Posted on

Potatoes and Hard Boiled Eggs in 4 Minutes!

Let’s Cook

I know Knitting Today is all about knitting, but life fits in there too, right? Life today consists of trying to figure out what I can make from food I have in the house since the thermometer reads 100 and my truck has no air plus the windows won’t roll back up if I roll them down.

What to make with red potatoes and eggs?

Egg Salad? But, I hate standing at the stove watching boiling water. I get so impatient. I want it done and move on. So, I move away a little bit and start cleaning, reading or doing whatever and next thing I know there is a mess all over the stove. Instant Pot to the rescue! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the Instant Pot. I was really unsure though about doing hard boiled eggs in it. Well, let me tell you. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. If you have an Instant Pot, red potatoes and eggs, do it! (and if you want an Instant Pot, buy through my affiliate link below!)

Instant Pot Potato and Eggs

  1. Wash and scrub Red potatoes, cube
  2. put 1 1/2 cups water in the bottom of the Instant Pot
  3. Add a steamer basket
  4. Put potatoes in and top with five eggs
  5. Set to Manual and 4 minutes
  6. Quick release
  7. Remove eggs in ice water
  8. Put potatoes aside to cool
  9. Peel eggs when cool to the touch

Click the thumbnails for biggie pictures


I even made 7 more just eggs so I could add them to my salad. That’s teaser for another Life with Lea-Ann post.

P.S. If you want to buy an instant pot, here’s my affiliate link. Thanks!

Posted on

Clear The Clutter

Join ClubKnit Basic (Free)

Clutter Blocks Creativity

As I get ready to announce the new knitalong (Fisher Lassie), I find myself needing, yes NEEDING, to declutter my space. I go through this process of shutting down, body, mind and spirit. And then I realize the clutter is contributing. What do I need to do? Clear The Clutter! Do you have that problem? What do you do about it?

Here’s what I’ve done:

  1. clean off my desk. Only what I’m working on goes there. Oh wait . . . back that up . . . I get dressed!
  2. Then I check in with my accountability group hangout.
  3. then I work on the one thing I need to do on my desk.

Who am I trying to fool? LOL . . . . that’s wishful thinking. Here’s the actual scenario:

  1. get coffee.
  2. check facebook, email and instagram.
  3. get more coffee, read on the Kindle app.
  4. go the bathroom.
  5. get more coffee, read some more.
  6. remember I haven’t eaten yet.
  7. go upstairs to my office and think about what I need to get done.
  8. get more coffee……


brewing coffee

Well, you get the picture, right? I might get dressed by 4:30, because I know Tom is coming home and he would be appalled that I’ve managed to move from my office (Tara’s old bedroom) to the living room several times a day without encountering anyone or needing to step foot outside and thereby living in some pajama pants I bought for the purpose of comfort. AHHHHH, there is the crux of the matter. I work solo now. I have no accountability. I have no purpose. I have no reason. I have no routine. After two years of giving myself time to dream, research the software that makes the backend of ClubKnit, and build the website, I’m having trouble moving into the “doing” phase.

What is the “doing” phase?

The “Doing” phase is the part of the program where I actually put things on the website for sale. Where I video myself knitting and teaching (without actually teaching anyone, just pretending). Where I follow through on the projects I’ve set out to knit. And here we are with the ideal schedule . . . .

  1. get coffee (or green chai tea)
  2. get dressed
  3. blog about the day
  4. shoot some video for the ClubKnit classes
  5. work on the website

….encourage me friends! Tell me you want to knit, and learn, and read about knitting. Tell me that community is important AND participate in that community. . . . . I need you all to keep me going! I need to know that something I offer is of value and use to you.

Be Involved

Comment on this post and Tell me what you need!!! (someone to knit with? check-ins on your projects? new ideas? a place to ask a question? Perhaps a reminder not to drink so much coffee?)

Join our FREE ClubKnit community — I know its a roundabout way, but by “purchasing” the freebie on, everything works together automagically at so you are registered, logged in, can see the blog posts, join the Forum discussion, and look at the classes I’m building. And, I can spend next month in Florida visiting my mother and not worry about everything working properly.

Join ClubKnit Basic (Free)Join ClubKnit Basic (click to purchase FREE membership)

If anyone thinks I use too many “!!!!” and ” ……” well, I write the way I speak, with my hands … LOL. I hope to have an editor at some point in time, but right now you are stuck with me and my ! 🙂 — Lea-Ann

P.S. While thinking of this post and listening to Dave Ramsey, I threw away two garbage bags of “stuff” from my office. Expired price lists, small snippets of waste yarn, business magazines [which I read and tore out the parts that interest me]. I can finally walk to the project bins and get to the machine. I still have three bags of yarn to declutter, and the little pile of sample projects on the floor, but I feel energized!

