My Knitting Vacation Begins!

A while ago, I joined a Knitting Vacation Swap program, and yesterday was my big day: my goodies arrived from Heather, my pal.

Here's the first photo of my loot:


And here's a better snap of the beautiful red felted purse I received:

A purse? For little ol' me?

What else was inside, you ask? Here's a peek:

Goodies for me

Here's a list of what I got:

A skein of "surf" colored sock yarn (I love those colors!).
A beautiful handmade felted purse with a cool chain/beaded handle.
A pack of knitting-related notecards (I love those silhouettes they're using for marketing/decorating these days)
A little tin of strawberry-flavored tea (strawberries are my all-time favorite fruit).
A peg game that is soon going to compete with my knitting for my attention...must...stop...playing...that...game!
A fun, do-it-yourself scrapbook with beach-related stick-em-on shapes.

A knitting mystery, complete with a recipe AND a pattern! I can't wait to read that!!
Oh, and it was all packaged in a photo storage box to use for vacation snapshots.

Nice, huh? I love it!

Thank you,

And I have to comment on Heather's gorgeous penmanship--graceful and legible, all at the same time. Someday, when I grow up, I want to have beautiful, unusual, remarkable handwriting like Heather's.


I never publicly thanked my friend, N, for my presents!

As some of you might remember from a previous post, I have this terrific friend in New Zealand who was originally my secret pal recipient (it's so difficult to describe the person to whom one secretly gives presents). My identity has not been a secret for quite some time, and we're enjoying sending each other lovely little gifties whenever we feel like it. It's a lot of fun to have the freedom to just send something because you can!

Well, this time around, N has spoiled me--I received beautiful yarn, with possum in it, no less! I've never owned possum yarn before, and it feels wonderful. And, because N knows me so well, the variegated skein is a bunch of purples and pinks and wines that I love, and then there are 2 skeins of a coordinating solid color. My biggest quandary with N's beautiful gifts is what to make of the oh-so special yarn she sends. This time is no exception. Oh, the agony of having beautiful yarn! Hee hee hee.

Edited to add a photo [6/20/06]:

Possum Magic

But the gift didn't stop with just yarn--oh, no! N and I have decided to start our own swap: the pre-felted, then felted swap. You see, one of us (the knitter) will knit a to-be-felted item and send it to the other (the felter), and the other will then felt it to meet her own aesthetic standards. Then we'll switch roles. N started it by sending a to-be-felted Felted Bowl. It's gorgeous, and I was more than tempted to keep it as a hat, but I really want to see how it turns out as a bowl, so I'm going to go with it and felt it. N, if you're reading, I haven't felted it yet because it's so little--I need to accumulate a few more feltable things before I dedicate a whole washer's worth of water to the project. But soon, I swear!

Here's a photo of the bowl/hat:

It's a hat! It's a bowl!

Tune in soon for a photo of the finished item.

Speaking of projects (notice I didn't say "finished projects"), I ordered some cotton yarn for Nephew #2's 3rd birthday present project...his birthday's Sunday, but we won't be seeing him for another week. I wonder if I can do the whole thing in a week...luckily, Elann ships Priority Mail, so I assume the shipment will arrive by Friday or Saturday...giving me just one week to complete my very first Shadow Knitting-type project...Sure, I can do it! Why are you backing away like that? I'll be fine. Honest. Check with me in about a week, and you'll see!


A little tour through my finished knitting

This is to distract you from the fact that I've got far too many unfinished projects going...

This is the
Lucy Neatby Faroese Flower Shawl I made last year. The yarn is Palette from Knit Picks.

The front of my shawl

And here's the back:

Lucy Neatby's Flower Garden Faroese Shawl

This is a sweet, ruffly shawl I made from some handspun (I think?) alpaca I bought years ago at a NoSo Knits function in Roanoke. I can't remember who did the pattern right now, and I'm not at home so I can't look. Sorry.

Alpaca Wrap, front

And this is one of my favorite things--a stole made from rayon seed yarn that's a gorgeous combination of candy apple red and cotton candy pink. Sigh. I splurged and spent a birthday gift certificate on a huge hank of it and then spent months and months deliberating over what to make. It all came down to finding something that would show how beautiful the yarn is. The problem? I haven't worn it because it doesn't actually keep me warm and I don't dress up very often...I guess now I need to shop to find "the" outfit to go with my fancy stole!

