Thursday, September 17, 2009

North Country Fiber Fair 2009

It's time once again for the North Country Fiber Fair in Watertown, SD!

The great news is that JL Yarnworks has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year. The bad news is that I had an emergency tonsillectomy on Labor Day and have been pretty much out of commission for the past two weeks. I'm still not feeling up to par, but am packing what I have and hoping for the best!

If you are a local fan, please try to make it out to the fair! It's a small fiber show, but great fun. The vendors I met last year were all absolutely fabulous! But if you try to chat me up and all I can do is croak back at you, please be patient with me. My voice is still a bit fried and I'm afraid after 2 days of manning my booth, it's going to be totally shot! I can't wait though. I had great fun at this show last year and know that this year will be just as wonderful!

I hope to see you there!

(I will be putting the Etsy store in vacation mode and zeroing out most of my inventory on until Monday to avoid double sales. Be back soon!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Fall Knitty Is Up!

Can you find my magnets hidden on the "Cool Stuff" page?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Yesterday, I promised you some surprise news today!

The news is that my magnets are being featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Knitty!

Sadly, Knitty has been delayed and will not be available until tomorrow. Anyone familiar with Knitty knows that it is a professional and comprehensive online publication that requires many many man hours to put together. From bringing together talented designers and trendy patterns to educational articles, book and product reviews, tips and techniques, Knitty truly is the bees knees. I feel exceptionally honored to have my magnets featured amongst their "cool stuff."

Since the issue hasn't been published yet, I don't know which magnets they are featuring or if they will be sending readers to My Etsy Store or to I will say that I currently have more magnets listed on and that it's easier and cheaper to order larger quantities there due to the flat-rate shipping available on

I've been working to add to my magnet selection so that there's something for everyone. Currently, I have sock monkeys, knit stitches, buttons (below), measuring tapes/rulers (great for stitchers and teachers alike!), sheep, and border collies. I'm always looking for new varieties. As always, feel free to make suggestions.

Also, in the very near future (this weekend perhaps?), I will be adding hairclips with sock monkeys, sheep, and bunnies on them! I'm very excited about what's coming this fall to JL Yarnworks. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Not So Secret Gardens, Scary Mantis, and Surprises

It hasn't been a secret around here that one of my favorite parts of home ownership is the ability to have my very own garden. There's just something empowering about being able to grow your own food. And watching the kids pick their own veggies and eat them straight from the garden just makes my day. I can't wait until next year when our garden is full-strength and not just something we threw together in late June once we'd moved in. But here are a couple of highlights...

My stunted purple bell pepper. It's a tiny little plant trying to put out a full-sized pepper. We'll just have to wait and see if it gets to full-size. But I'm enraptured by the beauty of it. Maybe it's just because I'm a purple girl, but I love it.

Swiss chard was our biggest surprise this year. None of us had ever tried it before finding a small tray of it at our local greenhouse when I was throwing our garden together. Even if it didn't grow for us, I figured it was a chance to try it to see if it was even worth growing. Nutritionally, I knew it was phenomenal, so definitely worth the dollar and some change for a taste-test. Well, I nearly wasn't able to plant it! Miss Kate kept eating the leaves and FORBADE me from planting her food! I was able to get it into the ground and we've been harvesting since. The dog dug up 3 of the 4, but we still have this very strong yellow-stemmed plant that has held together many salads. Definitely something we'll be doing every year from here on out! Plus, it's just a really pretty plant, isn't it?

With the garden and our new yard have come some visitors my kids never got to see in our old yards. We're a bit more out in the country now and have garter snakes, praying mantis, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, moths, and so much more sharing our yard with us. One of our favorites is what Miss Kate calls the "Scary Mantis" despite many attempts at correcting her. Here's one such scary mantis. :)

Miss May found this grasshopper on our front porch today too and was very excited.

So what's this about "surprises," you ask? Ahh.. Well I don't want to say just yet. It'll be official tomorrow, so I'll totally spill the beans then. But here's a tiny hint of what I've been up to lately. A peek at what my workspace has looked like for the better part of the last two weeks...

Oh and the other surprise? This past weekend I was diagnosed with strep throat. But instead of it getting better with antibiotics, it got worse! Monday, I had an emergency tonsillectomy to remove what my ENT called the largest tonsil he's ever seen. He seemed shocked that I was still able to breathe, so he got me in right away. I'm still quite sore, am fairly well drugged up on narcotics, and really really wish I could snarf down some pizza or something right now instead of runny mashed potatoes like tonight's dinner. BUT, I do feel better overall and am expecting to heal quite nicely now. I'm also hoping that much of my illness these last couple winters will not plague me this winter now that my tonsils are gone. I'm only telling you this so that you know that if this blog post or any correspondence with me over the next couple days is...well...."off" know to blame it on the narcotics. You'd do me that favor, right? :)
I'll be back tomorrow with the big news. It's very exciting for JL Yarnworks! I can't wait to share!

First Day of School

Miss May is now in the 1st grade. Miss Kate will be starting preschool soon, but has been in a preschool specifically geared to kids ages one and two before, so this year isn't anything super special. EXCEPT, that Miss May is now in a new school district with all new kids, and she's THRILLED! See?

Nerves of steel, that one! These pictures were taken just before heading to school and she was stoked. Her new school has 10 fewer children per class, and only has Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Her new principal is very involved, yet laid back. We absolutely love the potential that this new school has.

We're not so thrilled that she's growing up so fast. No, not thrilled at all.

We ARE thrilled and big sister and little sister still get along so well. This is a very normal pose for them. Totally naturally and not prompted by Mom at all. I swear!
We also had a nice surprise about a week before school started. A visit from my step-son, Austin! He's almost 15, stands about 6'1" now, and is such a darling you'd hardly know he's a teenager! :) We don't see much of Austin mostly because he's such an active, athletic kid with games and friends and other obligations over the weekends, but we truly wish he had more time to hang out with us! He's SUCH a good kid. He even humored the little ones with over an hour of kicking the soccer ball around the backyard while waiting for Dad to come home. Then, of course, they whooshed off to do "guy things." Hehe.

Thanks for hanging out with us Austin. We love you and hope to see you again very soon!