Saturday, June 30, 2007
Please note the stitch markers by Blume's Accessories got mentioned by name. Go Mary! You're on your way, ready or not. It's always such a relief to hear that my swap pals REALLY like at least some of what I picked out. I can't take much credit this time; I had ordered another sock yarn, but it wasn't really available (I seem to bring that out in automated systems), so Sheri of The Loopy Ewe suggested the well-received Shark colorway. Thanks, Sheri!
What's that Loopy? Oh, I miss you too. But don't worry. I'll order again soon, I'm sure. And I'm thinking you'd like to go see the Order of the Phoenix movie with me, and maybe go to Chicago on a business trip, and you're definitely going to Myrtle Beach to supervise the sock knitting and I suppose you'll have to attend part of the conference too...
If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to go here. Have Loopy, will travel!
In other news, my Green Yarn Junkies pal's box mailed out this morning, along with my first No Sheep Swap package. (Yes, mailed on the last possible day to be considered timely...) But more interestingly, I finished my vest. The arm holes are bigger than I like, but otherwise, it fits well, which for my first garment is good enough. I loved knitting with the Plymouth Royal Bamboo, and since I have nearly 250 yards left over, I can make another little project. My sweet husband suggested socks, but I don't think that's anywhere near a good choice for that yarn. It is a fairly heavy vest, as summer clothing goes, but on, it doesn't feel heavy at all. I will likely wash and block it later today, and wear it very soon. Maybe then, I'll be able to get a better photo. If you haven't tried bamboo, I highly recommend it. It just glides through your fingers and off the needles. I also mastered the three-needle bind-off on the shoulders. Piece of cake! I'd done seaming before, first just a bit on Mugsy's sweater, and then, on the Mitered Squares bag. There really was very little on this - just the shoulders to the back with the three-needle bind-off, and then, each side to the VAST arm holes. Oat Couture patterns are great!
That's about it for knitting content. I'll likely finish the first two circs. sock later this afternoon, and then I'll have to decide what to cast on next. Probably a dpn sock, but I do have non-sock projects I could and should consider.
Don't forget to get your bingo card in for the second round of Virtual Vacation bingo. And sign-ups for the second round of the dishcloth swap end at midnight tonight.
In non-knitting news, I have to give props to my incredible sister and her husband. We had an early birthday dinner for me last night, as they've headed off on vacation. My sister gave me FOUR charms, including the one Anne spotted on our Richmond yarn crawl. The picture could be better, so that's a grater on the far left, a colander on top, a whisk on the right, and the needles and yarn in the center. My sterling charm bracelet will be much heavier once those are added!
However, my always funny, kind brother inlaw gets the bow. Because botching dates and times is what I seem to be doing this summer, I somehow flopped Anne and Ingrid's arrival date around, thinking I could go with my sister and other friends to Williamsburg, for the big Longaberger event there. So, my other brother inlaw's girlfriend signed us up to weave our own baskets, something we've done before, but these were special, designed just for the Williamsburg crowd. Long story short, my sister said she'd found a friend to go with her to take my spot, and I stayed at home and greeted my guests. I thought nothing more of it. No one shared any details, which I thought was a bit rude, but I decided they didn't want to make me pout - which you know I am apt to do - and let it go.
Wrong! They were all in on it. My brother inlaw, disdainer of all things baskety, set aside his eye-rolling urges and instead, rolled up his sleeves and made me a basket. I can honestly say, prince that he is, my own hubby wouldn't have done that for me. Now, I have known my brother inlaw most of my life, as he's also a volunteer firefighter, and first dated my sister when I was just a little girl. My inlaws are his son's godparents, so even before he and my sister reconnected and eventually wed, he was still a significant family friend. My other brother inlaw's girlfriend was sworn to secrecy, so now I know why she didn't email with details of the trip either. I love it! There's the close-up of the Colonial Williamsbur signature pineapple (a symbol of hospitality) and the special nearly Williamsburg Blue trim. Note the splint commemorating the event, and the beautiful tie-on. He also initialled the bottom, in Longaberger tradition, got the weaver (the guy who talked him through it and helped out as needed) to sign it, and then stood in line to turn it into a certified collectible with a signature from one of the Longabergers. Thank you!!! I am truly spoiled.
