Catching Up

It has been a crazy month or so filled with lots of knitting related activities. This year I was part of the committee that put on the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild Yarnover. Yarnover is the biggest knitting event in this area of the country and it amazes me what I a bunch of volunteers are able to pull off. Friday night, we had a meet the teachers dinner with June Hemmons Hiatt as our keynote speaker. She told us all about the history of knitting sticks and belts.

Saturday was a full day of classes and two ballrooms full of vendors.


I took a break from working in the afternoon to take a class in Icelandic Sweater Yoke Design from Lars Rains.

I have a real good start on my yoke design, but Lars helped me realize that the white wasn’t going to work right and I need to get some of the medium grey to start knitting it up.
Sunday, the hilarious Shibaguyz were our speakers at the Guild meeting. They talked about their design process and brought some amazing samples to show off.

They really made me rethink how crochet looks and want to try it for some sweaters.

This past weekend we had a Stitch N Pitch with the MN Twins. It was a beautiful day out for knitting and baseball, if only the Twins had done better!

I’m also working up more samples for the Wee Winter Woolens KAL starting June 19th. Here’s my latest wee sweater.

Hope you are all having a fabulous crafty spring!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Bachelor Farmer’s Afghan Room

Last night I went to a fabulous beer pairing dinner at one of our favorite Minneapolis restaurants, The Bachelor Farmer. I’ve eaten there many times, but had never been upstairs in their private party spaces. I had heard there was a lot of crochet and knitting in the decor, but the room we were in only have a pole covered in knitting. Of course, I took it upon myself to go peek in the other rooms. Look at what I found!


The chef was having a meeting with someone in the room, but they were happy to show me around and let me take some photos. Every space of wall and bulkhead was covered in knit and crocheted afghans. I asked who knit them for them and was told their designer had sourced all the blankets at different places around the area. They all definitely look handmade.

I love how mainly using blue and white afghans, with a few colorful ones thrown in here and there, turns what could look like a hodge podge into a really coordinated look.What a cozy space for a party during a Minneapolis winter. Plus you have to think it helps with soundproofing!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Shopping for Yarn in Iceland

A few people have asked me where they could shop for yarn when they visit Iceland, so I thought I’d share my tips in a post. These tips are for someone who will be staying in Reykjavík and getting around on foot. There are other yarn shops that can be accessed by car or bus, but I have not visited them.

Let’s talk about the big one first, the Handknitting Association of Iceland, which is at Skólavörðustígur 19, 101 Reykjavík. It is a step or two down from street level which makes it easy to miss, just look for the logo.
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Here you will find lots of Icelandic sweaters hand knit by the locals. (While I was there on the last trip, a lady was bringing in a bag of her work just as I was leaving.) They also have machine knit sweaters, hats, and mittens. But you are here for the yarn.
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Go down to the lower level and to the back you will see the wall of Lopi. Here you will find all the yarns from Ístex, as well as patterns, knitting supplies, buttons and a few kits. The employees are happy to help you with a sweaters worth of yarn in the same dye lot and in picking out patterns in English. They had the best price on Lopi that I found, it was about half the cost of the same yarn in the US (this may vary with the exchange rate) and about a $1 cheaper than the same yarns in other stores in town.

Don’t feel like knitting an Icelandic sweater yourself, but want something special? The Handknitting Association will have a custom sweater knit for you. They take at least two weeks, but you can order them through their website.

On this last trip, I noticed a lot more gift shops and clothing stores selling yarn as well.

Many of the Icewear stores have a wool shop. The Icewear Magasín, Austurstræti 5, 101 Reykjavík, had a especially large knitting section.
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Most of the other Icewear stores we went into only had Lopi, but this one also carries yarns from other countries like Norway and knitting supplies. Plus the employees were knitting when I visited.

The Rammagerðin gift shops also carry yarn. They had a little bit of Lopi, mainly Léttlopi,  and were the only place I found the Einrúm yarn, a mix of Icelandic wool and Thai silk.
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They also carried Einrúm patterns and some horn buttons. They have multiple locations, the bigger ones have more yarn than others.

