meta content=' knitting, crochet, spinning crafts, storage, yarning4asmile ' name='description'/> Yarning4ASmile

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The multi case from Amazon

Of you know me you know I am all about storage. I came across this adorable bird pencil (on the right) case on February 17, 2017 when I got my Prismacolor 132 count set.

Now a year later I was scrolling through instagram and saw it being used as a DPN case! Genius! So naturally I ordered another one. This time I went with the adorable bear print on the left and from a different company. It was also $8 cheaper than my bird one so I was curious to see if there was a difference.

The difference:
The bird case that I can not longer find that exact print is a little better made. the fabric is thicker, it did not have strings that needed to be clipped, it has a little better "stronger" zipper and it opens from the center out.

The Bears is adorable and for the price a great deal. It is a little less in quality and I did have to snip about 6 strings but overall I am very happy with it. The insides open like a book and do not fit in its areas as well as the bird one. I have to pull the zipper are around them.

In conclusion they both make wonderful cases. I love them both and the bird one has hold up for a year without any signs of use.

The Bear one:

 The Bird:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I am a finisher. Some projects I do may take a little longer than others if there is a mistake that I have to drop down to fix or if I have to rip back...but I get the job done. I am not one to lets wips lay around in a lost state crying to have a completed row.

Currently I have 5 wips and while to some that may seem like a decent amount and others are laughing and think ummm I have 5 just in this room with me I am still making progress on those and have finished 13 things since I have casted two of those active wips on.

Two of my wips are blankets one knit and one crochet and they are long term that I would on here and there. there is not rush for them. One is a pair of knitted mitts, a knitted shawl and the other a pair of socks. The mitts and shawl have a complete goal of March and I will meet that. I usually work on them during the week and on the weekend I knock out a crochet something. Lately it's been a bowl cozy or a stuffie but that is my usual process to get things done.

So my question to you... Do you have weekend vs weekday project?? Are you a finisher or a cast on all the things person?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meals on the fly and projects flying off the needles.

I have been one busy little momma this week. Monday school was out for Martin Luther King Day and then Alabama was hit with a crazy cold, slight now and more ice. School was closed Tuesday and today Wednesday and we just got the call that school will be cancelled Thursday as well.. We have been busy staying warm playing games and I have been crafting. I have been crafting like a crazy person this month. I have finished a shawl, made a crocheted cat, a crocheted bowtruckle, made two crochet bowl cozies, been working on my Voyager shawl and my Camping Fingerless mitts.

The Voyager
Pattern by Rachel Roden
Yarn: I am using MadelineTosh Twist Light in Modern Fair Isle and some Miss Babs Yummy 2ply in various colors.

Camping Mitts
Let's Go Camping Mitts from Must Stash Designs 
Yarn: I am using Must Stash Yarns in the Campfire colorway.

Finished Objects:
Amineko the Crochet Cat
Baby Bowtruckle 
I also have made two Bowl Cozies. The first one that can be seen here was made per the pattern that can be found here. However I did not like the fit around my soup bowls so naturally I modified them. :) I made two circles and increased to 66 stitches and then slp stitch them together. I then sc 10 and made 2sc in one stitch around, sc around one row and then sc 11 and 2 sc in one stitch around. Then I just sc around up till I ran out of yarn and they fit perfectly. The photo on top is the one from the pattern and the one below is the one I made with the modifications.

The reason I am making Bowl Cozies is because we have ditched almost all the plastic bowls etc from our kitchen. We are going to glass and glasslike bowls and containers for health reasons. The cozies go around your bowl when you put them in the microwave and when you get your heated food out you do not get burned hands. I am using 100% cotton, do not use acrylic for this project because it will melt! They are also great for soup and stew days to keep your food warm longer and your hands an table from getting to hot. I know there are many products made that are BPA free but there are still chemicals that leak into your food when heated and we are just choosing to avoid them. We have gone to almost only water to drink with only one small glass of milos tea a day. I am still drinking my hot herbal teas but they are almost all caffeine and the hubby has cut back his coffee intake. Some other changes we have made are almost no extra sugars and just an even healthier lifestyle in general with mile walks 3 times a week as a family, a cut in the amount of meats we eat. I am even leaning more towards a vegan diet... I said leaning not complete. I am still eating eggs in the morning and occasionally some meat but I have cut my meat consumption by 1/3.  I have been pretty much dairy free for over a year as dairy and my body are not friends. I cook 5-6 nights a week and we eat leftovers on the other. I wanted to share because I know often I am looking for new things to try and I thought you may being doing the same. This week our meal plan includes the following meals.

Chicken Tacos/Chicken Salad
We have this instant pot, it is an 8 quart (I cook for 5 adults and 2 kids).

Mini Meatloafs, homemade mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
I use a recipe that was something my Granny BB always made. I don't really have exact measurements as I usually do not measure things when I cook and why I am not a very good baker. :)

Granny BB meatloaf
1 bell pepper, 1 onion, 4 stalks of celery, a cupish carrots (chop all the veggies very small so your kids will not see them. 3 lbs of lean hamburger meat (Again this feeds 5 adults and 2 kids), some bread crumbs, a can on tomato sauce regular size can, mustard, brown sugar, white vinegar, one egg and some ketchup.

After you finely chop all the veggies put them in a large bowl, add hamburger meat, some bread crumbs, the egg, and just a little less than 1/4 c of tomato sauce. Mix well (I use my hands) and then make hamburger sized little loaves and place them in a 16x9 baking dish that you spray with pam spray. Now for the sauce: You will use the rest of the tomato sauce, about 2 tbsp of mustard, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, about 2 tbsp of vinegar and then 1/3 c ketchup.  You are going to mix all of that and then spoon onto your little loaves and save some to baste during the cooking process. Cook in the oven on 400 for about 40 mins. During the cooking I open the oven and put sauce on my loaves several times till it's gone.

