An Owl Would Have Been Faster

MANY days after the fact, my HSKS pal finally got her package. Phew! I was beginning to think it was lost. As fate would have it, she and Anne’s pal posted to the swap’s blog, back to back. Can you see the matching item? Yup. We shopped together for a whole week, you know. That cute little owl came home with both of us. Twins, I guess…

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!

Owl Post

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.

Spoiled ROTTEN

Warning: picture-laden post. I just couldn’t help myself!

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!)

I knew sweet Michelle was sending Anne a surprise care package, but imagine my complete and utter SHOCK upon returning home from work to find not one, not, two but THREE packages on the front porch, two of which were addressed to me! One held the treats on the right, presented in that darling little hearts “take out” style box: a cute, cute tea dishcloth in a perfect rose, a Harry Potter bookmark, Bernie Bott’s Everyflavor Beans (aka: HP jellybeans), pink polkadot tissues in a purse pack, and a perfect little tin of mints that appears to be custom-made to match my little Sidekick purse! All of this, just for the privilege of getting to know Michelle while agreeing to help surprise Anne with a package. The world is full of incredible people, and the best of them can be found in the online knitting and swapping community!

That tea dishcloth is too cute, too perfect (I have the pattern too), not to share: You must especially admire the perfect mini bobbles in the top portion of the teacup. Michelle must tell me her bobble technique, because mine is grossly lacking in comparison!

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!

HSKS Trivia

“Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.”

Voldemort to Dumbledore.

And that my readers, is the question and answer for this week’s contest. House points for Ravenclaw, please!
Also, to my pal – I haven’t forgotten you! I’m working on goodies for your package, and I will cast on for your bag later this week. It’s the next project my queue. With a little luck, it will be on its way to you sometime in the next week or so!

HSKS Trivia

“I’m not trying to say what she did was sensible. I’m just trying to make you see how she was feeling at the time.”

“You should write a book, translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them.”

HSKS trivia time! The above quotes are from the Order of the Phoenix. Hermione speaks first, followed by Ron.

Better Safe Than Sorry

I’m nothing if not conservative. (That’s not a political statement though.) Would that bit of ball have been enough to do the 100 rows of lavender in the straps? Maybe, but I couldn’t take that chance. (Somebody tell my hubby I need digital scales AND the winder and swift for my birthday!) And no Anne, that’s not i-cord. I believe I would rather do 400 rows of i-cord than 400 rows of stockinette at 10 stitches wide.
The good news is that by bedtime, my felted bag pal’s gift will be knitted. Then comes the finishing and felting and such, but that’s the only picture you’ll see until it reaches my pal.
That also means that I’m casting on with the SWS tomorrow, or later tonight! Yeah!
In other knitting news, I have finally selected a pattern for my HSKS pal’s bag. The sock yarn and a pattern are on the way, so that leaves needles, stitch markers and other treats to find. The yarn for the bag too, as I cannot sew a bit, must be purchased, but I’m hoping to do that Tuesday on my mini road trip to check out the promising new-to-me yarn shop the next little village over.
See?! I’m knitting. I just can’t show you what I’m knitting. Sockem? I miss you, but we’ll be together soon. Very soon…
Thanks to all for the well-wishes for Mugsy. He’s doing well. We, however, are not. It’s no fun trying to keep even an 11+ year old Jack Russell from running and jumping. By the time the 8 weeks pass, he will think his name is “Mugsy, no. NO MUGSY!” and he will believe those words are always followed by a human grabbing his little nubby tail, or at least, lunging in that direction.


So, question #3 has come around. Three folks in the exchange I have something in common with, knitting aside!

  1. Lia and I both evidently like Harry Potter.
  2. Laurie C and I both hate Barney, that big purple menace. We disagree on Pooh though.
  3. Jenny M seems just as into fresh tomatoes as I am. We have six little plants in the flower bed in front of the office (but alas, the camera is at home)!

