Monday, October 24, 2016

Podcast Episode 5 show notes

Podcast episode 5 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link. (Note: the iTunes link will update in 24 hrs. I was using soundcloud to host my podcast, but I didn't realize that it was only giving me 3 hours....TOTAL! I thought it was 3 hours per month. Sigh - I'm moving over to podbean. Hopefully I've set it up so that the old episodes will still show up in iTunes. So complicated!)

Links mentioned:

Love the Winter hat
Ease pullover
Strie socks
Gingell socks
Simple Hat

Lola dress
Tinkerbell costume

Sarah Eichorn natural dying class
Wild Haven Fiber Company

Loving Frank
The Wonder by Emma Donaughue
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Condo
The Modern Natural Dyer, Vejar
Natural Color, Duerr 
Harvesting Color, Burgess
A Garden to Dye For, McLaughlin

Contact links
email -

Music courtesy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 2016 Day in the Life

According to my sidebar, I did one of these posts a year and a half ago, and it's also one of my most popular posts! I haven't been moved to do it in a while, but this year, something about it spoke to me, so here we go!

Again, I chose a Monday, but that's just a coincidence. It's still my day off, and I still love that schedule. I woke up around 6:30, which sadly is sleeping in, and even more sadly is hours later than it was a few months ago. Everyone slept all night too, so it was a relatively restful sleep. It's October and a gorgeous fall day. It's cool this morning, but should be nice later.

Feeling a bit like a mad scientist, I crush up some vitamins in almond yogurt (fun with food allergies!), and make some coffee in the french press. Which, can I just say, I think I'm doing fancy coffee wrong. I don't have a teapot, so I have to heat the water up in the microwave, and half the time I don't get to the second cup in the carafe while it's still hot, and I have to nuke it anyway. None of this is fancy. I should be demoted back to drip coffee with the hot plate to keep the second cup warm. I also threw in a load of laundry.

Breakfast is followed by playtime, and I remember that I'd planned to put something in the slow cooker for dinner. Yesterday I pulled out both chicken and a roast to defrost. The roast was still a bit frozen, so I decided on chicken, and, feeling uninspired, I googled. Cilantro lime chicken tacos sounded good, but I didn't have any salsa. Knowing I was probably making a mistake as I did it...I put in tomato sauce instead. I know, I'm ashamed. I didn't actually have any cilantro either, so I put in parsley and wondered if this was even going to be edible. I finished up in the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. At this point it is about 9:30

I was surprised to see a familiar face on the tv when I walked back into the living room. A dad of a school friend was on some morning show talking about bike and pedestrian safety. I was glad that I was able to go back to the top of the segment to catch his name and confirm that he WAS who I thought he was. I have such a hard time recognizing people "out of context".

After that we settled back in for some more playing while I played my youtube "watch later" list in the background. I was treated to a podcast episode from Susan B. Anderson. I just love her, and knitting podcasts in general are just so great because you are nearly guaranteed that there won't be anything offensive to little ears. I pulled the sheets out of the washer and threw in the still gross shower curtain liner again with a couple of towels in super hot water to see if I could get rid of the mildew spot I had been trying to address. We have a block window on the back wall of our shower that is super not waterproof, so we have a clear shower curtain hung in front of it. We don't open and close it frequently since that's not the in and out curtain, and I had noticed a couple weeks back that I hadn't noticed a hidden fold and it was looking yuck. Spoiler alert, my plan didn't work.

Naptime = me time. 10 am, and I get set up to do some yoga. A friend saw my complaining that the 90 min P90X workout is just way too flippin long to get through, so he shared the newer version from P90X 3 with me (no, I did not know there was more than one version!). This one is only 30 minutes which is MUCH more manageable with my limited free time. I was surprised that it wasn't a super tough workout, but instead more on the level of a moderate flow class. Other than my lack of flexibility, I could do all the poses with the group, and only nixed the extra stuff like pushups during vinyasa and some of the more difficult yoga trick toward the end - I did manage all of the balance poses though, even crow!

Then I grabbed a quick shower and another #nomakeup selfie. In fact I skipped makeup all day because lazy.

I still had a little time, so I headed downstairs to continue working on a Halloween costume. So many layers of slippery, sheer fabric going through my poor machine. What a pain.

Around noon I stopped to get lunch going. We had leftovers, one with cheese, one sad without. Same serving sizes, and still the small one screeched when the food was gone. Which is nuts. Little bottomless pit!

I got the mail, and my husband is apparently A List now on Southwest. This is great and horrible, because we should get upgraded seat assignments if we can ever get away, and horrible because it means he's logged enough trips to have earned that status.

