Category Archives: swaps

Favorite Room Friday

So Funny Magic is spearheading the idea of Favorite Room Friday, and I had to make sure I posted on this one. I’m sure she’d love it if you played along too!

I had two decisions to make: which room, and do I clean it?

Which room was tough as I love both the sun room and my workroom. But I’ve shared my workroom with you before, and the sun room lately has been a much favorite spot for the whole family, so the sun room it is.

To clean it? Well, I decided to do all moms out there a service and show it in it’s reality as it is this morning. Complete with an untidy nature table, box of old books that need to be sorted, and general untidiness. The floor is dirty, the Valentine’s decoration still hanging, and it’s under the light of a gray Minnesota morning.

This was the room that sold me on this house. This was also the room that Spinner was born in. (Imagine a birth tub right there in the middle of the room, just when the sun is coming up. Pure birthing heaven!)


The boys have their corner….


And I have mine….

(That’s a blurry one, isn’t it?)

I can sit in this room with the boys while they work in my vintage recliner, the one my grandfather always sat in when he visited, with the sun shining and maybe a bit of knitting with a cup of tea. In the warm months, I can sit hear and see the boys playing outside while I listen to their chatter. I usually choose to just be one with mess that is, and save the cleaning for later.


So what’s your favorite room??

I can’t leave this post without also giving a huge thanks to Emicat! (I’m so behind this week!) She was my Knitters’ Coffeeswap IV partner and boy did she pull off a great package!!!


She was a perfect partner since we both love organic, local and fair trade! I got some amazing Seattle coffee from Cafe Ladro along with some phenomenal local chocolates! She sent me some sweet knitter socks and some felt sheep coasters that my coffee has been resting on all week. (At least when Knittykid hasn’t stolen them, he loves them too). There was also a hand knit coffee cozy in my one of my favorite colors these days! And of course, she read my mind and realized the Duet sock yarn was one of the yarns I keep looking at and coveting;, she sent some in a beautiful green colorway. (She knows the dyer, how lucky is that???)I wish I’d taken a close up, but I had to take my picture quickly before the boys came down and saw there was chocolate in the box.

Thank you so much Emicat!!! This was a totally awesome box and everything fits me to a T. You make me want to visit Seattle right now!



Filed under home, kids, packages, random, swaps

That time of year again…

Knitters’ Coffee Swap IV!!!

1. Whole bean or ground? Whole Bean.

2. Fully-loaded or decaf? Finally, I can be back on the caffeine, yay!!

3. Regular or flavored? Plain old beans for me please. I OD’d on flavored coffees back in college.

4. How do you drink your coffee? Black first thing in the morning. With milk later in the day.

5. Favorite coffee ever? Birchwood blend from Peace Coffee. Absolute heaven!

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? Oh yeah, I’m fussy. Fresh roasted, stuff from smaller roasters is my fave. Organic, fair trade.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!! And scones.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? I like medium roast the best. Not a big fan of French roast.

9. Yarn/fiber you love? Natural fibers, handpaints, Indie dyers, Purewool, Malabrigo….

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Anything fake. And I don’t hate it, but I’m drowning in sock yarn right now. 🙂

11. What’s on your needles? Ubernatural (bulky sweater) lots of socks, a hat for me, baby legwarmers…

12. Favorite colors? I pretty much love everything, although I’m not a big fan of bright purple or purple/pink combined. I’ve really been loving oranges, greens and blues these days.

13. Allergies? nope

14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest? I especially love local stuff that I can’t find around here, or online/indie stuff. Now…how did it get to be 10pm already??

Spinner rolling around in his latest Picky Pants knit in Mosaic Moon‘s BFL, colorway “Selkie.”



Filed under knitting, soakers, swaps

Knitters’ Coffeeswap Four

For those who have been patiently waiting, sign ups for Coffeeswap Four will be on January 21st, 6pm central. Directions will be posted here. Limited to only 50 so I can keep my sanity!


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That Pesky Control Thing

Yup, it’s back again. Complete creative license for the five year old vs. my need for order, neatness and a vision fulfilled.

I signed Little Man up for a handmade international kids’ card swap. Very cool, he’s excited, I’m excited.

Option #1: Plan the design of the card ahead of time. Gather needed supplies, give instructions, make ten cards all pretty much the same way. Let him do te work, but still participate fully.

Option #2: Hand out 10 blank cards, glitter glue, yarn and fiber, and the “odds and ends” box of stuff. Tell him to “make some cool cards” and then try to do my own project at the same time while interrupting very few minutes with “watch the glue!” and “hang on a second” and “maybe you could try to be a little neater?”

Guess which one won out?


Yup, Option #2

Probably the most interesting set of cards I’ve seen all year. 🙂 And I will say that they are full of heart and 100% his.

It’s funny, I can really see value in both options. I love sitting down at the wheel and spinning whatever I feel like. However, if I had never made yarn before and someone gave me some fiber and said, “make some yarn, have fun!” I’d be more than a bit frustrated.

