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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: www.erinlanebags.com/collections/small-project-bag

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.  
www.etsy.com/shop/SuburbanStitcher


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. https://ewesewansew.com/

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. 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/BagsByAwesomeGrannie

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! www.chickenbootsusa.com/collections/project-bags/products/copy-of-double-double

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. 
https://www.chickenbootsusa.com/collections/zippered-needle-cases/products/copy-of-notions-case

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. www.erinlanebags.com/collections/knitpack-notions 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: www.fabulousyarn.com/namaste
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.
www.verabradley.com/us/product/Iconic-Vera-Tote/Playful-Penguins-Gray/22163-22163I71?Ntt=VB-PDP-BAGS-TOTE-BAGS-PDP-VB



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. www.verabradley.com/us/product/Get-Carried-Away-Tote/Lilac-Medallion/15673-15673I51?Ntt=VB-PDP-BAGS-TOTE-BAGS-PDP-VB

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. http://www.fabulousyarn.com/namaste.shtml 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: http://yarning4asmile.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-little-organization-from-my-byob.html
The Harlow Bag: http://yarning4asmile.blogspot.com/2014/10/namaste-harlow.html
http://www.fabulousyarn.com/namaste.shtml

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

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: http://www.lanternmoon.com/Fiber-Basketry_c_29.html
African Market Basket: http://www.africanmarketbaskets.com/
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.com

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 www.wwkipday.com/find-a-kip 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 www.TheCabinRentalStore.com. 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 www.thecabinrentalstore.com. 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 www.thecabinstore.com. I hope this company understands this is not what you should do to “take care of” repeat customers.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Bunny has hopped away.

Hello guys today is May the 2nd! Can you believe that?? Wow what a fast year this has been. I would love to say that I have been knocking projects out of the park but then I would be lying. I have been quite the busy bee dealing with family things, sick kiddos and new kittens.. yep new kittens :)


**Errata from video- I got the Lornas Laces not 50% off but I did get it shipped $10 after shipping discount and Rewards.
Img_2957_small2
The Finished Objects:
Bramble Owl Softie
Pattern by: Sonya Philip
Needle: Us 8
Yarn: yarn is from the kit.

~Watch video at     to see how to figure up yarn amount used.

Works in Progress:
Mom's Moonshadow
Img_3420_small2Pattern by Daniela Zeni
Needle Us 7
Yarn Ella Rae Cozy Soft

JayWalker Socks 
Pattern by Grumperina
Needle US 1
Yarn Desert Vista Dyeworks Murder on the Orient Express

Cross Stitch
1.Star Wars Trilogy From Cloudsfactory (digital download) https://cloudsfactory.net/star-wars.html
2.Charka Mandala from Stitch People (Ebook and Book for) https://stitchpeople.com/products/chakra-mandalas

New to the Stash
HedgeHog Fibres in the Potluck color bought from Yarns by HPF
Lorna Laces from www.JimmyBeans.com in the Newt's Suit
Lion Brand Mandala www.lionbrand.com/mandala-yarn.html

Bags I showed
www.etsy.com/shop/BagsByAwesomeGrannie
www.erinlanebags.com
www.chickenbootsusa.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Episode 19 The things I got done and the ones I am working on.







Works in Progress:

Knitted Knockers
Pattern www.knittedknockers.org
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima
Needle: US 4
www.knittedknockers.org

Jaywalker Socks
Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks Murder on the Orient Express
Needle: US 1 

Sophie's Universe
Pattern Sophie's Universe by  Dedri Uys
Yarn: worsted weight acrylics that I have (scraps, some passed down etc.... see project notes which the yarn names and colors and what row I used them on) 
Hook: US H 8 mm

Eastaboga in the Fall
Cozy Memories Blanket 
Its a Red Hot Labor Day Shawl 

Cross Stitch
Star Wars Trilogy by CloudsFactory


Finished Things: 

Mrs.Fitz' Mitts by Julia Salzer

In your dreams unicorn by Ilaria Caliri

lalylala 4seasons CHRISTMAS Xmas by Lydia Tresselt

Easy Nine Patch by Vicki Mikulak
Used for the www.projectamigo.org   Here is the link from the post I wrote about them http://yarning4asmile.blogspot.com/2017/02/project-amigo.html.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Project Amigo


Have you heard of Project Amgio? I had never till the first of the year when they contacted my local yarn store Yvies asking if any of the patrons would be interested in making squares.

Project Amigo is a non profit organization that supports students from Colima, Mexico, so that they can create their own educational opportunities and better their quality of life. They have a need for 6 inch squares that will be used for afghans that will be distributed to poor families of the students in Mexico who are being sponsored by Project Amigo.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Finishing Things up before the Year comes to an End.





Kiss Checks Hat
Pattern: Kiss Checks by Stpehen West
Yarn: Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the Dark Side color
Needle: US 2 2.75 mm
Notes: cast on 128 st for a 8x8 pattern

Ritenour Hat
Pattern: Ritenour Hat by Polly Hammond
Yarn: Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport
NeedleUS 2 2.75mm
Notes: Us 2 Cast on 124 stitches

Wee Snowman #1 and #2
Pattern: Snowman Family by Jesie Ostermiller
Yarn: Feza Yarns Capri in 431 blue, 410 white.
Needle: US 1.5 2.5 mm

Peiskos Hat ~ Test Knit 
Pattern: Peiskos by Alicia Plummer
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Grasshopper, Whiskey Barrel and Esoteric
Needle: US 6 4 mm and US 9 5.5mm
Notes: I had to us the 6 with the rib and adjusted my cast on to accommodate another pattern repeat. I then knit a row before starting the hat and used the US 9.

