Cultivate & Create: Episode 14

Thank you for joining me!

Currently Knitting


  Something I want: Why do you create?

  • Where do you find inspiration when you’re feeling stifled?
  • How do you nurture it?
  • What are your favorite IG accounts?


 Something I need: a good bulky yarn for a work cardigan

Something to wear: I’m obsessed with LuLaRoe!!! Untitled

Something to read (or listen): The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer read by Rebecca Soler

Daizie Knits Yarn giveaway!!!


Cultivate & Create: Episode 13

Thank you so much for joining me!

Two yarn balls and a microphone. #whereitsat #obligatorymicandknittingCurrently Knitting


Something I Want: 15k Stash Dash I decided it was time to embrace the crazy and lay out all my #stashdash2016 plans on the table. Literally. #gofor15 #whystopat10

Something I Need: Get over my swatch-aversion!

Something to Wear: Pavement by Veera Valimaki

Something to Read:

Giveway: I announced pattern winners. Contact me, and I’ll gift away.

Daizie Knits Giveaway!


Cultivate & Create: Episode 11


Thank you new and returning listeners.

Currently Knitting





  • Another Crafty Girl trunk show at String Theory in Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Sunday, April 24th


Something I want: Replenish my Ponkie Brewster stash  

Something I need: a knitting assistant for the kidletThis kid has the best Grammy. She knit him a bunny in a sweater. #graysongram

Something to wear: Which sweater should I cast on next? edition…

  • Raindrops by TinCanKnits in The Lemonade Shop Simple Sock in the Truly Outrageous colorwayUntitledUntitled

  • Hoodie Shawl Cardigan by Susanne Sommer in Numma Numma Toasty in Baba Ganoush, Plum Pudding, and Wonder

Something to read:

Giveaway!! Listen to the episode and respond in the Ravelry group to win  this fancy foxes Sock Sack from Studio in the Green!!

Untitled  #ScowlKAL:

    • Let’s knit scowls!! Shawl + Cowl = Infinitely wearable accessory!


  • Starting May 15th






Cultivate & Create: Episode 10

Thank you for joining me!

Halfway through my second March sock, and I can't get "Living on a Prayer" out of my head. That's #widn, @kelbyquin. #thesecondannualdvdmonthlysockclubCurrently Knitting

  Where to start?? I've been anxiously awaiting both these books. And I'm ready to cast on Shard for the #acgshardkal

Something I want: Let’s talk socks!

Something I need: Travel knitting plans!!

  • Desert Vista Dyeworks April socks…or…a variety??

Something to wear: Old Salt by Chrissy Prange

Something to read:

I seriously have a problem: What do I read next? This is just the bedroom #tbr pile. #nothoardingjustcollecting

Make sure you listen to Episode 5, Episode 7, and Episode 9 to hear if you won!!

Choice Bit of Calico

Whoa. A lot of work goes into designing and writing up a pattern. Who knew? /s (My husband tells me that’s how you indicate sarcasm on the internet.)

I’m just putting the finishing touches on my newest pattern, Choice Bit of Calico, and let me tell you, it’s been a long time coming.

This design idea first came to me early last year as I was binge-watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. I’m obsessed with Miss Fisher’s wardrobe, and I wanted to bring a bit of that to my knitting. I knew it had to be absolutely decadent, over-the-top fancy, and what better way to do that than with silk and beads.

IMG_9255 (2)I was lucky enough to get a skein of One Twisted Tree Lustrous, a merino/silk base, that Danie was testing out. It was kismet. The yarn had to be something beautiful. Miss Fisher-inspired designs must be knit with something wonderfully wanton. And it became the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern. That’s not to say it was easy. There were many stops and starts…and stops…and stops…and time outs. IMG_9226 (2)

But that’s the process, right? (If it isn’t, don’t tell me.)

I had a lot of fun taking photos of this one. I played with hanging it up different places and going for all kinds of fun angles to show off the beads and drape. But the most inspired idea I had was to use an antique sewing table and a crystal glass we’d gotten as a wedding gift (the first time it’s ever been used) as props.

IMG_9244 (2)

Now, I’m not saying I’m brilliant, but that’s a pretty inspired photo, right? The colors are really offset by the wood, and you can just see the sparkle in the beads.

To say I’m proud of this one is an understatement, not just because of the design, although I love that, too, but because I kept with it.

Isn’t it crazy how we, as knitters, can turn string (albeit gorgeous, glittering string) into something so beautiful??

(Note: My whole house smelled like vinegar for the afternoon after this photo shoot, but vinegar makes a good substitute when you don’t have whiskey.)

My Mom Village

Okay. Let’s get real here for a minute. Parenting is hard. Like some days I’m convinced my child is trying to send me over the edge. The other day he thought it would be fun to dump packing peanuts on our living room floor and make snow angels.

I get Lush bath bombs, and G makes snow angels out of the packing peanuts. #graysongram #canthelpbutlaugh

Those later became “snowballs” he threw at the dogs…who promptly started eating them. Don’t worry, they’re cornstarch.

