(Almost) hometown LYS/coffee shop!

Today I met up with one of my oldest friends at our other old friend’s small business, which happens to be a knitter’s dream; a coffee shop/yarn store!!  It’s called the Brew House and is located on the north side of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

justin owns and runs the shop with hisn wife , Jen (not pictured). the three of us pictured here had some awfully good times in high school and college, and I’m so happy to be reunited !

Past the front room where you order, you find a small room with various handmade things; bibs, soaps, candles, handspun yarn…

  The next room contains big shelves of yarn. Some are well known brands like Cascade, others I hadn’t seen.    



how cute are these??


and notions!

They also sell local yarn, which I was so pleased to see! It’s beautiful and soft, and I might need to buy some as a souvenir. Blue Hills Fiber Mill- the Blue Hills are not far from my home town and are especially pretty in the autumn.

I’ll be back several times during my visit, so I have plenty of time to choose a souvenir yarn. 🙂 🙂 🙂


My past (craft) life

Back in high school and college, I was really into drawing and cross-stitch. I dabbled in painting, tie dye, etc., but pencil drawing and cross-stitch were my favorites.  Visiting my parents, there are plenty of examples- here are some! 

some of my drawings from college- i was rarely without my sketchbooks!


a batik from high school


cross-stitch- this one earned me a grand champion ribbon at the county fair!


cross-stitch samer, maybe from college?


i made this for my dad, who was in a gospel quartet and also sang solos at church.


i think this was my first big project- 8th grade.

i made this one for my grandparents, who loved gardening!

 I also enjoyed, then purged, lots of awards and mementos from 4-H, FHA, Forensics, French speaking contests, spelling bees, cheerleading, etc!


plaques from spelling bees and 4-H, mostly


i had no idea how many ribbons and pins i had!


some of my favorite pins.


Ahhhh the nostalgia.  Thanks to Mari Kondo, though, I had little trouble throwing a lot away, giving my parents back some precious storage space! No regrets! 

A real summer day

Today I took the kids to the swimming pool and park where I spent most of my summer days as a kid. 

aside from the addition of some water slides, nothing has changed!


I was so surprised to find much of the park equipment I remembered playing on completely unaltered.


creepy clown wants to play!


living on the edge


leo the litter lion? how can you feed him at the top of the swings?!

The walk back to my parents’ house was hot and tiring, and I was over the moon when my dad told me to slow down, then handed me this:

he has good taste in beer.

The day ended with an impressive performance by Fritz, the giant cat.

he’s so long!!

In knitting news, I’m almost done with my T bear!  

Now off to bed! Good night!

Slow day

Not much went on today, due to rain. It was fun introducing the kids to one of the libraries I frequented as a kid, and I had some time to work on my current bear.

She’s a T bear, maybe Teresa after an aunt of mine.  

In spite of the rain, we found out that the Wee Girl likes baseball and is a pretty good batter, Is good with cats, and the kids enjoyed their first 4-wheeler ride! On Wisconsin! 


Outdoors and knitting 

We had some good outdoors time today, starting with a stream.  


I don’t think my kids had been in a stream before, in spite of all our ocean outings.

And another stream! 


And I finished my third hat since starting out from CA. Two Magic Coffee Baby Hats and one teenage-sized hat for charity. 


There was also stone throwing to make cool ripples. 

Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so we’ll have to get creative.


The kids and I survived our first flight alone together!

And we had a full first day, exploring my sister’s huge yard,


Meeting kittens, 


And cows, 


Knitting Al fresco, 


Meeting my parents’ giant cat,   

Perusing the local supermarket,


And there was even a rainbow! 

Pretty good for day 1! It’s so warm here, hard to get used to! 

Travel knitting

I started this post last night but was too busy packing and getting a few work-related things done.  

So, I decided on these projects to take with me on our trip (bear in mind that we’ll be in Wisconsin for 8 weeks).

Bears!  Two pairs of vanilla socks:

And Magic Coffee Baby hats for the flight: 
I even pared down my notions from a cumbersome box to a small bag: 

 And I finished a bear to take along and drop off in Minneapolis. Did I mention that I’ll get to attend a Mother Bear meet-up that sees hearts on the Bears before they get sent to Africa? I’m super excited about that.  

Now wish me luck as I take my first solo flight alone with my two kids!

Loose ends

The kids are I are leaving for a long trip soon, so I wanted to finish up a couple of big WIPs that are too big for travel and that I didn’t want haunting me while we’re gone, and I did it!

First, my POP blanket squares!

I finished two nights ago, but they photograph so much better after blocking.

Secondly, last night I was able to finish plying my current spinning project.

I have two very full bobbins- looks like pretty generous yardage. I’ll get a better idea of how much I have when I skein it. 

Tomorrow’s post: travel knitting!!!

Magic Marvin

We met baby Marvin yesterday- he’s the wee babe for whom I whipped up a Blue/Blue Magic Coffee Baby Hat last week! Ohhhh he’s cute! The kids and I were instantly in love and vying for his attention.


He was a willing hat model.     

What a sweetheart! At 8 months, the 9-18 month size is still roomy, but babies grow, of course. Maybe  it’ll be a perfect fit for next winter!