When Little Man started the cards, he really didn’t know what to do with all that stuff and became frustrated himself. I also got frustrated because while I wanted him to have fun and be creative, I also want him to learn to take his time and do his best work, especially when making something for someone else. For example, it’s probably best not to eat cheese puffs while you make cards. (Am I publically admitting I have cheese puffs in the house? Hey, at least they were organic!) And if you get cheese puff dust all over the card you should probably make a new one. (Yes, even if you wouldn’t mind receiving a cheese-dust laden card yourself.)

A battle of wills again, and again, I think it’s somewhere in the middle that we need to meet. Are you making gifts with children this year? What’s your approach?

We’re using freezer paper to paint t-shirts next week. Definitely doing that one step by step. (Ask me how I know. And why I’m I painting t-shirts anyway? Didn’t I just have a baby???)


Filed under crafting with kids, family, giving, swaps, Uncategorized

So what did I knit?

Wow, didn’t mean to go a whole week with no post. It’s been a long week. Some parts great, some parts not so great, and I could write for an hour and still not get into it all. So I’m going directly to the knitting. (I will say, however, that the Skeptic and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on November 1st. Because that’s very happy news, too happy to leave out!:-)

So first, you’re all wondering what skein did I order? I’m taking my time, but right now I’m torn between Wollmeise (color!! yardage!!!) and Yarn Love (color! bamboo! silk!). Handmaiden had become my first choice, but my dear mom asked me to knit a hat for her, which means she’s buying. So I still get to knit up some beautiful Handmaiden Mini Maiden for my mom. (She picked out the Webs Tam).

What did I knit to hit ten?

Superhero Socks!!!
Picture 002

Little Man requested “superhero” socks in the colors of red, white and blue. I had some Lion Brand Magic Stripes sitting around that was perfect for the job. Both boys are extremely pleased I’m finally done. So am I, as I have to say Magic Stripes was not my favorite to knit with. There was just a feeling to the yarn that I didn’t like, too nylon-ish, maybe. But it did the job, the socks are comfy and the boys are happy.

Picture 007

Yes, that’s an end sticking out. Knittybaby doesn’t seem to mind. When asked, “Do you like your socks he says, “I do!” However, he also answers “I do” to every question asked these days, so who knows. He seems happy.
Picture 002

Just don’t tell Little Man I posted them on the blog. He informed me halfway through our photo shoot that these are “secret socks” and bailed as soon as he realized I planned to reveal them to the world.

Skeptic Socks!!!!
Skeptic socks

He refused to take off the sandals but I think you get the idea:
Skeptic socks 2
(Note to self, dining room with crappy need-to-be-refinished floors and crummy old table not the best place to take pictures, especially with a flash.)

Out of yarn!

The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (unknown colorway) and Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino for the cuffs and parts of the leg on one sock.

It’s interesting, I started with two pretty evenly divided balls of the Cherry Tree Hill. I knit the first sock with the smaller ball and added the brown cuff for a bit more length. The second sock was knit with the bigger ball, and I was nearly out of yarn soon after turning the heel. I blended in the brown Lucy Neatby in with the Cherry Tree Hill, which worked out okay. But clearly one needs two skeins of Cherry Tree for a pair of man’s socks.

And the Skeptic??? He is coming around to hand knit socks. As for these, he says the fit is great and they are quite comfortable. The only problem? His feet got too hot. Now, it was only in the 50’s this weekend, so we’ll see now that it’s cooler out. But his next pair (yes, he loves them enough to get a second pair) will be in a cotton or bamboo blend.

After the knitting, we have goodies!!!! My Coffeeswap package arrived this week. I uncovered my batteries yesterday so I could finally take pictures. Look what Mrs. Pao sent!!!

Picture 021

This is such a gorgeous package. Chocolates, cookies, coffee, yarn and adorable stitch markers! I’m so happy with it all. Mrs. Pao will notice that some items are missing as we could not wait for the batteries to devour the treats. The coffee was quickly brewed up and the treats opened. I had two other smaller packets of coffee and a bunch of the 1 Euro white chocolate coins. Too yummy to wait! (Wow, my photography skills are not too hot here.)

Let’s try a yarn picture with the flash. This is much more true to the color (if I only had sunlight!)
Picture 022

She sent Posh Yarn and it is just gorgeous. I am so in love with this yarn that I cast on for a tam already. The color is to die for. (I’m crazy for green lately).

Thank you Mrs. Pao for such a wonderful package!!! I hope you love yours as much!!!

This last picture is for my mom.