PS - I love spell check, but it doesn't love me back. "Baskety" isn't a word. "Blogland" isn't either, if you can imagine...
Thursday, June 28, 2007
While I'm at it, Mommy failed to make a deadline for her little 100th contest. So, let's say you have until midnight EDT on July 1 to leave a comment, okay? Then, she can pick a winner on Monday, and I bet she won't let me drool on the prize.
And Auntie Anne? Thanks for naming the dishcloth swap after us. Ahroooo!!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
But you don't pop in to hear me sing the praises my childhood friend/inlaw of distant sorts and/or his employer, do you? And as much as I adore Gary, he's not exactly 100th post material, so...
After hanging out, getting the remotes and a few other minor parts and repairs and having lunch, we headed home, in a slightly roundabout way. Last week, in a moment of weakness, I did some stash increasing. I stumbled onto a blog flaunting the Tofutsies Sock Club, and, well... You know what happened, don't you? Turns out one of the best prices I found was one county away, at a shop I'd been told had the best sock yarn selection in the area. (Which means anything about 45 miles from Charlottesville, in any direction.) So, I ordered (and couldn't stop at just the sock club, but you saw that coming too if you're a regular reader), and waited. Nothing. Sigh. Finally, I get the dreaded email... I'd selected a color not in stock. (It happens to the best systems, at the best stores, so that's hardly a complaint, okay?)
So, a few emails back and forth, and Mark and I had a date at Carodan Farms with Caroline. We pulled up in front of the cute shop, which is just steps away from what I assume is her home, and before we were out of the truck, Caroline was coming up the walk. She was friendly, helpful, gracious, and merely smiled as Mark did his best bull in a china shop routine and knocked various notions off the rack, one pair of mittens in the floor, and who knows what I missed. My only complaint is that it is a good thirty minutes beyond Limerick Fibers, which is a good 25 minutes from my house, so... It will be a special treat to stop in, and I would love for each of you to come visit so I have a good reason to go!
First, the reason I found them, the Tofutsies June Sock Club. (Took long enough to get to the yarn, didn't I?!) South West Trading Company doesn't seem to give their yarn fun, funky names, but you know I love the pinks, white and black here! It's a limited edition color, and if I understand correctly, it's only available in the June Tofutsies Sock Club. The good news is, your own local yarn shop might carry it, but if not, perhaps you'll give Caroline and Carodan Farm your business. $16 got me the yarn - which I believe I paid $16.99 for in a Richmond yarn shop - and the exclusive "Wild Kat" pattern which looks incredible. (Sorry folks; all non-sock knitting is likely to STOP once my tank is done, which might be tonight or tomorrow. I just have too many great sock yarns and patterns, and Summer of Socks certainly doesn't discourage me! I did wisely include a few pairs of socks in my Christmas KAL list.)
Next, the yarn that I actually ordered BEFORE the Tofutsies, because it was on the front page of their website, and it called my name. I'm pretty sure I already have some Claudia's for ME in my stash, but I consider buying her yarn part of my efforts to support another Virginia woman in business. After all, she is based about an hour from here, so that makes her local, right? That's an exclusive colorway called watermelon, which the artist dyed just for Carodan's SoXperience, which I just missed this year, dang it! Caroline had the CUTEST baby hat done in the worsted weight, and I see myself ordering it in the name of a baby hat for the friend loving bright colors but enjoying the mystery of her first pregnancy, so... There's really enough green in there that I think my friend would plop it on her baby's head, in his/her John Deere onsie, and think it was just wonderful. See the flecks of black in there? I know you do - look in the right-most part of my photo. That makes SEEDS when the yarn is knit up! Dontcha' just love it!?
