Monday, April 2, 2012


Hi all!

I have to post this everywhere possible because I am getting a jump start on my spring cleaning and quickly realizing how big my yarn stash really is.  Here's a hint: it will not fit in my hubby's CR-V, even with all the seats down!  That means, as sad as I am to say this, I have to get rid of some of it.  I'm going to be selling it on in order to get some additional capital for a few of the projects I have to do before we open (like decorate, paint, buy a few additional fixtures, etc.).  If you're a Ravelry member, click here.

All that I have listed has to go.  In order to save costs after the store opens, I must get rid of our storage unit and my yarn stash is preventing additional items from getting back into our basement.  Yup, I'm bordering on being a yarn hoarder.  :)  I'm currently only shipping the stash to the US and Canada because it's more expensive to ship International.  Prices are about 50% of retail for each item and I have about two or three more boxes of yarn to take photos of (I'm hoping to cut my stash by at least 50% within the next week).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I Love What I Do!

This evening while eating dinner in our office, I turned and looked at my husband and said, "This is really gonna happen..."  We were eating at the table I purchased for classes in the shop and it just hit me that starting a yarn shop was no longer a dream, it's a reality!  I have all of the larger "fixtures" for the store, and the rest will all be incidentals.  Of course, there's all that fun business stuff that needs to be taken care of before we open, but that's just a matter of time (and paperwork).

My goal is to get a lot of things second hand or "found" in nature.  I've come across things like hat boxes, interesting dress forms, some cool artwork, or even pieces that speak to me.  I a battered suitcase for decoration, a metal milk jug, and plenty of baskets.  My mother is also giving me a lot of her old baskets that she used to make when I was younger!

In the mean time, I've been knitting like crazy for both Sock Madness and what is to be the first knit along.  Round 1 for sock madness started out with a pair of socks that require a set of dice to choose at random whether or not you will C2F every 4th row.  The result is a pair of "mismatched" socks with cables randomly happening along the instep and leg.  I took (bad) progress pictures along the way and to submit at the end of the round.

I dyed the sock yarn with
Black Cherry Kool-Aid!

At the end of each day of frantic sock knitting, I'd spend my evenings "resting" by starting the All the Stops dress, a great pattern in Juniper Moon Farm's Findley Dappled booklet.  I'll be able to post a few pictures in a few days, as we've got terrible lighting in the house and pictures are not turning out quite right.  I want to be able to do this yarn justice because the variegated Findley Dappled is breathtaking, no matter what colorway you're using!  It feels like pure silk as I knit (it should, it's 50% silk and 50% merino wool).

Peanut, my son, checks out the shelves I plan
to use for Juniper Moon Farm yarns.  :)

It was first hard to imagine how this dress was going to turn out, but it became apparent quickly that the two stitches surrounded by stitch markers are where the shoulder seam is to be.  From there, you work your way down in three sections - left front, back, and right front.  I am now to where dart decreases are made.  I've sewn darts before, but have never knit darts, an interesting concept, but they serve the same purpose - to tailor the bust line. So far, it appears that I may be the only one who's documented doing this pattern (other than the tester), so I hope someone joins me in this project soon.  My dress, once complete, will be displayed in the shop and I'll also be wearing it on a cruise in January 2013, assuming I don't gain a massive amount of weight before then.

 Last, but not least, I got permission to share an appreciation photo from the layette set I designed and made for my hubby's boss.  I know I posted it on Facebook, but here's the little boy wearing the hat and socks from the set.  I was also told that they're giving me a copy of him in the whole outfit once they get the pictures from the hospital photographer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who reads my Cherished Moments blog!  I truly love each and every one of the people who have helped cheer me on, laughed with me, cried with me and been an inspiration to me over the past year.  Have a great one!

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but I'm having a blast getting Midwest Yarn up and running.  The tentative website launch date is February 27th and with the way things are slow to arrive, it looks like that was a good date to pick.

Katya Rose
Size 6-12 months
In between website building and Peanut entertaining, I've been working on a few new projects.  I published another pattern on called the "Katya Rose". 

It's a jumper and pant set featuring picot edging.  It ranges in size from 0-3 months to 18-24 months.  I love working with merino wool and this project was no exception.  I picked out the colors Fuschia and Snow from Millamia, purchased at Ruhama's, my favorite LYS.  I also crocheted a flower and put it on the jumper to decorate it for the picture and for sale on Etsy.

