Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What else have I been up to?

Recently, I've been starting various small projects since I need a little instant knitting gratification!  I've been having fun making little scrubby tawashis using this easy free pattern and various cotton and cotton/bamboo yarns I have in my stash.  Here's the one I finished over the weekend in Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton:

I don't think I've posted much about the Travel Shawl from Knitting 24/7 that I've been making since Malabrigo Stockpile in October.  This warlock of a shawl is almost done - and it was turning out beautifully, until I dropped a stitch and didn't notice it for ten flipping rounds.  Oops.  I picked it back up, but it's not exactly unnoticeable - and since I was knitting it as a gift for someone, I am now having to trot out Plan B.  Thankfully, Plan B is a much easier project to make, but I'm still pretty bummed that this shawl isn't going to work out.  If we ever kiss and make up and I finish this thing, it will be a lovely addition to my wardrobe, I'm sure!  It's also really hard to photograph just looks like a blob of knitting, basically!  Once feature I do like is that it's completely self-contained - the ball of yarn I'm working from is nestled inside the project.  Nevertheless, it is sidelined till further notice.  

Botanical Cowl in Canopy Fingering
I'm also on a big hat kick - after getting Weekend Hats for my birthday (and having a few downright chilly glimpses of winter),  I've got major startitis in the hat department.  Tons of cute designs from this book have jumped to the front of my queue, but I'm not allowing myself to start any of them til I finish a few other projects.  In that vein,  I started a Windschief by Steven West, but just undid all of my work because I am going to make it in a different color and use the black yarn to make a special top secret project I came across today when I was working (and by working, I mean trolling the "recently added patterns" section of Ravelry).

Finally, the Fibre Company Canopy Fingering did not go more than a few days without getting tapped for a project.  I ordered it (from Doodlebug Yarn) specifically to make a Botanical Cowl, a pattern I discovered via their blog.  Since this project is for me, I don't work in it very much - it'll be slow going til I finish my holiday gift knitting.

Speaking of holiday gift knitting, I have one more pair of socks to make!  They're sport-weight (yay!) but, because I enjoy special torture apparently, they are a complexly cabled pattern (the Rocaille Socks from the Knitter's Book of Socks) that is sure to be amazing, provided I get them done in time (thank goodness we're celebrating Fake Christmas in January - that's almost a two-week extension!).  They are a lovely forest green color which I overdyed over a bright spring green.  The problem with this project is that it's tough to see what I'm doing unless I have absolutely perfect light - and a few weeks ago, my task light burned out!  A tiny disaster (or some would say mild inconvenience) to be sure, but I really do feel like I've gotten less knitting done because of it.  I finally remembered to take the light bulb with me to Target last night so I could match them up.  I hope this means that I'll be much more productive now!

Ogee Lace Skirt
I'm also itching to start this cotton sarong - not usually a project you want to make when it's cold out, right?  We're headed to Florida this January for Tyler's grandmother's 90th birthday, and in anticipation of having to don a swimming suite for the first time in about two years, I have determined that some sort of wrap or coverup is necessary.  My yarn guru Lauren destashed a big box of Tahki Cotton Classic to me ages ago, and I have finally thought of the perfect use for it!  I'll be knitting the Ogee Lace Skirt....just as soon as I finish my holiday knitting!

(Also, I promise that I will NEVER wear it over a pair of jeans.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pay a Blogger Day

Apparently today is Pay a Blogger day - finally, a cause I can really get behind! 

In all seriousness, think of all the awesome blogs you read on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  We don't do it for money or glory (well, usually....neither has really found its way to me so far, anyway!), we just really like to write about the things we love to do.  Even if you don't have money in your budgets throw a little monetary support our way, leaving a nice comment or sharing your favorite blogs with your friends is a great way to pay us back.  Not that I speak for bloggers everywhere by any stretch of the imagination, but appreciation and word-of-mouth promotion can go a long way. 

So, if you feel so inclined, check out my patterns and buy a few via Ravelry or Paypal.  Treat yourself to some mini skeins!  Purchase anything from my etsy shop for 25% off using coupon code "CyberMondayHangover."  Like my page on Facebook and share it with your friends.  Please also visit some of the other great blogs I have listed on the sidebar of this blog - they're hand-picked for your reading pleasure! 

