Monthly Archives: May 2007

The Plan

About once or twice a year, I get into a frenzy. The Skeptic hates this, because it pretty much means I stomp around the house saying things like:

“I can’t believe we live like this!”

“How can this house be this disorganized? Am I the only person who cares that it’s organized?”

“I can’t find anything!”

“I can’t work like this!”

This, of course, all leads up to The Plan. The Plan makes the Skeptic want to run and hide, for although he is a hard working guy, The Plan usually results in the Skeptic putting bookshelves together at 11pm, messing with drywall, of making a checkmark on a list that says he’s cleaned the toilet for the week.

Of course, we are in the middle of The Plan right now. And since we are in the middle of it, the house is currently trashed and I’m doing more organizing than anything else. Soon however, I will have pictures of my completed re-do of all my stuff and I am very. very excited about this.

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Lisa Souza: Sock! in Cant Elope. Current Project Spectrum project. Yes, it is actually on the needles.

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Somebody else is excited as well…

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Filed under home, Project Spectrum

Monster Mash

If you’re like me, you can’t bear to throw out any scrap of yarn. Even the little 6 inch leftover scraps I trim off after weaving in ends…I keep them all. This is not just me being a little over obsessive about yarn. It does serve a practical purpose, as looking at all those scraps shoved together in a plastic baggie often give me new ideas for color or texture combinations that I may not have thought of otherwise.

However, sometimes little boys find those bags of scraps. Sometimes those little boys want to “make something” with those scraps. And sometimes a mom wants to try to get a few minutes of peace and quiet and decides that not all those scraps are really that important. With that thought, I give you this very, very mini tutorial on how to make a monster with your pre-schooler.

1. Put your baby down for his nap first. That way you will get your ten minutes of quiet.

2. Gather your pre-schooler and explain that it’s a special day: they get to use Mama’s Yarn Scraps. Watch them jump up and down with glee.

3. Grap a handful of scraps and cut them up into little furry pieces.

Monster Mash 1

4. Draw a monster. Make sure he’s got a big, fat body. As you can see, refined drawing skills are not necessary!

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5. Fill up your monster’s furry spots with glue.

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6. Now comes the best part. Tell your child to put the monster’s fur on. Show him how to mash down the yarn onto the glue. Tell them to do a few pieces at a time so it sticks really well. And then, sneak away. Mop the floor, do the dishes, fold some laundry, or (gasp!) say the hell with housework and go and knit. I was a good girl and mopped the kitchen.

7. You may get called back to draw a monster dog and box to add to the picture. But nevertheless, your child will happily glue yarn, you’ll get a little break and when you’re all done:

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You’ve got a furry little monster, one baggie less of yarn scraps, a thrilled pre-schooler and a happy mom.

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Goodies!!

Oh my, Maggie, my coffee swap partner, has totally blown me away with a wonderful package!!! I was so, so thrilled!

Roving from High Prairie Fibers. I wish my picture did it justice; the flecks of color throughout are just beautiful:
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Some sweet alpaca/merino sock wool dyed with natural fibers from The Natural Dye Studio. It is so incredibly soft and I love the colors!
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Delicious treats and Peace Coffee. I love Peace Coffee, and guess what? Maggie sent me the Twin Cities blend and I had never seen that one before. Plus homeade jam and muffin mix and chocolate. Where do I even start? Breakfast tomorrow? Chocolate and coffee tonight? Hmmmm….

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And there’s more! Yummy stuff from Maggie’s own shop, Prairie Land Herbs. I wish you could smell this stuff. It’s amazing. The facial care kit is from her company and the lavendar cream soap from Heart of Iowa Soapworks. Plus a super cute card!
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Maggie, thank you so, so very much!!!! What an absolutely lovely package. I adore everything and you really brightened my day!

On another note, Guinifer finally got to me. I consider her to be the number one yarn enabler on the planet, and I couldn’t resist. You see, I’ve been searching for an elusive red and blue colorway in a sock yarn. I kept seeing it in my head but never actually found any. Until she posted about Cider Moon. I clicked, and there it was: Superman Flurry (plus samples!). My last yarn purchase until….look up. Notice anything new on the blog?

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Filed under stash, swaps

Contests and a Meme

Contest Number One:

Ali has a fun contest: Name your summer knitting goals:

I’m going to try to keep mine simple.

1.  “Cannes” in cotton braid from Rowan Beach Cool.

2. Nothing but a T-Shirt 

3. Swallowtail shawl

4. Six pairs of socks

5. Fall sweaters for the boys.

Think I can handle all that?

Contest Number Two:

For the Summer Dishcloth Swap:

What gives me hope? Watching my boys play. No matter what else is going on in the world, all I have to do is watch them and it’s all okay.

My summer adventure? Our first real family vacation, all on our own, to Colarado!!

And a meme from Shelly:

Rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.

3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
1. We have pizza every Friday night. I used to make homeade but I’ve been slacking since Knittybaby was born and we’ve been ordering out.

2. My last big vacation was to Cape Cod. We took the train because we thought it would be romantic. Unfortunately, our train was stinky and we couldn’t get any food. But Cape Cod was awesome.

3. My mom’s half of the family is from New Jersey. I love the east coast and wish we could visit more often.

4. I am in love with living in the city. I also am in love with the idea of having a farm with fiber animals. Can’t have both, and I’m not sure if I’d really like having a hobby farm of if I just like the idea of it.

5.  The Skeptic and I fell head over heels when we were only nineteen. I met him because a fellow bassoonist had a huge crush on him. They dated, it didn’t work out. Lucky for me:-)

6. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16.

7. I’ve finally decided to get my butt to IKEA, buy a bunch of shelving and cabinetry, and get all my yarn, fleece and fabric organized.

8. I’m a BBC junkie. I would move to the UK just to have full access. Instead I’m stuck watching five year old episodes of Eastenders.

Okay, I tag:  Mama Grouch, Purple Purl Girl, Jess, Craftlilly, Christy, Sassy PriscillaKittymommy, and Guinifer. Have fun!!!

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Filed under contests, random

Oh O-Mop, Part Two

The reply:

“We’re really sorry about this, and thank you for your candid an honest feedback.

 

The omop is our first attempt at a major cleaning tool, and unfortunately you have a defective mop. Fortunately we’ve sold thousands of them and only a small percentage of them have reported this defect. If you could, would you please send me pictures of the handle? We need to see how the mop broke in order to keep this from happening with future mops. Also, after we receive the pictures of the mop handle we will be happy to send out free product coupons to cover the cost of your new O-Mop.

 

In terms of the packaging, the plastic clamshell is made from #1 PETE which is the most recyclable plastic available. Apologies if the clamshell hadn’t been recycled in your area. There are times when a center will refuse to recycle an item because it seems like it can’t be recycled, even if it can. We are looking at alternative packaging for the omop, and we are looking to improve the look and feel of the entire experience.

 

If you like to speak to someone in person, please feel free to call”

I’m sending my pictures today! We’ll see what coupons I get.

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Shepherd’s Harvest

We’re in the midst of our little teething crisis. Two have poked through on top, and the bottom two aren’t all that swollen yet. I’m really hoping to get my needle rolls sewn tonight. Yes, I’m that behind. Never fear contest winners, they will be done!!!

But before I drag my machine out I’ll actually let you know what all those Flicker pictures were about.

So Shepherd’s Harvest was a blast. The guys and I started out in the morning. We went right for the llama barn and then the sheep shearing. Little Man was enthralled and had a million questions for the shearer and even got to take a sample of the fleece with him.* A shepherd in training perhaps? Knittybaby just wanted to walk around and wasn’t that impressed with the sheep. The Skeptic? Well, he’s a good sport.

At the shearing we met up with my cousin who gifted me with two, two bags of alpaca fleece!!! She was given them by a breeder to use and report back on, so all I have to do is let her know what I think of them. She gave me a bag of suri and huacaya. You’d think after that I’d have all I needed already, right?

No, because I met up with my friend Jen, my queen fiber enabler. I can completely blame her for the closet full of yarn and fiber I have, because five years ago she kept coming into work going on and on about all this knitting she was doing, and running off to spinning class. (People, I thought she was going to the gym for three months; then I realized, wait…. knitting…. spinning…. oh spinning, like, with a wheel????) Anway, I wish I had pictures of her stuff because she’s awesome (locals: buy her yarn under Knittergirl at the Textile Center!) both as an amazing spinner, knitter and all around wonderful human being. Who else will chase sheep all day with me and not get bored?

We shopped for hours. The guys left to go to a birthday party and we girls just wandered around, going nuts for all the amazing stuff we saw. I seriously could have spent a thousand bucks but kept it at under $125 as I’m saving for another exciting fiber event in June.

Here’s the rundown:

Shepherd's Harvest

1. My first fleece!!! Blue Faced Leicester/Romny from… this is terrible, I have no idea!!! I felt the fleece, saw 4.5 pounds for $36 and paid cash. They were so nice too. But the receipt doesn’t have their name on it.

2. Huacuya from my cousin.

3. Felted squares from Misty Meadow Designs. She has some seriously cool felted stuff.

4. Suri from my cousin.

5. Shirts for me and Little Man.

6. Roving from another mystery vendor. (darn cash…there’s no trail to follow!)

7. Merino roving from Carpool. She was very friendly!

8. Wool fat quarters from River Rock Wool. These will be put with those felted squares for some sort of bag.

9. Silk hankie, mystery vendor.

10. Pink fluff from Spinner’s Web.

11. My only yarn purchase from Morning Sun Fiber Barn. Don’t you love the yellow??
12. Same yarn with the 5 ounces of mohair I bought.

13. A sweet face

14. Ready for a haircut
15. Little Shepherd

16. Cozy

Sorry I don’t have more links. My memory just did not serve me well and  either the places gave me generic recepits or else they are so small they have no web site. But man, what beautiful, beautiful stuff.

*Little Man put his sample in my back pocket. The next day I threw on the same pair of jeans and ran off to a party with Little Mr. Runny Nose, I mean Knittybaby. I reached into my pocket for a tissue and found fleece, of course! Doesn’t everyone walk around with fleece in their pocket??

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Teething

I have approximately 3.5 minutes before Knittybaby will wake up again for the 80th time this evening. Therefore, there will be no long incredibly detailed post on my wonderful day at Shepherd’s Harvest. If you want a sneak peak, check out my Flickr badge. There’s lots more on my page. Otherwise stay tuned for:

A really detailed account of Shepherd’s Harvest and all the cool stuff I saw and bought.

An update on everything I’m knitting, since I realized most of my “In Progress” stuff is actually done and the stuff I’m working on isn’t even on this blog yet.

A cool community project I was a part of.

Okay, he’s still asleep. Maybe I’ll have time to brush my teeth too before I give in and just stay in bed for the night.

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My new plan….

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I’m training them already.

Not only will they be doing the dishes for me, but mopping and folding laundry too.  I’ll sit on the sofa drinking coffee and knitting socks. Seriously, it’s really going to work. Look how hard they’re working!

Okay, I’m delusional because soon after I took that picture there was a tidal wave of water on the floor and I had to rewash but hey, a girl can dream, right?

Shepherd’s Harvest is this weekend! I’m excited, although it looks as if we’ll have to be out of there by 12:30 in order to get Little Man to a birthday party. The idea of maybe skipping it so we could stay longer was not met with much enthusiasm (many tears in fact) so we’ll try to make it back for the last hour of the party. That means I plan on getting the family there at 9am sharp.  I really wanted to pick a meet up time, but not so sure how that will work with limited time there now. But, we’ll probably be around the sheep shearing area around 11 or so. Just keep your eye out for the pink flowered baby sling (with the baby of course!) and a very shaggy four year old. Hope to see some of you out there!

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Joy

We made it to the May Day Fesitval on Sunday. We missed the parade, which was sad as it is really one of my favorite events all summer. Take some time to check out the link; fabulous puppets and constumes. We did manage to get there to see the pagent and sing “You Are My Sunshine” with the crowd…I love that part and it always makes me tear up just a little (I’m sappy like that) but the best part came afterwards, when Little Man, Knittybaby and I were heading back to the car while the Skeptic finished up his work. (He always gets stuck doing audio for Mayday).

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Anyway, the three of us were getting ready to hike up the big hill towards our car, but we decided to grab some ice cream first. As we sat there, a local Cuban band started up. They were fabulous and Little Man was really into it. He finished up his ice cream and found a pink, wilted flower on the ground. I was beat and trying to convince him to head up the hill with me. We got about 20 feet up when all of a sudden he puts the flower stem between his teeth and just started dancing this happy, gleeful little dance…the funniest most joyful dance I’ve ever seen. The kind of dance only a four year old can do. I neglected to have my camera, but it was one of those moments that I will always have captured in my heart. I gave in and we ran back down the hill into the crowd and I watched him dance his little heart out until we were finally tired enough to head home.

I finished the apron on time. Wiggly boys are not very good models.

kitten apron one

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The finished shot:

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Finally, for my Dishcloth Swap partner:

  1. When did you learn to knit? Who taught you? Wow, four years ago now! A friedn got my started then my Grandma made sure I really knew what I was doing.
  2. What was your very first completed object? A little garter stitch hat for Little Man. Your most recent? A hat and sweater set for my nephew.
  3. What was the very first thing you sent to the frog pond? A sock (pulled out and started over) Your most recent?  A sock! 🙂
  4. What is currently on the needles for you? Four pairs of socks, Swallowtail Shawl, a Noro Cotton/silk scarf.
  5. What types of needles do you enjoy working with? I’m pretty flexible. Pretty much depends on the typw of project. But usually bamboo or Addis. What have you tried and hated? The only ones I really hate are super sticky ones.
  6. Have you knit dishcloths before? Yup!
    1. What was your favorite one? Mason-Dixon
    2. Least favorite? None, really…
  7. Do you use homemade dishcloths or face cloths yourself, or give them as gifts, or both? Both!
  8. What are your favorite and least favorite scents? (For your body, such as soap/lotion/etc) I love lavender and citrus, but it’s got to be 100% natural, no artificial dyes or fragrances. I’m pretty sensitive:-)
  9. What are your favorite colors? Pinks, blues, browns. Lately I’m on a yellow and green kick.
  10. What colors (if any) are your bathroom and kitchen decorated in? Blue bathroom. The kitchen, pink!
  11. What other hobbies and crafts do you enjoy? Spinning, sewing, crochet.
  12. Chocolate: Dark? White? Milk? Ew? All of the above! (except ew:-)
  13. Do you like salty treats? What kinds? Cashews, almonds, any kind of nut really.
  14. If you could go anywhere in the world for one day and spend the day any way you wanted, where would you go and what would you do? Italy. Eat and knit
  15. Do you have any allergies? (Yarns, foods, etc. that might impact what your pal can send) nope!

Crying baby, not proofreading tonight! 🙂

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Filed under finished objects, kids, swaps

Oh, O-Mop!!

Okay, so I was pretty exccited about the concept of Method’s O-mop. I’d never bought a product like this before as I didn’t wan’t to be throwing all those sheets in the trash. But compostable? Heck yeah! I was thrilled and went out and purchased one about three months ago.

The dry sheets work great and picked up every little spot of dust and cat hair off my floors. The wet cloths also do the job well and for the most part I was very pleased.

So what’s the trouble??

First, I was disappointed that the refillable sheets come in a plastic clamshell, which is not recyclable in Minneapolis. What’s wrong with consumer-waste cardboard, which can be recycled in most places? I could picture something much cuter than the plastic and more environmentally friendly. Something very Martha-ish, brown cardboard with a sweet little label.

Second, the microfiber wet cloth works great, but the one long velcro strip down the midle isn’t enough. The mop folds up when I scrub back and forth. Two horizontal strips would probably do the trick.

Finally, the worst problem? The plastic handle on top broke off!! This is the biggest disappointment. I expect a mop to last for YEARS, not months. This first two troubles I’ll deal with. But broken?? Nope. I think this is one of the biggest troubles in our consumer laden society. Stuff breaks, but it’s so cheap that we just toss it in the garbage rather than complain.

I’m complaining. I actually wrote to them about all of the above. I can’t remember the last time I wrote to a company about what happened. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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