Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lucky girl!

I have been terribly remiss in not posting all the goodies that have been arriving at my door, thanks to some lovely knitty swaps/secret pals!

Let's start with SP10. I received my February package February 9. I have an AWESOME secret pal. Here is a picture of the luscious Malabrigo laceweight she sent...

I will post again later with a picture of everything. For some reason the one I took didn't download to flickr. Even though you can't see it just yet, I want to tell you about the happiness in my package....

1. The malabrigo laceweight - isn't it pretty? I'm not sure how I'm going to use it - I want to find a pattern that will really favor the variegation - any thoughts? I have 880 yards total. I have a mohair that is similarly painted. I'm considering holding it doubled with the malabrigo, and making a garter stitch wrap on 13s or 15s, but I'm also really tempted to use it for a traditional lace pattern.

2. Harmony DPNs!!!!! Harmony DPNs!!!! They are soooo pretty! Size 0, so I think I'm going to use them to cast on for some Tofutsies socks - maybe use the Monkey pattern. Can't wait to try these needles.

3. Stitch markers that she made herself - how cool and thoughtful is that?!

4. Chocolotes - Reese Whipped and Smarties.

5. Treats for the kitties (and my obnoxious cats ripped the package open before I could open it for them - they loved them!)

6. A gorgeous card - it's so neat I really can't describe it. I will post a picture of it, too, once I get those to upload to flickr.

Thanks so much, secret pal! You've been amazing. It's driving me a little nuts trying to figure you out who you are, but I have a few guesses.... I can't wait for the reveal!

I also received a special Valentine's pacakge from the lovely Eryn! Again, I was overwhelmed by the bounty!


Eryn hand-dyed two skeins of wool in a bulky weight in lovely pink, raspberry and light purples. She also sent more yarn! One skein of Lush and one skein of Miracle - both by Classic Elite and so yummy! I think one will become Fetching, but I'm not certain just yet.

I was further spoiled by Eryn, with a gorgeous drop spindle with ZEN carved into it, and a stunning batt. Now I'm trying to find a good website or book or blog to help me learn to use a drop spindle. Or, I suppose I can wait for Knitty Gritty to rerun that episode, too. I'm excited to give it a shot! The box was bursting with more goodies, too - chocolates (some that are local to Florida - chocolate covered coconut - yum! - and some tasty Dove hearts, and my faves - Reeses PB hearts). I also got some gorgeous glass bead stitch markers from Merlin The Cat yarns (on etsy), and a nice lavendar sachet from loop (on etsy).

Finally, Eryn very sweetly knit me some Fuzzy Feet in a happy valentine's red. She felted them a bit, but left them large enough for me to felt to my size - how thoughtful!

Thank you, both, for your extreme showings of kindness and generosity. I'm not worthy!

I hope everyone eles is getting good spoiling! Have a great day, and I'm really going to try to check back in this weekend.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Weekly update

After grousing about not updating enough because of Ravelry, I've decided to aim for a weekly update, at least. It is cmoforting to know that I am not the only one struggling with the blog/Ravelry balance (and wouldn't it be nice if all of our dilemmas were this satisfying?)

Wicked was off the needles as of Tuesday. I don't have any good pictures because my husband is not a cooperative fella. However, I'm not thrilled with it. It's a little roomy, so right now it's in the dryer after a soak in the sink. I'm hoping it will shrink just enough... fingers crossed. If it improves/cooperates, I'll have a more reliable adult (or heck, even ZEN, take some pictures).

Having finished Wicked, I encountered an intense reluctance to work on another project. No, I was itching to start something new. Trying to be disciplined, I simply didn't knit on Wednesday night. But the call was too strong on Thursday. I was thinking of knitting a Baby Surprise Jacket, but instead I made a bulky jumper for ZEN. It was a good choice, because it knit up in one evening!


This is the Baby Jumper from Blue Sky Alpacas, knit in Size 2. In the spirit of stash busting, I knit it from some Naturwolle that I had on hand. I ended up holding it tripled, and used about 4 skeins. Here are a couple of pictures of ZEN modeling. She sends her apologies, because she's not feeling that well and has been too tired to smile properly as of late (and yes, you are absolutely right to chastise the mean mom for putting her in this, anyway!).