My never-worn red wrap

Isn't it great? I just love that yarn! Here's a close-up:

Close-up of my beautiful yarn/wrap

Isn't it beautiful? Or are you someone who thinks pink and red clash, no matter what? I have a friend like that, so every time I see pink and red together, I think of her and giggle.


A Day in the Life of a Nerdy Knitter

I'm participating in this project where we document what we do and think all day long. Here's the button:

Day in My Life button

Since it's a one-day thing, I decided not to put the button in my sidebar (I'm lazy--what do you want?).

And here is the link to the blog itself.



Knitting content sans photos

A few random thoughts about my quest for a new knitting project...

I just completed a portion of my overdue wedding gift project (yes, I've been working on it...here and there...honest). I wasn't ready to jump in and attack the next portion of the same project (knitting doldrums? I don't know what you mean!), and have had 10 balls of
Berroco's Lullaby, a soft, spongy ribbon-type yarn in black burning a hole in my stash (I got it at 50% off!!). There's enough in my stash to make a short-sleeved garment, so I spent most of Saturday and a good portion of Sunday going through my patterns, ruminating on which pattern would work with this yarn. The color and gauge were of great importance, I knew--cabled designs would get lost in the black, and of course, fine-gauge designs wouldn't work with the puffy ribbon.

What I didn't consider was what the finished fabric would be like--drapey? stiff? Well, I did a gauge swatch (don't look at me like that--I do swatches sometimes), and the finished product didn't have any drape at all. I crumpled my little square in my fist and it didn't even fully return to its original shape when I let it go.

So, let's think about a sweater made for me, Little Miss Lumpy Body, out of this fabric...a slim, body-skimming sweater would end up sticking to each and every lump in my torso, no?

I am for some reason incredibly proud of myself for having this insight before beginning an inappropriate pattern. I know, most people wouldn't even select the inappropriate pattern in the first place, but c'mon--give me some credit for figuring it out!

I found a good pattern (Annie Modesitt's
Ballet Neck Twinset) in IK (Spring '04). I hope I'm understanding this yarn's properties correctly--since the cardigan is so big and roomy, and doesn't really need much fluidity, this spongy yarn of mine should be okay. I'm not making the tank--just the cardigan.

Also, while I'm ruminating about finding patterns, I am still amazed at how many patterns in Vogue aren't big enough for me. Let me tell you--I'm now a proud size 10 (used to be a 16; hence the pride)...that's not a big size, nor is it a teensy-tiny size, but sheesh! Most Vogue patterns are for scary waifish models, and nothing else. Yes, I know, I could do the math to figure out making the pattern fit my curvy body, but I resent feeling so inadequate when I can barely find a pattern in a whole entire magazine that would fit my bust measurement!

So there!

I've just gotten 3 rows of garter stitch border done on my cardigan, and the yarn is black, which we all know photographs oh so well, so I won't be posting a photo of that anytime soon.

I will, however post a photo of the partially completed wedding gift since I know my friend doesn't know I have a blog. There are good things about anonymity!

Stay tuned for more knitting content...

My brush with fame

A knitting shop dog

This is Homer, the guard dog at the Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. Homer is an excellent pooch, but he has one "minor" problem for a guard dog: he's afraid of people. The poor guy was a little overwhelmed by the number of people who came to the shop to meet...WENDY!

Yes, that

I was surprised that I was able to just walk right up to her and chat; she didn't have any security to protect her from stalkers like me, and she didn't seem to mind making conversation with a complete stranger (albeit a friendly, enthusiastic knitter). I managed to keep my gushing to a minimum (I think), and didn't blather on about too many weird things (I hope).

She even asked L-B (yes, that L-B to take a photo of us together, using her own camera and mine.

So here's my camera's file:

My brush with fame

I wonder if Wendy will post her version on her blog...

I'm seen here wearing my Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style, which Wendy promptly took from my shoulders to admire--imagine, a super-star knitter examining my knitting! It wasn't until after she returned it to me that I noticed the huge, honking end still sticking out of the back of the scarf! You see, I have a fear of trimming ends too close, so most of my handknit items look a little prickly because of the ends I leave dangling. I need to get over this fear, I know, but I don't know quite how to go about doing that. It's irrational, and I know it, but that doesn't help me get past my comfort zone.

When I told Wendy I'd started a blog, she asked if there was any knitting content...that stumped me for a bit--I guess there is, here and there, right? Right???

So now I'll need to make more of an effort to get some knitting stuff going in each entry...the pressure's on!