I want my rubber chicken!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation: Awesome Xmas

It's Black Friday, or Buy Nothing Day if you prefer.  While some of you are sacrificing sleep to get a bargain at any number of big box retailers, I will be lazing around the house in my pajamas, drinking tea and admiring my handiwork from yesterday.  I apologize if that sounds overly smug, but I am just not into the insanity of Black Friday, no matter how good the deals are. 

This is the first year we're not heading to Kansas City (our hometown) for the holidays.  As previously mentioned, Tyler will be working throughout the holiday season (six day weeks!  11 hour days!  at least he's union, so that's some nice time-and-a-half - cha-ching!).  To make up for the fact that we won't be upholding any of our usual holiday traditions, I am decorating the house like crazy.  Ok, maybe not that crazy...but I am definitely stepping up my efforts in the holiday decor department, which in years past has been fairly lackluster (we didn't have a tree til last year - to be fair, it was the last year we had room for one, but still....).

The stockings are hung by the vinyl with care - it's just going to have to suffice in lieu of a fireplace.  The bonus, of course, is that the vinyl lives in my office, and I get to look at my lovely garland (bought last year post-xmas for only a few bucks at Target - see, I'm not opposed to getting a good deal!) and stripey stockings for the whole family.

I've already posted about the stockings I made for Tyler and myself (though they have since had all the ends woven in and jingle bells sewn onto the toes!), but recently completed are Robin and Tilly's stockings, which also have jingle-bell toes.  I used the same pattern (Knitting Pure and Simple's Easy Christmas Stocking), I just cut all the numbers in half to make a smaller version - it worked pretty well!

Robin's stocking (right) is knit with: Phildar Lenox 084 in color 10 (natural), Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Limeade, and Pick Up Sticks Small Balls in Red on US #8's.

Tilly's stocking (left) is knit with:  Phildar Lenox 084 in color 10 (natural),Zealana Kia Ora Rimu DK in Red Rata Tree, and Berroco Peruvia in Avocado on US #8's.

Vintage Kitsch!
I'd like to put everyone's initials on their stocking at some point, but I'm still trying to decide the best/easiest way to accomplish that. I'm not the best at embriodery and I'm not sure that duplicate stitch is the way I want to go, either.  I am toying with using some sort of felt letters - might just make a trip to the craft store to see what strikes me as a good idea.  In the mean time, you can click here to see more photos of the finished stockings, if you're into that sort of thing.

The tree is up and I got to use the amazing vintage tree skirt I inherited from my great-grandparents.  It's nothing short of spectacular, right?  It's pretty well-preserved, considering how old it is, and I am in love with how tacky it is, but in a good way.  People were really into sequins back then, apparently.  I don't think many people in our generation have the patience to sew so many sequins onto a tree skirt...ok, maybe that's just me, but either way, I love this new addition to our holiday decorations.  It reminds me of the stockings my grandmother made for everyone in the family! 

After our Thanksgiving dinner at Longman and Eagle (Tyler's parents took the train up here yesterday and we all had an amazing meal there once Tyler got off of work), we decorated the Christmas tree together.  I was pretty psyched to show off my hard work from earlier in the day - not only did I put up the tree, finish the stockings, and decorate the office, I also strung up every working set of lights we own (you'd be surprised at how many we have in the house - Tyler really has a thing for christmas lights - and snowmen, actually, which explains all the snowmen that have made their way into our house).  I have a few more plans in the works, time permitting, but I have to say, I'm quite pleased with my efforts.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!
Robin always finds the best place to take a nap.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nothing says "Happy Thanksgiving" like....

...a Zombie Bunny with a pom-pom tail. 


(this is my way of saying "Happy Thanksgiving," apparently)

Rav user Mercourier - aka my buddy Sam, proprietress extraordinaire of The Wool Dispensary - recently made this zombie bunny who uses its snuggliness to its advantage so it may feast on your brains. 