It should fit her a little better next winter!

On another note, it seems that so many knitting blogs enable with shoutouts to great etsy stores, where you can oogle yarn, stitchmarkers, cool patterns, and other notions. I'm not going to pretend to have my fingers on the pulse of that - I just enjoy following the links other people provide. However, I do have some etsy faves that sell items that aren't yarn/knitting related, and I thought I'd share those with you, in case anyone is hunting for fun stuff.

Let's start with some stunning handcrafted jewelry, made by Linda at Trillium. Her work is stunning. It feels solid, even the delicate pieces. Her customer service is excellent. I have had a couple occasions to ask for something not listed, and she accommodated so quickly (even one order the week before Christmas shipped in time for Christmas!). I've not met her in person, but she just strikes me as someone who I would really like. Check out her store if you're in the market for some jewelry. Her prices are beyond fair and the packaging is really lovely, too.

My dear friend Jill pours candles for Starstruck Cat Design. In all fairness, I do know Jill in real life, but I wouldn't mention her here if I didn't adore her product. Her candles are made with soy wax, rather than parrafin. It's a healthier burning candle. If you want more information, check out her website. Oh, and her packaging is really adorable, too. My favorite scent is the White Tea and Ginger, but I purchased a Gardenia candle for a swap partner recently, and that was heavenly, too. If you have a scent you'd like, but don't see it on there, ask Jill, she will do her best to accommodate. Her prices are very reasonable, too.

Last, but certainly not least, Eryn is making soaps at Turtle Cove Soaps. I have used the almond biscotti kitchen soap, and it does exactly as it says - it cuts right through some of the tough kitchen scents (no more onion-scented hands!). I also have used the Oceanus Salt Scrub. It's really nice. I haven't tried her other soaps - yet - but I would fully expect them to be just as lovely as the ones I've purchased. I gifted some of her soaps for Christmas, and the feedback on those has been very positive, too. Each soap or pair of soaps is individually paper wrapped and tied.

You might know Eryn from Ravelry or knittyboard. And you can find Jill on Ravelry, too. So they both have the knitting creds! Support your fellow knitters!
Go buy some soap or candles so Jill and Eryn can buy some yarn, OK? But don't forget Trillium!

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bloggin' Blues

Did Ravelry kill the blogging star? Maybe that's a bit extreme, but I think I can blame Ravelry for my loss of blogging mojo. I am spending my time at the computer there, checking out yarns and patterns, participating in the forums. It's strange, though, because I miss blogging, and I miss checking in with other people's blogs! I really need to recommit to my blog, and to keeping up with the blogs that I so enjoy.

In that spirit, here's what's happening in my knitting world. Wicked is coming along nicely.


I hope to finish it today during the Super Bowl. I will then shift focus to my husband's sweater, because I still have a crackpot dream that I'll finish it in time for Valentine's Day. In all honesty, I'll be happy if the front and back are done by then, but we'll see.

I'm also knitting on the first sock from teh 2008 Rockin' Sock Club - I've never been a member, so I'm super excited. The yarn is gorgeous, and I'm also enjoying the pattern. It is slow going for me, Ms. Slow Knitter, though, so I am just going to hope to finish in time for March's installment.

I have another sock coming along nicely - It's the corded rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.

I'm using Cider Moon's Glacier, in the June Carter colorway. Love!

And finally, I'm trying to stay true to my New Year's Knitting Resolutions. In that spirit, I gathered a lot of my UFOs for assessment as to what to rip. This doesn't include the four or five projects I'm faithfully knitting on.


This tub includes at least the following:

Two pairs of socks
One felted bag
One sweater
One poncho (that's definitely getting the rip)
One baby hat (will be made into a hat for alex)
Two lace shawls
One baby dress
One other crazy poncho wrap thing (if you're a big fan of Maggi Jackson/maggiknits, let me know - I'll pack this up and sent it off to you).
One dog sweater
One worsted weight sock
one bolero
one camisole

There's onther stuff that I'm forgetting, I think. I didn't do a thorough job of cataloging it, but it was nice to get most of this together. It helps me to take an assessment and address the situation.