Monday, September 11, 2006

Random Monday, yet again

Evidently, randomness works for me. First up, thanks for all the kind birthday wishes, y'all! I am now officially older & a wee bit more crotchety. And that's okay. My birthday was a quiet affair, which is just fine & dandy with me, that involved much lazing about in the sun at a park (while weasels played on the playground, and I knit, of course), and my beloved husband gifting me with this book. I've been eyeballing it for quite a while, and I'm really excited to have fifty billion different cast-ons available to me now.

Fall is a season of change, and just as the summer ends & autumn begins, so endeth & beginneth the summer & fall swaps. Over the summer, I was really pleased to be involved in the One Skein Secret Pal, the blogosphere Secret Pal 8, and the knittyboard CheapAss Secret Pal 2. I had an absolute blast in these, and met several really interesting people to boot. I absolutely adore my upstream SP8, Suzanne. She's brilliant, funny, and flipping psychic. She always knew *exactly* what to send, and she really made my summer special. And, check out her blog...she also has gorgeous daughters who knit as well! (And, there's a picture of that drop-dead gorgeous drop spindle she sent to me...my blog somehow refuses to post pics of it here, which honks me off tremendously, but hers doesn't seem to be quite so snarky.) My One Skein upstream is also a wonderful, interesting person, not to mention a member of my much-loved knittyboard! Cindi is a regular contributor on the boards, and I've noticed that I'm also following her all over the knit swap world. Who knows, maybe next time I'll get to be her upstream! I really had a grand time in these swaps, but all good things must come to an end, and so I'm on to new, exciting swaps. And yeah, I'm a confirmed swap ho, and dang, but I love it that way! This fall, I'm involved in the Sockret Pal swap (a secret swap that involves knitting a pair of socks for your downstream...I'm *so* looking forward to this!! I'm dying to get my hands on socks someone else has knit...I really want to compare technique & styles & fit & such!), the Chocolate Swap (oh, be still my beating heart...yarn and chocolate...heavens...), the knittyboard October Knitted Thing swap, the knittyboard Spooky Swap, and the Favourite Colour Swap. Before y'all start to thinking about how insane I am, do realize that all but one of these swaps are one-month, one-package commitments, so it's not really all *that* much. And, the Sockret Pal swap goes bi-monthly for six months, thus stretching my time in which to knit the socks considerably, which is good, because pretty much all my knitting hours until December 24th are booked solid.

Speaking of the Favourite Colour Swap, I received my box the other day!! In retrospect, I don't suppose I was very nice when I filled out my questionnaire...the main point to the questionnaire was to state my favourite colour, but being the indecisive type I am, I more or less stated why I liked all the colors. Oy. I didn't even realize I did that until after I'd sent the thing in. Fortunately, my upstream is a doll who was patient enough to read through my ramblings, and she went with blues & greens, which are right up there with my all-time favorite shades (especially green...and the bonus is, it looks good on me, too!).

Check it out...Patons Classic Wool in a lovely shade of green (dh says I need to fish up some chocolate brown to match it, and make a stripey sweater...that could actually look really cool!), a pretty green photo album (it's hiding, because it was hard to squish everything into the photo), green point protectors in just the right size for all my sock knitting (thank you! It sucks getting stabbed!), green tic-tacs & Mentos sours (you can't tell, but the Mentos things are half gone already...dh stole them straight outta the box), some gorgeous merino sock yarn that she dyed herself (omg, I'm SO saving this for those awful grey days in February!! It's so bright & happy, and really just beautiful...perfect for the colourless days of mid-winter), and an absolute treasure--Interlacements Toasty Toes in Irish. 'Scuse me whilst I pass out from the stunning colors. I mean dayum, I could sit here & gaze at the subtle gradations in the greens, blues & purples for hours, I kid you not. And, I've been coveting Interlacements for ages! Truly, this was a fabulous box. Thank you so much, Nicole!!!

Elsewhere in my little knittyworld, I've actually finished something... Half finished something else...

And started some other things too...Yes indeedy, it's the WIP Parade! Clockwise from top left, we have the Noro Booga Bag, body of bag completed, nine miles of i-cord begun; the first of four Christmas stockings for my family in Lopi Fire Tweed & Spruce Tweed, pattern compliments of this book; the fluffy green scarf for my friend Brandie (that I must admit I set down over the summer & didn't work on much...it's a warm scarf, and it's not much fun to knit warm stuff in warm weather, but I've recently picked it up again & hope to finish it before our next meeting); the beginnings of the pretty camel-colored alpaca sweater for my Ma, not yet cast on, but ready to go now that my kickass KnitPicks circs are in; two sock cuffs (cursed 1x1 ribbing!) in Lorna's Laces Camouflage, using a basketweave pattern from this book; the second of two adorable little baby hats in KP Crayon for my friend who is going to cough up twins in the next couple months; the lace scarf I started a coon's age ago in Misti Alpaca (I adore lace, but I really need to be able to focus on just that while I'm doing it, lest I lose my place in the chart, and quiet time has been hard to come by around here lately); and finally, the giant cabley sweater for my beloved, which is actually really cute, even though it's enormous & black & hard to see. So yeah, I've got a lot of knitting to do. It doesn't help that I keep coming up with more cool ideas for Christmas presents for my Ma, either...

