Category Archives: shopping

A little something extra….

I love dresses. I want to sew a ton of dresses, but have no time to actually do it, it seems. So my closet is lacking. And to buy some? Well, I never seem to find any that live up to what I’m wishing for.

Then I received an e-mail last week from Shabby Apple. Would my readers like a coupon? I visited the site and thought, oh yes, would they ever.









These are the dresses… beautiful, practical, vintage styling…gorgeous. I could wear these on a date night, I could wear them to the store. So, a little gift for you this weekend. Enter the coupon code knittymama10off by April 30th to receive 10% off your order. Enjoy!!



Filed under shopping, stuff to love


This is not yuck. This is good…a skein of Pagewood Farm Chugiak in Plum ( to knit Ysolda Teague’s Damson) and  a copy of the All New Homespun Handknit. This part I was planning on today.


This is the yuck.

Nothing against Rowan Wool Cotton, or even the celery color. Perfectly nice yarn, perfectly nice color. But it’s not what I wanted and it’s the situation that required the purchase that makes it a yuck.

Knittykid had a birthday party today, and I had a coupon to use, so I took advantage of being without a rowdy three year old and hit a LYS.

Little Man was whiny and annoyed about being there, but he was fine. Spinner was secured in the backpack, so I picked out my skein of yarn, looked through the books and grabbed my favorite and had about $10 to spend to be able to use my coupon. As I looked over the tweeds, I felt something dragging behind me. Spinner had grabbed the Rowan off the shelf and pulled the label off, with the ball beginning to unwind.

As I reigned it in, thinking it could easily be put back together, an employee held out her hand, “Here,” she said and proceeded to wind it up while making small talk. “Nope. I’m going to have to put this in the sale bin.” She sounded annoyed. I thought I could have wound it up and made it look like new,or at least pretty close.

But, not wanting to be “that” customer, I told her I could buy it if I needed to. It’s my kid, and he did mess it up. That’s when it got weird. She just handed the ball to me. No “thanks for doing that, I know it’s hard shopping with kids but we appreciate you buying the skein”  or even just a “thanks” or better, what I was hoping for, “thanks, but don’t worry about it.” Just this weird vibe that I was this annoying customer who dared to think her one year old was safe from all yarn in a back carrier. No empathy at all, which just made me feel embarrassed and dumb.

At the counter, I still got the cold shoulder. When the other employee rang it all up she asked the yarn winding employee if it was a sale yarn. She just replied no, and I told her that my son grabbed it off the shelf and it unwound a bit, so I guess I needed to buy it, in kind of a half laughing but half yeah-this-sucks voice. Again, no comment at all.

It was the no comment on the situation that made me feel so dumb. Shopping with kids is tough, and as much as parents try to avoid it sometimes it’s what you’ve got to do. The Twin Cities is a pretty kid friendly place, and this yarn store has usually been good when I’m there with my kids. They even have a basket of toys, which to me says that yes, you can bring the little ones in. So the vibe there today really threw me. I was already annoyed about the yarn, and while it would have been nice for them to say “no worries, you don’t need to buy it” I’m fine with buying it if that’s what I needed to do. It was an accident but it was still my kid.

But, had it been my yarn shop, I think first up I would have said no worries, and given the mom the option to not buy it, because for me I’d rather lose the $2 I’d knock off the price to not have some poor mother feel like an idiot. And then if she did still insist on buying it, jeeze, I’d at least say thanks!! And give her a little love. Instead I just got the Minnesota passive aggressive vibe. That’s what made the whole experience a big “yuck.” Not that Spinner messed up a skein of yarn and I had to buy it (like I said, my kid, my responsibility) but it was the total lack of empathy, or a “thanks for doing that” which made me leave and feel like I don’t ever want to go back, I don’t care how much Malabrigo and indie sock yarn they have.

Now, to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe I’m being too sensitive. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe instead of sounding like the “tired, slightly frazzled but still friendly mom” I came across as the “tired and bitchy mom.” But, I’m pretty sure I was nice. And I know I was trying my best, and I know I did not let my one year old loose to run about the shop and rip all the yarn off the shelves. And yes my six year did complain a bit too loud at times and he did put a skein of yarn on his head and say “look mom! I have green hair!” But the green yarn was undisturbed and he stopped when I asked him. So in terms of a mom with two kids in a yarn store I thought we did pretty darn good overall, up until the yarn grab.

