Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Witch's Hat

An old water tower near the University of Minnesota is called the Witch's Hat because, well, it looks like a hat!

It's completely worth the small hike up a hill to see this view of the city. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


One of the things I love about the bike trail is that you, literally, get views of the city you can't get any other way. 

I've been admiring this strange-looking configuration of steel over Highway 100 for weeks and weeks - but there's no where you can shoot a photo of it from a car, safely. 

On a bike? Easy peasy. It's right on the bike trail!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who Knew? Baby Food Jars Make Great Sugar Scrub Containers!

One of my coworkers asked me to make sugar scrub as a party favor for a baby shower at work. I said that the hardest thing is finding good containers. She said, "No problem, I have tons of baby food jars in my basement."

SCORE! So cute, and since they're small, I don't have to worry about wasting too much in case someone doesn't like them!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Socks My Way: Stitch Pattern Savvy with JC Briar

I learned a few weeks ago that "Socks My Way" is now a series (of two, but it will probably grow) on Craftsy! My Socks My Way: Heel & Toe Variations class has now been joined by JC Briar's Socks My Way: Stitch Pattern Savvy

I haven't spent a lot of time on her class, but I love her concept. She takes you through adding stitch patterns to your socks. She goes into great detail about getting the best stitch count for you, with your gauge and stitch pattern, which isn't always easy when you have a deep, interesting or lacy texture. 

JC even covers how to make sure your lovely hand-painted yarn will play nicely with the stitch pattern you choose, which is so useful.

I've taken a class with JC in person, and I love that her matter-of-fact style comes through in the video. She has a true talent for taking complex concepts and breaking them up into pieces that are easy to digest. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Power Out

A tree fell on a car and blocked 13th Av S in Minneapolis, Minn. Taken on Sunday July 19, 2015.
This is not our street/house, thank goodness!

About 240,000 people lost power after Friday's storms, and we were two of them. It went out around 1 a.m. on Saturday and came back on (for us) around 1 p.m. on Sunday. So, 36 hours.

Other than cleaning out the fridge/freezer and sleeping in the basement, where it was cooler, it wasn't that bad. We read. I knit. I cut out and pinned sewing projects to try. I KNOW, I thought I had too much free time and money, so I've been trying out sewing.

I showed Dee that you can light up a room pretty well by pointing a good flashlight at the ceiling. (Thanks,  years of photography!)

The storm made me grateful for so many things. Our street was still open. None of the big trees in the neighborhood came down. We have a gas hot water heater, so even without power, we could take hot showers. Our basement is mostly finished and we have a futon down there, so it's a nice place to sleep. We even have a tiny bathroom down there, so if we ever had to wait out a long, bad storm, we could do it in relative comfort!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blue and Silver Tray

I've started picking up inexpensive wood trays at Goodwill, painting them, and stenciling them. I figure, as long as I keep them small and cheap, it won't matter that I don't have an exact plan for where and how I'm going to use them, right? 

I sure hope so!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Library Run

This is a normal Friday night, right? (In a related note, hooray for self-checkout at the library!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tiny Bird

I saw this tiny bird with a big sky as a backdrop and I'm mostly just happy he didn't fly away when I got closer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I love looking at textiles from around the world, especially when they're deeply personal. One of my nieces just got back from 2 years in the Peace Corps in Lesotho. Their traditional crafts focus on weaving a dyeing textiles. This one is a lovely wall hanging. I love the way the artist has chosen colors!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Paging Sisyphus

Franz Stuck [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I know that I'm very lucky. I have just about every weekend off from my day job. I love my home and I'm trying to find a balance between my needs, housework, and other work. But, someone please tell me that I'm not the only one who has Sundays like this:


- Eat breakfast and read the paper.
- Go for a bike ride.*
- Take a shower.
- Clean kitchen.
- Do three loads of laundry.
- Clean bathrooms.
- Put away laundry.
- Work on my blog/ Goof off Work on Ravelry and Craftsy.
- Pay bills.
- Cook and eat lunch.
- Go grocery shopping.

Me, around 2 p.m., thinking about what I should write/knit/photograph/learn: "Ugh, I haven't done ANYTHING today!"

*Weather permitting. I'm still a fair-weather biker. If I can't go, I use this time to complain about not being able to go.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bold and Blended Striped Wrap

I've been hauling around this wrap since I made it in 2011 and it still looks pretty good. I take it on planes and wear it as a giant scarf in the winter. It was a pleasure to knit, but it's fantastic to wear.

After a lot of agonizing about wanting to make the pattern "perfect" before I released it again, I finally took some advice from my friends and released it, without completely re-working it. It's available on Craftsy and Ravelry

If you try it, I hope you love it, too. It's garter stitch and a somewhat clever way of managing short rows, if I do say so myself. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Simple Little Baby Sweater

Next to socks, baby sweaters are the perfect travel/summer knitting project. I'm finishing up this one right now. I can never resist the urge to pick these sweaters up by their little underarms and wave them around at people. 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Monday, July 06, 2015

Bath Bombs Bombed

Maybe it was too humid? I defintiely need more practice! Anyway, bath bombs are fun to make and smell great, but maybe aren't as pretty as possible at first.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Unwind with What You Love: Craftsy Classes for just $19.99

This post contains an affiliate link, but you know that doesn't influence what I say, right? 

A lot of people have a holiday day off from their "real" jobs today (including me, yay!) 

Whether you have ten minutes or a whole day, you can watch Craftsy classes anytime, anywhere, forever. This weekend, try to find time to relax and enjoy your craft and enjoy some savings. Lots of classes are on sale for just $19.99.

I'll probably be digging through my stash, looking for ways to play...