His Auburn Hat
Pattern: Katahdin by Kate Gannon Osborn
Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Findley DK in 9 Tiger Lily and 6 Rappahannock
Needle: US 4

Knitted Knockers
Pattern www.knittedknockers.org
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima
Needle: US 4

Donner in DK
Pattern: Donner by Lena Skvagerson
Yarn: Feza Yarn Softie in color 347
Needle US 2

Wild Thing
Pattern: Wild thing by Susan Claudino
Yarn: Highland Handmades Green Ash Worsted in Minos, Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo in Sand Bank and Yarn by Homeplace Farms in greens.
Needle: US 5 3.75mm
Notes: did my horns in the sand to make them stand out.

Works in Progress:
Eastaboga in the Fall
Cozy Memories Blanket 
Its a Red Hot Labor Day Shawl 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Winners are...


Thank you everyone again for entering. I am so sorry I could not see the comments to draw yesterday. We did not get phone/internet service back to late afternoon. I hope everyone has weathered the storms and the wild fires. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers.

I had almost 30 entries to the giveaway! As soon as the winners contact me I will send the books out. If you were not a winner I hope you keep an eye out on my blog for future giveaways. If you want to order a book of your own or read the review you can find the information here. http://yarning4asmile.blogspot.com/2016/11/deck-halls-20-knitted-christmas.html



Congratulations to the winners Deborah Wilt Rav ID DeborahWilt and Elle1031


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thank you!

I just wanted to pop in and say Thank you to all that entered my giveaway and visited my blog. The contest ended last night at 12:01am. We had lost power yesterday afternoon around 7 pm and it was not restored to almost 10 today. We still do not have internet or home phone so I am writing this in the school pick up line. We had some big tress blow down, limbs etc but are fine. We have been preparing for another round of storms to hit this evening. I hope we do not lose power again but we are in an area that is not a  priority. I can not pull up my blog at home due to the lack of cell phone reception in my area but as soon as our internet and phone are restored I will drawn two winners from the list of comments. Thank you again for checking out my blog. I hope you and your family weathered the storm and the fires well and praying for all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Deck the Halls 20+ Knitted Christmas Ornaments


Can you believe Christmas is only 39 days away. Its shocking really and knowing that makes you wonder what can I get done in such little time. I may have a solution, I love doing ornaments. I made a lot of them last year and want to do more this year. Our local Knitting Guild has even decided to do a ornament swap among us at our annual Christmas Party. I think it will be a fun activity and we will have something one of our friends made.
To prepare for my Ornament along I began shopping for patterns. I had come across this book called Annie's Deck The Halls 20+ Knitted Christmas Ornaments. I fell in love with several patterns in the book and realized how great of a deal this book is. The book retails for $9.99 here in the US. There are actually 20 patterns in the book but several patterns have more than one option. An example of this is the beautiful Opulent Openwork Ornaments by Kara Got Warner. There is a beaded option and a non beaded option. Even if you just say there is 20 patterns then at the $9.99 price point that is less than .50 cents per pattern!

The book is a great size with easy to read pages. I love there is some white space making it easy to focus on the pattern. The projects are photographed in a way that you can see them well and putting the focus on the actual object itself. All of the patterns are wrote out but there are a few simple charts for you chart lovers along with some simple graphs. The last few pages of the book have an index page with all the ornaments and their corresponding page numbers, a stitch reference, abbreviations definitions and a yarn weight guide.

Now lets look at the patterns. Each pattern page has a photo, skill level, materials needed, gauge, special stitches, notes and other information needed to compete the project. I was surprised to see almost all the pattern are considered intermediate. I have read over them and none of them seem that difficult. The one that is considered easy is the Cabled Christmas Stocking and there is one that is considered experienced, Donner the reindeer. I am actually working on Donner and he is not hard at all. I think anyone with basic skills should be able to pick up this book and go.

The only things I wished I had seen are the wording on the method they say to use. This is common among so many patterns I run across. (It in no way takes away from anything in the pattern book.) The book refers to Double Points often and I see many people get turned off by patterns that recommend one method or the other. I use DPNs but many people see those words and think they can not do the pattern because they only magic loop or vice versa. Magic loop and double point knitting are interchangeable methods you just need to make sure you use stitch markers to mark repeats or where they would be split on to the double points. Both methods can be learn by watching any of the videos on line. Annie's has these two methods on their site and the magic loop can be found here.

The other thing I would love to see in more diagrams as far as where to place things like legs etc. I know many people really have issues where to place legs, eyes, noses etc and where they are placed can really change the finishing look of the finished object.

One more thing I would love to add, I really wish all the projects in the book were added into Ravelry. Ravelry has become a great go to for pattern comments and helpful tips from other crafters. Many head there to see the notes left on a project, how others turned out and so they can link it to there's.

My wrap up:  This is a wonderful book for the price. The patterns are easy to follow, well photographed and adorable!

If you would like to purchase this book for yourself, a friend or both then please click here. Now for the fun part. Annie's has so generously sent me two copies of Deck the Halls 20+ Knitted Christmas Ornaments to giveaway. 

 Please note this giveaway is for US residents only, it is for the a copy Deck the Halls 20+ Knitted Christmas Ornaments only. ~~Contest ends Monday November 28, 2016~~

  To Be Entered to win please Leave a comment on the comment link directly under and to the left of the snowman picture below. Be sure to leave your name, be signed into Google or leave your Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you are a winner. 
(After you comment you may need to refresh the page for your comment to show up)


Thank you for stopping by and Happy Crafting!