Cabbage Stew
This will be our first time making this recipe but we have this crock pot that is a 7 quart and that I LOVE! It can handle enough food for all of us. I bought mine last year because my previous one stopped working. :/

Grilled Chicken Salad with Steamed Veggies
We are just grilling some chicken on the grill. For the marinade we will be using some white vinegar and some salt and pepper. The veggies are some mixed frozen veggies I will be steaming in the pot. 

Homemade Veggie Soup
We use this recipe but with some modifications,
The mods are I use Better than Beef , I leave out the marjoram and use chickpeas. I also only buy and use the V8 low sodium juice. The soup is very hearty, fulfilling and easy to make. I just throw all my stuff in the crock pot and cook it on low for 8 hours.

So that is about it for us here. We did have a huge snow back in December. It was amazing and a stunning site. I am in the process of making a video of some of the photos and I will be linking that at some point on the blog this week. If you would like to leave a comment and please do just click the read link that says no comments at the end of this post. I hope you are all staying warm, crafting all the things and until next time Happy Crafting!


The two big products I talk about in this post can be found here. There are some affiliate links on this page and you can find more about my affiliates under the Legal Stuff tab.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Do you have quiet time each day?

I am a firm believer in taking a few moments each day to gather your thoughts, quiet your mind and just to unwind. I tend to have two different "times" a day. There is what I call TAG "Time Alone With God" it is just being alone without distractions and reading a devotional passage. I also have a quiet time which is knitting, coloring anything to just ponder your thoughts and calm your mind. Both of these can even be seen as a form of meditation where you focus your energy on something positive. I like to mix my quiet time up and TAG time, some days just sit in completely quietness and knit for a few minutes rocking myself in my chair and then read a devotion before bed and others I start off with a devotion and then end the day with silent knitting/crochet/spinning. 
Meditation and TAG time can be very calming and uplifting for your mind, body and overall mood. In 2015 Forbes Magazine did an article where they stated that "There were also decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress – and these changes matched the participants' self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well." Lifeway published an article called Making a Habit of Spending Time with God where they talk about how it is away to reconnect with God and find a new routine that helps you dig deeper in your relationship with Him. 
My quiet/tag time varies when I get to have it and how long but I do try to at least read some type of devotional or positive reading each day. Devotionals and Bible studies allow me to get deeper insight to the Bible in that short amount of time that may only be 10-15 minutes. I was sent the Psalms and Proverbs Devotional For Women by BH Publishing Group to review. I have had it for several days and am really enjoying it. I usually keep a devotional on the end table by me in the living room, one by my bed and one in my craft room. I used to have one in my car but I finished it so I need to stick another one in there. You can read my review I posted on Amazon of the devotional here.  In a nutshell I love the look of it, the layout and find the content interesting and educational. I love the number days opposed to them being date. If I miss a day I do not get that "I failed' or the "I got behind" feeling. I like the reflection space but it is not a lot of room. I am not the biggest fan of the size and the fact is does not want to lay flat but I do think it will lay flat with use over time.
I think in today's world taking time out each days seems impossible. Even taking the time to knit or crochet each day seems unthinkable for some and I agree it can be hard. However the benefits for that personal time for yourself is so important. In a fast past world we all need time to slow down and appreciate the life we have especially this time of year. I hope you have all Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope you take a few moments for yourself each day. Let that be a present to yourself for your mind, body, spirit and soul. 
Do you have a quiet time or mediation time each day? Do you find it relaxes you and helps you handle the stresses of your day? Do you have a favorite devotional study you want to suggest to me?

Thank you to B&H Publishing for sending this to me to review. As always all the Legal Stuff can be found here. 

You can find my Bible and the Devotional I talk about in this article with these links. They are #affiliate links please refer to the legal tab at the top of the page with any questions regarding those. 

Monday, December 18, 2017


My #KnitLifeSurvey
When you post your video please use #KnitLifeSurvey to promote it and please mention the person who tagged you. It’s a great way to bring attention to other podcasts, old and new. If you decide to participate, thank you!
The Questions:
What sparked your interest in knitting?
How and when did you learn to knit?
What is your favorite cast on method?
What is your favorite type of knitting design element? (Brioché, lace? Cables? Colorwork?… etc.)
What is your favorite project you have ever knit?
How many projects are in your Ravelry queue?
What is your favorite weight of yarn to work with?
What was your first knitting project?
What is the longest time you have had a half-finished project in hibernation? What is it and when did you cast on? Do you still want to finish it?
What is the largest project you have ever knit?
What is the worst and just overall bad, didn’t work out thing you ever knit? (Explain what went wrong, lol)
What is your favorite kind of project to make (socks, sweaters, shawls… etc)?
What is your favorite type of fiber to work with?
Are you a self proclaimed yarn snob?
What is your dream knitting retreat or fiber festival to attend?
What is the oldest yarn in your stash?
Are you a gifty knitter or a selfish knitter?
What do you like to watch or listen to while you knit? (Listen to books, music, tv, movies, vlogs, podcast) list your favorites if you want.
Do you prefer wood or metal needles?
Is there a pattern or project that you have knit more than one time ? Just for fun:
Do you have any other hobbies?
What is your favorite snack?
What is your favorite color?
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them.
Last but not least…. coffee or tea? We have to do that one for good measure, lol!
Now tell who you want to tag (tag 5 vloggers or podcasters with knitting themed shows & Please mention who tagged you).
Please mention and link the vlogger who tagged you and suggest your viewers check them out. Make sure to mention their name and their channel name. List out who you are tagging and link their shows and suggest viewers check them out. If you need to tag knitting bloggers that is fine too :)
When you tag your friends please send these written questions to them and DM them so they know they have been tagged. If possible tag 1-2 newer vloggers or podcasters to help them gain followers. If you are having trouble coming up with people to tag you can tag Knit bloggers.
Use tag #knitlifesurvey and mention that you have done this on instagram. We all are trying to gain viewers & potential new customers so every post with the tag is going to help :D
You can copy the survey on your show notes, blog or Ravelry and ask your viewers to play along if you want to.

