Delayed by Short Rows

I finished the main body of Elly’s wool soakers while on vacation in Mexico.

Or so I thought.

A few days ago, I realized that I had failed to incorporate 6 short rows into the body. It’s not like I had missed the part of the instructions that stated I would need to work 6 short rows. In my mind, I had envisioned working all 6 rows in Round 35, the final round in the body of the soaker. I can’t explain why I thought that. It doesn’t make any sense. Typically, only 2 short rows are worked into 1 round. I knew that. Besides, the short rows are needed to allow room for Elly’s caboose/fanny/call-it-what-cute-name-you-want. Jamming them in at the bottom of the body won’t help.

Maybe I lost a crap load of brain cells since Elly’s birth; I heard children have that influence on you. It could also be because I was so excited to be knitting again that I completely ignored common sense.

Either way, I’ll be ripping back – about halfway as I don’t have the time or patience to rip back further – and knitting the body again. I hope to have better luck the 2nd time around.

Bag of Lemons

They were on sale.

I can never walk away empty-handed from a produce sale. It’s equivalent to a shoe sale in my mind.

I had no idea what I would do with all the lemons when I bought them. It didn’t stop me. I have a healthy supply of recipe books. Plus there is always the internet.

The problem I’ve found is that most recipes only use 1 lemon. After a week of where I made 2 lemon pastries and 1 dessert, I still have more than half a bag of lemons left.

Any ideas?

Baseball Season Starts Friday

It’s not a minute too soon.

Dan and I are giddy about this season. Our pitching rotation is the best in the league. If we can get our bats clicking on all cylinders, we’ll be unstoppable.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to frame another newspaper?

The one featured here was saved for years by Dan’s grandmother, tucked away in a drawer, and rescued by my FIL. He gifted it to us because he knew that I have a small collection of Phillie memorabilia hanging downstairs in our rec room along with bits and pieces tucked away inside our scrapbook.

Just to remind all my dear friends and family that they should watch the Phillies games and root for our boys, I made them each a baseball card.

Let’s go Phillies!

Celebrating her Daddy’s birthday

Dan’s birthday is today, but we celebrated with cake yesterday.

It wasn’t just  any cake. Dan isn’t a fan of traditional cake and icing. He doesn’t like sweets in general, including chocolate. (This quirk of his is one of the keys to our happiness; he doesn’t raid my stash of chocolate).

Instead of a butter cake, I made him a cheesecake with a shortbread crust. (Neither I nor my neighbor had any graham crackers).

Elly, who is always thrilled to try to feed herself with a spoon, had a blast mashing the cheesecake, smearing it into her hair and getting the occasional mouthful.


Protesting the Cold

It snowed yesterday. It rained the day before that. It might snow again over the weekend.

If it’s cold enough to snow, it’s too cold to garden.

Walking Jake in this weather is only fun for Jake.

Elly stays warm with the handmade wool blanket she received from a colleague of my MIL. The blanket was made from wool that the woman, also named Elizabeth and thus the reason for her wanting to make something for my little girl, hand-dyed and handspun.

Riding the bike only makes it feel colder so that’s out too.

This house is starting to take on the shape of a pumpkin shell. Why hasn’t Spring sent Old Man Winter packing? Elly and I want to go out and play!

Laundry Day

It seems like every day is laundry day.

Elly’s cloth diapers have to be washed every other day. Then there are the towels, sheets, Elly’s clothes, and our clothes. With all the trips I make up and down our basement stairs going to and fro the laundry room, I’ll never need to buy a StairMaster.

Our washer and dryer are ancient. They came with the house and the gnomes only know when the previous owners bought them. It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m actually shocked with their durability. They have taken on the extra load and presumable wear and tear without a hiccup.

Frankly, out of all the appliances that came with the house, only the refrigerator sounds like it’s on its last legs. It started making a horrible rattle months ago, but thus far the darn thing refuses to die. Perhaps it hangs around because it loves all the attention it gets from Elly.

Knitting at Elly’s Pace

On a swatch that will probably only measure 8 inches wide when blocked, I have knit a whopping 6 rows in 3 days. At this rate, I might finish it in 2 months.

I could increase my knitting time, but that would just decrease my time with Elly. If given the choice, I’ll pick Elly almost every time. (A mom needs a break every once in a while).

Soon she’ll grow up and I’ll have oodles of knitting time. Until then, I’m happy with my 2 rows of knitting per day.

Effort equals Results (in a perfect world)

This is the first year in 3 years that I expect high yields from my vegetable garden.

In order to thrive, gardens require a lot of time and effort, both of which have been in short supply. I have some pretty good excuses though.

2 years ago I became pregnant with Elly. Since I felt like death warmed over the entire 1st trimester, not much besides my tomatoes got planted. Preparing Elly’s room took priority once I did start to feel better. When the tomato plants got too big for their cages, I just let them lop over and take over the walkways. Though my yield was high that summer, many of the tomatoes rotted on the ground out of reach.

Last year revolved around the birth of Elly. The garden was basically allowed to grow wild. The tomato plants that did grow did not bear a lot of fruit. But I was thrilled to have anything at all.

This year shall be much different. I’ve already put in more time and effort than the past two years combined. Not only did I manage to plant 65 onion plants, but I managed to plant them on time.

Between now and Mother’s Day in May, I’ll be adding the following veggies to my raised beds:
tomatoes, of course
butternut squash

It doesn’t look like a lot, but it should keep me busy during harvest time.

Elly will be happy. She loves it when I have an excuse to take her outside.

Yes, she’s eating dirt again.

Creative Juices are Flowing

Though I feel like my mind has been muddied since Uncle Willie’s death, it must have woken up the creative side of my mind. After months of not coming up with any good knitting designs, I’ve made a list of 8 not too shabby ideas in a week.

Two days ago I cast on for a new project that will hopefully become my next published pattern.

I’m using Eos by Unique Sheep to test out the pattern.

I had some leftover from the Something Blue stole that I designed for them 3 years ago.

It is good to be back in the saddle again. I had missed the rush of dreaming up a new design, crunching the numbers, picking out the perfect yarn, feeling the yarn slide through my fingers and watching the pattern take shape.

To Uncle Willie

Thank you for so many things: for giving me a childhood home to come back to; for complementing me on my cooking even when it didn’t come out so well; for laughing when I laughed; and for swooning over Elly.

Mostly, thanks for your unwavering love and support. It meant more than you know.

I’m going to miss you, Uncle Willie.