She used the Button Bunnies pattern, The Wool Dispensary Greater Poison in a new mystery colorway for the MC and Riverpoet Fiber and Yarn in "Blood Orange Massacre" for the CC....not to mention pink safety eyes and a cool skull toggle button to great effect!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday today - and remember, tomorrow is BUY NOTHING DAY (for real).  On Saturday, be sure to support your LYS and other small businesses, tooo (such as The Wool Dispensary, or perhaps an independent designer whose blog you enjoy reading??)!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Reviews Aplenty

File under "as though my queue isn't long enough already"....I got a treasure trove of books for my birthday!  There have been some really interesting titles published this fall - many featuring my clients, which necessitates me talking A LOT about how awesome said books/patterns/yarns are.  We all know what weak sales resistance I typically have in these situations, and I've done a great job of convincing myself I need these books on my shelf...and so do you, because if I'm going down with the ship, I'll need a little company.

Here's my birthday book booty:

1. The Knitter's Life List - I actually hadn't heard of this book, so I was really delighted to start flipping through it.  While drinking tea this morning,  I learned all sorts of interesting little factoids.  It's kind of like an encyclopedia for knitters - overviews of types of fiber & yarns, interviews with influential knitterati, a comprehensive listing of every fiber show, etc. etc.  There aren't any patterns in this book, but it's so full of useful information that patterns would almost get in the way.  I'm deeming this an essential reference book for the knitter's bookshelf.

2. Knit Local - Tanis Gray's tome about American-based yarn purveyors is nothing short of amazing.  There are lots of companies you know and love - Brown Sheep, Brooklyn Tweed, and Quince & Co., for example - and several that are new to the scene and may have escaped your notice til now.  The book's introduction sets the tone and, in and of itself, has plenty of food for thought.  The remainder of the book is comprised of profiles for each yarn company grouped by region and including patterns using that company's yarn.  It's a fantastic way to get to acquainted with new yarns that come from your own backyard, which means there is an added benefit of reducing the carbon footprint (ie, not having to ship a large quantity of yarn halfway across the world) and supporting our own economy, which you don't need me to tell you needs all the help it can get.  Having attended my first TNNA in Columbus this summer, there are many familiar faces in this book (Cestari, Bijou Basin Ranch, Imperial Stock Ranch, The Fibre Company, Mountain Meadow wool) and still more that I can't wait to try! 

3.  Weekend Hats - Despite the fact that I no longer have to wait for the train on the painfully windy elevated station that is sandwiched between the Kennedy Expressway (what genius thought of that?!), I still firmly believe that I need more hand-knit hats.  When I started posting about these patterns for my various clients,  I knew immediately that this book had to be mine.  There's a hat for every persuasion designed by most of the usual suspects from the knitting world.  Beanies, cloches, berets, you name it - I defy you to pick up this book and not find at least three patterns you're dying to make.  What's on my to-do list?  I'm in love with Connie Chang Chinchio's Union Long Beanie (I love anything that gives an orphan button a good home!), Elizabeth Parker's Pebbled Beanie, Gudrun Johnston's Hued Toque, and Jared Flood's Wanderer Cap.  I'll probably also be adding the Ogee Beanie, Welted Toque, and Semolina Earflap hat to my queue.  See what I mean? 

4.  The Knitter's Book of Socks - How many sock-knitting books can you own? At last count, I had 13 sock titles on my shelf.  After this latest round of sock books came out, I found myself wondering which, if any, were worth adding to my collection.  I've picked up several new sock books and found them to be simply lovely, but not exactly earth-shattering.  I do happen to have Clara Parkes' other books (The Knitter's Book of Yarn and The Knitter's Book of Wool), and I absolutely love them.  They're informative, interesting, and feature great patterns.  Yet still I resisted this book - it wasn't til I listened to Marly Bird's Yarn Thing podcast with Clara as the guest that I realized this was a book worth getting.  It's got more than just the usual "here's how you make a sock" sound bites - Clara goes in-depth with her explanations of achieving proper fit and making socks that withstand the test of time.  I can't recall reading anything about moisture management in any of the other books I own.  And then there are the patterns - I've already cast on for the Rocaille Socks!  There are also some fantastic designs by your favorite sock knitterati - Cookie A, Marly Bird, Anne Hanson, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes all represent.  So let's say that, out of all of the sock books that have come out this year, you can only choose one to purchase....better make sure it's this one!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Countdown: It's Getting Scary!