Friday, December 15, 2017

A look back... and hope for the future.

Wow I can not believe Christmas is just around the corner. This has been a wonderful year and I am looking towards what the new year will bring. I have so many things I want to accomplish in the new year and so many changes I want to take place.

I want do more...
~I want to craft more, I want to be more involved in my community and I want to share all of those aspects of my life here on this blog.
~I want to share more recipes and experiments with the crock pot and the instant pot. Cooking is a big part of my life, I spend at least 4 hours a day in the kitchen dealing with food and that is apart of who I am.
~I want to share more of what I am reading. I love to read, listen to audiobooks and podcast. I have personally loved so much from different podcast in knitting and crochet and I want to share those with you.
~I want to share more of my Faith. I enjoy doing Bible studies and learning about God and how to live my life. I want to be very clear on something... I love God and try to live by Matthew 22: 36-39. I am a firm believer of loving my neighbor even if we share the same religion, views, loves or not. I aware that some of my changes are not going to please everyone and I apologize for that. However, I feel for me to be me and to live a life that I am supposed to do I need to stop trying to separate my life in order to appease others. I really haven't kept my religion from my social media feeds but I have just been more reserved in posting regarding of it... but that will change. You can expect knitting, crochet, spinning, other crafts, kids, pets, life, book reviews (craft, devotions, religion based and inspirational), recipes and things that make me smile.

I hope you stick around with me, I hope to inspire and to give hope. Remember as always you can find me on the different social media platforms by clicking the social media icons to the left if you are viewing from a PC. If you are on a mobile device then you can touch the 3 lines and then select the "about me section" for links to my social media accounts.

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Knitting and Crochet Magazines and Books

Its that time of year of fun Holiday crafting. I have rounded up some of the current magazines and  knitting and crochet books that I own to show you some of the fun projects that within the pages. Let the Holiday crafting begin! 

To see my previous reviews on these just click the titles:

Christmas Crochet for the Hearth, Home and Tree

To see the Ravelry pages just click the title:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What's up with the bags?

I love the world of knitting and crochet but with comes a world of notions. How's a crafter supposed to carry all they stuff around. Well I am not sure what the perfect solution would be for you but I can show you what works for me. These are my own opinions, I am not making anything from the companies... or in no way affiliated with them. 

In a nutshell my projects live in their own bag and then get put in a purse of tote for travel, each of the totes have their own notions pouch for on the go emergencies. So let's take a moment to look at some of the bags I use and you may see something that might work for you. If you use a different method please leave a comment as it may help someone else. 

A project bag defined by me is a bag used to carry projects. In my individual project bags you will find the yarn for the project, a DPN cozy if I have one that matches the bag, the pattern if it is printed, needles or hook, a little thing of stitch markers, the band from the skein (in case someone says hey what yarn is that?) and usually a little lotion bar from one of my favorite shops. (will list those at the end) Project Bags I use are either bought by me or made by me. For socks I like a simple draw string small bag or a small zippered bag. These are examples of some. Also let me go ahead and say I have an addiction to fabric and much as I do yarn. I buy fabric that speaks to me and I will sew a bag from it but I also love supporting indie bag makers just like I do indie yarn dyers. So if you know of a bag maker I need to check out please let me know!

The Smaller Bags: (see the photo below this section)
These are my go to for socks, ornaments, squares etc.

1.The "Sheeple" bag is from Erin Lane Bags. It is just her basic small project bag and lined with muslin like fabric, not stiff and no handle. You can see them here:

2.The Fox and Raccoons bag is a small sock bag I made. It is lined with alternate fabric, pocket, not stiff, flat bottom and has a handle. 

3.The Christmas one was a kit put out last year with Must Stash Yarn and Suburban Stitcher. It is a zippered bag, lined with alternate fabric, stiffer bag, flat bottom and no handle.

Medium/large bags (see the photo below this section)
I use these for hats, shawls, sweaters, stuffies and anything else that finds its way on my hook and needles. 

1.The yellow Flower is from EweSewanSew. It is a zippered bag, stiff, is lined with alternate fabric, came with a zipper pull and flat bottom.

2.large zippered Pumpkin with top hats bag made by me. It is zippered, handle, alternate fabric lining, pocket and flat bottom. 

3.Large Swan bag from Bags By Awesome Grannie. I LOVE her bags! zippered, handle, alternate fabric inside, flat bottom and I love how she adds a zipper pull with each order.

4.Chicken Boots Double Double. This bag has a window so you can see what is inside, no interior fabric, stiff where the window is, drawstring that acts as its handle and a pocket. I own two of these and I want a lot more!