P.P.S I think I’ll rename this blog “Life with Lea-Ann” — thoughts?

office clutter picture


Posted on

Above and Beyond Customer Service: UPS

Excited!!!  See that big brown truck behind the red car? No, its not my wonderful husband Tom’s truck, its Mike my local driver.  Mike goes above and beyond my typical expectations of a delivery driver, not that Tom doesn’t either, but Mike’s actions affect me on a regular basis. What does he do? He takes time to text me when he delivers to the store. And then what was so special about today? With the wind chill at -12F? He delivers my package to my house. He said he didn’t want to see me have to get out in the wind chill if I didn’t need too. Awe! Bless his heart!! I love my UPS driver.

UPS DeliveryP.S. My postman is absolutely wonderful too!!!!  I’m very blessed! Now, lets see what I have here . . . . .


Posted on

Some day I’ll weave ….

I won, I won! I bid on an online auction and look what I won…


It might not seem like much but it has a lot of meaning to me. It was from my great uncle’s estate. It was probably woven by another great uncle and great aunt. It has a prominent place in my office, under my feet when I stand at the computer. Yes, I use them. They are made to withstand tough use. The jean rugs given as a gift at our wedding 26 years ago are just now falling apart. As i work, I wonder… whose dress, whose shirt, sheets???? What history has this rug’s fabric seen over the years? And I think, what a legacy passed down from generation to generation.

Some day, I’ll weave ….

Posted on

Knitting and coffee

Lyn texted … Are you available Saturday morning? I have a split stitch about 40 rows back and it’s in garter stitch.


Sure, said I. I’ll bring my seed stitcher/fix it tool. (sorry we didn’t turn off the mic) garter stitch repair with seed stitcher/ fix-it tool (you tube link)

And after a cup of coffee for me and smoothie for her, time with a friend, back to the daily to-do list … And thank you for preserving that relationship, Lyn, without even realizing that I needed it.


Enjoy your weekend!!

Posted on

A day at the lake

My office for the day


Yeah, you caught me. Actually I’m taking a sunshine break from my downstairs office. While I’m out and about, thought I’d show you the new packing station, yep, in the corner of our kitchen.


And what happens in the kitchen for the first time in almost a year? A shiny sink!


A year, you say? Yep, it’s been a long time coming. Finally, no frozen pipes resulting in hard water, no baby bottles, and yes, some time to make our house a priority. Flylady says start with the shiny sink. I’m giving it a go. How about you?

Posted on

My studio

Lorna Miser showed a picture of her huge loft studio on Facebook, so I thought I’d show the progress on my space.

First, the south wall. The right side is full of magazine collections. The left is being filled with ufo projects as I unearth them.


The east wall has two machines, the lk-150 and a 160+ ribber. I think I’ll sell the 160 and that space will be replaced by an ultimate sweater machine so I can test techniques and swatches for the new website, Ultimate Knitting Club.


The north wall is my desktop and book collection. In the boxes at the left are my Workbasket collection. In sorting my books by type, I have a lace grid, a Fair Isle grid, a grid of stitch pattern books, an Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen section, a sock collection, and various and sundry.


The problem? No place for yarn even though I have four cubbies full at the store that need to come home, a couple more bookshelves of reference material also the store, and, lastly, a file cabinet. I had to relocate weaving, sewing, and scrapbooking to the cottage. Oops!

I’ll show the cottage space next time, followed by our shipping and packing stations for our website, Knitting Today and our eBay stores,  bondknitter and icefisherman1.

Where is your space?

Posted on

update from Lea-Ann

Out of the blue today I was thinking there must be a song which addresses my current feelings about change and moving from the storefront into a studio room and adjusting to that change. What popped up was a song by Group 1 Crew called Movin’. I went to one of their concerts with my kids once and really enjoyed the high energy they brought to the stage, even if I couldn’t quite understand all the lyrics. The lyrics that jumped out at me were:

“On your mark, get set, here we go
Time to make your future unfold”

Change is not always the easiest, but when its time, its time and after having a retail storefront for fourteen years, I have faith that God is directing this next stage in my knitting career. The lyrics, “You don’t have to wait anymore its all yours for sure, let your faith walk it out now, walk it out now,” seem to point to me that its time to have faith that the changes I’m making will be not only for the betterment of myself and my family, but for my customers and knitting friends as well. Lord willing!!

As of today and for the current future, Knitting Today storefront hours are Fridays 10-4. We have lunch bunch (open knitting) for anyone who wants to join us from 11-2 or 3ish. The phone is now moved to my studio, as is the internet, my knitting machines, my hand knitting projects, and most of my inspiration and books. There is still quite a bit of moving to do, but I am feeling settled already.

Would you like to see my current set-up? The bookshelf will be emptied out and bins moved in and books sorted and replaced. A knitting machine that will be for sale as soon as I have all the parts put where they belong replaced by a 9-bin cubby with a machine on top of it, and my knitting chair. Various and sundry items along the wall shelf are an ironing board hanger, various types of glue, Tom’s poker collage, paintings by Tara Lea, and a mannequin that needs some knitwear.  Almost all need other homes.

Still to be sorted and cleaned out
Still to be sorted and cleaned out

This shot where the computer resides for a stand-up desk is full of bins of projects that need to be repaired or finished along with a few bags of paperwork that has piled up since the beginning of the year. On the right is two nine-bin stacks full of magazines. Almost an entire set of Knitter’s, Interweave, Vogue Knitting, Knitwords, Knitting World (anyone remember this magazine??), tatting books and supplies, VHS [what in the world am I going to do with them??]. Inspiration!!

feeling organized and efficient
feeling organized and efficient

So here we are, movin’, movin’ . . . . more later!

