Friday, January 30, 2009

Bleak Week

I've been off my game this week. It typically happens about this time of year, but despite the regularity of these "funks," they still catch me off guard. Winter needs to stop with crazy cold temps. I'd even take the snow back in exchange for a 40-degree day or two. With that said, I was searching for something to post today that captured how I felt...or better yet, what my soul needs. I started with a "sunshine" search on Flickr, but that was all a little over the top. So I headed over to Etsy and typed in the same thing. I found a piece of artwork in Citrus Tree's shop that sums it up perfectly.

Next week is a new week.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Beret for Shelley!

(get Hooray for Shelley...somehow it's less funny when I have to explain my humor)

I'm still working on my blackberry sweater (the body is done...yay!), which means I have nothing crafty to share at this moment. Plus, I seem to be the only known human to get an allergy attack in single-digit weather, so I haven't been feeling all that great. So I interrupt MY regularly scheduled crafting to bring you a new project from my pal Shelley. She just finished knitting a beret using the same pattern I used on Lisa's beret. Didn't it turn out simply lovely? Nice job, Shelley!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's My Bag?

Actually...don't answer that question. I know what my bag is: freezing cold temperatures day in and day out, no humidity in my apartment making my skin brittle, crazy sinuses caused by the two previous items listed, stomach issues that still are not completely under control, dishes, laundry....oy. OK. I'll stop now. This post wasn't actually supposed to be all "woe is me." It's instead about something much more fun...the coolest bag ever that I totally and completely covet!

"But Carrie, it just looks like a pretty purse. Surely, you're not another girly girl." Well, kids, you'd be right. I actually hate carrying a purse. There, I said it. I always think I'll like it, buy one, and then end up trying to fit as many things in my pockets (or Shane's pockets) so that the purse can stay at home. But this purse is different! It's actually a knitting bag in disguise.

Yeah...really! No joke.

The front pocket is accordian style...perfect for those circular needles and row counters AND the cell phone and keys. For someone who is all about organization (as am I), this is like a dream that I'd need to pinch myself during to see if I was really and truly awake.

Then it opens all wide and Carrie-like (i.e. big mouth). And what wonderfulness is hiding inside? Oh nothing but two snap closed compartments for yarn! No more yarn getting tangled up with my wallet and having my project yanked off my needles causing me to wonder what I did in a past life to deserve such heinous treatment. I'm in love.

The Namaste Zuma (that's my future child's name) comes in so many beautiful colors, and I've decided on Peacock.

But not back to the regularly scheduled woeing. It's $70. Ouch. I know, some people spend triple (or more) than that on purses, but as someone who isn't overtly girly, that's a lot of moo-lah. So for now that means my dear sweet Zuma will have to remain just a wish that comes when blowing out birthday candles or seeing a shooting star. And in the great words of Lord Byron, "Fare thee well! and if for ever, Still for ever, fare thee well."

Unless of course each of my regular 30 readers (yeah, you know who you are--I don't, but Google Analytics say you're out there) want to each send in $2.50 to one committed blogger (or blogger who should be committed) to make her a very happy woman.

KIDDING!!! (kind of)

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Monday, January 26, 2009

A Cardi for Carrie

I have an insane amount of stuff that needs to be knitted for other people and organizations (yes, a new KFO service project has been defined...more later). But at the same time, I had been planning on doing a sweater for myself. I don't usually like to do multiple projects all at once. I'm more of a start and finish one and then move onto the next kind of gal. So, with that said, the cardigan I picked out to knit is going to have to get done at lightening speed. So far, it's going pretty fast. The pattern is called Forecast and you can get it over at I'm using Knit Picks Comfy yarn, which is super soft, in Blackberry.

But before we get to the knitting, let's start with the fuel that'll keep my energy up: cocoa! I made this treat on Saturday night after hours and hours of knitting. It was too pretty to not take a picture of (but not too pretty not to consume).


Forecast front (there are still button bands that have to be added to each side later)

Forecast back (the bobbles are there, but just hard to see)

Comfy yarn arrives...all 10 skeins!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Black Beret for Me

I'd been knitting so many hats for other people, that I decided it was time to reward myself with one of my own (well, actually, this was the second one, but I don't have pictures taken of the first one yet). I used the same pattern that I did for Jenn's hat, but because I used a self-striping yarn on Jenn's, you couldn't see the pattern very well. So I decided to go with a solid color for mine.

The pattern for this hat is called Rose Red. I just love this pattern. It's a tad tricky...actually, it just requires my attention instead of watching TV, but it turns out looking so intricate.

To get the shape right, I blocked this hat around a dinner plate...

...and on top of a small bucket.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

The Princess and the Pea

I was doing some research on children's books (for a craft project idea that's floating around in my brain), when I came across this image from The Princess and the Pea. I just love this illustration. The colors are amazing and the drawing style is gorgeous. It was done by Edmund Dulac, who I had never heard of before. His other illustrations are beautiful too, but they didn't strike me in the same way as this one did. I'd like this as a print for my home.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mommy Rose!

Who is Mommy Rose? She is my wonderful mother-in-law (and I don't mean that in any sort of sarcastic way!). I started calling her Mommy Rose after Shane and I got married. I felt weird going from calling her "Rose" for eight plus years (Shane and I were together a very long time before we got married) to calling her "mom," so I started calling her "Mommy Rose." When she asked what I wanted her to call me, I replied instantly with "Baby Girl." So that's who we are "Mommy Rose" and "Baby Girl." We rock.

Anyway, Mommy Rose's birthday is today, and of course I went the handmade route for her gift, right down to the card we gave her.

Below the big quote, there is a little strip that says "count your blessings." Mommy Rose has dealt with a lot of obstacles in the past few years, which is why the card I made took more of an inspirational direction. I know she'll appreciate it.

Here's the gift as a whole. It's what I'm calling the "Think Spring" winter wear set. I used Cascade Venezia worsted yarn in Granny Smith. This yarn is super soft because it's a mix of wool and silk...yum!

Included in the set is a beret made using the Baroness Beret pattern.

Using the chevron lace established in the beret pattern, I knitted a button-up scarflette.

And since you can't have a hat and a scarf without any mittens, along came this matching pair.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Past Weekend and A Bit More Obama

Sorry if you've had your fill on our new president, but I promise I'll take a break after this post.

I mentioned that I was in Chicago over last weekend, but I never actually expanded on the festivities. The weekend was planned so that I could reunite with Katy and Porsche, two of my oldest and dearest friends from grade school. The three of us went to a private grade school together. They went on to the private high school, and I went on to the ghetto public school. =) Despite how close we all were, getting settled in high school led us to losing touch with another, until the wonders of Facebook brought us back together again. They both live in the city, so I traveled down to have dinner and spend the night with them. It was great catching up and talking about old memories. I was a bit out of my element having been in laid back Wisconsin for so long--going out to dinner in Madison is WAY different than night and day different. In fact, despite frigid temperatures in both Madison and Chicago, people in the city don't wear layers and layers of clothing like us Sconnies do. Then we got to the heavily packed restaurants and I realized why. My Smartwools underneath my jeans about killed me. I almost went to the bathroom to take them off, but standing close to the door helped from passing out. I'm a serious dork. Still, getting out of my comfort zone is a good thing, and in the end we had a lot of good laughs and more memories to add to the bank.

Prior to heading to Katy's place off the train, I made a short stop at Loopy (as I mentioned in this post.) I already told you about all the knitters there who had donated hats, but I didn't share these pics:

I was welcomed into the group with this pin when I first arrived at Loopy (not like a ceremony or anything...just a gift). One of the knitters had made them for everyone (sorry, I can't remember which one).

I bought this beautiful yarn! It's Malabrigo lace weight yarn in "Col China." I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it, but it was too beautiful to pass up. Plus, I wanted to say thanks to the yarn shop for hosting our group...a win, win all around!

This was one of the knitter's puppy, decked out in red, white, and blue Obama gear. The puppy wouldn't sit still for very long, so I couldn't get a picture of her pin, which read "Bitches for Obama." I need one of those!

When I returned back home from my weekend getaway, I wanted to mark the big inauguration day with a special knit to wear. Below is a picture of the scarf I made using hand-dyed cotton yarn that was an RAK gift from "hypercycloid." I also added my KFO pin for a bit of Obama bling. =)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Inspiring Day

Words can't explain the range of emotions I've been feeling leading up to this historical day. It's been a long 8 years, but it's now time for the country to come together with an eye on the future instead of the past. I can't wait to see what we can all do to make our country a better nation. Cheers to all of you! Enjoy being a part of history.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Hats Are Hugs

KFO's Chemo Caps made it on the news! And two of my hats (this one and this one) make an appearance! But my favorite part is what the woman says at the end: "It's like a little hug when you put these hats on." That's what this is all about.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hats Are Being Donated Today!

Today is the big day when all of the chemo caps that were knitted by the Knitters for Obama group are going to be donated to the University of Chicago Hospital in honor of Obama's grandma "Toot." As I mentioned, I was in Chicago over the weekend to reunite with some friends I went to grade school with, but first I swung by Loopy, a yarn shop where members from KFO were meeting up. It was good to get to see the people behind the Ravelry posts, as well as get to see three garbage bags full of hats that are going to a great cause. The final count came to just over 200 hats! How great is that? Here are some pictures that were taken by KFO member jmcatee.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where's Carrie?

(I totally stole the flyer image from Flickr...sorry Internet gods!)

I'm going to be MIA for a few days. I have no real good reason except that I am swamped in projects and am headed to Chicago for the weekend to see my best friends from grade school that I haven't seen in almost 20 years! (Dang I sound old!) I'll be back in full swing starting Monday. Have a great weekend! And if you're in a place that is as cold as it is here (we're talking -20 as the HIGH today), bundle up! (There is something inherently wrong when you have to wear long underwear just to go to work...especially when you don't work outside!) Bye...I'll miss you!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dumb Bunnies

Remember the sweet bunny that Stacey made and I won in the Christmas swap? (If you don't, go here.) Well, in place of playing work-Yahtzee the day before Christmas break, Shelley and I decided to get crafty instead and make some of our own bunnies. I thought we would just make one, but then as rabbits do, they multiplied. One turned into four for me and six (or more?) for Shelley. We started cutting these bunnies out at work, and then I sewed and finished my bunnies over break. The one bunny not pictured hopped off to my mom-in-law's home as a Christmas gift. The three below are still lurking around my home. I don't know how I really feel about them. I'm not really digging them at all. The one I gave as a gift was pretty great. But Not sure what to do with them now.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Last Chemo Cap (for real this time)

This being the year of the hat (for me anyway), I was able to knit up one last chemo cap before I got all the hats in the mail last week. The thing I like about hats, is that they've become a no brainer for me, and since I always need something on my needles, chemo caps have been a joy. With this charity project being over, I can't wait to see what the next one is! (Plus, I probably need a break from hats...but we'll see if that actually happens.)

(I used my yarn from this RAK gift I received.)

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Skull Hats Are a Hit... least with the people Justin knows! Before Christmas, my co-worker Justin (papa of wee Ronan) put in another order for a family of skull hats and a scarf. This batch was for a mom, her 4-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter. The daughter was very particular about wanting a hat with a purple-backed skull and a purple and black scarf with matching skulls (the pictures look more blue, but it is really quite purple). I think I need to start making more skull stuff for my Etsy store (which has been greatly neglected lately!).

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can I *Really* Get Away with These?

I came across some very cute and crafty shoes in the Em and Sprout Etsy shop during my Internet travels. When I saw these shoes, I immediately thought Hannah (my 2-year-old niece) would love these. Then I realized these shoes are for ladies, and some were even in my size (which is astounding given that I wear a size 11, AKA giantess).

I'm all for super cute things--especially shoes. And I'm very much drawn to the bunny shoes below, but then I started thinking, can I really get away with these. My inner Stacey and Clinton (from TLC's What Not to Wear) keeps saying hell no! But then my inner 12-year-old (which is fairly predominant voice in my head), says hell yeah! If my feet were smaller, I'd probably go with the 12-year-old. But since I have ogre feet, Stacey and Clinton are winning (plus they know that my inner 12-year-old with convince me that these are work appropriate..."climbing the corporate ladder" shoes!). Hmm...I'm undecided. And since I have no money anyway at the moment, I have plenty of time to think (and take advice).

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Ning is So Nice!

Back when I did my Birthday Giveaway, I never thought I'd meet so many nice people and hear so many wonderful stories. That was really a great birthday gift in and of itself. And as a bonus, the winner turned out to be a real gem! To thank me for the prize package I sent (of which you can visit in its new home here), Ning, writer of babalisme, made me an awesome set of tags that I can print off and use with all my handmade goodies. Not only are these about the cutest thing I ever did see, but they're also something I really needed! So awesomely wonderful! Thanks,'re the best!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

RAK of the Sea

The start of a new month means the start of new RAK wishlists! Yay! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I find a lot of joy in making knitter's little wishes come true. For January, I've already purchased a book for one person and a pattern for another, but being on a budget means I need to find other ways to give as well. One person, batty4yarn, is looking to complete her Recipe for Fish blanket but is getting burnt out on knitting fish after fish. (Below is what a finished blanket looks like.)

So batty4yarn's wishlist asked for people to knit some fish for her. Here are the four I'm sending. They were a lot of fun to make. I'm crazy enough to be thinking about making mine own now.

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