Thursday, November 28, 2013


Guys, this happened to me as a wee baby child.
Annnddd Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!!
Hope you all have a blessed day with your friends and family. Eat lots of turkey! Because, let me tell you, those demon-creatures are foul (haha...foul....fowl) and sly. I speak from childhood experience. So, party hardy!

Love always,
Carolyn Michelle

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fiber Field Trip: Unwind Yarn Shop

The last lil bit of info about my trip to Minneapolis last weekend is another fiber field trip!! This time, it's to a local yarn shop (lys) in one of the suburbs of Minneapolis. I did a little research (as is my tendency) on yarn shops in the area, and found one that looked intriguing to me. It was called Unwind Yarn Shop.

Located in Burnsville, Unwind was not too long of a trek for me. I went out there on Sunday after having successfully found my way to Bittersweet Gluten Free Bakery on Saturday. I was feeling pretty confidant. I wrote down the google.maps directions and the address, hopped into the ridiculously enormous van, and rolled out.

For some odd reason, the directions went uber wack-o just a block before I arrived at the shop. I was all, "Hmm...this seems odd, but I trust you, Google" and merrily followed the directions. Which landed me in....a subdivision. Uhm. No. So, I fired up the Garmin (Aka, Carmin the Garmin) and crossed my fingers that it would know where I was.

Sailor and I have had this recurring trouble with Carmin: she stops working in Minneapolis. Not like, "oops, plug it in the battery is low" stops working, but rather all out, total failure, "hope you brought a real map cuz you is LOST, yo" stops working. Last time we were in the Twin Cities, Carmin told us we were 14 hours away from our destination, and that we needed to exit Wisconsin and head to Canada.

Lucky for me, Carmin pulled through. Maybe it was because we were in a suburb. Or maybe it was because the GPS knew I would break it if it didn't get me to a yarn shop. Regardless, I arrived unscathed and ready to shop. I was full of inspiration from the Textile Center.

Photo (c) Unwind Yarn Shop
Photo (c) Unwind Yarn Shop

I found the shop to be a clean, festive place with a veryvery large array of yarns. They yarns were all very well organized and displayed in white cubby shelves (which I like, because colors pop better on white blahblahblah color theory). They offered lots of bulkies and sock yarns. I did not notice many local yarns, but then again, I was totally distracted by the large bin of clearance items towards the register.

I had the place to myself (probably because it was a Sunday morning) and chatted pleasantly with the nice lady who was working. We discussed our confusion regarding the "ruffle yarn" fad, wood versus metal needles, and other yarny whatnot. Very nice. In the end, I came away with one skein of yarn and a set of needles with which to do magic loop socks (aka two at a time socks). Very successful shopping trip, if I do say so myself!

Lovely superwash wool for a scarf I'm planning.
Dat greeeeeennnn.
Stick 'em with the pointy end.
So, Minneapolis was a lovely trip! Got to hang out with a friend, hang out with my hubby, get some gluten-free nomnoms, and get my fiber-nerd on. Funfun. Do you visit any lys when you go a-roaming? Have you ever been to Unwind Yarn Shop?

Alrighty. Gotta get packin'!! We leave tonight for our MY BIRTHDAY Thanksgiving festivities!! I do not think you will be hearing mucho from me in the next few days. I'll be gettin' mah turkey on with the fam. And wearing my birthday tiara. Because my birthday is tomorrow. Were you aware? You are now. Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!
Yours in celebration,
Carolyn Michelle

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gluten Free Stop: Bittersweet Bakery & Cupcake Cafe

A double whammy of gluten-free awesomeness!

I was in Minneapolis this past weekend. In addition to getting to check out the ever-so-spiffy Textile Center, I was able to make a couple gluten-free stops: Bittersweet Bakery and Cupcake Cafe.

Bittersweet is a bakery dedicated to making gluten free yumminess. I did a little research before we hit the Twin Cities to find safe-ish restaurants I could visit, and I found this place! I knew I had to go. No fear of cross contamination on gluten free bread, cake, cookies, and muffins? I was sold. Bittersweet is not in Minneapolis itself, so I had to take a little solo trek Saturday morning to visit it. A little daunting, since I have only been to Minneapolis once before, but the fear of navigating alone was nothing compared to my bread-want. And lemme tell you, Just look at my haul:

Half loaf of their original bread
This is making me hungry.
Spice cookie and my cranberry tea for breakfast yesterday.
Look at dat cookie. Oooo gurrl.
Buttered toast for breakfast. Mhhhhhhhh.
Dat. Butter.