I sometimes wonder what I’d do if I didn’t have my mom-posse to run to for support or help or just a minute of griping.

I mentioned on my latest podcast episode that I started a book about parenting, and it is about not momming alone. I loved the idea (although the book wasn’t for me). I’ve maintained from the start that we aren’t meant to parent by ourselves. We need people in the trenches with us for those days when our kids have ridden the dog into the bedroom, pulled every book off the shelf, and eaten a whole Halloween bag of Reese’s Cups. (Never happened here. No way!)


They also can sit at the kitchen table and chat while the kids put on a show complete with guitars and microphones. (Thanks, Grammy & Baba.) They know to sidestep the Lego on the floor and to ignore the fruit snack ground into my couch. And they get it that dinner probably won’t include quiet conversation. In fact, they’ll laugh–or at least pretend to–as my kid tells a knock-knock joke that makes no sense at all. And I love them for that. And my kid loves them for that.

This photo pretty much sums up breakfast and these kiddos. #graysongram #colbiegram

But, maybe more importantly, they need those people. Parents make us roll our eyes. Maybe not as much now that I’m in my thirties, but at ten and sixteen and even at twenty, my parents were just the goofballs who embarrassed me in public. But my friends’ parents were cool. They got it. They listened.

And I want that for G. He might be convinced I don’t “get him”, but hopefully one of my mom village will. And hopefully they’ll be able to steer him in the right direction when he’s too embarrassed or angry or annoyed to come to me. And I can only hope I have the opportunity to do the same for them. Because I know they love my kid nearly as much as their own, just as I do theirs.

Cultivate and Create: Episode 8

Thank you new and returning listeners!!

Thank you to Jennie of Kitchen Counter Crafter and Jenn of Daizie Knits for their prize donations.

Thank you to all who said hi at Knitting Pipeline.

Shoonanigans (Thanks, Shana!!)

Crabfest 2016!

One of my few Knitting Pipeline photosUntitledCurrently Knitting


    Breakfast of champions. Grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee out of my mug from @prairiegirlsusie. Knitting on my #thesecondannualdvdmonthlysockclub. #dvdinstagram2016mrsshoo

Something I want: Shard Shawl by Romi Hill


Something I need: revisiting FOtos from Episode 1

Good UntitledA bit awkward Untitled

One of my favorites! Untitled

Something to wear: Zig Hat by Sarah Schira (PrairiePoppins) knit by PrairiegirlSusie

Something to Read:

Knitting + Inspiration = Knitspiration KAL

Will draw March 5th when I record. If the thread is open, you can still enter!!

What inspires you? What patterns do you just have to knit now? What yarns do you dream about knitting into something beautiful? Whose projects do you find yourself wanting to imitate? Who posts photos of the most amazing spinning projects on Instagram?Let’s knitspire one another, using #knitspirationKAL16 on Ravelry and Instagram.

  • Choose yarn, fiber, a pattern, or another knitter’s project that inspires you (can also be an inspired WIP).
  • Finish between January 15 and February 29 of 2016.
  • Post one time in the FO thread, but add and tag those knitspired entries as you finish them.
  • Must be at least 50 grams.
  • Must be a member of the group.


Book Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie


Book: Summerlost

Author: Ally Condie

Publication Date: January 26, 2016

Goodreads Description: It’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.

What it’s really about:

Summerlost is a story of grief and understanding such a profound emotion from a child’s perspective. But it’s so much more. It’s about family and friendship and childhood and those conflicting feelings we sometimes have about family.

Cedar and her brother Miles are dealing with BIG FEELINGS, but they’re also dealing with everyday things like the soap opera they both watch and friendships in a new house in a new town. We also peripherally experience the grief their mother feels and her new responsibility as the sole caretaker to her two young children.

The book also deals with childhood friendships and how meaningful and deep they can be. Cedar and Leo experience that quick bond that I think most people have experienced in a childhood friendship. They complement one another well, working together at a fledgling business and finding belonging that they both need.

What I loved:

Condie dealt with very large feelings with both skill and grace. We weren’t beaten over the head with them, but they were always there in our conscious as a reader as they would be in the characters’ thoughts. While I thought she handled the loss well from the children’s perspective, I was even more impressed with how she included their mother and still kept that childlike innocence and mindset.

I loved the inclusion of Shakespeare and theatre (of course…I’m a former English teacher).

The mystery Cedar and Leo attempt to solve provides a welcome distraction for both Cedar and for the reader. The loss of a parent and sibling could be overwhelming, but the novel was so positive and hopeful.

Cedar still has conflicting feelings and guilt regarding her brother Ben. While it never is explicitly stated in the novel, it’s implied that he had some developmental and social delays. She was embarrassed by his behavior and still feels guilt for that, and those are difficult feelings for anyone, let alone a 12-year-old, to work through.

What I didn’t:

Such a quibble, but Shakespearean plays have five acts, and I wish Condie would’ve stuck with that convention since she chose to use the “Act” motif.

Disclaimer: I read an ARC copy of the book.

Adventures in knitting, reading, and keeping a tiny dictator in line.