Remember I mentioned a visit from my cool pal Shanelle? Did I happen to mention the incredibly awesome needle case set she gave me??? I kid you not, this is one of my most favorite knitting items ever (all three of 'em!). See, we'd made a swap of some yarn for some needle cases, and LORDY, did I get the good end of the bargain!! There's a notions bag (big enough for all my goofy bits & bobs), a dpn case that's longer than my arm & holds every darn dpn I have, which is no small feat, and a kickass circ case that not only holds every circular needle I own, but has plenty of room for many more (that I will undoubtedly collect in the next year or two)!! Check 'em out... The fabric is beautiful, the braided ties have little wooden beads at the end, and the sewing is perfectly professional (which is amazing, because if I remember correctly, she didn't even use a pattern!!). The circ case has sixteen pockets, very generously sized, and I can even keep 'em in there in their little envelopes if I want (helps to keep tabs on what size they all are, especially if the darn needles aren't marked--the only downside to the new KP needles, imo). This is a close-up of the interior of the dpn case. I'd show you the whole thing, but I couldn't fit it all in the shot. That's how long it is. Not cumbersome-long, by any means, just perfect. There's about a million pockets, and they're just a touch wider than usual dpn case pockets, which is great because I can again fit the envelope/sleeves in them (oh, how I wish KP would brand their needles with the sizes!). Freaking awesome, I tell you. Y'all, you too can get your hands on kickass cases like these...Shanelle is working on opening an Etsy store!!! Please be patient, though, she's a busy girl with a demanding job, so I'm not sure exactly when it'll be open for business, but feel free to drop her a comment on her blog & encourage her to cough up some cases! They're really wonderful, and I fully plan on sending some as secret pal presents this winter! (And thanks again for the incredible trade, Shanelle!!)

6 comments:

Shanelle said...

You're welcome again! ;-) Seriously, I'm absolutely thrilled that you're so happy with them. They were fun to make! I suffered a little end-of-summer financial crisis (surprisingly not related to the *ahem* shopping accident at Stitches), so I had to wait a few weeks to get out and stash up on fabric. And then things at work got out of control! GRRRR. But this weekend is wide open, and it shall be spent with my sewing machine and a stockpile of 80's teen movies. Hopefully it rains.... I like sewing when it's rainy. :-)

Kerrie said...

Beautiful things!
All that yarn and projects could almost make one look forward to fall... almost. ;-)

Jamie said...

Every time I read your blog, I again am inspired to attempt knitting. So I get out my needles, yarn, and book of instructions(plus a set Kerrie sent me complete with photos of her hands). And each time...I FAIL MISERABLY.

I think I need more than inspiration. I think I need serious tutoring!

But I love looking at the things you are working on.

Are you working on soaps and lotions too? I think I'll have to order some Candy Cane lotion again.

Sheri at The Loopy Ewe said...

Love all the projects you have in the works - amazing! I'm also signed up for the Chocolate Swap and the Sockret Pal - so maybe I'll "see" you there!

Knatty Knitter said...

Hey, nice to meet you too and thanks for the comment. I love football (by that I mean 'soccer') and ofcourse coming from Europe grew up with it, but gaelic football is a whole other seperate sport and truthfully in a league of its own. It's brilliant, fast-paced, intense and its not allowed to become professional in Ireland. People play for county pride, not money, noone in it gets paid and you can only play for a place if you're actually from there so the supporters are fiercely loyal. It makes me so proud! I hope you get to see it someday...and in case your interested Kerry won the all-ireland final..YEAY!!! looking forward to getting to know you better during the sock-ret pal swap :)

AK Jamie said...

Heather, darling! I am so inspired each time I read your blog, and a belated Happy Birthday (there are lots more HB's on the new Mommy board, by the bye). I have a knitted thing started (a scarf out of the Piecework mag), a crochetted thing started (another scarf, I was teaching someone to crochet), a sewing thing started (baby sleeper) and my house looks like a hurricane hit it. No excuses, just randomly disorganized. My new exercise plan is kids, grandkids and grand nephews. So, tell me more about this swap stuff, and if you're doing soapies still... kissy kissy!