We headed outside for a bit to enjoy the weather. It was very nice in the sun without our jackets on, but there was just enough crispness in the air that I half regretted not putting them on. Oh well, I knew we wouldn't be out for long.

When we got back inside, it seemed like I was going to get a few non-hands on minutes, so I sat down to frog back a couple rows of a pair of socks. Now that I'm on the home stretch of my other in progress pair, I wanted to get these back to a pick up and go spot. I had started them back in June when I was doing a test knit for Chrissy and I didn't love how they were going so I switched from the pattern to just doing stockinette...but then I didn't like that either and decided to go back to the original plan. So that meant ripping back several rows of plain knitting. Props to the Kroy yarn, I think I only dropped two stitches....despite all this fun going on as I ripped.

3 pm, and naptime again. I mixed up my daily glass of greens. I'm surprised again and again how much I really like this stuff! I like the taste, I like that it makes me drink more water, and I like that I have more energy and have NOT caught the plague which is constantly surrounding me from my coworkers! I've been ordering the "old" version because they are on sale and I'm cheap. :) (Also, Miller glass - #milwaukee)

The skirt is now attached to the costume, and I set about installing the zipper. I hate installing zippers, and am extra nervous about all of those slippery layers and fluffiness. I put on Buffy to keep me company (YES I watch a lot of tv), and it's the horrible, sad episode where her mom dies. Still gets me, every time.

I get the zipper in, hold it up, and have done a crap job. I put it aside for now and contemplate redoing it. One the one hand, it's just a kid costume. On the other, it's an opportunity to practice a skill I suck at. I'll probably decide to fix it, but not today. I head upstairs, continue watching Buffy (alternating with Angel because I'm watching them all in original airing order because my friend Maggie mentioned doing that once) and started the first colorwork rows of my hat. So far, so good!

4:30, and the rest of the evening hours fly by in a flash. It turns out we didn't even have any tortillas, so I popped out to Target when my husband got home to grab those and some other random things, including the crazy pea protein milk I can ONLY get at Target (annoying) (I could also go to Whole Foods, but it's not conveniently located for me, and probably more expensive) and some new shower curtains because I give up. And fell victim to a $5 deal at the checkout line, which reminded me that I forgot to grab that movie as I flew out the door to return at the library. I made a mental note to drop it off before work Tuesday so we don't get fined. I stopped by my parent's house on the way home to collect my other child. We ate dinner, and while it definitely wasn't cilantro lime chicken (how can it be when you are missing 2/5 ingredients!?), it was edible, so that's good. After dinner we watched some Hocus Pocus before bedtimes for about an hour.

After bedtime, my husband and I popped on the Netflix series we are watching (oh my GOD we are going on some kind of screen time diet!!!), Bloodline. We are about halfway through season 2. It's ok, but it's something we can watch together, so that's always points positive. By the end of the episode, I finished the colorwork portion of my hat, hooray! I even learned how to "catch my floats" in the middle sections of the hearts.

10 pm, weirdly on the dot, and it's time for bed for me. Tonight's featured 20 minutes of podcast is an episode of the crafty planner, which is an interview based show by a former city planner. I usually have no idea who her guest is, but the host does a lot of research and asks pretty insightful questions, and I like that. Happily, I fall asleep easily.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Podcast Episode 4 show notes

Podcast episode 4 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link. (I'm not sure why episode 4 doesn't show up in the store list, but it did download in my iTunes subscription, so it's there somewhere)

Thank you to 3grrrls and Trinka11 for the sweet iTunes reviews. So exciting and unexpected to see those pop up!

I finished the podster mittens!

Finished - shop sample for the mitten class - still some spots available! We will be using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted.
I mention the stretchy slipknot cast on

With one project off my needles, I went back and picked up 2 others that have been in progress for quite a while.

Ease pullover by Alicia Plummer, on the needles since February. I want to wear it this fall! I prefer the funnel neck, so now that I'm done knitting the hem, I'm going to divide my last ball to knit the sleeves 2 at a time, and judge the leftovers to see if I can squeak out the funnel neck.

Strie toe up socks by Lara Neel, Sock Architecture. Finished a full color repeat during WI Sheep and Wool. Did a lot of trial and error on turning the heels before just going through all of Lara's calculations as my stitch count is smaller than the pattern sizing due to sport weight yarn. When math4knitters gives you math to do....just do it.

Started Love the Winter hat by Emily Dormier using leftover pink HiKoo worsted from a sweater for my niece, and random stash yarn in white.

I started spinning a new project, my first merino. I'm almost finished with the third bobbin, so I'm looking forward to plying, and to redoing part of the too tightly plied brown yarn from last time.

I talk a little bit about my sewing debacles described in the last post. I've let out some of the seams on my Lola dress and the fit is quite a bit better, but not perfect. I'm also working on a Halloween costume, Tinkerbell from Simplicity 1792. The size 4 measurements should have fit perfectly, but I think I'm going to start again using size 4 measurements at the neck but grading out to size 5 at the waistline for a little more ease and hopes of wearing it again in the future. Luckily (?) the pattern wildly overestimated the amount of satin fabric I'd need.

After the crafting segments, I talk about teaching crochet 101, WI Sheep and Wool, acquisitions

Contact links
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

This is why they don't like you

Did you guys know there is such a thing as Instagram strategy? And that, at least to some people, it involves being annoying?

I never really experienced this whole thing of people following you, maybe leaving a random comment on a post, and then unfollowing you about 3 hours later until I started doing occasional it works posts. And I just...I'm so confused! How on earth is this a good strategy, and what are they trying to accomplish?

I'm not naive, I totally get that social media can be an effective marketing tool, and that gaining followers is a goal. You gain followers, you build a relationship, they buy your product because they like you, they believe in you, and they believe in your product. That makes sense, and that's fine. I've been on the consumer end of this relationship for podcasters I like, indie dyers, etsy shops, even some bigger brands, and it's pretty straightforward. Some of these accounts are purely for advertising and I don't expect anything from them other than pretty pictures, but some I do expect a little bit more personal interaction. Maybe not for them to follow me back, but to at least occasionally respond to a comment if I've left one or whatever. I just basically expect people to be straightforward. As I get older, I just don't have time for  less.

Personally, I've been keeping an eye on my follower numbers just to make sure that I'm not losing people who might be turned off by too many it works posts. So maybe I do have a strategy, and it's called "not being annoying." The thing I've noticed most though is a rotation of accounts that are either about growing your social media, direct sales leads, or it works automatons who must be secondary accounts designed to be exclusively sales because there is NO evidence that there is an actual personality behind them....and they follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow....and it leaves me somewhere between befuddled and side eye. This kind of thing doesn't really affect my life in a real way...but I just don't get it! If I was going to try to gain or buy followers (I'm not), first, what would be the point, and second, why would I go to you to get them when your weird behavior has completely turned me off to YOU?

Increasing numbers just to increase them....that's just stupid. I prefer my relationships to be real, thanks! I'll continue to follow and friend people I like, people I find inspiring, products I find interesting, and I hope that others do the same.

EDIT to add that I've already had 2 follow/unfollows since writing this post 4 hours ago. I still don't get it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Full of Fail

This week was full of sewing fails, file disasters that nearly made huge trouble at work, and that time I got stranded at a fiber festival. I'm not sure I ever really believed in the whole Mercury in retrograde thing before....but I might now!

I typically work 4 days a week - I chose Mondays as my usual day off, and I really love that schedule. When the weekend is over, I still have that ONE extra day to get stuff done. The only real bummer is that there are a surprising amount of businesses which are closed that day, but that's not terrible because I frequently don't get out of pajamas when I'm home! I work enough hours though that I still get paid for holidays. When they fall on a Monday, I get to choose another day to stay home, which varies depending on what's happening at work that week.

So, all that to say that I took Thursday as my day off this week since we were off Monday for Labor Day. I planned to go for a long run, do a whole bunch of sewing, maybe record a podcast, all on deliciously on my own time before the daycare pickup around 5. HA. HAHAHAHA

Where oh where to begin? First off, I didn't want to run at all, because while the temperature was a comfortable 75 or so, the humidity was nuts. I'm not a very experienced or good runner, so the thought of running in soup? No thanks. I ended up doing a DVD at home, but even that wasn't very satisfying. Maybe I just didn't pick a good one for me that day, or didn't push myself hard enough, but it sort of felt like a waste of time. (The one thing that did kind of work out was that I washed my hair with a "no 'poo" recipe that called for first scrubbing with baking soda and then with apple cider vinegar. It really helped my hair feel quite clean, as lately I've felt like I've had a lot of shampoo build up or something. Anyway.)