So there, end of the yucky Rowan saga. End of rant, I feel better now. It’s been a long day, The Skeptic is on an 18 hour workday, which is one of the reasons I feel the need to rant about this a bit, so thanks for sticking with me if you read to the end. Now, all three boys are asleep. Keep your fingers crossed that they stay asleep so I can have a quiet evening of knitting and recover from this very long day…

Now, anyone want to buy a skein of Rowan? 😉


Filed under shopping

Phat Fiber

First, thanks for all the kind words. My leg is on the mend and I’m up and about and feeling pretty good. I was smart and stayed home Thursday as well despite the fact that the violins needed me, but oh well, they’ll survive as will the kids.   I’ve never quite had a muscle injury like that one before. The ice is my new enemy.

So…. Phat Fiber??

I scored a box:

If you haven’t run across this yet, it’s a sample box of fiber, yarn and other goodies from indie sellers. I sold some yarn and had a little fiber money to spend so I thought I’d try this out for a change, and I’m so glad I did.

The box cost $33, and I’ll admit that after I placed my order I started thinking of how much fiber I could actually buy for $33, but then I realized I’m overrun with fiber and yarn right now. This is a great way to play with a bunch of new stuff and see how I like it all without committing to just one item. What will I do with it all? You’ll have to wait and see!


Filed under shopping, spinning, stash, stuff to love

(There is yarn content in here, I promise!!!)

I’m going to admit that my online attention has been elsewhere. I’ve barely read more than a handful of blogs in the last two weeks and rarely left a comment. And for what? My latest obsession, not yarn or fiber (although that’s always an obsession), but diapers.

A few of you will be in the know about this, but most of you will be thinking, “diapers?” How much time can a girl spend obsessing about diapers? Let me tell you, LOTS of time.

Because there is a lovely place called Hyenacart. Sort of like Etsy, but aimed more at families/natural living. There are gorgeous, gorgeous cloth diapers here. And while the Fuzzi Bunz and prefolds have served me well for the boys, they are old and worn and it’s time to step it up. This kid is getting handmade fitteds, such as my cute red monkey diaper I found this weekend.

The thing is, diaper shopping is as much work as yarn shopping when it comes to small, indie sellers. You basically need to stalk the sites and grab them when you have the chance. Plus, I’m trying to stick to some sort of budget. After all, cloth diapers are supposed to be saving me money, not break the bank. So I’ve been looking for a few nice splurges as well as the more budget friendly sellers as well. But wow, there is so much to choose from  (if I can only get to them first!)

And of course, this is not just a post about buying diapers. This is a blog about making things, and that includes diapers. So I’m also obsessing about sewing diapers and of course, knitting soakers. (See, there is knitting in here!!) But I’ve never sewn a diaper, and it’s been two years since I’ve made a soaker, so I’m out of the loop. There are patterns to look at and yarn to obsess about. Amazingly, my stash is not very full of good soaker yarn, and this is the best part I have to share with all of YOU knitters out there.

You see, I thought I was pretty up on my internet yarn sources. I’ve haunted Etsy and most of the smaller yarn sellers online, so I was sure I’d seen it all.  Nope. Because in all my soaker research/Hyenacart shopping, I’ve made a discovery. There is more yarn out there. Yarn I’ve never even heard of, dyers I’ve never run across, all that seem to lurk within the cloth diaper circuit. And this is nice stuff, beautiful colors, interesting yarns. A lot of very specific wools out there that would be nice for more than soakers. Lots of BFL, targhee, organic, rambouillet, handspun….a lot of beautiful yarn.

Want a peak? Go here. And here. Also here. And to see all of it, here. And don’t forget Spot’s Corner, where you can see who is selling off their stash (and you could sell yours!).

So hopefully, in exchange for some new yarn shopping for all of you, you’ll forgive my little blog-reading hiatus here. I promise I’ll be lurking around again soon, as soon as I’ve spent all my money:-)


Filed under shopping, stash, stuff to love

No Coast Craft-O-Rama Highlights

Well, I managed to make it through all of No Coast, although it took me two days and two visits to do so. As usual, there was an amazing group of crafters there this year. I’m on a serious budget this month so I didn’t buy too much, but I make note of quite a few favorites that I will be shopping from later. Here is a handful to help you out with your holiday shopping!

