about. I would also love to hear it if you have any motivational advice about finishing cardigans.

Is there anything I should have on my needles? What should I pick up next?

 

5 on Friday: Costco

We buy a lot at Costco, so 5 items barely scratches the surface of the great things you can buy there. There are some things I immediately took out of the list, because formula and diapers aren’t something that most people are looking to try from Costco.  I haven’t included the black bean burgers we can’t get enough of, the cheap beer, the agave syrup, the maple syrup (we are a syrup loving family), or even the V8 we buy by the case.

This list is 5 great things at Costco that we buy at least monthly that I wanted to share with you. Maybe you buy them too.

Eggo Waffles. We have big breakfasts every day. Often Audrey naps trough lunch and only has two meals. Mornings for her start with fruit, eggs, and a peanut butter waffle. John will eat them with butter and syrup. Elliot likes anything on them. I have been known to use them for the bread in egg in the hole when we are out of bread. Are they great? No. Are they good? Yeah. Do I like not having to buy boxes of waffles at the store every week? Yes.

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Half and Half. We have a 2 year old and a 9 month old. We drink a lot of coffee.

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Tillamook Cheese. This is our house cheddar. We use it in eggs at breakfast, on sandwiches at lunch, and in casseroles at dinner. We will eat it as a snack too. It’s good cheese. Good enough to buy by the brick. dsc_0037

Berries (you know what they look like): Costco has good berries at a decent price year round. We buy them every trip. I often lie to Audrey and tell her we are out of raspberries because I want to eat them.

Toilet Paper. We buy Kirkland toilet paper. It’s fine. I think it is no better and no worse than average toilet paper. It’s cheap, I’m cheap, it works. I should clarify that the other items on this list we buy at least monthly, but toilet paper is more of a once every six months or a year item.

What do you buy at Costco? Are there any gems that I’m missing?

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. Are there any 5 on Friday topics you would like to hear about? Comment to share your ideas.

5 on Friday: Baby Finger Foods from Trader Joe’s

Welcome to 5 on Friday. Today isn’t the happiest of days for me. I’m sad and tired and want to focus on my kids because it cheers me up. So that is what we’re doing today.

Mr. Elliot is now nine months old. That means we’re moving away from baby food and on to table food. Thank God, because feeding a baby tiny spoonfuls of food is the most excruciatingly boring part of parenthood. I thought it was bad with Audrey, and it has turned out to be that way with Elliot too.

How does Elliot feel about table food? He’s a big fan. He really likes waving now, so it is getting hard to get a picture of him without his hand in the way.

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Moving to table food means that he’s now eating what we’re eating as long as it isn’t honey or a choking hazard. We just started doing mostly table food this week, so I’m keeping the textures soft as we get started.

Last week I headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things that we love to eat that we wanted Elliot to try. You can get these items at any store, but they are super cheap at Trader Joe’s, which is very important to a budget conscious SAHM.

Avocados

Audrey and I eat a lot of avocados. We like avocado toast. We like avocado on our eggs. We like avocado slices. Bubba from Forest Gump is to shrimp what we are to avocados. Luckily Elliot appears to be just as much of a fan as we are.dsc_0030

Full Fat Yogurt

I could spend $6 on baby yogurt or $3 on Trader Joe’s yogurt.  This yogurt is delicious. Audrey and I have it with breakfast a lot, and Elliot appears to like it even more than us. The cups might be a little bigger than baby yogurt cups, but Elliot doesn’t have an issue finishing one. The vanilla also doubles as “dip” in our house for waffles. Audrey is 43% more likely to try something if there is dip involved.dsc_0032Bananas

$.19 a banana. You can’t beat that. dsc_0045-copy

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

It’s soft. It’s delicious. Both of my kids would like it for every meal. I have the following conversation 6 days a week. I would have it 7, but John gets up with her one day of the weekend.

Me: “What do you want for breakfast, Audrey?”

Audrey: “Gnocchi”

Me: “It’s breakfast, we aren’t having gnocchi.”

I gave Elliot gnocchi earlier this week and he gobbled it right up. I’m sure I’ll be having the same conversation with him before I know it. dsc_0281

Cereal Bars

These are not a food that we eat every day. These are special diaper bag treats for when I have tired, cranky, hungry kids and I need them to stay happy for 5 minutes. I’ll pull these out if we are at a restaurant and it is taking a long time or we are running late for dinner and still have to drive home and they need a snack. dsc_0029

Next week I’ll post about something other than Trader Joe’s. Probably. No promises.

5 on Friday: Trader Joe’s

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a fine New Year’s Eve. We had a great Christmas – there is nothing like having a 2 year old on Christmas morning. After Christmas every one of us got sick, so there was a slightly longer break than planned in the 5 on Friday series. We’re on the mend, and I can get back to telling you about one of my favorite grocery stores – Trader Joe’s.

I go to TJ’s about once a month (when Aunt Kathy watches the kids for my big errand day), but I squeeze in a bonus visit when we are running low on staples. Especially when we are out of the number one thing I get at Trader Joe’s:

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We go though A LOT of sweet potato gnocchi. I usually buy six packages. It is supposed to feed 3 adults, but it feeds one adult and one toddler in our house. We rarely have leftovers, and it is not because I am the one eating a bunch of it. Audrey LOVES it.