A guest

The sweetest stray beagle in the world, as well as perfect houseguest. She totally wants to go home to you. Little Man says you’d better talk Grandpa into it. 🙂


Filed under finished objects, socks, swaps

My Swap Questions

I have the lovely Mrs. Pao as my swap partner! Here are my questions:

1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? I probably should mix in some decaf since caffiene keeps me up more these days than it used to, but I still love it fully loaded. Decaf just never tastes the same
3. Regular or flavored? Definitely regular. I used to like flavors like hazelnut or vanilla, but my MIL is on a flavored coffee kick, and since that last batch of cranberry (yes, cranberry!) flavored coffee I vowed to never drink flavored again
4. How do you drink your coffee? In the mornings, black and very strong. Afternoons I like a latte or cafe au lait.
5. Favorite coffee ever? This is tough….I’d say Peace Coffee is my favorite brand. Darker roasts.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? Yeah, I’m pretty fussy. I typically buy fair trade, organic, or from small local roasters. I’m terrible at actually remembering the blends and roasts that I like. I always forget what kind I buy.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate…all kinds!Baked good are always nice too.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? Don’t think so, except that I would love a magic spell that would keep my boys quietly happy for at least ten minutes every morning so I could drink my coffee really, really hot:-)
9. Yarn/fiber you love? Handpainted sock yarn, Malabrigo, Manos, any natural fibers. I especially love local/online or smaller dyers and yarn companies, stuff that I can’t find in the shops around here is always a nice surprise.

10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Acrylics, froo-frooish/fluffy stuff
11. What’s on your needles? A lot of socks,  Leaf sweater, . Wow, I need to update my pictures, I don’t even have half this stuff on the blog now.
12. Favorite colors? Just about everything except pastels, although I do love pink. I’m on a big red/turquoise kick. I’ve also really been digging green and orange lately. But really, I love it all: earthy, bright, jeweled,  tweedy, muted. It’s all good. But I do hate pink and  purple together. That one is so so, not good (unless you are a nine year old girl:-)!
13. Allergies? Nope
14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest. Actually, today, no, today is good.  Apparently, I am a “silly, pooper doupa liar touka” because I don’t let four year olds watch football on lovely fall days when they should be outside.


Filed under swaps

I need one more.

Anyone sad they missed the Coffeeswap sign ups? Guess what, you still have one tiny chance as we need one more swapper to make it even. (Seriously, when will I learn to count?) Head here for the scoop and be the first to e-mail in your info to get that spot.


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Swap Madness

Well, it’s Coffeeswap time again. The swap is closed but I’m buried in swap business right now, so things will be a bit quiet here until I get the partners all matched up and sent out.

I’ll have lots to share as soon as I’m caught up with the swap. Here’s a teaser:

Sweet Baby Hat

Any guesses?


Filed under swaps


I will open up Knitters’ Coffee Swap Three at 12:01am Central Time.

I’ll also announce our three Sow the Seeds winners tomorrow night! Thanks again for all the donations! You guys really do rock…

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Filed under contests, swaps

The Final Stretch

So this is the final week for the Sow the Seeds fundraising contest, and have I got a treat for you!!

Jess has very generously offered up a couple of more prizes to the choices. Look what we have here!!!

The first is a skein of her very own handspun, the second is Cherry Tree Hill. Add that to the choice of either Spunky Eclectic or Fleece Artist that I originally offered and now we’ll have three winners!!!

Remember, all the contest info is over on the sidebar. I’m hoping we can get to at least $300 to help out our farmers. The final day to donate and enter is September 29th. Every dollar makes a difference and gets you an entry for some lovely yarn. And don’t forget to spread the word!

In other news, Knitters’ Coffeeswap Three will be opening up on October first. I’m off to set up the new blog after this post, so I’ll put up the link once it’s ready. I’ve decided to have some hostess help this time. The last swap was just too overwhelming and a lot of work, but I know how much people have enjoyed it so I’d like to keep it going. Keep your eyes open and be ready to sign up. I expect that between the five of us we’ll take about 120 swap members, and those spots will go fast!

I’m so bummed, I had a great sock/hat photoshoot this weekend with Knittybaby and my camera connector is nowhere to be seen, so until I figure out which certain small person has taken it I can’t show you my now completed Embossed Leaves socks.

Did I mention that I picked up this book? Wrap Style and Lace Style didn’t jump out at me as much as Folk Style has. I think it’s the colors; they are just amazing and so beautifully put together. There is also a lot of interesting colorwork, embroidery and embellishments.

As for the patterns, I love the Urban Hand Warmers and the Grand Tour Waistcoat. There are some great kids knits: some very cute mukluks and a couple of nice sweaters, and are you ready for this? A baby sling!

I’m smitten with the idea of a knit baby sling, although I’m not sure how practical it is. If you were going to knit a baby carrier, I think a pouch would be much more practical than a sling. In order for a sling to work smoothly you need the fabric to slip easily through the rings so you can tighten and loosen it up. Plus, they should have used a model that actually knows how to carry a baby in a sling. She’s just sort of holding the baby in the sling rather than letting the sling do the work, so you can’t tell how well it holds. I don’t know…anyone ever knit a baby carrier?


Filed under books, contests, swaps