5.Sweater bags: The camper one I made. It has interior fabric, a pocket, zipper and a handle. There are Etsy shops that do sweater bags and they are prefect for holding all the sweater yarn plus the wip!
Big camper bag by me, swan Bags by Awesome Grannie, Yellow flowers by EewSewanSew
The pumpkin is by me and the front is a Chicken Boots Double Double. 
Notions: (see the photo below this section)
So what is in my notions case? Hiya Hiya snips, a crochet hook in a small size and a medium for picking up stitches, removable stitch markers, ring stitch markers, a little ruler, a pencil, a few post it notes, a glasses/screen cleaning wipe, and usually a lotion bar. 
~~~Lotion bars I use are from The Noteable Gnome, Lo-Lo Bars, and Lavishea .~~~

1.The ones that stay in my main bags are the Chicken boots Notions Case. I buy these whenever they are on sale. Jimmy Beans often has them on sale for around $11. I have 4 one that stays in my Black Vera Bradley Trimmed Tote (this is my usual every day bag), One stays in my "dressy purse", One stays in my bigger Vera Bradley tote that can hold a lot of individual project bags. The last one is in the car. I love these because they are slim and can hold the essentials but also have a window so you can see what is in there.

2.Small notions from Bags By Awesome Grannie/ Namaste Inc. These are small zippered bags that can hold a little bit more than the notions case from Chicken boots. Link above under medium/large bags.

3.Hard case from either craft department or fishing department (they tend to be cheaper in the fishing department.) I just hold extra stitch markers in theses and it sits on the table next to me in the living room so I always have access to markers. 

4.Erin Lane knitpack notions case. These are nice but the magnetic catches on to other things in my bag. :/ It has two small zippered areas that have a window. Link above under small bags

5.Vera Bradley makeup bag... yep this is my crochet hook and notion thing that can easily be thrown in my everyday bag. You can view them by clicking here.  These often go on sale for around $12... a bargain! 
The pink in the back is the Vera Bradley make up, the Racoon is a Bags by Awesome Grannie, the owl is a Namaste.
The front row:  Chicken boots Notions case, the plastic case from the fishing or craft department and the sheep is Erin Lane. 
Totes/ Everyday Bag: (see the photo below this section)
Some of these bags are no longer made but still can be found on the internet. The Namaste Bags can be found here:
I love these basket for when I am crocheting and working with the acrylic skeins like I Love This Yarn. It can handle several. The big round African Market hold my cozy memories blanket only and yarn for it and the shorter oval basket hold some journaling and color supplies.

1.The Vera Bradley Trimmed Tote. This is my go to every day purse. I has pockets on the inside and big enough to throw a large project bag in, hold my wallet, notions, case plus all the other things.. I bought mine when it was on sale and mine is all black although as soon as I get another coupon I may order me a new one in a pretty print. As you can see in the photo below my Vera holds a rather larger project bag, notions pouch, my planner/wallet and much more. This is also the Black Vera you will see below in other photos.

2.The Vera Bradley Get Carried Away Tote. When we travel or if I am going to knit group that will be longer than usual I usually take this bag. she is pretty and huge. I can get multiple bags in her and still have room. She has pockets and is wonderful. This too can be found for more than half off if you shop around.

3.Jordana Paige Bags: Jordana Paige was a bag maker that combined the need for a functional knitting bag and an attractive purse all in one. These bags have sections so your yarn and project can be kept seperate from the other things in your bag. I own several of her bags: The Rios (purple), The LJ Kaelms(teal) and the Cora(grey).  

4.Namaste Inc Bags. Namaste made wonderful bags and were often at the Stitches Shows before they sold their business. I own the Monroe(teal), Harlow(brown) and two of their BYOB cases. the bags also have divided areas for your project and other things.  I have done reviews on these that can be found here:
The BYOB Needle Case:
The Harlow Bag:

5.The canvas tote from Hobby Lobby with all of my knitting/podcast buttons. This is just a canvas tote but great for throwing your project bags in to take with you to knit/crochet group. As you can see I use mine to hold all my yarn life buttons. :) 

The one to the left is the Vera Get Carried Away Tote, the black on the Vera Trimmed and the canvas is from Hobby Lobby. 
These are all Jordana Paige: The Teal LJ Kaelms, The purple the Rio and the grey Cora.
The Namaste Bags: The top tel is Monroe and the Brown is the Harlow

Baskets also make great project carries. There are many wonderful basket geared to our world. Lantern Moon makes the semi collapsible basket that is great for storage and travel and African Market Baskets have stunning basket that can be found at some LYS and Fiber shows. 
Lantern Moon:
African Market Basket:
To the Left is an African Market and to the right is the Lantern Moon
These are African Market Baskets
 I would love to hear how you wrangle your knitting and crochet projects! Thank you for reading and Happy yarning!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

How does Color inspire you? (This post contains a spoiler of the Voyager MKAL from Jimmy Beans Clue 1)

Color is so inspiring and so daunting at the same time. It is everywhere and can make or break a project. It allows us to stay in our comfort zone or can break us free. It can brighten our mood or bring it down. Colors can also be used to define us and they can be things that represent our soul. I tend to think my colors of that of Fall. I am not a huge summer person or spring for that matter but when fall comes I feel like my soul comes alive and the inspiration flows.

There are some many ways we can use color in our projects. I often seek the world around me for inspirations for my projects. One of mys last big projects I finished was the Eastaboga which is a pattern designed from A.Opie Designs. She is a Birmingham Alabama designer and works at the wonderful store in Birmingham called In the Making. I actually live not far from Eastaboga the town that inspired the design and my favorite time of year to drive through that area is the fall. Here if we have a good rainy summer than fall is always ready to impress with her display of color. I used photos that I took to inspire the colors for my Eastaboga. The top photo is some of the leaf variation we get in our area. I pull from the deep burgundy, the orange, the brown of the dirt and the grey from the dead twigs. The beautiful fuchsia color came from the pot of mums on my front porch. The result was a stunning scarf that I am so eager to wear... however Alabama is not ready for cooler weather.

We can knit with a color that makes us think of a person or even represents the projects name. For instance the other day we happened to get lost in Georgia, I just so happened to see that we were less than 10 minutes from the amazing yarn store called Eat Sleep Knit. The hubby and kiddos remained in the car as I got to run in. I was only able to be in there for 10 minutes but I did a quick scan and picked up two yarns. One of them immediately made me think of my grandmother.

