Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

Cross Country Poncho for a Cross Country Friend

I love making garments, accessories, or anything handmade for the people I love.  Not only does it keep me busy for weeks (in this case, months), but once it’s finished and put it in the mail, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  Patiently waiting for it to arrive to its destination and envisioning the recipient’s face when they open it is the best part..Assuming it fits, and that it’s what they hoped it would be.

Making things for others guarantees that my finished product will not be sitting in my apt somewhere unused, and taking up precious space.  My stash is already closing in on me.  The more things I can gift, the better.  Plus, it makes both parties happy 😊.

I started this poncho in January and it took me ~4.5 months to finish.  Each row took ~15-20 minutes to complete.  I actually timed myself, and could never break my 15-20min row speed, that seems really slow.  It’s usually because I stop, crack my wrists/fingers, change the channel on my show, or do the downward facing dog stretch because all I do is hunch over in concentration, and these old bones are feelin’ it.

There is nothing too complicated about this poncho, it’s double crochet, with a few skipped stitches for the design.  It’s essentially a massive blanket with a hole for the head – I love it. Pattern here.  I can’t love it too much, or otherwise I’d become emotionally attached – IT’S NOT FOR ME, and I reminded myself that every time I picked it up. 

My Mom’s bestie requested this back in December, and when I agreed to give it a shot, I wasn’t anticipating how long it would take.  A whole season has passed us by but luckily this poncho will live in Chicago, so I’m sure it will get a lot of use no matter what.  

I got started on this NYE…

One size fits all should hold true – that is the best project to make for people without overthinking the whole “I hope this fits” question that haunts me with every garment I make.  Thankfully, this is meant to be oversized and cozy and there is nothing better than that. 

What do ya think?

Wisconsin Weekend

As previously mentioned, my family was planning for a weekend getaway. 

In Wisconsin, actually. Sheboygan, to be more specific. 

Sheboygan is fun to say.

Shu-boy-gun. 

See? Fun. 

Anyway, it was a trip for the grand kids and mostly revolved around an indoor water park. Because there are not many desirable outdoor activities during winter months in Wisconsin. 

I think you can ski. But unlike my counterpart on this blog, I refuse to even entertain the idea of a hobby like that. 

My feet are better on solid ground. And if not on solid ground, they much prefer floating around a lazy river about 20x in a row with an excited but overwhelmed child chilling in my lap. 

He probably peed in the pool/on me. We’re not going to think about it. 

Anyway, when traveling, it’s always important to have packed correctly. And that includes the right amount of yarn and a good project to keep busy, even if there are only a few opportunities to work on it. That includes time spent in the car. 

My husband is the superior driver, there’s no argument about that, and so I happily keep myself busy and take very seriously my one job of turning on Google maps when we’re close to getting off the highway. 

Important stuff. 

It’s also great to have around for when my child chooses to forgo sleep because he’s not comfortable in a new environment and ends up in bed with us (kicking me in the back throughout the night) and then refuses to sleep past 5:30 am. 

It’d also be nice to have during middle of the day naps, but If we’re being honest, I ended up taking a nap at that time. Because 5:30 am. And tired crochet can be extremely consequential. I’ve yanked out rows upon rows before for simple oversights and it’s always a sad occurrence. 

Anyway, I started a blanket for friends due with their second in June, but probably won’t finish it anytime soon because it’s still a good size to take on the next road trip we have planned in April. 

My focus this month has been mostly on keeping up with my NICU blankets goal for the year. However, my son woke up calling for (i.e. demanding) someone to come wipe his boogers last night. So I suspect I’ll also have to put that away until we have a virus-free household again (rules are rules when it comes to charity guidelines, right?). 

Wisconsin has the best souvenirs!

All this means I’ll be focusing on getting a few other “almost done” projects completed and out the door because my collection of works in progress is starting to get a little overwhelming. And I still haven’t convinced my husband that a craft room is a valid reason for needing to move into a bigger house. 

Sigh. 

– Amy

Punctuality is a Virtue

I like to be punctual.

Screw that. I like to be ridiculously early to things.

And if it requires driving somewhere with traffic being a factor? I will knock on your door 10 minutes early and exclaim, “I’m so sorry I’m early!” when I’ve already spent 10 minutes sitting in my car in front of your house like a creep.

Being late causes extremely large amount of discomfort. It’s always been that way. It’s a thing with me.

This chevron blanket gave me huge anxiety because it’s for some very close friends and I’ve never done chevron before and wanted it to be perfect. That did not happen because I seem to have issues counting. Math is hard.