Huron Mountain Socks
In the last few weeks, I've finished two pairs of socks (both holiday gifts) and two of four proposed striped stockings.  Unfortunately, I've managed to add to my holiday gift-knitting list exponentially since the completion of these projects.  What compels me?  Do I just like the challenge, beat-the-clock style?  I'm guessing that's the case, although some of it might also be related to being on a shoestring budget.  I've noticed there's a huge uptick in gift knitting this season, so I can only conclude that at least I'm not alone in this boat!  I've been pretty good about shopping from my stash, so the yarn's already paid for, I just have to find the time to get everything done!

Gentleman's Fancy Sock
Indeed, there is much more holiday knitting to be done.  On the bright side of things, I have a bit of a deadline extension this year because we aren't heading down to KC 'til January.  The coffee shop where Tyler works was purchased by the hotel where it's located earlier this year; his sudden entrance into the hospitality industry means that we must forgo our annual holiday trip, unfortunately...hence the knitting of the stockings, in my attempt to have a festive house for our Chicago-based holiday.  While I'm disappointed that we won't be having our usual holiday traditions, I'm looking forward to both making a few new ones and taking advantage of the extra week or so that I'll have, since we'll be observing christmas with our families in the new year.  I'm also psyched because I found some inexpensive but nice stocking holders at Target last week. Woo hoo!
These stockings need a good blocking!

Project Details:

Gentleman's Fancy Sock by Nancy Bush - Knit in Austermann Step on US #2 DPN's (I cast on 52 sts).

Huron Mountain Socks by Nancy Bush - Knit inSchoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka (MC - Grey) and The Wool Dispensary Useful Stimulant BFL Sock (CC - Circus Popcorn) on US #1's and #2's.  Hooray, colorwork socks I can get past my heel!

Stocking the first:  Knitting Pure & Simple's Easy Christmas Stocking knit in Lamb's Pride Worsted in Oatmeal, Reynolds Lopi Lite in #0414 Red, and Pick Up Sticks Small Balls in Grass & Gold on US #8's.

Stocking the Second:  Same pattern as above, knit in Lamb's Pride Worsted in Oatmeal and Chianti, Spud & Chloe Sweater in Moonlight, and Berroco Peruvia in Avocado on US #8's. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Button Bunny Kits at the DIY Trunk Show!

I'm teaming up with Alysson from The Sweatshop of Love and Sam from The Wool Dispensary to bring you these Button Bunny Kits containing everything you need to make a trio of adorable critters!

Each kit includes:
1 printed pattern
1 full skein of Greater Poison and 30g/50 yds of contrasting color for pockets (you may choose from an array of colors!)
3 pairs of safety eyes
3 buttons

Plus, each kit comes in your very own reusable Wool Dispensary project bag!  They'll be for sale this Saturday, November 19th at the DIY Trunk Show here in Chicago - look for them in the Sweatshop of Love booth!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Birthday Presents, Fiber-style

Sock Yarn: Hazel Knits
& The Wool Dispensary
Yesterday was my birthday, and thus far I've received many awesome gifts from my thoughtful friends and family.  The biggest gift I've gotten, unfortunately, is also the most unpleasant:  a monster cold....much like I had for last year's birthday.  The difference?  Last year on November 16, I was not only sick, but at the Vet's office learning how to give our newly-diagnosed cat his subcutaneous fluids.  So really, this is an improvement, and I am merely experiencing the Traditional Birthday Cold.

My parents came to visit this past weekend, which kicked off all of the birthday celebrating.  We had many meals out at some of my favorite places (Revolution, Hot Doug's, M Burger, The Handlebar to name a few), did a little shopping, and spent Saturday afternoon at the Irish Cultural Center (which is very close to where I live - I had no idea!) for their Irish Books, Arts & Music Festival.  Perhaps it was too much fun and excitement....or maybe this really is new tradition for my thirties.
Shaelyn + Project Bag

As far as knitterly gifts go, my yarn guru Lauren knit me a soft and snuggly Shaelyn Shawl in Malabrigo Lace (there was beer, chocolate and a project bag, too - she knows all of my weaknesses!).  Sam gave me some sock yarn with a matching project bag and pattern (sure to leap to the front of my queue), my boss and fellow fiber lover Leanne sent many birthday goodies, among them a cat tape measure, fun buttons & a delicious assortment of tea.  I think this magnet also warrants a mention - how often do you have a boss who has a sense of humor and doesn't care that you have tattoos?!  Yeah, that one is front and center on our fridge now. 