This solitary ball of Wick waved at me too, and I'm a sucker for friendly yarn. It had no friends. There was a great selection of Wick, but this colorway was alone, and I couldn't just leave it there. Any suggestions as to what to do with it? It's only 120 yards, but I'm hoping that maybe I can squeeze a pair of toe-less yoga socks out of it. Truly, I'd love other suggestions. Wick had caught my eye somewhere, probably on one of your blogs, but of course, I don't remember where, or what you were making...
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
1. Do you knit, or crochet, or do both? How long have you been knitting\crocheting?
I knit, and I'm trying to learn to crochet. I've been actively knitting about seven months now.
2. Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before?
Yes on the cloths, and not yet on the towels.
3. What are your favorite cotton yarns? Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not?
So far, Peaches & Cream is my favorite. I'd like to try Knitpicks' CotLin and/or Shine. I really just enjoy trying new yarns, so send me your favorite, especially if it isn't something I've used before.
4. Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with?
Chenille of any sort.
5. What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic)
Metal, although I am enjoying my Bryspuns. (I only have #8s in those.)
6. What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?
Socks, socks and more socks. I also like felting and have a host of different projects for Christmas.
7. Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting?
My hobbies include yoga, tea, walking, spoiling my dogs and cooking. I also am into rubber stamping, scrapbooking, and have done needlepoint, cross stitch, and other needle arts.
8. What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts?
Dark chocolate. Nuts of all kinds. I'm not much on other candies, except for breath mints, and with those, the more intense, the better.
9. What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any?
Good question. (What did I put last time, I wonder?) My kitchen is trying to work around the very ugly burnt orange/rust colored countertops. Anything will work. My bath is done in white, blue and green.
10. What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike?
My favorite colors are constantly changing. My dislikes seem to be too. I dislike golds or road sign yellows, and orange is definitely out. (However, there are exceptions to every rule. Shannon's multicolored cotton is awesome, even with orange in it!) I'm not crazy about purple either.
11. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages?
I do. Tea, especially green or black, is my favorite. Coffee? Not so much, but Anne is slowly converting me. Chai is good too. This time of year, a sugar-free lemonade is refreshing as well.
12. Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)?
Yes. We have two dogs, Mugsy the Jack Russell and Fred the Basset Hound.
13. Do you have any allergies?
Not that matter with yarn.
14. Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.
Oh gosh. That's open-ended, huh? Let's see... I hate cows. I'm a country girl, but for whatever reason, I have no tolerance for cows. I'm not afraid of them or anything, but they're gross and stupid. I went through a phase in high school where I took the flowers off the table at every restaurant I ate in, including McDonald's. (I carried a big purse then.) One more? Summer makes me think wicker and white and blue toile...
Monday, June 25, 2007
While I live in an area more like the Forbidden Forest than Hogwarts Castle, the owl still had no trouble finding me. After a bit of confusion brought on by my lousy attempt at sleuthing, Kit, my REAL Hogwarts Sock Swap pal, sent me the most wonderful Ravenclaw sock kit. That great silver thing in the center is a great Gargoyle bottle opener, who will be permanently placed on the deck, where he can guard the house from any creatures trying to sneak in from the woods, and so he can also open a chilled adult beverage as needed. (Or an old fashioned Coke in a green bottle.)
Lookee! Kit made not one, but TWO bags for me. In bag number one, we have the can't wait to be tried Knitpicks dpns, standing at attention in their own little compartment. Clever, eh? Hiding in the bag are more treats! Just look! See the stamp? Something from the Phoenix Gallery? Hmmmm.... I love Fawkes the phoenix, but I also adore Phoenix, AZ, so all Phoenix connotations are appreciated. And see those, there on the right? Those are the cutest, best designed travel scissors I've seen. Hubby will be so happy! He rolls his eyes when my knitting travels, because I don't carry my "good" very sharp scissors with me. THIS pair will travel with us and the sock on Wednesday for more road time knitting!