I jokingly blame my dad. A regular staple in my childhood was being told we were going to leave for something at, say, 4:30. My parents would be sitting in the car, already backed out of our garage and impatiently waiting at 4:15. Honking.

As you can imagine, this has affected many aspects of everyday life. Remember the movie “Superbad”? It was hilarious, right?

NO. I HATED that movie because the majority of the plot was based around getting to a party and they kept getting more and more delayed. They were soooo late for that stupid party.

I could not handle it.

Easily the worst part of making any blanket with more than one color. I’ve started weaving in and securing with a tiny knot because I live in constant fear of being judged if my blanket starts to unravel.

There’s also a Friends episode where they’re all supposed to go to a dinner and the only person ready and trying to get everyone out the door was Ross. No one else seemed to be bothered that they were never going to get there on time. It was terribly rude.

I simply cannot.

But I recognize my problem and am actively trying to overcome it. My husband, for example, will only leave then house at the exact time needed to get us there within a minute of when we’re supposed to arrive. What caused me to have an unnecessary heart attack every time we would leave the house is now starting to dwindle to maybe only a few chest pains here and there.

Baby steps.

And if anything, if we end up late, I can always blame my husband.

The scape goat makes me feel better.

And it’s finished! I have to say, thisis one of my favorite blankets I’ve done. I also have to say, I won’t be doing another one like this any time soon.

So what about the rest of you? Any weird ticks that have just become a part of who you are?

I also can only open the microwave after it’s done, or on a number that ends in 0 or 5. Oh, the oatmeal is going to explode out of the bowl if I don’t open it with 13 seconds left? Too bad. Let’s watch it tidal wave over the top and I’ll open it when the timer gets to 10 seconds when it’s clearly too late.

I’m a mess.

-Amy

Link to pattern used is here.

Meet the Maker – Bailey edition

Hello friends! The other half of our blog/insta has done her meet the maker post earlier this week, so in efforts to copy her fun facts, I thought I would share a little bit about myself:

I’m Bailey and I live in Boston with the hubs – I’ve been here ~5.5 years now – Whew.  I used to live in Illinois (grew up in a small town, moved to Chicago after college and lived there for 3 years).  I have been knitting for ~3 years and have been crocheting for 2.  I taught myself to crochet on YouTube – it’s much less intimidating than knitting, in my opinion – either way, they both complete me, and keep me sane.

Few fun facts:

  • I grew up in a town of ~30k people and couldn’t wait to get out – After living the city for almost 9 years, I can now say that I appreciate the small-town lifestyle.  I wish it didn’t take me so long.
  • I read 100 books/year for 2 years in a row.  My favorite book is The Nightingale – WW2 historical fiction novels are my weakness.
  • I think Maui is the most beautiful place in the world – I still have a lot to see, but Maui will always be my favorite trip, Italy is my #2. 

Maui ❤️

  • Hygge – I strive for it every day (see below)

Hygge on point

  • If I could only bring 5 things with me on a deserted island, one of them would be Chapstick.  I cannot live without it – I’m an addict, and therefore, their perfect customer.
  • If I ever go missing in a store, I can most likely be found in the blanket section (per above pic, I can never have enough).
  • I love furniture stores and have been scoping out the perfect la-z-boy for my future woman-cave.  I want a rocking one with arm rest compartments for my knits, and snacks.
  • I once watched Shawshank Redemption on repeat for 8-hours straight because I couldn’t find the remote – and I was okay with that – I’m that lazy.
  • I used to love embroidery, sewing and cross stitch when I was younger, I need to pick that back up again.

We would love to hear more about you in the comments!

Meet the Maker: Amy

Hey everyone! 

So it seems we’ve gotten a few more followers since we started Cozy Knitty Things! Welcome! And with that, why not tell you a little more about ourselves?

My name is Amy and I live with my family (the hubs, the kid, the dog) in the Chicagoland area. Suburbia, if you will. I’ve known how to knit since I was a kid, and learned how to crochet when my partner in crime, Bailey, basically bullied me into it. (Ok, fine, I wasn’t bullied, but she harassed me regularly about converting to crochet. I caved and she was right… it’s better.) We started CKT last fall after we had both been thinking about doing something like this on our own, and the rest is history! 

Fun fact: it seems once I became a mom or turned 30 (not sure which), all solo pictures of me ceased to exist. This is me laughing and hanging on to my mom…

Anyway, that’s why I’m here, but here are just some fun facts about me: 

1. I’ve lived in Chicago for over 10 years now. Sometimes my husband and I wonder what it would be like to live elsewhere (we play the “would we live here?” game on vacations), but I doubt that will ever happen. We love Chicago and have roots here. It’s home.

2. I was a crazy runner at one point. I’ve completed 8 half marathons, and would like to increase that number to 10, but it’s not a focus right now. Staying healthy is, obviously, but I’ve taken a much more laid back approach as of late and am kind of enjoying it. 

3. Traveling is something I wish we did more of as family. The most recent vacation my husband and I took was to Iceland and it was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. I tell people you could probably go 20 times and have a different experience each time.  

Doing crazy things in Iceland… we hiked almost every day of our trip!

4. Being a good plant mom is a big goal of mine. Alas, plants just don’t love me at all. It’s still very sad to think about the day I finally gave up on the ficus tree I bought a couple of years ago. But if I can’t keep a succulent alive, the idea of keeping a ficus tree alive was just silly. 

5. I belong to two book clubs. It’s nerdy, but I’ve read quite a few wonderful books that I would have never discovered on my own, and have met a bunch of cool people along the way. And drank a lot of wine. Because that’s what book club should be about. 

6. When it comes to yarn, one goal of mine is to start writing patterns. Blankets, specifically. I just haven’t taken that leap yet, even though I play with new stitches and combinations all the time. #oneday

When your kid can no longer be trusted around the glass coffee table, you put it in storage and make life work without one.

So that was a little glimpse in my life, hopefully explaining some of the crazy that goes into my posts…. Nice to meet you and I look forward to hearing from you!

-Amy

When things go to crap

When you’re pregnant, people joke about how your life will be filled with lots of baby poop. But as a person ignorant to being a parent up to that point, you think they’re kidding.

They’re not.

We definitely had our share of poop explosions. Often at the worst possible time and almost always in one of the cuter outfits he owns.

img_7126-e1539043550277.jpg

You know what’s also crappy? Having to undo over half a scarf because you ran out of yarn. It’s perfectly acceptable to buy more yarn if you wanted to go that route, however, the whole point of the scarf was to get rid of some of the stash I don’t really have other uses for. So buying more would have defeated the point…)

But a couple of weeks ago was just oh so special.

My little guy has check-ups with a kidney specialist every six months for a mild case of hydronephrosis (it’s less scary than the name sounds). Not a big deal, I promise.

It consists of an ultrasound, urine analysis, and a quick check in with the doctor.

The ultrasound takes approximately the same amount of time as 4 rounds of baby shark, in case you were wondering.

We then go through the waiting room gauntlet until a nurse comes to attach the urine bag. He’s not particularly fond of the tables one lays on in the doctor’s office, but two more rounds of baby shark made it ok.

After the bag was in place, I had that child drinking liquids like nobody’s business. We were going to get a urine sample come hell or high water.

img_7521

Starting completely over, I found a completely different skein of yarn. Things seemed to be going well. Patience and persistence is always a virtue, right?

Until he pooped. I knew he did it. In a small room like that, and at his age, it’s not hard to know exactly when it happens.

But the issue came when it was time to change his diaper and check the urine bag. It was not a “clean” poop is the best way I can describe it without getting into super detail.

Henry already hated laying on the table. So he was twisting even before I opened the diaper.

Poop in every crevice. Poop covering the urine bag. Poop on Henry’s hand after he grabbed at it, spilling it’s contents in the process. He kicked and wriggled until he had flipped over, spreading the poop issue to his stomach.We flipped him over again (spreading it further up his back), this time met with kicks. His socks getting into the poop that had found its way onto the table. Poop started to be kicked into the air. POOP FLYING THROUGH THE AIR.

I continued to furiously pull baby wipes and just trying to clean up as much as possible when some landed on my cheek. The wipes eventually ran out, which is when the doctor called into the hallway for back up.

Henry wiped his poopy hand in his hair and on his face. He tried to grab for me and screamed even harder when I wouldn’t let him (oh did I not already mention he was screaming this whole time?). Finally, we were able to get my naked, poop covered child to calm down and stand on the floor as I wiped him from head to toe in wet paper towels.

It all lasted about 10 minutes from start to finish. The doctor plainly said it was one of the worst diaper changing incidents he had witness in quite some time.

We excel at making our doctor’s appointments memorable.

crochet scarf

And crap! I ran out of yarn AGAIN. This time I’m not sweating it… I love this particular yarn and have no issue buying more. So we shall wait again… can’t wait to get this scarf done next May…?

So to all the new parents out there, when you think it’s gross when you get poop on your hand for the first time, or under your fingernails, just you wait.

The worst is yet to come

And as a tip, if the option for both parents to be present at a doctor’s appointment is available, always take it.

-Amy