The Nordic Stores also carry the Lopi yarns in their locations. If you are doing a tour of the Golden Circle, you can also find yarn in some of the gift shops, especially at Geysir. Even the National Museum has some yarn and pattern books, though all in Icelandic, in their gift shop.
lopi sheep and yarn at Geyser store
I really felt like yarn was for sale everywhere on this trip, even compared to a year ago. If you’re just doing a layover in the airport on your way to Europe or the US, you’ll even find it there.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Icelandic Yarny Goodness

Well, I managed to get all the yarn I bought in Iceland home in my suitcase…ok, my suitcase and Matt’s suitcase.
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It was so hard to stop myself as the yarns are about half the price as here in the US. Here is what I bought.
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These are the colors I chose to make my own Icelandic sweater. Oh, I realized the white isn’t in the picture, so add that in too. I decided against the blue because the Léttlopi blues didn’t has as many nice choices. I have to wait until my class in April on designing the yoke to get started on this.
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This was a new yarn to me, Einrum E+2. It is a beautiful mix of Icelandic wool and Thai silk plied together. The silk gives it a beautiful shine.
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It is made by the people who make Lopi, but for the Einrum brand. I bought enough to make a sweater and also a pattern for it. This one I will be starting as soon as I finish the two projects on my needles.
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I liked this yarn so much, I also bought a few balls as gifts.
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Now all my shopping wasn’t for me. This was the Einband I bought for my friend Shelley, so she can make Monsina by Lars Rains. I told you the yarn is cheaper there, this all cost $50!
I also picked up a few kits to giveaway at the next Knitters’ Guild meeting.
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Later in the week, I’ll tell you about places I found to buy yarn in Iceland since some of you asked.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Always Looking For Inspiration

Hi all! Sorry it has been a little quiet, but both Susi and I have been off on trips to the UK. Strangely, not together, but at the same time. Things should start to get back to normal around here now.

Not that traveling made me stop thinking about crafting. I’m always looking for inspiration especially for color work knitting patterns. Here’s a few things that caught my eye.
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Embroidered textiles, tiled floors and Scandinavian dishware at the V&A.
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Funky trees on the labels of local sodas.
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The beautiful hand blocked wallpapers at Lanhydrock House.
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People must think I’m talking pictures of the craziest things when I travel.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Yarnover 2016

I’ve been in Minneapolis for nine years and this year I finally made it to Yarnover, the MN Knitter’s Guild day-long event filled with classes and shopping.
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I took a class in the morning from Patty Lyons on how to customize sweater patterns. What a great class! I now feel like I have the skills to change for gauge, fit and extras like neckline shape and sleeve length.

After lunch there was shopping in a marketplace with forty vendors of yarn, patterns, tool and supplies for knitters and spinners.
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I could have done a lot of damage to my wallet and added to my stash, but I try to keep restrained.
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I picked up a pattern for a colorblocked sweater that I really loved the sample of. Then I got a kit to make a shawl (looks like I need to learn slip stitch colorwork!). I also picked up a skein of handspun CVM/angora in a dusty pink which I have plans for as part of a sweater paired with a grey. I also picked up a Twins project bag as a gift and gave it to the recipient already.
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If you live in the Twin Cities area and are into knitting and yarny goodness make sure to look out for Yarnover next April!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

National Park Centennial Quilts

Last month Matt and I took a fabulous trip to the island Hawaii. For the first part of the trip we stayed at Volcanos National Park in the historic Volcano House Lodge. What a stunning place with a breathtaking view!
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Our timing was great because the Centennial Quilts, celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service, were also spending that month on display at the lodge.
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These thirteen art quilts were created by a Fiber Works, a group of textile artists in the Lincoln-Omaha, NE area. There was some really beautiful work in these quilts. We especially liked the one representing Volcanos.
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The quilts are on a tour of the thirteen parks they represent for the rest of this year and then heading back to Nebraska in 2017.
April – Statue of Liberty National Monument – New York
May – Wolf Trap Farm for the Performing Arts – Virginia
June – Wind Cave National Park – South Dakota
July – Mount Rushmore National Memorial – South Dakota
August – Glacier National Park, Montana
September – Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado
October – Shenandoah National Park – Virginia
November – Everglades National Park – Florida
December – Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – Missouri
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February – International Quilt Study Center & Museum – Lincoln, NE
May – William Howard Taft National Historic Site