I must also report that I have finally purchased the sock yarn and pattern for my HSKS pal last night. I hope she’ll like it. I’ve also decided what yarn I’m using for Sockza, and I need to get it ordered. I was going to ship out packages for my SFBE pal and the prize for Mary from my first contest for the dishcloth swap, but I forgot one little thing… Mugsy. We’re going to the vet today for his annual stuff, and a dog and packages with FOOD inside don’t mix, aside from the fact that it’s warm enough I don’t want to leave him in the car while I ship things. So, maybe tomorrow, folks!

Soundtrack to my Life, HSKS Trivia

Anne tagged me with this. I’m not passing the tag along, but it was interesting to ponder my choices.

Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

My Movie:
1. Opening credits: Daddy’s Girl – Peter Cetera
2. Waking up: Oh What a Beautiful Morning – from Oklahoma!
3. First day of school: Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
4. Fight song: Watch Me – Lorrie Morgan
5. Breaking up: You Don’t Own Me – Blow Monkeys
6. Happiness: Who Says You Can’t Go Home – Bon Jovi/Nettles version
7. Life’s okay: When the Sun Goes Down – Uncle Kracker
8. Mental breakdown: Don’t Cry Out Loud – Melissa Manchester
9. Driving: Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
10. Flashback: Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf
11. Getting back together: Magic Works – Goblet of Fire Soundtrack
12. Wedding song: Everything I Do – Bryan Adams
13. Birth of first child: n/a
14. Final battle scene: 1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky
15. Death scene: Hogwarts Hymn – Goblet of Fire
16. Funeral song: Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
17. End credits: Climb Every Mountain – Sound of Music

I am still alive, but this is the week where I knew I’d have little time to knit, blog, or do much more than breathe and run to another meeting. I’ve cast on for my pal’s felted bag, my dpn sock is coming along, my Charmed Knits beanie is done, and I’m still waiting for Amazon to deliver my copy of the book, dang them! I wore my socks yesterday, but no pictures, as I’m at work and the camera’s not. I seriously doubt you’ll get pictures before Friday, but we’ll see.

HSKS Trivia Answers:

Trivia #1

Felix Felicis

Trivia #2

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Trivia #3

Arthur Weasley

Thanks too to those who have left comments. If you leave an email address, I try to reply, but this week, a lot is getting lost in the shuffle. I do love my Booga bag, and I especially love how forgiving felting is. It hides a multitude of sins, like a great pair of black pants! 😉

Can’t Help Myself

Hi. My name is Chan, and I am a join-aholic. I’m also well on my way to being a sockaholic. I’d already planned to finish my Sockza (my own pet name for Sockapalooza 4) socks while I’m on a working vacation of sorts in July, so why not?! No, there’s no crime in that, but Sue pointed out that ordering more sock yarn before my Loopy Loot arrived coupled with a late-night run into Barnes and Noble to buy Sensational Socks (my third sock book) just might make me want to block off some free time for sock therapy. Do you think it would be a bad idea to drop a sock in progress in my felted Booga and knit during that session?
Um, yeah. It’s that bad. Even my need for line-by line coaching, twice, during sock #1 didn’t stop the seduction of the sock. And guess what readers?! Fate WANTS me to buy more yarn, probably SOCK yarn! I got a call from one LYS, saying that part of the yarn I had to order for hubby’s summer afghan (probably to reach completion for spring 2008, because you know… socks call) is in, so I’ll pick that up in the morning on my way out of town for the afternoon. But see, I’d already set my heart on swinging into the other LYS in town to pick up a few things (if I don’t say it, does it still indicate a problem?), so I’ll be able to hit both shops before my little afternoon on the road.
I hope to get home in time to catch the Derby. I’ll miss going to a rockin’ Derby party in cool shoes with a fancy hat, but that’s okay. Think of the money I’ll save to spend on… things.
So, I’m sitting here enjoying an empty office, with the satisfaction of knowing it’s been a good week at work, wondering why the sock very truly captivated me. I’d figured out a few weeks ago that I like comparatively quick projects, that I enjoy *NOT* garter stitching into oblivion, but even if you allow for those to somehow synergize each other into some big knitting mojo, I’m not sure it explains the intense case of sock seduction I have. Why do y’all love socks?
Speaking of socks and joinings, do I have sock spoilers for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap and Sockza? I have nice ladies to spoil for both swaps, but no one seems to want to spoil me. Pout.