Tyler ordered me a lovely skein of Skein (sorry, couldn't resist) from Doodlebug Yarns, one of very few places in the US that carries this Australian hand-dyed yarn.   Check out the subtle variegation of the Tribal colorway in Merino Cashmere much pretty yarn is really going to jump the queue I'd worked out for post-holiday knitting.

And all of this is in addition to the other (non-fiber-related) thoughtful and wonderful gifts people have sent my way.  Despite the stupid cold, I'm still managing to have a great birthday, so thanks to everyone who's wished me well via Facebook/Text Message/Snail Mail/Sky Writing.  Here's hoping I'll be well by tomorrow, which is when my official birthday party is supposedly taking place.  I refuse to reschedule it two years in a row!
Skein. Drool!

Friday, November 11, 2011

FO Friday: The. Sweater. Is. Done.


I thought about writing the above in the largest-possible font, but thought better of it.  See, I can exercise self-restraint!  Maybe not when it comes to yarn and starting projects.....but at least it exists somewhere deep within me, right?

So yes - the sweater, it is done.  I started it in February, then re-started it's been a slow-burner, that's for sure.  That's not the half of it, though - I've been with Tyler for 11 years, and while I've knit him several pairs of socks, hats, and knitted critters, this is his first-ever hand-knit sweater.  Built to his specifications using the Knitting Pure & Simple Pattern for a V-Neck Pullover (slightly modified) and my favorite go-to superwash yarn, Berroco Vintage, I think it's safe to say that this is going to be his new favorite.  It fits him perfectly and is nice and warm.  It's pretty difficult to photograph a coal-black stockinette-stitch sweater, but I think you get the idea!

Now that the sweater is done, it's time to focus on holiday gift knitting.  For real!  I've devised a system wherein my DVD/couch projects are only allowed to be holiday gifts.  I have my grandpa's socks in my purse for any random knitting-on-the-go that might arise.  And the cowl I started for myself?  That's my kitchen and bedtime project.  Oh yes, the system WILL work.  And when I have conquered the remaining holiday gift knits, there WILL be a sweater on the needles for ME!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Whales vs. Bees

I was super-psyched earlier this week when I discovered that someone on Ravelry used my whale chart on a hexipuff!  Though I am not knitting a Beekeeper's Quilt (I think they're pretty spectacular, but just can't commit to something so....time-consuming), I am delighting in seeing everyone's projects and living vicariously through them (and, mayhaps, enabling them a wee little bit!).  Siri oh-so-cleverly duplicate stitched this little guy onto a hexipuff...yet another awesome and creative way to put a whale on it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Button Bunnies on the Loose/1-yr CRF Anniversary

Spotted in the wild...Ravelry user ainsleygrimm has finished an adorable set of Button Bunnies in The Wool Dispensary's Greater Poison in Circus Popcorn.  Can bunnies and cats be friends?  Apparently, if both are cute enough!

Ainsleygrimm is actually a knitting friend of mine who also happens to be a fellow cat animal lover.  She works in her family's veterinarian office and was beyond helpful to us last year when Robin was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF).  To manage his condition, we've been giving him subcutaneous fluids every day - something that seemed so impossible a year ago, but it's amazing how quickly you can get used to something.  Lisa was kind enough to give us an in-home demonstration since our how-to at the vet office didn't quite stick (I was sick, it was my birthday, we were still so shocked & stressed out about the diagnosis...and the cat wasn't terribly cooperative, either!).  It made a huge difference to get a sub-q lesson in-home, so we really can't thank Lisa enough for all her help!

Which brings me to part two of today's entry - today is the 1-year anniversary of Robin's diagnosis.  I'm happy to say that he's still doing very well.  A few of his numbers are creeping up - unfortunately, that's just something we'll have to learn to accept.  Overall, our vet is very pleased with how he is doing and I still hold out hope that we have many cuddly years to spend with our little buddy.  Now that I work from home, Robin & his sister Tilly are my constant companions (I like to refer to them as my 'coworkers'), and they're really awesome cats to have around!

