Saturday, March 29, 2008

A banner week for mail deliveries and a FO

First off, let me say what a lucky, lucky girl I am. I am the luckiest of lucky people!

Wednesday was a bad day. A grumpy, nothing goes right kind of day. Then I phoned home and (BF)G told me I had a parcel waiting for me. Instantly I felt a little of the grumpiness slip away, a little bit of the stress of the day dissipate, a tinge of excitement taking over. Then he said, "Hmmm. It says it contains tea and chocolate." My ears perked up. What? Tea and chocolate? Well, that's not what I'm expecting! For you see, my dear Longing for Spring pal, Darcy had emailed me to say that my custom dyed yarn should be arriving from the UK any day now and I assumed that's what the parcel would be.

I got home and when straight for the parcel! It was from my downstream pal, Charlotte who'd had to wait a ridiculously long time for her swap parcel from me (so long in fact that we both gave up hope and I sent her a replacement parcel which wouldn't you know it only took about 5 days to get to her and arrived right along side the presumably lost parcel. Go figure!) Anyways, Charlotte, dear Charlotte, knowing my penchant for Newbery's Chocolate Tea - which try as I might, I can't get it here in Canada - sent me a box of tea bags, and a tin of loose tea. She also sent me a organic chocolate bar (orange flavoured - yummy!) and Chocolate Orange Jaffa cakes. Yum Yum Yum. Charlotte, you are wonderful and kind and I thank you so much for sending such a lovely surprise!
I went to work on Thursday knowing nothing could be as bad as Wednesday because after all I was armed with chocolate tea for that moment when the day's pressures got to feel like they were getting to heavy. (It works a treat I tell you! Nothing can seem that bad when there's chocolate tea to be had!)

Arriving at home on Thursday there was another parcel waiting for me on the kitchen table! With great excitement I ripped it open to find three prettily wrapped packages inside and a notecard telling me they were from Darcy. Let me tell you, she's done it again. That woman is simply amazing! She collaborated with Lizzie's Wonderland to create the loveliest shade of green yarn to go along with the pattern for Tiny Tulip Socks. Oh and there was also a sweet little matching green stitch marker and a huge, wonderful bar of chocolate. (Do these ladies know me well or what???) So once again, Darcy, I owe you a huge thank you! You are fabulous and amazing, and I swear that somehow you are right inside my head because you've sent me the perfect gifts once again!

See? I told you I was very lucky!

Now on to the FO. FINALLY the dullest pair of socks on earth are done! I thought I would never finish them, but last Friday I sat down and knit persistently until I finished. I refused to let them get the better of me and I refused to become victim of the second sock syndrome. They are done and have already been washed and worn a few times. Despite my hesitation at the Dutch Heel and it's potential to be annoying to the wearer, I'm told they are exceptionally comfortable, and exceptionally cozy. They're made from plain old grey Regia, but they'll wear well, and (BF)G is very pleased with them, so although I wanted to poke my own eyeballs out with my bamboo 2.25mm dpns on more than one occasion just as a diversion from the boredom, I am glad I made them for him afterall.

So, now if you'll excuse me, I am itching to cast on for the Tiny Tulips... And before you mention it, yes. I do fully realize I should be finishing the baby blanket, the gathered pullover and the Montego Bay scarf, but the call of the sock yarn is just too strong.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A big thank you to Darcy!

Darcy has been such an incredible swap partner in the Longing for Spring Swap. Right as the swap was beginning she went to have what was to be a fairly standard (from what I understand) surgery. What it ended up being was an experience anything but standard including a horrific and frightening sounding trip by ambulance to emergency. Darcy has been trying to recover from all this while looking after her little ones and yet she has still found time to spoil me in a spectacular manner! Relying on online shopping she has sent me two wonderful treasures so far and promises a third (customized just for me - like her other two gifts have been!) parcel is on it's way in the next week!

I was going to wait until I had all three parcels to show, but then decided I'd like to show off my gifts now because they are just to wonderful not to!

Parcel number one contained stitch markers. Not just any old stitch markers but yellow tulip stitch markers!! Tulips are my very favourite flower of all time and yellow ones are especially wonderful in my mind!

They are absolutely awesome! I LOVE them!!!