The yarn is Northbound Knitting and the base is their 75/25 the color is Anomaly. The yarn is a cream base with hints of yellow, purple and some reds. The yarn makes me think of my Grandmother and her Irises. She loved Irises and when she passed I dug up a lot of them and planted them at our home, each time we moved I would dig them up and take them with us. The irises have moved 4 times. They are a mixture of yellow and purples and when they bloom my heart always smiles. I wanted to use this yarn for something that reminds me of her and her garden so it will be the main color in my Passerine Hat  and for the birds I will be using a dark grayish mini from Lorna's Laces. I hope to cast that on in the upcoming month.

Which brings me to my current knit along. I love mystery knit alongs and Jimmy Beans Wool seems to always have one going. I have done several of theirs in the past so when I saw they were doing one based off the Book and now TV series Outlander I wanted to join in. Outlander is a book series written by a lady name Diana Gabaldon in 1991. Outlander is a story of time travel and love. I admit there are some situations of things that are not really pleasant but the way Diana builds her characters and the knowledge and information she uses regarding the Scottish is amazing. The TV series started in August 2014. They did an amazing job with it. The landscapes are beautiful and the dress in the 2nd season were breathtaking. When they released the Lorna's Laces colors for the knit along I thought they were very pretty, you can see them by clicking here and here. I was not to excited by the greens so I decided for my I would bring in the colors from some of the clothes Claire wears. I want the main color to be the dress Clair has on when she goes through the stones, the blue from her coat before she went through the stones, the browns of her Scottish attire and the greens, yellow, red from some of the dress she wore while in France. The costumes on the show are really wonderful and even have their own following on social media.
 The knit along with Jimmy Beans started last week when season 3 started. The knit along is a mystery knit along which means you buy the pattern that can be found here. Then you gather your supplies. You will need a main color fingering weight 430 yards and then some minis. The mini's need to be 100 yards and you need 5 of them. I went with Madeline Tosh Twist as my main to represent Claire's white dress. The color I am using is called modern fair isle. The mini's I bought some Miss Babs and are mostly referred to as numbers but you can see them on my project page that can be found here.  I think it is going to be a very fun knit along and there is still time for you to join. Clue 1 goes very fast and clue 2 will not be released until 9 am PST. 

So how does colors inspire you? Do you draw inspiration from colors that remind you of someone special? Of a Flower? I place? or a Season? I would love to hear about it in the comments bellow.

I hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Yarning!

This post does not contain any affiliate links. 

#Jimmybeans #VoyagerMKAL #knit #Yarn #color #inspiration 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Knit the Sky

I recently got this amazing book from Storey Publishing by Lea Redmond called Knit the Sky. The book is written in an interesting way, it is not your typical pattern book. Lea has written this amazing creative adventure for you and your yarn to go on. The book has many different projects and while there is not a written pattern it is written in a way to direct you in a creative process. If that was interesting enough there is a pattern stitch guide in the back of the book with 10 stitches like bobbles, ribs and the raspberry stitches. There is also a techniques guide that covers joining like kitchener stitch , picking up stitches and picot bind off. Last but not least there is several patterns in the back of the book. Some of them include socks, a simple hat, simple hand warmers, and a few more.

Images from

Amazon has a few preview photos on their site that can be found here. To see more previews look to the left of the pack to see some pages inside.

The book is a very nice hardback book and the pages are a great weight. I see this book being a great book to look to when I need inspiration and when I just can not decide on what to knit.

So who is this book for?:
~would be great as a gift
~applies to any level knitter
~Great book for Stash Bustin
~great for the knitter that may be indecisive on what to cast on
~great for someone who wants to be creative but not sure where to start
~Great for the knitter that loves a little fun

 If I had to describe the way the patterns written it would be in a way to not direct you but to give you options for your knitting. I love how there are so many "fun" ways Lea uses to get your project going. Some of my favorite is the Grandmother's Basket of Berries (which can be seen above), Mood Ring and the Gumball inspired Sweet Possibilities.

Would I buy this book? Yes! On Amazon it is $12.23, how could you pass that up? Click Here to check out Knit the Sky on Amazon. 

Thank you Storey Publishing for allowing me to review this book. 
(I do not make anything if you buy the book or anything not an amazon affiliate. I am just a blogger sharing information about the fun things I come across.)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Go on a walk with me.

Today's question: Do you watch podcast?

I love to watch other podcast and watch several. A while back I watched a Ninja Chickens podcast and I guess I got to subscribe to it and then forgot about it. I then had it pop up on suggested things to watch on youtube. I saw that I was very very behind, so as I laid in bed and watched them. I  could not sleep from the massive dose of cortisone I had injected the day before so I just watched.

Maria, the host of Ninja Chickens did a walk through of her land and things she grew. You can watch that here. In her Ravelry group others were posting about their gardens and I thought it would be fun to join in.

So I set out with my phone to record. The problem however was the rain and the fact I am not very coordinated so walking and recording is not the most graceful thing I have ever done. It was a hot mess really so I set of the next day with the same goal in mind lol. I spliced some of the segments together and took some photos of amazing mushrooms growing on our land. I hope you enjoy the little walk with me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

World Wide Knit In Public

Hello fellow yarn lovers,

      I just wanted to pop in and let you guys know that World Wide Knit in Public Day is 10 days away. I can not believe it is almost here!! In case you were wondering World Wide Knit in Public Day is a world wide event held so that fiber artist (if you play with yarn you are a fiber artist) can come together, share the love of the craft and inspire others. Even though it is called World Wide Knit in Public Day I allow knitting, crochet and even spinning at my event. This will be my third year to host the event for the area I live in. I thought I would take a minute to share what the event means for me and why I choose to host it three years ago.