It may seem like a lot of work when you have a sick kitty - Robin gets pills in the morning and evening, 100-150 cc's of fluids every day, and is on a special low-protein diet (meaning we have to feed the cats in separate rooms).  Trust me, it's not as tough as it seems,  and it's totally worth it - as you can see, Robin repays me every day with love and snuggles.  There are days when he follows me around the house because he just wants to be where I am.  Sometimes, he just wants to spend the day in his room (the enclosed porch), lying on the massage table that's set up to catch the late-day sunlight.  He loves hanging out with me in the kitchen while I'm cooking, and often will sit in an empty chair at the table when I'm having lunch (he's also been known to join us for dinner).  Every morning, he literally is jumping up and down and hanging off of the kitchen counter as I dish out his favorite meal of the day (the extremely stinky but apparently delicious Royal Canin LP Morsels in Gravy).

He's got good taste: A Merino/Silk and BFL Roving pillow
Considering everything he has to put up with on a daily basis, it's amazing that he's still so good-natured - and he is truly happy to be alive.  I've had people tell me that he's lucky to have cat-parents who are so dedicated to keeping him healthy, but honestly, I kind of feel like we're the lucky ones.  Having to deal with all of this stuff (and confronting one of my worst fears, NEEDLES) has put many things in perspective for me.  We don't know how much time Robin has left to spend with us, but however long it is, we're going to make sure we enjoy it as much as possible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Finishing, Enabling & Indulging Startitis

Tough to photograph:
Black Stockinette Sweater
(Now finished & blocking!)
The biggest news of this week is surely the completion of Tyler's sweater.  Having cast on in February,  this project has been a slow-burner.  I did have to frog & restart it.  Modifications have been made.  Entire weeks went by when I didn't touch the thing.  My hare-brained sleeves 2-at-a-time-while-attached-to-a-sweater-body scheme actually worked.  And most importantly, we didn't break up!  Not that I was terribly worried about the Sweater Curse - we've been together for 11 years now - but perhaps my delay in knitting Tyler a sweater was due in part to that silly superstition.  At any rate, Tyler has a new sweater that fits him perfectly and is exactly the way he wanted it! 

Which means, of course, that I can cast on for lots of new projects, right?  I mean, I still have holiday knitting to do....and I still have a design that is ready to be published and just needs a model knit...but it's ok to start a few new projects, anyhow, right?  RIGHT? 

Exhibit A
Oh, it's not?  Then you better quit reading this entry, because I recently got my mitts on some Fibre Company Canopy Fingering - yarn I've been coveting since TNNA - and it doesn't want to sit in my stash.  It wants to be knit.  Immediately.  And it wants to become the Botanical Cowl, a free pattern I came across on Ravelry.  Now here's the part where things get tricky:  my job, on a daily basis, is to tell people about the awesomeness of various yarns and patterns, and how fun it is to spin/crochet/knit/weave.  The problem is, I end up convincing myself that I need to purchase said yarn, knit said pattern, or bust out the spinning wheel (I've even started harboring notions of picking up weaving...with all that spare time I have!).  Which is all well and good, but then when I go to blog about my knitting/spinning life, I can't very well omit the part where I enabled myself to purchase something from one of my clients - which has happened twice recently! 

(So yes, I'm off the clock (it is the weekend, after all), but just know that there is a little overlap going on between Work Life and Normal Life at the moment.)

Exhibit A is this booty from Doodlebug Yarns, the theme of which is "Things I Became Obsessed With After TNNA in Columbus."  I'd gotten hooked on Lavishea and Heel at the trade show and decided to indulge my curiousity and obsession with the afore-mentioned Canopy Fingering.  And look!  Adorable yarn ball stitch markers from Hiya-Hiya!  How did those get in there? 

You'll have to wait on Exhibit B - that one is still on its way.  In the mean time, I should probably share my awesome new tote bag, courtesy of the Busy Beaver Button Company here in Chicago.  If you read my last blog entry, you'll recall that I entered this contest and won this rad  Oh no! DOOM tote bag....and if you read this blog even a little bit, you probably know that I enter a LOT of contests on a daily/weekly basis, so it's not that I'm necessarily luckier than the average person, but the odds of winning something are greatly increased when you enter 100 contests per month as I typically do.  That said, I wasn't any less thrilled to find out I won or see this tote bag in my mail box!  Destined to become one of my favorite new projects bags, I've already assigned it to one of my *ahem* newly cast-on projects.