Monday, April 28, 2008


Does the kindness and generosity of others just catch you by surprise sometimes? Awhile back, I participated in the Not So Secret Scarf Swap. The basic premise was that you sent a skein (or two) of yarn from your stash to your upstream, and they knit a scarf for you from your stash. I knit a scarf for Bev, using Paton's SWS, a nice bulky yarn - it knit up quickly (and nicely) into My So Called Scarf. Well, my upstream was Mel. When we received our upstreams, I emailed her to ask if she'd mind using a DK weight yarn - I told her she could hold it doubled (and let her know it was cashmere, so that's always a benefit). She was excited about the yarn, and even said I could send along two colors. So yes, in exchange for knitting up a bulky yarn, I had someone knit me a DK fair isle scarf. The time and kindness she poured into this is overwhelming, and I can't thank her enough.


My poor photography skills do not do this scarf justice. It is really just so lovely, and it is a design of Mel's own making - she is a talented one! Here's a closer view of the snowflake motif.


Mel, you've outdone yourself. If you are interested in keeping up with Mel's designs, check out her new website, Stick Chick Knits. She's still working to get her patterns all up, but you can get a feel for her work by looking at her free patterns.

In addition to the scarf, Mel also sent a skein of lovely yarn.


It's Hazel Knits sock yarn, in a gorgeous blue. It is a soy merino blend, and it is just beautiful. It will knit up nicely into Violeta. Sorry for the Ravelry link, if you can't get there, just know that Violeta is a pattern for fingerless mitts, designed by Mel. Very pretty!

Mel also sent along some really pretty stitchmarkers, which I neglected to photograph. They are just lovely, though, and she made them herself using some stunning stones!

Thanks, Mel, for a wonderful swap.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Book meme and one other, too

This comes from Mel and I am, of course, late.

Here are the rules:
1) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, 7 random facts:

1) I am a really crappy singer/musician of any sort (so bad, in fact, that the high school band director told me to just "pretend play" my clarinet during a concert. I told him I would do so, but then proceeded to intentionally squeak throughout the concert. He couldn't blame me, right, I wasn't even supposed to be playing) I quit band by the time I was a sophomore. It really was the best choice for all involved.
2) I have been very down lately - down on my job, down on myself. I am trying to work through it and find some positive in what really is a decent life.
3) I love to try to garden. I really stink at it, but it's fun trying. The hope that spring brings is so irresistible. By the end of the summer, all that's usually alive are tomatoes (love those hardy guys).
4) I used to live in South Carolina, and I am missing it more and more.
5) Nobody in my family, except my husband knows about my blog. I just like it that way.
6) I am currently working my way through the entire running of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. I'm in season three now. It came on at a time when I really just didn't watch much TV, and ran throughout law school, when I really didn't watch much TV. It's a great show, and I'm happy I'm discovering it, even if I am 10 years behind.
7) I really need a pedicure

Now the hard part, time to tag folks, so here goes:
1) Eryn
2) Weezalana
3) Soo
4) Jill (in case you ever blog again!)
5) Georgiann
6) Jo
7) Annie

Have fun!


Eryn blogged this awhile back, and I liked it, so I thought I would offer my perspective.

1. What book are you currently reading?

The Secret Servant, Daniel Silva - Silva is one of my favorite authors. He writes spy novels about protagonist Gabriel Allon, who is an art restorer/spy and assassin for the Israeli Secret Service. This book was published in 2007, so I am a little behind. He has a new one coming out this year.

Twelve Bags Full, Leonie Swann - this is a sheep detective story that Nat found and got for me for Christmas. I am just getting started, but it's pretty cute - a flock of sheep work together to discover who is responsible for the death of their shepherd.

2. When you think of a good story, what are the first 3 books that come to mind?

A Widow for One Year, John Irving - I am a big fan of Irving. I find this story particularly compelling. It is a tale of severe family dysfunction, written with the usual dark-comic flair that Irving does so well.

The Black Echo, Michael Connelly – I love Connelly's series about Detective Harry Bosch. I chose The Black Echo because it is the first in the series - I don't know if it was the best, but they're all pretty good. Bosch is a Vietnam Vet (a "tunnel rat") and an LAPD cop or detective (depends on where you pick up the series). He has a rebellious spirit, but a thirst for truth and justice.