Bet you're wondering what's in the brown Phoenix paper, huh? The soap is incredible. (I'm a soap and smell-good potions and lotions kind of girl.) It's made from ground sunflower seeds and more, and I can't wait to try it. I like lavender a lot too, so it's just a great fit, all the way around. Ravenclawish soap. Bronzish sunflower, blue-ish lavender, and paperwork to read too. Yup. I'm a gooblette as Anne calls me. I actually read the whole thing.
Wanna know what's in the other bag? Can't tell. Then, you'd want me to share, and I don't want to. Lookee there. A sack full of Ravenclawed Lindt truffles. Oh my. (Ravenclaw tip: Chocolate is a nutritional supplement. Antioxidants and everything. It will have its own place in the food pyramid next time, especially if there are women rebuilding that pyramid.) I've already sampled one of each, because... I could. Since we are doing the whole virtual/electronic bit here, I can be gracious. Have one. (But just one, just in case I've under estimated your powers.)
Last, but hardly least, I'll get around to showing why it is called the SOCK KIT swap. Everything needed to whip out a pair of socks, including a pattern and some stitch markers. Love that pattern. Learning to cable has been on my knitting to do list since about January (as in, almost since I reconnected with my inner childhood knitter). Now, I *MUST*. After all, Kit sent this whole package, and it would be rude not to use the pattern she selected, right? Right. (Never mind that Kit is a delightful, understanding soul who would certainly be okay with me using the contents within as I see fit. Peer pressure works! I will cable before SoS is over!) That pattern is perfect. I see great socks I'll be able to wear with my favorite jeans and my brown clogs all winter long... Did I mention that I was thinking I wanted some simple, dangly stitch markers? Well, there they are. Some are plain, and some have a great little moon on them. Perfect, because I require stitch marker variety so that I don't get them all confused. (The end of row marker must be different from the others.)
So, thank you again Kit, for a Ravenclaw sock kit fit for a princess. I'm having a very hard time not casting on RIGHT NOW. I once was silly enough to think that I'd never have more than one project in the works at a time. Then came the spring and baby blankie stress happened. Then came socks, and I knew my knitting life would be empty without a sock to travel along on my travels. Now, I'm trying to keep myself in check and avoid starting twenty different projects at once! What's that Ravenclaw yarn? Shhhh... Of course I hear you. Just promise me my friends, that when I'm locked away because of the voices in my head, you'll smuggle in yarn and needles.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Next, being the joiner that I am in the online knitting world, I had to join Michelle's Christmas KAL. I haven't even started thinking about Christmas knitting yet, so it's good to have a friend and a KAL to smack me into reality. Tune in here for an upcoming list, although I suspect there will be a few mystery items, as my friends and family have started to check in here too. The more the merrier, and Christmas is all about being merry, so do join me there too.
We now return to the knitting already in progress...
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
1. (The one I knew off the top of my head - thanks, Daddy!) 1863 - American Civil War: the Battle of Gettysburg begins.
2. 1963 - ZIP Codes are introduced for United States mail.
3. 1979 - Sony introduces the Walkman.
1. 1961 - Diana, Princess of Wales (d. 1997) (The one I was thinking of this morning.)
2. 1906 - Estée Lauder, American entrepreneur (d. 2004)
Canada Day (formerly Dominion Day) - national holiday of Canada.
Here are the rules: The rules: You go to http://www.wikipedia.org/ and type in your birthday (only the month and day). Then you write down 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and then you tag 5 friends.
I'll tag anyone wishing to play along, because not everyone enjoys meme...
Monday, June 18, 2007
The ever so awesome Michelle has released her first design! Because she's so kind and generous, the pattern is here and free. Be sure to leave her a comment if you're going to use it, and I'd love to see your finished cloths, and I'm sure Michelle would too.