She asks for gnocchi, and hearing a two year old say gnocchi is only one of the reasons I love it. I like that I can pull it from the freezer and have lunch on the table 7 minutes later (with two little kids speed is of the essence more often than not). I love that the first ingredient is a vegetable. Audrey hates eating vegetables, so any time I can get her to eat a vegetable I consider it a win. dsc_0312

Unexpected Cheddar

I wish I could afford to have Montgomery Cheddar on hand at all times, but I can’t. I can, however, always have Unexpected Cheddar on hand. It’s shockingly good for the price, complete with those crunchy cheese crystal things that make you want to do a happy dance. I like it plain, on crackers, or mixed in with my scrambled eggs.

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Pub Cheese Cheddar with Horseradish and Golden Rounds Crackers

This cheese spread doesn’t taste enough like horseradish in my opinion, so if you aren’t a horseradish fan don’t let the name fool you. The cheese is excellent spread on fake these fake Ritz crackers.

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Bananas

They have really cheap bananas, and I have a toddler. It’s a match made in heaven. Unlike Costco and Aldi, where you buy bananas in huge bags, you get to pick your bananas out. I’ve been burned with bad banana bunches in bags before, so Trader Joe’s is my banana spot.

Spicy California Roll Sushi

Is the sushi great? No. It’s fine. It’s the kind of sushi that is best described as “won’t give you food poisoning.” That being said, John and I used to go out for sushi every week. Now that I stay home we can’t afford that, so sushi is a treat. At about $4 for a pack of spicy California roll it is affordable on my budget, so it is my lunch after every Trader Joe’s trip. There would be a picture, but I always eat it before I remember to take a picture, so you just need to imagine it.

What do you like to buy at Trader Joe’s? Did I miss any of your favorites?

Every Friday (OK, most Fridays) I share 5 things I think you should know about. What would you like to hear more about?

Writing More and Guest 5 on Friday

I have missed blogging. Not so much the pressure of having semi-correct grammar or not using bad swear words in posts (I don’t give a damn about mild swears), but the act of writing. Getting thoughts out of my head and down on a page. As an introvert, I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, but blogging forces me to share more. It is a good thing.

Just because I’ve missed it doesn’t mean it has been easy to sit down and make the time to write. When I’m writing I could be knitting…or cooking..or talking to John…but mostly knitting. As it gets colder out it gets harder and harder to pull myself away from the wool on my needles. Especially when it is this beautiful.

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Luckily I have a friend, JoAnna from She’s (mostly) harmless,  in the same boat. She’s my partner in the world’s smallest writing group. We’ve committed to meeting monthly to discuss writing and workshop ideas. It is nice to get out of the house, discuss ideas, and pound nutella hot chocolate like it’s my job (bless you, Gateway Market, for creating some delicious Type 2 Diabetes in a cup).

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One of the fun things about having a writing group with someone is collaborating with them. Which leads me to this week’s 5 on Friday. It’s a guest post from JoAnna this week all about her. If you find her to be delightful, and trust me, you should, you can find her on her blog.

5 on Friday

  1. I’m an introvert – I hate people. It’s not personal, really. I would just rather be alone.
  2.  I like animals better than you. They’re just easier. See number 1.
  3. My hobbies include sewing, knitting, and baking.
  4. I’m an old soul trapped in a young(er) person’s body. See number 3.
  5. I’m sarcastic and I swear a lot. May also be a salty old sailor.                                           Note to self: see therapist re: multiple personality disorder.

Every Friday I share five things I think you should know about. Are there any Friday Fives you would like to hear about? Please share your ideas with me.

 

5 Things on Friday: Thanksgiving

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. This Friday, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing five things I am thankful for.

Happy, Healthy Kids

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dsc_0066I am lucky to have two incredibly happy and healthy kids. They make life so much fun.

John

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My husband is pretty great. He works hard and is a good Dad. He is funny and kind. I like hanging out with him. He’s my partner in life and I love him dearly.

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I am thankful that Wrigley is such a patient dog. We were worried before we brought Audrey home from the hospital that our great big lug of a dog would not be good with her. We are no longer worried. Wrigley is incredibly patient with the kids. She lets them crawl and sit on her. She is so happy to get attention from them. She will even sit patiently as Audrey slowly gets every bit of dog food into her bowl, one piece at a time, with toddler like  precision.

 

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I love being able to stay home with my kids. It allows me to go see my parents in the middle of the week once a month. It enables me to get outside in the sunshine with the kids whenever I want. It helps the kids get more sleep because I’m able to get them to nap on their schedule. I love that I don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting everyone up and out the door every morning. I am a happier, more relaxed mom because I get to stay home with Audrey and Elliot.

My Stroller

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20161120_164603.jpgI love my stroller. Love it. It’s a Bumbleride Indie Twin and it gets used a lot. It’s easy to push. It can handle the horrible Beaverdale sidewalks with ease. The kids like it. It fits through the door to our neighborhood coffee shop. I can adjust each seat back and foot rest individually. The canopy is huge and can completely block out the wind. It allows me to walk in any weather. I found it on Craigslist and bought it from a woman who has a tattoo that matches mine. We hugged. Everything about this stroller is magic. I am thankful for a stroller that helps me get outside with the kids and enjoy the fresh air.

I have so much to be thankful for. A blog post could never cover all of my thanks, but it is nice to share five things with you.

Every Friday I share five things I think you should know about. Are there any Friday Fives you would like to hear about? Please share your ideas with me.