September 16, 2015

Mom's can do it all, right?

So!  First of all.  I AM NOT PREGNANT.  Just had to put that front and center because it seems like the last two times I talked about a vague "big thing" and then disappeared it was because there was a baby involved.  But no.  NOOOOPE.  NO.  To the point where because everyone I know is pregnant I am in the awesome/slightly painful process of purging all of the baby things.  ANYWAYS.

The big thing that caused me to disappear for a bit was that Destination Yarn - my hand dyed yarn company - was a vendor at STITCHESmidwest:
Stitches Midwest 2015

Stitches Midwest 2015
It's one of the biggest knitting shows in the country and is held at an actual convention center.  It was awesome and amazing and I learned SO much about knitting and business and vending and dying.  It was refreshing down to my core and also exhausting.

Stitches Midwest 2015
My "I can't believe I"m doing this!" face
Because of Stitches Destination Yarn has taken off in ways I couldn't have imagined.  Turning this little hobby of mine that was basically just bonus into an actual business and an actual for real job is amazing.  And overwhelming.  And awesome.  And insane.

Stitches Midwest 2015
And I"m going to work my butt off and make sure it really happens because THIS.  This is what I have wanted.  This is the goal I've been vaguely (and at times in a very crooked path) working towards for years now.

Stitches Midwest 2015
But that means that there has been NO balance.  I am all Destination Yarn all the time.  So everything else - with the exception of my kids/husband - has disappeared into a world of non-essentials.  However, I'm learning that there HAS to be balance.  And a balanced version of my life absolutely involves this blog.  I've been doing this for almost a decade now and I missed it sorely.


Plus having creative outlet that isn't all Destination Yarn is healthy and fuels creativity in other areas.


I'm just not sure what that looks like yet.  Honestly, probably like this.  An old school web-journal.  With stuff about my kids that isn't all click-baity (part of my break was fueled by some serious disgust with the world of parenting on the internet.  I may or may not get into that later but suffice it to say you will find no Listicles of Judging here).

There will always be knitting and yarn and travel and Cleveland and whatever is fueling my creative engine at the moment.  I may separate out the business stuff... I might not.  I'm working on figuring all of that out.

But yeah.  Baby steps toward balance.  Baby steps towards doing it all.  By opening up a browser window and writing something today I have at least taken that first, tiny step.  BOOM.


June 3, 2015

Road Trip Prep: PACK ALL THE YARN.

So!   Very soon we leave on an epic road trip.  The kind that Google Maps laughs at you when you type in and just gives you the time it would take to fly there.  Because noone in their right mind wants to drive 1300 miles one way with 3 kids in the car, right?
Shut up, google.

Yes.  We are taking the kids to South Dakota.  By way of Chicago (because our daughter begged us to stop there).  It's going to be epic.  I've never been to this part of the country before so I'm really excited. We've been planning/organizing/practice hiking/packing for what feels like months.  SO MUCH PACKING.  The big question is... how much yarn does one bring for 40 some hours in the car?

Big box o pretty headed out to Knitting on the Square tonight! #destinationyarn #indiedyer #etsyseller #yarnie #handdyedyarn #knit #knitting #operationsockdrawer #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram
I suppose that isn't realistic (although I have been known to sneak yarn in the car under the seats in case of emergency).  So I'm focusing on projects.  Obviously I have to bring my #ALLINCLE socks:

Heel turned, game won. Happiness ensues. #allincle #cavs #knitting #indiedyer #destinationyarn #yarn #handdyedyarn #yarnie #operationsockdrawer #knittersofinstagram #instaknit
Don't even talk about the fact that I will be in South Dakota when Cleveland brings home it's first championship in my lifetime.  I CAN'T EVEN.
But a pair of socks is not going to be enough.  So I dyed up a shiny new colorway that I"m hoping will match a good part of our trip.  Introducing, PRAIRIE:

Prairie Yarn

Prairie Yarn
It's a kettle dyed / stipple dyed colorway.  So it is mainly a total green with a few tiny flicks of dark green throughout.  It is swatching up beautifully:

Prairie Yarn

An epic trip deserves an epic project.  So I'm going to knit this:

Photo from the Ravelry pattern page linked below.
It's the Feather and Fan-tastic pattern that I found while stalking everything knit in fingering weight on Ravelry.  I think it's beautiful.  The lace is enough to keep it interesting without taking away from the yarn.  Plus the wavy-ness of the pattern will mimic the wavy prairie grass.  I like that.
Photo from the Ravelry pattern page linked above.
Also the pattern is based on something that Lady Edith wore on Downton Abbey and she's the bestest so.... yeah.  Had to knit it.
Prairie Yarn

Yay for epic adventures and epic projects!

PS all of this yarn is available at Destination Yarn.

June 2, 2015

End of the Year Teacher Gifts

So!  SO MUCH has been going on with the girl lately.  Like the very last day of Kindergarten ever:

Last day of School
SHE DID IT!  We survived!  The first kid in all day school is a BIG adjustment.  To say the least.  But we're on the other side of it now.  And she did fantastic.  And the boys adjusted to spending the day without their girl.  All good things.  As her teacher put it "she is SO ready for first grade!"

Her teachers were awesome.  I can't say enough good things about them.  She really blossomed this year.