Posted on

Slow but sure, a marathon not a sprint.

Every day, every project, every pile. I have to remember that projects are a marathon not a sprint. It’s about time for a new top ten list. I find I’m adding and adding and not finishing, once again. Problem is it isn’t just knitting.

1. Graphic design homework projects due 2/27.
2. Editing next KnitStyle pattern due 2/15.
3. Launching forums, blog, and patterns.
4. Planning store sale for March.
5. 2013 taxes due 2/28.
6. Socks, hand. (Supposed to be at the heel today!)
7. Knit swirl, hand.
8. Stormy weather, machine.

I’m quitting the list here before I get overwhelmed. What’s on your list?


Posted on

Journalism? Letter writing? What is a blog?

Is keeping a blog like journaling? Writing, pictures,
sharing …. Taking time to put thoughts to the page. I’d rather
pick up the needles and help someone or answer a question.
Self-directed posting is not my strength, obviously. So, I need
some help to keep this blog going. Tell me what you would like to
see. It’s so much easier to pop into Facebook and post a short
status. The blog is more extensive than that. I have to think and plan
the posts, not just a thought off the top of my head. I’ve never
been a good journaller or letter writer. My thoughts meander and skip. Here’s an example, an open letter to my knitting friends:

So what’s been happening in my world? Last year was full of huge changes in my family
starting with November of 2012 when Trent’s twins were born.
Followed by Haley graduating from High School in May. Tara
graduating from Glen Oaks. Haley having her little boy in
September, and then Trent leaving for basic training for the
Indiana National Guard. Helping with the grandchildren has taken
priority over a lot of things right now.  Here’s the newest little one, and he hangs out at the store with me an awful lot:

Evan being his cute self
Evan being his cute self

Speaking of the store, I’m the sole
worker now with Tom helping as much as he possibly can. And
thankfully on Fridays some of the lunch bunch knitters step in and
help as well. I love the community of knitters that I’ve met over
the years and continue to meet. I’ve been running Knitting Today
for 21 years this year, since 2002 in the current location, and
it’s time for some refreshing ideas and concepts. I’ve been taking
some classes at glen oaks and I’m so inspired to try new things.
I’ve been working on a new website and the roadblocks have been
immense, mainly time-related though. I have to learn and install
three software programs, as well as design the look, feel and function of
this new site. Time! It all takes time! In order to give me time,
we reset the store hours so knitting today is open by appointment
Monday to Wednesday, 12-6 thursday (which will probably change),
and Friday and Saturday 10-4. I’m calling them “studio hours”.

The question is frequently asked, what classes are you running? Well the winter
favorite two socks toe up starts next week. And the monthly classes
I’ve been running, KnittingU, have been informative and interesting
pushing the techniques learned from just following a pattern to
being a “thinking knitter” and learn the why behind what you are
doing. I love to learn like this. Others just want to be blind
followers and aren’t too interested in this series. That would be an interesting poll: are you a thinking
knitter or blind follower?

I’m working on a other Mystery Yarn Club
too. And, several machine knitting KAL projects are in the works
(that’s why it’s important I get the new website operating). It’s a
toss-up between project classes and technique classes and a
combination of both. As far as stock and products in the store,
I’ve had some database errors and needed to move my inventory
systems for about a half a year. Finally over Christmas we did an
actual inventory count and I’m still, 16 days later, getting things
in the new system and trying to change procedures I’ve used since
2004 to integrate. Ugh! The store is torn apart right now, not
pleasing to see or find things, but we’ll get there. The up side is
we’ll be able to track special orders and be more timely in that
process. And, since I’ve been stocking the same yarns for several
years, I’m on the hunt for new and exciting yarns, most of which
will make their debut In the mystery yarn club. The downside for
the casual shopper is they will have to wait for their order to
arrive instead of purchasing from open stock. The industry has
changed so much in the past five years that I’m refocusing on kits
and projects vs. open stock. And, while I’ve always said yes, I’m
going to have to start suggesting some alternatives to some
products just to keep the books in the black. Tom and I started
with the Dave Ramsey program a while back and that has meant a lot
of changes, but for the better. If you want to stock a store, take
my advice from lessons learned and don’t use credit (cards or

Up next? after attending Trent’s graduation from Basic and seeing him off to Advanced, helping Haley on Tues and Thurs evenings so she can attend EMT classes, and helping Tara plan and execute her knitting classes for Joann’s in Fort Wayne, we’re planning the Superbowl Sunday Special Sale! Mark your
calendars for February 2 and make your way to our doors from 2-5.
Bring a snack, your knitting, and be ready for a sale like no other
we have ever had!

Shadow Knitting
Shadow Knitting

So, you see what has happened here? I meander and flow and circle back, like music ebbs and flows. Journalling, letter writing, blogging . . . . let me leave you with a question until next time, respond in the comments:

  • thinking knitter?
  • blind