The second shout out is for a knitter I don't know, but Anne took a couple of classes from her earlier this year, and I've been hooked on her blog for months. Annie Modesitt is further along in her pattern designing and in her knitting fame than Michelle, but this unbelievable pattern can be yours for a song, or for a very generous donation, with proceeds being used to help Annie's family through a very difficult time. It's a lovely pattern, and that my purchase can make a ripple in the pool for another knitter is a nice bonus.
Lastly, Stephanie, aka: The Yarn Harlot, is having a birthday, so drop in and wish her a great one.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I never like pictures of me, but there I am, in my favorite shirt, with Amy, in front of Stitch DC. I think that's the first picture of me in DC since my college days, but let's not go there!
This is my new favorite picture of Mugsy. It is the essence of Bugginess. (We call him Mug-bug or Buggy sometimes.) Anne took it Monday while I was at work.
Fred can't be left out, so here's one of my own favorite shots of him. I might have posted this one before, but it is as much the essence of the Hooey Hound as Anne's shot of Mugsy is of the Mugster. (My dogs will answer to anything. I think you could guess that.)
Thanks Anne and Ingrid, for vacationing here. It was a delight!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Where to begin?! I guess I'll backtrack first and show you the lovely, large granny square Anne's mom made for me with the yarn from my Knitter's Treat pal, Barb. I'd wanted to do something special with the brightly colored ball of cotton, and Ingrid's offer to whip up a granny square for me was too good to refuse, even if my mother inlaw might claim it. Thank you so very much, Ingrid! What a very special treasure that will be. (She stopped by and met my mother inlaw today at work, so I can honestly say that no matter where it finds a home, it will be a treasure!)
While that was an incredible surprise, there were two more grand boxes on my porch. One was Michelle's box to Anne, which was indeed a COMPLETE surprise. I worried all day that Anne would be at my house when the box arrived, but as luck would have it, she and Ingrid were still out and about when I got home, so I hustled the boxes inside. Here's Anne trying to figure out why she's getting a package at my house:
I have several pictures of Anne pouring over the contents, but you can see her blog for complete details on the very special package she received from Michelle.
Last, but most hardly least, was the package from my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap pal, which was so much more than I could have EVER hoped for! Obviously, she did some research. Anne and I both oohed and ahhhed through each and every little wrapped item, and then repeated the process as we moved outside after it was obvious the threatening thunderstorm had passed us by. Good grief!! I have been truly blessed with great pals thus far, along with the bonus of some new, great friends too! If the HSKS has a contest for best spoiler, I'm nominating mine, just as soon as I confirm who she is. No, it's not an anonymous swap, but I'm still guessing, as she signed the card "your pal". Kit the commenter from way back seems to be none other than Prefect Kirstin, and I'm guessing she's the exceptionally generous upstream pal o' mine... Either way, I hope my spoiler will speak up so I can really thank her, because I truly feel spoiled!
Here's a better look at what's inside:
There's two skeins of yarn, both in a bamboo blend, two Addi turbos in size 1, tea, tea soap, tea trays, Cat Bordhi's book Socks Soar..., chocolate treats, tip protectors (Mugsy thanks you. Truly. There's nothing that ruins a pup's nap quite like finding Mom's needles in his side when he moves into the spot she's recently vacated.), and a card with a picture of Colonial Williamsburg. That's special, because I'm not sure we'll do more than pass by it on the little tour van on Thursday, if we venture into Colonial Williamsburg proper at all. Ingrid is most interested in Jamestown, and Anne, in shopping. As I visit Colonial Williamsburg just about every year, it will be okay if we miss it this time, but it did tug at my heart to see that picture!
Well, Mugsy would like some lap time, and I do hope to finish up my cloth for my pal in the dishcloth swap tonight, so one more grand thank you to Michelle and Kirstin (I presume?). It will be hard to decide what to knit next!