Last day of School
Also they are knitters!  No, really.  New knitters becoming obsessive knitters.  At one point during the year I pointed them at Ravelry.  MWAHAHAHAHAHAH.  And during her conference - after the conferency things and important stuff was over, of course - I answered knitting questions for them.  YEAH.  When you're an indie dyer and your kid's teachers are knitters end of the year gifts are easy:

Last day of School
Campus International colorway.  BOOM.
My daughter actually designed the colorway.  She did a sketch of her school colors to show me what colors to use.  I mixed the dye and then she did this:

@Regrann from @destinationyarn -  I had a helper in my studio today!  Her teachers became KNITTERS this year so she's helping me dye up some end of the year gifts.  #knittersofinstagram #dyersofinstagram #indiedyer #yarn #Regrann


Last day of School
It was very fun.  To complete the gift I packaged the whole thing as a sock kit.  This is their first time knitting socks so I figured they needed a pattern and needles as well:

Last day of School
The kits are leftover from way back when I set them up to sell at Joseph Beth Booksellers.  I had 3 different kits of Destination Yarn, pattern, and needles and used to sell them at all of the Joseph Beth stores across the midwest.  But then Joseph Beth went out of business.  So I have a few leftover.  Perfect teacher's gift!  In case you still need a teacher's gift - or need something for the sock knitter in your life - I have the kits for sale at any of my shows.  Look for an upcoming list - BIG things happening soon!

Last day of School
Seriously are we done with this photoshoot now?  It's really early in the morning.
  Yay for the official start to summer!!!

May 28, 2015


So!  Just as this blog was getting interesting with giveaways and content and whatnot our computer decided it was done with this world.  GAAAAAH.  But!  After much angst and over thinking we have a shiny new one now.  That's super portable and actually works and stuff.  Which means I can sit outside and write while my kids do this:

Seriously all of a sudden it's summer!  Full on.  We even took the kids to the beach the other night because we were sick of parenting:
My happy place.  #lakeerielove #lakeerie #greatlake #latergram #thisiscle #cleveland #knittersofinstagram #instaknit #knitting #destinationyarn #cheerskal
How long will a sandy beach and some buckets amuse 3 kids?  INFINITY.


The dude had his last day of school:

Last day of preschool.  What a fun year it has been! #stevensonpartyoffive
He looks so grown up!
And the girl finishes up tomorrow.  She already had her end-of-the-year music concert and it was insane with adorable:

Getting ready for the Campus International spring production!  My girl is the fish in the front in the sparkly dress. #thisiscle #CLEVELAND #216 #clevelandgram
She's the fish in front in the sparkly dress.

And we've had a few beginning of the summer adventures:

Family hike! #stevensonpartyoffive @clevemetroparks #metroparks
Family Hike at Whipps Ledges.

Ice cream with cousins. Perfect end to a fun day with family.  #stevensonpartyoffive #cousins
Ice cream in Pennsylvania with cousins.

Alpaca!!! #stevensonpartyoffive #greatlakesfibershow

2015-05-28 14.27.12
WOOL FEST!  My mom subbed in for Matt because despite being married to me for the last 10 years he was oddly uninterested in spending an entire day shopping for yarn.  Also he had to work.
With many more big things in the works (more on that coming).

Watching the Cavs game together.  I'm hoping the Big Things this summer involve a CHAMPIONSHIP IN CLEVELAND!
Park playdate/meeting with another mom.  Working playdates are the best.
So yeah.  I"m back.  And I'm ready.  Because it's going to be such a fun summer!!!

May 8, 2015

Gardening with Petitti's!

So!  It's planting season!

Petitti's Garden Center
Or... yard de-shaming season depending on your point of view.  Our yard needed a whole bunch of de-shaming this year:

This house is vacant, right?

See we live on a super main road and last year(s) I've had completely non-trustworthy toddlers.  So I'd pull out one weed and then frantically chase a kid who was too near the road.  Nope.  Our front yard has strictly been only what you need to survive levels of maintenance.

That changes this year.  I used to really enjoy gardening - you can dig through the archives and find lots of posts about salsa gardens and sunflowers.  But that was before the tiny humans ransacked our house and priorities.  They are finally old enough now to either help out or at the very least not flail towards the street while we're pulling weeds.  So this weekend with a little help from Petitti's we did this:

We replaced the edging which was a rotten mess with some bricks that match the patio we built.  Pulled 6 lawn bags full of weeds and spread a ridiculous amount of mulch:

But we wanted a finishing touch.  A new tree to make us excited about our yard again.  We've always wanted a fruit tree.  So we took the kids out to Petitti's in Strongsville to pick one out.  It was such fun!

Petitti's Garden Center
Petitti's Garden Center
I have never been to a gardening place this big before.  It was a ball.  The kids loved playing in the rows and rows of plants.  I loved being able to ask a knowledgeable person an insane amount of questions so that I don't immediately kill our new plants.

Petitti's Garden Center
Although they come with a year guarantee and they've been raised in Ohio - so they are used to our winters.

Petitti's Garden Center
After much debate we ended up bringing home a peach tree AND a pear tree. Because SPRING.  We couldn't decide and the kids wanted both, so... here we are.  Also a whole bunch of hanging baskets (they were on sale!). 

Our new Peach Tree!
We needed to move their playhouse a bit to put in the pear tree but I think it worked out.


 And it's amazing how much color and fun the hanging baskets add to our yard!

Anyways if you want to de-shame your yard, too, Petitti's has generously given me a $50 giftcard to share with my readers!     Here's how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay for spring and gardens!!!

Disclosure:  I was provided with a giftcard to Petitti's in exchange for this post.  As always all opinions and shameful yards are my own.

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