Yesterday's post had an equally special treat in it for me too! I got home to find this:

Which is an antique wooden crochet hook. I had mentioned that I want to really get into crocheting but all my hooks are old and bent up (they were a donation to me from a co-worker and although lovely of her to give them to me, let's just say they don't inspire me very much!) Let me tell you though, I think this is going to be the hook that gets me hooked so to speak! I love wood knitting needles - and I know I'm going to love this hook. It's smooth and feels well worn and wonderful in my hand - and I love the stories I've been making up in my head about it's past. I think it's grand fun to imagine the previous owner making blankets for her family - or as Darcy mentioned, maybe it could be used for rugs. Whatever the case I love things with a history and this fits me perfectly!

I have to wonder if Darcy is somehow living in my head? She is so incredibly thoughtful and awesome!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Darcy!!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Some knitting in progress...

I'm trying to be disciplined. Really. I am.

So far I've puttered away at my second sock:

I've spent some time giving my Gathered pullover attention - sorry no picture - couldn't get a good one yet

I busily worked on the baby blanket:

And best of all, I finished N's hat:

But while I've been doing all this knitting I've also been dreaming and scheming about more knitting projects. I'm now feeling the call of the following patterns. (and yes I realize that just a few short days ago the patterns calling my name were different, but now you can understand how my brain works and why I have trouble focusing on things!) In my own defense, these projects would be from my stash...

Montego Bay Scarf - using Sea Silk in the Ocean colourway - Ok to be honest between typing this and taking the pictures for the above mentioned projects so that I could post this, I actually succumbed to the call of Montego Bay... well the scarf anyways... and I am about 10 inches into it now. I am, by the way, completely in love with Sea Silk. I would marry it and live happily ever after with it if I could. It is so soft, so silky, so pretty, so wonderful!

Josephine Top - using Jade Bamboo

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Answers to the Coffee Swap Questionaire (a little ahead of the game!)


1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground? I love whole bean coffee - there's just something about that amazing smell of coffee you've just ground!

2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non? Although I should stick to decaf, I really prefer fully leaded! Usually a lighter roast suits me well!

3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up? Well - I'd probably head to Starbucks for a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte

4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both? Depends on the time of day! ha ha! I guess both!

5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers? Mmmmm... love flavoured coffees. Don't do so well with the flavoured creamers though.

6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup? Oh give me a great big latte bowl and I'm a happy girl!

7. Describe your perfect cup - not JUST the coffee, but how you'd enjoy it! A frothy flavoured latte in a big mug or bowl and I'd be sipping it slowly while sitting on my back deck on a lawn chair with the sun shining and the birds chirping and it should be on a weekend so I don't have to think about going to work in a few minutes!

8. You're sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up - or maybe you're there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company? I think something sweet goes perfectly with coffee. Probably a muffin or a scone. Maybe a piece of pie or cake if I'm feeling decadent.


1. Do you knit or crochet? Knit a lot and just beginning to crochet

2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with? Natural fibres - right now I'm excited about hemp and linen

3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now? A very dull pair of socks, a pullover for myself, a hat for my son, the Clemetine Shawl, and a baby blanket (as of today anyways - who knows tomorrow - I lack focus these days and keep starting new projects)

4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you'd never find in your stash? I am a bit weird in that I don't think I have a favourite colour as such - I like anything from pinks and purples to blues and greens to oranges and browns. Just not a big fan of neons (I overdosed on it as a teenager in the 80s I think) and pastels aren't usually my cup of tea either.

5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest? I'm crazy about bamboo needles

6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot - are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan? I can always use tape measures and stitch markers, but would love one of those click-y type stitch counters someday.

7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that's just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with? Oh my goodness... probably the sock yarn (I am a complete sucker for squishy sproingy sock yarn!) although I'd be scraping the bottom of my purse to see if I could scrounge up enough for the bamboo blend too! ha ha!


1. We're starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring - is it already truly Spring-like where you are? I wish... although it's not bad for Winnipeg. By the end of March I still need a gloves and a winter jacket though.

2. What's your favorite spring flower? Do you have one? Tulips. I LOVE tulips (but have sadly never managed to ever get the bulbs I plant to grow.)