Just look at those. Look at them. It has been over a month since I had anything remotely bread-like, and I LOVE bread. So getting to purchase these wonderful treats was super cool. I did not get pictures of a few things (because I ate dem). I also bought a lemon zinger cookie (it was like a lemon bar in cookie form), a generous slice of almond bundt cake, and a box of brownie bites (you know the crispy corners when you make a pan of brownies? Yeah. It was a box of those. Ohmyglob guys).

I cannot wait to be able to make a trek to Bittersweet again. All that wonderfulness and no fear of cross-contamination or anything. -happy sobs-

My second lil gluten-free indulgence was Cupcake. This adorable little cafe/bakery (Cafekery? Bafe?) had a pretty impressive menu for being such a tiny place. It is run by a guy named Kevin who competed in (and won!) several rounds of Cupcake Wars. Too cool.
The bitty cafe.
So cute!!
 Cupcake is not a strictly gf cafe, so there weren't a ton of options I could indulge in. (Well, they had a lot of salads that were gf but, because of my Colitis, salads are a no-go). They specialized in cupcakes, but they also had a TON of macaroons. Those bitty french pastries (in case you did not know, like me) are naturally gluten free. But my adventure-buddy and I were there for lunch, so I decided to hold off on the sweets until after our meal.

I had a bowl of Potato Prosciutto soup (which was gf) and a cappuccino. Perfect for the mega-chill I was experiencing due to the temperature. Good, cozy, well-made food.  My friend who was with me had their pulled pork sammie. She said it was quite tasty.

Hipster photo is hipst.
Once we were done, I was so full I forgot to buy some macaroons! Drats! I guess I'll have to go back. The spiffy thing is Cupcake is only a few blocks from the Textile Center! Booyah!! So if you visit one, you have no excuse of why you can't check out the other.

So yes little butternubs, two fun places that are gluten free friendly in the Twin Cities. Do you know of any other places in/around the Twin Cities that are gluten free? Have you been to either of these places? Let me know, yo. Now, I have to go eat something. All this talk of food.

Yours faithfully,
Carolyn Michelle

And your daily dose of Arlo!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fiber Field Trip: Minneapolis Textile Center

This past weekend I journeyed to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Not only is this sprawling metropolis home to the Mall of America, but it also boasts (according to no less than fourteen local yarn shops. Fourteen!! Being the fiber nerd that I am, I make a point to visit some spifftacular yarneries in every city I visit. So naturally, before arriving in Minneapolis, I fired up the google machine and plotted an adventure. This adventure centered around the Textile Center.

The Textile Center is an all-encompassing fiber arts facility. It is home to the Minnesota Weavers Guild, has gallery space, offers classes, and hosts guest artist lectures. The Textile Center is located in the heart of the University of Minnesota's campus, this little gem is a great stop for anybody even remotely crafty.

You can see the library off to the left, and some of the art on the walls.
The building may have looked small, but it was jam-packed full of wonderful fiber art. There normally is a large gallery in the front of the building when you first walk in, but they are using it currently to house their Holiday Gift Shop. The gift shop features work from the Textile Center's members as well as kits, books, and supplies for various fiber-y arts. When I got there, one of their members was doing a spinning demo. Too cool!

Every available wall space is used to display beautiful works of art. Last weekend, a variety of wool works were hanging. There was a beautiful red and black wool coat (super haute couture), a couple rugs, and three stunning blankets. The blankets featured depictions of traditional Nordic mythological symbols. Odin's ravens, Thor's hammer, and runestones. Beautiful. I just wanted to bundle up in the art. (I couldn't get a decent picture of Odin's ravens; it was very high on the wall.) The blankets were designed by Laurie Jacobi, and made by Pendleton.

Runestone Blanket. Love those greens.