    World Wide Knit in Public is also known as WWKIP. You can see the actual website here. It is usually held on the second Saturday of June. I learned about it during 2014. I knew I wanted to have one for our area so I started planning. I rented a pavilion at a local park and it was an amazing time.
WWKIP event 2015

    I had a good bit of attendees so I knew I had to host another. The following year I went bigger and went for the bigger pavilion with electrical outlets because it get super hot here in June. I was right too, it got close to 97 F here on June 11, 2016. The pavilion was wonderful though but with the sun bouncing off the water I got really hot and actually got heat poisoning that evening and was very sick for a few days. I had more sponsors this year and even some donations from the last event. This year I had games to play like knitters bingo.
WWKIP event 2016

   Now my 3rd event is a few days away. I am so excited as this year will be even bigger. I have even more prizes to giveaway, even more donations and I hope to have a bigger crowd. Social media, like Facebook has really been an amazing platform to really spread the word. I set up a World Wide Knit in Public Facebook group so I can open the lines of communication better between me and the public. You can find our Facebook Group here.  This year though we are beating the heat and having our event at the Quintard (Oxford) Mall. I think this will make it a lot easier for us and keep us cool and increase awareness about the different groups in our area. I am adding a few rules this time since we will be in the food court in the mall. This year I going to be doing multiple drawings at different times and for each prize you must be present to win. Unfortunately with the price of postage rising I just can not afford to mail prizes. I am also setting the rule that you must have a project with you to be eligible to win. I hate I have to put this rule into place but we do live in a world where people just want something free even if they do not even do a said craft. I will do some pop up giveaways open to the public but not many.  I am also asking for donations of knitted or crocheted washcloths. I will then take these to Leeds Alabama to a wonderful organization called The WellHouse. I want to start choosing a local charity organization and using my event to bring awareness to them. I will be giving a small thank you gift to those who make washcloths and even be offering up an exclusive door prize to those who donate.

    So why did I start all of this for our area and decided to take on this project?? Well simply put I believe in community. I believe that everyone should a place to gather and share a common love. I believe that fiber arts can you improve your mental health and help relieve stress. The New York times even did an article on this that can be found here. I think it is a great way to meet people who have the same passions as you. I also believe in a world that is riddled with hate and division we just need something to bring us together. I also firmly believe on being a positive light unto the world. 

   What you are not in my area but want to attend a WWKIP event? Not a problem, you can go to and then search by the country you live in and then the state. I registered our event there as well and it can be found here. I encourage you to seek out an event in your area and if there is not one maybe choose to host one next year. If you have attended an event before I would love to hear about your experience and how it has impacted your life in any way. 

    Until next time happy crafting. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

How Not to handle customer service situations in the cabin rental business.

This is about the only time I ever really knitted or crafted in either cabin besides in the bed.

Hello my name is Kim and it is currently 5:36 pm on May 27, 2017. We have been home for roughly 20 hours. We should have only been home for 3 hours at this point.  Recently my family and I took a very much needed trip t the Smoky Mountains, one that I have been looking forward to all year long.  We have been vacationing in the Smoky Mountains for 12 consecutive years.  I have never written a huge post about a trip before but I wanted to share my recent and unpleasant experience with In our 12 years we visited at the beginning 2-3 times a year and in the last few years 1 time a year. During that time we have stayed in only cabins and only rented from the same 3 companies. Two of them I will not be talking about today but I would be more than happy to give you information or reviews of the cabins we stayed in. The one we rented from this past week was The Cabin Rental Store. They rent luxury cabins in the Gatlinburg Tennessee area and have rented from them in the past. We have stayed in Swimming in Seclusion, Swimming in the Clouds and this past time we were supposed to be in Mountain Lake Lodge. 

Before I go any further in my story I want to say that I am a very positive person. I strive to look for the positive in every situation but like anyone else I have a breaking point. I want to get our story out there because I still believe in good customer service. I believe companies should uphold a level of decorum when handling mistakes on their part. I believe the company should stand by every aspect of the agreed upon terms. This did not happen this week. I am not changing the names of the representatives we encountered with the company because I believe you need to be aware of the level of service you are going to encounter with dealing with these individuals. If you are reading this and are a  staff member/management/owner of The Cabin Rental Store please note this is being sent to every single contact I can locate for your company. This will also be posted on every social medium I am part of because I hope this keeps someone else’s vacation from becoming the headache you have caused us.  If you are a owner of one of the cabins I am going to be talking about I hope you consider choosing another company to handle your property in the future, we are done with The Cabin Rental Store.  For every one that reads this I hope this helps you avoid frustration with any upcoming dealings with the rental company. I hope you share this with your family and friends to keep them from having a similar situation as ours.

May 13, 2017 at 9:42 am
