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
ALL THE YARN.  You bring ALL OF IT.
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
greeeeeeeen!!!!

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

 SO PROUD.

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

Catchup.

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:

funtimes
YAY SUMMER!
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
PERFECTION.
How long will a sandy beach and some buckets amuse 3 kids?  INFINITY.

funtimes

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
Alpaca!!!!

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).

funtimes
Watching the Cavs game together.  I'm hoping the Big Things this summer involve a CHAMPIONSHIP IN CLEVELAND!
funtimes
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:

SHAME
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.

SHAME
SERIOUSLY DO RACCOONS LIVE HERE?
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:

Garden!
SO MUCH BETTER!
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:

Garden!
BOOM, BABY.
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!). 

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

Garden!

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

Garden!
Garden!
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.


May 7, 2015

UncommonGoods and Mother's Day!

So!  Mother's Day is this weekend!   And I just wanted to write a quick post to let you know about an awesome place to find a last-minute mother's day gift:



I just discovered this company - Uncommongoods - and I have to say that they are awesome. They bring together all sorts of interesting and unique gifts in one place for easy shopping.  And a good portion of their items are hand made.  Which as someone who sells handmade products I FULLY support.  A company that gets customers in touch with artists in an easy-to-access way?  YES.  And they have an entire section of Gifts for Mom!

Also?  They have gifts for knitters.  Seriously check out this basket:


Handmade basket for yarn.  YES YES YES.
Or these yarn bowls

I actually haven't had a chance to use a yarn bowl yet. Most of my projects get dragged around the world with me so I use the super fancy ziplock bag instead of anything nice.  I've always wanted one, though. Are they as amazing as I"m picturing them? 

Anyways!  They sent me this beautiful necklace to introduce me to their line of products:

It's hand blown glass and so, so pretty. 


I chose it because in the artist description (the hand made items have artist descriptions!  I love that.  I always like to know the story of who is behind something) it mentioned that she was obsessed with color.  SOUNDS FAMILIAR!
They have a ton of other great products that would be perfect for Mother's Day as well.  They even put together a whole collection of Mother's Day Gifts to help you shop.  Just an FYI, though, today is the last day to order and have your item in time for Sunday.  Have fun shopping!

Disclaimer:  I was provided with the lovely necklace in this post in exchange for this review and post.  As always all opinions are my own.


May 5, 2015

Chevron Baby Blanket.

So check out the chevron baby blanket I knit for my friend's new daughter!

Chevron Baby Blanket
MMMM CHEVRON GOODNESS.

Isn't it pretty! I'm so happy with how it came out.

Chevron Baby Blanket

I knit it in direct violation of my "don't knit for newborns" rule.  See newborns grow SO FLIPPING FAST that I usually give a hand knit as a first birthday gift instead.  A sweater that is worn with the sleeves flipped up on a 1 year old will still fit at 2 and sometimes even for another winter.  But newborns?  Maybe you get a month out of it.  And they'll probably puke on it. Blergh.  HOWEVER this kid got me to break my rule:

FB_IMG_1430877955708
So. Much. Adorable.
Because she is a 3rd child.  And 3rd kids don't get hand knits.  No, really.  My daughter could have worn something hand made every day of her infancy.  The dude - my middle child - also had piles of handmade goodness even if it was significantly less than his sister.  Tiny?  Well... I didn't even knit for Tiny.  In my defense I had 2 other kids to look after while redoing our entire basement pregnant so....

IMG_0635 (2)
AT LEAST MY GRANDMA KNIT FOR ME.
When my friend found out she was pregnant for the 3rd time I knew that I wanted to make that baby something very special. All her own.

Chevron Baby Blanket
Sidenote:  When Tiny was first born my mom told my dad she was worried that as the little one he would end up with "the shit end of the stick."  And my dad famously said "there's no shit on that stick."  Meaning that in our little family it doesn't matter when you were born because it's going to be good.  Which is exactly how I feel about it.  Tiny may not have as much attention from me, specifically, but he has more attention overall.  Because he has 2 siblings that adore him.

I'm working on a blog post w s part about 3rd kids and scrolled through my phone to find a picture to use. I think this sbout sums it up! #siblings
Also he gets to play with all of his siblings toys.
Anyways!  The chevrons!  I started with this pattern and then decided that I needed to knit it in bulky yarn.  A tiny baby in a bulky knit = ADORABLE.

Chevron Baby Blanket
I used Plymouth Encore Bulky in bright, girly colors and repeated the 3 stripe pattern down the whole blanket:

Chevron Baby Blanket

I also added in a garter stitch edging all around to give it a more finished look:

Chevron Baby Blanket
Mmmmmm.  Edging.
I changed the size of the pattern to make sense with the bulky yarn.  If you want to do the same thing I wrote it all out on my Ravelry project page.  The whole thing took 2 balls of each of the pinks and one of the blue.  It knit up faster than I expected and was really fun to work on.

Yay for 3rd babies and Yay for handknits!
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