I always feel self-conscious about the photos I take because we have a small, poorly lit condo, and I can only get semi-descent pictures in a few areas of the house and at specific times of the day.  Being that we're in Wisconsin and in the middle of winter, sunny days are also few and far between.

Knitting Madness
I've been feverishly knitting in the few minutes I get in my spare time as well.  I knit a scarf out of Noro Kureyon Sock, using a pattern from Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders.  I figure, since I have so much sock yarn in my stash, I might as well work through the book a little bit to bring down that stash, if that's even possible.  If I have time, I might even do Sock Madness through the group (and that's a real big IF, but I missed last year's because I never had knit a sock before).  Now that I've learned/mastered a lot of new techniques over the last year, I'm hoping that I can stand a chance to even keep up with the sock pros.

Yea, I've been knitting for over 20 years, but I'm a young one compared to a lot of my knit/crochet counterparts.  I just want to prove that I can do it, even if I only make it through the first round.  I'm a slow knitter.

Coming Soon
Midwest Yarn's launch and more pattern designs.  On deck for a pattern: sweater vest.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yarn, Yarn Everywhere...

I guess online yarn shops are somewhat taboo in the LYS industry.  I knew that, but I'm still plunging forward with the Midwest Yarn project.  I keep telling myself, "You're not WEBS, not Yarn Market, you're Midwest Yarn.  You're online to raise capital for the brick-and-mortar shop."  I'm hoping that this mantra will help me through the Grand Opening jitters.  This is a HUGE investment and I don't want to fail.  Small business profits go to feeding families, not paying for undeserved bonuses or padding the bank account.

I'll still be knitting, I'll still be designing, and at some point, maybe I'll be able to hire an assistant or bring on a business partner to allow me to be more involved in the industry.  My mission is to promote the longevity of needlecrafts like ours.  I don't want to step on any toes, I want to bring people my age and younger on board. 

When at the indoor playground with Peanut, I was asked by one little boy, "WHAT are you doing?!"  Of course, he saw me working on a bright pink pair of knit merino pants.  Another mom, who looked to be about my age, said she admired people who could knit and crochet and wished she had the time to learn.  C'MON knitters, let's do it!  Let's get my generation and the next into the mix!

In the meantime, I'll be promoting the heck out of Midwest Yarn's products (*wink* NORO) and website (*wink* Juniper Moon Farm).  You can also check out Midwest Yarn's blog for updates and if you follow the blog, the Ravelry group, Facebook page or Twitter (@midwestyarn), you'll get a discount.  We're still set to open within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Midwest Yarn is Almost Here!

The hard work is just beginning, but I'm happy to report that Midwest Yarn, a Cherished Moments company, has filed its paperwork to establish it as a business!  To the right, you'll see the logo I designed, with the help of Vistaprint.

I'm building the website and meet with my first yarn sales rep in a week. The best part is that I am completely overwhelmed with excitement.  I also wrote a lot of the business plan tonight which is a combination of all the notes I've made for myself over the past several months.  I have not decided on a deadline for launch of the website, but I'm aiming for March 1st. 

Even with that deadline so close, I'm still optimistic that I can continue to design patterns, knit, and maintain the Cherished Moments website and site in the process.  I'm pretty efficient when it comes to running a business, that's why I am able to keep those things in my life and not get burned out.  Once my website is launched, I'll also be working on setting up my husband's online vintage shop, also to be run as a Cherished Momens company.  You won't be able to access the shop's website yet, but I'll keep everyone posted as it becomes available.

My reboot is going well.  I am on Day 5 and have lost almost 5 pounds.  On Day 4, I did have a lot of problems with lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.  While I do believe that it's because of the lack of sleep the night before (Peanut stayed up all night), I have decided to end the fast sooner than the 15-day deadline.  It's unhealthy to lose more than 2 pounds in a week and I definitely felt that yesterday.  The 5-day express program is more realistic for me, which means I'm done as of today.  I'll be repeating this program once every 3 months or so as suggested, just to maintain good weight and results.

With so much going on with the business start up, I don't want to make myself sick to the point that I cannot work.  Over the next few days, I'll be adding in nuts, legumes (beans), and whole wheats, slowly as to not make myself sick that way either.  I'll continue to juice and keep fruits and veggies as a main part of my diet, but I'm sure adding these things back in will slow down my weight loss.  My ideal weight is 125-135 and I'm already at 135!  Wish me luck!