Thor's Hammer. Note the lightning bolts in the red border.
Close up of the detailed woolwork.
Yummy wooly goodness.
There are several classrooms and lecture halls at the Textile Center as well. The weavers guild was working in the weaving lab on Saturday when I was there, and there was a kids fieldtrip learning about basket making. A group of adult basket weavers were practicing their craft in another classroom. My personal favorite room was the Dye Lab.

That's right, Dye Lab.

Those glorious colors!!
Big table, lots of want.

I wanted to go get some raw wool and make all the colors. It looked so gloriously inspiring.

If you are feeling more studious, there is even a library of all things fiber. They have everything from modern patterns to magazines to historical documents to academic analyses of the cultural importance of fiber arts. I. Was. In. Heaven. I wish I could have had more time to peruse/take notes/cry tears of joy!!

They were selling used books and magazines, so of course I forced my adventuring buddy to suffer through my perusing of every book for sale. (She is not a fiber artist herself, but was veryvery patient. She wins all the "putting up with Carolyn's nerdiness" awards for Saturday). The magazines were $0.10 a piece!!! So, naturally, I had to buy some.

I've already started putting post-its on the patterns I want t try!
Got some reading ahead of me!

And at the check out, there were some adorable nerdy buttons I could not resist. Come on! Nerdy, crafty, puns? I'm all about nerdy crafty puns. It's a lifestyle I choose. Or...did it choose me?

Knit Long and Prosper
It's funny because I like wool and I have dietary issues. Heh. Funny. Yis.

I left a few dollars poorer (really breaking the bank with my $3.15 purchase) but so much more happy! One happy fiber nerd I am. I definitely recommend visiting Textile Center if you are ever near enough to Minneapolis. I promise, it's awesome!!

Later Taters! I've got a fair amount of Christmas crafting to work on...and Arlo needs to be snuggled.

Yours faithfully,
Carolyn Michelle

Gratuitous Arlo picture

Hi Friends!!

Welcome to my introductory post! Drop me a fat beat and we'll get started. No? No? Anybody? Okay. I'm Carolyn Michelle, the nerd behind Last in Line Shop on Etsy. I love yarn. I love crafting. And I'm pretty talkative.

I've had Etsy shops on and off since 2006. I love having an outlet to sell my creative projects. Last In Line is my latest shop. It's shiny, fun, and features mostly crocheted accessories. Lots of narwhals. I've been crocheting since I was 6 years old thanks to a Grandma who finally gave in to my pestering and taught me how to do what she was doing. Besides my Grandma, my mother, younger sister, and aunt also crochet. I love hanging out with them and gettin' crafteh.

Many of my close friends have been forced to learn also learned to crochet. High School friends will remember insane parties at my parents house (dubbed 'Fiber Freaks') at which I taught many people to make things with string. College comrades will recall a weekly meeting group in the basement of the dorm (known as 'Hookers of Yarnia') where the general public got access to yarn and whatnot and were able to learn to crochet, learn to knit, or just hone their craft. Tons of fun.

One of the posters made for Hookers of Yarnia.

I recently learned to knit, so you can be prepared for some crazy ridiculous posts about the learning process. It's been interesting so far.

Awww yeaahhh.

In addition to crafting, I do other things. I'm married to a spectacular fellow who allows one of our rooms to be devoted to yarn and craft supplies. I have a Mini Holland Lop named Arlo. My BunBun.

Widdle Babuuu!!
I've traveled overseas twice, I know how to ride a horse, I speak Spanish (sort of) and know about 100 words in Russian. I love languages, history, tea, and wolves. And reading. And parties. And dresses. I have weird gut problems because I have Ulcerative Colitis and Celiac Disease, both of which are somewhat recent developments. So, I'm adjusting to a gluten-free life. Crazy stuff, yo.

(As a side note, if you have any super-awesome gluten free recipes, feel free to shout out. Because I love to cook and love trying new things. Same goes for places to eat that are gluten free. I love to talk so don't be scared to offer tips at any time.)

I hope you enjoy this lil bloggy adventure and all my random musings. I plan to post regularly about my ongoing craft projects, fiber-related field trips, gluten-free food, and all that jazz. Feel free to chime in with thoughts, tips, questions, or comments.

Yours faithfully,
Carolyn Michelle