Emma, Jane Austen - I have been listening to this from Of course, my ipod died last week, so I haven't gotten too far. Listening is a reminder of the wonderful story-telling ability of Austen. It also is interesting to know how relevant the themes continue to be. But, I'm not going to pretend that I have anything to say about Jane Austen that is new.

3. Which 3 books would you recommend for summer 2008 beach reading?

Good In Bed, Jennifer Weiner – this book goes off the rails a bit toward the end, but it's a fine escapist romp.

Knit One, Kill Two, Maggie Sefton – no reason not to combine beach reading and knitting, right?

Any of Carl Hiaasen's goofy stories.

4. Any knitting books you would care to share?

Knitting in Plain English, Maggie Righetti - a wonderfully straightforward reference book.

5. What is next on your reading list?

I ordered the Harlot's new book since her trip to Indianapolis is coming up. I have been watching Bones on Fox, so I am reading the original series by Kathy Reichs. I just finished Deja Dead, and while it was a little disappointing, I do think I'll pick up the next book in the series.

6. Tag three other knitters for this meme:

If you got tagged above, and haven't already done this, consider yourself tagged!

I know I promised finished object photos, and I actually took them. However, I am not in the mood to mess around with uploading photos to flickr right now. I will have another update before next week.

I will, however, leave you with this (ZEN's trip to the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum):

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tales from the Fiber Event

I had the pleasure of attending The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana, yesterady. ZEN and Nat came along, which made it even more fun.

I started the day helping to attend to the booth for the Northside Knitting Guild. We were selling felted bags, with the proceeds going to Prevail of Noblesville. Prevail supports the victims of violence and abuse. It's a wonderful program. The final numbers weren't in when I left, but it looked like we were well on our way to raising a pretty good sum for Prevail. Incidentally, the bag I made sold first. I was worried it wouldn't sell at all. I made the Carie Lynn Bag from She Knits (pictured, in a not-great photo, at left). There were a lot of really gorgeous bags, though, so I just got lucky! Thanks to Sharon for allowing me to sell the bag made from her pattern!

After I was done at the booth, I had the chance to look around and shop. Here's the loot!

Handspun, from an unknown vendor. Yes, I am kicking myself because I either didn't pick up, or lost their card. I went back to the vendor map, and I couldn't figure out who it was. It's a lovely camel, merino blend. It was so soft that I had to use it immediately, so it became a pair of fingerless mitts. I had 111 yards, and I was worried I would run out. I only used a little more than half, though. I don't think I have enough left for a hat, so any ideas for leftover handspun is much appreciated. I love this stuff, and will try to find this vendor again next year.

More handspun! This is a blend with some angora in it, I believe. The vendor was Little Acres (in Michigan, near Mackinaw Bridge). I don't think she has a website. She also had an adorable angora rabbit in her booth. He was quite friendly.

And check out these guys! They were right across from the Guild's booth, so I got to keep an eye on them while I was working. They were so cute, and quite friendly. ZEN seemed to think they were pretty neat, but I didn't manage to get any pictures of her with them.

OK, back to yarn...

This is a lovely wool/bamboo/nylon blend. I love the color and the sheen, and I think it will make lovely socks. I picked this up at the Maple Creek Farm booth. Their booth also was right by the guild booth, so I was forced to eye the lovely yarn for a couple hours before I could go pet it. As we were getting ready to leave, we decided to check our tickets to see if we'd won doorprizes (my first thought was, why bother - I never win!). I won! And of all things, I won the prize donated by the lovely Maple Creek Farm folks. They had a lovely skein of their superwash merino as a doorprize.
How cool to not only win, but to win from a vendor you had stalked for a large part of the day!

There were so many other wonderful booths. I think I did a pretty good job controlling myself, though. It was hard! Going to an event like this also really inspires my desire to spin. I caught the Knitty Gritty drop spindle episode on my TiVo, so I can use that to learn with the awesome drop spindle Eryn sent me. I need to go visit my friend who spins, because I know she'll be a great teacher - it's just hard to find the time.

Jo asked about the colorway on the red socks - it's called Dragon Dance - Socks That Rock lightweight.

See you all next time...

Coming up next on ZenCatsYarn: Holly reviews her trip to the SPAM Museum, and shows off a few FOs. Stay tuned!