 Our vacation began on when we rented our cabin through We chose the cabin called Mountain Lake Lodge. We also received our Reservation Folio at 9:43am which included our break down of the cost of our vacation. We were renting the cabin for May 24, 2017- May 27, 2017. The cost per night was $320.71, cleaning fee $166.00, Damage Waiver fee $49.00, Tax $150.08 for a total of $1,327.21. There were 6 of us total going, I, husband, 9 year old son, 6 year old son, mother in law who turns 80 in a few weeks and father in law. We choose this cabin because to be honest almost everything was already booked and we have to have something with a master on the main floor that is easily accessible for my disabled mother in law. She not only has Alzheimer’s but also has an extremely hard time getting around. She has to have her walker and stairs for her are not an option. These facts become a major factor in a lot of my frustration.  I immediately began making list and planning for our adventure. It takes a lot as a mom to make sure everyone has everything. I not only take care of my family of 4 but I also take care of my in laws. I even had a “make sure to pack” and “things to do list before we go list” for them. I am a firm believer in having everything taken care of to keep stress to a minimum. We even decided we could grab lunch before heading to the cabin, drop off the in laws and the boys and then me and my husband would go 9 minutes to the Walmart Neighborhood market to buy some groceries to eat on for the next few days.

May 22, 2017 11:11 pm
 We receive the check out instructions. Every single email sent to us by The Cabin Rental Store are very clear on instructions and check out time.

 May 24, 2017
Check in Day! We are arriving for Anniston Alabama. It’s a beautiful and long 5 hours drive to the Smoky Mountains from our home. We actually go there before check in because we were so excited for our vacation and we knew it gets busy fast and wanted to get some shopping done before the crowds came in. At 11:41 am we decide to grab some lunch at Outback Steak House that is located close to Tanger Shopping center. We choose this location because it was somewhat close to our cabin and we figured after lunch we could hit the outlets and then head out for the 25 minute drive to the cabin and arrive by our 4 pm check in time.  We had just ordered our and my husband’s phone rang. When he answered it Barb was on the other line. I am not sure of Barbs position at the Cabin Rental Store but this is not the first time we have spoke to her. Barb stated “Your Check in time is not till 4pm, our cleaning crew informed us that you are at the cabin.” Lets pause right here in our story from someone who has worked in retail you do not Blame the customer… you address them in an appropriate manner. She did not politely ask us if we checked in early but accused us of doing so. My husband explained that we were actually sitting at Outback and just ordered our food. Barb stated again well someone is at the cabin… again he assured her it’s not us we are sitting at Outback all of us and our two vehicles. She then says something along the lines of I will figure out what is going on and get back to you. He looked at me and it hit me someone was not only in our cabin! Barb did not call right back, we sat there waiting for our food stressed about what we would do if we did not have a place to go. We knew there were not any other open cabins and we had to tired kids and elders sitting before us. Towards the ends of our meal we got a call from a man named Foster. Foster works for the management agency, he explained that the customers who checked in before us were not only still there but not even at the cabin so they could not kick them out. Foster then said they would have to move us to another cabin and that they would take care of us. The new cabin was named Soaring Ridge Lodge. The new cabin was also completely on the other side of town, 34 minutes according to google maps. My husband asked so we will get to stay there the whole time? Again let me say we have 2 kids one 9 and 6, and 80 year old woman who can barely get around and has Alzheimer’s and a 78 year old man. If you have ever been around someone with Alzheimer’s you know firsthand how schedule changes, and stress can affect the individuals.  Foster then replied “No” we would get this cabin for Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night and would need to check out by 10 am on Friday. Foster assured us that he would have the cabin ready on Thursday and we could head to the original cabin first thing Friday morning and not worry about the check in times but we would need to be out of that one by 10 am so they could prepare it for the customers checking in Friday evening.  Reluctantly and without options we agreed.  Barb then called at 1:46 pm and she reintegrated everything Foster had said, that we could stay in this other cabin for two nights check in it at 4pm and again stated we could go straight to the original cabin at ANY point on Friday morning. Barb also again mentioned they would “take Care of us” insinuating a discount for our troubles.  My husband even asked “So we can head over there at 9am and get settled so we could still have the whole day to do what we want?” she replied “yes”.  A few minutes we received an email showing we would get a $100 credit but no explanation of what it was.

After a few stops we arrived at Soaring Ridge Lodge. This cabin was an upgrade from Mountain Lake Lodge. It was 6 bedrooms instead of the 5 bedrooms we had originally rented and it did have an elevator which was a Blessing for my mother in law. It was a truly amazing cabin! After dropping off the kids and in laws the hubby and I set out to buy groceries. When we got back to the cabin the boys were eager to get in the “Hot Pool” which is what my boys call the hot tub.  They were so excited to get in but upon removing the cover we noticed the smell and the green slime at the bottom. It actually smelled like the water from a freshwater fish tank that had not been cleaned in months.This means the cleaning crew never even looked at it before check in. Did the previous renters not get in? When was the last time it was cleaned? This grossed me out and so we would not allow the boys to get in. Now we could have called the management office right then but we did not want to have to deal with having a service crew of unknown people there with us.

May 26, 2017
Our time has ended at Soaring Ridge Lodge. Even despite the hot tub being gross the cabin was amazing. It had everything one could need and want. IT was completely handicap accessible for my mother in law and I highly recommend it. If you are reading this and are the owners of Soaring Ridge I truly appreciate you opening your cabin up for others to enjoy. We got to see a beautiful double rainbow from your living room/kitchen and we made some wonderful memories. Leaving was hard but packing up and getting the kids and mother in law  to understand why we were having to leave was harder. We were now headed across town to our original cabin. Since we could go straight to the new cabin and had to be out of Soaring Ridge Lodge by 10 am we decided to head to Gatlinburg to visit one of my favorite yarn stores. If you are a fiber and yarn lover you need to visit the Smoky Mountain Spinnery! Our plan was to get there when they opened at 9 and then head straight to the new cabin.