3. What do you most look forward to about springtime? Warm air, sunshine, green grass that feeling that everything is coming alive again after winter.

4. They've predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow - Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze - how do you spend your day? Outside!!!! I don't care what I'm doing, just don't make me sit at my desk in my office!

5. The day after, it's going to be cooler and pouring down rain - does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up? If it insists on raining so be it - I'll stay indoors and catch up the housework I neglected yesterday and probably curl up in the living room and knit. (Or if I'm at work I'll secretly be cheering that it's raining so I'm not missing out on any good outside time!)

Odds n Ends

1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles? My family tell me I have a slight addiction to snowmen. Not spring like indeed - but you asked! :) Other than that, I have a collection of buttons I am very fond of. (Buttons for sewing not for pinning on a jacket)

2. Are you allergic to anything? Nothing that should affect me in this swap

3. Do you have pets? I have a whole menagerie. Two golden retrievers - Guinness and Lucky (11 months old), Sola, (5 year old himalayan), Hollycat (11 year old black and white short haired cat), Milo the rat, and many fish

4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in? I've done lots of swaps over the past year or so - the most recent two are the "Longing for Spring Swap" and the Valentine Swap on

5. List 3 of your favorite blogs - craft related or not - and tell us why you love them.
Three blogs I love are as follows in no particular order:
Yarn Harlot's because she's funny, down to earth and I always enjoy her antics whether they be accidently locking herself outside of her hotel room in her scivvies or knitting the most tedious, incredible socks for someone because although she wouldn't ever wear them, she knows her friend would love them.
Bespoke by Bruhaha because Kristina is zany and irreverant, and knits like a fiend! She posts every day and you just never know what she's going to present you with next. Plus she's just a darn great gal - last year she heard my cry for help when I lost one of my favourite sock needles on the transit bus and within days I had a extra set of the same needles waiting for me in my mailbox from her.
Knittywhipped is a great blog! She's also really funny - I love her captions under the photos she posts, and she always gives loads of information for any modifications she's done to patterns she's made. I love the details!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The coffee swap's a-comin'

In just 15 more days sign ups start for the Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap. I plan to be in on it this time!!! I did a couple of them and then seem to just miss the deadline the next time. I have to tell you though, if you like coffee and knitting, this is a really fun swap to do! Go see for yourself! Check it out! I promise you'll have fun! :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The lack of focus on current projects worsens...

Well, as of the last posting, my yarn from my Etsy purchase arrived in the mail (actually arrived that day!) and yesterday my patterns arrived! I'm absolutely thrilled with the yarn by the way! The colours are gorgeous and the yarn is soft and squooshy! Now I really want to be done with my Gentleman's Plain (emphasis on the plain... yawn) Winter socks so that I can dive into another more exciting pair with my new pretty wool!

The patterns are causing me to want to ditch other current projects as well. Especially the hemp summer top! I can barely restrain myself from unabashedly ordering yarn from Elann for it. The only thing stopping me is the latest bill from my divorce lawyer that also arrived in the mail yesterday. (As an aside, how on earth can my divorce have cost me about $4000.00 so far and yet I don't have even so much as a legal separation in place? How? Do these lawyers not realize what they are doing to my budget - yarn and otherwise???) But I digress. Back to happier knitty type thoughts...

I have progressed nicely on my gathered pullover - I'm actually almost done up to the end of the right front. This sweater is knit in the round up until the armholes and then divided (obviously!) so having almost finished the right front is actually much better than it sounds. Really. It is.

I've done precious little on my sock of dullness.

*Note to self - Don't use plain grey yarn on a plain dull sock pattern it will drive you to distraction with boredom thereby greatly increasing the risk of "second sock syndrome"*

(BF)G wonders when he'll ever see it done and occasionally wistfully mentions it. I am trying to get motivated which is why I refuse to give into the call of my beautiful new sock yarn. If I give in all hope will be lost on his second sock. All this being said, while I waited for G to be done her shift at work on Saturday evening, I did do a couple of rows. I might even have a whole inch done on the cuff. (I'm not measuring though. Not yet. I prefer to allow myself the delusion that I have progressed somewhat on it!).

Maybe today I will work on the sock. It will depend on how long my wait at the doctor's office is. We'll see.