By that time it was about 10:30, and I was feeling quite stressed that I was wasting my day. I went down to my sewing room, and cleaned up a whole bunch of past project debris that was holding me back from doing anything else down there. It took me SO long after that, but I finally finished the bra I started a couple of weekends ago. I am pretty sure I put the back part of the band on upside down, but it turns out that makes no difference at all because the fit was BEYOND horrible. It was bad. So, so bad. I was essentially swimming in this thing, in all of the ways that a bra can just NOT fit. I don't know where I went wrong. I even made a muslin! Just....the front didn't fit, and there were seriously extra INCHES around my ribcage. It was not a, well, let's tweak it here and there and see if it works. It's a full on chuck it in the corner and be mad at it for awhile kind of fail. My friend said that hers really didn't turn out either. Perhaps not as full of fail as mine, but still not good. She said that maybe for the next go round, if we can bring ourselves to go there, we should try doing the fitting with the foam for the cups, rather than just fabric. That's a pretty good idea, but I don't know when I'm going to feel like going for it again. Ugh, such a bummer. (I was using this pattern, which I feel bad even saying because I was so unsuccessful!)

After all of that, it was about 3:30. I thought ok, let's change gears. I got out a pattern that I've wanted to make for years, the Lola dress by Victory patterns. I have the fabric too, a navy sweatshirt material. I thought a cute sweatshirt dress might be the perfect palette cleanser to a horribly ill fitting bra. I got the pattern pieces all traced and cut out before I had to leave to get the kidlets, so I was feeling like maybe I turned this thing around and salvaged some of the day after all!

And do you think that was true? No. After dinner and baths, I headed back down because I wanted SOMETHING cute to show for my precious solo day. The pattern directions were really easy to follow, and by 11 pm, I had a totally assembled dress except for the neck, wrist and bottom bands. Before going through the effort of putting those on, I decided to try the dress on for fit. I'm sure you see where this is going....

I could get it ON...but I was totally uncomfortable, and couldn't really move my arms without feeling like I was going to hulk the thing apart. Before completely throwing in the towel, I let out the seam allowance on one of the arms (which, ugh, was only 3/8" instead of 5/8" like many clothing patterns! Now is one of the only times I wished I had that extra 1/4"!!), and it was a great improvement. I can probably go through and let out some of the other seams and it should fit ok in the end, but ugh! I cut the same size in the bra and the dress, and ended up with a tight sweatshirt dress and a bra so loose I could have put it on over said dress.

The following day at at work, I'd left just a couple of things to finish off when I left Wednesday night. I thought, surely I'll have enough time to do these things before my 2:30 call to sign off on these plans!

 Yeah. There was some kind of ridiculous file problem which made it so that I couldn't get into the file until 1 pm!! I had an email window open on my other screen about to cancel the meeting, which would have been sort of a disaster to the project timeline, which obviously would have been very bad. Let's just say that when I finally got in there, I was drawing like the wind and there might have been smoke coming from my mouse. In the end, I got everything done that needed to get done and I got the sign off, but MAN was I stressed out!

So that's Friday. Friday night, I made a last minute decision (in hindsight, OHMYGOD stop making last minute decisions!) to head about an hour away to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. I dragged my family along last year, and when I brought it up to my husband he seemed pretty enthusiastic about it....ha, wait, nope! So I decided to go on my own, and rather than drive, I caught a bus from one of our local yarn shops with a friend from knit group. She had told me that it left at 7:45 and would leave the fairgrounds at about 5:30, and I thought that sounded fun. A whole day of shopping, watching the sheep shearing, maybe petting some baby lambs, and I could knit the whole way there and back!

And it was a really great day! It was fun to hang out, I spent way too much money buying pretty things that I don't need, and just had a really relaxing day. We headed over to where the bus had dropped us off around 5:15, and saw zero other people waiting.

And that's when I got nervous. You see....I didn't reserve my spot on the bus ahead of time due to aforementioned last minute decision. One of our other friends decided not to go, so I just took her spot. This meant I had no official confirmation, and no contact info in either direction. The friend I was with is one of those rare birds who does not have a smartphone, and also doesn't know her email password and only checks it at home. The shop website mentioned the bus, but again, no times. I tried calling the shop to see if they could hook us up with a cell phone of the owners, but it had closed at 4, so no answer. The woman standing near the entrance said that yes, there WAS a bus, but it had just left at 5. It was scheduled to leave at 4:30, but hung around until just after 5 when they finally left....just minutes before we showed up at 5:15.

In the end, we got home ok because luckily another friend was vending the event, and luckily not staying overnight between the Saturday and Sunday shows, and we were able to catch a ride with her back to the city. Even if that hadn't happened, I'm sure my husband could have come to rescue us, but that would have been about as exciting as coming along in the first place.

All this ramble to say that in the end, really, no harm, no foul on all of it.....but I am definitely staying in bed Sunday. (She says while typing this during a bout of insomnia in the wee hours Sunday morning....)