We arrived to Mountain Lake Lodge at 10 am and when we pulled up our heart sank. There was a car sitting at the cabin. We pulled up and my husband got out and knocked. No one came to the door. He knocked again… then used the key code to get in. He noticed linens in the floor and called out Hello! Finally a lady appeared a member of the cleaning crew. She explained that the other attendants had just checked out that morning and that they just begun cleaning. She stated that they would need at least 2 hours to clean the cabin, at the same time he was talking to the ladies we get a text from Barb. The text said the original cabin would be ready around 12. Let’s stop again and review the facts.  1. The people who just checked out they were supposed to be out Wednesday morning by 10 am. 2. Barb and Foster both “assured” us we could head straight to our original cabin ANY time on Friday morning because they would CLEAN the cabin on Thursday. 3. Obviously the previous attendants not only were allowed to stay Wednesday night but also through Friday night. 
Standing on the front porch of Mountain Lake Lodge my husband calls Barb at 10 am. He asked Barb what is going on. Barb then acts like she never told us we could check in earlier than 12. In fact she made it out to be our fault that there was a miscommunication and that we did not understand her. Frustrated he asked Barb how they were going to manage to clean a 3 floor 5 bedroom cabin in two hours when in general they allow 6 hours for cleaning. Barb said the cleaning service assured her it would be ready. Again without options we left since we were cabinless . My husband then tried to call Foster but it went to his voice mail. It is important to note at this point we still have groceries in our car from the previous cabin. Since we were told we could go “straight” to Mountain Lake Lodge and we had a full day, night and half a day before we headed home. We then headed down the road to Fudpucker’s for some burgers because we were hungry and had planned to use our groceries to make sandwiches at the cabin. We knew there was no way they would get done cleaning so we went back to Tanger to the Disney store since we were right there.  Foster called back at 12:03pm and stated that Barb was supposed to call us before hand and let us know that things had changed and we could not check into Mountain Lake Lodge until 12. At 12:48 pm Foster calls again and says they will credit us another $100. Yea that’s it a total of $200, so much for them really crediting us for our inconveniences.

It’s now around 1pm and we have arrived at Mountain Lake Lodge. We begin to unload our stuff again. We got all the groceries in side in the Fridge and begin to relax. This cabin has two bedrooms on the main floor and two bathrooms. This cabin if you remember should be very cleaned, we were assured several times that it would be.  Upon moving in the bags we noticed the fruit loops in the floor and picked them up since we did not want them stepped on. Glad they cleaned the floors well smh. My boys then claimed the upstairs rooms since that is where all the fun things were.  Within 20 minutes of being in the cabin we go to flush a toilet and it is backed up. Thank goodness there are others right?? I want to  get in the shower because I am tired. I open the door and there are hairs in the shower floor. I sigh and rinse them down the drain. All the emotions are piling up at this point. I want to relax and lie down and head to the couch. I step on something I thought it was part of my sons Star Wars toys he just got at the Disney store so I go to pick it up. Nope it is a piece of bitten into bacon. Disgusted I throw it away and wash my hands.  My oldest wants to get online however the wifi does not show up. We see another wifi in the area but the password for the cabin does not work. My husband and I are not new to electronics we worked for a electronics retailer for over a decade this was not an error on our part. We again were not going to call because to be honest with we getting very irate with all the “lack of customer service” we had encountered in the last few days. We also did not want to have strangers in the cabin with us. At 2:20 pm I attempt to lay on the couch again. My mother in Law is sitting in a rocker on the front porch. She calls my name I then see a van pulled up to the cabin. A man and a woman get out of the van. I call to my husband and jump up to get to the door. Apparently The Cabin Store thought it would be acceptable to set up lawn service for the cabin while we were there…. Yep you read that right they were there to cut the grass. I was livid. I asked my husband do we need to move our car? I had washed the minivan before we left and vacuumed it. If you are a mom you can completely relate to the awesome feeling of a clean car, it is a rare and wonderful thing.  My husband walks out and asks the man if we need to move our car. He says no and states how he has worked lawn service for a long time. Well he blew grass all over my car! During this whole mess my son discovers one of the bathrooms downstairs on the main level toilet is also clogged. It just so happened to be in the bedroom my mother in law chose. My father in law had left to visit his family in Knoxville a little bit before. Since the front bedroom was located right at the front door she wanted us to sleep there and her to sleep in the back bedroom so she would feel safer. Now we were going to have to share a bathroom. Remember she cannot get up the stairs. We could not switch rooms with her because she would not feel safe close to the door and with her Alzheimer’s were could not get her to remember her bathroom was out of order.  My husband and I looked at each other and agreed  “we are done”. The incidents just kept stacking up. We told the boys and mamaw to gather their stuff back up. We began loading the car yet again. I had the back hatch open because we was loading the car and the lawn crew decided to blow the grass with a blower around my car. Guess what he did he blew grass all in my car!  It was all over the dash board, floors, and in the back where we had bags of things we had purchased.  My husband again called Foster and told him we were done! We told him everything that happened at Mountain Lake Lodge and we were headed home.

In conclusion:
We have stayed in many and I mean many cabins in our 12 years at the Smoky Mountains. I have never experienced the stress and the complete lack of concern for customers like I did this week.  I have never been accused of not following the directions and terms of a rental agreement and was appalled that Barb did so. I have never experienced the complete disregard of our feelings as consumers and  prejudice from a company towards one family vs another. The other family that got to have an extended stay in the cabin we reserved I am sure had a wonderful time but at our expense. What is the point of reserving a cabin if its renters can just stay if till they want? What a complete joke The Cabin Rental Store did to “take care of us”.  With all the shifting we had to do and all the time we spent “Cabinless” we lost about a day of peace. The amount of money they are supposed to credit us does not even cover the amount to rent either cabin for a night. Not to mention they have charged our cabin to our credit card but we have yet to see either one of these credits.

I hope you share this with your friends and family. I hope you are leery of the level of customer service you can expect from I hope this company understands this is not what you should do to “take care of” repeat customers.