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Frozen On Ice

We just went to Frozen On Ice. What a thrill. My daughter loves to ice skate and recently tried out for the (Jr) synchronized ice dancing team. She works hard at her lessons and always has a smile plastered on her face. So for us, Disney on Ice is more than just “a show”.  To be at a performance of this caliber and see the skaters close up was just a tremendous experience. I was dazzled by the intricacy of the costumes. They play to the back top row of an arena, but close up, they do NOT disappoint!!!
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We didn’t wear “make-up” to the show, but right before we walked out the door, I added a little bit of sparkle to Elsa’s cheek – just to represent the frost. Elsa was SO pleased with her dusting of snow sparkle.
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Here is the full effect of the Elsa costume. This has been one of our most popular creations of all time. I first made this dress and “cape”/jacket for her about two years ago. Frozen came out and took the world by STORM. No animated feature had EVER done as well as Frozen did. We went to the Disney story to look at the dresses and there were NONE. There was a time when the Elsa dresses were on Ebay for $600-$800 and selling!!! Of course, the response in our house was just to scoff and go to the fabric store. (I mean, really, we were never destined to buy a costume premade from the store anyway, were we?) When I first made the cape part, it was super long and made a dramatic train behind her. (It was indeed dramatic and successful.) But as time went on, and she wore this costume more, the train feature became a burden and actually bordered on dangerous. Before she wore it ice skating – out on the ice – I modified the cape piece and hemmed it way up. (That modification can be seen in this picture.) I think it looks good still. The bottom line is that it is safe. As she grows, if she still likes it, I can let it down.

Now, let me share some of the costumes that we saw at the show.
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Horrible Hans and Ana as they start to “finish each others… sandwiches”
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Some of the villagers that came to the coronation.

This skirt blew my mind
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There are so many layers of embellishment here. The pipe trim appears to be done by machine, but the little pink “sea gull” shapes look like they were added by hand. And there are so many levels of bedazzling that it is just hard to imagine. I want to take the costume people out for coffee and ask “so? e6000? or gem tack? Do you use tweezers? or the little waxy stick? Do you have “back ups?”” “Do you have fun?”  That is a LOT of rhinestones!
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Here is Woody! Howdy!
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The hair in the foreground here is my daughters. Just for perspective, that is how close we were. Here Ariel and Eric are waving right to us. Ariel has her legs to skate with, but her legs are in a fish tail pattern. Her “pants/legs” were also just amazingly detailed.

Kristoff has a special place in my heart.
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I sewed a little tunic top for one of our friends for a Halloween party (on ice) more than a year ago. I was really proud of how it came out, and how easy and practical it was as a costume. When we were at the show, and Kristoff came out, I was pleased to see that my rendition kind of held it’s own. Yeah! (So what I am saying is that the model ROCKED it on the runway!)
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Here is the royal couple on the ice back in the day.

If the show comes through your town I would highly recommend it. I thought it was fun to see their interpretation of one story on-ice. I liked the “one story” format as opposed to a mix of scenes played from different shows.
Have fun! And happy crafting!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Icelandic Yarny Goodness

