Yarn Along (not much knitting, new chicks, cat-chasing, old favorites renewed, & life changes)

I cannot seem to find much time to knit these days, which is a shame because my anxiety could sure use the medicine that is knitting.  Harmon caught a bug from one of my daycare girls & has thus been very clingy, very feverish, & plain old grouchy the last couple days.  I attempted to knit last night after he fell asleep, but he woke up practically the minute I picked up the needles, so, yeah, yarn along this week isn’t much of a yarn along.

Our chicks hatched!  Well, one egg out of five hatched.  Three were apparently not fertilized & the Cochin egg quit developing after only a few days.  So we hatched one lonely Iowa Blue chick & bought four Barred Rock chicks to keep him or her-Lucky Penny-company.  I do not like Barred Rocks at all–the roosters are nasty–but there were no other chicks available at our local feed store small enough to join our day-old chick.Harmon is not exactly enamored with the chicks–unlike June who bounds out of bed in the morning in order to play with the chicks.  He will air kiss the chicks when asked…

…but then he tries to shoo the chicks away.

Chasing the hens around the yard, however, is great fun for Harmon.

Until he sees something else…

Not now, Turken…

…there’s a kitty in the yard!  Too bad you’re allergic, Harmon, because you sure do love the cats around here.

I got out June’s old beanie–my original June Belle (pattern available for free on ravelry).  The brim is a soft fuzzy Malabrigo & the main cap is a super duper squishy Cormo from White Barn Sheep & Wool.  I love this cap, reminds me of many happy days spent with my baby girl June…


I have given notice to my daycare girls’ parents that I will be done with childcare at the end of June & my anxiety levels are lessening the closer we creep to that time…I will therefore be (fingers crossed!) reopening my etsy shop by the end of summer with some June Belle beanies for sale & another pattern I’ve been dreaming about designing for years, so I hope you will all join me for that release in late summer!  I’m also considering using my teaching license in a virtual capacity this fall & I continue to edit my father’s book.

I hope I can be a better mama to my own four children with this change in vocation…I’ve been extremely impatient & short with all of them for far too long, much MUCH more so on the days I babysit.  It’s hard work being responsible for someone else’s babies!  Kudos to those who successfully and lovingly run in-home daycares for years…I’ve spent the last 4.5 years watching someone else’s precious souls, but it’s definitely time to move on…perhaps this change will enable more “yarn” in my future “yarn along” posts!

Happy Yarning to all my knitting friends out there!  Joining in with Martha!

Yarn Along/Works-in-Progress Wednesday

This is a fairly boring update to my latest knitting WIP-I’m still working on the 71 rows of stockinette stitch that make up the front trouser.  Hoping I cross the threshold into the front bib soon.  I think I’m currently knitting around row 55.I finally found a block of time to give Harmon dairy again yesterday as per my pediatrician’s instructions (two+ weeks ago he ate ten bites of yogurt as a test & got hives).  No difference this time-he still got hives & as a bonus this go-around he also became incredibly itchy within 10 minutes & scratched himself bloody in several places on his torso through the onesie plus his eczema patches flared all over.  Nap time was tough as a result.  I spent most of it alternating between knitting while watching him & soothing/nursing him back to sleep.

He managed two fitful hours of sleep & woke up much happier, hives gone.

Watched some chicken antics outside.  He can imitate a rooster crowing like no other 17 month old I know.

I haven’t mentioned on the blog that we’re currently incubating eggs (speaking of chickens).  This Sunday will be Day 21-fingers crossed for a good hatch day!

Harmon still loves playing in June’s doll camper from Land of Nod.  I call it his hobbit home (it’s for dolls!).  He spent a lot of time in there yesterday while I watched him for symptoms.

Itching again.  I finally had to snap the onesie back on & dress him in a sweatsuit to stop this (he already was covered in his eczema cream & various other anti-itch medications we use).

Joining in with Martha, & Ginny in spirit.

Life is mostly no fun when you’re sick…

…& you’re a baby & you’ve been awake screaming/wailing practically every half-hour like clockwork for the last two nights due to congestion…& since you’re congested you can’t nurse properly…so you’re really mad at life…& you’re also teething due to being 15 months old & only having 1.5 teeth(!)…& your fevers don’t really respond to anything mama tries…& your mama is also sick & keeps coughing at night which wakes you up every.single.time…what else…oh, of course, the best part!….your mom has been eating dairy the last few days & now your eczema is raging all over your torso & limbs & today you started scratching a lot…& your tummy rumbles way too much because of said dairy eaten by your mother…

Due to your banshee-esque wailing in the car during school drop-off this morning, mama got you out of your car seat while we waited the 30 minutes for older sister’s Band practice to end…

You enjoyed pretending to drive…sort of…You loved watching the late busses come & go…Well, not really.Mama tried to comfort you…you really seemed indifferent.  And angry.Your morning nap was hard won!  You slept off and on for close to three hours due to mama’s constant rocking (& attempts at nursing) between sleeps…You actually woke up fairly happy!  “Fed” yourself oatmeal for the first time…

Nope, nope, maybe not.  So we took a bath at noon due to oatmeal being plastered basically everywhere…Now you’re sleeping on mama again & it’s ok because she can see birds at the feeder in the garden from this position..but surely tomorrow will be better, Harmon  Hunter, little hobbit, surely surely. ❤ 

Yarn Along: Garter Ear Flap Hat FO

Harmon’s been a bit under the weather this week, so when I snapped most of these photos on Monday he wasn’t in a knits-modeling mood, he was in a sleeping-off-my-illness mood.This is Purl Soho’s Garter Ear Flap Hat.  I knit two sizes of this pattern for June when she was a toddler.  She was still regularly wearing the larger version up until this winter…until she wasn’t because she lost it & I was instantly a sad sad knitter.  That particular hat was rather special to me because I made it just for her and twice-over to boot due to sizing issues.  Once I got the size right, it quickly became part of her winter persona in my mind, as silly as that sounds. 

She definitely doesn’t need anymore hats-June has inherited dozens of hats from both her older sister & older brother.  But lucky for me Harmon has zero knit hats made by his mama to wear at the moment (isn’t that a bit strange?), so I found myself knitting this pattern again after a four year absence. I still love the construction (I swoon for short rows for some reason) & especially the final product.  It just fits so well & looks so cute-if you knit the correct size, of course, which I did on the first try this time!I used Quince & Co Puffin in Honey.  I think this single strand wool is absolutely perfect for this pattern.  Fluffy and warm.  Soft, but hardwearing.  Blooms beautifully when washed.And makes the best fuzzy tassel!Following his morning nap, Harmon awoke in a slightly better mood &, as this boy does love his hats, he was quite willingly to oblige me several knits-modeling photos. Due to Harmon’s large noggin I had to knit the third listed size in the pattern.  Lots of growing room for next winter.

He’s learned to fake snap to jazz music this week.  No lie!  He’s extremely obsessed.  He’ll carry my phone around the house listening to the public radio jazz station app while fake snapping & shaking his torso to the music.  This could go on for hours if I let it.  But I promise I don’t.  Eventually we put the phone away & just listen to the jazz station on the actual radio.  Anytime he wants to listen to jazz he will start fake snapping now & wiggling his hips while smiling at me.  I’ve tried turning on The Muppets Movie soundtrack in lieu of jazz, but he wants no part of it.  Jazz only, please, Mom!

We went for a walk yesterday afternoon & it was quite uncanny how well the color of his new cap matched the buds on the juniper trees.  


Still hoping we find June’s lost hat, but in the meantime, joining in with Ginny on this Ash Wednesday.

Yarn Along {Stripey Balloon Pants FO & in-Action!}

I think I’ve knit this pattern out of my system now, at long last.  Maybe it’s the heatwave we’ve been experiencing these past few days here in Iowa, but I’m ready to move on-finally!!!-from woolly baby pants.  Harmon wore his new stripey version all day yesterday.  We were out & about a lot running many errands, buying a Speed Queen washing machine, chauffeuring Coralee to & from homeschool co-op classes & Band, hanging at two different coffee shops (yikes!), running down the sidewalks in town screaming (Harmon did that!), shrieking very shrilly at the library when it was time to put books away (again, Harmon, but I can see how you may have thought that was me-ha!), & then falling asleep in the car on the way home at 2PM because that’s a long day (I reiterate, that was Harmon falling asleep…I had a Venti-sized coffee at noon so I was wide-awake).  The Balloon Baby Pants held up great all day & did not sag out like the first pair so I’m glad I knit the smaller size with smaller needles this go.  Harmon is just such a peanut!  He is 14.75 months and this is the 5-8 MONTH size on US 2 needles with sportweight yarns.  Babies/toddlers definitely come in all sizes!

Harmon sure does LOVE books as of late.  Especially books about chickens or cats or peek-a-boo.

Joining in with Ginny.

February Heatwave

To say it’s been warm in Iowa the last few days is an understatement.  This is a heatwave!  I feel like it’s the end of April and I need to be out in the garden.  Iowa weather is very tricky.  It will probably snow next week.  Harmon is sure enjoying his first steps–literally–outside the past two days.  He was wary at first, but quickly took off & wandered aimlessly (or maybe not?) all over the yard.  He is still unsteady on his feet & fell over as much as he remained upright.  We discovered he is afraid of the dogs up close, would like to catch one of the cats, & doesn’t really care about the chickens up close, either.  

He’s telling me all about the rooster crowing in this photo.This is Louisa.  One of our favorite chickens at the moment.

On Saturday we headed east to the Mississippi River in Davenport for an Iowa Young Birders trip on Credit Island.  Lots of Ring-billed Gulls & Bald Eagles.June found many gull feathers + she was wearing her new spring jacket resplendent with flying gulls so she wanted her photo taken in front of a large flock of gulls hanging out on the ice.I’m posing, Mama, snap the photo!

Harmon’s first time on a swing!

Later we swung by the University of Iowa to pick up Harmon’s godmother (& cousin) Miss Bailey for lunch at our favorite place Sutliff Bridge & Tavern.  I’ve blogged about Sutliff several times over the years.Quizzing June on her bird knowledge.Harmon is generally very very wary of people other than his mama & Coralee, but he took to Bailey straight off!  So sweet! ❤Happy Weekend Warmth!