Coming soon
Working on advertising for Midwest Yarn.  You may see ads on Ravelry and other places soon.  I'm also almost done with the test for pattern #2, so look for that on Ravelry as well!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Recipe for Change

Nope, no yarn or knitting updates today.  Today, I'm talking about this Reboot that I'm doing.  No, not rebooting the computer, my body (in a sense).  I recently watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead just for kicks on Netflix because I wasn't in the mood to watch much else.  Imagine that, a guy made himself healthy by changing his eating habits.  For 60 days he consumed nothing but juiced fruits and vegetables.  He called it a reboot.

Basically, it's like de-toxifying your system with weight loss as a side effect.  There are a select few who may gain weight from doing this too.  The website for this craze is  I'm currently working on the Reboot Standard Program:
  • 5 days whole fruits and vegetables and juicing
  • 5 days just juicing
  • 5 days whole fruits and vegetables and juicing
They don't recommend this before talking to your doctor and I recently just had a physical and bloodwork done.  No risk for diabetes or high cholesterol.  The recommendation on the website is that this particular program can be repeated once every three months if you need it (please, read the guidelines and FAQs if you attempt this).

Today is day one for me.  Weight: 140 (with clothes on).  It took an entire year of dieting and such to lose 35 pounds to get to today's weight.  Last year at this time, I weighed 175 pounds, 3 pounds more than I weighed the day I gave birth to Peanut!  I had put on an unhealthy amount of weight, was considered obese for my height, and my mental and physical health were questionable.  Slowly I lost the weight and can proudly say that I went from a size 14 to a size 8!

Now, I want to lose a few extra pounds and get back down to an ideal weight of 125-135 pounds.  Ideal because when I was anemic I weighed 100 pounds and when I was at the height of my ballroom dancing I weighed 130 pounds.  I seem to be the healthiest and most active right around my ideal weight.

I noticed today that I've been craving bread (my major weakness) and cookies.  What did I actually eat?  For breakfast I had a banana and some green tea.  For lunch, 16 oz of juice made from pears, cantaloupe, and carrots.  For a snack, another banana and some water.  Finally, for dinner I had a salad with balsamic vinegarette and fresh green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic, sea salt, and pepper.  Excellent tasting food!

Some things to note can increase movements.  You may notice somewhat of a "withdrawal", which is typical of most diets.  You may have headaches or feel foggy.  I didn't notice any of that today, just the cravings.  We'll see how that goes.

I'll report on the diet again on day 1 of the juicing phase.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Doin' The Yarn Thing

Green layette set, featuring
a version of the
Garter Stripes Baby Cardigan

I am ecstatic to announce that my first pattern is available on  The "Garter Stripes Baby Cardigan" is available for $5 and also available to LYS shops on ravelry for purchase.  I had a lot of fun designing the yoked cardigan and even made a version of it as a layette set for my husband's boss (whose wife is due in February).

Green layette set
Hat, mitts, socks
I decided not to list the whole layette set so that I could be able to have some of my own "trade secrets" for posting on Etsy and taking to craft fairs.  I love how the layette set turned out, but I did have a dye lot problem.  When I initially bought the yarn, I did not make sure that it was all one dye lot.  I didn't notice until I was most of the way through the WHOLE SET.  I was not about to rip out a week's worth of knitting, but I have learned my lesson.  UGH!

Knitting Madness
Yes, I've been knitting (and working) like crazy for the last week and it absolutely paid off.  As mentioned before, I finished my first pattern.  I also finished the layette set.  While on my knitting breaks I made a lot of phone calls to yarn distributors, talked back and forth with some LYS owners, and worked on my business plan.  All that while attempting to keep Peanut entertained (he did have several temper tantrums, since we're apparently now at that stage).

With all this work, I came to the realization that I love designing, knitting, and getting feedback from other talented people out there.  My mother put it to me that I shouldn't sell myself short and proudly call myself a designer and a business owner...because I am!  So now, I'm working ten times harder to make this business a success.  The journey has its ups and downs, but I'm glad to put in 80 hours a week to be happy doing what I do and supporting my family in the process.  Stay tuned, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Coming Soon
Believe it or not, this yarn business is going to get off the ground.  I'll be working on the business plan and setting up the website because I'll actually have inventory for sale online soon.  *happy dance*

I'm also working on testing another pattern.  More details soon.