I’m just back from a winter trip to lovely Reykjavík, Iceland. It was full of Christmas coziness, warm thermal pools, sparkling lights and, of course, wool.
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Iceland had the biggest December snowfall in thirty years right before we arrived and a storm with hurricane force winds hit while were there. Thank goodness for those Icelandic Lopapeysa to keep us warm. We spent a lot of time in the Handknitting Association of Iceland, a co-op run by about 400 hand knitters. You could lose yourself in their stacks and stacks of sweaters, hats and mittens. Since I already have a pretty traditional Lopi sweater in natural colors, this time I bought one that was a little different from the Kidka Wool Factory in northern Iceland.
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I love a good hoodie and was attracted to the bright colors. This warmer will be perfect on cold Minnesota winter days for sure.
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We were very lucky and treated to an amazing Northern Lights show on our first night in Iceland. The lights sparkled and danced through the sky. Sometimes we felt like we were under a dome of them. I was inspired to go back to the Handknitting Association and buy yarn in similar colors to make a pair of mittens.
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Jammed into a back corner of the store are shelves of many different versions and weights of Icelandic wool in every color. You can even buy it off of spools in any amount you want. They also have single patterns (in multiple languages), needles, and buttons. Einband, the yarn I bought, is a 2-ply lace weight. It is a little harsh to knit with but apparently washed up to a soft fabric.
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I also picked up this kit to knit myself a sweater. It was at the Handknitting Association, but I bought it from a store called Made in Iceland because they had a finished sample which sold me in the end. The kit, Móakot – Settlement Daughters, uses Einband so it makes a much lighter version of a Lopi sweater (or as she says in the notes, one that is not suitable for outdoors but still warm and durable).
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The packaging is beautiful and includes cloth labels, yarn, a letter with some history and tips for knitting with Einband, and the pattern with charts to make the Móbjörg or Þjóðbjörg design. I can’t wait to dive in!
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While the Handknitting Association feels like a crowded, dive-into-the-piles experience, Storkurinn is your more traditional high-end knitting store. It’s a beautiful place to sit and look through patterns and yarns. They carry the Icelandic yarns as well as yarns from around the world. We ended up buying pattern books and magazines, like the Kate Davies Yokes that I picked up.
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If you would like to see more of my (non-knitting) picture of Iceland, they are all on Flickr.
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If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Minnesota State Fair 2015

Labor Day Weekend is over and the Minnesota State Fair is done for another year. It was a great year for entries in Creative Activities and I took lots of pictures to share with you. (For things I could find on Ravelry, I link back to the project page so you can get more information.)

First, for those of you who don’t follow us on Facebook or Instagram, my Hearts and Dalas Mittens took home their share of ribbons.
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I won First Premium in Mittens, Color Pattern, the 3 Kittens NeedleArts Award for Best Use of Color and Texture in Mittens and the Minnesota Knitters Guild Award for Best Mittens. Talk about a thrill!
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I did not win the Sweepstakes for Best Knit Item in the fair, this beautiful shawl by Flanknits took that honor.
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I was blown away by this amazing sweater by Twinsetellen, such gorgeous fine work! People looking at it around me insisted there was no way it was hand knit! She also won for this incredibly detailed baby sweater.
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Here’s some of the winners in socks and hats.
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There seemed to be so many entries this year they had a hard time displaying them all. In the lightweight shawl category there were forty-two entries and in my color work mitten category there were twenty-five!
I had to pull myself away from the knitting because there were so many other things to look at. In crochet there was this amazing set of Lord of the Rings characters.
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This garden made me think I should enter my knit fantasy garden next year.
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This cute crocheted baking set by Threadbare Bakery that was in line behind me on entry drop-off day, took home three ribbons.
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I absolutely loved these little animal dolls. I can’t believe they only took second place. They really show me I need to up my game if I want to enter my elf dolls next year.
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This was first place in the doll category. Lots of work, though I find clowns a bit scary sometimes.
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On to quilts. This one just blew me away! The quilting was actually “simple,” just little squares, but oh-so-precise. Then look at that embroidery! It has the crisp, modern look I love.
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And how fun is this quilt?! A giant game of Risk.
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The theme for this year’s Quilt on a Stick was Grandstand performers. The winner paid homage to Kiss. Love the chains and hair. The entries in this category are always fun.
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Doctor Who was a popular theme, here in glass art and seed art.
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I’m always so impressed by the projects by school age kids in the Education and 4-H buildings, some of them put the adult entries to shame. This ornate, detailed dollhouse was made by and 8th grader.
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How about this felt food sewn up by a 4th grader?!
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Over in the Agricultural Building, people got really creative with their seed art and scarecrows. It’s a nice call-back to the origins of the Fair.
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Finally, over in Fine Arts, there was this amazing sculpture of dresses knit from wire.
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Look at the detail on this right down to a little collar!
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Every year I’m so impressed by the skill and creativity of my fellow Minnesotans. It’s also got me thinking about my entries for next year!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish