Saturday, March 31, 2007

Local Cupcakery Part II


Ever since I first blogged about Cupcake Cafe & Bakery on Rantoul Street in Beverly (Massachusetts), I've been meaning to stop by and check it out. My plans have been complicated somewhat due to the fact that the only times I am usually on Rantoul Street are when I am bringing Husband to the train in the morning (and then I drive the opposite direction of Cupcake Cafe) to go to work or it's midnight and I'm getting my husband from the train. So today on my way home from my Pampered Chef show (where we sadly demo-ed Pizza and not cupcakes), I decided to stop by.

Even though the shop was "closed," the door was open because it looked like they were having a kids' cupcake party. So I walked in (this is before I knew they were closed) and the very nice ladies working there told me they were out of almost everything, but we got to chat a bit. They were super nice and super friendly. I told them about how quite a few people keep showing up at my blog looking for a cupcake cafe in Beverly and they should think about getting a website or a blog (they said they just hired a web person so should have something soon). I embarrassed myself a bit because I thought they were a brand-new store (they said they'd been there for 2 years...I guess that says a lot about my powers of observation). But they were great.

On my way out, I got a menu and a business card and was offered one of their few remaining cupcakes....a "chocolate chocolate"... just one of the 61 cupcake flavors (61!!!) they offer. Others from the menu that look interesting: Cappuccino, Caramel Apple, Turtle, Cannoli, Chunky Monkey, Berries and Cream, Fairy Cakes and Hummingbird (I have no idea what it is, but it sounds interesting!).

If you want to get ahold of them (since they don't have a website yet), their phone number is 978-922-9720 and their address is: 297 Rantoul Street, Beverly, MA (between Walgreens and the train station near Super Chicken)

Carissa's Creativity Space review of:
Cupcake Cafe & Bakery's "chocolate chocolate" cupcake


Reviewer #1 (Carissa)
As far as first impressions go, the cupcake is adorable! What a cute little flower. Second, the paper peeled off very nicely (you may be laughing but it's really annoying when the papers stick too much to the cupcakes).

Then the first bite......the cake was SUPER moist and was my own little slice of chocolate heaven. The cupcake to frosting ratio was good. I give it 2 thumbs up!!

Reviewer #2 (Husband)
I didn't know cupcakes could be so moist. It wasn't heavy like a Starbucks pastry but it was massive. I felt like I was eating a slice of a much larger cake rather than simply a bite-sized cupcake. It was the kind of cupcake you bite into and say "wow."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A [MIL-inspired] Birthday Story

I know.... I know. I'm such a procrastinator. I'm sorry. I keep getting e-mails asking when the heck I'm going to show you what MIL got me for my birthday. Okay, okay already. So here's the story....

Husband came home the night before my birthday and handed me my box. Hooray! Presents! I thought. I open the box....on top is a card and inside the card are pink balloons and directions for Husband and I to blow them up and throw them at each other. Mostly because it was about 1:00 in the morning and our silly selves were already in bed while I was opening my presents, we sadly, did not. On to the good stuff I thought.

The box was filled with small, individually wrapped gifts. Oh joy! The only thing better than getting a present I thought is getting lots of presents.

First small package: I open it to discover..... a Venus razor (I kid you not). I look at Husband. Is your mom trying to tell me that I'm hairy?!?! I mean, I'm Italian, okay? I can't help it....

Husband shakes his head. No, honey...that's just....well, that's just Mom.

I'm not sure I believe him but then I remember that this is the same woman who gave us a large laundry basket (it was a nice basket...I still use it) full of toiletries and other household items the Christmas before we got married and is the reason I have not yet had to purchase toothbrushes or toothpaste at the store the entirety of our married lives (which, you know, isn't a really long time or anything....but it's been more than a year already and I suspect I have another 2 years of toothpaste left).

Anyway.... on to the next package. It feels a bit cylindrical. I'm going to laugh if these are toothbrushes I say, remembering the pre-wedding Christmas gift. And I open it. Not just one....but TWO toothbrushes! I was laughing. It was actually pretty funny. I mean, you'd laugh if someone gave you toothbrushes for your birthday wouldn't you?


Hmmmm. What else is in here.....

chocolate



Small Flashlight




Ooooh. Another wrapped box. I open it to discover....

(it's actually a box. This is a picture of the lid. Notice the fancy lace detail.).

Oh! But that's not all! I can hear something inside. Hardly able to contain my excitement, I tear the box open to find JUST what I've always needed:


Hmmmm. Moving on. Let's pick this one
. I pick up the small, wrapped bundle. It's kind of soft. Oh no I think. The last time MIL was here, she asked me what size I am. I bet this is.... I stopped. I decided it'd be better just to open it. This is what I saw:

Now. What does this look like to you? Looks like lingerie to me.* So I started snickering. Then it turned into full-on laughing. Priceless! Priceless! Who gets a razor, toothbrushes and lingerie for her birthday from the same person?!? Nobody. Except me. I mean, this is pretty funny.

Okay. **deep breath** Breathe in. Breathe out. Come on, Carissa. Time to calm down.

Whew. That was funny. Okay. What else is in here???

shirt


Yellow Vinyl tote bag



Hmmm. What's this? This one feels heavy. And then I open it. I'm not sure what to think. I kind of look at it. This can't really be what I think it is. There are not words to explain the mix of befuddlement I feel at this very moment, so I'll just show it to you. Ready?














That's right. The Amazing Hot Heart Massager. Now....let me ask you. What do you think it is? Huh? Huh? I mean, this appears to be no G-rated birthday present.** At this point, I am laughing. I am practically crying. I'm really surprised I did not fall out of my chair.





So in the end, what did my mother-in-law give me for my birthday? The best laugh I have had in a really long time. I got some great gifts for my birthday including some things I've been eyeing for quite some time. But none of them made me laugh the way this box from my mother-in-law made me laugh.





*We later discovered that this was not lingerie, but a pajama set that included a cami (pictured above) and embroided capri pants.

** We later discovered that it does not vibrate. It heats up and has essential oil inside. So I guess in the end it is G-rated. But it was pretty funny when I looked at it the first time

My PRGE pal rocks!

These were my birthday digs from my PRGE pal. And I hear that I get another package sometime this week for my "official" secret pal box. How cool is that?!? So I am definitely nominating her for "best punk pal" so far.

I got a funny card (I dig funny card), a Starbucks card (not pictured....because I used it), an SnB Journal (this thing actually looks really cool) and a homemade bracelet from soda can tops....it's very punk rock.

More pics of birthday digs to come....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

So today looks like it's shaping up to be a great day. I got a box full of all kinds of things from my mother-in-law (it was unbelievably funny....I almost fell out of my chair....new post on that to come later) and an espresso machine from my husband.

On the way to work, I got an iced grande, soy, blended chai tea latte and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I LOVE Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and am SO SO glad that they finally have them at New England Starbucks now so I don't have to be a slave to evil empire that is Dunkin Donuts. That and I really dig blended chai

Then I came to work and I had a surprise on my desk from my friend who works upstairs. Gertrude is posing with my present above. Thanks, Sarah! As I was taking pictures of Gertrude and my birthday present, one of our editors came out of his office to sing happy birthday and dance around. That was also unbelievably funny. I'm quite sad Sassy wasn't here to see it.

So then I open my e-mail and saw the e-mail from Sarah....oh-my-goodness it SO funny. I'll share the funniness in a minute, but first the back story....

A group of friends of mine from college (of which Sarah is a part) near the end of our senior year took to referring to our group of friends as "the midgets." I'm not sure any of us really know how that happened as all of us are average-height people, though one of us is quite fond of little people...so I'm sure that had something to do with it. Anyway....at some point my fellow midgets and I started sharing random "midget facts" with each other. They usually go something like this, "Did you know midgets (are far superior to those of normal height....for this-and-this reason)?" I know, I know....it's kind of bizarre and silly but it's funny, okay?

So without further ado, this is my birthday midget fact of the day:

Did you know that on average, midgets enjoy their birthdays much more than average height people? This is because the cake to birthday person ratio is much higher, thus increasing the cake enjoyment factor. This ratio also applies to ice cream, wrapped gifts, and helium balloons.

...well I thought it was funny anyway.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Today is a much better day....

I just wanted to let bloglandia know that today is a much better day.

To make up for yesterday's grumpings, here's a picture of a cupcake to cheer you up:


Monday, March 19, 2007

Today is my Grumpy Day

This is Gertrude. Gertrude is the guardian of my inbox. Gertrude always looks grumpy. Today I feel like Gertrude. Today Gertrude made friends with my traveling Starbucks french press. Having real french pressed coffee at work for the first time since January has made me slightly less grumpy....but not by much. Today is a grumpy kind of day.

I get off work in 15 minutes....that will be nice. I'm getting together with a friend to knit. There were supposed to be a lot of us getting together to knit...but they bailed...so it will just be the two of us.

Thursday is my birthday. Both Husband and I are working on Thursday, so Saturday was supposed to be my surrogate birthday. We were supposed to go out to dinner. Instead, I am working practically mandatory overtime to do my former job (answer phones and be cheerful). There is a reason I quit said previous job and I am not at all excited about spending my surrogate birthday doing it.

I should have stayed in bed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Book Review: Sexy Little Knits

Book Review of

Sexy Little Knits: Chic Designs to Knit and Crochet

By Ashley Paige

(New York: Potter Craft, 2006)


Sexy knitting is making a come back. As Dr. Ruth said in the Winter 2007 issue of Knit.1…they weren’t called “sweater girls” for nothin’. Sexy Little Knits is only one of the newer books on the market that helps knitters maximize their sexy knitting potential.


One of the first things knitters will notice when flipping through the book is the great photography. There are multiple photos of each piece – and often with more than one model or with a different yarn. This is fantastic as it really helps knitters make an educated decision about whether or not a piece is something they might look good in or would actually wear.


The book is split up into three sections, swimwear, warm weather clothes, and things to wear at home. While most of the patterns are cute and/or sexy, they only provide directions for sizes 1-9. Aside from personal reasons why this makes me sad (I’m a smidge larger than a size 9), this seems to not be the greatest move on the publisher’s part as the average American woman is a size 14.


So say you are a young, size-nine-or-smaller knitter…will you still want this book? Well, maybe. If I were small enough to fit into these clothes, I’m not sure I’d want anyone other than my husband to see me wearing them. Unlike some approaches to sexy knitting that focus on being sexy without showing tons of skin, Paige’s approach seems to be, well, a bit more scandalous. With some minor alterations, I think this book may do better being marketed as a lingerie book since that’s what most of the items look like. Perhaps a better title for this book would be Skanky Little Knits or Sexy Little Knits for Teeny Tiny Bodies?


What about accuracy of the patterns? While I think most good reviewers of knitting books would knit an item or two from the book in order to properly review it, for reasons discussed above, this is impractical for me. When searching the internet, however, I did find quite a few women bemoaning the inaccuracies in the patterns. Even more frustrating for them is that there aren’t corrections available on Potter Craft’s website and several who have tried to contact Potter Craft haven’t been able to get any information from them. Hmmm.


The conclusion? If you are a size 1-9 knitter who either a) would like to make some scandalous knitwear to be enjoyed by a significant other or b) wants to look like a skank in public, and you don’t mind errors in patterns you pay for….this may be the book for you. If that’s not you, you may want to wait to check out some different titles.


Ratings (out of 10)

Knit-Worthy Patterns: 5

Average Degree of Difficulty of Patterns: 4 (advanced beginner / intermediate)

Use of Consumer Friendly Yarn: 3 (Many yarns were either not consumer friendly or information wasn’t available)

“Big Girl” friendly patterns: 1 (Ha!)

Overall Rating: 3

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Proof that I've really been knitting

I've really been knitting....I promise. I just haven't been very good lately about taking pictures or getting the patterns typed up so I decided I'd just post the pics now and get the patterns typed up later.

Felted Winged Heart
I made this felted bag (I would call it a clutch but it's really a bag to go inside my tote bag, so there isn't much clutching going on) out of Patons Classic Merino Wool. You can get the chart here. The pattern is coming soon.

BEFORE:



AFTER:


Cabled Fingerless Gloves
This was my first "real" cabled project. The original pattern I was working from had an error in the cable so I had to knit and frog and re-knit the beginning of the cuff 3 times before I figured out the issue with the cable. But now it's all fixed and I like it. Jumping off the original pattern, I went my own route so I'm going to write up my own version of the pattern soon. Here are pictures for you to enjoy in the meantime:


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happiness comes in cups with mermaids on them

This morning Husband and I woke up late (again). Yesterday was not a good day for me so the last thing I needed was another day of tired, cranky, hungry, uncaffeinated Carissa.

Sadly the train station Husband had to go to this morning was not the one conveniently located by a coffee shop (well, it is kind of by Atomic Cafe...but they don't take credit cards).

Lucky for me, if you text message your zip code to MYSBUX, you will be instantly sent the addresses of the three closest Starbucks to you. I had done this yesterday out of curiosity and so had an address of a Starbucks in Salem which I did not know existed and so this morning on my way to work, I paid homage to the great espresso bean and got myself a marvelous Grande, 1 1/2 pumps raspberry, 3 pumps Sugar Free Vanilla, 2%, Extra Foam Latte and a Blueberry Scone. :-)

Mmmmmmm. Heaven. Its funny how a simple thing like a well-made latte really makes me feel SO much better (and much less likely to bite off the heads of co-workers).
In other news, I made the coolest thing for my PRGE pal last night. I'd tell you all about it, but then it wouldn't be very much of a secret now would it? I think I'm allowed to reveal my identity in April.....so I'll have to save up all my cool stuff to show off for then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I want, I want, I want....


This is my whiny rant of the day. Today I want:

1) A hypo-allergenic puppy


2) A bonsai potato


3) A tall 1 pump raspberry, 2 pump sugar-free vanilla, 2% latte with extra foam


4) A nap


5) More Starbucks stores closer to where I work (side note: you know you're from the Seattle area when you get irritated that you have to go more than 2 miles to find a Starbucks)


6) Another nap


7) An unending supply of yarn


8) A maid


9) A personal chef


10) A million dollars

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Taste of the Promise land

Those of you who know me know a bit about my "Seattlelitism" (a charming combination of "Seattleite" and my Seattle-based elistism). Some simply call it "Seattle Fascism" but that's so mean sounding and if anything, us Washintonians are nice people...picky about coffee and seafood, but we're a nice lot. But I digress......

The real reason I bring up the Promise Land (AKA Seattle), is to let you, my blog reading friends, know about an opportunity for you to have your very own FREE sip of Seattle heaven....

On March 15, all Starbucks in the United States will be giving out free 12oz. cups of coffee between 10am and Noon. You like that? I thought you would. And no, you can't order a Mocha Latte.

Now, for you hazelnut-flavored dirty dishwater drinkers out there (that would be you, you Dunkin Donuts "coffee" drinking weirdos) who have not yet learned to appriciate the flavor of properly roasted arabica beans, Dunkin Donuts will be giving out free iced "coffee" all day on March 21st.

While I don't reccommend attending the latter, I thought I'd share in the spirit of equal opportunity free beverageness.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Local Cupcakery

This morning after dropping Husband off at the train, I took an alternate route back to our house (for the locals: Rantoul street rather than Cabot) and do you know what I saw?!?! A Cupcake Cafe and Bakery! Oh yes.....on Rantoul Street.

They looked rather new since the sign was one of those vinyl banners instead of a "real" sign. I came home and googled them but the only thing I could find was a listing under "Beverly Main Street Businesses" that listed their address....no phone number, e-mail or other info.

Further investigation wil be neccesary....

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Ooooh. I like

I just found this awesome sweater called "the Deep V Argyle Vest" from See Eunny Knit! The pattern can be downloaded here.


I think it looks great, is sexy and has kind of a punk edge to it. I nominated it for the next KAL the Sexy Knitter's club does but I'm wondering how many people are going to want a sweater with a punk edge to it (maybe just me and Kitty <3...What do you think, Kitty? Lana, are you part of the SKC?). Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll just do it myself or see if any Punk Rock knitters want to join me. We'll see.

It seems to be knit on kinda small needles but it has no sleeves.....so I think that will help. I also think I can probably get yarn from KnitPicks for it so it may not be too expensive. And this the the best part... "All the information needed to make this a successful first colorwork and/or steeking project is included here in exhaustive detail." Hooray for beginner instructions!


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Local Cupcakery Part II


Ever since I first blogged about Cupcake Cafe & Bakery on Rantoul Street in Beverly (Massachusetts), I've been meaning to stop by and check it out. My plans have been complicated somewhat due to the fact that the only times I am usually on Rantoul Street are when I am bringing Husband to the train in the morning (and then I drive the opposite direction of Cupcake Cafe) to go to work or it's midnight and I'm getting my husband from the train. So today on my way home from my Pampered Chef show (where we sadly demo-ed Pizza and not cupcakes), I decided to stop by.

Even though the shop was "closed," the door was open because it looked like they were having a kids' cupcake party. So I walked in (this is before I knew they were closed) and the very nice ladies working there told me they were out of almost everything, but we got to chat a bit. They were super nice and super friendly. I told them about how quite a few people keep showing up at my blog looking for a cupcake cafe in Beverly and they should think about getting a website or a blog (they said they just hired a web person so should have something soon). I embarrassed myself a bit because I thought they were a brand-new store (they said they'd been there for 2 years...I guess that says a lot about my powers of observation). But they were great.

On my way out, I got a menu and a business card and was offered one of their few remaining cupcakes....a "chocolate chocolate"... just one of the 61 cupcake flavors (61!!!) they offer. Others from the menu that look interesting: Cappuccino, Caramel Apple, Turtle, Cannoli, Chunky Monkey, Berries and Cream, Fairy Cakes and Hummingbird (I have no idea what it is, but it sounds interesting!).

If you want to get ahold of them (since they don't have a website yet), their phone number is 978-922-9720 and their address is: 297 Rantoul Street, Beverly, MA (between Walgreens and the train station near Super Chicken)

Carissa's Creativity Space review of:
Cupcake Cafe & Bakery's "chocolate chocolate" cupcake


Reviewer #1 (Carissa)
As far as first impressions go, the cupcake is adorable! What a cute little flower. Second, the paper peeled off very nicely (you may be laughing but it's really annoying when the papers stick too much to the cupcakes).

Then the first bite......the cake was SUPER moist and was my own little slice of chocolate heaven. The cupcake to frosting ratio was good. I give it 2 thumbs up!!

Reviewer #2 (Husband)
I didn't know cupcakes could be so moist. It wasn't heavy like a Starbucks pastry but it was massive. I felt like I was eating a slice of a much larger cake rather than simply a bite-sized cupcake. It was the kind of cupcake you bite into and say "wow."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A [MIL-inspired] Birthday Story

I know.... I know. I'm such a procrastinator. I'm sorry. I keep getting e-mails asking when the heck I'm going to show you what MIL got me for my birthday. Okay, okay already. So here's the story....

Husband came home the night before my birthday and handed me my box. Hooray! Presents! I thought. I open the box....on top is a card and inside the card are pink balloons and directions for Husband and I to blow them up and throw them at each other. Mostly because it was about 1:00 in the morning and our silly selves were already in bed while I was opening my presents, we sadly, did not. On to the good stuff I thought.

The box was filled with small, individually wrapped gifts. Oh joy! The only thing better than getting a present I thought is getting lots of presents.

First small package: I open it to discover..... a Venus razor (I kid you not). I look at Husband. Is your mom trying to tell me that I'm hairy?!?! I mean, I'm Italian, okay? I can't help it....

Husband shakes his head. No, honey...that's just....well, that's just Mom.

I'm not sure I believe him but then I remember that this is the same woman who gave us a large laundry basket (it was a nice basket...I still use it) full of toiletries and other household items the Christmas before we got married and is the reason I have not yet had to purchase toothbrushes or toothpaste at the store the entirety of our married lives (which, you know, isn't a really long time or anything....but it's been more than a year already and I suspect I have another 2 years of toothpaste left).

Anyway.... on to the next package. It feels a bit cylindrical. I'm going to laugh if these are toothbrushes I say, remembering the pre-wedding Christmas gift. And I open it. Not just one....but TWO toothbrushes! I was laughing. It was actually pretty funny. I mean, you'd laugh if someone gave you toothbrushes for your birthday wouldn't you?


Hmmmm. What else is in here.....

chocolate



Small Flashlight




Ooooh. Another wrapped box. I open it to discover....

(it's actually a box. This is a picture of the lid. Notice the fancy lace detail.).

Oh! But that's not all! I can hear something inside. Hardly able to contain my excitement, I tear the box open to find JUST what I've always needed:


Hmmmm. Moving on. Let's pick this one
. I pick up the small, wrapped bundle. It's kind of soft. Oh no I think. The last time MIL was here, she asked me what size I am. I bet this is.... I stopped. I decided it'd be better just to open it. This is what I saw:

Now. What does this look like to you? Looks like lingerie to me.* So I started snickering. Then it turned into full-on laughing. Priceless! Priceless! Who gets a razor, toothbrushes and lingerie for her birthday from the same person?!? Nobody. Except me. I mean, this is pretty funny.

Okay. **deep breath** Breathe in. Breathe out. Come on, Carissa. Time to calm down.

Whew. That was funny. Okay. What else is in here???

shirt


Yellow Vinyl tote bag



Hmmm. What's this? This one feels heavy. And then I open it. I'm not sure what to think. I kind of look at it. This can't really be what I think it is. There are not words to explain the mix of befuddlement I feel at this very moment, so I'll just show it to you. Ready?














That's right. The Amazing Hot Heart Massager. Now....let me ask you. What do you think it is? Huh? Huh? I mean, this appears to be no G-rated birthday present.** At this point, I am laughing. I am practically crying. I'm really surprised I did not fall out of my chair.





So in the end, what did my mother-in-law give me for my birthday? The best laugh I have had in a really long time. I got some great gifts for my birthday including some things I've been eyeing for quite some time. But none of them made me laugh the way this box from my mother-in-law made me laugh.





*We later discovered that this was not lingerie, but a pajama set that included a cami (pictured above) and embroided capri pants.

** We later discovered that it does not vibrate. It heats up and has essential oil inside. So I guess in the end it is G-rated. But it was pretty funny when I looked at it the first time

My PRGE pal rocks!

These were my birthday digs from my PRGE pal. And I hear that I get another package sometime this week for my "official" secret pal box. How cool is that?!? So I am definitely nominating her for "best punk pal" so far.

I got a funny card (I dig funny card), a Starbucks card (not pictured....because I used it), an SnB Journal (this thing actually looks really cool) and a homemade bracelet from soda can tops....it's very punk rock.

More pics of birthday digs to come....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

So today looks like it's shaping up to be a great day. I got a box full of all kinds of things from my mother-in-law (it was unbelievably funny....I almost fell out of my chair....new post on that to come later) and an espresso machine from my husband.

On the way to work, I got an iced grande, soy, blended chai tea latte and a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. I LOVE Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and am SO SO glad that they finally have them at New England Starbucks now so I don't have to be a slave to evil empire that is Dunkin Donuts. That and I really dig blended chai

Then I came to work and I had a surprise on my desk from my friend who works upstairs. Gertrude is posing with my present above. Thanks, Sarah! As I was taking pictures of Gertrude and my birthday present, one of our editors came out of his office to sing happy birthday and dance around. That was also unbelievably funny. I'm quite sad Sassy wasn't here to see it.

So then I open my e-mail and saw the e-mail from Sarah....oh-my-goodness it SO funny. I'll share the funniness in a minute, but first the back story....

A group of friends of mine from college (of which Sarah is a part) near the end of our senior year took to referring to our group of friends as "the midgets." I'm not sure any of us really know how that happened as all of us are average-height people, though one of us is quite fond of little people...so I'm sure that had something to do with it. Anyway....at some point my fellow midgets and I started sharing random "midget facts" with each other. They usually go something like this, "Did you know midgets (are far superior to those of normal height....for this-and-this reason)?" I know, I know....it's kind of bizarre and silly but it's funny, okay?

So without further ado, this is my birthday midget fact of the day:

Did you know that on average, midgets enjoy their birthdays much more than average height people? This is because the cake to birthday person ratio is much higher, thus increasing the cake enjoyment factor. This ratio also applies to ice cream, wrapped gifts, and helium balloons.

...well I thought it was funny anyway.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Today is a much better day....

I just wanted to let bloglandia know that today is a much better day.

To make up for yesterday's grumpings, here's a picture of a cupcake to cheer you up:


Monday, March 19, 2007

Today is my Grumpy Day

This is Gertrude. Gertrude is the guardian of my inbox. Gertrude always looks grumpy. Today I feel like Gertrude. Today Gertrude made friends with my traveling Starbucks french press. Having real french pressed coffee at work for the first time since January has made me slightly less grumpy....but not by much. Today is a grumpy kind of day.

I get off work in 15 minutes....that will be nice. I'm getting together with a friend to knit. There were supposed to be a lot of us getting together to knit...but they bailed...so it will just be the two of us.

Thursday is my birthday. Both Husband and I are working on Thursday, so Saturday was supposed to be my surrogate birthday. We were supposed to go out to dinner. Instead, I am working practically mandatory overtime to do my former job (answer phones and be cheerful). There is a reason I quit said previous job and I am not at all excited about spending my surrogate birthday doing it.

I should have stayed in bed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Book Review: Sexy Little Knits

Book Review of

Sexy Little Knits: Chic Designs to Knit and Crochet

By Ashley Paige

(New York: Potter Craft, 2006)


Sexy knitting is making a come back. As Dr. Ruth said in the Winter 2007 issue of Knit.1…they weren’t called “sweater girls” for nothin’. Sexy Little Knits is only one of the newer books on the market that helps knitters maximize their sexy knitting potential.


One of the first things knitters will notice when flipping through the book is the great photography. There are multiple photos of each piece – and often with more than one model or with a different yarn. This is fantastic as it really helps knitters make an educated decision about whether or not a piece is something they might look good in or would actually wear.


The book is split up into three sections, swimwear, warm weather clothes, and things to wear at home. While most of the patterns are cute and/or sexy, they only provide directions for sizes 1-9. Aside from personal reasons why this makes me sad (I’m a smidge larger than a size 9), this seems to not be the greatest move on the publisher’s part as the average American woman is a size 14.


So say you are a young, size-nine-or-smaller knitter…will you still want this book? Well, maybe. If I were small enough to fit into these clothes, I’m not sure I’d want anyone other than my husband to see me wearing them. Unlike some approaches to sexy knitting that focus on being sexy without showing tons of skin, Paige’s approach seems to be, well, a bit more scandalous. With some minor alterations, I think this book may do better being marketed as a lingerie book since that’s what most of the items look like. Perhaps a better title for this book would be Skanky Little Knits or Sexy Little Knits for Teeny Tiny Bodies?


What about accuracy of the patterns? While I think most good reviewers of knitting books would knit an item or two from the book in order to properly review it, for reasons discussed above, this is impractical for me. When searching the internet, however, I did find quite a few women bemoaning the inaccuracies in the patterns. Even more frustrating for them is that there aren’t corrections available on Potter Craft’s website and several who have tried to contact Potter Craft haven’t been able to get any information from them. Hmmm.


The conclusion? If you are a size 1-9 knitter who either a) would like to make some scandalous knitwear to be enjoyed by a significant other or b) wants to look like a skank in public, and you don’t mind errors in patterns you pay for….this may be the book for you. If that’s not you, you may want to wait to check out some different titles.


Ratings (out of 10)

Knit-Worthy Patterns: 5

Average Degree of Difficulty of Patterns: 4 (advanced beginner / intermediate)

Use of Consumer Friendly Yarn: 3 (Many yarns were either not consumer friendly or information wasn’t available)

“Big Girl” friendly patterns: 1 (Ha!)

Overall Rating: 3

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Proof that I've really been knitting

I've really been knitting....I promise. I just haven't been very good lately about taking pictures or getting the patterns typed up so I decided I'd just post the pics now and get the patterns typed up later.

Felted Winged Heart
I made this felted bag (I would call it a clutch but it's really a bag to go inside my tote bag, so there isn't much clutching going on) out of Patons Classic Merino Wool. You can get the chart here. The pattern is coming soon.

BEFORE:



AFTER:


Cabled Fingerless Gloves
This was my first "real" cabled project. The original pattern I was working from had an error in the cable so I had to knit and frog and re-knit the beginning of the cuff 3 times before I figured out the issue with the cable. But now it's all fixed and I like it. Jumping off the original pattern, I went my own route so I'm going to write up my own version of the pattern soon. Here are pictures for you to enjoy in the meantime:


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happiness comes in cups with mermaids on them

This morning Husband and I woke up late (again). Yesterday was not a good day for me so the last thing I needed was another day of tired, cranky, hungry, uncaffeinated Carissa.

Sadly the train station Husband had to go to this morning was not the one conveniently located by a coffee shop (well, it is kind of by Atomic Cafe...but they don't take credit cards).

Lucky for me, if you text message your zip code to MYSBUX, you will be instantly sent the addresses of the three closest Starbucks to you. I had done this yesterday out of curiosity and so had an address of a Starbucks in Salem which I did not know existed and so this morning on my way to work, I paid homage to the great espresso bean and got myself a marvelous Grande, 1 1/2 pumps raspberry, 3 pumps Sugar Free Vanilla, 2%, Extra Foam Latte and a Blueberry Scone. :-)

Mmmmmmm. Heaven. Its funny how a simple thing like a well-made latte really makes me feel SO much better (and much less likely to bite off the heads of co-workers).
In other news, I made the coolest thing for my PRGE pal last night. I'd tell you all about it, but then it wouldn't be very much of a secret now would it? I think I'm allowed to reveal my identity in April.....so I'll have to save up all my cool stuff to show off for then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I want, I want, I want....


This is my whiny rant of the day. Today I want:

1) A hypo-allergenic puppy


2) A bonsai potato


3) A tall 1 pump raspberry, 2 pump sugar-free vanilla, 2% latte with extra foam


4) A nap


5) More Starbucks stores closer to where I work (side note: you know you're from the Seattle area when you get irritated that you have to go more than 2 miles to find a Starbucks)


6) Another nap


7) An unending supply of yarn


8) A maid


9) A personal chef


10) A million dollars

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Taste of the Promise land

Those of you who know me know a bit about my "Seattlelitism" (a charming combination of "Seattleite" and my Seattle-based elistism). Some simply call it "Seattle Fascism" but that's so mean sounding and if anything, us Washintonians are nice people...picky about coffee and seafood, but we're a nice lot. But I digress......

The real reason I bring up the Promise Land (AKA Seattle), is to let you, my blog reading friends, know about an opportunity for you to have your very own FREE sip of Seattle heaven....

On March 15, all Starbucks in the United States will be giving out free 12oz. cups of coffee between 10am and Noon. You like that? I thought you would. And no, you can't order a Mocha Latte.

Now, for you hazelnut-flavored dirty dishwater drinkers out there (that would be you, you Dunkin Donuts "coffee" drinking weirdos) who have not yet learned to appriciate the flavor of properly roasted arabica beans, Dunkin Donuts will be giving out free iced "coffee" all day on March 21st.

While I don't reccommend attending the latter, I thought I'd share in the spirit of equal opportunity free beverageness.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Local Cupcakery

This morning after dropping Husband off at the train, I took an alternate route back to our house (for the locals: Rantoul street rather than Cabot) and do you know what I saw?!?! A Cupcake Cafe and Bakery! Oh yes.....on Rantoul Street.

They looked rather new since the sign was one of those vinyl banners instead of a "real" sign. I came home and googled them but the only thing I could find was a listing under "Beverly Main Street Businesses" that listed their address....no phone number, e-mail or other info.

Further investigation wil be neccesary....

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Ooooh. I like

I just found this awesome sweater called "the Deep V Argyle Vest" from See Eunny Knit! The pattern can be downloaded here.


I think it looks great, is sexy and has kind of a punk edge to it. I nominated it for the next KAL the Sexy Knitter's club does but I'm wondering how many people are going to want a sweater with a punk edge to it (maybe just me and Kitty <3...What do you think, Kitty? Lana, are you part of the SKC?). Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll just do it myself or see if any Punk Rock knitters want to join me. We'll see.

It seems to be knit on kinda small needles but it has no sleeves.....so I think that will help. I also think I can probably get yarn from KnitPicks for it so it may not be too expensive. And this the the best part... "All the information needed to make this a successful first colorwork and/or steeking project is included here in exhaustive detail." Hooray for beginner instructions!


 
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