Lemonade Bags: Okay, I admit I’m totally biased on this on as the seller is my dear friend Annik. But, she is also incredibly talented and I’ve actually hinted to the Skeptic many times that I really want one of her totes for Christmas. They are a great all purpose bag but they also would make an exceptionally good knitting bag as they have extra pockets on the inside and are much sturdier than most of the bags I’ve seen around. Plus her designs are adorable. (Annik’s also started blogging, so be sure to check in and give her a hello!)

Rectangle: Screenprinted clothing, but with more original cuts than I’ve seen around. No plain old t-shirts here! This is one seller I’m going to have to save up for. Gorgeous scarves.

Tillylula: Adorable fabric and paper earrings. I actually wanted to buy a pair and I forgot to go back, and I could kick myself for it.

Cosmo’s Collars: Cutest dog collars ever.

Biggs and Featherbelle: Lovely soaps and body products.

Green Apple Yarn: Lovely handspun. Her Etsy shop is empty right now but I’d guess she’ll have it back up now that Craftorama is over.

Aisha Celia Designs: More handspun, plus hand dyed yarns. She also had some great dye it yourself kits for sale. I bought from her last year and she really has some high quality stuff. Her hand dyed merino was amazing.

Harrilu: Oh, how I loved Harrilu. I need a shirt for both myself and the boys, and I had to really control myself to not break out the credit card for these.

Pumpkin Girl Cards: So cute. Can’t say what I bought since they are gifts, but all her stuff was just the cutest. She has lots more than cards.

Sinister Bags: I got one of these last year as a gift and it is still one of my favorite bags ever. I get compliments every time use it.

Wild Oats Diaperz: Another local mom I know; if you’re into cloth diapering this is a site for you. I bought the cutest robot diaper for Knittybaby and some boxers for Little Man. She’s also got baby shoes and some costumes.

I could seriously go on all night, but I’d better stop there. If you want more ideas go to the No Coast Craft-o-rama site and check out their list of vendors.

In the meantime, I’ll be gearing up for the Handmaiden’s Craftsmas Indie art and Craft show on the 9th in Minneapolis. Lots more good stuff!!!

Lastly, if you’re in town and you’re looking for something to do with the family, stop by the Textile Center on Sunday (the 2nd) from 12-4. It’s family day and I’ll be heading up the pre-school activity. Parents get to shop in the gallery while the kiddos make something fibery. Hope to see you there!


Filed under shopping

I Love This

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I’ll amend this a bit to be buy handmade or local, as there are a few items I want for the boys that I can’t make. But, I’m thinking that about 75% of my gifts will be handmade items and the rest from small local shops. I may have to order this crane if my local toy shop can’t order it for me, but that should be the only non-locally purchased item.

Since I’m trying not to be crazy, I won’t be making everything myself. But, with Etsy as an online option that makes life much easier. And for you locals who might be wondering where you can get great handmade items, here’s a quick Twin Cities rundown of where I’ll be shopping for handmade goods:

I Like You at 42nd and Nicollet in Minneapolis. Seriously, this is an awesome, awesome shop. It’s like having my own personal Etsy shop to visit whenever I want.

Edited to add: I Like You is sponsoring the Handmaiden Minneapolis Craftmas: Indie Art and Craft Show on December 9th. I’m quite psyched about this and now need to save even more money!

Gift Shop Co-op at 3023 E 35th Street. I haven’t been here yet but it looks intriguing.

No Coast Craftorama!!!! ‘Nuff said.

Textile Center at 3000 UniversityAve SE. They have an ongoing holiday sale with the grand opening being this weekend. They even have a family day on December 2nd, where you can shop while the kiddos have fun. I’ll be teaching the pre-school activitiy that day, so if you come stop by to say hi!

Re-Gifts at 1842 E. 42nd St in Minneapolis. Awesome shop, and I just noticed they have an online shop too, if you’re not a local.

I’m going to try to do my top ten Etsy shops another day. Have a great weekend!


Filed under local, shopping